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Our Latest Big Adventure, some C&V

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Our Latest Big Adventure, some C&V

Old 08-15-13, 05:12 PM
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Our Latest Big Adventure, some C&V

I finally have time to write a ride report. (Some of these pics have been posted elsewhere.)

This past weekend a bunch of us did a 3-day/2-night camping tour. Participating were BF members Bern (berner), Tom (noglider) and Carol, Dallas (photogravity) and Rachel on their Bilenky tandem, and Tom's and Carol's friends Dan and Louise. And my sweetie/stoker Sharon of course with me on our Peugeot tandem. From our perspective this ride was distinctly C&V!

We'd planned to leave our house in Waltham on Friday and pedal northeast to Harold Parker State Forest, on Saturday morning head west to a private campground in Littleton, then return home on Sunday. Each leg would be about 40 miles, forming a big Y. Friday's terrible weather said no, so we reversed the route and started on Saturday.

Day 1 - People and bikes showed up!



Our loaded vintage tandem, about 100lbs:


After a few technical glitches involving a tire, a spoke, two space nymphs, and a dilithium release valve we finally hit the road. We rode north to the Minuteman Bikeway, then west to Bedford. By then it was apparent that we had two very different riding styles and too large a group to keep together. So I gave Tom, Carol, Dan, and Louise directions to follow a more direct route, and the rest of us headed off on my original route. (Actually, I didn't want to take our loaded tandem up a few hills which I knew they could handle easily.)

On the way both groups found an ice cream stand. L to R: Dallas, Rachel, Sharon, Bern.


Since we'd taken a longer route we ended up behind the others but caught up with them when they stopped on rt225 about 30 miles into the day. Then we rode together to the campground. After setting up camp Sharon and I rode off to a supermarket a few miles away on an unloaded bike. And Tom, Carol, Dan, and Louise walked off to a restaurant in their bike shoes, which turned out to be not such a great idea when the distance ended up more than expected! The rest of us had DINNER!



Morning comes early when you're traveling by bike. But a few people aren't awake yet.



Eventually we got packed up and ready to roll. In front: Bern. L to R: Rachel, Dallas, Sharon, myself, Tom, Carol, Dan, Louise.


Continued...
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Old 08-15-13, 05:15 PM
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The run east was pleasant and brisker than expected. Carol had a family event to attend on Sunday so she and Tom split off in Carlisle to pick up their car. We bid them farewell and stopped for lunch at a lovely park in Carlisle Center, right next to the ubiquitous Fern's General Store. We would have eaten outside of Fern's but there were too many bikes there already for us to park ours!


The run over to Harold Parker for our diminished party was easy but we had to negotiate a bit of surbubia. My GPS tried to take us through some imaginary intersections between residential roads. Nevertheless we outsmarted that silly machine and made it safely.


Repacking for day 3 was an extended affair. Of course photo ops were mandatory.





The ride home was punctuated by a few events. One was meeting the bike-enthusiast park ranger whom we'd met last year. I'd had an email exchange with him but our re-scheduling meant we didn't see him. This was his day off, but he happened to drive by us and flagged us down at the next opportunity just to say hi! The second event involved someone missing a turn, and Dallas and Rachel going off on a fast search-and-rundown mission while still trailing their BOB. Kudos to them!

Quiet tree-canopied roads in Carlisle made up for it though. Here's a brief stop:


By now people were hungry. A TJ's bordering on the Minuteman Bikeway provided for everyone's needs for the last few miles home.


We learned some things. It's hard to keep a large group together. Food is really, really important. Starting with your bike jersey pockets jammed with food means you can eat something at every short stop without rummaging through panniers, without you having to remember where you packed everything! Learning to balance a loaded bike wasn't as hard as one might think. And did I mention how important food is?

By our odo, 129 miles, which includes a few runs to markets for food!

This trip was a blast! It was great meeting everyone and connecting faces to BF posts.

