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  1. #1
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    Boy if I could do that tour again I would ..................!!!!

    I am not new to bicycles but am new to this touring thing. My plan is to retire next spring, hop on my Surly LHT and ride 1000 miles from central Mt. to eastern SD where I grew up. Will be doing this myself, camping for most of it and of course credit card to motel when I need/want to. I have been riding quite a bit and putting good miles on the bike and will work hard at it next spring to get into shape also. Plan is to strike out about 1st of June and head east.

    So that being said, I'm just asking this, we all have said it many times for different reasons but don't we all catch our self saying " boy if I could do that again I would blah blah blah, do that different or blah blah blah bring that along, or not bring that along. Or gosh I wish I would have done that.

    I'm going to try to learn to relax and take my time as I have no deadlines. Just want to feel retired. Is that possible?

    Let your fingers do the keyboard and thanks.

    Marlowe
    Great Falls, MT.

  2. #2
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    It is possible, whether you're 24 or 64.

  3. #3
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    There isn't much I would change in terms of what I bring on tours. We're on a long tour (7.5 months) right now, and I've used most of what I packed and don't regret much of anything. I might have taken 2 pairs of cycling shorts instead of 3, but not a big deal. But that's what shorter practice tours are for.


    However, this tour has introduced us to various parts of the world ... and we would really like to return to some of them ... to travel in those areas again, for longer ...

    -- Hokkaido, Japan. We spent 10 days there and would like to spend a month.
    -- Scotland. We spent 3 weeks there and could probably spend 5 or 6.
    -- Switzerland. We spent a little over a week there, and could easily spend 2 or 3 or more (but it is very expensive)
    -- And so far, best of all, the west coast of France ... the Velodyssey Route. The whole route goes from the UK to Spain. We only cycled a small portion in the middle, but really enjoyed it. So much, that we've been talking about renting a house for the summer there ... or maybe even staying longer if possible.

  4. #4
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    I Should have read tons of history , before going thru places
    with a long, rich history, all around me.

    Coming from AHistorical USA, and going to Ireland and the British Isles
    which had settlements of stone tool making people.

    OK NA has those people too But they were wiped out
    to take their Land and repeatedly sell it to each other.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 10-19-12 at 02:30 PM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member TiBikeGuy's Avatar
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    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?o=1&doctype=journal

    For some inspiration, read the journals of these ppl who have toured from all over the world.

  6. #6
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Have a great trip.

    Regarding things I'd do differently on tours i have done...
    I'd would pack a lot lighter on my earlier tours if I had it to do over. In particular I'd have splurged on a lighter tent (I carried a 10 pound tent for the three of us and cursed at it every day). I also would have taken less spare parts on the TA. On the other hand, I would have taken a Unior Cassette *******, but at the time I didn't know they existed.

  7. #7
    <riding now> BigAura's Avatar
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    I regret not having kept journals for the tours I did when I was in my twenties. For my recent tours, in my late fifties, I have kept journals. It's not that I even reference them much, but I still like the concept that I can.

  8. #8
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    An easy one when hidsight is factored in.

    I begged to get "downsized" by May of '99. I was and rode across the country and then some. The following winter I was getting set to tour Andalucia from mid-May to the end of April and then start another extended cross country trip in late May following ACA's Pac. Coast, Northern Tier, Great Parks (north and south), Trans Am and Atlantic Coast routes. In February, I met a woman who was 12 years my junior and got serious in a very short time, which was the last thing I was looking to do. When I returned from Spain, the aforesaid woman suggested that, instead of riding across the country, I come visit her and her friends who would be interning in Mesa Verde National Park. After that, we would have a grand time doing some car touring and then head up to WY for an organized tour. I agreed.

    While I was on the road, we would write each other and occasionally talk on the phone. I believe I have the abiliy to read people fairly well. At some point I got the feeling that my arrival was becoming, how should I say it, less anticipated. The feeling grew so stronger. After crossing Hooiser Pass, I stopped in Fairplay, CO, which is where I had to decide to stay on the Trans Am east or take the Great Parks South route to Mesa Verde. I spent over an hour in the town park trying to determine whether my Spidey senses were out of whack or whether my feeling was accurate. In the end, I decided on the former. I made the wrong deicison. About a month later I found myself in Denver waiting to start a train trip back home.

