At the end of June I'll start my summer tour south from Portland, through Salem, Eugene, over MacKenzie Pass, Sisters, Bend, Crater Lake, and Klamath Falls. I've been doing weekly rides on my road bike, but yesterday I broke out the LHT, loaded it up, and went for a ride. I started assembling all my touring gear; I don't want to be frantically trying to find everything at the last minute. I put all the cooking gear in the front Ortliebs, added my rain gear, put my mattress on the front platform, and my tent and sleeping bag on the back. I didn't want to try and assemble all my clothes and miscellaneous stuff in the rear, so I went to the feed store and bought two 10-lb. bags of bird seed.
It was fun to get out in touring mode on my touring bike. My average speed was much lower than on my road bike. Slow and steady, and in no hurry. Getting used to the bar-end shifters was difficult. I kept trying to shift with the brake levers, which didn't move. I tried to pull up on the pedal from a traffic light, forgetting I wasn't clipped in. I found myself looking at the familiar scenery differently - through the eyes of a tourer seeing everything for the first time from the seat of a bike - which is a big part of why we tour, right? Seeing everything at slow speeds, without the frame of a car window?
Nature threw in a howling headwind on my return home, just to simulate a tour where you have no choice but to push through adverse conditions. My legs were tired when I got home, just like a tour, and I felt good the rest of the day, just like a tour.
I'm getting excited! Anyone else getting excited about an upcoming summer tour? (Probably lots of folks.)