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