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Thread: first solo tour

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    124

    first solo tour

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    I decided today that I am going to do a 95 mile tour on a rail to trail for my first solo. It looks like a nice scenic ride with a few nice little towns along the way. I have to decide if I want to do this in 3 or 4 days. There are 4 segments to the trail, so it makes it easy to find places to overnight, with stuff to do along the way. Four days may feel like not enough riding for the day, so I may do 3. Either way, there won't be any big milage days. I have all the gear I need. I think I won't cook along the way, just bring some easy food and plan on stopping at restaurants when I need something more.
    So now I need to set my date and figure out how I will get back to my car. It won't be too bad, my nephew lives in the town I will finish in! Bonus, I get to see my nephew and his adorable son!

    I know I need to load my bike and do some riding with it loaded, but what else may I need to consider for my first time out? (I am an experienced camper/hiker so that part will be easy.)
    Touring this great country, one State at a time! Michigan Summer 2013.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Boise Idaho
    Posts
    935
    that sounds fun. Not to state the obvious, but be sure to take tools in case you have mechanicals between towns. I take a multi tool, chain tool and of course tire levers, spare tube. I also always have duct tape - I wrap it around a pen. Also a notebook or sketch pad, headlamp, ipod, flip flops - the normal backpacking stuff.
    Sky King
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    Empowering the Bicycle Traveler
    www.biketouringnews.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    124
    Yep, I will remember all those. The more I look at it, the more I think a two day ride is in order. Forty or Fifty miles a day is totally doable for me.

    Here is my second hurdle. My DH is VERY apprehensive about me taking off on my own. We were married last Sept. and I have to remind him that I am completely capable of looking after myself ! He would be much happier if I brought a friend. I may, but I like to ride on my own, at my own speed and take breaks when I want. I did a six day tour with a friend and while we had a great time, she was very focused on getting from point A to point B and didn't really like the idea of stopping to smell the roses! i just don't like to tour that way. I feel like we missed some fun along the way, just so we could get to our next destination.
    Touring this great country, one State at a time! Michigan Summer 2013.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    1,260
    That sounds perfect, slowspoke. Make sure to take pictures so you can show us!!!
    Help me reach my $8,000 goal for the American Lung Association! Riding Seattle to D.C. for clean air! http://larissaridesforcleanair.org
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    where the wind comes sweeping down the plain
    Posts
    5,269
    Sounds dreamy!! 2 days is totally doable.
    I completely sympathize with the worrying DH. Mine won't "let" me (and I use that term not like I need permission, but he strongly prefers that I don't) go on an overnight tour alone. He is a pessimist who thinks of all the things that can go wrong. I tend to be a flighty optimist who sees the possibilities (and yet I'm a realist who knows dangers and when to flee).
    I hope he gets OK with you going alone. Maybe if you checked in every X hours to let him know you're OK??
    Check out my running blog: www.turtlepacing.blogspot.com

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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    vancouver, bc / calgary, ab
    Posts
    6,417
    Let us know how the trip went when you go.

    Tri, I know my dearie wouldn't have a problem if I went cycling solo overnight for 1-3 nights, on routes that I have some general idea. He knows my geospatial skills aren't the hottest compared to his. So his concern would be me getting lost at the wrong time. Which has happened ...

    I haven't done it yet. And it's my own mental game in my head that's stopping ,not him.

    He's always thrilled for me to go off cycling solo for the day 60-80 km. rides which I have done by joining bike routes together..
    A Serious Cycling Blog and Cycle Write Blog
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know whatís in a personís heart.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Nebraska
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    1,194
    Your DH wouldn't be doing his job if he didn't worry. Remind him how proud of you he will be when you come back all in one intact piece, having conquered your (and his) fears. Enjoy your trip.

    My DH is concerned about my upcoming trip, but he gave up long ago on discouraging my wild schemes. It's my mother that I don't quite have the courage to tell about my summer plans. I'd rather deal with the traffic and bears in Yellowstone than her reaction, coward that I am.
    Give big space to the festive dog that make sport in the roadway. Avoid entanglement with your wheel spoke.
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Southern NH
    Posts
    171
    Very cool! I'm jealous. Have fun & be safe.
    Melancholy is incompatible with bicycling. ~ James E.Starrs


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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Puget Sound
    Posts
    139

    Talking

    I too have a DH that is apprehensive about my solo adventures. I keep him statused via text messages including pictures - it seems to help. I'm looking forward to seeing how you enjoyed your ride!
    We do not take a trip; a trip takes us - John Steinbeck

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    124
    haha DH believes that my lack of observation is all encompassing. He sees danger at every corner that I will not be observant enough to see. I am much more obsrvant that he realizes. I just don't zone in on every detail when it's not necessary. He can't turn that off (an attribute of adult ADD!)

    I'll call him, I'll text him. He will get used to it. He just won't like it. Ever! LMAO
    Touring this great country, one State at a time! Michigan Summer 2013.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    3

    Good for you!

    Well, yer certainly smarter than I am. My first tour was 1,000 miles. From the Missourri/Kansas state line to western Colorado. Yu think yer slow, this ride took me 30 days. And I bloody well loved every minute of it. Except when I was getting vertigo coming across the high plains cause there was no real horizon to speak of.
    Anyway, my advice? Less is more. I'm going to Europe in the fall and heading south to Morocco from France. I'm ditching the front racks and bags and going to a lighter handlebar bag and just taking less stuff altogether.
    I'm an experienced backpacking guide and I am also into comfort. I'm gonna leave the thermarest chair home too and maybe even the thermarest. I read about a guy who uses bubble wrap.
    Anyway, keep us posted....

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    428
    This sounds like a wonderful, relaxing journey, I can't wait to read your ride report, be sure to post it.

    My DH is very much like yours, always imagining the worst case scenario, no matter what...I've gotten used to it, and he doesn't usually harsh my mellow much anymore...
    "Don't go too fast, but I go pretty far"

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Island Lake, IL
    Posts
    2
    Just a question, what is the best set-up for long distance biking on and off road?

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Boise Idaho
    Posts
    935
    Quote Originally Posted by natnatmorie View Post
    Just a question, what is the best set-up for long distance biking on and off road?
    how much "off" are you thinking. We call that adventure cycling

    I just put Grand Bois Hetre tires on my Rivendell and had a blast on Saturday - 30 miles on pavement 6 on dirt.

    the Surly Disc LHT is getting great reviews as an on/off road, the bike hermit is riding one with Schwalbe Big Apples for our Owyhee Bylands Tour June 1st.
    We have some nice blog posts on our website if you want to learn more.

    other bikes we have helped set up for "combo" touring - Surly Pugsley, Surly Ogre, Salsa Fargo, Surly Troll
    Sky King
    ____________________
    Gilles Berthoud "Bernard"
    Empowering the Bicycle Traveler
    www.biketouringnews.com

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    23
    You won't forget it, as an experienced camper, though so was I and I forgot ... toilet paper. Real freedom came after I found a place to buy some!

    And, I'd love to hear more about France to Morocco....for how long, when, how are you getting to Morocco, solo? I'm hoping to get back to southern France (Pyrenees) in September, and one of my cycling dreams is about riding in Morocco some day. I'm new to this forum, well to all forums and don't know how to associate my response with your response, above.

 

 

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