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Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

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Old 03-17-10, 09:29 PM   #1
mthayer
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Getting anxious/nervous about my first tour.

Im sure its perfectly normal but its really starting to get to me. Its only a weekend trip but its more mileage than I have ever rode at one time, and I have never been there. I am going to load the bike up tomorrow with everything i plan on taking and do similar terrain. Is there anything I should do to prepare further in a short amount of time?
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Old 03-17-10, 09:43 PM   #2
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Have your bike checked out, bearings, chain, tires, shifting and brake cables, and be sure you are using a good pair of padded pants or shorts.
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Old 03-17-10, 09:49 PM   #3
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Just try to get some sleep the night before, we all get nervous beforehand, but it will turn out just fine. Have a great time and don't forget to tell us about it afterward!
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Old 03-17-10, 10:05 PM   #4
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It is a normal reaction for most of us when we get outside our comfort zones. The more we tour the broader our comfort zone. However, I hope my comfort zone never gets so broad that there is not a little tingle of anticipation when starting off on a venture. If we knew everything that was going to happen, and had everything planned down to Nth degree, it would take all the appeal out of touring. However, the one thing I would do is check: http://NOAA.gov

You seem to have the right approach; start with shorter trips and build from them. I'm betting things will go just fine. Let us know Monday how it turned out.

Good luck, and enjoy!

Last edited by Doug64; 03-18-10 at 09:57 AM.
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Old 03-17-10, 10:06 PM   #5
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The most difficult kilometre is by far the first one - actually stepping out of your driveway. After that you'll be fine!

As Big Lew said, make sure your bike is mechanically sound. Make sure you've got the necessary basic tools with you to fix minor problems. Perhaps make sure you've packed some Band Aids, Paracetemol and a water bottle. There's really nothing else worth mentioning.

Have a great time!
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Old 03-18-10, 01:44 AM   #6
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It's just a ride. Surely you've ridden places you've never ridden before.

And it's only for a weekend. If you forget something, it won't be the end of the world.
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Old 03-18-10, 06:25 AM   #7
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I always prepare for long trips be that hiking, climbing, kayaking, etc, by visualize the trip in your head, try to remember the particular areas where you can "cruise" or where you need to "be careful", etc. etc. Visual the days length ahead and if you've planned 8 long days in a row, it might be good to reschedule or just be prepared to wing it.

If you are going self supported, don't forget stuff that isn't bike related. Is your camp stove working or does it need to be cleaned? Is your tent in good shape, got the tent poles? Stakes? Gather your stuff together when you visualize your trip? forgetting the sun screen, bug spray? pass or ferry ticket? phone numbers? bike shops???

And finally, relax and know that you will have a blast and everything will go well!... and the wind will be at your back

Jay
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Old 03-18-10, 04:25 PM   #8
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You're normal!

Here's a few lines from one of my first trip journals. Sounds familiar, huh?

"I was off just after 7:00 AM. The sun was not quite up and the temperature was about 45 degrees. As I left the safety of the hotel, I felt a long, long way from home. I had to admit to myself that I was more than a little nervous as I began this adventure. Could I ride a loaded bike up Marysvale Canyon to Circleville? Could I reach my hotel before dark? What am I thinking! I've never done this before!"

"Well, I pushed off, rode past the airport and started down Old US89. Looking around, I discovered it was beautiful! The road was great! I was having fun!"
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Old 03-18-10, 04:29 PM   #9
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Just start pedaling... I'm leaving tomorrow morning for a 3 day tour.. and i'm fretting I've done this a ton and I still get a little crazy getting ready....

After a few miles I get all zen like
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Old 03-18-10, 10:53 PM   #10
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Well the weather is not cooperating right now. There is a cold front coming in and the highs are going to be 50* and then the low is going to be 32*. Its also going to rain up to an inch. I called the park and there is a pre-recorded message saying that all the campsites are reserved. So this trip is looking like it just may not happen.
I am getting frustrated now.
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Old 03-18-10, 11:09 PM   #11
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Yeah, that sounds yuck - next weekend.
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Old 03-18-10, 11:24 PM   #12
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I'd be staying home too.
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Old 03-19-10, 04:25 PM   #13
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Yeah better wx conditions would be good for your first tour! You don't want to be miserable and then conclude you hate touring. However with that wx I would be expecting there will be quite a few last-minute cancellations at the park
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Old 03-19-10, 05:14 PM   #14
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Called the park today and no signs of any ways of getting a camp site.
I am postponing the trip now. My dog is having her puppies this afternoon. I came home and let them in the house, and I heard a welp and out popped a puppy. So now I get to keep watch after Tippy and make sure theres no complications.
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Old 03-19-10, 05:19 PM   #15
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Good idea to stay home with the puppies ... but a suggestion ... tomorrow or the next day, when everything has settled down, go for a slightly longer day ride than you've ridden before on roads you haven't ridden before in your local area. It'll be good practice.
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Old 03-19-10, 05:33 PM   #16
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I am a truck driver so there are not very many roads that I dont know around here. I am packing up the bike and I am planning on possibly riding to my moms house, about 45 miles away and very hilly this weekend. It will be more difficult that my proposed tour.
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Old 03-20-10, 05:19 PM   #17
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I find that it is the fear of the unknowns that produces the apprehension. I am a big believer in taking baby steps, experiencing some of the elements of the tour that you've not tried before and thereby eliminating some of things that can go wrong. Once you are inside "charted territory" from an experience standpoint, you'll eliminate the stress. So, I'd isolate the unknowns (can I ride the distance, will my tent leak, can I cook with this stove, etc., etc.) and see if you can create that experience in isolation. Check that off the list and move on to the next one.

So, right off the bat, it seems to me that setting personal record for the mileage to be ridden isn't what I'd be doing on my first tour. Is there some way to back down on the mileage and eliminate that unknown element of the first tour? If not, can you first try the mileage in a non-tour setting- i.e., just do that mileage and end up back at home? If the mileage works out like this, then incorporating this mileage in a tour won't be so stressful.

Or, if the camping is an unknown, can you do a night in the backyard to see how the gear performs?
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Old 03-20-10, 05:27 PM   #18
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Is this your first tour ever.?. Nervous.. Can't think of a better Christmas present..
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Old 03-20-10, 05:42 PM   #19
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I got news for you. I get nervous before every tour.

All you need to do is get started and soon you will learn that there was noting to worry about.
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Old 03-20-10, 07:17 PM   #20
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Next weekends weather looks really good to do the tour. Hopefully everything will go to plan and I will be able to do it then.
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Old 03-20-10, 07:43 PM   #21
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I got news for you. I get nervous before every tour.

All you need to do is get started and soon you will learn that there was noting to worry about.
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