Category Archives: Errandonnee

Errandonnee Finishers Announced!

Surly LHT in springtime

Welcome to springtime, dear readers. At least, I hope spring has truly arrived. The flowers believe it’s here so that’s nice. Achoo!

Finally, the homologation has been completed (with a minimum of side effects) and it’s time to announce the Errandonnee finishers.

In 2014, 64 people completed the Errandonnee. Of these, 32 were women and 32 men. A 50/50 split!

Combined, 4,071′ish miles were logged in the accomplishment of various errands, which averages out to more than 63 miles per person over the 12′ish days of the Errandonnee.

Great job, everyone! More information about this year’s Errandonnee to come. For now I leave it at that.

Errandonnee patch

All finishers will receive an Errandonnee patch that can be ironed, sewn, or Shoe-Goo’d (in a well-ventilated area) onto many different things, including a saddle bag or pannier.

2014 Errandonnee Finishers

  1. Adam “Froggie” F. Norfolk Virginia
  2. Aimee M. Longmont, Colorado
  3. Amee C. Old Lyme Connecticut
  4. anniebikes. Burlington Vermont
  5. Astrid B. Lynnwood, Washington
  6. Becca C. Calgary, Alberta  Canada
  7. Beth K. Columbia, Missouri
  8. Bikesnick. McLean, Virginia
  9. Bill A. Witchita, Kansas
  10. Bill A., the ultimate coffeeneur. Beaverton, Oregon
  11. Brad S. Bakersfield, California
  12. Brommie S. West Chester Pennsylania
  13. Cathy L. New York, New York
  14. Charlie T. Arlington Virginia
  15. Chris G. Washington, D.C.
  16. Colleen S. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  17. Corbi B. Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania
  18. Crystal B. Goleta, California
  19. Dani M. Washington, D.C.
  20. Darin G. Duluth, Minnesota
  21. David H. Kenmore, New York
  22. Debiguity D. Arlington, Virginia
  23. Ed Felkerino. Washington, D.C.
  24. Emily O’B. Medford, Massachusetts
  25. Enid K. Arlington, Virginia
  26. Eric P. (who named this challenge!) Takoma Park, Maryland
  27. Jeff G. Alexandria, Virginia
  28. Jess H. Worcestor, Massachusetts
  29. Jessie K. Portland, Oregon
  30. Jim B. Estes Park, Colorado
  31. Joan O. Arlington, Virginia
  32. Joe F. and the Instagrammed Errandonnee. Washington, D.C.
  33. Rootchopper! (exclamation optional) Alexandria, Virginia
  34. John R. Washington, D.C.
  35. Jonathon B. Suffolk, United Kingdom
  36. Jonathon P. Baltimore, Maryland
  37. mmmmbike! San Francisco, California
  38. Keith in Edmonton, Alberta Canada
  39. Kirstin “Ultrarunnergirl” C. Washington, D.C.
  40. Lena “Joyful Cyclist” V. Falls Church, Virginia
  41. Leslie T. Arlington, Virginia
  42. Lisa M. Takoma Park, Maryland
  43. Lisa “Rambling Rider.” Hyattsville, Maryland
  44. Lynne F. Portland, Oregon
  45. Madi “Family Ride” C. Seattle, Washington
  46. Nate N. Sioux Center, Iowa!
  47. Randy in Witchita, Kansas
  48. Rebecca C. Seattle, Washington
  49. Rebecca “Velovoice.” Bedfordhire, United Kingdom
  50. Ricky “Bike Every Day.” Silver Spring, Maryland
  51. Robert in Vienna, Virginia
  52. Sally “Town Mouse” H. Dumfries, Scotland!
  53. Sally H. Creswell, Oregon
  54. Sara S. Denver Colorado
  55. americancyclo“. Falls Church, Virginia
  56. Shep B. Arlington, Virginia
  57. Shoji. Arlington, the one in Massachusetts
  58. sprite. She did it for Rudi. Keep on healing, buddy! Washington, D.C.
  59. Ted G. Medway, Massachusetts
  60. Jimmy Phoenix. Manchester, England
  61. Tom H. Billings, Montana
  62. Vance R. Greensboro, North Carolina
  63. Vannevar. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  64. Vincent Z. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Congratulations to all finishers!

