Errandonnee

Errandonnee

Today is the first day of Spring! When will it feel like Spring? This past winter was horribly cold and often snowy.

It’s been a long time since I’ve written anything here, but with the end of the Errandonnee challenge I will get out the wireless keyboard and carry on…

The Errandonnee calls for 12 errands by bike from March 7 through March 20 (after an added snow day). I told you it was a bad winter! There are 11 categories to choose from and each category can only be used twice. There are a few other rules, but that is the basic idea.

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#1
Category: Work
Destination: Work
Observation: 19 degrees doesn’t feel so cold anymore.
Miles: 12.06 one way
Date: 3/7/14
The photo is taken on a short path just as I arrive on the hospital campus. It was dark at the start of the ride and I used my Cygolite 500 Lumen headlight with a Bontrager tail light.

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#2
Category: Bike Shop
Destination: Dutch Wheelman
Observation: I don’t like the riser handlebars on my new (to me) beater bike. Miles: 12.62
Date: 3/7/14
I bought handlebars that are more flat and some cheap clip-on fenders. The mud splatters everywhere convinced me to get these. The handlebars were easier to switch out than the fenders were to put on the bike. Hmm….

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#3
Category: Any store that is not a grocery store
Destination: Big Lots
Observation: I like the new handlebars.
Miles: 4.67
Date: 3/9/14

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#4
Category: Grocery store
Destination: Weis Markets
Observation: The wind was really bad today.
Miles: 2.11
Date: 3/9/14
My weekly attempt at bargain shopping…the buy one, get one free deals. I bought a lot of coffee.

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#5
Category: Work
Destination: Work – Geisinger Medical Center
Observation: Most of the ride is in the dark since the time change.
Miles: 24 – round trip
Date: 3/10/14
I used my 500 Lumen Cygolite, Princeton Tec headlamp and Bontrager tail light along with my cheap reflective vest.

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#6
Category: Coffee or Dessert
Destination: Bloom Naturally
Observation: I always buy sweets and junk food at the Health food store.
Miles: 17
Date: 3/11/14
I rode here because I really wanted a cookie! They have huge vegan cookies from Alternative Baking Company. Yum! Double Chocolate.

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#7
Category: Community Meeting
Destination: Credit Union and group member’s home
Observation: The headwinds really tanked my average speed.
Miles: 24.26
Date: 3/15/14
We needed to go to the bank to change the group’s treasurer and from there we went to one of the member’s house to chat about the banking business.

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#8
Category: Bike Shop
Destination: Dutch Wheelman
Observation: Those Surly fat bikes look like they would be a blast!
Miles: 10.47
Date: 3/17/14
I went to the shop to get a mirror for the new beater bike. I really missed not having that extra look behind me.

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#9
Category: Wild Card
Destination: First Columbia Bank/ATM
Observation: This ATM gives you multiples of $5.
Miles: 0.32
Date: 3/17/14
I left the bike shop and went to get some cash. I never have cash on me….

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#10
Category: Any store that is not a grocery store
Destination: Bloom Naturally
Observation: They always think I am my sister-in-law when they look up my rewards account by last name.
Miles: 0.91
Date: 3/17/14
I left the bank and went to the health food store. I got vegan chocolate chips (see, sweets at the health food store again!) for the GORP and a few other odds and ends.

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#11
Category: Personal Care and Health
Destination: Dentist
Observation: I have a broken filling that needs to be fixed!
Miles: 4.02
Date: 3/18/14
I went to get a broken tooth fixed. I broke it on an especially crunchy piece of pizza crust (pizza without cheese). They discovered I have a broken filling on the other side of my mouth that needs fixed. I also got my teeth cleaned since they had a last minute cancellation.

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#12
Category: Wild Card
Destination: Vreeland’s Harley Davidson
Observation: Harley’s are huge! I’ll stick with my bicycle.
Miles: 12.79
Date: 3/18/14
My boss is a biker too (motor). We all pitched in for his 40th birthday and got a gift certificate. I biked to the bike shop to pick it up.

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Lucky #13
Category: Breakfast or Lunch
Destination: Bloomin’ Bagels
Observation: They are not busy at 6AM; any other time they are.
Miles: 0.97
Date: 3/19/14
Why not add and extra errand since we got an extra day?

Total errandonnee miles: 126.2
Total miles through errandonnee dates: 291.71

Run for the Diamonds, Ride the J Route, get another year older…

Run for the Diamonds, Ride the J Route, get another year older…

I guess I never bothered to re-cap the run that I was training for the last few months. I did the Run for the Diamonds on Thanksgiving Day. It’s a nine mile race in Berwick, PA that has been going on for 104 years now. Here’s one of the reasons it’s the run for the diamonds..

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And looking at the elevation profile, there is one significant hill.

