Rhymes with Purée: The Errandonnée 2014

I admit that I was not expecting to finish this year’s Errandonnée. I got a late start, as I missed the opening weekend due to a final project for school. And then, the weather forecast for today and tomorrow called for snow– again! So I was resigned to doing as many errands as I could, and be happy with an honorable mention. But somehow, I managed to get all 12 errands in on time! Here’s the long list:

errandonnee 1
Errandonnée #1: Work
Date: March 11, 2014
Miles: 8.07
Observation: Because of Daylight Savings Time going into effect, it was pitch-dark when I set out for work. There were actually other bike commuters up at that hour, and they were thankfully visible with their lights and reflective gear. My lighting set-up: a Cygolite Expilion 400 for the front (shown here), and a Light & Motion Vis 180 Micro for the back.

errandonnee 2
Errandonnée #2: Grocery Store
Date: March 11, 2014
Miles: 7.99
Observation: I bought some lettuce, cilantro, and coconut water. That was just about what my bag could hold.

errandonnee 3
Errandonnée #3: Metro Station (wild card)
Date: March 12, 2014
Miles: 1.03
Observation: You can see in this photo that it’s dark when I start out for work. There was a man who looked like he was eyeing the parked bikes, but my bike was still there when I returned.

errandonnee 4
Errandonnée #4: Metro Station #2
Date: March 14, 2014
Miles: 2.5
Observation: I left an hour later on this day, and it made a difference. Not only was it light out, but I also ran into traffic that I normally don’t encounter.

errandonnee 5
Errandonnée #5: Lunch
Date: March 15, 2014
Miles: 0.48
Observation: I had a very late lunch– had a veggie burger with fries. It was a beautiful, spring day– what a cruel joke, given that the forecast called for snow the next day.

errandonnee 6
Errandonnée #6: Bank (personal care)
Date: March 15, 2014
Miles: 1.49
Observation: I kind of meandered my way over here because of the nice weather.

errandonnee 7
Errandonnée #7: Bike Shop
Date: March 16, 2014
Miles: 6.47
Observation: As I had promised, I went to Proteus Bikes to check it out. I didn’t have a good experience. They appeared to be busy– lots of people were there, some looking like they were waiting for someone to help them. In all fairness, I was probably kind of hungry when I got there and was already annoyed with the lame racks outside the shop. But the crowded shop didn’t help, and I didn’t find what I was looking for anyway, so I didn’t stay long.

errandonnee 8
Errandonnée #8: Bike Shop #2
Date: March 16, 2014
Miles: 2.6
Observation: By contrast, my experience with College Park Bicycles was much more pleasant. Two guys asked me if they could help me, and I had a very nice conversation with one of them about steel frames. He even showed me his bike that he had built up. I also did find the bell that I wanted, so that worked out. Granted, they weren’t as busy as Proteus, and they don’t have the best bike racks there either, but I felt more comfortable there, and I would go back.

errandonnee 9 & 10
Errandonnée #9 & #10: Lunch #2 and a store that is not a grocery store
Date: March 16, 2014
Miles: 0.4
Observation: I had lunch at Garbanzo, which is a Mediterranean fast food place. I got a plate with salad and grilled portobello mushrooms. I should have stuck to falafel. After lunch, I went to CVS next door and got some stuff for the house.

errandonnee 11
Errandonnée #11: Library
Date: March 16, 2014
Miles: 1.5
Observation: On a whim, I decided to go to the neighborhood library. I had heard that there is a group rallying to preserve the existing structure, especially the iconic saucer at the entrance. The library is a very active community meeting place. I applied for a library card.

errandonnee 12
Errandonnée #12: Grocery Store #2
Date: March 16, 2014
Miles: 1.2
Observation: I needed to get some things, so I braved the crowds and ridiculously long lines. The guy at the register was doubtful that I could fit everything in my panniers, but I did it. I made it home just as the first flakes were starting to fall!

Done! Thanks again to MG for another great Errandonnée!

Total Number of Categories Completed: 8
Total Mileage: 33.73