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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    where the wind comes sweeping down the plain
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    5,269

    An overnight tour all by myself

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    Sorry this is so long.
    OK, so you all were very kind and encouraging when I bailed on my first supported tour. I decided not to give up on what I had in my mind as a dream, so I tried it again this week. I rode my bike up to Stillwater, OK for a bike tour on July 4th. I left on Thursday and rode the 65 miles to Stillwater, camped out at a local lake, then had my DH join me for the ride on Friday, the 4th. After our 85 mile tour on Friday, I loaded up the bike and drove with DH back home (my posterior and my brain just weren't up to another 65 mile ride back home).

    It was a lot of fun. I loaded up my Trek with my panniers and headed out at 8:30 a.m. I rode mostly back country roads for the first 30 miles. I ran into some unexpected road construction that I didn't want to backtrack out of because it would've meant adding another 15 miles to my ride, so I walked through big, chunky gravel for about 2 miles . Oh well- at least my shoes were comfortable. I had lunch midway in the shade of an elementary school playground where I rested against a big rock wall.
    I got to ride on a nice highway with gigantic shoulders for about 25 miles, and even tho traffic was going 70, it didn't bother me at all as long as everybody stayed on their side of the pretty white line. Since I had a slight tailwind and the sun was scorching, I actually enjoyed the wind generated from big trucks- cooled me off a little, and I reveled in the fact that we weren't experiencing our usual 20-30 mph headwinds in every direction.
    I found $.75 in loose change lying on the road in various places (yes, I pick it up because I believe it's bad karma to pass up free money on the ground), saw lots of animals (some dead- most alive), and didn't get any trouble from people with the exception of one "backwoods" house. I passed by some punk kids who taunted me and were yelling "why can't you go faster, lady- pedal harder" to which I muttered something about my bike weighing more than they do and I've been riding for 7 hours and maybe they'd like to join me...I didn't say it loud enough for them to hear, but it made me feel better.
    I added a couple pictures. One of the highway that I rode on, one of my campsite at the lake, and one of the Cimarron River that I crossed a few times, and then one of me at lunch.

    I like the touring pace. It was slow, but that wasn't as bad as I'd thought. Since I train for triathlons, all my rides are always time/distance based with a focus on HR and avg. speed and such. It was kinda nice to just pedal one foot after another and look around and stop and smell the roses. My avg. was a whopping 9mph, but who cares? I stopped when I wanted, saw some neat countryside, and enjoyed myself (until the last 5 miles when I just really wanted to be done).
    And on my last tour I was really lonely (and I was surrounded by hundreds of people all doing the same thing). This time I wasn't lonely at all. I really enjoyed the silence and solitude for some reason. I think being with lots of people and not knowing a soul bothered me, but being alone was OK. Does that make sense? Maybe solo touring is my gig instead of big supported tours.

    Anyway, thanks for reading and for all of your encouragement. I love to read your touring stories, and had a really great time trying it on my own.
    Last edited by Tri Girl; 05-26-2010 at 12:35 AM.
    Check out my running blog: www.turtlepacing.blogspot.com

    Cervelo P2C (tri bike)
    Bianchi Eros (commuter/touring road bike)

    1983 Motobecane mixte (commuter/errand bike)
    Cannondale F5 mountain bike

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    4,556
    How cool! What kind of Trek do you have? Thanks for sharing Any plans for a next adventure??
    Most days in life don't stand out, But life's about those days that will...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    where the wind comes sweeping down the plain
    Posts
    5,269
    Thanks! It's an old Trek 720 Multitrack. Found it at a garage sale for $40, and all I had to do was put a rack on and change out the handlebars to trekking bars. I think the lady said she bought it in the early 90's. The rims squeak (despite moving brake pads a million times to toe in correctly), it's covered in stickers so nobody would want to steal it, and it's really heavy, but it's sturdy and gets the job done. I love my garage sale find. It's been a great bike.

    No other plans as of yet, but I'm thinking about it. It worries DH that I go alone, but I told him it's no different than me going out for a 50 mile training ride. I think he knows I'm having serious wanderlust issues right now. I grew up moving every 2-3 years, and I've been here for 15- longer than I've ever lived anywhere by a long shot- and the urge to pick up and leave is really strong. He's rooted here and will never leave (despite being open to moving when we married 11 years ago- I've discovered I'll never get him to leave here ). Hopefully touring will cure my wandering soul.
    Check out my running blog: www.turtlepacing.blogspot.com

    Cervelo P2C (tri bike)
    Bianchi Eros (commuter/touring road bike)

    1983 Motobecane mixte (commuter/errand bike)
    Cannondale F5 mountain bike

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    3,867
    Hey! You're in OK? I'm almost there (in Siloam Springs, AR). I would LOVE to head out on a weekend to meet you and do a ride like that (I can do weekdays, too.)

    Pm me if it sounds like you'd like some company.

