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Thread: First Bike Trip

  1. #1
    Don't Taunt Happyfunball cyclochica's Avatar
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    First Bike Trip

    I signed up for my first bike trip this morning. The trip is biking through Williamsburg, VA (I may finally make it to the Governor's Palace, yipppeeeee) one weekend in June. I am really excited because I love Colonial Williamsburg a lot, and it should be fun.

    I have two problems to deal with before I go. The first is that I have no idea what to pack. I know I need my cycling clothes, but what about non cycling activities like dinner and the ice cream social? Should I just pack a nice skirt, shorts and tee shirts? Would I look stupid with a suitcase or should I throw it all in a gym bag and call it a day? What kind of bike gear do I need to make sure I have?

    Second problem. The boyfriend won't go, but I feel guilty going without him. In the two years we have been together I have asked, begged, and attempted to bribe him into going on a bike trip (he's not athletic but he does ride his mtb occassionally, usually after being brow beaten or bribed depending on my mood). I gave up a year ago, and finally got frustrated enough to start biking with other people and quit waiting for him to do stuff with me. But even with this resolve to do the things that make me happy, I still feel guilty. I am also angry that he won't even try. Should I just ignore it and go about the business of getting ready for my trip?

    Thanks.
    There can be only one.

  2. #2
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Originally posted by cyclochica
    I signed up for my first bike trip this morning. .

    I have two problems to deal with before I go. The first is that I have no idea what to pack. I know I need my cycling clothes, but what about non cycling activities like dinner and the ice cream social? Should I just pack a nice skirt, shorts and tee shirts? Would I look stupid with a suitcase or should I throw it all in a gym bag and call it a day? What kind of bike gear do I need to make sure I have?

    Thanks.
    Sounds like a lot of fun. BUt, I am unclear as to what the sleeping arrangements will be? Is it supported? Motels? Tenting? Would make a LOT of difference in what you bring.

    On tours I have been on, just about anything goes as far as suitcase, etc. I.e., on the Ride the Rockies, the most popular carrying device is a big trash bag on wheels. People throw everything in it and roll it to their tent site. These are transported by truck from bivouac to bivouac. Again depends on sleeping arrangements. Certainly take what ever makes you feel comfortable. Again, everything seems acceptable.

    Originally posted by cyclochica
    Second problem. The boyfriend won't go, but I feel guilty going without him. In the two years we have been together I have asked, begged, and attempted to bribe him into going on a bike trip (he's not athletic but he does ride his mtb occassionally, usually after being brow beaten or bribed depending on my mood). I gave up a year ago, and finally got frustrated enough to start biking with other people and quit waiting for him to do stuff with me. But even with this resolve to do the things that make me happy, I still feel guilty. I am also angry that he won't even try. Should I just ignore it and go about the business of getting ready for my trip?

    Thanks.
    I guess I see a difficult long-term relationship here if you are really into biking and he won't share this with you. My wife and I generally share a lot of things.

    But, certainly do NOT feel guilty, and, yes, ignore the poop!!
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  3. #3
    Kev
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    Feel guilty!!! Never Seriously you can not make someone enjoy the same things you do. You are two seperate people, and will enjoy different things. Hopefuly you enjoy alot of the same things also, but having different interests can be a good thing, since no matter how much you love someone there are times you need some time apart. Go out enjoy you're trip, and don't feel guilty. Has he never done anything without you?

  4. #4
    Gordon P
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    You sound excited about this trip and I am sure you will become addicted to cycle touring. Yeah, take nice cloths, the key to this is how they a packed. I found that rolling them up and securing with an elastic band would keep most of the wrinkles out and minimizes room. If it is for a weekend consider one night semi-formal and two-nights casual. Cloths that co-ordinate together makes dressing easy while traveling light.

    In regards to your partner, I would say get rid of him. Just kidding. It really depends on how problematic this is; is he going to give you the cold shoulder before and after the trip? I would find a girlfriend to enjoy this activity with and consider it a girl’s weekend away. In the future you may want to do other trips or even do a cycling trip on an annual bases. Many dynamic relationships have compatible activities as well as separate ones. It is unfortunate you can’t do this activity together and I just hope you have other compatible interests in your relationship. You have nothing to feel guilty about, include him in you plans if he is interested and show him the photographs when you return.
    Have a great time.

