Errandonnee 2019 – Three Errands in One Day

The 2019 Errandonnee started today. I left home before dawn riding my Surly Cross Check 14.5 miles to Friday Coffee Club. There was an ever-changing cast of characters and cranberry scones. Bueno.

Errand Number 1

Category: Social Call (1st use)

Place: Swings House of Caffeine, 17th and G Streets NW, DC

Observation: Friday Coffee Club regular Pancho Bate and the Canadian children’s folk singer are dopplegangers. Pancho confirmed that the comparison has been made for decades.

I left at about 10 and headed homeward for a weight lifting session at the gym. My wonky shoulder behaved for a change and I survived the ordeal.

Errand No. 2

Category: Personal Care (1st use)

Place: George Washington Rec Center, Fort Hunt Road and Belle View Boulevard, Fort Hunt in Fairfax County

Observation: On the way I picked up my 12th golf ball of the year. Belle Haven Country Club has more hookers than a truck stop.

From the gym I rode to Village Hardware, the best hardware store in northern Virginia. I bought a spray can of primer to cover some water spots on the ceiling of our Florida room.

I was going to do a fourth errand but it started to rain. I wasn’t dressed for wet weather so I called it a day. Three errands down, nine to go.

Total miles so far: 30.

Swinging Back the Joy

One of my favorite things about bicycling in DC is the weekly get together called Friday Coffee Club. Bike commuters would congregate Swings Coffee Roasters at 17th and G Streets NW, across from the Old Executive Office Building, to vent about their workweek, dream of weekend bike adventures, and ponder the magnificence of coffee and fritters. Many friendships were made. Remarkably, even by me.

Then tragedy struck. The building that housed our coffee house was renovated down to the studs. Swings closed. Panic! The coffee club relocated across town near K and 4th Streets NW at A Baked Joint. Despite its fine coffee and yummy breakfast sandwiches, A Baked Joint lacked the three most important things about coffee clubs: location, location, location. (Admit it, you thought I was going to say fritters, fritters, fritters, didn’t you?) Many of the original club participants, including me, stopped going.

This week Swings re-opened. Felkerino, one of the founding members, put out the call via social media. And the old gang re-assembled.  Ricky, true to form, arrived first. Mary and Brian, two of the other founding members, were there as were many unfounding folks. Kristen gets bonus points for making a special telework-day trip to the gathering to represent the K (Kristin, Katie, Kate, etc.) sisters. Bob (Don’t Call Me Rachel) Cannon bemoaned the absence of Rachel (Don’t Call Me Bob) Cannon. This brought to mind how truly amazing it is how much they look alike.

This was the crowd when I showed up at about 7:50. It nearly doubled in size before work called people away.

Unfortunately, Swings does not yet have fritters for sale. (Oh, the humanity!) Andrea and I improvised by buying over-sized chocolate chip cookies. We touched our cookies together in a celebratory toast of sorts.

The place looks almost exactly as before the renovation. Why mess with a good thing, right? It was actually warm enough to sit outside but the outdoor furniture is not yet in place. So we gathered indoors and conversation flowed around the tall tables. There were so many people that I didn’t get a chance to talk to half of them. Even so, I learned about federal budget injustices and self-administering injections of blood thinner and notice-and-comment proceedings and bike swaps and optimal application of man-made snow, among other things.

After the gang dispersed to make their fortunes in the land of the paper pushers, I rode back to the retirement home. I stopped at the gym and lifted some weights. After that I swung by the local bike shop to have the chain on my Cross Check evaluated for wear. It’s only my second chain on this bike. I thought it would be a good idea to check it since the odometer crossed 8,000 miles on the way home.


It was a fitting coda to a joyful morning.




The Great Alaskan Fritter Caper

Readers of this blog are well aware that one of my favorite peoples in all of #bikedc is Rachel “Don’t Call Me Bob” Cannon. First she was an anthropology grad student. As her frequent tweets clearly demonstrated that didn’t work out. (She really grew to hate spending hours reading academic bafflegab.) So she switched to Museum Studies. (If anybody wants to give her a massive grant for academic persistence, she’d happily accept, I am sure.)  In addition to these nerdly persuits, Rachel also does such things as giving bike and Seqway tours of DC, installing bike racks all over town, selling books at a terrific used book store, and interning as a snail classification expert at the Smithsonian. She also plays lute and bassoon in a Renaissance Emo band. (Actually, she does play an instrument but with all this activity I just can’t remember what it is.) And as if she wasn’t busy enough she also volunteered at cycling events around town. (She was rewarded for her good citizenship by being run over by a driver during last Decembers Cider Ride. She has recovered from her injuries.)

In addition to cycling and a warped sense of humor, Rachel and I have another thing in common: we both have a weakness for apple fritters. Apple fritters are pastries with a bazillion calories that people should never, ever eat.


A co-worker at my old job called them Sugar Encrusted Pastry Bombs. That pretty much sums it up.

Rachel recently took an internship at the Hammer Museum in tiny and remote Haines Alaska. Yes, it’s a museum dedicated to hammers. She started a blog about it an, in one entry, was bemoaning the high cost of food. It seems there is a limited supply of everything except  salmon. (You can probably get a good deal on moose or caribou meat but you won’t see me asking for a bite.)  I’m not a big fan o’salmon but even if I was I imagine there is only so much salmon that you can eat in one summer.

So I got to thinking. Why not send her a fritter? The fritters we both like are sold at M. E. Swing’s coffee house, home of Friday Coffee Club. Unfortunately, I got this idea at 11 a.m. on Friday, long after Swing’s had probably run out. I did a web search for bakeries near my office in Rosslyn, Virginia. I found one about a half mile away.

Over lunch I hoofed it up the hill and found BeanGood. And sure enough they had fritters. Big ass fritters. Nearly the size of a Frisbee.  Frisbee Fritters!!! These babies could send even the most hardened fritterholic into insulin shock. I bought two.

I wrapped them in a plastic bag, put them in a Priority Mail flat rate box cushioned within by some wadded up newspaper and mailed the box to the museum.

It was Memorial Day weekend. It was going to Alaska. I figured it would et there sometime in late June.

It got there (available for pick up at 10:45 a.m.) in two business days. Dang!

A day later Rachel got the box.

I’d have paid good money to see her expression when she opened it.

This will have to do.

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(I hope she doesn’t mind that I clipped this picture from her Twitter account.)

Best of all, they are edible! Woot!

Enjoy the feast, Rachel. I know I speak for a whole bunch of people back here in DC when I say “We miss you.”