The Errant Errandonneur

Since I dropped out of the Errandonneur Challenge the day it started I was tempted to reverse course. That’s mostly because nearly all my biking in the in winter fits into the “challenge”. The challenge to me is keeping track of all the details.  Take today for instance.

I intended to go to the bike store to get Little Nellie rear shifter cable fixed. I had messed it up a few days ago when I unfolded the bike and snagged the cable on the left crank arm. When I went to pedal, the bike crank arm wouldn’t turn. So I pressed on it with my foot thinking this would free it up. Bad idea. Long story short, after I figured out what was going on I could no longer shift into my highest gears.

On the way to the bike shop I stopped at the pharmacy thinking that if I took pictures of Little Nellie in front of the store I might rehabilitate my two bike trips to the pharmacy and resuscitate my errandonnering credits. Ah, but the rules clearly state that the pix must be taken during the errand. The Gypsybug is a tricky one.

On to the bike shop I rode. Before I started out, I should note, I adjusted my Brooks saddle by tiliting it up ever so slightly (one click’s worth on the saddle adjustment mechanism) because I have been sliding off the front of the saddle. Just this tiny adjustment made for a much better and more efficient ride. I arrived at the Belle Haven Spokes Etc. store and took a couple pictures for good measure. I rarely buy anything at this shop, but I make lots of use of their service department. For little things, they will often make repairs while you wait.

Errand 3: Little Nellie at Spokes in Belle Haven

Colin, the bespectacled mechanic, examined Little Nellie. I had messed up a ferule (a little metal thing that connects the cable housing to the cable guide brazed on to the chain stay). He replaced that and then decided to check out the cable. It was fraying at the shifter. He replaced the cable and got the index shifting working perfectly. Nicely done, Colin.

On to Old Town Alexandria I rode to have lunch. I stopped at Eamonn’s, a fish and chips place, named after my son. (Not true, but the owner and I both have sons named Eamonn.) I always have chips with cod and tartar sauce. I don’t undestand why people put malt vinegar on their fish and chips. The stuff tastes disgusting.

Errand 4: Little Nellie at Eammon's


Errand 4: Fish and Chips

I headed home . On the way I stopped to check out a photographer using a camera on a tripod. The camera had a lens slightly smaller than the Hubble telescope. He was taking pictures of a rather large osprey who was no more than 30 yards away in a tree on the rivers edge. I’ll bet he gets some amazing pictures.

Since it was around 50 degrees out, it was warm enough to do some work on my recumbent. Big Nellie has a long chain. In the winter time it’s too cold to do proper chain maintenance so I often re-lube my chain without cleaning off the old dirty lube first. Basically, the chain and the pulleys that it runs through were all gunked up with a wax/dirt mixture. It took me 20 minutes to get the thing clean and I probably could have spent another ten on it.  Close enough. Once I put fresh wax on it, it was noticably quieter.

So, here’s the weekend recap: for the last 20.5 miles of riding, I’ve already done 4 of 12 the Errandonnee rides. I’ve done one each in the “Breakfast and Lunch”, “Bike Shop”, and “Personal Care and Health” categories with a fourth ride (to pick up my receipt at the drug store, falling into the “Any Other Store” category. Seeing as how I will knock the “Work” category with my next couple of commutes. I would be halfway done by Tuesday. I am an erranaholic! Or maybe just an errant errandonneur.

6 thoughts on “The Errant Errandonneur

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