Mar 072015
Errandonnee 2015: Winter Errands by Bike

Errandonnee 2015 graphicNormally this would be such a piece of cake. Accomplish 7 of 9 types of errands by bike and rack up 30 miles in 12 days. I live nearly 11 miles from work and this pretty much describes my life so #errandonnee is just a recognition bonus.

Except when I am heading to the National Forum on Women and Bicycling (moderating a panel of cool people) and the National Bike Summit, then coming back and doing just enough laundry to go to the Washington Bike Summit being presented by Washington Bikes, where I’m executive director. (Woohoo! Already sold out our Summit, now it’s just final details to bring the awesome.)

Giant Expressway 2 folding bike, helmet hanging from handlebars, driver licensing sign, Seattle
My new folding bike, dubbed Tessa for now, on errandonnee .

I have a folding bike but no hard case for travel unless today (before I pack and leave) I can find a suitcase that will work. This means biking to the luggage store (totally counts for errandonnee) but probably busing home because I won’t find something with a bike trailer hitch. (Already called around to try to find that at local bike shops.)

In DC I pretty much assume all the bikeshare bikes will be used up by the many fellow attendees at #NBS15. I could be facing an entire week with no bicycling. Besides the withdrawal symptoms this seriously cramps my errandonnee style.

I did get started, though. Day One was pretty cool. I used the folding bike because I also had to drive (to Olympia to check out the hotel for our Summit and make some final decisions). I don’t necessarily name bikes but this one just might be Tessa, short for Tesseract (Madeleine L’Engle fans and science geeks represent, with thanks to everyone who helped with suggestions on Twitter: @ajft @tableforlove @NoSpandexReq @hughes_bridget @keithmo @wsulorena @350_PDX @ladyfleur and especially @lizbon with the Tesseract suggestion).

Errands on March 5, 4.5 total miles:

  • Errandonnee 1, Non-Store Errand: Apply for an enhanced driver’s license because I may be going to the Ontario Bike Summit as a speaker, which would be totally cool. I’ve never been to Toronto.
    • What I learned/observed (a requirement of errandonnee): If you try to roll a folding bike a short distance on a sidewalk after folding it, perhaps because you thought you were in the right driver’s license office and you’re not, you may well whack your shin with a pedal and receive a very painful bruise. Next time just unfold the bike.
  • Errandonnee 2, Category TBD: #WomenWhoBike ride put on by Cycle Pronto, Seattle’s bikeshare, with a bunch of cool women bike leaders. This could count as work, social, arts/entertainment, or wild card — it was all of the above. I’ll see how the rest of the time goes.
    • What I learned/observed: When you put a big bunch of women on bikes and roll through a busy downtown at 5:30, ringing your bells and smiling, people smile back and drivers make allowances for the occasional oops caused by group exuberance.
Just a few of the many bikes at the #WomenWhoRide event. Tessa is almost out of sight parked at the end of this row; I just loved all the colors. This is in front of Seattle City Hall by a Pronto bikeshare station.
Just a few of the many bikes at the #WomenWhoRide event. Tessa is almost out of sight parked at the end of this row; I just loved all the colors. This is in front of Seattle City Hall by a Pronto bikeshare station.

Errands on March 6, 2.25 miles

  • Errandonnee 3, Work or Wild Card: I guess I’ll count this for the work category, or maybe my Wild Card is Multimodal Transportation. I rode my Mary Poppins bike (which we’ve modified to a triple crank; review to come on what an improvement this is). Short miles — biked to/from the bus stop so I could use the bus time for email. Sad because it was a gorgeous day for a ride and I call this one my happy bike because I feel so happy when I’m on it. But this was also my last day in the office before travel.*
    • What I learned/observed: If I got up a lot earlier or moved faster in the morning I could ride my bike to work and still have more time for email. My ride is an hour long so we’re talking a lot earlier. This is not a new observation, just one I’m resisting.

I may not get all the way there this time around. The categories sort of push me to schedule errands all in a pack when I’d rather spread them out but that’s okay. For a full description of Errandonnee with rules see either the post by originator Chasing Mailboxes** or the Washington Bikes version (in which I offer to give you some cool “I arrived by bike” cards).

*The bike advocate in me just has to point out that because I have a bike habit, meaning a non-driving habit, my default setting if I don’t ride the whole way is to take bike + bus. I get work productivity in place of exercise; either is a win. I can no longer bear the thought of spending all that time trapped in a car and feeling frustrated by all the other people trapped in cars who are “in my way”. I used to commute at least 45 minutes each way 5 days a week and honestly, the only thing I miss about that experience is NPR.

The great group of women who participated in #WomenWhoRide March 5, 2015, organized by Pronto, Seattle’s bikeshare. I’m in the turquoise coat in front with the white helmet.

**I only know about coffeeneuring and errandonnee through the work I did compiling the Women’s Bike Blogs list. That’s how I found Mary, who is my Twitter friend currently advising me on DC weather for biking as I figure out whether to go find that hard case.

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Reader Comments

  1. I was just in Seattle, so didn’t have a chance this weekend to start errandondeeing. (unless that short Pronto ride from Olympic Sculpture Park to Pioneer Square counts). For the NPR withdrawal, download This American Life and The Moth podcasts for the bus ride. I can’t read on the bus, but these are great for 30-45 min bus rides.

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