Chasing Mailboxes blog in Washington, DC hosted the challenge, diligently collecting entries from participants all over the US, posting updates and results.
This winter they announced their latest project: the errandonnee. Participants are challenged to "complete 12 errands in 12 days and ride a total of 30 miles by bike between February 9-20." A detailed list of rules was again provided, along with control cards. I read through it all and decided - what the heck - to give this thing a try. While riding a minimum of 30 miles in errands over the course of 12 days would not be out of the ordinary for me, I wondered what it would be like to keep track of this mileage, to categorise it according to the rules, and in general to reframe everyday cycling as taking part in a challenge.
our blizzard, and on the next day I still did not feel like braving the streets on two wheels. So as of this morning, I had only 10 days to complete the 30 miles of errands. Not only was there plenty of snow still on the roads, but it was now also raining badly.
My impression of the utilitaire, coffeeneuring and errandonnee family of challenges, is that they are largely for athlete cyclists who might normally drive for transportation, but are looking to do it more by bike. The competitive paradigm appeals to them, so they've extended it to transportation cycling as a form of motivation. But I do know of cyclists who are purely commuters and have been enjoying the challenges too. Ultimately, I see errandeuring as a celebration of cycling, with its elaborate rule structure as largely tongue in cheek. Now to check whether bonus points are in store for the epic road conditions I've endured...