Category Archives: commuting

Errandonnee: 11 & 12

Final two Errandonnee trips.

3/9/16, Errandonnee No. 11
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Destination: Geisinger Medical Center
Category: work
Bike: Trek 520 disc
Miles: 23.84 round trip
Observation: What a beautiful day. 75° on the way home. Allergy season is starting already.

3/11/16, Errandonnee No. 12
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Destination: Dutch Wheelman bike shop
Category: Social call, birthday party
Bike: Trek 520 disc
Miles: 11.9
Observation: I really need rear brake pads!

The Errandonnee is done another year. All that’s left is to submit the control card.
Thanks to Mary at Chasing Mailboxes for another fun challenge.

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Errandonnee: 8, 9 & 10

Tuesday, 3/8/16
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Jury Duty Selection….
I ( thought I ) couldn’t take my phone to the courthouse, so I have some map shots of the ride track and total mileage on my watch. It turns out that you can check your phone at the door.

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3/8/16 Errandonnee No. 8
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Destination: Bloomin Bagels II
Category: Personal care – I needed breakfast and coffee before going for jury duty selection.
Bike: Trek 930 beater
Miles: 1
Observation: I forgot to stop the Garmin while inside getting my bagel and coffee.  It looks like I was going in ( big )circles.

3/8/16, Errandonnee No. 9
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Destination: Columbia County Courthouse – Jury duty selection
Category: Wild card
Bike: Trek 930, beater
Miles: 3.5
Observation: There’s a lot of people here for jury selection.

3/8/16, Errandonnee No. 10
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Destination: Dutch Wheelman
Category: personal business – I paid my bike club dues.
Bike: Trek 1.2 road bike
Miles: 32.9
Observation: It was a beautiful day to take the long way.

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Errandonnee #1 – Work

3/4/16, Errandonnee No. 1

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Category: work
Destination: Geisinger Medical Center
Bike: Trek 520 Disc touring bike/ everyday commuter.
Observation: I thought maybe I should have brought the winter bike (studded tired) today, but my regular bike was okay.
Miles: 23.6 total

I didn’t realize it was snowing until I left the house. It started as just a few flurries, but then it was laying on the road just enough to make it slippery. My regular bike did ok as long as I stuck to the clear spots. The slushy shoulder was slick.
It was clear coming home. I’m so glad it’s Friday!

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The Rewards of 2015

2015
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I ride my bike….a lot. I keep track of the mileage all the time. I don’t know why I track it, but I do. It’s kind of an ocd thing.

In 2014 I rode 8300 miles. In 2015 I wanted to beat that number. As the year came closer to the end I knew I was going to beat that 8300; in fact, I had it beat in November. Now what?

Try for 9000? December mileage in PA depends heavily on the weather. I got lucky. It was mild. Hell, it was 60 degrees on Christmas Eve, but the holidays also make it difficult to get out and ride. I rode steadily all month. My longest ride was only 39 miles and by New Year’s Eve day I only needed 14 miles (to reach 9000) and I had to work that day. My commute is about 24 miles round trip. I did it! And I came home the long way. 9013 total miles for the year.

My biking friends knew I was going for 9000. Most of them (the hardcore bunch) rode around 4000-6000 miles for the year, so some of them thought I was a little crazy for going for 9.

We all met for bagels on a Saturday morning in January and they presented me with the tacky trophy and a Shut Up Legs t-shirt. I ride with a great group of people.

So, now what? 10,000?

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Filed under 30 Days of Biking, Bicycle touring, Bike to work, Coffeeneuring, commuting, errandonnee, road cycling

Thanksgiving Ride and a Twist

Thanksgiving is at my parent’s house 120 miles south. My husband actually had the holiday off and I had Wednesday off too.  So I decided to ride to Harrisburg Wednesday since we had to wait for my son to get home from school before we could leave; I got a head start.
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The first 60 miles are fairly flat and kind of boring, but a longish ride in late November is a treat.

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I picked up one of my favorite bagels (PB&J) on my way out of town and stopped halfway to eat. I felt like a hobo eating on the sidewalk in front of a store.

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This is where the good old PA J route gets sketchy.  I’m certain the PA bicycle routes were not mapped out by anyone that rides a bike. If the person that designated this route ever did ride a bicycle on it, they would probably change it.

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The J Route goes along 22/322 just outside of Harrisburg. Not fun!

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There is a brief respite on a secondary road that parallels the highway.

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I was finally off the major road and I needed a pit stop at Fort Hunter Park. My usual port-o-pot was gone!   I found another bathroom at the park that my bike fit inside. No worries about locking up.