  9. #9
    eternalvoyage
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    That feeling of no deadlines, no rush, at peace with yourself, and with the world, and all who are on this ship together, is possible.

    It's an inner attitude, or spirit, and may be the most important part of a tour.

  10. #10
    eternalvoyage
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    Indyfabz,

    Very reminiscent of some variations on those themes in my own touring.
    Last edited by Niles H.; 10-10-12 at 10:43 AM.

  11. #11
    <riding now> BigAura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Niles H. View Post
    That feeling of no deadlines, no rush, at peace with yourself, and with the world, and all who are on this ship together, is possible.

    It's an inner attitude, or spirit, and may be the most important part of a tour.
    +1

  12. #12
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Niles H. View Post
    That feeling of no deadlines, no rush, at peace with yourself, and with the world, and all who are on this ship together, is possible.

    It's an inner attitude, or spirit, and may be the most important part of a tour.
    +1
    For that reason I usually advise folks try to not have fixed schedules or end dates on tours unless the geographic end point is flexible. Being saddled with a firm exact deadline or rigid schedule sucks.

  13. #13
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    Touring is 90% mental,10% physical.....as long as you have time on your side......
    If you have time issues,it's the other way around.....You don't have to think much to get to point B as fast as you can.....doesn't take much brain power to put your head down and push the pedals.

    Have fun!
    Last edited by Booger1; 10-10-12 at 11:27 AM.
    Everything should be as simple as possible...But not more so.---Albert Einstein

  14. #14
    Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
    +1
    For that reason I usually advise folks try to not have fixed schedules or end dates on tours unless the geographic end point is flexible. Being saddled with a firm exact deadline or rigid schedule sucks.
    I know the hardest part will be for me to kill the portion of my brain that for the last 30 years has caused me to be on time, don't miss this or that schedule. This is not a sanctioned tour at all. I have never ridden more that a few miles until I decided a few months back that this is what I will do when I retire. I bought the Surly and have been riding hard. Lost 15lbs with a few to go yet. Legs seem to be good at 62, lungs are good.

    I hoping the only worry I have is will I make the next town before dark. And really with my bike packed with a tent and sleeping bag not sure why I should ever worry about that either. I just don't want to get all done with trip and say, "why didn't I do that or I should have taken the time to do that". Hey you know maybe I will do it again the next year. I should have the time right!!!

    Thanks for the advise. Come on now, don't be shy guy and gals. Need more input here.

    Marlowe

  15. #15
    Has opinion, will express
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    Quote Originally Posted by marlowe View Post
    I know the hardest part will be for me to kill the portion of my brain that for the last 30 years has caused me to be on time, don't miss this or that schedule. This is not a sanctioned tour at all. I have never ridden more that a few miles until I decided a few months back that this is what I will do when I retire. I bought the Surly and have been riding hard. Lost 15lbs with a few to go yet. Legs seem to be good at 62, lungs are good.

    I hoping the only worry I have is will I make the next town before dark. And really with my bike packed with a tent and sleeping bag not sure why I should ever worry about that either. I just don't want to get all done with trip and say, "why didn't I do that or I should have taken the time to do that". Hey you know maybe I will do it again the next year. I should have the time right!!!
    Thanks for the advise. Come on now, don't be shy guy and gals. Need more input here.

    Marlowe
    There really is no way of doing it right or wrong. It's done the way you wish it at the time.

    I suppose the way to put it is, that it's the experience that counts. Use the experience to make it better next time.

    One of my beliefs is: Our experiences yesterday give us the skills today to handle the challenges tomorrow.