Sharon wants to do another trip soon. I need to catch up on work... Riding is so much more fun.
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Old 08-15-13, 05:43 PM
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Nice write-up, thanks! Looks like everyone had a great time!
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Old 08-15-13, 06:56 PM
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Great trip! Thanks for the ride report and photos. I'm envious.
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Old 08-15-13, 07:14 PM
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Looks like fun! Thanks for sharing the pics. Always enjoy reading about forum members getting together in person.
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Old 08-15-13, 07:54 PM
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Nice write-up!
Yikes . . . you guys carry lotsa "stuff"!
We never did full packing tours but credit card tours, so we did not to lug tents, stoves, etc.
Managed to do a 3 day 200 mile loop by the south rim of the Grand Canyon (Flagstaff to Grand Canyon to Cameron to Flagstaff) with 22 lbs of stuff for the 2-of-us.
No chance to avoid the 'hills' there!
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Old 08-15-13, 07:55 PM
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Fantastic report. I used my handlebar bag for food storage while riding which made for a little easier access and I could see what I was grabbing.
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Old 08-15-13, 08:00 PM
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What a great time.
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Old 08-15-13, 08:32 PM
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Jim, thanks for sharing the ride here. I agree that the ride was a ton of fun. Trying to keep a large group together can be a challenge and on at least a couple rides I've been on, the host periodically did a sweep to ensure everyone was still with the group. One thing I learned is that if you want to send a chase vehicle out for someone that got separated from the group, don't do it on a loaded tandem unless the route is flat or downhill.

We enjoyed the trip so much that we are trying to find ways to plan more trips in the near future, depending on how things play out in our personal lives. Many thanks for your hospitality in hosting and leading the ride. This was a great taste for bicycle touring/camping.
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Old 08-15-13, 09:16 PM
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Very cool, this kind of stuff is really great to see!

Kudos to all of you that rode!
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Old 08-15-13, 09:50 PM
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Originally Posted by zonatandem View Post
Nice write-up!
Yikes . . . you guys carry lotsa "stuff"!
Thank you, and yes, well, ahem, it was more "stuff" than I would have preferred. Sharon has a few food allergies such as gluten, so we can't just go into any old restaurant. Carrying one's own food and prep utensils is the way to solve that.

Stove, fuel, some cooking pots, sleeping pads, tent, one down bag to open up as a cover for both of us, food, clothes, soap and toothbrush, etc. It adds up. If I spent money on newer super-lightweight stuff we could save some weight, I guess.
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Old 08-16-13, 02:05 AM
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Looks like a great time Jim, I'd love to be involved in the next one! I missed this one for a pretty good reason. Meet my first grandson Caleb, 6 lbs 8 oz.

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Old 08-16-13, 02:21 AM
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Jim, very nice ride report. And OTG, congratulations!
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Old 08-16-13, 08:42 AM
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OTG, you win! A grandson trumps a bike ride any day. It would have been great if you could have come though. Maybe next time.
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Old 08-16-13, 09:01 AM
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Jim, thanks for sharing .. loved the photos. I've been discussing putting the 2013 Fall CCRT ride with Rootboy, I'll be posting something on that in the next few days. OTG, hope you can join us on that ride, we had fun in the spring.

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Old 08-16-13, 09:11 AM
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Cool photos and story...been a long time since I've done anything but a few HOURS tour....
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Old 08-16-13, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by ScottRyder View Post
Jim, thanks for sharing .. loved the photos. I've been discussing putting the 2013 Fall CCRT ride with Rootboy, I'll be posting something on that in the next few days. OTG, hope you can join us on that ride, we had fun in the spring.

Scott
I'll keep an eye out for the CCRT ride, I had a great time last time around. Thanks.
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Old 08-16-13, 03:36 PM
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A great time with friends!
Fantastic ride report Jim! I am envious of those photos...look at all that greenery. I miss my 16 years in New England.

Congrats OTG!
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Old 08-16-13, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by ScottRyder View Post
I've been discussing putting the 2013 Fall CCRT ride with Rootboy, I'll be posting something on that in the next few days.
If we are available you can count us in!

The days we can make are:
Sept 22, 29
Oct 5, 12, 19, 20
Nov 2, 3, 9, 10, 17, 23, 24

Looking forward to it already!
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Old 08-16-13, 07:35 PM
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Me too!
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Old 08-16-13, 09:39 PM
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Looks like you guys had a lot of fun!
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Old 08-16-13, 09:50 PM
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Jim, Seeing a tandem in action always causes me to miss my old Santana, but the kids are grown and it went to a new family. Thanks for the photos.

Brad
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