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I made it to Harrisburg with a little time to kill before the guys met me on City Island.  I rode up to the Capitol and took a few pictures.

It was getting dark.

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I crossed the Wanut Street bridge on to City Island and did a loop around the island. The guys were there to pick me up and we drove the last 40 miles.

Shortly after we arrived came the twist. I walked outside and missed a step. I fell and twisted my ankle and foot. My first thought was the bike. Did I break something? Would I be able to ride? Ouch!

The next morning, Thanksgiving Day, we made a trip to the hospital to get an X-ray. I couldn’t put any weight on it.

Good news; nothing broken. The PA asked me if I could use crutches. I asked about biking. She hesitantly told me I probably shouldn’t bike for at least 72 hours. I could live with that.

We went back to the holiday celebration and had our Thanksgiving meal. No turkey for me. I brought stuffed acorn squash.

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Crutches and an ace bandage. I suck on crutches.

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Happy Thanksgiving.

I did wait 72 hours to ride, but only because I couldn’t carry my bike out of the basement. The steps and a bike were too much for a couple days.

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Errandonnee 2015

I finished.  

I had the whole day planned today to finish my final 4 errandonnee errands and then it rained all morning.  It cleared by late afternoon and I came up with a new plan to get it done!  My control card was a mess, so I reprinted it. That was a mess, so I reprinted it.  I’m on my third copy and it’s a mess.  Now that I’m done, I’ll print it over again so it’s legible.

Here’s how it all went down:

1. Social Call.  I rode my Trek 520 commuter bike to meet the bike club for bagels and coffee.  It’s the only bike I’ve been on since December.  Horrible winter!!!

  • Destination: Bloomin’ Bagels II
  • What I learned/observation: If we arrive an hour earlier we avoid the college crowd and the large group of police officers that take up several tables.
  • Miles: 0.8 (from home to the bagel shop)
  • Date: Saturday, 3/7/15



2. Personal Business.  I went from the bagel shop to the bank to get some cash.  I’m a victim of direct deposit….I never have cash on me.  

  • Destination: First Columbia Bank, ATM
  • What I learned/observation: The bank tellers at the drive through really stare at me when I’m wearing “a mask” over my face for the cold; horrible winter.
  • Miles: 1.1 from the bagel shop to the bank
  • Date: Saturday, 3/7/15



3. Store. After the bank I headed to the bike shop determined to get a mirror for the 520. I really miss having a mirror like I had on my old commuter and the bar end shifters limit the choices.  Frans was able to find one that hooks on to the hood with velcro.  Ugly but functional. I spend a lot of time on the road and like having it.

  • Destination: Dutch Wheelman bike shop
  • What I learned/observation: Business is still slow at the shop; horrible winter!
  • Miles: 3.3 from the bank, to the bike shop and then home
  • Date: Saturday 3/7/15



4. Work or volunteering. The first ride to work in Daylight Saving time.  It was more darkness than I’ve had to deal with in a while. At first I thought my lights weren’t properly charged, but it’s just really dark when I leave.   Sunrise came right about the time I arrived at work.

  • Destination: Geisinger Medical Center
  • What I learned/observation: Sunrise coincides with my arrival at work…for now.
  • Miles: 23.63 round trip
  • Date: Monday, 3/9/15



5. Work or volunteering.  Second day in a row riding to work.  Not an easy feat this winter. This week would end up as the first full week of bike commuting since December if I remember correctly. Horrible winter!!!!  I got soaked on the ride home and then the fog rolled in and stayed  through the next morning.

  • Destination: Geisinger Medical Center
  • What I learned/observation: The back roads out of town are horrible from the winter. There are many dangerously  deep (for a bike) potholes.
  • Miles: 23.34 round trip
  • Date: Tuesday, 3/10/15



6. You carrried WHAT on your bike?!  We had freebies at work; trunk organizers for the car – for the junk in your trunk. I was  going to give it to my husband when he stopped by for lunch, but I forgot, so I brought it home on my bike.

  • Destination: Home
  • What I learned/observation: The big piles of snow along the road that finally melted revealed more than a dozen empty pints of  Smirnoff  vodka in one small stretch of road. Trashy looking, but humorous as I kept counting them. 
  • Miles: 11.88
  • Date: Thursday, 3/12/15



7. You carried WHAT on your bike?!   I was headed to a birthay party at the bike shop after work and planned to bring beer.  Now, I haven’t drank or bought beer in many years.  I stopped at a beer distributor about 2-3 miles from the bike shop. I asked about 6/12 packs and was informed that PA beer distributors are not allowed to sell them.  I didn’t need a whole case so I headed to town in search of a bar to get take out 6 packs. In my college days I knew every bar in town, now I was trying to figure out where to go…I stopped in the first dive bar I came to and grabbed a Heiney (or two).  Two six packs in one pannier makes for a slightly unbalanced bike.