  5. #5
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    If you are going sag, it is really easy. Find taking as little as possible a needed goal. I found all I need was two sets of street clothes.. The trips lasted a week. Need like 3 changes of bike clothes. Sometimes the bike clothes don't dry, should you wash them out each night.. I try to do double duty. Example use swim wear as clothes for around the camp, should you be staying at a camp. Going sag will allow you to take more stuff. I find running shorts work great for times when you are wet. Showers, etc..
    I have the same problem with my wife. I can't feel guilty..She is stubborn. I keep working on her, by displaying my enthusism. She says maybe get on the bike, later when she is better fit...I try to entice her, by planning rides in places she loves, like the Loire Valley.
    I assure you, if she resented my need for the likes of cycle trips- we would have additional problems. So the guilt would then be two way..

  6. #6
    Senior Member mike's Avatar
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    Pack light. Don't bring two of anything except socks and underwear.

    You can hand wash/rinse out your bike clothes in the evening and they will dry by morning.

    Bring one pair of dark colored light-weight long-pants and a light long-sleeve shirt for evening stuff. If it is hot, roll up your shirt sleeves or you can even wear your biking jersey.

    Don't feel quilty about your mate not going. Couples that stay together the longest can go on separate vacations. You not going because of him, or him being forced to go because of you are not good for your relationship. The clear answer if for you both to feel comfortable enough with your relationship to do things separately.
    Mike

  7. #7
    Don't Taunt Happyfunball cyclochica's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the tips guys, now I am more excited than before. What I know so far about the trip is that we will be staying in the dorms at William & Mary, and the trip is a Friday through Sunday. Most of my meals are covered. I am pretty sure I can pack my clothes in such a way that I can get them in my gym bag. Especially if I roll them up.

    As for bike stuff, should I have extra tires and tubes just in case? Or just tubes and a patch kit, which I have with me on my normal rides? Should I be prepared to lock my bike up? On trips like this are you allowed to keep your bike with you? I am not so sure I could sleep if my bike was locked up outside.

    Thanks again for the info, you guys are the best. I'll post more info as I get it.
    There can be only one.

  8. #8
    Don't Taunt Happyfunball cyclochica's Avatar
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    I talked to my best friend about the trip and the BF not going. She said what will be will be and to make sure I take pictures, have fun, and bring back presents :-) So no more feeling guilty for me.
    There can be only one.

  9. #9
    Gordon P
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    As for bike stuff, should I have extra tires and tubes just in case? Or just tubes and a patch kit, which I have with me on my normal rides? Should I be prepared to lock my bike up? On trips like this are you allowed to keep your bike with you? I am not so sure I could sleep if my bike was locked up outside.
    As long as your tires are in good shape I wouldn’t bother, unless you have a folding tire, then why not take it with you it is only an extra 500-800 grams. Tubes, patch kit and pump are essential as well as a spoke tool, multi-tool and chain lube. Take your bike in for a tune-up about a week before you go to make sure everything is in good working order, particularly the tires, rims, brakes and chain. Always take a lock, as you never know what is going to happen and you will sightsee along the way. I always lock my bike regardless how much assurance someone will give me, if your bike gets stolen it is your loss not the person giving you the assurance. If this is an organized tour ask for some reference to find out how they operate. Feel free to call or e-mail the hotel to find out if they have a bike shed or if they are allowed in your room. I have refused to stay at places for this reason. Maps, compass and a note pad are also important.

    Also, medical and theft insurance is something to look into. Find out if your insurance will ship you and your stuff back home and cover ambulance costs etc. I am not sure how private insurance works, so contact your broker for advice, sometimes sporting activities and equipment are not covered.

  10. #10
    Look Ma, NO hands!
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    I love to ride, my wife hates it! I love to work in the yard, she hates it! Yet, there are many things we enjoy doing togather. We have a wonderfull marrage and we are comfortable with each others likes and dislikes. We don't always understand each other but we are best friends and enjoy each others company.

    Take the trip, enjoy yourself, have fun, come back refreshed and renewed!


    One of my coworkers and I are planning a century trip soon and both our wives think we are bonkers!

