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Old 08-17-11, 09:36 AM   #1
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Fail or Win? I thought I was all that, but then

I did an 80 miler up to camp at a state forest on a 52x39 with a standard issue 7 speed in the back. 11- or 12-28, I think.

I'm tall and push big gears from atop my 66cm seat tube, even carrying heavy messenger bags filled with a 12 pack of longnecks or whatever. The last bike tour I took was around Ireland on a cheap gaspipe flea market bike when I was a rather out of shape 20 year old slacker.

Last year I turned in a good time at a local century, so I thought I'd have no problem just carrying lunch, water, and tools 75 miles or so up to a State Forest in Massachusetts from New Haven.







Wrong! I definitely headed up the canal trail way too fast and felt it as soon as I turned west into the hills about 65 miles in. The last 10 or 12 miles knocked me out!

Deep in the boonies, I was out of the saddle, pedaling out what felt like the last calorie out of my system... a friendly local called out "hammer!" from his porch, I made it a few more revolutions and pretty much walked up every hill I came to for the next hour. By that point, I think I was even going downhills in my 39x28!

It took 6 hours of riding time and about 7 and a half hours altogether. I felt like I bit off more than I could chew, but in reading some threads on here, many seem to feel that there isn't really any shame in walking hills now and then. It sure doesn't feel that way when you see the looks of pity from the drivers whizzing by.

All I had was a google maps cue sheet, and took a a wrong turn at the very end of the ride and descended an entire valley before asking whether it led to the state forest. Turns out both roads had the same name. At least I had the consolation of meeting two attractive women walking their dog at the bottom of the hill who then walked my bonking self back to their house and gave me a beer, a soda, and a bottle of water.

That made those last miles much better! Even the long hilly dirt/gravel road on my 23mm slicks.

I did manage to recover a bit and join our 4 and 6 year old boys riding their bikes around the campground that evening, though!



The route: http://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=We...h&z=9&lci=bike
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Old 08-17-11, 09:53 AM   #2
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Definite win!! I wish I could have been there with you - but I'm from South Florida and I could never have made it up those mountains (I guess you call them hills!!)!!
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Old 08-17-11, 10:26 AM   #3
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Did you accomplish your goal of reaching your intended end point? Win!
Did you get smiles from your kids when you rode with them? Win!

Silly question - win or fail - just mho
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Old 08-17-11, 10:47 AM   #4
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Standalone, Definate win as you had enough gas in the tank to ride with the kids.

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Old 08-17-11, 10:51 AM   #5
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This isn't the road forum, so all accomplishments are a win, no matter how you get there.
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Old 08-17-11, 10:58 AM   #6
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That's a total win. You are all that, and then some.

Your bike rocks too!
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Old 08-17-11, 11:00 AM   #7
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Not a race....you made it to where you were heading...in for the WIN!

Nice place,looks like it's well worth the ride.

That 3rd little chainring is front doesn't look so stupid after lots of miles and hills and some extra weight....

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Old 08-17-11, 11:25 AM   #8
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FAIL!!

You should have stayed at the girls' house. If you're single, that is.

I have an early 80's KHS that looks almost identical to your bike. The Absent-Minded Cyclist is the only one who rides it these days.

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Old 08-17-11, 11:39 AM   #9
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Sounds like you had fun. That's the point, right? Did you get phone numbers from the women? Will you share?
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Old 08-17-11, 07:59 PM   #10
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Ha... I did definitely learn to drop the competitive attitude when touring. In defense of road riding, that adds excitement and motivation to my commuting and road biking....nothing wrong with a little friendly competition with others and healthy competition with one's own personal best.

I'm motivated now to get my 620 built up with a triple and some good touring wheels. I did this trip with a 32 spoke front and a 36 spoke rear, but at 180 lbs and carrying even those little bags, I felt like I was pushing it.

And about the cuties in the woods -- I'm definitely married, so I was good. No phone numbers. It was kind of an ego boost that they'd even talk to me after 70+ miles and totally outta gas. I probably looked pretty rough. I know, pics or it didn't happen.
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Old 08-17-11, 08:29 PM   #11
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That's a total win. You are all that, and then some.