  • Destination: Romig’s Cafe (actually a bar)
  • What I learned/observation: You can’t get six packs at a PA beer distributor.
  • Miles: 0.51 from the bar to the bike shop.
  • Date: Friday the 13th



8. Personal Business. After the party at the bike shop I made my (almost) weekly trip to the ATM. There’s a bank branch about a block away and it dispenses funds in multiples of 5. You don’t see that around here much.

  • Destination: First Columbia Bank ATM 
  • What I learned/observation:  It got really chilly in the last couple hours!
  • Miles: 0.17 from the bike shop to the bank
  • Date: Friday the 13th



9. Personal Care. The start of my re-vamped day of errands after the morning rain.  I did the Saturday morning breakfast biker club by car and went to  the bike shop to pay my club dues by car. Rotten rain; better than horrible winter though. Then the rain stopped.  I headed to the Health Food store to get my favorite soap, Dr Bronner’s Magic Soap in Peppermint.  

  • Destination: Bloom Naturally
  • What I learned/observation: It’s dreary outside and there’s a chill in the air.
  • Miles: 1.19 from home to the store.
  • Date: Pi Day, Saturday, 3/14/15



10. Personal care. I left the health food store and headed east. I decided to make a stop at the Label Shopper.  Recently I’ve found some good shirts there. It’s really hit or miss, but I found some good Patagonia wool shirts for $14.99 in recents weeks.  Today, no such luck in my size.

  • Destination: Label Shopper
  • What I learned/observation: There’s so much crap to dig through in that store!
  • Miles: 2.28 from Bloom Naturally to Label Shopper
  • Date: Pi Day, Saturday, 3/14/15



11. Store turned into Social Call (Does that make it a wild card?).  Across the parking lot from the Label Shopper, who can resist Sheetz?  I wanted a coffee and didn’t want to make a full pot at home.  I also grabbed a cookie  for my Mom.  She’s visiting and mentioned that I could get her a chocolate chip cookie while on my travels.  Inside Sheetz I ran into a former co-worker. We reminisced about our former boss….what a piece of work she was!!

  • Destination: Sheetz
  • What I learned/observed: Sheetz is always busy with their MTO (made to order) menu. 
  • Miles: 0.13 from Label Shopper to Sheetz/across the parking lot.
  • Date: Pi Day, Saturday, 3/14/15



12. Non-store errand. Final Errandonnee – the Scott Township building.  I dropped off the sewer bill in their drop box. 

  • Destination: Scott Township Authority
  • What I learned/observation: It’s getting foggy again. 
  • Miles: 1.86 from Sheetz, to STA and home.
  • Date: Pi Day, Saturday, 3/14/15



Note: All rides were done on my Trek 520 touring bike. I bought it in December to use as my everyday commuter and love it.  I’m already planning  a mini tour in the fall. My road bike has been in  hibernation because of, you guessed it, the horrible winter.

It’s been another fun challenge and Spring is (finally) right around the corner.   Now I have to clean up the control card and get it all sent in by Monday night.

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It’s Cold Outside

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This winter doesn’t seem to be any better than last year’s winter with the Polar Vortexes.  January only gave me 228 miles of riding including only 8 commutes to work.  I rode through wind, snow and some really cold temperatures. I drove even more through dangerous wind chills, ice and roads heavily covered in snow.

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I ride when I can.  If the roads are dry I don’t care if it’s 0 degrees; I’m riding.  25 degrees is starting to feel warm. This past week the two days I rode registered low actual temperatures of 3 and 4 degrees.  My co-workers, friends, neighbors and family all think I’m nuts; I miss riding regularly.

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There are a few big rides I want to do in the Spring, but I’m not getting the miles needed.  One ride in particular would require some major preparation (miles, miles, miles).  I’m not sure I’ll do that one anyway because it’s logistically a pain in the ass.  I don’t have an indoor trainer, but I’m considering one.  I really dislike pedaling (inside) nowhere.

But it’s cold outside and the next storm is happening right now. I’ll be driving to work again tomorrow.  It’s February now, but as my husband said, this is the month in which he always did his most snow mobiling….Come on Spring!

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