in Bikes

Errandonnee winter bike challenge

In an effort to certify my bike nerditude, I’m participating in Chasing Mailboxes DC’s winter errandonnee challenge:

Errandonnee: Complete 12 errands in 12′ish days and ride a total of 30 miles by bike between March 7-19, 2014.*

I’m joining the challenge a few days after the official start date but am confident I can make it happen. I don’t know if anyone else in Richmond is participating, but there are lots of inspiring updates so far from all over.

This challenge is exciting to me because even though I primarily travel on two wheels, it gives me an excuse to explore even more of my city and share it with others. I love the cycling community and this is a neat way to connect.

My updates

  1. 3/11 – personal health ride: Mental health cruise through beautiful Richmond on a 70-degree night. Rode through VCU, around Oregon Hill, down to the Capitol and Back. Bright-ass headlight and blinky-ass taillight used to show the way. 9.5 miles.
  2. 3/12 – work: commute to work (does this also count as a “library” errand since I’m a librarian?) 3.6 miles.
  3. 3/12 – groceries: rolled down to Ellwood Thompson’s for some groceries. 1.4 miles.
  4. 3/13 – wild card: biked through some of the strongest wind gusts I’ve yet seen to my 9 a. m. meeting on the medical campus. 5.9 miles.
  5. 3/14 – coffee: started my morning early with a trip to lamplighter. 1.6 miles.
  6. 3/15 – community meeting (kinda – more like a conference): biked to THATcamp New Souths. 3.2 miles.
  7. 3/15 – dinner: Ellwood’s after THATcamp. 1.3 miles.
  8. 3/15 – wild card: a trip to The National after dark with Andy to see the Drive By Truckers. Blinky-ass lights for both of us. 6.5 miles.
  9. 3/16 – personal health: rode with Claire to and from the start of the course for our run this morning. 5.0 miles.
  10. 3/16 – groceries: easy ride down to Kroger with the panniers for my weekly grocery run. 1.3 miles.
  11. 3/19 – work: rode out to the office after 2 days of snow and ice. 3.2 miles.
  12. 3/19 – reading: took a side trip to one of my favorite watering holes to dig in to Ed Peeples’ new book, Scalawag0.9 miles.
  13. DONE!

3/20: Reflections

12 errands, 9 days, 43.4 miles.

This challenge was a little harder to complete than I thought it’d be. I ride my bike a lot, but usually for the same thing (schlep to work. Schlep to groceries. Schlep to dinner sometimes.) This challenge required me to just get out more and do more things in general, not just on two wheels. Last Friday, I took myself out to coffee before work, something I would not do without some sort of external motivator. That day was a really great, productive day at work. During my coffee stop, I was able to plan out a workshop I was leading that afternoon and felt like I was more prepared when I got into the office.

The challenge reminded me that variety is good, that I can always wheel an extra half a mile or so off my normal path and change the course of my day.