Sunday, April 1, 2018

Errandonnee 2018 - A Reluctant Finish

A collage of work commute photos during the 2018 Errandonnee, including a few night time rides.
As mentioned previously, I've had difficulty finding motivation for completing and documenting errands. Part of me feels this challenge is for riders who need a jump-start to doing most errands by bike - something that comes naturally to me. I've written about that process a few years ago.  By far, the most frustrating aspect is deciding which errands fit particular categories, and this often affects my enjoyment. After completing a couple rides at lunch, just to tick off one more errand, I decided to quit thinking about the challenge and just ride because, as the author notes, if it isn't fun, stop the challenge. (Coffeeneuring Challenge is more my style.) And I suppose it also didn't help that I had 3 flat tires in one week - a record I hope to never repeat!

On the bright side, I donated several items and cleaned out my closet, which wouldn't have happened as efficiently, if I wasn't looking for a couple more errands to fill a variety of errandonneering categories. And down to the wire, a stellar Saturday was all I needed to finish off the remaining errands plus spend 2-3 quality hours with our youngest son, doing all kinds of crazy exploratory miles.

Errands 7-12, 43 miles

March 26 (photo above)
Category: Work or Volunteering, commute to work
Observation: Flat number 1 of 3 occurred at my workplace. I couldn't pump the tube enough to limp home so I put my bike on the bus. Good thing I know the bus schedule!

March 28 
Category: Personal Care, riding along the waterfront for peaceful views
Observation: Flat number 2 of 3 occurred, just after I took this photo. I walked 1.5 miles and fortunately caught a bus so my husband didn't have to rescue me.

I love the smell of hyacinths.
March 30
Category: You carried WHAT on your bike?, buying flowers for myself
Observation: It's been a long time since someone's given me flowers...and sometimes you have to buy your own! Flat number 3 occurred on my return from work, close to home, but the flowers arrived safely. Time to ditch the problematic tube!

First ride of the day includes visiting family members who we also meet up with later at camp. 
March 31
Category: Personal Care, riding in blessed sunshine

Observation: The afternoon was the best yet for weather, 50+ degrees.

Clockwise: our son and I getting drinks (his is the black dirt jumping bicycle), my red Trek on the deck at camp, exploring Ethan Allen Tower, our son and his monkey business at camp. What an afternoon!
March 31
Category: Social Call, riding with our youngest son and meeting up with family members at lakeside camp.
Observation: Out of the wind on the deck, it felt like summertime lounging - I was in a t-shirt!

At left: donating bicycle gifts (bracelet, picture frame, spoke bobbles, mechanical wheelie thing) to Old Spokes Home to benefit their bicycle programs. Above: leaving with items acquired from gift card dollars.
March 31
Category: Wildcard, donating bike kitsch and spending remaining gift card money
Observation: I picked up tire levers, lubricant, patch kit, and smaller cargo net - perfect size for my folder's rear rack.

Challenge complete - 71 Cumulative Miles, 9 categories


  1. I feel the same about “categories” of errands as you do Annie. And for that reason, I almost passed up on the challenge this year. I try to do lots of errands by bike year round. But there are advantages as you point out: getting rid of some long overdue items that need purging, gathering those old meds, expired batteries and any donations to be made. So I gave in and did the challenge for the 3rd time. If and when I get frustrated with it and find it more troublesome than fun, then I will give it up. For now — good going on completing the challenge Annie!

    1. And congrats to you Nancy as well! There was a time when the Errandonnee was a challenge for me personally - when the event was held in February. I wasn't cycling year-round then, it was very cold, trying to complete errands on the weekend, there was a night-time category, etc. If I'm bored with the Errandonnee, it means it was a success at encouraging doing errands by bike all the time!

  2. I think there are likely several of us who can identify with your feelings, Annie. Glad to see you were able to complete the Errandonnee challenge, even if you were a bit stressed about the categories.

    I didn't participate this year, though I did run errands throughout the time by bike... I just didn't feel like, nor did I have the time most days, to document and track mileage, but I do think it's a fun way to get people motivated who wouldn't otherwise ride to get outside for a few errands. I'm sure if life had been less hectic, I may have participated, but sometimes life just takes over.

    Congratulations, again!!

  3. Annie, thank you for giving the Errandonnee a go once again this year, AND for being mindful about not continuing if you do not enjoy it. I established the categories to give it some structure and an opportunity for people to branch out into or capture other types of transportation cycling. In that sense, I suppose it is geared more toward people who are newer to doing errands by bike. It is a loose structure, so hopefully people can be creative about it as they go. Congratulations on completing another Errandonnee... it's through everyone's participation that the challenges take on form.

    1. Thanks Mary for running these challenges! They are very inspiring to lots of people.

  4. Having enjoyed Coffeeneuring for two years I thought I might give the Errandonee challenge a go this year, but decided when I read the rules that it wasn't for me. I just wouldn't have 12 errands to do in 12 days, and as you say doing errands by bike comes naturally anyway.

    I like the sound of Old Spokes Home and looked up their website. I think we proably have similar things over here in the bigger towns and cities but not in the smaller ones. I belong to a sustainable group in our nearby town and might suggest something like this to them....

  5. Your much more patient than I Annie after a flat I rotate the repaired tire out off the bike as soon as I can and into the parts bin, since I don't commute these days I don't get many but I can systematize. I have doubled flatted on two occasions which sucked. I wish you many miles of flat free riding!

    1. I'm on flat number 4 in two weeks, ugh, gotta write about this one!


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