Note: If you think should be on this list, but are not, please send me a note via the “Contact” tab. Also, if there is an issue with how your name appears on this list, please let me know about that as well so that I may correct it.


Errandonnee Rewind: @retrotwenty in Medway, Massachusetts

Before I announce the ultimate list of errandonneurs, I’m featuring @RetroTwenty‘s (Ted) excellent guest post of his Errandonnee. @RetroTwenty is a rider out of Massachusetts, a state with four Errandonnee finishers (good job, Massachusetts!).

As you will see in his post, Ted is fairly adept at securing bike parking, no matter where he might be. Here is his story:

I finally completed one of your challenges! I first heard of your blog during last year’s Errandonnee, which I tried but failed. I had the mileage, but not the number of errands – but I had fun, and I was hooked on both the challenges, and your blog.

Last fall, I made another attempt with Coffeeneuring, but again fell short of the mark. In the end, I was relying on family members to come along, and we just couldn’t make it work.

Errandonnee 1: RetroTwenty

This year, I was waiting for the Errandonnee, and was pumped when you announced it– until I saw the dates and the weather and everything else that was hitting my life at the same time.

However, I was undeterred. I figured the worst that would happen is I would have some fun while falling short again!

Errandonnee 2: RetroTwenty

The first weekend went well– 3 errands, 18 miles. A fine ride with my daughter for coffee as well as a grocery run and a haircut, all on my trusty Phillips 3-speed. I was off to a good start!

RetroTwenty: Errandonnee 3

I hoped to hit a few more errands during the week, including perhaps a ride to work, but it was not meant to be. I live and work in two of the outer suburbs of Boston, and my route between the two can be treacherous to bike in good weather, with narrow winding roads and oversized SUVs!

Add snow banks and ice, the need for a car to get to client sites some days, and a nervous spouse, and I decided it would be better to drive on the few days that I could have considered a ride. Thankfully, this will change with spring’s arrival, but not soon enough for the challenge.

RetroTwenty: Errandonnee 4

The second weekend, I got back on the bike– this time my fixed-gear– and cranked out 4 more errands: trips to the bike shop, grocery store, pharmacy, and the “library without walls.”

Errandonnee 5: RetroTwenty

Again, loads of fun, some nice rides in gorgeous weather, but I was still five rides short…and time was running out.

Errandonnee 6: RetroTwenty

I looked at my schedule, and realized I had one last chance. I would be working in the office on the 18th, and could get five errands in one ride if I played my cards right.

Errandonnee 7: RetroTwenty

I loaded up my folding bike, an ancient Raleigh Twenty, and brought it to work with me. At lunch time I saddled up and went to the bike shop, the pet store, a local restaurant for lunch, Orange Leaf for dessert, and Starbucks for – no, not coffee – cake pops to give to a coworker as a birthday gift.

Errandonnee 8: RetroTwenty

Errandonnee 9: RetroTwenty

Errandonnee 10: RetroTwenty

I’m hoping you’ll allow that one as a “store that is not a grocery store” or perhaps as a wild card, because otherwise, I already used coffee/dessert twice.

Errandonnee 11: RetroTwenty

THANK YOU for coming up with these challenges! My family thinks I’m a little nuts, but they are a nice way to challenge me to ride more, and for more than just exercise.

Errandonnee 12: RetroTwenty

I love to ride my bikes, and having a particular purpose to the ride is a nice extra. This was just what I needed to get me out on the road after a long, slippery winter.

So glad you crossed the Errandonnee finish line, Ted, and hope to see you in the fall for Coffeeneuring!

Errandonnee Premium Announced!

Errandonnee patch

Congratulations to all who successfully completed the 2014 Errandonnee! I am still in the midst of tallying the final number of participants, but it currently stands at just over 55.

If you sent in your Errandonnee stuff and I did not respond to you by email, that means I did not receive your submission. Please resend it to gersemalina “at” gmail “dot” com. Okay? Okay.

The Errandonnee is about riding 12 errands in 12′ish days, and sometimes finding a loophole to get everything done. It’s just like interpreting regulations and policy :).

The group of people who tend to do Chasing Mailboxes challenges tend to not take things too literally and don’t mind pressing the boundaries of the rules on occasion.

