Jan 272020
Challenges: My #Errandonnee Track Record

Errandonnee is one of those made-up “just because” utility riding challenges I find entertaining. Created by Chasing Mailboxes blogger/rider Mary Gersemelina, this one involves doing 12 errands by bike in 12 days and covering 30 miles. (You can also walk or run for the errands; I’m not likely to run, myself, but walking may be in my mix.)

I haven’t hit it every year and I definitely don’t always succeed — something about not wanting to run that many errands that fast, period, plus some years the mileage requirement was a challenge because I try not to have errands too far away.

I abide by one of the rules, “If the Errandonnee stresses you out or has too many rules or makes you feel some kind of way, you should stop. This is designed to be fun and if you are not having fun then please do not feel that you must continue.”

In 2013 I took on this challenge and the problem was that I lived too close to everything. If you’ve organized your Life Radius (a nice concept from Blue Zones) so that many of the things you need lie within an easy walk/bike distance then getting to 30 miles might represent a problem rather than inspiration. But if you’re someone who’s been meaning to add mileage, here you go.

2014: That’s so long ago I don’t actually remember why I didn’t do it.

I took it on in 2015 but work travel intervened, including trips to bike conferences so it’s kind of hard to complain about that.

2016: Didn’t even try — super busy with the merger of Washington Bikes (where I had been executive director) with Cascade Bicycle Club.

2017: Another year of change that messed with my riding but it’s hard to complain about a fantastic career opportunity.  I started a new job March 1 as the first director of the newly created Active Transportation Division in the Washington State Department of Transportation.

In 2018 I actually planned ahead to think about how I could complete it, since I don’t necessarily have 12 errands to conduct in a 12-day span. It did help to think ahead since I could do things like schedule a haircut and I got it done.

2019: I kind of thought it wasn’t happening, then it did but by the time I realized it was under way it was too late to cram everything in.

2020: Guess I’d better make a plan. The rules this year are to choose a 12-day period for completion of the errands and mileage sometime between Feb. 1 and March 31. That ability to choose my own 12 days should make it easier since some years the specified dates didn’t align with my errands.

The requirements are to do 12 errands and ride at least 30 miles, counting any category no more than two times and covering at least seven of the nine categories. I’ll need to do the 12 days over two weekends to have time to run that many errands.


  • Arts and entertainment: Plenty of art galleries near my office.
  • Non-store errand: I need to get my library card.
  • Personal care: Have to plan timing of my next haircut.
  • Personal business
  • Social call (includes restaurants, coffee, and other social activities): I’m always up for coffee! Easy enough to have a couple of bike dates.
  • Store (any kind): Also an easy category.
  • You carried what?!
  • Work, volunteering, school: Riding to work twice takes care of all the required mileage and then some.
  • Wild card: I’ll think of something.
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