The Errandonnee: Ride or Run and Get Stuff Done

Hey winter, stop bossing me around. It’s time for a March challenge designed for the utility cyclist and transportation runner with errands to do, even during cold winter days– the Errandonnee!

Errandonnee 2016

The tweet version of the Errandonnee is:

Errandonnee: Complete 12 errands in 12 days and ride or run a total of 30 miles between March 4-15, 2016.

Since we must run errands, anyway, let’s take the opportunity to recognize the active transportation 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.

This year, I’m introducing the Errandonnee: Run Option! A View From the Crosswalk inspired this category by taking on the Errandonnee as a running challenge last year.

In 2016, you can choose to run or ride your way to the Errandonnee finish line. Same rules apply to the Errandonnee: Run Option (or “Errundonnee” if you’re fancy), as the bike version of the Errandonnee.

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

Errandonnee Run


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 (or back)?! (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, running store, grocery store, etc. You know, a store.)
  • Wild Card (surprise me!)

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 them you will find this challenge quite manageable.


  1. Complete 12 errands by bike or feet from Friday, March 4 through Tuesday, March 15, 2016.
  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 or running over 12 days to successfully qualify for the Errandonnee. That’s an average of 2.5 miles per errand. Yes, I know that’s a little more challenging on two feet, but I believe in the runners who take this on! (You can also go mult-modal and combine your running and riding, if you like. You can also walk! Just note the number of bicycling miles vs. running miles on your control card/submission.)
  4. Complete all 12 errands by the end of Tuesday, March 15. You can ride or run 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 or runcommute 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 (or back)?!” please provide a before and after photo.
  9. Provide a short description of your Errandonnee bike (or bikes!). For the run category, please briefly describe your main Errandonnee shoes and pack you use for carrying stuff around.
  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. If these dates don’t work for you (spring break, health reasons, etc.), you may apply for an exception to complete the Errandonnee on alternate dates in a more compressed timeframe. Make it interesting and I’ll seriously consider it.
  14. Deadline for all Errandonnee submissions is midnight or so in your area, March 27, 2016.
  15. Submit all Errandonnee paperwork, including your Errandonnee Control Card to me at gersemalina “at” Send all qualifying rides together. That is, send me all 12 in one go, NOT ride 1, ride 2, etc.
  16. Everyone who successfully completes the Errandonnee is eligible for a prize, which is $5, or the costs to me to purchase and mail the item. 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). International entries pay one dollar more. 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 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 4-15, 2016. It’s time to ride or run and get stuff done.


  1. I’m confused about dates: March 4-15 says the poster; March 5-16, 2015 says the first line of copy; Thursday March 4-Monday March 15 says rule #1.

    March 4 2016 is a Friday; March 15 2016 is a Tuesday.



  2. Not that I will do this because my body is pretty pretty messed up at the moment, but could one combine errandonnees and errundonnees? Meaning, could some be completed on foot and some by bike, or do we need to pick one or the other?


  3. Unfortunately, my errandonnee bike is still in the planning phase (aka, in several buckets scattered around the garage), so I’ll use my coffeeneuring bike. I assume “Personal Business” is where a commute to work would fall, i.e., “Personal, for Business purposes” as compared to “It’s Personal and None of Your Business” (for which the actual destination might be covered under the Fifth Amendment), true?


  4. Sounds like a lot of fun! Shame I don’t have many errands to do. I pretty much just go to work and home and once a week head into town for a big grocery trip. 😁 But who know, maybe I can swing some errands in my fun rides.


  5. I plan to try for it, but coming up with 12 errands in those particular 12 days may pose challenges! But I am saving a couple as we “speak”. Thanks for the challenge — you have my blog address for this:


  6. Just realized that I will be out of town and possibly bike-less from Thursday through Saturday. Would it be possible to participate on the following Thurs-Sat (17-19) as make-up days?
    Then again I may be able to creatively complete this challenge by foot while on my trip…


    • I think I put my other comments/questions in the wrong place.
      1. Must we keep the control card, or is our blog good enough?
      2. I may have to ask for an extension as I came down with the crud yesterday (first day of errandonneering) but will try to get it all in the current time allotted assuming I will feel better in a day or two!


    • My entry below was not meant as a reply to you line linnefaulk — but you got it anyway. I do feel similar who how you are feeling about coming up with errands that fit into the categories other than stores!


  7. So glad Bike Like Crazy posted her first two errands today because I hadn’t been paying attention. Time to get riding.


  8. […] Errandonnee officially began on Friday. Thank goodness Bri posted her first couple of errands today or I would have gotten started too late to be able to finish. Also, this year running (or walking) your errands can be counted. Yay, because Hattie and I attended an event in Seattle today and walked 3 1/2 miles to do so. […]


  9. I think I found in error in the Control Card.
    Cell F48 was empty, should be =SUM(C48+E48)
    Correcting that will fix the total number of store errand miles, and total number of categories used.


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