Ultrarunnergirl modeling the Errandonnee patch

Ultrarunnergirl modeling the Errandonnee patch

I love the creativity that comes with this challenge. Thank you for your posts, flickr photos, Instagramming, blog posts, and tweets of your various errands. Who knew errands could be so interesting?

All finishers will receive an Errandonnee patch that looks like the one pictured. To give you an idea of the patch’s scale, above is a photo of #BikeDC‘s own Ultrarunnergirl modeling it for you.

I hope to announce the winners by Friday so I best get busy homologating Errandonnee results!

Errandonnee: Final Day!

It all comes down to this. All qualifying Errandonnee trips must be completed today, March 20.

Errandonnee to Chinatown Coffee with Felkerino

Errandonnee to Chinatown Coffee with Felkerino

Will you finish? I’m rooting for you. Thirty-two official finishers so far, from lots of different places.

Don’t forget to email me after you complete your rides and complete your paperwork so I can put you on the finishers list. Write-ups are not due today, but should be sent by March 25.

Coffeeneuring w/ Felkerino

Coffeeneuring w/ Felkerino

Thanks to everyone who has made the Errandonnee such a creative and dynamic challenge.

Errandonnee Extension to March 20: Snow Day Bonus Day

Given today’s snowfall in the Washington, D.C., area there will be one additional snow day bonus day to meet the Errandonnee challenge. See? The Errandonnee is just like school.

Even the snowman is mad about winter

Even the snowman is mad about winter

That means all errandonneurs/errandeurs/people who are riding their bikes to complete the Errandonnee have until midnight in their respective Errandonnee time zones on March 20, 2014, to complete all 12 errands. All other rules apply.

Well done to everyone who has already completed the challenge! As of this writing, there were just under 15 official finishers. Please remember to shoot me an email upon your completion of the Errandonnee in order to make sure I receive your submission. 

One last thing– I am considering a slight revamp of the categories for next year so if you have any new Errandonnee categories to suggest please let me know!

Errandonnee Roundup!

We’re well past due for an Errandonnee roundup, wouldn’t you agree?

The Cannondale tourer. Errandonnee to work

The Cannondale tourer. Errandonnee to work


To see what’s been going on in the Twitterverse, I put together two Storify posts for you.

See part one, “Getting out, getting stuff done, and riding your bike = Errandonnee,” here, and find part two, “Oh the places you’ll go when you do the Errandonnee,” here.


Many people use Instagram to document their errands and you will see a nice visual stream of those if you click this.


Others use flickr to document their rides. Rootchopper set up an Errandonnee 2014 flickr group for us so feel free to add your pics to the mix.

Also, today I received a lovely Errandonnee flickr set from stakx that I highly recommend you check out.

This is the special badge you receive in Pittsburgh if you finish the Errandonnee! Courtesy of Vannevar.

This is the special badge you receive in Pittsburgh if you finish the Errandonnee! Courtesy of Vannevar.


Meanwhile, here is some Errandonnee news from the blogs, which are from various places here on planet Earth.

  • Errandonnee is a Word with TripleDouble Letters, Bicitoro writes on her blog. I can’t get enough of the title of this post!
  • A podium finish for Vincent, who became the first official finisher. He completed the Errandonnee (which he aptly described as a “ridiculous quest”) in 29 hours
  • Randy and Nova’s Bicycle Scrapbook– an errandonneur, errandeur, person running errands by bike in Kansas!
  • Red Riding writes about “Lots and Lots of Errandonnee” in Pittsburgh, Pa. And see part 2 here. She is Pittsburgh’s first official Errandonnee finisher!
  • The case of the missing shampoo bottles leads to trip to the general store. An Errandonnee by Tuckamoredew in Edmonton, Alberta.
  • Lynne boldly takes her bike into almost any store that has room for her bicycle! She writes about her recent trips around Portland.
  • The Coffeeneuring Regional Office is also doing the Errandonnee, and he’s almost halfway done, depending how one categorizes it.
  • I’m getting hungry looking at this post, which includes a delicious-looking dish of Bibimbop. Vannevar in Pittsburgh, so glad you are errandeuring!
  • A winter errand to Dairy Queen, Kent Fackenthall writes. Did you know a Blizzard will fit into a bottle cage? Well, sort of.
  • Velovoice has such a pretty Brompton! See it in this write-up of her first two errands for the challenge.
  • Life in the Cycle Lane learns that squirrels are mischievous. Also, see his nice Surly Ogre setup!
  • A car repair by bike? Rootchopper gets it done.
  • Town Mouse also has a Brompton, and uses it to attend an Environment fair, and filed it under community meeting. (How many seconds does it take you to fold a Brompton?)
  • MORE BROMPTONS! Brompton Diaries gives the Errandonnee a go again this year. Seven trips down, five to go!