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The race starts out in high spirits. A run down Market Street lined with cheering spectators, music blaring “Ain’t nothin’ Gonna Break My Stride. Nobody’s gonna Slow Me Down. Oh No. I’ve got to keep on Movin’…”, then comes the hill. It goes on for a length of time. My pace slowed on the hill, but I kept going. I ran by Wonder Woman on the hill only to have Santa Clause pass me moments later. I Love runners! My knee that had been bothering me off and on for the last month or so started to make itself a burden. I made it over the hill and then started down. The downhill is always my least favorite. Wonder Woman overtook me going down the hill, my knee ached, but my body felt good running. I had many moments where I felt like I could run forever and only a few where I wondered why the hell I was running this race. By mile 6 I really had to pee even though I peed about four thousand times before the race. Running along side a stream doesn’t help in these instances. At mile seven while going up a tiny incline my knee gave me a fit. I had to slow to a walk briefly as I wondered if my knee would keep working. My pace slowed now because of the pain, but I still felt surprisingly good. I made my way to the finish line where my husband was waiting and cheering me on. I finished at 1:37:13. My goal was to finish under 100 minutes, so my time was right where I wanted it even with the steep hill and knee pain.

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^ Near the finish line and not far from the port-o-pot.
After arriving home I realized that my knee was going to be a problem. I could barely get up and down stairs. Ice, Icy Hot and elevation. As much as it hurt, it felt fine the next day.

We ate Thanksgiving Dinner at Cracker Barrel since it was only Brian and I. Jacob was at my parent’s house already. Cracker Barrel is definitely not a good place for a vegan diet. They didn’t even have baked potatoes since all of their potatoes were going to the Thanksgiving Day special. I ate fruit and a small salad.

Brian and I both worked Friday and then we had the weekend off. The plan was to go to Southern York County to get Jacob.

Saturday morning at 7:30 I left on my bike from our house heading South.

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It was 15 degrees when I left! I was cocooned in several layers. My goal was to ride the whole way to Mom and Dad’s. I rode south until I caught the PA J Route which runs the whole way to Maryland.

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The route goes through some Amish territory.

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Brian passed me near the halfway point. We met up to discuss the next rendezvous and decided on City Island in Harrisburg. I decided at this stop that I wasn’t going to do the whole ride. It was too cold, I was on my heavy commuter bike and I felt sloth like in all my layers.
The next stretch of the J Route took me on roads that were border-line major highways. Not a very good bike route. I pressed forward eager to get away from the traffic. Just outside of Harrisburg were lots of historical sites.

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I liked the Rockville bridge that had iciles hanging under it.

Not far from City Island now. The J Route intersects with the Capital Area Greenbelt for a few miles here.

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Into the city at last. Brian found me along Front Street.

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The last stretch. We head over the Walnut Street bridge into City Island where Brian parked. I’m dying for some coffee and I have to pee. An 80 mile day in freezing temperatures; not bad.

We went to my parent’s house, stayed overnight and all three of us headed home the next day.

A week has passed. I have only run about 5.5 miles. I rode to work a few times, but the weather has been wintery. I have driven to work that last two working days. Talk about needing coffee! I really want to ride tomorrow, but we are suppose to get snow….again. I will see how the morning looks.

Today is my 41st birthday. I made it through the whole day of work with no one knowing. A nice change from my last job. I came home to roses from my husband, but he’s at work. So I sit around in my jammies watching football. I feel so lazy today. No ride, no run; just relaxation.

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Turkey Trot in the Morning

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I’ve been trying to follow a 15k training plan to do the Run for the Diamonds on Thanksgiving. Before today, I only ran about 9 miles this week. I should be at about 18-20. ( I have done about 140 miles on the bike this week. ) After Tuesday’s 5 mile run my knee was very sore, so I haven’t run since.

This morning was the Turkey Trot where I work. My son has a cold so he didn’t feel like going. My husband had to work so he didn’t go along….so I rode my bike the 12.5 miles there. I ran into the office to drop off my stuff for safe keeping while running. One of the younger girls from the office also ran and I saw her at the start.

Here’s an aerial view of the course. It weaves through the parking areas and doesn’t give a glimpse of how big the whole hospital is.

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It’s a rolling course with one bigger hill. I started out at a good pace and around halfway at the hill I allowed myself to walk for about 30-40 yards. It was a slow hill and I could feel my knee getting sore. I finished with a good time for me. 28:26. I was 6th in my age group out of I don’t know how many.

I went back in the office to get my jacket, bag and biking shoes and then I rode home. A stop for bagels, coffee at home and an afternoon on the couch. This is my first full weekend off in ages. I feel like a lazy bum now.

I started training for my new job ( at the same place) last week and I was working 8:30am-7:15pm. I was working both jobs and I’ll be doing it for two more weeks. It’s a little tiring. It’s also been very cold on the morning ride to work. 23 degrees each morning. Brrr.

