18 March 2015



Errandonnee. It’s a randonnée, brevet, audax, long bike ride, etc. + getting everyday things done. Ï don’t know, you can ask its creator if you’d like. She lives at chasingmailboxes.com.

Growing up, my dad would frequently use the phrase “running errands”. It was such an alien term to me: what is an errand and why must you run them? Anyway, I realize now as an adult that it’s just a fancy way of saying you have to do all the things that comes along with being an adult. Buying groceries, going to the post office, that sort of stuff. So as a bicyclist, doing these things on a bike isn’t much of a stretch… or is it?

The two bicycles utilized in this endeavor were my Soma Stanyon, for long-distance trips, and the Dahon for local things. Since adding the removable front basket to the Dahon, I’ve developed a convenient method of grocery shopping where I remove the front basket, fill it with groceries, and after checking out, put the contents into the rear basket. I know this must sound incredibly dull, but I’ve always appreciated modularity. It sort of replaces a shopping basket and a grocery bag all at once.

Anyway, on the Soma it was the first time using panniers, which I’ve found to be pretty handy. These in particular are made by Ortlieb. Maybe I’ll do a full review on them later, but they worked pretty well for me in this capacity. On to the actual events…


I. Personal Care

The dentist. I had my annual check-up and got X-rayed more than I think a person is supposed to, but at least my teeth are clean!

07 MAR

18 mi.
II. You Carried What On Your Bike?

A pizza. Not amazing, but luckily the ride home is short enough that the pizza isn’t stone cold by the time I get there.
12 MAR

2.8 mi
III. Store

Just a regular grocery run. There was a sale on this breakfast cereal that had chocolate bits in it.
12 MAR

3.1 mi
IV. Arts & Entertainment

The woods. I was making a movie for my German class, and rode in with my camera, tripod, and amateur acting chops.

08 MAR

2.2 mi
IMG_6219 (2)
V. Personal Care

A haircut. I’m doing the medium-length thing right now, but I got it trimmed to clean things up a bit.

09 MAR

8.3 mi
IMG_6225 (2)
VI. Social Call

On the same run as visiting the dentist, I stopped by a friend’s house who is recovering from knee surgery.
07 MAR

5.5 mi
IMG_6293 (2)
VII. Wild Card

I went on a bike ride because the weather was nice and I had the time. Call it exercise, getting some air, sightseeing around my town, it’s my wild card I’ll use it how I want!

14 MAR

3.9 mi
IMG_6224 (2)
VIII. Wild Card

Looking for my lost cell phone. It must have fallen out of my pocket during one of my previous outings, but I retraced my routes and it didn’t turn up. Oh well. I got stuck behind this group of 50+ cyclists all waiting at a stop sign. It was the closest I’ve been to a Critical Mass gathering.
15 MAR

10 mi.
IMG_6236 (3)
IX. Arts & Entertainment

I rode to the movies, the longest jaunt of all the errandonnee runs. Chappie was pretty good, and the Dutch theater has Heineken on tap.
08 MAR

24.7 mi
X. Non-store Errand

The military post office, also known as an APO. This is where we get our American mail, but sadly, the box was empty. The ride to base was not wasted—I picked up some Scotch at the NATO exchange.
06 MAR

23.2 mi
IMG_6329 (3)
XI. You Carried What On Your Bike?

Eleven (11) VHS from the local second hand store. The Empire Strikes Back, and a bunch of B-movies. Sadly, they are PAL or NTSC or whichever format our American VCR doesn’t play. A VCR must be free by now, right?
14 MAR

7.8 mi
IMG_6303 (2)
XII. Store

More specifically, the pet food store. This is the prettiest picture of cat food I’ve ever taken. It’s also the only picture.
15 MAR

3.8 mi

Total mileage: 113.

Wow, really? Those trips back and forth to the NATO base sure add up. And the movies being over an hour’s ride away helped. Things I learned overall:

  • A pizza too hot to eat is quickly brought to eating temperature after 5 minutes on the back of a bike.
  • VHS tapes from Europe aren’t compatible with VCRs from the U.S.
  • If you’re looking for your phone, but don’t know your own phone number, it makes locating it that much more difficult.

I had a good time completing this challenge (as I also did with coffeeneuring) and am looking forward to the next one. Once again, if you’re interested in the details behind these sorts of things, check out chasingmailboxes.com

Thanks for reading.

- Bicyclist Abroad

1 comment:

  1. Jake love the story of your bike rides, but you must learn your own phone number, Guy doesn't know his cell phone number and always has to ask me. Have a good