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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 11-20-12, 10:41 AM   #26
Neil_B
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Maybe I am over thinking it but I equate touring with cooking. You learn the small steps before you make the bigger stems. Example: You dont make a sauce without knowing each component of it first.

I might think a small tour would be best first and then graduating up to a longer tour perhaps not supported. I dont know. Just a thought.
Heaven forbid any bike tour becomes a "sauce."

Seriously, while I might overplan and overthink a tour, that's a reflection on my personality, not on touring.
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Old 11-20-12, 12:31 PM   #27
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Hmm, you are in Florida. You can host the Iron Chef when he rides the East Coast Greenway next year.
I could, actually. It goes right through my town.
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Old 11-20-12, 01:00 PM   #28
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Wow that is neat.
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Old 11-20-12, 02:57 PM   #29
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Heaven forbid any bike tour becomes a "sauce."

Seriously, while I might overplan and overthink a tour, that's a reflection on my personality, not on touring.
Perhaps I should clarify. Overthinking was meant to reference the concept of touring, not any particular tour. Touring is nothing more than moving from place to place on your bike with whatever you want/need to make the trip pleasurable for you. When it comes to an actual tour, I am a serious planner, at least when it comes to short trips that start/end far from home. It's my vacation so I want to eliminate as much "work" during the trip as possible by conducting extensive research before the trip. That involves planning where I am going to sleep each night and having some idea of what I am going to find in each town I pass through and stay in. Some people are fine with "I'll ride to this place and then look around for a church or firehouse that might let me stay there. If I can't find anything, I will move on and/or find a place to scamp." That's not me. I also like to make sure I eat well while on tour, so research grocery sources along each day's route. If I find a Safeway that's 15 miles from my overnight town I will likely shop there rathern than rely on the potentially small store in the overnight town that may or may not have a good selection or may be closed by the time I arrive. Some people are fine with taking chances and settling for the emergency supply of rice and beans. Again, that's not me. Also, running into problems can cause delays that can cause you to miss your flight, which can be costly.

I researched the hell out of last year's Montana trip. I knew the location of just about every campground along the intended route and which towns had motels, restaraunts, grocery stores and bike shops. Because I monitored road conditions in questionable areas, a week or so before we left I found out that one of the mountain passes we were supposed to ride was washed out and might not re-open by the time we got there. So I did more research and came up with a Plan B for camping and eating work around the closure. The pass was still closed when we got there. A few days before we had fortuitously run into someone from ACA who told us a different way to get to the alternate campground I had incorporated into Plan B. We took it and it was terrific.

When I rode from Seattle to Cortez, CO solo to meet up with some friends, I had no hard arrival date so I had much more flexibility. I actually prefer to have that luxury, but my job makes that impossible.

Chef: As noted, starting with a shorter, supported tour is fine to get you accustomed to riding every day. If it involves camping, it will help you get used to that aspect. But what a tour like that will not do is get you accustomed to living with the minimal amount of stuff you are carrying/can carry. I did my fourth Cycle Oregon this year. We could each take a 60 lb. bag that was transported by semi each day. That allowed for a large, 4P tent, camp chairs, 4-5 sets of riding clothes, more than two pair of underwear and extra clothing items that I would never carry on a unsupported tour. We also got fed. And, or course, there was the availability of SAG support, although I never used it except to borrow a floor pump. In short, unsupported touring adds several new dimensions and requires much effort aside from the physical effort involved with pedalling a fully-loaded bike.
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Old 11-21-12, 03:52 AM   #30
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Chef: As noted, starting with a shorter, supported tour is fine to get you accustomed to riding every day. If it involves camping, it will help you get used to that aspect. But what a tour like that will not do is get you accustomed to living with the minimal amount of stuff you are carrying/can carry. I did my fourth Cycle Oregon this year. We could each take a 60 lb. bag that was transported by semi each day. That allowed for a large, 4P tent, camp chairs, 4-5 sets of riding clothes, more than two pair of underwear and extra clothing items that I would never carry on a unsupported tour. We also got fed. And, or course, there was the availability of SAG support, although I never used it except to borrow a floor pump. In short, unsupported touring adds several new dimensions and requires much effort aside from the physical effort involved with pedalling a fully-loaded bike.
Thank you for the info.

Where was your first tour at? I am still playing around with that. I am thinking the GAP but then there is the tour the journalist when on in NY I think it was.

This may not be an appropriate question so I apologize upfront but would you be willing to share a cue sheet for a local tour?
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Old 11-21-12, 06:28 AM   #31
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Thank you for the info.

Where was your first tour at? I am still playing around with that. I am thinking the GAP but then there is the tour the journalist when on in NY I think it was.