The new job is a much better opportunity. I’m looking forward to it. I’m sitting on the couch now with knee feeling sore. The nine mile Run for the Diamonds seems huge to me right now with this knee.

The Completed Coffeeneur

So here is the wrap up of the seven trips by bike to get coffee….two of my favorite things: bikes and coffee. In the end I rode 144.5 miles to drink coffee. I went solo, with my son and with my brother. I rode in my childhood hometown, Harrisburg, and my current hometown.

1. 10/5/2013
Starbucks Shrewsbury, PA.
Small Pike Place Roast, black.
15.3 miles

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The first coffeeneur started at the Shrewsbury playground where I was attending a family reunion. I left and took a short tour past the high school I went to and then through the small communities I grew up around. I stopped to visit a cousin, who at the time was training for the Marine Corps Marathon. I made my way through some roads that didn’t exist when I was a kid and stopped at Starbucks for the smallest coffee I could get…..it was a warm day. The tour through the area revealed a lot of changes since I have moved away from the area.

2. 10/6/2013
Yellowbird Cafe 1320 N Third St. Harrisburg, PA
Little Amps Coffee, black
27.3 miles

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Good food, mediocre coffee.

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The next day we left my parent’s house and stopped in Harrisburg at my brother’s house. We set out on the Capital Area Greenbelt with the intent of stopping for coffee. We decided on the Yellowbird Cafe, a place my brother has seen when going to the Broad Street Market, but didn’t try until this day. My coffee was less than spectatular, but I also got some hummus for a snack and it was very good. We left the Cafe and stopped by the Capital building so I could see the pink fountain…Breast Cancer Awareness month. We finished riding the Greenbelt and went back to my brother’s house. My son was waiting there for us; he didn’t want to bring his bike for the ride.

3. 10/12/13
Fog & Flame Cafe Main Street Bloomsburg
House Brew, black
15 miles

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Riding with Jacob…you can see his reflection in the window.

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He doesn’t like it when I take his picture……can you tell?

Coffeeneur #3 was done in Bloomsburg with Jacob. It was one of our trips where we “toodle” around for no other reason than to ride bikes…and get coffee. We went to Fog & Flame, a somewhat new coffee shop in town. Jacob had hot chocolate and I had a black coffee. It was good and I also brought along a PB&J bagel from Bloomin Bagels. The coffee shop was promising if I ever have more time for leisure coffee. I seem to always be at work now where I can drink all the free coffee I want.

4. 10/16/13
Bloomin Bagels II Locust Court
Columbian Roast, black
40.9 miles

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This trip was basically a free choice day to coffeeneur as I was in the midst of a 14 day in a row stretch at work. This particular day I worked a split shift. I road to work in the morning, part way home where I met my husband and he picked me up, then from home to my coffeeneur destination, back to work and then home again. My favorite bagel shop at the location close to my house. I got a PB&J bagel and a columbian roast. Always hits the spot.

5. 10/22/13
Bloomin Bagels Main St. Bloomsburg (downtown original location)
1854 Dark Roast, black
24.1 miles

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Another choice day during the long work stretch. This time I stopped downtown at the original Bloomin Bagels shop. Authentic New York bagels in the middle of nowhere PA. And the coffee isn’t bad either. I had a PB&J bagel ( yes, I’m obsessed with them…but I only eat them if I run the same day) I ran a little over 5 miles this morning. During the commute on this day my odometer on my beater commuter bike hit 3000 miles since late May. I also got to see some of the Halloween window paintings downtown that are done every year by high school students.

6. 10/28/13
Sheetz Route 11 Bloomsburg
Serious Dark Roast, black
16.8 miles

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My one day off in a row. Coffeeneur day. I ran out of coffee shops in my small town, so I did gas station coffee. I could have gone with Dunkin Donuts, but Sheetz has better coffee. I had a Serious Dark Roast while sitting outside on a warm day under a metal umbrella. I finished my coffee and ran some errands.

7. 11/3/13
Starbucks, Bloomsburg University Campus at the Scranton Commons
Soy Latte
5.1 miles

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Wow , is campus ever different from when I was a student. We didn’t have Starbucks. I grabbed the paper to read, filled out my registration for the Run for the Diamonds and drank a Soy Latte. I haven’t indulged in anything other than black coffee for quite some time. The soy Latte was delicious and the school was so different. It was quite chilly outside and I kept the ride short.

Coffeeneuring completed and it was fun all throughout. I can’t wait for the next challenge. It’s always great to have an excuse to ride.