Did I miss you? Let me know in the comments!

Finally, if you have not started the Errandonnee yet, but still want to do it, there is still time to join. The Errandonnee goes until the 19th of March, the day before spring officially begins. So they say, anyway.

Errandonnee: Q&A Updates

Jesse's Surly LHT and Swift Industries saddlebag with the PDW taillight.

Jesse’s Surly LHT and Swift Industries saddlebag with the PDW taillight.

Hello, errandeurs, friends, and others. I have received a few additional questions about the Errandonnee categories that this post attempts to answer.

Remember, you can do the Errandonnee in 12 days or 1. Since the last day to complete the challenge is March 19 (midnight in your area), that means you still have plenty of time to throw your helmet into the ring.

I will also add these to the original Q&A so we have one go-to spot for all questions.

Q1. My only question is, pronunciation, when I tell friends what I am doing. Errand-O-nnee or Er-RAND-onnee?

  • A1. I have always pronounced it Er-RAND-onnee, but given that it is a made up word I think the first pronunciation is perfectly fine, too!

Q2. Can we submit a Strava map image in lieu of a ride photo?

  • A2. Yes, you can submit a Strava link, although a photo is preferred.

Q3. If I bike to where I planned to run an errand, but fail to actually complete the errand, does that still count? In my case, I went to a bike shop only to find that it’s closed all week.

  • A3. Yes, you can still count it, provided you documented it.

Q4. Could riding to school count in the work category, or is it more of a Wild Card?

  • A4. Are you a student? If so it counts as work.

Q5. Will a bookstore work in lieu of library (if we go for “reading research”), or does that fall under “any store other than grocery store”?

  • A5. Library and book reading. 1. A book store cannot count as library, but as noted, as store that is not the grocery store.

Q6. The phrase, “also includes book reading” confuses me — does that mean that riding somewhere to read a book that I already have, could go under the Library heading?

  • A6. I had not considered this interpretation of riding somewhere to read a book one already owns. Yes, it qualifies. I will count it as a “Library Without Walls” library.

Q7. Could visiting a friend who’s going through, let’s say, a very tough time, count as “Community Meeting?” Or is the point of that category that more than two people are involved in whatever the event is (and that the purpose of the event is “bigger than”, or “outside”, those two people)?

  • A7. It would not count under Community Meeting. That is intended to be, as you suggest, larger than two people. However, you could count it as a Wild Card, OR if you visited and had lunch or breakfast or something, you could count it in the Breakfast or Lunch category.

Q8. Does daughter’s ballet class count as a community meeting?

  • A8. Yes, you may count it as a community meeting.

Any other questions, please let me know and I’ll add them to the list. And keep up the great tweets and blog posts!

The Errandonnee: It Starts Today!


Ready? Set? Go! I know you can do it.

The Errandonnee. It starts today!

Winter Challenge: The Errandonnee, 2014 Edition!

@MrTinDC on the Brompton

@MrTinDC on the Brompton

Winter got you down? Craving the warmth of spring days? Feel down no more and hop on that bike. It’s time for a March challenge designed for the utility cyclist with lots of errands to do, even in winter– the Errandonnee!

The tweet version of The Errandonnee is:

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

*Technically, this is 13 days, but I encountered some issues with math along the way. And with the weather this year, I’m building in a snow day.

Since we must run errands, anyway, let’s take the opportunity to recognize the utility cycling we often do, but seldom celebrate.

The term “errandonnee” was developed in my friend Eric P.’s language laboratory and is a hybrid of “errands” and the French word “randonnee.”

Conceptually, these two words may not initially fit well together, but string 12 errands together for one long ride interrupted by sleep and other diversions, and you have… an errandonnee. Technically, I suppose there should be an accent above one of those last e’s, but it’s too much work to find that character on my computer.

