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  1. #1
    crash survivor tate65's Avatar
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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.

  2. #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.

  3. #3
    Senior Member nycwtorres's Avatar
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    they're cute
    I am not young enough to know everything.
    - Oscar Wilde


    Scott Cr1 - Dura Ace Team Issue 2006
    Trek 1100 1991
    Mongoose BMX 2004?

  4. #4
    Senior Member Nate1952's Avatar
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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.
    Even the old horse in the barn still dreams of galloping a thousand miles....

  5. #5
    Senior Member Nigeyy's Avatar
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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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan The Man View Post
    Those baskets are in no way waterproof.

  6. #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)

  7. #7
    crash survivor tate65's Avatar
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    They had oilcloth covers on the baskets, Dry as it gets.....

  8. #8
    More Energy than Sense aroundoz's Avatar
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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.

  9. #9
    jwa
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    Clipless pedals, though. Cool.

    No helmets, though.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Chop61's Avatar
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    Fabulous! I sent the link to my mom. She would have been about the same age in 1944.
    When I was young I prayed to God for a new bike. Then I figured out God didn't work that way, so I stole one and prayed for forgiveness.

  11. #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!

  12. #12
    Walmart bike rider gpsblake's Avatar
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    Quote 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.

  13. #13
    Formerly Known as Newbie Juha's Avatar
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    And what were they doing, touring without guns, pepper spray and tasers? Fail.

    Thanks for the link!

    --J
    To err is human. To moo is bovine.

    Who is this General Failure anyway, and why is he reading my drive?


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  14. #14
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by gpsblake View Post
    +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.

  15. #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

  16. #16
    Senior Member
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    Thanks for the link. We saved it and have been reading a couple entries each night. Great touring writing.
    We blog about bike touring, with reviews, tips and cycle touring podcasts at Travelling Two

  17. #17
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by idlelaziness View Post
    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.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Historian View Post
    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.

  19. #19
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by FKMTB07 View Post
    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.

  20. #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.

  21. #21
    Senior Member
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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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