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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

    Tuckervill and Tri Girl do a tour

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    Here is the story of a short, and extremely hot overnight tour that Tuckervill and I did earlier this week. I'm not a great story teller, but I'll give you the (not so) brief re-cap. I'm sure she'll have good pictures and stories to add to this post also.

    We met early Monday morning at the Visitor Center at Lake Eufaula State Park in Oklahoma. We'd never met before, so I was a little nervous about meeting her and trying to keep her from abandoning the tour once I opened my mouth. I'm a bit of a talker and a bit opinionated, but we hit it off great. It was like meeting an old friend for the first time. We got started about 7:45 and headed down the road to our campsite. It was supposed to be about 30 miles (according to mapmyride), but it was closer to 40. No biggie. The heat, however, proved to be the factor that made this trip very tough. Turns out we picked two of the hottest days this summer to tour (pssst: I would not recommend this to others).

    We traveled on some great roads and saw lots of nice countryside, neat animals, and we met some difficult inclines. Not the kind of hills that are too tough to climb, but when the bike/trailer is loaded down with 30+ pounds of gear, and the heat index is above 100 before noon, they are the kind of hills that make you want to stomp your feet and have a little temper tantrum (something I'm proud that neither one of us did). There were a few fun screaming downhills, and some close encounters with some strong crosswinds, but it was a good ride.

    We stopped for lunch in a very small town and had our very own guide dog to lead us through town. It must've been the town dog, because it seemed to know just where we were going, and once we hit the outskirts of the town, he stopped and disappeared. I wish I could've bungee corded him to the back of my bike and taken him home with me. Good dog.
    After resting in the cool for about an hour, we headed out to conquer the last 8 miles to the campground. It was tough, but we made it (with the help of a couple well-placed rest breaks along the way: did I mention how hot it was??). Our campground was mostly deserted, so we had our pick of the sites. We chose a nice site near the water and enjoyed some napping and swimming in the lake. It was a fun evening.

    Tuesday morning we headed out and had nice roads to ride on. Tuckervill left her trailer locked to the campsite because it was really squirelly and difficult to maneuver. I don't know how she rode 40 with it the day before. She's studly in my book.
    On Tuesday we got to ride by more of the lake on this day, and enjoyed some very pretty scenery (which I somehow neglected to take any pictures of ). We stopped at Braums for an early lunch, and headed out for the final 5 or so miles back to the car. We knew we had to ride on HWY 69, and that part of it was a bridge over the lake, but we didn't know how much of the road was narrow or how much (if any) of a shoulder we would have. We flagged down a sweet woman who gave us a ride over the bridge (which turned out to be rideable, but on a very busy interstate). She said she'd never stopped for anyone before, and wasn't going to, but did. I told her she could now tell everyone that she helped two strangers and didn't even get murdered doing it. She wouldn't even let us pay her for the ride. We were both grateful that she showed kindness to strangers.

    I had a great time (and I hope Karen did, too). Total we rode about 70 miles (which is not much, but carting that heavy bike around is probably worth a few extra credit miles each day).

    I like doing this, and know that I'll keep on doing it, but probably just overnight tours with a loaded bike. I just don't know how those self-contained cross country riders do it. They are amazing.

    Here are a few things I learned:
    1. Don't tour in late July in Oklahoma- it's just too dang hot all day long (even at 6 am).
    2. Don't tour in the heat at all (this one might seem like a repeat of lesson 1, but it's a really important lesson to learn).
    3. Meeting someone you know online isn't as scary as I thought it would be, but if her door had opened up and a big burly man had stepped out, I would've been gone in a flash. (I think I'm a bit paranoid and untrusting- ask her about locking the bikes when we were sitting right in front of them)
    4. Bring alcohol ear drops for after swimming in the lake (I always use them at home, but didn't bring them with me). I got a terrible ear infection that is just killing me.
    5. A cheeseburger and ice cream at 10:30 am should be a weekly requirement during the summer months.
    6. Credit card touring is highly under-rated. I think the next one might be with a small bag on the back, with a big credit card for hotels inside.


    Here are some of my pictures. #1 is of the beautiful horses we saw (saw lots, but this is the only picture), #2 is our guide dog through the town of Porum, #3 is Karen conquering the (damn) hill up the dam at the lake, #4 is an action shot of us riding on the road, and the last one is at the end of our journey.

    Thanks for reading!
    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
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    3,867
    Those pictures are great! Thanks for posting them!

    And you are too kind. What she left out:

    I think I was suffering heat exhaustion at one point, and could not get that damn trailer up the dam hill! I had to stop, even though we were only one dam away from our campsite. Unfortunately, it was all uphill, and I was fried.

    She fed me electrolyte tablets and that certainly helped. Thank heavens I had Tanya, because she saved my butt over and over.

    She also has the most amazing attitude--very positive and upbeat and encouraging. It's what got her through her IM, I'm sure. I'm still inspired by that.

    She taught me that a dip in the lake is just the ticket after a long hot day on the bike.

    I learned that I LOVE my Brooks B72! Love it! The only part of me that didn't hurt was the parts that touched that saddle!

    I learned that I love my '83 Centurion Elite GT, but those downtube shifters have got to go!

    I learned that I hate that Nashbar trailer, but I think I can salvage the relationship. All it needs is a set of training wheels.

