Errandonnee Encore

My Christmas stocking contained a small packet of ground Texas Turtle coffee from World Market. Judging by the name I had my doubts about the taste but it turned out to be the best coffee I had in years. Today’s first errand was to ride 15 miles to a store in Bailey’s Crossroads, Virginia to restock.

I am easily spotted around town my the humongous saddle bag on my Surly CrossCheck. It holds a ton of stuff and easily handled two packages of coffee and a box of tea.


I had planned to ride a long way but I dressed inadequately for even the warm temperatures so I made my way back toward home. I stopped at District Taco for lunch. I had picked up a $10 gift card at the Hains Point 100 and finally got to cash it in on a California Burrito.


Muy deliciosa.

I hit 30 miles again.

To recap:

I’ve totally crushed the mileage requirement. Living in the suburbs has its advantages after all! And I’ve done four errands in three days. Not too bad. However, I can see that I will have trouble covering enough categories. (There are nine. You have to use seven.)  Life is hard. Then you get a needle in the back. Maybe I’ll ride to the pain doctor on Friday. It’s only a half mile from home.

The weekend, by the by, was brutal. My back went out in a big way Friday or Saturday. This was the worst stenosis pain in a long time. I couldn’t stand up straight so I spent a lot of time sitting with an ice pack on my back. I made it to a Super Bowl/birthday party and had beer instead of pain killers. I woke up this morning and my back felt much better. I highly recommend Koltsch as a stenosis remedy.



Errandonnee 2016 Control Card

Here’s the list of errands. To qualify as a finisher you need to do 12, in 7 of 9 categories. Here are mine:

Errand No. 1: Dry Cleaner

This qualifies in the Store category. That’s one category.

I rode 2 1/2 miles round trip for this one. Nice people who run businesses in your neighborhood deserve your business.

Errand No. 2: Drug Store

This one goes in Personal Care. That’s two categories.

This one was also about 2 1/2 miles round trip. Asthma sucks, so to speak.

Errand No. 3: Bike Shop

This one goes in the Store category. That uses up this category.

The Bike Shop is about 4 miles from home. So the round trip is 8. Support your local bike store or you won’t have one no more.

Errand No. 4: Ride to Work

This one is in the Work category. Clever, no? That’s three categories.

Depending on the odometer and the route this is 28 1/2 to 31 miles. I think this one was 29. I have the best bike commute ever.

Errand No. 5: Ride to Happy Hour

This one goes under the Social category. This is category number four. I rode a few blocks up a hill to get to this one. So the mileage may be 1/2 mile, tops. Even happy hour can’t make Rosslyn appealing.

Errand No. 6: Ride to Work # 2

This uses up the Work category. Another 29 miler.

Errand No. 7: Bank

This one goes in Personal Business. This is category number 5. Lets’ see I get to go to wokr and see sunrises, bald eagles, ducks and geese and egrets and herons and redwing black birds and jets taking off and landing and monuments and riverscapes and….you get the idea.

Errand No. 8: Bank

Another Personal Business entry. That’s it for this category.Tis one was – 1/2 mile because it chopped off my usual commuting romp through Jones Point Park.

Errand No. 9: Friday Coffee Club

This finishes off the Social category. This one is really only 2 1/2 miles. That’s the diversion from my 29-ish mile commute. To get to this one, I rode through a drone free zone near the Washington monument. I tried not to talk in a monotone here.

Errand No. 10: Hikenneuring

This goes under the Wild Card category. Category No. 6. This was an inventive 4 mile ride to a bike shop followed by a 4 mile hike home. I learned that my legs are not ready for serious hiking, but this was a good way to tune them up.

Errand No. 11: Lost Food Rescue.

Another Wild Card entry. All used up. This was an insane trip to a grocery store located 100 yards from the bike shop. Except I made the trip separately by bike. This wasn’t intentional but the trip involved retrieving cookies and coffee. Well worth the 8-ish mile effort.

Errand No. 12: Seeds!!!

This is falls in the You Carried What on Your Bike category, which is my category No.7

Another 2 1/2 mile trip to the hardware store with the intent of picking up a humongous bag of bird seeds. The store was all out of the bike crushing bag so I went with a ten-pounder and a bag of grass seed. Riding home was somewhat unbalanced but manageable. I thought about putting this one in the Arts and Entertainment category because I probably spend 1 or 2 hours each week watching the birds come and go to our feeder.

So ends my errandonnee. I did a bunch more errands but I already used up the categories.

Here are the pix of my adventure.

Fresh Air for the Win!

I wanted to go for a hike today. Unfortunately, 150+ miles of bike commuting put the kabosh on any hopes for a long excursion. I needed to do some errands anyway. Why not jump in the car and have a miserable time? No? Well,  I needed to break in my new shoes so I decided to hoof it to the barber shop. It was perfect weather for this sort of thing. The shoes took a little getting used to but they are a vast improvement over my other footware.

The barber did his thing, all the while telling me about his airship fetish. He’s going to decorate a Christmas tree with airship decorations. Let’s hope it doesn’t go all Lakehurst on him.

Who needs sidewalks?

From the barber shop I decided to truck on over to pedestrian hostile US 1 to buy a new coffeemaker. My old one had sprung a leak about a week ago. So I made my way north-ish on Fort Hunt Road. The sidewalk disappeared leaving me facing oncoming cars. Oh, joy.

After a couple of blocks though a side path appeared. This is what Fairfax County calls a trail. It is asphalt and tree routes. A total mess. It was better than walking on the unpaved shoulder of the road.

Leaf Riot

If you’re going to take your life into your hands you can at least admire some pretty fall foliage. The DC area is just past peak foliage but there is still much to ooh and aah at. Lucky for me there is a sidewalk on at least one side of Sherwood Hall Lane. I used it. After about a mile, I made it to a cross walk only a block from where my wife was run over in 2010. After looking both ways, I started crossing. I got about half way across when an approaching motorist honked at me. I stopped and turned at him and mouthed saucy epithets.

Safely across the street I made my way closer to US 1. About a block away, the concrete sidewalk gave way to crappy asphalt on dirt. Why can’t one of the wealthiest suburb in the US build proper sidewalks?

Memorial to fallen pedestrian

To cross US 1 in a crosswalk and make it to a continuous sidewalk I had to take a left through a crosswalk on my sidestreet, take another left to use the crosswalk to traverse US 1, take ANOTHER left to cross the re-cross the sidestreet to get to the continuation of the sidewalk. Along the way I saw a memorial for a pedestrian who was killed (by a Fairfax County police officer driving a police car, no less). When I got across US 1 I gave up on the 3rd crosswalk and just used the street. There you have it. Someone gets killed and they still can lift a finger to make an intersection safe for pedestrians.

I made may way through the parking lots to the store and bought my coffee maker. I took a different route back. Along the way I encountered an intersection that had been recently stiped and paved. Not a single cross walk to be seen. HOW HARD IS IT, VDOT?

Division of labor

I made it home and saw that Mrs. Rootchopper had come outside to do battle with the yard. She seems to like raking leaves. There are plenty more so come on down and help her out. I am sure you’ll have a blast. (In the division on labor at the Rootchopper Institute, I do lawns and snow shoveling.)

So I walked about 5 miles. The verdict on my shoes is thumbs up. They aren’t perfect but they are quite a bit more comfy that my old Dunham boots. I hope to give them another go on Tuesday or maybe next weekend. Oh, and the coffeemaker does the job.

New coffee maker - yay!