Errandonnee Day One

Today is the start of the Errandonee which will continue for the next twelve days. A huge thank you to MG for turning normal errands into a fun event!

I headed out the door at 8:45ish ready to conquer some errands. The sky was clear and the temperature was 6F. First, I headed off to the ice skating rink. Biking seems like the perfect mode of transportation to the local rink. But it is not. It actually creates a moral dilemma that I have to overcome every single time I bike over to the fairgrounds.

My bike is outfitted with a perfectly capable set of studded tires and each time I bike over to skate, the itch to test those tires on a huge, solid, gorgeous sheet of ice gets stronger. It is overwhelmingly tempting to just sneak my bike on the ice and try my skills out on a few figure eights.

But being the conscientious person that I occasionally am, I laced up my skates instead. After a good skating workout, ( a workout mostly for my ankles who think they have the right to complain after being stuffed into confining figure skates) I got back on my bike, did my best to plow through a few snowmobile trails around the fairgrounds and then headed to the bank.
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When I got to the bank, one section of the parking lot was covered in ice. To make up for denying my bike an experience on the ice at the fairgrounds, I steered over to the sheet of ice. My bike is great on ice. On my own, I am not so great, however, so I shuffled carefully to the entrance of the bank.

Handy tip when combining winter biking and banking-take your balaclava off as soon as you dismount your bike.

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Banking done, I pedaled up the hill to the store which is the pride of all America – Walmart. When I go to Walmart I always park as far away from the store as I can. I don’t really know why this habit persists but I just go along with it. I mostly needed to stock up on veggies but then I decided to try something bold. Okay, attempting the safe transportation of eighteen eggs on the back of a bicycle isn’t really that bold, but I have never tried it before. In the name of science, I decided to forgo any type of cushioning for the eggs. I just filled up my panniers with the rest of the groceries and then placed the carton of eggs on top sealed tightly in a plastic bag so that the creation of any egg mess would be contained.

I arrived back at my apartment (after forgetting several times that I was carrying eggs and biking over some decent-sized bumps) and to my surprise all the eggs are intact! Nice.

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Errand #1
Ice Skating (Personal Care)
Distance: 1 mile

Errand #2
Bank (Personal Business)
Distance: 2 miles

Errand #3
Supermarket, carried eggs home (You carried WHAT on your bike?!)
Distance: 3 miles

Ice Skating

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Generations of kids sitting on the bench and digging their skates into the wood does some damage!

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But it did make a great place to hang my skates while I was taking my boots off.

My childhood home was down the street from the local ice skating rink and many happy afternoons were spent speeding on the ice with family and friends. When I was twelve my family moved to a different town and I have only been back to the rink a handful of times since then. I don’t think I have skated at all in the past three years.

But on Sunday I found my old ice skates and today was too beautiful to waste so I headed down to the rink. Benefit #709 of living in a small town: I got the rink all to myself. (Aside from a pigeon that eyed me from the rafters.) Plus the ice was pristine, no one had been on the ice since it had last been Zamboni-ed.

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An empty rink.

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A not-quite-so-empty rink.

Thankfully, skating is like biking in the sense that once you learn the skill you don’t forget it. I was particularly pleased to discover that I could still skate backward without falling on my head.

I skated until my feet became uncomfortable from being cooped up within the confines of figure skates and then I headed home. On the ride back I stopped at an intersection while I waited for a snowplow to go by. Both guys in the snowplow smiled and waved at me. I am guessing they have passed me before on one of my travels!