Category Archives: Errandonnee

The Errandonnee Starts Now!

By the time this post reaches you, the Errandonnee will have officially begun. You may be just waking up. You may already be out riding.

I’m not going to hazard any guesses about what the weather is doing as you read this. It’s March, and winter has a mind of its own.

tropical snowman

Errands wait for no one– past a certain point, that is– and neither does the Errandonnee.

I’ve put together a visual pep talk for you, from prior year errandeurs’ Instagram photos.

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Errandonnee

Errandonnee

It all starts today– March 5 through March 16.

@MrTinDC on the CaBi during a snow day
@MrTinDC on the CaBi during a snow day

You. Can. Do. It.

Winter Challenge: The 2015 Errandonnee

Hey winter, you’re not the boss of me. It’s time for a March challenge designed for the utility cyclist with errands to do, even during cold winter days– the Errandonnee!

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The tweet version of the Errandonnee is:

Errandonnee: Complete 12 errands in 12 days and ride a total of 30 miles by bike between March 5-16, 2015.

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.

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

Michael

Categories

Below are the 9 Errandonnee categories (or controls) in order for you to plan and map your Errandonnee accordingly:

  • Personal Care
  • Personal Business
  • You carried WHAT on your bike?! (Thanks to Rachel C. for this suggestion!)
  • Arts and Entertainment
  • Non-Store Errand
  • Social Call (includes restaurants, coffee, and other social activities)
  • Work or Volunteering
  • Store (includes bike shop, grocery store, etc. You know, a store.)
  • Wild Card (surprise me!)
Ultrarunnergirl modeling the Errandonnee patch
Ultrarunnergirl modeling the Errandonnee patch

Of course, as this is a Chasing Mailboxes challenge I’ve added some rules. These may initially look like a lot, but I think after you read through them you will find this challenge to be quite manageable.

Rules
  1. Complete 12 errands from Thursday, March 5 through Monday, March 16, 2015.
  2. Complete the Errandonnee Control Card as you go (many thanks to @americancyclo for creating this!). You can save a copy of this control card for your use or make your own.
  3. There is no minimum length for each errand, but you must complete at least 30 total miles of bike riding over 12 days to successfully qualify for the Errandonnee. That’s an average of 2.5 miles per errand.
  4. Complete all 12 errands by the end of Monday, March 16. 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 7 of the 9 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.
  8. If you carry a baked good for the “You carried WHAT on your bike?!” please provide a before and after photo.
  9. Please provide a short description of your Errandonnee bike (or bikes!).
  10. 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 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.
  11. There are no geographic limitations on the Errandonnee. OK, one limitation. Earth. All participants must be from somewhere on Earth.
  12. 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 that is not what the Errandonnee is all about . That’s what family is for (KIDDING!).
  13. Deadline for Errandonnee submissions is midnight or so in your area, March 24, 2015.
  14. Submit all Errandonnee paperwork, including your Errandonnee Control Card to me at gersemalina “at” gmail.com. Send all qualifying rides together. That is, send me all 12 in one go, NOT ride 1, ride 2, etc.
  15. Everyone who successfully completes the Errandonnee is eligible for a prize. The premium will cost $4, which covers my costs. To purchase your prize, you may PayPal me at the gmail address above, or send your money by snail mail like grandma used to do (email me for my address). If you are an international entry, your premium will cost you $5 via PayPal. Please include a snail mail address in your submission so that I may send your Errandonnee swag to you. Note: prizes will be the same patch design as last year.

Heart sharrow

Also, please feel free to tweet or Instagram as you go using the hashtag #errandonnee. Remember, errandonnee is a word with triple double letters. Two r’s, two n’s, two e’s.

If you have a blog and errandeur, please let me know in the comments so I can put together an Errandonnee blogroll!

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.

The Errandonnee: March 5-16, 2015. It’s time to ride and get stuff done.

Errandonnee 2015 Preview

Errandonnee fans and scenesters! Cold and snow are here, and soon the Errandonnee will also join us.

Save the Dates: March 5 – March 16, 2015
12 days.
12 errands.
30 total miles.

Complete rules to follow in a couple weeks. The rulemaking panel is currently in negotiations to reduce them from 50 to a more manageable number.

In the meantime, here is a preview of the UPDATED Errandonnee categories to help put you in the Errandonnee mood. They have been revised based on previous participants’ feedback.

The intention behind these changes is to broaden the categories as well as update them to suit the diverse errand-drive life of errandeurs everywhere.

1. Personal Care
2. Personal Business
3. You carried WHAT on your bike?! (Thanks to Rachel C. for this suggestion!)
4. Arts and Entertainment
5. Non-Store Errand
6. Social Call (includes restaurants, coffee, and other social activities)
7. Work
8. Store (includes bike shop, grocery store, etc. You know, a store)
9. Wild Card (surprise me!)

Imagine the grand errandonneuring times that await us! Just a few more weeks.

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.

Continue reading Errandonnee Finishers Announced!

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.

Continue reading Errandonnee Rewind: @retrotwenty in Medway, Massachusetts

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!