This may not be an appropriate question so I apologize upfront but would you be willing to share a cue sheet for a local tour?
Do an overnight trip to a friend's house or a hotel.
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Old 11-21-12, 06:38 AM   #32
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I wonder if there is a such thing as easing into touring either by doing a fully supported tour then doing a credit card tour (staying in hotels for example) to fully loaded touring with camping. Or perhaps going for a two night tour and then increasing distance and days.
My first "tour" was 150 miles in two days, with a B&B as the overnight point. That ride hurt, it was the first time I'd done more than 40 miles in a day (the split was 83/65) and the first time I'd seen real hills on the bike. I had to walk most of the last three miles as it was relentlessly uphill, in the dark. The shower that night felt truly divine.

I've done a few multi-day rides since then, with at least one friend, and always using some form of B&B type accommodation. Two or three of us will share a room to keep costs down, and so far it's worked pretty well. I don't know that I'd want the expense of a B&B and pub meal at the end of every day on a longer tour but certainly for shorter ones it means I can focus on the cycling rather than just how much gear I have to haul and what conditions might be like at the end of the day.
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Old 11-21-12, 07:56 AM   #33
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I wonder if there is a such thing as easing into touring either by doing a fully supported tour then doing a credit card tour (staying in hotels for example) to fully loaded touring with camping. Or perhaps going for a two night tour and then increasing distance and days.
I would guess that would be a viable way of testing the waters. There's no shortage of supported touring options out there. They can range from organized group tours like RAGBRAI and the like, to fully supported small-group vacation outings like those offered by Sojourn, Vermont Bicycle Tours and others (I always wanted to do one of Michigan Bicycle Tours' trips, but they went out of business some time ago, I believe). The big group rides are pretty reasonable in cost, but expect to pay pretty dearly for the vacation types, though I understand the accommodations are worth it. If those go well and you want a little more adventure on the next one, then plan out your own credit card tours.
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Old 11-21-12, 08:37 AM   #34
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I would guess that would be a viable way of testing the waters. There's no shortage of supported touring options out there. They can range from organized group tours like RAGBRAI and the like, to fully supported small-group vacation outings like those offered by Sojourn, Vermont Bicycle Tours and others (I always wanted to do one of Michigan Bicycle Tours' trips, but they went out of business some time ago, I believe). The big group rides are pretty reasonable in cost, but expect to pay pretty dearly for the vacation types, though I understand the accommodations are worth it. If those go well and you want a little more adventure on the next one, then plan out your own credit card tours.
Thanks for the info.

FYI We are in your neck of woods this week. Got in last night and we ate at Yatz. Awesome Creole food.
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Old 11-21-12, 12:23 PM   #35
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You would love to see my canoe setup when I was a teen. Did 14 days in Algonquin Park in Ontario with a fishing pole a backpack, pup tent and a bunch of cloths in a garbage bag. I could likely have went without the extra cloths I pretty much wore the same set for two weeks!
Did the same thing when I was 14 when my cousin and I took our first canoe trip in Quetico and the BWCA. It was a wonderful time. Even though the tent fell on us a few times (it had a center pole, vulnerable to knocking over), even though one of my eyes was swelled shut from a mosquito bite, and even though we were using outdated maps so we ended up slogging through muck on an abandoned portage. I sure did improve my orienteering skills!
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Old 11-21-12, 12:23 PM   #36
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Thank you for the info.

Where was your first tour at? I am still playing around with that. I am thinking the GAP but then there is the tour the journalist when on in NY I think it was.

This may not be an appropriate question so I apologize upfront but would you be willing to share a cue sheet for a local tour?
My first tour started in Seattle with only my second ride on a fully-loaded bike and ended more than three months later in Ocean City, NJ. This was taken from the road on the sixth day:



North Cascades Highway near Washington Pass. You can't tell, but it was snowing.

Jen did the Bon Ton Roulet. I did it in '06. Nice enough supported event that's not too far of a drive. They usually have different mileage options each day. Not a whole lot of hills, but the ones they do go over are oftent steep. The Finger Lakes were formed by a glacier that moved south then retreated north. As a result, it's pretty mellow when you are riding north and south along one of the lakes, but when you have to climb over a ridge to get to another lake, things can get ugly fast. The year I did it someone snapped a photo of a line of people walking up some really nasty climb. I made it without walking, but I had to "deliver the mail" to make it up without doing so. At the end of the day, a woman who just happened to live in Cherry Hill said something funny that I will never forget when I asked her how she liked the climb: "When I came around the corner and saw you were barely moving I figured I had no chance so I got off and walked."

Locally, you could ride the SRT and Perkiomen Trails to Green Lane Park and camp there. Another option is to get the Adventure Cycling Association Atlantic Coast route map for Winsor Locks to Norristown. You can follow that from Conshohocken to Upper Black Eddy along the Delaware River where there is a private campground run by a nice man. Better yet, have the Mrs. drive you to Port Jervis, NY (about 2.5 hrs.), camp just outside of town in NJ and do a three-day back to Philly. Really nice ride that takes you through the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area and down the river to Lambertville and New Hope before heading "inland." Hoping to ride that section again on my way to my high school reunion in western MA next June.
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Old 11-21-12, 06:31 PM   #37
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Indy,

Thank you for the help. I just purchased the Windsor Locks, CT, to Conshohocken, PA
(297 mi.), and Conshohocken, PA, to Richmond, VA (389 mi.)

