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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Longmont, Colorado
    Posts
    23

    Lightbulb First tour idea- for Thanksgiving break

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    Hello ladies!

    I'm new to this forum, but I love the idea of being able to talk to a feminine audience who might (possibly) get as excited as I do over the things that make me happy. Anyway, I thought I'd share an idea I have for my first-ever tour. I have a far-off dream of someday being able to cycle across the United States. I think it would be one great big fun camping trip by bike. I figured I might as well try a little mini-tour and have some fun now. A trip to the library where I got 6 books on touring might have something to do with this sudden desire :P

    Currently I ride my bike to commute to work. I'm a school bus driver, so I go home in between routes. The trip is 4.5 miles one-way, so I was pedaling 18 miles in a day. I've recently drawn out a route with the trip home being 8.5 miles, so I've been trying to do that 13 miles round trip once a day. So far I've done it twice last week There is a hill along the way so I'm wary of trying to tackle it twice a day early on and not being able to go to work towards the end of the week.

    My idea for a tour is this- bike from Longmont, CO where I live to Colorado Springs, CO where my twin (and other immediate family) lives. Probably somewhere around 120-150 miles, not through any mountains. I have Thanksgiving break from Nov 6th through the 25th, so plenty of time.

    My husband has pretty much made it clear that I am not going without him, but also that he would "give it a go". My mom has also expressed some genuine interest in going with me. With both my husband and I going, that means I also need to bring our "kids" with us: an 8-year-old 40lb beagle Grunt and a 16-year-old(?) jack russel terrier Jackjack. I have a child trailer, but I need to teach them to ride in it. We had a good start a couple months ago.

    I'm not entirely sure what weather should be like other than cold. A little bit of snow wouldn't ordinarily stop me, but with others going along, I wouldn't want to attempt slippery conditions (also I've never pulled the trailer through snow). So that may be a deal-breaker. I don't have any camping gear other than sleeping bags, so we'll probably have to go for a hotel room (pet-approved hopefully, though I've had my fair share of smuggling the pooches into a room during our cross-country move last summer). With such a short trip, we shouldn't need to carry a lot of gear- just tools and pet food most likely. Plus, if everything goes wrong I can just call someone for a rescue mission.


    I'm a little worried about how my mom would be able to keep up, or even my husband, since they don't ride often. My mom only rides a bike recreationally, and my husband is an on-again-off-again commuter who tends to accept car rides whenever possible. His route is 2.5 or 3 miles one-way (to be fair, he is riding a horrible cheapie mountain bike which is ill-fitting, and the rear wheel currently wobbles slightly on its axle). Since I'm still trying to work on my own comfort in regards to clothing (particularly underwear), that has me worried for them also. I suppose the only real option is to try it and see what happens.



    So, that's my idea. Any encouragement, ideas, advice, or suggestions would be great.
    I don't yet have a set route to take, that will be looked at sometime this week I suppose.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Nebraska
    Posts
    1,193
    Give it a shot. 150 miles really isn't all that far. You don't have to put in long days - it's not a race, after all.

    I'd leave the camping equipment at home. This time of year the weather can turn foul in a heartbeat, and a warm shower will sound pretty durn good by the end of the day.

    Do some planning, make motel reservations, and have a blast!
    Give big space to the festive dog that make sport in the roadway. Avoid entanglement with your wheel spoke.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    But check out your husband's rear wheel. Maybe it just needs to be tightened in the dropouts. Or the bearing cups and cones need to be adjusted. Or maybe it is way out of true. Or a spoke is broken.

    And then have fun! I think it is very cool that you spouse and mom want to do it too.
    Trek Madone 4.7 WSD
    Cannondale Quick4
    1969 Schwinn Collegiate, original owner
    Terry Classic


    Richard Feynman: “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.”

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,446
    Sounds like a good idea. I would buy some good fleece coats for the dogs, wind can be very cold. Maybe also do something to the trailors to inhibit the wind they feel.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Boise Idaho
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    1,192
    Way to go on the plan and the adventure. Let's hope the weather is your friend. Do make sure the bikes are ready to roll and the trailer if you take it. AND do invest in some good cycling shorts.
    Another thought - perhaps the DH and MIL would want to share sag wagon duties. Whatever you decide, go with an open mind, don't focus on the time it takes to get from point a to point b, just enjoy the ride.
    Sky King
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Longmont, Colorado
    Posts
    23
    I have a fleecy blanket that I could cut up and make puppy coats out of, that's a good idea even if my husband will roll his eyes at the idea of dog clothes. (I've wanted to make them raincoats too. I love Colorado since Jackjack has lost his allergy completely, but I miss making his protective overalls)

    The trailer has a cloth floor, so I was thinking I might be able to use the rest of the thin plywood to create a floor. That way the two puppies aren't falling into each other all the time and they'd have warmer butts, I'm guessing. As for wind, the trailer I have is a nearly-new gift of an Instep Journey (it's green!!). Seats two children and has a removable canopy with a big mesh window in front and back, but also a plastic weather shield that rolls down, so if its very cold and windy I'll keep that closed. My biggest concern is that it is NOT water-proof, but it's not likely that we'll ride in any sort of precipitation anyway.

    Dong a very small bit of poking around, I think my husband may have a broken axle. I have a freebie mountain bike that will likely donate her wheels to get his bike back in shape. (His bike is named Vandal because it always has to steal parts from others, first to become a rideable bike, and now to keep it rideable, hehe.)

