Errandonneering 2015

Down to the wire! On the last day to submit control cards, I’ve tallied my 2015 Errandonnee. Just like last year, I discovered the running of the errands is much easier than the recording of the errands.

Here’s the gist: Complete 12 errands in 12 days and ride a total of 30 miles by bike between March 5-16, 2015.

My total mileage was 138 and doesn’t include numerous grocery store trips tacked onto many of my recorded errands. I wish I had kept track of all the groceries! Maybe next year. I’ll surely be more organized next year. Third year’s the charm.

UPDATE: I’ve just read through the rules after posting this and see “9. Please provide a short description of your Errandonnee bike (or bikes!).” In order of age, babiest to oldest:

  • Surly Straggler. My new single-occupant bike! (Though I’ll pull a trailer bike with it at some point because all bikes must be kid-toting bikes, right?). I’ve had it four months, beautifully built by Back Alley Bike Repair. She’s named the Little Struggler.
  • Surly Big Dummy. She’s doing OK adjusting to having a new little sister on the scene and is still the go-to bike for kid hauling and lawn mower hauling (which, doh!, I biked with the day before errandonneering started). Doesn’t seem to mind that in over three years (built by Ride Bicycles) I haven’t gotten around to naming her yet.
  • Specialized Dolce Elite. My original single occupant bike and I still love her (from 2005, Adams Avenue Bicycles in San Diego), but the Straggler with rack and panniers is superior for toting my laptop around while the kids are at school.


Category 1. Personal Care: Hair cut
Destination: VAIN Hair Salon
What I learned/observation:
There are really cool murals next to VAIN! I think this might have to be my author picture for the Urban Cycling book :) Thanks for coming outside to photograph me, Greta! And for the awesome hair cut!
Miles: 9.6
Date: Tuesday, March 10th


Category 3. You Carried WHAT On Your Bike?! Camping gear
Destination: Fay Bainbridge Park
What I learned/observation: Camping with a single-occupant bike is SO EASY and SO FUN! (Ride recap here.)
Miles: 19.9
Date: Saturday, March 7th


Category 3. You Carried WHAT On Your Bike?! Teeter totter plus kid
Destination: Pi Day Kidical Mass to Green Lake wading pool, Mighty-O Donuts
What I learned/observation: It would have been tricky to carry both kids and their bikes with the teeter totter, but one at a time was NBD (no big deal).
Miles: 6.5
Date: Saturday, March 14th


Category 4. Arts and Entertainment: 10th Annual Waffle Ride
Destination: Undisclosed location
What I learned/observation: An 80-person late-night waffle ride is big fun!
Miles: 28.7
Date: Thursday, March 12th


Category 4. Arts and Entertainment: Playing with just one kid
Destination: Waterway 15
What I learned/observation: Since it was cold and we were pressed for time (so I didn’t want to take two bikes) while the seven-year old was at a playdate, the five-year old and I took the trailer to the nearby “beach”. I had forgotten how hard it is to drag the trailer uphill compared to cargo bike. Mad props to all the trailer haulers out there!
Miles: 1.0
Date: Wednesday, March 11th


Category 5. Non-Store Errand: Returning Alyssa’s tent
Destination: Alyssa’s
What I learned/observation: Tom Bihn Super Ego messenger bag (design soon to be retired, *sniff!*) can hold a four-person tent if you’ve given your rack to the welder for some welding work during the waffle ride.
Miles: 8.0
Date: Monday, March 16th


Category 5. Non-Store Errand: Kidical Mass route test
Destination: Green Lake wading pool
What I learned/observation: I chose the outbound route from the first park to the second park and let the kids choose the route from second park to doughnuts. They chose one of the hilliest options, but it was nice and quiet and they made it to the top before deciding they were too tired and needed to be carried home…for the flat and downhill part. Fine by me!
Miles: 6.2
Date: Friday, March 13th


Category 6. Social Call: Brewery birthday
Destination: Peddler Brewing Company
What I learned/observation: There’s always room to add a growler of beer (top of left pannier, on top of camping stuff).
Miles: 18.2
Date: Sunday, March 8th


Category 6. Social Call: Birthday party
Destination: Gas Works Park
What I learned/observation: After hanging out with friends for a birthday party, we had dinner at the Ivar’s Salmon House Fish Bar and noted how miserable all the families dashing from their cars into the main restaurant looked. Conversely, we were all smiles getting to bike in the rain.
Miles: 2.7
Date: Sunday, March 15th


Category 7. Work or Volunteering: #WomenWhoBike Ride
Destination: City Hall
What I learned/observation: Riding with dozens of women through downtown in the evening is an awesome spectacle! (Full post on the day here.)
Miles: 12.4
Date: Thursday, March 5th


Category 8. Store: Bike-shop-to-bike-shop mud flat delivery for T
Destination: Sprockettes/R+E/Trader Joe’s
What I learned/observation: I can fit as many groceries on the Straggler as on the Big Dummy!
Miles: 12.6
Date: Thursday, March 5th


Category 8. Store: Forgot the coffee beans for bike camping.
Destination: Bainbridge Safeway
What I learned/observation: Next time camping: make a check list! Also, do other errandonneurs admit when they get lost and tally the extra mileage? Uh, purely hypothetical.
Miles: 12.2
Date: Saturday, March 7th

Hey, hey, it’s Errandonnee!

Winter is ending and all the fun bike stuff starting up! March is Women’s Bike Month in Seattle, April is 30 Days of Biking with pledging happening now, and today kicks off the Errandonnee: 12 errands in 12 days!

I’m not sure today’s two trips will make the final cut for my control card or stay in the categories (Personal Care, Personal Business, You carried WHAT on your bike?!, Arts and Entertainment, Non-Store Errand, Social Call, Work or Volunteering, Store, Wild Card) I’ve chosen as of this writing, but it’s no fun to post an announcement about the challenge today without including my errand-filled day.

First up, I ran a bike-shop-to-bike-shop errand for a friend. I decided this necessitated my dressing like a bike messenger so I donned all black and exchanged my little everyday Tom Bihn Imago messenger bag for my big Tom Bihn Super Ego messenger bag. Bike shop stop one was Sprocketts Recycled Bicycle where I played with Mama, the sweetest shop dog in the world. I promised to bring the kids over with me soon–our last visit was quite a while ago. And bike shop stop two was R+E Cycles where I pestered Johnny Latenight with tandem bike questions since there’s no shop dog.

My original plan for the day had been take a big grocery shopping trip with the Big Dummy, but since I was stuck on my little bike I had brought both panniers and an IKEA picnic bag. Between those and the Super Ego, I was able to carry a full load!

Destination: Sprockettes/R+E/Trader Joe’s
What I learned/observation: I can fit as many groceries on the Straggler as on the Big Dummy!
Miles: 12.6
Date: March 5, 2015

Second errand was the #WomenWhoBike Ride, organized by Pronto Cycle Share. There was an amazing turnout and terrific weather. Note: in this city, terrific weather usually doesn’t influence the turnout one way or the other–we’re a tough batch (relatively speaking as there’s no snow here).

Destination: City Hall
What I learned/observation: A woman waiting to turn left into a parking garage across the 2nd Avenue protected bike lanes asked the valet, “Why are there so many bikes?” Woo hoo! We were a big group, though I think rush hour generally has lots of bikes up and down 2nd.
Miles: 12.4
Date: March 5, 2015