Road Tour Paralleling the Santa Fe Trail
I am back from my tour. It was supposed to be ridden with two friends, but when one broke his hip right at the start the other dropped out as well. So it wound up being a solo tour. It was a different tour than I have done before in many ways. I rode slower than on other tours, took fewer breaks than usual, didn't cook, and got a room frequently. All of this was different for me.
I started out with very few miles in for the year since I had been concentrating on running rather than riding. I started with under 200 miles in for the year, but did reasonable mileage right from the start and by the end did a 142 mile day on the last day and still felt pretty good. I guess that trail running can serve as good conditioning for touring as long as you get some minimal saddle time in.
Check out my journal at http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/StaehlingSantaFe2009 if you are interested in more details or seeing the pictures.
Thanks for posting. I enjoyed your journal, and like the pics.
I've done that route by car a number of times. Love the Flint Hills. There is no doubt that people in Kansas are nice but the winds can be brutal...As you noted in your journal, it's great when you get to New Mexico and you can see the mountains even though you're still out in the scrubby grasslands.
You had a really key insight in one of your journal postings I'd like to share. You noted that at small-town cafes, all the locals tend to gather at a big group table or group of tables. And you wrote something like, "If you sit at the communal table you're guaranteed a lot of conversation." I think most solo travellers would walk in, be nice, and go sit at a table by themselves. Nothing wrong with that - but your tactic is 100% guaranteed to generate conversation, as you noted. I'll bet most solo bike tourists don't do that.
Sounds like you had zero bike issues. I guess the Windsor Tourist is still proving to be a great value.
Yeah, that was one of those little things that took me a bit to figure out. I initially felt like I would be intruding, but it turns out that it works out very well and that folks were very welcoming.
Originally Posted by BengeBoy
Another one like that was the sunglasses thing. I wondered why folks looked at me like I was from mars for the first few weeks of my first tour, when I realized that it was because of the "space alien" glasses. I started making it a point to take them off when speaking to folks. It seems to make a big difference. I am not sure if it is the fact that they can't see your eyes or the weird glasses, but I think it is better to take them off either way.
Yes it has continued to treat me well.
Originally Posted by BengeBoy
Glad you got to get back out there, finally. I read your journal too - so sorry to hear about 'spoon's accident, that sucks big time! Hope he recovers well.
My sister broke her pelvis - non-displaced - a few years ago - 6 weeks off the bike, she's good as new now. But it was a much less severe injury - no wheelchair or anything.
The "table" in many small Midwestern towns is called the "Liars' Club".
I agree, it is the best place for solo tourers - if they ask, first.