Errandonnee is almost as much fun to spell as Mississippi so how can you not want to participate in this challenge?




Below are the 11 Errandonnee categories (or controls) in order for you to plan and map your Errandonnee accordingly:

  • Bike Shop
  • Breakfast or Lunch
  • Coffee or Dessert
  • Community Meeting (e.g., church, parent-teacher conference, board meeting)
  • Dinner
  • Grocery Store
  • Any store that is not the grocery store
  • Personal Care and Health (e.g., doctor, haircut, massage, gym, manicure, riding to the start of a bike ride)
  • Library (also includes book reading)
  • Work
  • Wild Card



Of course, a Chasing Mailboxes challenge can’t be too simple so I’ve added in some rules. These may initially look like a lot of rules, but I think after you read through them you will find this challenge to be quite manageable.


  1. Complete 12 errands from Friday, March 7 through Wednesday, March 19, 2014.
  2. Complete the Errandonnee Control Card as you go.
  3. There is no minimum length for each errand, but you must complete at least 30 miles of bike riding over 12 days to successfully qualify for the Errandonnee. That’s an average of 2.5 miles per errand.
  4. There is no maximum number of errands you must complete each day, provided you complete all 12 by the end of Wednesday, March 19. You can ride all 12 errands in one day, do one errand per day, or any other combination that works for you.
  5. You must complete errands from at least seven of the 11 categories represented on the Errandonnee Control Card.
  6. Each category may be used a maximum of two times. For example, you may count a ride to work a total of two times.
  7. The Wild Card errand is for any trip you make that does not fall into any of the categories listed on the control card and you somehow cannot figure out how to fit into the Personal Care category.
  8. It is suggested that you complete two errands after dark (or before daylight), but this is not a requirement. Please note the lighting method used.
  9. To evidence your errand, take one photo during your outing and submit at least one thing you learned or observed during your trip. Photos may be provided to me in the following ways:
    • If you have a blog, you can post them there and send me the links.
    • You may also use a site like flickr or Picasa and link me to your photos.
    • You can send me the links to your Errandonnee tweets.
    • Finally, I will accept 12 photos via email if that works best for you.
  10. There are no geographic limitations on the Errandonnee. OK, Earth. All participants must be from somewhere on Earth.
  11. If the Errandonnee stresses you out or offends you or makes you feel bad or sad or competitive, you should stop. This is supposed to be fun and if you are not having fun then please do not continue because feeling stressed out or offended or bad or sad or competitive due to the Errandonnee is not what this is all about (that’s what family is for, KIDDING!) and it’s no way to live.
  12. Deadline for Errandonnee submissions is midnight in your area, March 25, 2014.
  13. Submit all Errandonnee paperwork, including your Errandonnee Control Card to me at gersemalina “at”
  14. Send all qualifying rides together. That is, send me all 12 in one go, NOT ride 1, ride 2, etc. If you have been blogging or tweeting your errands, you can send me the links to those as well as the completed control card.
  15. Everyone who successfully completes the Errandonnee will receive a prize. But, as in coffeeneuring, it is not a mountain of money so don’t quit your day job. Please include a snail mail address in your submission so that I may send your Errandonnee swag to you.



Also, please feel free to tweet as you go using the hashtag #errandonnee. Two r’s, two n’s, two e’s.

If you have a blog and errandeur, please send me a link to your write-ups!

Additional questions?

I have an additional Q&A post here. If that still doesn’t address your question, ask in the comments of this post or send me an email if you’re shy.

The Errandonnee: March 7-19, 2014. Winter’s last gasp (fingers crossed). Let’s do this.

Errandonnee Prize Distribution Update!

Greetings readers and errandeurs. This message is to update you on the status of the distribution of the Errandonnee goodies.

Errandonnee prizes, secured with a U-lock

Errandonnee prizes, secured with a U-lock

While I planned to put these in the mail a couple of weeks ago, due to a variety of excuses reasons (mostly bike-, work-, and dinner duty-related), I have been delayed.

My goal is to get the Errandonnee treasure out this week so be on the lookout for it over the next week or so. I’ll send a follow-up notice when all prizes have been mailed.



In the meantime, how about this pretty photo of the cherry blossoms with Felkerino’s pretty Rivendell and my trusty Surly LHT? Not long now!