Monday, March 31, 2014

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Errandonnee 2014: Complete

As Monday is my normal day off during the week, it tends to be the day I run most of my errands. I was able to knock five of them off of my to do list while at the same time, complete this years' Errandonnee challenge.

Coffee and a Haircut
With spring coming it seemed like a good time to get a haircut. Indoor parking is always a bonus.

Category: Personal Care and Health
Distance: 7.5 miles
Observation: The best errands always include free coffee.

Another Errand Complete
I stopped at the credit union to pick up some check registers. It's good to stay in balance.

Category: Wild Card
Distance: 2.1 miles
Observation: As long as you're in the neighborhood you might as well stop.

I came here thinking that I didn't need anything, but I left with a couple of saddle locks, which are wire cords that you loop through the saddle rails. As long as the would-be thief isn't carrying a sharp pair of scissors, I think our Brooks should be safe.

Category: Bike Shop
Distance: 0.7 miles
Observation: You never know when you are going to find something you didn't know you needed.

Cocoa and Coffee
We needed coffee beans and I needed something hot to drink. The beans ended up being ok, but the mexican hot chocolate ended up being the best I've ever had.

Category: Coffee of Dessert
Distance: 1.5 miles
Observation: I will stay somewhere much longer if I can keep my bike in sight.

Wine Rack
The final stop of the day was to pick up some "grape juice" to go with dinner.

Category: Any Store That is Not a Grocery Store
Distance: 9.6 miles
Observation: The best wine chiller is a pannier in winter.

So, the final numbers for the 2014 Errandonnee Challenge are:

12 errands from 7 categories
Total Distance: 45.9 miles
Observation: I think I've done as many errands by bike in the last 2 weeks as I have in the past 2 years.

I'm hoping that next year, instead of doing errands by bike specifically to meet the challenge, the errands will be things I'm doing already. Completing the challenge will just be a bonus.

Big thanks to MJ for helping to kick-start my use of a bike for a purpose.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Diamonds Are Forever

Or at least until I get a new set of bars.

Last month I received an Albastache handlebar (handlebars?) from Rivendell Bicycle Works to replace the Salsa Woodchippers I had been using for the last three years. I put it on right away, but with the way the weather has been lately, I didn't get a chance to get out for a ride to tweak the setup until last week. As Sunday was my day off from errandonneuring, I decided to spend my day wrapping and shellacking. Total wrapping time ended up being about five hours (I had to start over about a million times) plus three coats of shellac.

So now, without further ado, I present the finished product.

Albastache 2


Albastache 4

Drive Side

I sure hope these bars live up to all the hoopla*, I don't want to go through that again any time soon.

*I'm not really sure if there is any hoopla about this bar, I just wanted to say Hoopla.**
**Plus, I wanted to use asterisks.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Errandonnee Trips 4,5,6&7

The main plan for Saturday was to meet Trish for lunch at work, which gave me the opportunity to knock off 4 errands in total.
I left the house a little early so I could stop at The Ski Hut to buy a wrench I need for a project planned for Sunday. There wasn't a bike rack out front (could have been out back, I didn't ask), so I was forced to park inside of the nice warm shop. They didn't have the tool I was looking for, but they were nice enough to let me borrow one for a few days.

Convenient Parking
Category: Bike Shop
Distance: 5.5 miles
Observation: Support your LBS. they do cool things like loan you tools and patiently answer all of your  my stupid questions.

At the Co-Op
My next stop was at The Whole Foods Co-op to pick up ingredients for dinner, and lunch for Trish and me.

Category: Grocery Store
Distance: 0.4 miles
Observation: Even at a whole foods store it is difficult to find vegan entrees. Which leads us to lunch:

A Light Lunch
Hummus wrap and veggie stix. Not pictured: italian sausage. I took  care of that real quick.

St. Patty's Green
Category: Breakfast or Lunch
Distance: 0.4 miles
Observation: Don't ride a green bike with a green frame bag while wearing a green jacket (and red hair) two days before St. Patricks Day and not expect someone to comment on it.

My final stop of the day was at the local hardware store to pick up some wire for Trish. They didn't have what she needed, so the stop went quick. That was good, as there was no place to lock my bike and I didn't want to linger any longer than I had too.

Category: Any store that is not a grocery store
Distance: 6.3 miles
Observation: Don't eat lunch and then immediately ride 4 miles uphill. It just slows you down, and my bike doesn't have any gears lower than 1st.
Also, I think I would ride my bike more on local errands if there was just something to lock to.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Errandonnees 2 & 3

For my 2nd and 3rd errandonneruing trips I took advantage of Monday's 50 degree temp and rode up to the town hall to pay the water bill.

Errandonnee Trip 2
This happens to be the one errand I try to always do by bike. I ride past here often anyway, and it doesn't hurt that I get to save the cost of a stamp.

I took this picture to document the mileage. I plodded along at 10.8 mph. Had I been riding the fast bike, I'm sure I could have broken 12 mph easily. Cat 6 here I come!

Category: Wild Card
Distance: 2.76 miles.
Observation: Being able to ride without gloves for the first time in 4 months is awesome!

Still Frozen
Gratuitous Guardrail Shot

Cheap Coffee
Since the weather was so nice, I decided to ride to the nearest establishment that had coffee.
At first I felt a little unsure counting a stop during a pleasure ride as an errand, but since I wouldn't have bought coffee here if it weren't a category in the challenge, I'm going to use it.

Category: Coffee or Dessert
Mileage: 5.84 miles (I won't count the mileage home)
Observation: Even cheap cappuccino from a gas station can be pretty tasty.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

1st Errandonnee

Another challenge has been put forth by Mary from Chasing Mailboxes: the Errandonnee.
Basically, you have to do 12 errands which are chosen from 11 categories by bike between March 7-19, and then document your errand with a picture and something that you learned or observed during your trip.

I started this years challenge with a trip to the grocery store to pick up some tortillas for Saturday's dinner.

Category: Grocery Store
Distance: 2.34 miles

No Smoking
Observation 1: When there is nothing to lock your bike to at a store you tend to shop really fast.

Observation 2: Tortillas are the perfect shape to put in a frame bag.