    Karen

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    4,556
    Cool - my DH has a 730 from 1997-ish. We've re-built it with Bike Friday H Bars and bar end shifters, but it's a great bike and he LOVES it!! I don't like the new hybrids anywhere near as well

    CA
    Most days in life don't stand out, But life's about those days that will...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    oklahoma
    Posts
    271

    wow

    how fun!!!!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Puget Sound
    Posts
    140
    Hi Tri Girl,
    I can totally relate to your wanderlust. I too married a home town boy (and we live in the house he grew up in). I'm a Navy brat and grew up moving every two to three years. My father retired in Washington in the mid-70s and I've been here since (I do love it here). I've been fortunate to travel a lot on business, but that isn't cutting it anymore - I want road trips!
    So now I'm dreaming of a ride down the Pacific (Canadian border to the Mexico border) and some day a ride across America. I have a road bike, but it sounds like I will need a tour bike for hauling the gear on such trips.
    Anyway, I guess I'll start out with some multi-day trips and work from there. Keep us posted on your adventures.

    - Dog
    We do not take a trip; a trip takes us - John Steinbeck

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Raleigh, North Carolina
    Posts
    287
    I loved reading about your adventure...thanks for sharing it with us!

    I totally get the feeling of loneliness when surrounded by people that you don't know and being at ease when all alone.

    Keep us posted...love a good riding story!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    3,867
    Ha! This thread popped up again just in time.

    Tri-Girl and I are heading out on Monday to do a couple of days around Lake Eufaula in OK.

    I'm getting my gear ready. I've probably spent $250 on gear, including a trailer and a handlebar bag, etc. I'm trying to keep it light, but it is sooo tempting to throw in everything because of the trailer.

    I'm excited, but my hammies are hurting from doing lunges on Friday, and I'm a little worried about my knees holding up. But I'll be fine, right?

    Karen

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    where the wind comes sweeping down the plain
    Posts
    5,269
    Quote Originally Posted by Tuckervill View Post
    But I'll be fine, right?
    Oh, you'll be fine. You'll have no choice (except, I could lock your bike up, attach your trailer to my bike and put you in the trailer and cart you around the lake. But wait- you probably weigh close to 100 lbs and your trailer can only support 45. Sorry.

    Looks like Karen and I will be writing our ride reports when we get home on Tuesday. I'm getting excited... (and my bike is getting heavier by the minute).
    Check out my running blog: www.turtlepacing.blogspot.com

    Cervelo P2C (tri bike)
    Bianchi Eros (commuter/touring road bike)

    1983 Motobecane mixte (commuter/errand bike)
    Cannondale F5 mountain bike

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    S. Lake Tahoe CA and Marion Mass
    Posts
    359
    Can't wait to hear the report! I have wanted to do a short tour with my bf but I haven't found anywhere good to ride to that doesn't involve getting on a very busy road. Never thought of the camping idea, I think I will have to ease him into that! Great thread!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Riding my Luna & Rivendell in the Hudson Valley, NY
    Posts
    8,409
    Very very inspiring, TriGirl- thanks for sharing your adventure with us!
    Lisa
    Our bikes...OurBikes...and my mountain dulcimer blog
    Ruby's Website and My blog
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    8,548
    Hey, you had a great ride! what do you think of shoulders like that with the rumble strip in the middle like that?


    good for you. keep riding!
    Mimi Team TE BIANCHISTA
    for six tanks of gas you could have bought a bike.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    where the wind comes sweeping down the plain
    Posts
    5,269
    Quote Originally Posted by mimitabby View Post
    Hey, you had a great ride! what do you think of shoulders like that with the rumble strip in the middle like that?

    I loved those shoulders! The rumble strip is over towards the lane and I had quite a bit of room on the shoulder to ride worry-free. The speed limit was 70 on that road, but I was never bothered by it because I knew that I had my "safety" zone on the edge. If someone ventured over, hopefully the rumble strips would alert them before they plowed into me. Perhaps it was a false sense of security, but I'd much rather ride on a road like that even with the high speed limit, than ride on a two lane road with no shoulder. I didn't like having to cross them when I went to the convenience store, or to make a left, but luckily I didn't have to ride over them more than twice.
    Check out my running blog: www.turtlepacing.blogspot.com

    Cervelo P2C (tri bike)
    Bianchi Eros (commuter/touring road bike)

    1983 Motobecane mixte (commuter/errand bike)
    Cannondale F5 mountain bike

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Oslo, Norway
    Posts
    4,083
    Great reading I love your campsite, looks beautiful. Camping and travelling alone is quite an experience!
    Winter riding is much less about badassery and much more about bundle-uppery. - malkin

    1995 Kona Cinder Cone commuterFrankenbike/Selle Italia SLR Lady Gel Flow
    2008 white Nakamura Summit Custom mtb/Terry Falcon X
    2000 Schwinn Fastback Comp road bike/Specialized Jett

 

 

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