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  1. #1
    Senior Member Gotte's Avatar
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    Do you have a favourite little memory from a tour?

    I'm not really talking about the big ones like conquering the Alps or reaching the other end of the great wall of China, but rather just the little ones which make you smile when you're stuck in traffic taking the kids to school or doing the washing up.
    Mine is halfway between Koblenz and Cochem on the Mosel, on a long, rainy curve in the road. My friend and I were soaked to the skin, and had been since breakfast. There was nothing on the road except the occasional truck washing us in spray as it passed. We'd seen two or three cyclists all day, which, compared with the five hundred or so we must have seen the day before, made the world feel a strange, lonely, desolate place. What's more, the two or three we had seen had all been much earlier on. We'd seen none now for about three hours. And then, out of the rain, in the distance, we saw a cyclist coming the other way. He was low down, working against the weather, bending to it. He was fully loaded, four panniers, and he was travelling, working the big ring. As he neared, he looked up, saw us, two fellow travellers, two dripping, sodden Englishmen pushing through the rain. He smiled grimmly and raised a hand in salutation. It was a moment. We were brothers of the elements, brothers of the road. He nodded as he flashed past. No words. And then he was Gone.

    Like I said, not a great moment in the history of cycling, but for me, a treasure of a moment.

    What's yours?

  2. #2
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    When a cougar chased an elk through our camp in the Gila National Forest, New Mexico. GDMBR Summer 2010.

  3. #3
    have bike will tour catfish's Avatar
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    Pulled into a camp ground in Oregon. the camp host and I got into a conversation turned out we had the same birthday Dec 18 when I got into the biker site 2 others i had been camping with for the past few days also had the same birthday Dec 18 that was quite a coincidence
    catfish

  4. #4
    afoot and lighthearted Boondock's Avatar
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    milking goats at a warmshower's host farm in Texas.

  5. #5
    Senior Member skilsaw's Avatar
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    The rain stopped just as I got a flat tire, and held off until I was finished changing it.
    The one who has the most bikes wins.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gotte View Post
    I'm not really talking about the big ones like conquering the Alps or reaching the other end of the great wall of China, but rather just the little ones which make you smile when you're stuck in traffic taking the kids to school or doing the washing up.
    Mine is halfway between Koblenz and Cochem on the Mosel, on a long, rainy curve in the road. My friend and I were soaked to the skin, and had been since breakfast. There was nothing on the road except the occasional truck washing us in spray as it passed. We'd seen two or three cyclists all day, which, compared with the five hundred or so we must have seen the day before, made the world feel a strange, lonely, desolate place. What's more, the two or three we had seen had all been much earlier on. We'd seen none now for about three hours. And then, out of the rain, in the distance, we saw a cyclist coming the other way. He was low down, working against the weather, bending to it. He was fully loaded, four panniers, and he was travelling, working the big ring. As he neared, he looked up, saw us, two fellow travellers, two dripping, sodden Englishmen pushing through the rain. He smiled grimmly and raised a hand in salutation. It was a moment. We were brothers of the elements, brothers of the road. He nodded as he flashed past. No words. And then he was Gone.

    Like I said, not a great moment in the history of cycling, but for me, a treasure of a moment.

    What's yours?
    good story pacing.

  7. #7
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    Here's a true story I posted a few years ago:

    On a bicycle tour through rural Ohio Amish country I was confronted by a rapidly approaching thunderstorm. Looking around for some kind of temporary shelter, I came upon an old country church with a large overhanging porch. Pushing my heavily loaded bike through the loose gravel, I reached the overhang just as the storm cut loose. From the looks of things there seemed to be nobody around for miles. And although the church was most likely locked, I was quite content to wait out the storm under the overhang.

    After about half an hour, I hear the "clippity clop", "clippity clop" of horses hooves approaching on the wet, narrow, one lane road. An Amishman in a buggy came into view, tearing through the gravel almost flipping the buggy as he went flying to the rear of the church.

    Uh oh, I thought, he's probably the caretaker going in the back door, grabbing the shotgun only to appear through the front door and either shoot me or at the very least, threaten to shoot me for trespassing.

    At that point, I was not sure what to do. I could get the hell out of there fast before he had a chance to unlock the front door or I could stand my ground hoping I could convince him that I was a harmless cyclist simply trying to keep dry. I chose the latter.

    Fifteen minutes pass, then twenty. Finally I hear the "clippity clop", "clippity clop" sound again, this time from the other side of the church. Around the corner he comes, traveling much slower this time and keeping the buggy on four wheels. I prepare my story and rub my worn out rabbit's foot one last time. Spotting me, he flashes a big, silly, grin and waves like I was an old neighbor. I nervously return the wave as he "clippity clops" down the road and out of sight.

