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Thread: Waiting it Out

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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Waiting it Out

    On your tours and travels, cycling, hiking, canoeing ....

    What's the longest you've had to wait out a storm, or bad weather in general, or other unexpected travel conditions ... like maybe (surprise!) the ferry doesn't leave for 2 days, or the road is closed because of a rock slide, or because of border crossing issues, or maybe your flight has been grounded?

    What happened, where did you stay, and what did you do to occupy yourselves?

    Tell us your unexpected delay stories ... waiting it out ...

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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    We are currently stuck in an Atlantic storm which has lasted 72 hours so far.

    A few days ago, we headed northward on the Velodyssey Trail along the west coast of France. It's a nice route, and we had quite a lovely warm day. We stopped at a campground here, and took a cabin for 2 nights ... then spent some time on the beach, and sitting out on the deck. The next day was a bit blustery but we got out and flew a kite on the beach, went for a walk, and did some wading and splashing etc.

    That evening one of the campground managers came by and told us to batten down the hatches because we were in for a storm. Originally it was only supposed to last the night and move on by morning. No problem. 72 hours later, we're still here and the storm is still raging outside. We made a quick break for it this afternoon to dash to the grocery store because we were running out of supplies. We got there, and halfway back, in light rain and strong wind before the heavy rain and really howling wind started up again.

    Some reports say it is supposed to keep going for another 24 hours ... some say it is supposed to start moving on during the day tomorrow. Who knows!

    You should hear it ... for 72 hours it has been like a train has been going right past the cabin ... a constant deep rumble that comes from the ocean which is just wild, and the wind. Sometimes the train rumble gets louder, and sounds like a train is coming right for the cabin (like right now, as a matter of fact), and then the cabin is blasted with either sand or rain. And when the rain gets heavy, which is does in wave after wave after wave, it's like the cabin is going through a carwash. It's unrelenting. And just not something we want to cycle in.

    So we've been stuck inside our little dry, reasonably warm cabin, browsing the internet, doing some research, and making arrangements for the next phases of our trip ... and I've worked on my story and on photos. Fortunately we are in this little cabin which is relatively inexpensive, and not in a tent in the middle of nowhere. We're hoping to be able to keep riding again on Friday.

  3. #3
    mev
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    Six days.

    May 14th 1997 and I was cycling the Alaska Highway near mile 500 and the Laird River. My rear rim fell apart. I walked for ~2.5miles before catching a ride in a truck for another 7 miles. Next morning I looked in yellow pages and found a bike shop in Fort St. John. They agreed to build up a new rim and send it up, though that might take 3-4 days. The rim took longer than expected to arrive and then there was a Victoria Day holiday. Longer story but on May 20th, I gave up on the bike shop and had one in Fort McPherson send up a replacement wheel on next greyhound bus.

    In hindsight I shouldn't have believed the bike shop when they told me they'd build the wheel and send it up. However, it was a nice relaxing break and there were hot springs nearby and nice place to take a break.

    As far as weather related delays those have more typically been one or two days.

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    Senior Member simplygib's Avatar
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    Spent a week cycling like mad to try and catch a ferry that ran twice a week. It didn't help that I was riding with dehydration sickness and covering lots of hills and miles in hot weather. Missed the ferry by a day. Had to wait three days for the next one, but we were in a nice hostel in a nice town (Granada, Nicaragua), and I desperately needed the rest, so I was thankful. By the third day the dehydration sickness had all but left me, but in a "duh" moment I drank a glass of tap water, so it started all over again for another 24 hours. What fun.

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    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Once spent 4 days trapped in a tent in the pouring rain, waiting for an opening to climb Glacier Peak. We had a good book and just pretended we were on the South Col. The tent was a good one. We stayed dry and had plenty of food. One of our best memories. We got our break in the weather.

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    I've never really had much in the way of weather delays. The closest I have had was when I broke an axle fifty miles east of Redding CA. It took most of the day to get it replaced which put us heading towards the coast out of town on a Friday afternoon. After my wife was very nearly smeared against a cliffside by a flatbed truck, we gave up riding and just walked on the other side of the road. Apparently it was less fun to drive close by a bicycle whose rider wasn't astride it. That is, the eastbound motorists gave us a lot more room to walk than the westbound ones gave us to ride. After about an hour or two of this, we came to a junction with a smaller highway and got back on the bikes for a wonderful trip.

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    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    I have been lucky enough to have not had any major delays. I typically will continue in pretty bad weather after sleeping in and then quickly becoming bored with waiting. Mostly I have been pretty lucky with weather other than the fact that record heat seems to follow me.

