Running errands is a bit broader though, so when the 2015 Errandonnee challenge was announced, I read along (as always) with enthusiasm. I don't normally participate, but I've had a rough few weeks and knew I needed something to distract me. I quickly took mental stock and realized that I really don't have many errands to complete in a given week. On top of that, the weather is very hit or miss in March (and April, and May). Would I really be able to complete 12 errands by bicycle in 12 days?
I do have the bonus though of being able to ride fairly often during daylight hours that aren't completely frigid, so perhaps I just needed to take advantage of this fact.
Well, I decided it was worth the effort to see if I could finish, and patches (much like stickers) are something I often seek out. Though I usually pick them up while vacationing, I think an errandonnee is just as valid a reason to obtain one, right?
|Most of the errandonnee rides would be completed using this bike. This was one of the early errandonnee rides.|
The first errandonnee ride was to kickboxing. It was Saturday morning at about 7:30a, and due to the fact that the majority of locals are sleeping in on Saturday's, I always get to experience the feeling of freedom on the roads while riding. Sure, it's pretty cold this time of year (particularly early in the morning), but I've managed to dial in the layers fairly well over time. It's easier to soak in the city this time of day too because the sun is just coming up and the world doesn't seem to be fully awake. Sam and I chatted and enjoyed being able to ride side-by-side most of the way to class.
Now, we do this ride all of the time, so it was easy to forget that I was starting to move my way through the challenge. It almost seemed like cheating because it wasn't an extra trip I was taking, but rather one I'd ride anyway. But, I didn't seem to be breaking any rules (surprisingly, as I do love breaking - or at least bending - rules), so I counted it. The 4.9 miles went into my log sheet and I was on my way.
|Sam played along for a few errandonnee trips. I think with just a few more he would've completed his own challenge. Maybe next year.|
Later that evening, I was reminded that I have a new bike light to test out for review. So, a trip in the dark was in order (which is the only way to truly test a headlight or taillight on a bicycle, I think). A few more miles under my belt and another errandonnee ride completed.
|Hey, the light works! :O)|
Were "excuses" to ride getting easier to find? Maybe I take more trips than I thought during the week.
|I used the Rodriguez for a longer errand because, well, I felt like it and I didn't need to carry anything. :O)|
Have I mentioned that I can be a procrastinator? The good and the bad of being able to pretty much ride any time is that I can ride any time. It's easy to put off until tomorrow, just as it's as probable to decide at a moments notice that I can take off for a quick errand.
I started thinking back to my human resources days and leading classes on time management (Oh, how I laugh about this now!). Somehow, my lessons on not allowing "time bandits" to get the best of me didn't rub off.
You can do this G.E., I said to myself, as I felt a bit of anxiousness rising within. You just have to get organized and make a plan. I'm pretty sure this in itself was breaking rule #12 of the errandonnee challenge. But, like I said, I am not one to really follow rules (Side note: Can you imagine me as your H.R. person? [shaking head] I know, I have a hard time believing I did this for a living for so many years too.).
I don't make a plan for moving forward. I am not sure who I thought I was kidding. Instead, I do it the way I do most things in life and figure it will work itself out.
run for batteries, and later realized that I actually had a work-related task that could be completed by bike. Heading off to a local gallery to get some exhibition information, I discovered that they were closed upon arrival. Drat! Well, at least it counted as an errandonnee.
|Front row parking is fantastic... and we had a snake bike rack cozy to keep the bicycles company.|
|Wasn't getting much on this trip, so the trailer was unnecessary.|
On this trip, I picked up very little, but I made a huge realization that there really is no reason not to go by bike.
Overall, the Errandonnee challenge was one that I've appreciated. I was incredibly fortunate to have a stretch of time that was snowfall-free, making it super easy to travel by bicycle. Not only was it completed without snow coming down, but the temperatures toward the end of the challenge were actually reaching 80F/26C. Not too shabby for a state frequently under snow this time of year.
|This rider opted to lock to the stop sign as the bike rack was not entirely secure.|
My biggest disappointment was not getting to complete the final missing category (You carried WHAT?! on your bike). Normally, I find myself carrying ridiculous things around town via bike, but the need just never came up in the week and a half-ish during the challenge. I thought I'd get to sneak it in on day 12, but it never materialized. Perhaps next year things will work out better in that regard.
Regardless of any minor hiccups encountered along the challenge path, I am grateful for the opportunity to have ridden to many destinations over the last twelve days. There's much to explore by bike and having an extra reason to make trips on two wheels is always welcomed. I hope you enjoyed your twelve days of errandonneering too. I have to admit, I'm a bit sad to see it come to an end. I've enjoyed the thought of people all over riding "together" to get errands completed. Fortunately, I know the rides will continue even if they aren't part of an officially organized errandonnee event.