in Bikes, Life, Richmond

2016 Errandonnee challenge: handled it

Errandonnee 2016

After being foiled by a long trip last year, I got the chance to attempt the Errandonnee challenge again this year (I attempted it in 2014, too). The challenge: complete 12 errands in 12 days and ride or run a total of 30 miles between March 4-15, 2016.

Fun twist: I was in Philadelphia and bikeless from Sunday, March 6-Thursday, March 10.

And yet: 12 errands, 6 distinct days, 61.4 miles. My bike was my old reliable, a 2012 Surly Cross-Check to which I’ve pledged my undying love.

Anyhow, here’s how the 12 errands shook out.

March 4

  1. Commute – 2.8 miles – learned that Strava is cool. My first time using the app.
  2. Social call – Asado – 1.7 miles – observed crazy traffic and learned to keep breathing, no need to rush.
  3. Social call – Erin’s house – 2.4 miles – learned that Grace Street’s cobbles last a lot longer than I thought.
  4. Arts/Entertainment – Lucy Dacus at the Broadberry – 2.7 miles – heard a really great cover of “Dancin’ in the Dark”. Learned that Richmond needs more bike parking infrastructure.

March 5

  1. Shopping – Ellwoods – 2.2 miles – learned that I can eat a coconut macaroon in a disgusting record time.
  2. You carried WHAT??? – Woodland Heights and back – 7.6 miles – learned that I can probably hold 6 or 7 irons in my bag (only carried 1 this time). Also, the James is beautiful and I wouldn’t mind seeing it every day.

March 10

  1. Personal care: group ride with Bike!Bike! Southeast – 12.1 miles – observed some beautiful city views and met the folks from a bike co-op in West Virginia. It was warm and the group was big (maybe 40 people). Great way to get back on the bike after a few days away.

March 11

  1. Commute one way – 1.4 miles – observed some extra traffic on the highway. Smooth sailing on the side streets.
  2. Personal care – 2.4 miles – dinner with a friend after a long week. Learned that it takes an equal amount of time to get to Sticky Rice from VCU in a car or on a bike.

March 12

  1. Wild Card: Bike!Bike! Southeast Scavenger Hunt – 13.4 miles – learned a lot more about some of our city streets and how to win at Mario video games. Super fun.

March 13

  1. Store: Carytown Bikes by way of Hardywood – 4.5 miles – learned about a new anti-concussion helmet liner technology called MIPS and got John a helmet.
  2. Wild card: Sunday afternoon roundabout – 8.2 miles –  another afternoon spent entirely on the bike. Learned that 30% chance of rain sometimes means 100% chance of rain. Whoops!


A couple years ago I reflected on how much more this challenge got me out on my bike. This year, I was really just recording the stuff I was doing on my bike anyway. It is truly a luxury to be able to bike everywhere, and I am grateful every day for it.