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April 21, 2021 / bikesbytesbites

Errandonnee 2021

Mary Gersamalina is once again sponsoring the Errandonnee, where you complete various errands via bicycle or walking. This is kind of easy for me, since I try to complete most of my errands by bicycle or walking, but I decided to participate this year.

Here’s a summary of how I’ve completed 12 rides or walks, distributed over the errandonnee categories. Descriptions and photos for the errandonnees follow. The numbers indicate the order in which the errands were done/are listed. I don’t have a summary of the mileage, but it definitely exceeds 30.

Discovery (Something new)5. 4/16-Oak Hill Cemetery
Helping Hand2. 4/15-Vélocity
History Lesson1. 4/15-Grace Murray Park
11. 4/19 – Oakland MD Railroad mural
Non-Store Errand6. 4/16 – Arlington Public Library
Personal Business8. 4/16 – US Post Office, Arlington
Personal Care9. 4/17 – REI, Fairfax
Public Art4. 4/15 – Jim Pagel’s Memorial
10. 4/19 – Shawnee Plaza
You carried WHAT?!7. 4/16 – Quincy Street glass recycling
Wild Card3. 4/15 – MoM’s (Delray)
12. 4/19 – Farmers Market & Candyland

4/15 – Grace Murray Park (History)

This was actually my Thursday breakfast/coffee ride, but it’s right across the street from River House. River House was the residence of Grace Hopper, an idol of mine, who was the driving force behind the concept and development of high-level (eg, interpreted or compiled, not written in Assembler or machine language) computer programming languages. I rode to coffee, then walked across the street to get a photo of the plaque memorializing Grace Hopper. River House really needs to fix the inscription. (The plaque and park are owned by them, not the Arlington County Parks Department.)

Round-trip bike ride to Pentagon City (whatever its new name is… Westport?) is 5-ish miles.

4/15 – Velocity Bike Coop (Helping Hand)

I’ve been volunteering at Velocity for several months. I headed over there this morning to help out for a short time and to donate some hangers for the jerseys they have for sale. (That’s my bike locked to the signpost on the left. The bikes that have been restored and are for sale are in front of the store on the right.)

4/15-MoM’s (Wildcard)

I stopped at MoM’s on the way home from Velocity, but I see that “Food Errand” is no longer an Errandonnee category. Oh well. I guess I’ll call it a wildcard.

Round-trip ride to Velocity in Delray (with detours and taking the scenic route back) is 10 miles.

4/15 – Jim Pagel’s Memorial (Public Art)

I dunno, is a ghost bicycle public art? A “die-in” demonstration, where hundreds of people lay their bicycles in the street, in front of the mayor’s office, to protest yet another incidence of car violence, is definitely performance art. (That’s my bicycle in the foreground at left.)

Ride to the memorial (Mass Ave & New Jersey Ave NW), then a bike ride past the site of the crash (and the ghost bike) at Mass Ave & 2nd St NW, to the mayor’s office in the Wilson Building on Pennsylvania Ave, then home, was 14 miles. Into the wind coming home.

4/16 – Oak Hill Cemetery (Sketching)

Let’s classify this one as “something new”. Discovered the gorgeous grounds of Oak Hill Cemetery. I was there with an urban sketching group, but wandering around the grounds, down to Rock Creek, would have been quite an adventure by itself. (That’s a sketch pad across the back rack of the bicycle.)

Oak Hill Cemetery

4/16 – Arlington Central Library

This personal errand was to pick up some books I had reserved by placing a hold. Two other branches of the library are now open for picking up holds — Westover and Shirlington — but Central is most convenient.

4/16 – Quincy Street Glass Recycling

And just down the block from the library is one of Arlington county’s stations where you can drop off glass to be recycled. There is also another canister for other recyclables, but those are still picked up by regular garbage collection. For glass I either come here or to the bin at the MoM’s in Delray.

4/16 – Arlington Central Post Office

The last errand along the Orange Line in Arlington and the last stop on a 14-ish-mile ride. I mailed a book that had been requested via Paperback Book Swap. Such a deal – you only pay shipping for bikes you list that have been requested, and you get books on your “Wish List” for free, well, the membership fee.

4/17 – REI (Fairfax)

OK, I actually drove out to Government Center in Fairfax. I was helping to teach REI’s “Learn how to Ride a Bike for Kids”, and I needed to get to the designated parking lot by 8 AM. I did stow a bicycle in the back of the car, however, I rode it about a mile during my lunch break, to actually go into REI and ride around Fairfax Crossing to buy lunch.

4/19 – Shawnee Plaza (near Deep Creek Lake MD)

Ok, this is not your typical errand ride. I was out of town, at a mini-vacation, doing a 22-mile loop from the friend’s house I was staying in (on Deep Creek Lake MD) to downtown Oakland MD (population 2000; 3 traffic lights). A surprise site was the animal sculptures/playground (?) at Shawnee Plaza, and the sculpture in the yard of the taxidermist just across the street. (Sorry, the bike was nearby; no way to get it into the picture.)

4/19 – Oakland MD Railroad Station and Mural

There used to be a B&O Railroad line going through Oakland MD. No longer. But the old station building is still there, converted into a community theatre, with railroad- and history-themed murals painted on two facing buildings. Downtown Oakland still has some open businesses, but the pandemic hasn’t been kind.

Oakland MD Railroad Mural

4/19 – Farmers Market and Candyland (Oakland MD)

OK, another food stop … It was either this or Walmart, and I also ended up at Walmart when I couldn’t get all the supplies for dinner at Farmers Market. However, they did have some wonderful, kind-of local candies as well as more traditional Hershey’s. And I even had enough room in these teensy panniers (and the emergency bag I carried) to stop at the Casselman Bakery and Cafe toward the end of my ride. Yum.

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