Though I will not be able to do the full distance at this time, I will still give it a whirl.

Would you recommend an out and back sorta tour or a loop? This is where I need a little advice. From your experience, is it best to plan a route that is not on the AC map using google maps (like if I want to ride a loop for example)?

Have you ever ridden the potomac heritage route?

I did not find one titled Winsor Locks to Norristown.
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Old 11-21-12, 10:51 PM   #38
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I did the GAP & C&O tour with just a backpack containing clothes for going into town. Other than that, I carried the clothes on my back.

You can read about my misadventures at Crazy Guy on a Bike.

I only mention this because I think it's a great experience to get started in bike touring. You can spend more time getting used to actually touring without having to spend so much effort on navigation. Plus, since it's a well known cycling route, there are plenty of opportunities should you find you forgot something along the way.
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Old 11-21-12, 11:45 PM   #39
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I did the GAP & C&O tour with just a backpack containing clothes for going into town. Other than that, I carried the clothes on my back.

You can read about my misadventures at Crazy Guy on a Bike.

I only mention this because I think it's a great experience to get started in bike touring. You can spend more time getting used to actually touring without having to spend so much effort on navigation. Plus, since it's a well known cycling route, there are plenty of opportunities should you find you forgot something along the way.
Also, there are lots of Bike Forums people along the way or nearby.
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Old 11-22-12, 06:33 AM   #40
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Thought about the GAP or one of the tours Neil did: http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?..._id=11094&v=GF

Did order some maps from AC.
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Old 11-22-12, 06:49 AM   #41
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Indy,

Thank you for the help. I just purchased the Windsor Locks, CT, to Conshohocken, PA
(297 mi.), and Conshohocken, PA, to Richmond, VA (389 mi.)

Though I will not be able to do the full distance at this time, I will still give it a whirl.

Would you recommend an out and back sorta tour or a loop? This is where I need a little advice. From your experience, is it best to plan a route that is not on the AC map using google maps (like if I want to ride a loop for example)?

Have you ever ridden the potomac heritage route?

I did not find one titled Winsor Locks to Norristown.
Conchy to Richmond passes by the home of a certain recovering knee replacement patient you know. You've ridden there.

Norristown is just up the Schuylkill River Trail from Conchy.
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Old 11-22-12, 07:02 AM   #42
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Conchy to Richmond passes by the home of a certain recovering knee replacement patient you know. You've ridden there.

Norristown is just up the Schuylkill River Trail from Conchy.
Trust me, I would plan to stop by! Its on the list for sure. I need to drive up your way and say hey anyway.
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Old 11-22-12, 07:06 AM   #43
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Trust me, I would plan to stop by! Its on the list for sure. I need to drive up your way and say hey anyway.
And take me to lunch.
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Old 11-22-12, 07:12 AM   #44
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And take me to lunch.
I am down with that. What does the end of Dec look like for you?
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Old 11-22-12, 07:15 AM   #45
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I am down with that. What does the end of Dec look like for you?
Saturday and Sunday are OK.
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Old 11-22-12, 12:04 PM   #46
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Weekdays not good? Like someday in the last week of Dec? Weekends are rough for me.
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Old 11-22-12, 09:13 PM   #47
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Weekdays not good? Like someday in the last week of Dec? Weekends are rough for me.
No, weekdays are not good in December. Sorry!
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Old 11-23-12, 05:50 AM   #48
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No, weekdays are not good in December. Sorry!
Perhaps another time then.
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Old 11-26-12, 09:51 AM   #49
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Conchohocken. Norristown. What's the difference?

Loop. Out and back. What's the difference other than riding the same roads twice?

The advantage to following the ACA routes is that they: (1) pick bike-friendlier routes when possible and (2) show servivces, such as campground, along the way. You can plan your own route and find servivces along the way yourself if you want. In Montana last year we spent about 2.5 days on ACA's Trans Am route. The rest I researched myself. I am planning to ride to western MA this summer for my high school reunion. I plan to follow ACA's Atlantic Coast route off and on for some of the trip. The rest I am planning myself. Even if that route didn't exist, I would still use the same roads between New Hope and Portland, PA because I know them are they are really nice.

Don't make this complicated. Get the necessary gear. Plan a trip. Ride. As noted, do a local, two or three-day trip first for the purpose of acclimating yourself to the activity. To understand the energy required to pedal a loaded bike. To understand how it handles on hills and in crosswinds. To understand how to use the gearing to climb comfortably and efficiently. To get a feel for how much ground you can cover in an hour. To understand how you accompplish all the other things you need to do off the bike, like making and striking camp.

Here is a simple route from Woodcrest to Belleplain State Forest:

http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path/belleplain

There is a small market and a pizza/pasta place in Woodbine. Both are on CR 550/Dehirsch Ave.
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