  11. #11
    Senior Member Dchiefransom's Avatar
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    Take money to buy a tire if you have a serious problem. Many organized rides carry new tires in the SAG wagon, or the local LBS supporting the ride can zip one out in a SAG for you. The folding tire is a very good idea. Something that I always carry that none of the people with me do, is tire boots. I get these at the LBS. They are like a really thick self-adhesive patch, and go inside the tire for anything larger than a tiny puncture. VERY handy. Always have your multi-tool and patch kit, plus spare tubes on every ride. One of the handiest things you can carry is a couple of extra screws for your shoe cleats. If you have clipless pedals, these can be a trip saver. You won't even notice them in your saddle bag. Tape them together to keep them organized.
    This sounds like a great trip, so the most important thing will be to HAVE FUN.

  12. #12
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    Chica,

    Regarding your boyfriend: I'm at the other end of the spectrum: my wife can't ride and I could spend a good part of my life on a bike... two weeks at a time. I have one month of holidays in the Summer and I reserve some of it for a bike trip (last 3 years with our older daughter), but I also keep some family time. A month-long bike trip is out of the question, but I certainly want to keep my one-week or two-week tour.
    So do it and don't feel guilty because you won't be with your boyfriend. It's nice to miss him (I hope), but consider it as your time off. As for how he feels, I would suggest you try not to make him feel guilty, but that's it. If he can't stand the fact that you sometimes have activities of your own, he is the one who has a problem... Maybe he likes fishing, for instance...

    In terms of gear, I never did a supported tour but I have friends who have done some. Rules vary, as some operators carry only one bag per person (i.e. bring a huge one), whereas others limit the weight per bag. But one principle remains: stuff is usually thrown around in a truck, so don't use a nice suitcase.

    In terms of repair stuff, it also depends. Some groups sell parts and sometimes even repair services, so it pays to bring a patch kit and one or two tubes around. Quite often -- especially if they have a sag/repair truck -- repairs happen at the end of the group, so it would be frustrating to be the first ahead of the group... and wait 45 minutes for the repair crew to reach you when you could have fixed a minor problem in 5 minutes.

    Regards,
    Michel Gagnon
    Montréal (Québec, Canada)

  13. #13
    Gordon P
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    One of the handiest things you can carry is a couple of extra screws for your shoe cleats. If you have clipless pedals, these can be a trip saver.
    Great tip! I have had two pairs of cycling shoes fall apart while on tour (same style - same problem) and the screws on my clipless peddles repeatedly came loose while on one trip. Locktite fixed them screws good! I never thought about the screws on the cleats coming loose. I will put these into my screwcase (filmcase) along with an extra cleat.

    Thanks
    Gordon p

  14. #14
    Sophomoric Member UncaStuart's Avatar
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    I'm guessing this is the PPTC's Williamsburg Weekend? (No experience with this event, being on the other coast, but I Googled.) It sounds like it is three days of Out-and-Backs with the dorms as base camp, if I read between the lines right. That assumption informs the suggestions and comments that follow.

    If the setup is that you arrive at the dorm and settle into your dorm room for the weekend, then you probably don't need to worry about amount of stuff and the kind of luggage you use. With rides that move from place to place, the type and size of luggage is more critical, having to do with how your gear is transported from place to place and how the organizers like to have things done (e.g., in the AIDS rides, plastic trash cans were eventually banned because they were hard to load and stack--large duffel bags with a stiff frame and rollers became de rigeur). If this setup is the case, it has some implications:
    • Bring a set of cycling clothes for each day (why be washing when you can be socializing with other riders?).
    • Bring the nice skirt (or whatever) for the Friday night dinner-on-your-own. This will give you more flexibility in your choice of restaurants as you make your decision with the new friends you've just made. All other meals will probably be OK with T-shirts and shorts, because tour bikers are definitely a casual group.

    As far as equipment to pack:
    • Ditto on the cleat bolts. No weight and infinite usefullness.
    • Ditto on the adhesive boot material. I use Park, and it has come in handy on many occasions, including a sidewall blowout at the top of a steep descent--no dollar bill for me here!
    • Beyond tubes and patch kits, I would imagine that the tour organizers have mechanical support that will take care of the less ordinary problems. On one 104-mile leg of a seven-day tour my front derailleur cable broke at mile 95 (happily just 100 yards after the last climb--I could stay in the middle ring until the end). The mech support guys had it fixed by 5:30 the next morning.