    I know I'll be in the right mindset, I just hope everyone else stays happy too. It should be so much fun! I'm very excited.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,099
    How many days do you realistically plan to ride there and back? There's a huge difference between riding 18 miles a day and 30 or 40. Add in the cold factor, too, pulling dogs in a trailer, and riding with people who aren't as fit as you. I second the idea of hotels and maybe your mom and DH sharing sag duties. Maybe I lack the sense of adventure you have, but I know I would want to train a lot more for this type of trip. There's nothing worse than feeling miserable on a multi day trip.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by redeyedtreefr0g View Post
    I have a fleecy blanket that I could cut up and make puppy coats out of, that's a good idea even if my husband will roll his eyes at the idea of dog clothes. (I've wanted to make them raincoats too. I love Colorado since Jackjack has lost his allergy completely, but I miss making his protective overalls)

    The trailer has a cloth floor, so I was thinking I might be able to use the rest of the thin plywood to create a floor. That way the two puppies aren't falling into each other all the time and they'd have warmer butts, I'm guessing. As for wind, the trailer I have is a nearly-new gift of an Instep Journey (it's green!!). Seats two children and has a removable canopy with a big mesh window in front and back, but also a plastic weather shield that rolls down, so if its very cold and windy I'll keep that closed. My biggest concern is that it is NOT water-proof, but it's not likely that we'll ride in any sort of precipitation anyway.

    Dong a very small bit of poking around, I think my husband may have a broken axle. I have a freebie mountain bike that will likely donate her wheels to get his bike back in shape. (His bike is named Vandal because it always has to steal parts from others, first to become a rideable bike, and now to keep it rideable, hehe.)

    I know I'll be in the right mindset, I just hope everyone else stays happy too. It should be so much fun! I'm very excited.
    I use a kid's trailer for the dog. It does help to put in a solid floor with thin plywood. Otherwise the dog had no support. I also through a big fleece blanket in for her comfort.

    Oh, and everyone should get a couple pair of padded bike shorts or liners.
    Trek Madone 4.7 WSD
    Cannondale Quick4
    1969 Schwinn Collegiate, original owner
    Terry Classic


    Richard Feynman: “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.”

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Longmont, Colorado
    Posts
    23
    Well, my husband mentioned today that maybe Colorado Springs isn't such a great idea. He doesn't want to take the dogs and is willing to bargain with our roommate for babysitting. He's not too keen on trying to do that sort of distance when we have my mom along, who he believes (probably rightly so) that she will keep a slower pace. He doesn't want to take up the entire holiday break with this trip, and he also mentioned holiday traffic as a concern. He made it quite clear to me (since I was hearing a ton of reasons why he didn't want to do this trip at all, and must have looked quite crestfallen about it) that he was willing to do the miles, just maybe in a giant local circle or something in one day instead.

    I am at a loss of where to go instead of to the very specific goal of: my twin's house for Thanksgiving dinner....

    We don't have lot of money, but I was thinking of going to try on the cheap Schwinn brand padded bicycle shorts. Maybe they would work?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    Well, how about people's suggestion about taking a vehicle too and have mom and your spouse take turns driving? You could do 30 miles a day and it won't take up the entire vacation. Especially if you just do it one way. Thanksgiving traffic may be bad right around Thanksgiving but you could do the trip earlier.

    What size shorts do you need? I might have a pair of used ones I could send you.
    Trek Madone 4.7 WSD
    Cannondale Quick4
    1969 Schwinn Collegiate, original owner
    Terry Classic


    Richard Feynman: “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.”

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Longmont, Colorado
    Posts
    23
    I dunno, but that would be awesome. I'm 5'2" with 28" inseam. Petite with 28" waist and 38" hip measurements as of a month ago, 120-125 pounds. Does that help?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Oslo, Norway
    Posts
    4,083
    I think your tour idea is awesome. I completely get why you want your specific goal, to where your family lives. It's tremendously satisfying to cover a distance to something that's important to you, under your own steam. But entire days spent being uncomfortable has a way of being very demotivating. I haven't done many long bike tours, but I've done some long-distance hiking, and days with bad weather, or boring surroundings, or with some minor injury really sucks the joy out of things.

    Trailers are terrific for hauling stuff. But pulling a trailer is hard work, and I wouldn't count on doing that all day unless I had to.

    You're obviously the most motivated, so anyway you can wrangle that you ride the whole distance, and anyone else just joins you every now and then, or at a hotel for the night, sounds like a good idea. You'll ride that much faster and more comfortably if you're on your own, without hauling stuff.

    Let us know how it works out!
    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
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  13. #13
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    Apr 2011
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    I'll pm you.
    Trek Madone 4.7 WSD
    Cannondale Quick4
    1969 Schwinn Collegiate, original owner
    Terry Classic


    Richard Feynman: “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.”

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Longmont, Colorado
    Posts
    23
    Thanks lph, I will

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    105
    I did a short weekend tour in the spring where I was the most motivated and I felt responsible for everyone enjoying the ride. No one enjoyed it as much as me. I think the idea of the sag wagon is really good your goal is good too. You will love it. I did second longer tour in summer alone! That was awesome!
    _________
    1996 Kona Kula-14
    2011 Surly LHT-46

 

 

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