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  1. #1
    country city-girl i wish's Avatar
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    Just finished first tour...LOVED IT!!

    My brother and I rode 300 miles to visit friends in PA eight weeks ago. We just got back, after visiting them for 6 weeks. It took us about a week to travel out there and it rained five out of the six nights. Fortunately it didn't rain during the day, so we stayed pretty dry. Our trip back was only four days...because it got cut short due to injury. We did better mileage than the ride down, but I developed tendonitis in BOTH Achilles tendons. I think it was because my seat was too high. I had adjusted it while in PA, and placed it too high. We got rained on during the day this time...but it was ok. Actually, one of my favorite memories from the ride home was getting cats-and-dogs-poured on, at the very top of a mountain. For some reason, it was amazing!
    We got picked up 80 miles from home, and it really feels like we completely missed a big part of the trip.
    My brother got two flats - one on the way down, and one on the way back.
    My rear brakes completely wore out - before the big mountain!!!
    Now I know to take extra brake pads on trips.
    We camped in graveyards, one campground, along the Pine Creek Trail, stayed in a Lutheran dining hall at the invitation from the parson, and hid in the woods above a little creek once. My tent kept me dry, and became my little home-away-from-home. The mosquitoes weren't bad, and we had no wildlife problems at all.
    All but one truck driver were courteous and considerate. Fortunately we were not riding when the rude truck driver tried to smear us on the guard rail. It would have been much harder to squeeze against the rail to stay out of his way if we had been on the bikes.
    We found a much better route home than we took there....it avoided two mountains and a very steep dirt road!
    We rode through farming country, Amish country, and lots and lots of small towns.
    I amazed myself by how much I needed to eat and drink. It was absolutely phenomenal!!!
    All in all, I really enjoyed the journey, and now am thinking of where I can go next! I want to try a solo trip, too, now....
    Last edited by i wish; 08-15-11 at 07:11 AM.

  2. #2
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    Very cool, Keeps me motivated reading about other peoples first tours. Still planning and getting equipment together for my first trip in late Sept (or when the weather cools down a bit here in Florida).
    "If you see me walking, my bike is busted!!"
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  3. #3
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    I enjoy solo trips. No one else to accommodate. With that said, I have a great touring partner who is also my partner in life. She's fun to tour with, except I won't keep up with her when she flies down mountains.

    We just did a nice loop from/to Missoula, Montana. Send me a PM if you are interested in the route.

  4. #4
    Senior Member mtnbud's Avatar
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    How was camping in a graveyard? I've been tempted while on long tours looking for a spot. Did you pitch your tent in the graveyard, or just lay out your ground cloth.
    “If You Open Your Mind Too Much Your Brain Will Fall Out”

  5. #5
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    I wish, I guess I'm the one to ask... any pictures? Glad you enjoyed your first tour.

    Brad

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    Glad to hear your tour was successful and that you enjoyed it. Checked out your blog as well.
    Be the person your dog thinks you are.
    T.J.

  7. #7
    country city-girl i wish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
    We just did a nice loop from/to Missoula, Montana. Send me a PM if you are interested in the route.
    Thanks! I appreciate that! I'm not ready to go that far, or there, yet, but maybe one day....

  8. #8
    country city-girl i wish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbud View Post
    How was camping in a graveyard? I've been tempted while on long tours looking for a spot. Did you pitch your tent in the graveyard, or just lay out your ground cloth.
    I liked camping in the graveyards. We always tried to be in an out-of-the-way area, and near graves that didn't look tended. We set up our tents just like at any campground. Nobody bothered us at all. This was actually the third time I'd camped in a cemetery. I find them relatively secluded and quiet. Plus, they're public property, and unless they have hours, who is to say you can't stay there? (unless someone personally comes and kicks you out)

  9. #9
    country city-girl i wish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bradtx View Post
    I wish, I guess I'm the one to ask... any pictures? Glad you enjoyed your first tour.

    Brad
    I have pictures on my blog. Not as many as I wish I'd taken, but some. My blog is in my sig....enjoy!

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by i wish View Post
    I have pictures on my blog. Not as many as I wish I'd taken, but some. My blog is in my sig....enjoy!
    I looked and enjoyed.

    Brad

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by i wish View Post
    Thanks! I appreciate that! I'm not ready to go that far, or there, yet, but maybe one day....
    Come on. Most of the distance was covered by the planes. We rode only 460 miles:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7-k2ZMFL_I


    RIBBONS.jpg

  12. #12
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    Indyfabz:
    please post map of loop tour in montana. I don't have PM ability.

