Errandonnee 2016

12 Errands on your Bike in 12 Days is the Errandonee Challenge

This year I was ready for the Errandonnee – unlike last year. I even saved up a few errands to land within the challenge dates. (I’m pretty sure that’s not cheating…)

Created by ChasingMailboxes, the Errandonnee has some more detailed rules that need to be met to successfully complete the challenge. The main puzzle is ticking off 7 of 9 categories with no more than 2 errands in each one. The total mileage must also add up to 30 miles. Plus, you need to make an observation with each trip. (New for this year was an option to run the 30 miles. Yikes!)

I should explain that, although I haven’t written much about it on this blog, my work is in the bicycle industry. I don’t have a normal 9-to-5 job. Among other political advocacy work, I create tour routes and lead bike rides. I am a bike safety instructor so my routes are ridiculously, meticulously planned to reduce risks of all sorts. That makes my rides great for getting nervous people out on the bike having fun.

Seriously, it’s part of what I do for a living. I even won an award for my public art tours in Austin. So, scouting routes is actually research as part of my job as a “professional cyclist” — qualifying that I get paid to ride my bike, not race my bike. Thus, I counted some of my bike rides under the work category.

So, without further ado, the details of my Errandonnee 2016 along with the documenting photos.


Errandonnee Final Scorecard

Errands: 16

Categories: all 9 (with a little stretch)

Total Miles: 67.9

My Rides: Moots road bike and Brompton folding bike.


(Click on the photo galleries is you want to read all my clever and witty captions.)

March 4th

Categories: Personal Business, Non-Store Errand x 2 and Wild Card

Miles: 8.0

Southland Bank, Breeze BikeShare World HQ, Pico Branch Library & the former Native Foods Cafe.

Observation #1 is that I could have done all these errands on a Breeze Bike Share bike if my account was working. In between going to the bank and the library I swung by the Breeze office and had the folks there fix my account cuz I was too impatient to wait for an email response.

Observation #2 is that some drivers in LA get pretty wound up if they can’t drive as fast as they’d like to. I got flipped off by someone on this one which is pretty unusual – the driver directly behind me was fine but the second dude was outraged that the cut through street he was using wasn’t clear for him to speed. Sigh…

Observation #3 is that Librarians are fabulous and that they really want you to get a library card! My Austin library card is about to expire and I was pretty bummed about this. My drivers license is now in another county so I’m no longer eligible to renew it. At the urging of A Life in Libraries I used my Santa Monica lease to get signed up in here in LA. Yay! The librarians at the Pico branch were very helpful explaining all the wonderful resources available to users.


What's with the spitting dinosaurs?

What’s with the spitting dinosaurs?

March 5th

Category: Work or Volunteering combined with a Store Stop

Miles: 10.6

Scouting Routes to Downtown Los Angeles and Barnes & Noble

Observation #4 is that San Vicente Road is a nice long stretch from the beach to Brentwood. This can be worked into one of the routes I am developing at the moment. Riders can stretch their legs a bit (get their ya-yas out) before coming to a commercial zone with lots of options for rest stops if needed.

Observation #5 is that I still haven’t figured out why the fountains on the 3rd St Promenade are dinosaurs. I stopped to pick up the latest Los Angeles Monthly magazine which featured an article on 52 ways to spend a Saturday in LA – perfect for generating ideas for the routes I am working on at the moment.


Fresh produce at the corner store!

Fresh produce at the corner store!

March 8th

Category: You Carried WHAT on Your Back?! and Personal Care

Miles: 14.5

Santa Monica Farms and Life Food Organic

Observation #6 is that a pack of shallots can fit into a jersey pocket. Not much of a ‘WHAT’ but I figured it was an unusual pocket item. I tacked on the store stop at the end of a ride on the beach path so a correlated observation is that it’s nice to have a neighborhood convenience store that stocks real food.

Observation #7 is that everyone has interesting stories if you take the time to talk to them. I counted this stop for a smoothie as personal care since it’s a combination cafe and outdoor yoga studio with some new street art to boot. Spent some time talking to a local rider that I’ve seen around town – he has 6 GoPro’s mounted to his helmet. 

Punk Me Tender. It's 3-D!

Punk Me Tender on the patio at LIfe Food Organic. It’s 3-D!



March 9th

Category: Social Call and Arts & Entertainment

Miles: 5.3

Happy Hour snacks at Real Food Daily and Screening of Cowspiracy at the Aero Theater

I rode my Brompton folding bike for this evening out on the town since I was getting together with one of my Brompton Urban Challenge team mates. (Side observation – I like to play games on my bike.)

Observation #8 is that LA has lots of great vegan restaurants. Real Food Daily is super yummy and conveniently located on the way to the movie theater.

Observation #9 is that based on the documentary we saw, I should cut down on my dairy intake. I’m already vegetarian but the water usage and climate effects from dairy cows is pretty mind blowing. (The documentary’s theme is that animal agriculture has a more damaging impact on the climate than the transportation sector but no one is willing to tackle this politically.)


The rain is just starting to fall.

The rain is just starting to fall.

March 10th

Category: Wild Card

Miles: 1.1


Observation #10 is that when rain is threatening, you take the shortest and fastest route home. My plan was to detour a few blocks to snap a photo of an interesting mural but the sprinkles were starting so I made a dash for home. Good thing too since the skies opened up right after I made it into the apartment. I counted this as a wild card since I’ve already used up my store stops and wasn’t sure if picking up Rx’s was personal care.


March 12th

Categories: Personal Business, Store combined with You Carried WHAT on your Bike?! and Arts & Entertainment

Miles: 9

Landlord’s Office, Bag & Baggage store next to Huckleberry bakery and Santa Monica Airport Artwalk


Observation #11 is that it was just as easy to drop off the rent check as to get to the post office to buy more stamps.

Observation #12 is that sometimes bakeries are too hard to resist if they happen to be next to the store you happen to be in.

Observation #13 is that if you want to buy Blueberry Cornbread at Huckleberry you need to get there earlier in the day. (Got tuned into this via the LA Monthly article on doing brunch. Buy the corn bread to go and you can skip the long lines for weekend brunch.) I had to settle for coffee cake and some pumpkin tea bread.

Observation #14 is that I am getting old. One of the studios is an old-school offset printer and they had a collection of vintage typewriters set out to play with. A dad was trying to show his little boy how we used to create documents. The little boy was shocked and dismayed. (I took a typing class in high school. Do they even offer that any more??)



March 13th

Categories: Work or Volunteering combined with Social Call

Miles: 19.8

 Scouting Route to LA County Museum of Art and Main Street Farmer’s Market


Observation #15 is that LA is bikeable especially on Sunday mornings. One of the tricks that I’ve learned is that many of the major roads on the west side have parking during most of the day but not during rush hour. Drivers know not to be in the curb lane unless they have to be so that creates virtual bike lanes – some sections are better than others depending on the lane width. Weekends can have virtually no parked cars on some stretches which means cyclists have a full lane to themselves. Yay! (LaBrea is not a good route on Sunday mornings…)

Observation#15a – The Peterson Automotive Museum mission statement  – “To explore and present the history of the automobile and its impact on American life and culture using Los Angeles as a prime example.” I’m guessing that they don’t have a display on the Vision Zero movement.

Observation #16 is that a weekend brunch can be had for under $10 at the Sunday Farmers Market on Main St. Thanks to the Artwalk bike valet attendant for cluing me in on the waffles, pancakes, omelettes, etc all available only at the Sunday market.



So there you have it – my 2016 Errandonee! This was great fun so a big shout out to Chasing Mailboxes for creating this event!!!