Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotton it’s #Errandoneering season – and I’ve even been remembering to take photos as a record along the way (well, mostly). It’s been a busy weekend and it’s only got busier since, but fortunately it’s been the sort of busy that involves going places and thus lots of cycling.
So – remembering the many rules of Errandonneering and with the usual caveat that my categories of errands never fit nicely into the official ones, here’s how far I’ve got. I know, you can’t wait …
Errand one: bike to the station, train to Carlisle, meet my sister & head up to Glasgow for the pre-Walk-Cycle-Vote training day planning session (and by ‘planning’ I mean ‘help drink all the wine with my fellow organisers’)
Distance: 8 miles to the station, mumble-something miles to our destination in Glasgow (forgot to check) picking up a Next Bike for my sister on my way (which features a bike rental process that expects you to be able to hear instructions on your mobile over the sound of a Glasgow Friday night out)
Category: It strikes me that we need a ‘multimodal’ or ‘travel’ categories for errands like catching a train. Failing that, given the amount of wine we consumed, it would have to be ‘social’.
What I learned: If you keep picking up your Brompton by the saddle, eventually it’s going to break. If you’re unlucky, it will break as you’re going around the only tricky roundabout you have to tackle in Bigtown. If you’re lucky, you will be so focused on not being sideswiped by a car, you won’t notice until you got to the station. De-nosed Brompton saddles are more comfortable than they look
Errand two: Four of us toted all the stuff you need to run an active travel campaigning workshop to the venue on one Brompton, one touring bike, one town bike and a mountain bike with no carrying capacity whatsoever.
Distance: ahem. Some miles. Possibly many, especially as there was a bit of back tracking involved
Category: this one has to go under ‘you carried what on a bike?’
Observation: it’s amazing what you can carry on a bike …
We then cycled to the pub for a post-implementation review, but I forgot to take any pictures. If I had I would have observed that it’s possible for a nine-year-old to manage some quite scary Glasgow roads on a bike, but only an extremely impressive nine-year-old (who had just taken part in a cycle campaigning workshop)
Errand three: Down to the shop for the paper, enjoying the glorious sunshine.
Distance: 11 miles round trip
Observation: we’d been discussing doing selfies for International Women’s Day so I thought I had better practice. What I learned was how difficult it is to do a selfie, at least if you’re me. Any hope of getting the bike in the shot as well as pulling any face other than ‘how is this supposed to work then?’ is completely beyond me. Still, nice sun
Errand four: Down to the village hall for the community council meeting, where I failed to persuade my fellow community councillors that turning Big A Road into a dual carriageway was a terrible idea. Bah.
Distance: 3 miles
Category: Is there one for lost causes? Or hopeless tasks? I’ll have to file it under ‘work or volunteering’ I guess
What I learned: I live in a nice social media bubble most of the time – 99% of my twitter timeline would be horrified at the thought of building more roads. Sometimes it’s good to step outside and encounter the real world
Errand five: Into Bigtown
Distance: 16 miles round trip
Category: non-store errand as one of the reasons was to meet a fellow Bigtown Cycle Campaign member to get to the bank to attempt to add a signatory to the Bigtown Cycle Campaing account, which is never as simple as it might be. We completed round one – filling in the form and assembling all the signatures we need, and handing it to the clerk, and have now proceeded to round two: being told that that was the wrong form and here is the form we should have filled in. We then took each others’ photos, which is a hell of a lot easier than attempting a selfie
Observation: the minimum number of visits to the bank to change anything on an account is N+1 where N is the number of visits you have already made …
Phew. That’s five down, seven more to go