Your bike rocks too!
^^^^^^^^ that is awesome. this is why I like the touring forum!

by the way, your lotus site is great. you could even say it rocks!!

the most comfortable frame I ever rode was a Champagne 26" Lotus Challenger SX that a student at the school where I teach had rescued from the trash. It was HUGE for him, but I couldn't get him to sell it to me.

See? I used your site to figure out exactly what he had just now. Rock on!
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Old 08-18-11, 03:16 AM   #12
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If ya got there? Win! Sounds like you might need to learn how to spin, and eat/hydrate.

Aaron
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Old 08-18-11, 11:54 AM   #13
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I do know how to spin/eat/hydrate... it's a matter of actually DOING it... lol. Much of my problem was a broken bottle cage about 2/3 of the way through the ride. I was reduced to unstrapping that red bag for my platypus canteen anytime I wanted a drink, just as the day was getting warm. I stopped a lot, which sapped my energy, but definitely didn't get the water I needed for the rest of the trip.

edit: note the missing cage and bottle in the last pic...

It's steel bottle cages from now on on tours!

Playing a 5 hour gig the night before probably didn't help much... the owner asked for an extra set of music. Hard to say no when gigs are as tough to get as they are these days.
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Old 08-18-11, 01:14 PM   #14
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That's all the stuff you took for a camping trip?! I just got back from an 80 mile camping round trip and I had quite a bit more than that...

Edit: Oh, I guess your family brought most of the stuff since you met them there. I was about to say, I've seen ultralight, but, there's room in that rack bag for food or shelter but not both...

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Old 08-18-11, 02:46 PM   #15
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Just getting out there is a win. It's raining here in the UK, and dark at 9.00 and feels like winter already. Good on you, keep it going.
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Old 08-18-11, 03:15 PM   #16
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That's all the stuff you took for a camping trip?! I just got back from an 80 mile camping round trip and I had quite a bit more than that...

Edit: Oh, I guess your family brought most of the stuff since you met them there. I was about to say, I've seen ultralight, but, there's room in that rack bag for food or shelter but not both...
I do have ultralight gear-- a goal of mine is to have a summer touring rig that is almost that compact. And you're sure generous to call that a rack bag!
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Old 08-18-11, 03:25 PM   #17
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Reading through; I would say it was a win.
Sounds like you needed to extend the breaks by about 500%. That would have made it longer overall but much more enjoyable.
Maybe it was having the goal to aim for that made you over reach.
But: well done that man!
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Old 08-18-11, 04:44 PM   #18
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last bike tour I took was around Ireland on a cheap gaspipe flea market bike when I was a rather out of shape 20 year old slacker
The key part of this quote is "20 year old". It's a win because you did it and it will be a bigger win if you realize 33 ain't 20 (or even 32 for that matter). Get a lower gear set on that sweet bike and enjoy.
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Old 08-18-11, 04:51 PM   #19
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epic win!
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Old 08-18-11, 04:55 PM   #20
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I do have ultralight gear-- a goal of mine is to have a summer touring rig that is almost that compact. And you're sure generous to call that a rack bag!
I wasn't sure what else to call it...anyway, I'd love to see a gear list of a full touring right that small. Is that without food and water?
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Old 08-18-11, 11:12 PM   #21
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w/o water, you could do it in a rack top bag and a handlebar bag. down quilt, silnylon tarp, tyvek groundsheet, a can of butane/propane, a micro stove, small pot (doesn't even have to be titanium when you're on a bike!), bag of gorp, clif bars, 2 or 3 freeze dried dinners. You can use the bike as the tarp's "tent poles" and sleep like a king. Some TP and other hygeine essentials, and extra batteries since you'd be using your headlamp as a flashlight. I could get that all in bags not much bigger than what's pictured. I don't have an ultra compressible down quilt-- my summer bag is a little bulkier.

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-...ums/index.html

I've gone on long hitchhiking trips ccarrying little more cubic inches than pictured.
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