    Also: Find where the floor pumps are and make sure you pump up your tires every morning! On some big rides there is a line to get to the pumps and you may feel like saying Oh the heck with it! but don't.
    It sounds like a great weekend of cycling. Hope you have a grand old time!

  15. #15
    Don't Taunt Happyfunball cyclochica's Avatar
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    Yep, the ride is the PPTC Williamsburg Weekend. Thanks for all the great information and advice. I think this summer is going to be really awesome.
    There can be only one.

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    Senior Member joeprim's Avatar
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    cyclochica

    Since you wouldn't be interested in me I can say with out greed - get a better boyfriend!

    Chcck with the organizers on cloths for the dinner and ice cream social. They may prefer period clothing -

    Joe

  17. #17
    Very Senior Member MikeR's Avatar
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    I signed up for my first bike trip this morning. The trip is biking through Williamsburg, VA
    Sounds Great!
    How about a ride report when you get back?
    It's better to cycle through life than to drive by it.

  18. #18
    Don't Taunt Happyfunball cyclochica's Avatar
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    Originally posted by MikeR
    Sounds Great!
    How about a ride report when you get back?
    That can be arranged
    There can be only one.

  19. #19
    Senior Member ChiliDog's Avatar
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    I lived in this area in the early 80s for 3 years. Cycling there is wonderful! Now that I know about this ride, I will consider it myself for next year! WOW!

    Have a blast and DON'T feel guilty. My partner does not ride and it doesn't and shouldn't matter. Like others have said, you both need to be able to do things that interest you, together or not. If this guy puts a "guilt trip" on you or throws a temper tantrum, set him straight that you each need to be an individual.

    In 13 years of marriage we learned this through trial and error. Otherwise, your relationship will become a "trap" where each person is stifled. If he won't listen, or tightens the screws, then there's your answer: move on! No one is worth giving up your individuality for. Find a guy who supports you in your interests and has some of his own. Otherwise you'll just be a babysitter for a grown-up child!

    ENJOY!
    Ride like a kid again...out the door, not a care in the world~

    2005 Trek 7300fx; 2010 Fuji Saratoga 1.0 crank forward

  20. #20
    Veni, Vidi, Vomiti SteveE's Avatar
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    Koffee,

    You should have a great time. Don't forget to take your camera so you can post some pix to go with your ride report. There're probably a few folks still around from my PPTC days that'll be there.

    May the weather gods look favorably on your endeavor.

    SteveE
    "Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ...'holy *****...what a ride!'"

  21. #21
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    Be sure if you ride on the Colonia Parkway, it's kind of rough pavement.

    You didn't say what type of bike you ride, but I would guess a road bike would be harsh. We(my family) took our MTB's up there last year and peddled about 14 miles of it. It was nice.

    Williamsburg is great for bicycling, they have alot of bike lanes(not paths like in VA-Beach, which are mostly for cruisers)

    Anyhow have a great time.

    If you need any last minute items the LBS is Bike Beat, never been there, but they have a commercial on OLN during Thursday Night Bike night.

    http://bikebeatonline.com/


    I hope you have fun, take pics for us.

    BTW, a good route is to take the Ferry across and ride over in Surry, VA Lots of country roads and Good Pavement.
    '05 Motobecane Le Champion SL (Carbon Seat Post, Carbon Cages, Mike Garcia DT Swiss Customs 1436gram wheels, FSA Compact Crank 36/50, 12/27 Ultegra Cassette, Ultegra 6600 SPD-SL Pedals,)
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  22. #22
    Don't Taunt Happyfunball cyclochica's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tip, I am going to tough it out with my steel peugeot. I am going to make sure I do the social rides rather than the super fast ones. I want to have fun, not prepare for a race. I will remember to get a new battery for my camera and film. Are scenery pics ok or I am required to get a pic of me with my bike as proof that I went?
    There can be only one.

  23. #23
    Veni, Vidi, Vomiti SteveE's Avatar
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    Originally posted by cyclochica
    Are scenery pics ok or I am required to get a pic of me with my bike as proof that I went?
    Yes to both.
    "Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ...'holy *****...what a ride!'"

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