    Another fifteen minutes go by and the rain begins to subside, my curiosity is so powerful by now I leave my bike leaning on the rail and tiptoe around the church to investigate. What could he have been doing back there that required a full speed, slide to a stop entry, and a normal walking speed exit? He obviously wasn't as concerned with me as I had feared. Something related to the Amish world perhaps? Something that I may never fully understand? I was aiming to solve the riddle.

    Peeping carefully around the corner of the quirky little church, I had my answer.

    Twenty yards behind the church was an outhouse!

    For the rest of the tour my fermenting brain was filled with vivid images of an old Amishman hopping cross-legged from a steaming buggy to a tumbledown outhouse barely in the nick of time.
    Last edited by Louis; 06-07-11 at 05:43 PM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member chiroptile's Avatar
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    Montreal - NYC last year. Leaving Montreal.. Bridge over St Lawrence river.. Passing over this island.. There's a park that is used as a concert venue. It was Mayhem Fest 2010.. Brutal guitar riffing, very loud. Drums were also very nicely miked.. Super clear, loud, live heavy metal to send us off on our way.. We were within earshot of anything discernible for maybe five minutes, as we kept riding.. But, took me back to high school. Nice little memory.. Another funny one, but not sure it would be appropriate to bring it up on a public forum

  9. #9
    friction baby, friction D.B. Cooper's Avatar
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    Breakfast at the Otis Cafe.
    1984 trek720
    2005 trek 520
    1996 Cannondale T1000
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  10. #10
    Bike addict, dreamer AdamDZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by louis View Post
    here's a true story i posted a few years ago...
    He he he, funny. I kinda got a hint half way through though Sorry, nothing to share though, my touring career has barely started.

  11. #11
    Deluded...
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    I was on a week-long tour last year, on my fifth day riding north through Vermont. I was riding with two friends of mine along a fairly sleepy state route, north towards Lake St. Catherine State park. It was overcast and drizzly all day, hell of a headwind, and getting a little chilly. Finally the sun broke through on the east side of the valley, and it illuminated one side of the mountain range. It lit up like gold, in stark contrast to the dark green hills on the other side of the valley. Sheep dotted the foothills just below the mountains, and we rode in silence for a good twenty minutes or so, just taking it all in; the smells, the warmth, the serene picture of Vermont dairyland, laid out in front of us. No cars, no wind, just the slight buzzing of our chains.

    That was my "zen" moment of bike touring, the moment I keep trying to get back.

  12. #12
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    On a day tour we stopped at a little train station restaurant for a lunch... My buddy ordered a chicken sandwich and I ordered a chicken salad. After placing our order we both took turns washing up ... then waited what seemed like 20 minutes. We were just starting to wonder where our food was in this empty restaurant, when a young man quickly entered a side door with a Wal-mart bag with what was obviously our chicken

    Mike

  13. #13
    Senior Member Tansy's Avatar
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    Lounging in my little tent, just after dark at Bruce Crossing, MI, watching late-night RVers pull in for the night. Little nothing town with some donation-based campsites and a hot shower. That I would pick this as 'a moment' may seem odd, but it's a very vivid and pleasant memory, because I felt at the moment I was where I should be. The tiny patch of ground my tent took up felt like home to me, and despite the different modes of transportation, I was still among fellow travelers. Later that night the wind picked up and brought in an impressive thunderstorm, and finally convinced that my tent would hold back the rain, I wholeheartedly enjoyed the show of lightening.
    Be the change you wish to see in the world.


  14. #14
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    In Belgium, as a Veteran, myself, I was the guest of an employee
    of the British Commission on War Graves , when in Ypres.

    So I spent a few days in the miles of graveyards of the soldiers of that war..
    where in Ypres they have a ceremony for the soldiers lost there , every evening .

    http://www.lastpost.be/


    My host was also a big cycling fan , so we took a side trip to the Kimmelburg ,
    a steep shortish cobbled hill so devilish, that the course of Ghent to Wevelgem, race
    via the coast and back, typically loop around to send the racers over it twice.