    We had a GREAT time, all in all. Don't go when it's too hot. That's just dumb, but we proved we were up to the challenge. We just didn't enjoy it as much.

    I'm proud of us, that's for sure!

    Karen

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Perth, Western Australia
    Posts
    5,318

    coolio

    Coolio ladies!

    Sounds like you both had fun out there & learnt some valuable touring ideas for the future.

    Thanks for sharing the pics!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Belle, Mo.
    Posts
    1,780
    Sounds like you had a great time. I'm just a little east of you in Missouri and you certainly nailed it about the heat but who knew? Up until now it hasn't been bad this year!

    Great pics. Thanks for sharing.
    Claudia

    2009 Trek 7.6fx
    2013 Jamis Satellite
    2014 Terry Burlington

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    steuben county new york
    Posts
    626
    what a very nice story to share with us..thanks..glad things worked out well for both of you. i especially liked the "if her door opened and a big burly man stepped out". I have those same images, hence why i'm leary of meeting new people.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    682
    Thanks for the tour report. Sounds like a nice tour, in spite of the heat, the hills and the trailer issues!

    I always say that cycle touring prepared me better for childbirth than any of the childbirth classes I took--the one thing you take away is that sometimes you just have to put up with a miserable situation because you got yourself into this and there's no easy way out.

    That dog is awesome!

    Sarah

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    3,936
    How fun! Thanks for the report!!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Limbo
    Posts
    8,783
    Hey, what kind of mirror is that?

    And what was wrong with the trailer? Do you think it was you or the trailer?
    2008 Trek FX 7.2/Terry Cite X
    2009 Jamis Aurora/Brooks B-68
    2010 Trek FX 7.6 WSD/stock bontrager

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Blessed to be all over the place!
    Posts
    3,434
    Same kind of mirror I use...but eventually superglue is needed.

    Cool Ride! It does look that was quite a hill you hauled that trailer up!
    If you don't grow where you're planted, you'll never BLOOM - Will Rogers

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    3,867
    Pulling the trailer was not the issue. Getting it off the ground when it was fully loaded was. If you jackknife it, it holds the bike up. If you didn't jackknife it, it pulls the bike over, even with the kickstand (especially with the handlebar bag on). So, I had to jackknife it whenever I stopped.

    I never figured out an easy way to get it moving after jackknifing it. It wasn't overloaded. I was only carrying 33 lbs of gear, and it's rated for 45. I didn't like the torque I felt it was putting on my rear wheel, skewer and frame whenever I tried to stand it up.

    I keep thinking someone with better experience could show me a little trick or something. Or that this Nashbar version works differently than the real BOB trailers. I once saw a guy in CA in the middle of nowhere with a BOB trailer. He was seriously going across country. His trailer was standing up and so was his bike, in line with each other. You just can't balance your gear that well. My bike is a tourer, so it's set up for the load. I just don't know what gives.

    I'm seriously considering putting training wheels on it, though. If anyone knows what I'm doing wrong, I'd really like to be enlightened. I was cursing that thing at the foot of the dam!

    Karen

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Limbo
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    8,783
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Silver View Post
    Same kind of mirror I use...but eventually superglue is needed.
    well, I'll just google "mirror Mr. silver uses + superglue"

    Karen, If you join up with Yahoo Groups there is a C&O Canal forum, I bet someone there knows whats up.
    2008 Trek FX 7.2/Terry Cite X
    2009 Jamis Aurora/Brooks B-68
    2010 Trek FX 7.6 WSD/stock bontrager

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    where the wind comes sweeping down the plain
    Posts
    5,269
    The mirror is from cycleaware. It pops on and off the helmet at will.

    What part needs the superglue Mr.? To hold the mirror on the flexy arm (darn thing comes off easily) or to hold the flexy arm to the helmet?
    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

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    3,867
    I did some googling last night, Zen. There are some kickstands for the BoB trailer on the market. Don't know if they would fit the cheap version. There is also a double kickstand for the bike that attaches in the same place as the regular one. That one would definitely work.

    I think the people who use them without kickstands just lean both trailer and bike against a wall. However, it took a lot of planning ahead to get to a point where I could keep it from falling over. Wide arcs are required. Sometimes you just don't have room for a wide arc. There wasn't a "sweet spot" where it felt balanced, except when I was moving. Once it started falling, it was going over. Even just trying to dismount the bike was a challenge to keep it from falling over.

    I finally did start holding the rack instead of the back of my Brooks to wrestle it up. That's a hard habit to break, not grabbing the saddle!

    Karen

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    foothills of the Ozarks aka Tornado Alley
    Posts
    4,197
    Karen and Tanya--

    I'm most impressed with your tenacity in that hot weather. What a great story to share with kids!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Blessed to be all over the place!
    Posts
    3,434
    Quote Originally Posted by Tri Girl View Post
    What part needs the superglue Mr.? To hold the mirror on the flexy arm (darn thing comes off easily) or to hold the flexy arm to the helmet?
    I have to glue the knob to the helmet...Once there firmly, I put the flexy arm on it and it works great.

    I've only forgotten my mirror on two rides in the last year...and I felt naked and vulnerable without itbut that's probably TMI
    If you don't grow where you're planted, you'll never BLOOM - Will Rogers

 

 

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