The final Coffeeneur

Carver Hall at Bloomsburg University

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Today wasn’t suppose to be a running day, but I swapped it with Saturday. On Saturday I did the morning group ride from the bike shop. It was chilly and the group turned out to be me and Tom. We did a 40 mile ride of rollers and flats; no real climbing. Then I rode to work later for a voluntary half shift. That gave me 65 miles of riding yesterday and meant that I had a run to do today. I did some morning chores, ate breakfast, had coffee and talked to a friend that stopped at the house. Then I finally started running. I did 7 miles….on the treadmill. It’s easier on my body, but boring.

I’m doing a nine mile race on Thanksgiving day. It will be the longest running race I’ve entered. It’s been hard for me to follow any training plan because I ride my bike so much. I hope I’m doing enough running miles. My left knee felt really sore after today’s run. Is old age starting to find me?

I finally got around to my planned Coffeeneur. Today was my only day off so I wanted to get the last one done. I decided to make it a short trip since I had so many other “chores” to get done. I rode up to the Bloomsburg University campus and went to the Starbucks in the Commons. It was really chilly outside and my knee was still bothering me. The facilities on campus are all very different from when I was a student there.

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I had to improvise for parking; there was no rack near this building. Also too cold outside to enjoy the patio.

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I brought the Sunday paper to read while enjoying my coffee, a soy latte in honor of the Coffeeneur creator.

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I filled out my registration form for the upcoming race. The paper didn’t have any good news, the coffee was done ( and very tasty), there were more chores to do, so I went back out in the cold to head home. Groceries, cleaning, dinner and early to bed. I have to be at work at 5am!

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The front corner of the yard looks so bare without the tree.

Coffeeneur #7, 11/3/13
Place: Starbucks at the Scranton Commons of Bloomsburg University
Drink: Soy Latte
Miles: 5.1

Gas Station Coffee

Coffee under a green metal umbrella.

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Today was my one day off in a row. I slept in then lounged around the house. I decided not to run today because I pulled something in my calf Saturday while running. I’ll give it a try tomorrow. I did do Coffeeneur number six today. My husband drank most of our morning pot of coffee, so I was ready for more. I had some errands to run too while going for coffee.

My first stop was to drop off the sewer bill that was a few days late. Oops. Then I went to Sheetz, a gas station, for coffee. I had a Serious Dark Roast and sat outside to drink it. I saw a friend that I use to work with pumping gas. I don’t pump gas very much any more. Anyhow, she had a different car. She came over and told me that she wrecked her car. She rear ended a PennDOT truck while looking at Halloween decorations. Bummer.

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Look at those signs on the window. All that good gas station food. Ha. I do like Sheetz coffee a lot more than Dunkin. The dark roast is nice and strong.

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I finished my coffee and headed to the health food store. I stocked up in the bulk section with wild rice, quinoa and granola ingredients. I headed home to see if Jacob wanted to ride a little. We headed out aimlessly through town. We stopped at a small park.

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Next we met a friend of mine at the grocery store and chatted. I picked up some more stuff too. Then Jacob and I headed home and I started dinner. Chicken Alfredo for the boys and wild rice with roasted veggies for me.

Tomorrow our Mulberry tree is getting cut down. It appears to have some tree disease.

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A final look at it.

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Coffeeneur #6, 10/28/13
Place: Sheetz, Route 11 Bloomsburg
Drink: Serious Dark Roast, black
Miles: 16.8

3000 Miles to Coffeeneur……

3000 Miles to Coffeeneur……

…..No, I didn’t ride 3000 miles for coffee….but I would. Today I hit 3000 miles since late May on the odometer of my beater bike that I use to commute. I started riding it because I didn’t want my road bike sitting outside of my new job, but I really love riding the heavy old thing.

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I started the day off by sleeping late and loafing around the house. Then I finally got a run done….on the treadmill. I did 5.1 miles then rushed to get get ready for work. I’m on a 14 day stretch so I thought I’d get another Coffeeneur in today. I made a detour to Main Street to the original downtown location of Bloomin’ Bagels. I got an 1854 dark roast and my PB&J bagel for later. I drank about 2/3 of the coffee and had to get moving again. The rest of the coffee and the bagel were loaded on to the bike.

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It’s a Fall tradition in downtown Bloomsburg for students to paint Halloween themed works of art on the storefront windows of Main Street. I like this one.

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By the way, my local bike shop, The Dutch Wheelman, is next to the bagel shop. No time to stop today. Off to work I go with my slightly tired legs into a headwind. I recently put a basket back on my rear rack. I’m trying to avoid using both panniers and the basket is a great place to keep my lunch and lock while traveling. But now the bike is even heavier. I can’t wait to get out on my light road bike again.

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At work on time and it’s light outside.

The ride home will be running lights, but I’m really enjoying riding in the dark. Proper lighting makes the ride.

Coffeeneur #5
10/22/13
Place: Bloomin’ Bagels Main Street Bloomsburg, Pa
Drink: 1854 Dark Roast
Miles: 24.1