  15. #15
    Senior Member downtube42's Avatar
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    Lying in my tent in a state park, listening to a raccoon just outside my tent. Everything was tied up out of reach but he sure was making a racket with something. Two times I tried to poke my head out to see what he was up to, but both times he heard me and was out of sight. The third time I went into uber stealth mode. I moved super slowly, unzipped the tent bit by bit, eased my head out, slowly raised my new LED headlamp and pointed it at the noise, then flicked it on. Unfortunately I was unfamiliar with the new light and it was pointed at my face. I laughed myself to sleep.
    What is bicycle touring?
    "So I kept looking and eventually found that a spark plug had same threads. So I cycled next two days until I got to Jackson, MS with a spark plug instead of right pedal." - mev

  16. #16
    Senior Member
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    One was almost 30 years ago when my girlfriend and I were biking across WA state over the 5 mountains passes on Route 20. I bought a watermelon to eat when we had gone 'a bit'. Forgot it was there until we got to the top. It was tasty though.
    Another was when I was touring from Seattle to Duluth, MN. I was in North Dakota in August with the sun setting and start talking to a women walking on the road. She had me come in for the night, got her husband off the couch and made me a nice dinner and breakfast the next morning. Those farmers can be a real nice bunch (course, I grew up on a small farm so that helped).

  17. #17
    Fraser Valley Dave
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    While solo riding down the Alaskan Hwy at days end, east of Laird Hotsprings at the top of British Columbia, I came upon an Outfitter-Packers stopping place with cabins. As I had been warned about black bear attacks in this area, and it was also grizzly country, I really hoped this stopping place was open. I introduced myself, and asked if I might rent a cabin. The gentleman advised me that they weren't open yet this year, but he would see what he could do. To my tremendous surprise, not only did he open up a cabin, he and his wife hooked up a warm shower for me, and invited me to their home for supper. What a supper! Huge moose steaks, large variety of vegetables, hot buns, pie, and peaches. We enjoyed a very pleasant evening chatting and swapping stories until 10 pm. The next morning, they cooked me a large breakfast, packed me a fine lunch with cinnamon buns and fruit, and only charged me 25 dollars for the whole affair. We had quite a argument until they finally allowed me to pay another 20 dollars. There are some real nice people on this earth....I'll never forget that couple as long as I live.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Cyclebum's Avatar
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    Been fun reading these post. Great thread idea.

    I've got so many, but here's one:

    A partner and I were touring in rural Mississippi couple of years ago in January. It was noon, we were tired, and I was about out of water. Miles from any services. Heard an engine and looked back to find a 4 wheeler chasing after us. A man on the front, woman on the back, ***** in a rack. Jack and Rita were curious to know about a couple of fellows riding on 'their' road on loaded bicycles. One thing led to another and soon we were at their nice home, visiting and being fed and watered. Made our day.
    The bicycle is one of the great inventions of mankind. Delights children, challenges young men to feats of daring, and turns old men into boys again.--Me

  19. #19
    djb
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    In Belgium, as a Veteran, myself, I was the guest of an employee
    of the British Commission on War Graves
    nice fiets...my grandfather lost a leg at Paschendale, Belgium in 1917, but his baby brother was killed not far from there in sept 44 I think, he was in his mid to late 20s by then and was a medic. Ive used the Commonwealth War Graves Commission to find out where he is buried (dont have name in my head right now though)

  20. #20
    djb
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    One of my interesting memories was in France, a day of diff events leading to others. I was leaving Bordeaux, but left late as when leaving the city, i stumbled across a "wine harvest" street festival (this was late aug or early sept) with cool wine barrel races and fun stuff, friendly people etc. Took photos for a few hours and yakked with people.

    Finally left late, so I arrived late in the day in some village outskirts at what I thought was a campground in an old abandoned football field (soccer for you Yanks) but realized right away I had ridden into a gypsy camp. Was surrounded by kids and people, old ladies right out of a hollywood casting call for "gypsy old lady", kids starting to go through my stuff, all talking in Romany. I didnt want to be taken for a Frenchman (local relations not being great I did know between gypsies and townspeople) so I spoke in a mix of French and Spanish to the "head guy" who came up and got the kids to stop going through my stuff.

    Spoke for a while, mixing languages, as they spoke Spanish too, all the while the old gypsy ladies talking about me to each other and laughing....odd experience. They invited me to stay the night and to eat with them, but it was just one of those weird situations where I did not feel comfortable so later I continued on in search of the next village with a municipal camping. They did seem intrigued that I was on my own on my bike and had been going for 4 weeks, and some asked if I had ridden my bike "from Canada"--I will never know how it would have been spending the night there--right from the beginning I spoke very matter-of-a-factly with them and the head guys offer seemed geniuine, but at teh same time, we were way out of sight from the road, and I did think that if my passport got stolen or my bike, it would have been pretty darn tricky for me to get home. So in the end, I said I needed to get food in the village, and ended up listening to the one side of my little voice that said, naw...find somewhere else to sleep.

