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March 23, 2017 / bikesbytesbites

Errandonée Challenge – 2017

Every spring, for the past several years,  the Errandonée Challenge takes place. Basically, this is a contest where people fulfill miscellaneous errands either by riding their bikes or running (ok, technically speaking that’s an “errundonée”.  Frankly, it’s not much of a challenge for me, because I usually do all of my errands within a 15-mile radius by bicycling.  Since last year, as part of my triathlon/running training, I’ve started trying to do errands within a 2-mile radius by running, provided the errand doesn’t require carrying anything bulky or heavy. However, no errundonées for me this year, since I raced last Sunday and am supposed to be taking it easy.  (Also, I got lazy.)

Anyhow, this year’s challenge runs from March 20 to 31. It being a contest, there are rules. The most basic rules say that the errands need to fit into one of 8 categories, and you need to do 12 of them (with a minimum distance of 30 miles).

Here’s how I did:

Type Date Ride/ Run


Personal Care  3/21/17  Ride #5 Voice Therapist
Personal Care #2  3/21/17  Ride #7 Dentist
Personal Business  3/21/17  Ride  #6 Fort Myer Security Office
Personal Business #2  3/23/17  Ride  #11 Citibank
You carried WHAT on your bike (or back)?!
Arts and Entertainment  3/22/17 Ride  #9 Signature Theatre, Shirlington
Non-Store Errand 3/20/17 Ride #2 Arlington Library (return books)
Social Call  3/23/17  Ride  #12  Lunch at Kapnos with a friend
Work or Volunteering  3/23/17  Ride  #10  Accenture, Glebe Rd, Arlington
Store 3/20/17 Ride #3 Trader Joe’s
Store #2 3/20/17 Ride #4 Current Boutique (consignment)
Wild Card 3/20/17 Ride #1 Ice Skating at Kettler Ice Rink
Wild Card #2 3/22/17 Ride #8 Workout at TJ Rec Center

Oh yeah, the rules also say that you have to provide documentation for each errand. My documentation typically takes the form of a photo, so:

Ride #1: Ice Skating (3/20/17 – Wildcard)

Every Monday and Wednesday morning, the Kettler rink, practice rink of the Washington Nationals, holds a Senior Skate session — uncrowded ice for only $1!! I try to get there when the session starts, after the ice has just been zambonied, but didn’t quite make it this morning. (6 miles, combined with rides #2 and #3)


Ride #2: Library (3/20/17 – Non-Store Errand)

I still like to read books on paper. The way I handle most of these is to place a hold at the Arlington Library.  The books can be borrowed for three weeks, so two books were almost due:

  • The Amy Schumer was hysterical (with some serious points tucked away).
  • The Philip K Dick was yet another of his dystopian novels, some of whose basic premises are starting to seem less like science fiction.


Ride #3: Trader Joe’s (3/20/17 – Store)

I was out of town this weekend, so needed to stock up on some supplies.  Love to do it at Trader Joe’s, because

  • Their bicycle parking is usually adequate
  • I can get a free (mini) cup of coffee in the morning, and
  • They’re Trader Joe’s (they like it, and sometimes can even help you pack, when you don’t take a shopping bag and pack your stuff in a bicycle pannier)


Ride #4: Current Boutique (3/20/17 – Store #2)

Current Boutique is the nearest consignment store — in Clarendon. Alas, the clothes I brought this tie were not fashionable enough to be accepted — a trip to Goodwill is in their future.  However, the store did have a check for me, from the last haul. (4 miles)


Ride #5: Voice Therapist (3/21/17 – Personal Care)

For 20+ years I’ve had a medical ailment that is suddenly in the news — airway reflux. I don’t have all or (usually) most of the classic symptoms, but enough so that it was diagnosed by an ENT (otolaryngologist), who prescribed voice therapy, to see if the way I was speaking was contributing to my sore throat. Today was my introduction to the therapist. She has offices both in the burbs and in downtown DC, so I went to the one near the White House. (10 miles, combined with ride #6)


And while I was downtown I stopped for an excellent breakfast at the Breadline. The Breadline has bittersweet memories:  the first time I ate there was on a cherry blossoms ride led by Lynn K.  And where are those cherry blossoms this year? (The coffee cup in the cup holder on my handlebars is from the Breadline, but they are low-key, and the cup is plain white, with no logo. )


Ride #6: Fort Myer  (3/21/17 – Personal Business)

The nicest (and safest) bicycle route for me to get into DC goes through  Fort Myer, an army base. All you used to need to bicycle through the base was a government ID.  However, a little over a year ago the policy was changed,  so now you need an visitor’s pass or Dor a DoD ID. My visitor’s pass was about to expire, so a visit to the security office on base was in order.


Ride #7: Dentist (3/21/17 – Personal Care #2)

Last week, I rescheduled the dentist appointment (just a cleaning) for today, since the weather forecast looked good for bicycling. It was a lovely ride, going past the Kennedy Center and over the Roosevelt Bridge in non-rush hour traffic.  I stopped off at Whole Foods on the way home, but I’ve already got two store visits … (Yes, I switched bicycles; the Terry was feeling neglected. (10 miles)


Ride #: Three Stores (3/22/17)

But I’ve already visited two stores. And I checked the rules — “Wildcard” is for stuff that doesn’t fit into an existing category, not extra stuff you’ve done for a category you’ve already completed. Oh well. The errand was based on having to return things to REI; in fact, it turns out to have been EXACTLY ONE YEAR since I bought the Garmin that went back. Right around the corner from the REI in Bailey’s Crossroads are a Vitamin Shoppe and a World Market. All for an 7-ish mile round trip.


Ride #8: TJ Rec Center (3/22/17 – Wildcard #2)

Weight- and strength-training sessions have been few and far between since I got sick (see Voice Therapist, above) and my workout partner is recovering from soldier surgery. However, this afternoon I figured it would only be a slight detour (2 extra miles and an hour) to squeeze in a visit to Thomas Jefferson Recreation Center on my way to dinner and a show.  Of course, that meant I had to schlep my gym stuff with me to dinner and a show, but a small price to pay.

Ride #9: Signature Theatre (3/22/17 – Arts)

The show in my yearly subscription to the Signature was Midwestern Gothic, having a world premiere.  Go if you’d like a “thriller musical” with unsavory characters. I got to try out my new light (the old one was stolen off the bicycle when it was parked in downtown DC about a week ago) on the way home. (7 miles, includes the 2 extra for stopping at the gym)


Ride #10: Accenture (3/23/17 – Work)

Mostly I work from home, but today I needed to stop by the office. One of the best perks is secure, covered parking — you have to have permission to get into the parking garage and into the bicycle cage added to your ID card.


Ride #11: Citibank (3/23/17 – Personal Business)

I got a snail-mail message telling me I had an account about to go inactive (!!), so I figured I’d head over to a Citibank office, rather than trying to figure out what was going on over the phone.  Alas, it was just a CD (!!), not some long-lost pot o’gold.  I’m good for another 5 years.


After Citibank and before lunch, I stopped off at the library, to pick up a book I had placed on hold, and that had just become available. But I already went to the library once this week. Besides:

Ride #12: Kapnos Cafe (3/23/17 – Social Call)

Met a friend at Kapnos Taverna for lunch.  The bad news: There’s a shortage of bike parking places (so what else is new?), so she took the one bike rack and I got a “No Parking” sign. The good news: It’s Northern Virginia Restaurant Week, so I had a fantastic Greek lunch for a moderate price. With an excellent waiter.


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