Touring - First self-supported bike tour completed!
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So my first tour officially ends in ~16 hours when I step onto the Amtrak train that will take me from Fargo, ND back home to the Washington DC area (32 hour train ride WOOOO!).
I joined with my brother and two friends in the Adirondacks and we rode together for nearly 2,000 miles south of Lake Ontario, into Canada and around Lake Erie, back into the US via Buffalo, across and up Michigan to Traverse City, then Mackinaw to Ashland WI and finishing in Fargo.
I'm going home but the remaining trio will continue to Anacortes, WA and then down the CA coast. It's been great and everything with my bike and gear worked flawlessly! (Surly cross check and Ortlieb panniers w/ tubus racks). I just wanted to thank everyone for contributing tips and touring information to this forum, so uncertain first timers like me can look it up and benefit.
Hundreds of photos are here:http://www.flickr.com/photos/xcountrybiketour/
Congratulations! When you can tell me about loading your bike on the Amtrac. Did they have bike boxes that you could buy? We will be in Minot at the end of Sept. and want to take the Amtrac to Seattle with our bikes & gear. Any info would help.
08-18-08, 12:35 PM
Glad it worked out for you HOCAM and lets hope that you have your next tour in mind.
Although I enjoy any chance to tour I can still remember my first, around Lake Ontario. Nothing I have done since compares to the excitment that preceded that trip. I also would be interested in how the AMTRAC part worked out for you. Let us know the details.
08-18-08, 01:04 PM
Don't let the touring bug bite!
08-18-08, 01:18 PM
Congrats on your accomplishment.
Last fall, a couple years back, we met a Canadian who started out on a day ride, and we ran across him in New Mexico riding south. He was on his way to New Orleans, and Florida.
We agreed to stop and have lunch at the bottom of the mountain, and he entertained us with his stories. It's surprising how many bike shops, newspaper reporters, and fellow bikers, were "sponsoring" his trip with meals, beds, and needed bike parts. He came down that mountain at about 40 MPH, the same as our motorcycles.......LOL
He started out on vacation, since he had 2 weeks coming, and was into his fourth month, after seeing the entire west coast. When he called and asked his boss for a leave of absence, near the end of his two weeks, his boss told him NO! So he quit. We bought him lunch and stuck a $20 bill in his backpack, and wished him well.
His next call was to his father, who promised to keep him on the road until he got home!
It will be a once in a lifetime experience, which will be retold thousands of times, hopefully to his grandchildren.
Congrats to his dad, for recognizing the importance.
Wanderer, I think there is some strong correlation between the amount someone is amazed by your trip and how much help they offer if given the opportunity!
The first tour has been great and after 30+ hours on Amtrak trains I'm home!
For the guys wanting to know about the Amtrak experience, it's surprisingly easy but limited to certain stations. You MUST check your bike and retrieve it at a station with "checked baggage" capability, otherwise it's a no go. That really limits you to most major stations, which is a shame.
They do have bike boxes for $10 at most places, which seemed a bit larger than the average bicycle store bike box (I saw one in Chicago). My friends and I decided to go the free route and asked a bike shop if we could have some for free, which they were happy to do (I think any bike shop would).
I just got home, so I haven't unpacked the bike yet but I'm crossing my fingers about it being ok.
Also they only charge $5 to check a bike, beats the airlines!
08-20-08, 08:45 PM
Congrats!! It won't be too long now before we start hearing about your adventures all around the world...
08-20-08, 09:30 PM
I saw in some of your pictures you were in Maine and New Hampshire, also?
I hope so nancy! I think I'll stick to some 2-7 day tours while I'm in grad school and follow up with another 6+ week tour after graduation. Hopefully something in Europe!
sirpoopalot, my brother and two friends started in Bar Harbor Maine but I joined up with them in Newcomb, NY so there are pictures from places I wasn't. Soon they'll upload more from Montana, and I won't be in those either :(
08-21-08, 01:49 PM
Had fun didn't you?
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