    It's one of the reasons why Machka posted what she did -- you may not get it right this time, but there is always the chance to do it again.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  16. #16
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marlowe View Post
    I know the hardest part will be for me to kill the portion of my brain that for the last 30 years has caused me to be on time, don't miss this or that schedule. This is not a sanctioned tour at all. I have never ridden more that a few miles until I decided a few months back that this is what I will do when I retire. I bought the Surly and have been riding hard. Lost 15lbs with a few to go yet. Legs seem to be good at 62, lungs are good.

    I hoping the only worry I have is will I make the next town before dark. And really with my bike packed with a tent and sleeping bag not sure why I should ever worry about that either. I just don't want to get all done with trip and say, "why didn't I do that or I should have taken the time to do that". Hey you know maybe I will do it again the next year. I should have the time right!!!

    Thanks for the advise. Come on now, don't be shy guy and gals. Need more input here.

    Marlowe
    Have you done some short tours yet? If not, go do some ... in the conditions you expect to encounter.

    The answer to your question about what we might do differently is ... it depends. It depends on so many things.


    For example, we have discovered that for the type of touring we're doing, folding bicycles would have been a better choice than the non-folding bicycles we chose. But the non-folding bicycles we chose would work well for other types of tours.

  17. #17
    Garlic
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    I like the post above about 90% mental (reminds me of a favorite Yogi Berraism). Something I was successful with on my last tour, not so much on previous tours, was keeping happy every day no matter the conditions. Somewhere along the way I learned that you can be in a good place or a bad place--your choice.

    On the physical side, I think lighter pack weight and a simpler load leads to increased happiness. On that last tour, I halved my previous load and at least doubled my contentment.

  18. #18
    Senior Member
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    Try not to second guess yourself about everything (or possibly even anything).

    Last year during a ten-day trip in MT we really watned to ride this one pass, but it was offcially closed due to a huge washout. It's possible that we could have made it through, but had we gotten up there and found it impassible, we would have been in a world of hurt. We decided against risking it and instead took an alternate route suggested by an Adventure Cycling Association employee we had fortutiously ran into at a camprgound several days before. It turned out to a wonderful alternative. While I still want to ride that pass one day, I don't let the decision we made nag at me.

  19. #19
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andrewclaus View Post
    On the physical side, I think lighter pack weight and a simpler load leads to increased happiness. On that last tour, I halved my previous load and at least doubled my contentment.
    For me the simplicity of living with a very few, but well thought out, gear and clothing items greatly enhances the touring experience.

    On the other side of the coin I met a guy who was carrying 10 times the gear weight I was (literally 10 times) and apparently enjoying the trip very much. That was before I went as light as I have recently have, now it would be more than 20 times as much. So there is a really wide range of what folks find acceptable.

    I do recommend folks trying going ultralight if so inclined though, but acknowledge that it isn't for everyone.

  20. #20
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
    Try not to second guess yourself about everything (or possibly even anything).

    While I still want to ride that pass one day, I don't let the decision we made nag at me.

    Yeah, route changes happen.

  21. #21
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    Is I look back at my touring days, I regret that I did not make more of an effort to mix with the locals.

  22. #22
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    Marlowe, I thought about your question for a couple of days. On any ride that things went wrong, I learned something. On a ride where things went perfectly, I learned to appreciate that.

    Brad

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Louis View Post
    Is I look back at my touring days, I regret that I did not make more of an effort to mix with the locals.
    Is that because of a time line you needed to make or was it a camping issue (stealth camping)? In a hurry or what?

    Thanks,

    Marlowe

  24. #24
    Walmart bike rider gpsblake's Avatar
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    If I ever do a very long tour again, what would I do different.... I wouldn't keep a live journal online. I kept one in 2005, and eventually the Columbia newspaper picked up on the tour. While it made me have followers at the time, I also felt like I was doing it for them instead of myself. Also what I would do different, I would take a day off from time to time, I realize now that rest days are very important.

  25. #25
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Bring a point and shoot camera.

    Take some pics each night when you stop.

    It will help you remember each day later on.


    http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/h...ril2010039.jpg

    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7jfcWEkSrI

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