    Ended up biking in the dark, got a car lift by a family who I asked directions, to a deserted campground with only the "caretaker" guys there in a small camp trailer, had supper with them and drank wine until 1am or something and crawled into my tent quite soused.

    I do still wonder sometimes how it would have gone with les gitanes or gypsies.... Oh well, cant go back in time but it was an interesting day and one that could only come from being on a bike.

  21. #21
    Sambo Sam Tully's Avatar
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    Decending down a steep hill after a very long tiring climb in Tasmania, I was fully loaded and clocked a speed of 76.4 klm an hour in which I thought I heard a noise from the back of my bike so I took a quick glimpse in the handlebar mirrow and I saw my girlfriend in a full "tour de france" downhill position, she then dissappeared from my mirror and over took me and clocked the big 80.0 klm an hour number. I have to this day never hit that speed and always tell this story to anyone when they ask what its like touring with your partner.
    Her Surly was fully loaded front and back and she was on her 4th week of her first bicycle tourer.................................I married that woman...........and she still continues to beat on those insane down hills ;-)

  22. #22
    Senior Member Gotte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by albertmoreno View Post
    good story pacing.
    Thanks for that, much appreciated.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Gotte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Louis View Post
    Here's a true story I posted a few years ago:

    On a bicycle tour through rural Ohio Amish country I was confronted by a rapidly approaching thunderstorm. Looking around for some kind of temporary shelter, I came upon an old country church with a large overhanging porch. Pushing my heavily loaded bike through the loose gravel, I reached the overhang just as the storm cut loose. From the looks of things there seemed to be nobody around for miles. And although the church was most likely locked, I was quite content to wait out the storm under the overhang.

    After about half an hour, I hear the "clippity clop", "clippity clop" of horses hooves approaching on the wet, narrow, one lane road. An Amishman in a buggy came into view, tearing through the gravel almost flipping the buggy as he went flying to the rear of the church.

    Uh oh, I thought, he's probably the caretaker going in the back door, grabbing the shotgun only to appear through the front door and either shoot me or at the very least, threaten to shoot me for trespassing.

    At that point, I was not sure what to do. I could get the hell out of there fast before he had a chance to unlock the front door or I could stand my ground hoping I could convince him that I was a harmless cyclist simply trying to keep dry. I chose the latter.

    Fifteen minutes pass, then twenty. Finally I hear the "clippity clop", "clippity clop" sound again, this time from the other side of the church. Around the corner he comes, traveling much slower this time and keeping the buggy on four wheels. I prepare my story and rub my worn out rabbit's foot one last time. Spotting me, he flashes a big, silly, grin and waves like I was an old neighbor. I nervously return the wave as he "clippity clops" down the road and out of sight.

    Another fifteen minutes go by and the rain begins to subside, my curiosity is so powerful by now I leave my bike leaning on the rail and tiptoe around the church to investigate. What could he have been doing back there that required a full speed, slide to a stop entry, and a normal walking speed exit? He obviously wasn't as concerned with me as I had feared. Something related to the Amish world perhaps? Something that I may never fully understand? I was aiming to solve the riddle.

    Peeping carefully around the corner of the quirky little church, I had my answer.

    Twenty yards behind the church was an outhouse!

    For the rest of the tour my fermenting brain was filled with vivid images of an old Amishman hopping cross-legged from a steaming buggy to a tumbledown outhouse barely in the nick of time.
    That's a great story. Had me chuckling to myself.

  24. #24
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    There are so may to pick from even though I only have done a few tours. I thought about this a while and finally picked one.

    Initially I figured it had to be one of the many times when a stranger offered some hospitality or kindness unsolicited. The thing is that while wonderful there were so many that individual ones don't stand out too much.

    Next I thought maybe some grand vista, like looking down on Grand Prismatic in Yellowstone, riding out of the tunnel in Yosemite to see the valley, or coming around a bend and seeing the first "giant" on the trail of 100 giants to name a few. The thing is that there were so many of them that again one particular one does not stand out enough to pick it.

    Sitting in a wild hot spring with my daughter in the middle of a tour on my birthday had to be a candidate as well.

    That said, I will go with the moment on the last day of our Trans America when a van full of family and friends passed us I and I saw it was painted up with congratulatory messages. Seeing the messages at a time when my emotions were already at a peak, brought tears to my eyes and I still choke up when I think about it several years later.

  25. #25
    The Dude Abides
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    I got given these by a local in Norway and then I later found the perfect spot to pitch my tent and drink them
    www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/oslotoistanbul

    Surly LHT
    Specialized Tricross Sport

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