  13. #13
    Fraser Valley Dave
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    Achilles tendons

    It's very important to prepare your knees, Achilles tendons, and butt for a long grind. I prepare by riding frequently for several weeks and use a stair master for the knees and heels. (most of my long tours have been between age 45, and 62) A workmate, who was a 'runner', rode with me down the Pacific Coast. He didn't do much riding preparation because he believed he was in great shape. We had to abort the ride south of San Fransisco because, like you, his ankles and knees were so badly swollen. On our next mutual tour, down the Alaskan Hwy, about 1500 miles, he prepared beforehand and not only thoroughly enjoyed the trip, had no physical problems.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimdays View Post
    Indyfabz:
    please post map of loop tour in montana. I don't have PM ability.
    Bikely.com is hit or miss these days:

    http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path/BIG-SKY-LOOP

    Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn't. The above is what we planned. The actual route through Butte varied. Also, Skalkaho Pass (MT 38) was closed due to a washout. So from Philipsburg we took MT 428 to Rock Creek Road and took that north. Camped at Ekstrom's Stage close to I-90. We then took I-90 and frontage roads back to Missoula.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Jed19's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by i wish View Post
    I liked camping in the graveyards.We set up our tents just like at any campground. Nobody bothered us at all.
    LOL.

    Of course, nobody bothered you b/cos they are all dead.
    Regards,

    Jed

  16. #16
    country city-girl i wish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jed19 View Post
    LOL.

    Of course, nobody bothered you b/cos they are all dead.
    Yeah...well....you know dead people now-a-days...




    I actually was talking about the people that lived near the graveyards and might dislike me camping there. None of those seemed to care either....

  17. #17
    Senior Member Gotte's Avatar
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    Well done, and welcome to the club. Life will never be the same again.

  18. #18
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    Thanks for posting this! It's very inspiring. I've dreamed of doing this all my life and am just finally getting back to realizing my dream after years of motherhood and continuous work. I'm still just in the bike-buying mode and I'm getting a lot of snobby looks from the racer-kids at the shops who just see an old lady. I know better!

  19. #19
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Good to hear that you've done a short tour (or two short tours) in preparations for longer tours to test out equipment and figure out a few things about fit etc.

    Yes, a saddle that is too high will cause Achilles Tendon problems, and especially if your saddle is too high and you're doing a lot of climbing. If your route is particularly hilly, you should actually have your saddle slightly (only slightly) lower. If your Achilles Tendons are particularly bad, you should go see a Sports Dr. That can be a problem that will hang around for a very, very long time ... months.

  20. #20
    country city-girl i wish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    Good to hear that you've done a short tour (or two short tours) in preparations for longer tours to test out equipment and figure out a few things about fit etc.

    Yes, a saddle that is too high will cause Achilles Tendon problems, and especially if your saddle is too high and you're doing a lot of climbing. If your route is particularly hilly, you should actually have your saddle slightly (only slightly) lower. If your Achilles Tendons are particularly bad, you should go see a Sports Dr. That can be a problem that will hang around for a very, very long time ... months.

    Thanks for the advice! I was doing a lot of climbing....actually climbed a mountain the day before the tendons flared up. I accidentally placed it too high since I had developed knee problems as a result of having it too low. Ah, well, now I have personal experience with the problems that can stem from having the saddle too low! Thankfully the Achilles tendon issue cleared up very quickly. They are almost completely better now...as in, pain-free.

  21. #21
    country city-girl i wish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nifnew View Post
    Thanks for posting this! It's very inspiring. I've dreamed of doing this all my life and am just finally getting back to realizing my dream after years of motherhood and continuous work. I'm still just in the bike-buying mode and I'm getting a lot of snobby looks from the racer-kids at the shops who just see an old lady. I know better!
    Don't let them discourage you!!

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by i wish View Post
    Yeah...well....you know dead people now-a-days...
    I actually LOL'd on that...

    I was following the trip on your blog and you guys did great! Better than I would have done for sure

    I just finished my first tour as well on the C&O/GAP and had similar problems w/ Knee...

    BTW I have family in Lackawanna, NY if I'm up that way I'll send you a message we can go for a ride..

    Mike

  23. #23
    country city-girl i wish's Avatar
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    Ah, you are kind....

    I am sorry to hear about your knee....hope it heals up well!

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