Wednesday, March 19, 2014

2014 Errandonnee, Day 2

One errand down, eleven  to go. 24.7 miles still to go in order to meet the 30 mile requirement.
Day two.

Today Zoomie took me to work have coffee tea. We went to have tea! If it happened to be tea made from the cupboard stores at work, what of it? Still counts!

This Tuesday happened to be one of my husband's days off work, so I didn't want to stay out all day or night running errands. Besides, anyone who knows me well might recognize procrastination when they see it. Here you go folks! Not only am I beginning a challenge 2 days before it ends (3, thankyousnowday!), but I'm also deliberately NOT really doing errands in the first two days. WEEE! Hows that for a challenge, hmm?

So right. Tea.

This tea really IS jammin'. I observed that I like ginger a LOT more than I thought. Or I would, if I didn't have a better observation, also with photo proof.

You see, yesterday was windy. Remember how I said it likes to make life miserable? Well, we just restarted the P90X workout program.
Guess what today was?


What is Plyo, you ask?
It's freakin jump training. As in jumping up and down. On your legs.

Oh wait, the same legs you use for pedaling?

Yeeeessss.... The wind. It's blowing at 20 miles per hour right now, with gusts of 29 mph, I know.

Proof of evil wind:

But that is not my observation for this errand.

This would be my new top speed. 
27.18 MPH.

I achieved this with a slightly-helpful-but-mostly-trying-to-kill-me crosswind on the way to work going down the monster hill. I ran out of hill before I could see true top speed, but I assure you 27 mph is quite adequate for scaring me half to death. In the process of trying not to die by whizzing through the stop sign at the bottom of the monster hill, I also observed the need for better brakes. Still :P

My second errand was to stop at the grocery store on the way home from work. I mean tea. My plan was to get a Mio flavor shot thingy, but did you know those are ridiculously expensive? There are no generic flavoring thingies with electrolytes, which was my whole purpose in wanting Mio. Water has been boring lately, and therefore hard for me to drink, but I've been really thirsty, probably because I didn't feel like drinking plain water. Thus, electrolytes. Anyway, no Mio for me. I'll make do with tasty teas. Instead, I got 2 zero-sugar Monster energy drinks. 

I thought a peek into my saddlebag would make a cute picture, so here is the proof of my purchasing errand:
My observation: wind sounds really cool.
I mean I hate it, it is evil, but it SOUNDS nifty. I have been listening to music on my phone lately because the sound of traffic just gets incredibly irritating after a while. Today, I decided not to put in the earphones, a decision made in part because the wind would make the long cord snag on everything anyway. Instead, I heard frantic wind chimes, creaky trees and rustling leaves. I heard howling past my ears. It was nice.
Also, despite my little bike computer claiming near-fifty degrees, it was way too cold to have fingers exposed. My husband will not be getting these foundling wool gloves back anytime soon.

That's all for today. 3 of 12 errands done. 11.2 miles covered out of 30. I'm beginning to think mileage is a non-issue. I had worried because my commute is so much shorter. That's only 18.8 miles left to go! Once upon a time I went that far in one single ride :)

2014 Errandonnee, Day 1

It's been a year, and Mary over at Chasing Mailboxes is running the Errandonnee challenge again. Yippee! I just found out about it on Monday, which means I almost missed it! The challenge runs for 12 days, from March 7th to the 19th this year. I lucked out big time in that she has given us a snow day. Lucky me, right?!

So, here is day 1:

I found out about the challenge Monday after my morning route, which pretty much means that day was sort of shot in regards to errand-running. I spent my between-route time printing out the control card and re-reading the rules. I may have cheered aloud when I read the revised darkness rule. 2 errands had to be run in the dark last year- no problem when it was still daylight savings. And it wouldn't have been a problem if I'd have known about the Errandonnee on the 7th, and had time to plan.

You see, I haven't been riding my bike all school year. I ended last year driving a bus (I think?), but it was a small bus. Small buses don't require a class B commercial driver's license to operate, and so the district doesn't pay drivers of small buses as much as they pay drivers of regular buses. I was also under the impression that this small-bus route was at risk of being dissolved. So, now the proud owner of a New Beetle, I jumped at the chance to drive a big bus. The route I won was at the far terminal, 12.5 miles away without a reasonable (to me) way to bike there safely.

Eventually, I finally won the bid for a west route, but it was only recently. I got the route at the end of January, and I thought my first few commutes to work might kill me. I was right back to struggling in the easiest gear I had to cover ground. Not that much ground either- the new rental house is just over 2 miles from work, almost 3 for the return trip. It should be easy. But there is a monstrous hill in the middle of that, and its all on streets. No more greenway for me- it was mostly destroyed in the flood even if I did have the energy to cover a bit more distance to get to it.

The reason I mention all this is because my friend, who I now live just a few blocks from, has been giving me rides to work. This lets me sleep an extra half hour at least, as well as rest my poor legs. I think at this point- a full 2 months later, I can safely say that I would not die making the commute 4 times a day instead of 3. But I still can't bring myself to give up those precious extra minutes in bed, plus unless I want to hang around at the office, I don't really get to see my friend for the rest of the day. So anyway- I'm very glad the darkness rule was only  suggestion this year.

Day 1 for me was only the afternoon trip to work. Not exciting, not really even fun. The wind likes to make life difficult.

This is a reflection in the office window of Zoomie parked at work.

My observation: one of the students on my bus wrote his name for the new assigned seats. On the bus wall. In Sharpie. /sigh.

Yay, one errand done! 11 more errands to go, and 24.7 miles.