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Old 10-14-08, 11:28 AM   #1
tate65
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One of the best touring stories I have read

And it's all online

The Lure of the Open Road.
Wartime wandering through the Eastern states by bicycle, truck, and riverboat. 1944.
by Thelma Popp Jones. 2007.

http://mjgradziel.com/thelmajones/lureoftheopenroad.html

link fixed

Trees were sparse, but when we did find one along the road, we took advantage of its shade and the tall grasses below. That was meant to be a short relaxation, but it turned out to be a long nap there by the side of the road. How much a part of the earth we were then! How independent of people and all their accessories. No one else would stop beneath this tree and see it as we did. Oh yes, they would drive by at fifty miles an hour and say, "We have seen it." But in their rush they would have missed the stoney silence of a scene filled with nothing but earth and sky. They would have missed the unmistakable fragrance of a breeze wafting over acres of growing things and the color of wheat under the shadow of a passing cloud.

This was the time we realized that our method of travel was the best. Under our slow pedaling, nothing escaped us, from the change of the pavement at the county lines to the gradual change of the speech dialect from North to South.

Last edited by tate65; 10-15-08 at 08:26 AM.
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Old 10-14-08, 11:51 AM   #2
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Those baskets are in no way waterproof. An Ortleib bar bag would be much better and they could fold their map up on top of it. They will need to at the very least get a 100 dollar brooks leather saddle, some proper bicycling shorts, a down sleeping bag, and some jerseys... and helmets. Their bicycle frame is all wrong for touring and the weight distribution is heavy on the back tire. I don't see any frame pump or water bottle cages. These girls are terrible tourers and completely unprepared. I would also recommend that they upgrade to a colour camera.
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Old 10-14-08, 01:37 PM   #3
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they're cute
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Old 10-14-08, 01:42 PM   #4
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But everyone knows that it's all about equipment.

Waiting and debating about the latest and greatest stuff allows you to avoid actual touring.
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Old 10-14-08, 05:24 PM   #5
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Bah! No front fender so she couldn't possibly finish; plus it's hard to tell but I think they're using STI and not bar end shifters. They're in a world of hurt, and I'd suggest they give up before they finished back in the 1940's.

Dan, you made me chuckle.

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Those baskets are in no way waterproof.
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Old 10-14-08, 09:41 PM   #6
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Very inspiring. Two people with no idea what they're doing just doing it. I love the idea

(it actually sounds like the story of my life ... only with one person not two)
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Old 10-15-08, 08:27 AM   #7
tate65
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They had oilcloth covers on the baskets, Dry as it gets.....
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Old 10-15-08, 10:03 AM   #8
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It's OK but not as interesting as reading about another LHT build.

Actually, great story and thanks for passing it on. I am printing it out now so I can enjoy reading it without having to stare at a computer screen.
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Old 10-15-08, 04:11 PM   #9
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Clipless pedals, though. Cool.

No helmets, though.
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Old 10-15-08, 06:44 PM   #10
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Fabulous! I sent the link to my mom. She would have been about the same age in 1944.
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Old 10-15-08, 10:42 PM   #11
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I'm going to read that story. I suspect both girls if they're still alive are in their 80's!
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Old 10-15-08, 11:00 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Nate1952 View Post
But everyone knows that it's all about equipment.

Waiting and debating about the latest and greatest stuff allows you to avoid actual touring.
+1

those poor girls would have been told they were doing the entire thing wrong if they were posting on this subforum today.

Bookmarked the link, thank you, I'll have to read it.
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Old 10-16-08, 05:03 AM   #13
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And what were they doing, touring without guns, pepper spray and tasers? Fail.

Thanks for the link!

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Old 10-16-08, 05:38 AM   #14
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+1

those poor girls would have been told they were doing the entire thing wrong if they were posting on this subforum today.

Bookmarked the link, thank you, I'll have to read it.
I agree. I can visualize the posts now:

"Why didn't you buy a LHT?"

"What! You asked PERMISSION before camping on someone's land?"

"You should have started a Crazy Guy journal before leaving."

Yes, by all means read this story. Thanks to the OP for posting the link.
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Old 10-16-08, 10:39 PM   #15
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I can across this in research for class about my tour.

He's a guy who toured the West in his 20s and did it again in his 40s, and wrote about the experience

It's called Bicycling the Divide by Daryl Farmer

this should be working web-version:

http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?did=1...Name=PQD&cfc=1
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Old 10-18-08, 09:51 PM   #16
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Thanks for the link. We saved it and have been reading a couple entries each night. Great touring writing.
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Old 10-19-08, 01:10 AM   #17
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I can across this in research for class about my tour.

He's a guy who toured the West in his 20s and did it again in his 40s, and wrote about the experience

It's called Bicycling the Divide by Daryl Farmer

this should be working web-version:

http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?did=1...Name=PQD&cfc=1
It's also available as a hardcover book. It's still on my bedside table, awaiting a read.
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Old 10-19-08, 08:59 AM   #18
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It's also available as a hardcover book. It's still on my bedside table, awaiting a read.
Isn't it Bicycling Beyond the Divide?

I've got the hardcover. Read it twice. It's pretty good.
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Old 10-19-08, 09:26 AM   #19
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Isn't it Bicycling Beyond the Divide?

I've got the hardcover. Read it twice. It's pretty good.
Yes, I got the title wrong. I started reading it last night. It's very well-written. The author knows that travel writing is as much memoir as reportage.
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Old 10-19-08, 09:30 PM   #20
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That Lure of the Open Road is an amazing story! I almost couldn't put it down; it kept me up until 5. It's amazing how people were so friendly and open in the midst of war. What's more, this wasn't just a bicycle tour; it was a `camping trip' in their words, and they weren't afraid to travel however they wanted, whether it be hitching with a trucker, or getting a job on a steamboat.
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Old 10-22-08, 07:30 PM   #21
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>those poor girls would have been told they were doing the entire thing wrong if they were posting on this subforum today.

IMHO your cynicism is misdirected. Most people - like you - actually tell people to just get out there and do it. People come to these forums thinking they need fancy gear, and get told time and again that they don't.

>Waiting and debating about the latest and greatest stuff allows you to avoid actual touring.

Again, IMHO, this is a misunderstanding. People wait for the right season, or when they have time off from work, and discuss equipment and stuff in the meantime. It doesn't mean they're procrastinating from actually getting out there.

Steve
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