    Things like rock slides and bridges that were out caused some long detours, but not delays.

  8. #8
    Bike touring webrarian
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    The only delay I've had was due to falling off my bike trying to go up the ridiculously high curb cuts in France. I broke some ribs and decided to rest a day. Virtually everything I did hurt with sitting being bad. Laying down was a painful 10 minute process. I was being hosted by an alcoholic Irish woman and her Algerian drinking partner and the scene got so bad that I left on the evening of the second night, rode out on a very painful cobbled road, and somehow found the strength to get to a hotel for the night.
    Visit the on-line Bike Touring Archive at www.biketouringtips.com

  9. #9
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    That does not sound like a good situation at all raybo!!

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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    We've been fortunate with our delay here ... we're got quite a bit of flexibility in our schedule, and we ended up in a decent place for a good price.



    One other situation came to mind today ... I was delayed a couple days on my Australia tour when my freehub broke. It broke as I rolled into the Hobart area, and fortunately the last few km was a gentle downhill and I coasted in. I noticed that something wasn't right then, but didn't really discover the problem till the next morning when my cycling partner and I were getting ready to go.

    As it happened we were staying with someone by the name of Rowan, so we asked if we could stay an extra couple days and that was OK. He gave me a couple shops to check. The first told me they had none of what I needed in stock, and it would take a week to get it from Melbourne. Or they could possibly cobble something together for me. The second just happened to have one in stock. They didn't usually carry it, but for some reason had one, and were able to install it the next day.

    That delay could have been a lot longer, or if my freehub had decided to pack it in earlier in the day I could have been walking a long way. As it was, it worked out quite well ... and I got to know this person by the name of Rowan a bit better.

  11. #11
    40 yrs bike touring
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    I have had more storm delays on kayak tours than on bike tours. The worst bike tour delay came on the West side of Glacier NP in the US heading North from Polebridge to Trail Creek Crossing along the Flathead River at the Canadian border enroute to Alaska via the Icefield Parkway through Banff and Jasper NP. The route covered much of the Canadian portion of the present day Divide Ride backwards in 1987.
    While riding the gravel Flathead Road through a large recently burned forest area strong winds over 50MPH began to drop the dead trees across the route every ten feet. Because of the constantly falling trees I had to wait in the rain until the winds subsided after three hours. Lifting the loaded bike over each tree for the next 10 miles made for a long end of the day. Lots of upper body cross training that unforgettable day along a beautiful and challenging route. Too bad the Trail Creek Crossing remains closed due to 9/11 "fear-dumb" thinking by two governments.

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    The most I've ever been delayed is one day. In New Zealand we sat out a day while a cyclone blew through. We rented a cabin and spent the day playing cribbage.

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    What a nice story about the freehub. And just to be a total gearhead about this scene with angels peering over the edges of sunlit clouds... What was wrong with the freehub? Broken shell?

  14. #14
    Senior Member simplygib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
    I've never really had much in the way of weather delays. The closest I have had was when I broke an axle fifty miles east of Redding CA. It took most of the day to get it replaced which put us heading towards the coast out of town on a Friday afternoon. After my wife was very nearly smeared against a cliffside by a flatbed truck, we gave up riding and just walked on the other side of the road. Apparently it was less fun to drive close by a bicycle whose rider wasn't astride it. That is, the eastbound motorists gave us a lot more room to walk than the westbound ones gave us to ride. After about an hour or two of this, we came to a junction with a smaller highway and got back on the bikes for a wonderful trip.
    Hwy 299? I'll never ride that one again.

  15. #15
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MassiveD View Post
    What a nice story about the freehub. And just to be a total gearhead about this scene with angels peering over the edges of sunlit clouds... What was wrong with the freehub? Broken shell?
    The pawls were frozen so there was no drive ... just spinning with nothing happening. It seems to be common among Formula freehubs. It happened again to the replacement one a year or two later.

    Evidently you're not supposed to ride in the rain with a Formula freehub.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Doug64's Avatar
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    My wife and I waited out a storm during a mountaineering venture. On the way down from the summit a storm moved in and we were stuck at a little over 10,000 feet for 2 days. This is what our tent, ropes (pile in upper right of photo), and any gear we left outside the tent looked like. The hot pink webbing was added to help hold the tent down during high winds. We were well prepared, and comfortable. However, the tent was a challenge to pack when we finally started down



    Last edited by Doug64; 09-28-12 at 07:00 PM.

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