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First Time

Old 09-19-18, 07:45 AM
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First Time

Is there a thread of people describing their first bike tour trip? I'm planning a trip this coming summer down the Oregon and California coast. I've done some credit card touring, I've backpacked and camped extensively and this seems to be the best of both worlds. But, I am wondering, what were peoples first like? How did you train, what mistakes did you make, what prevented you from quitting if you felt like quitting, how did you get into bike touring? I am just curious about peoples stories.

Thank you,
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Old 09-19-18, 07:59 AM
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I did a couple 1 night overnights to a nearby youth hostel when I was a teenager.

But my first real tour was Oregon to Maine. Kind of jumped right in, I guess.

Mistakes:
1. No loaded test ride prior. Sounds really dumb, and it was. Had to repack everything and move panniers back and forth to quiet speed wobbles.
2. Going out too hard at the outset trying to hang with my faster ride buddies, resulting in an inflamed achilles tendon that almost ended the trip. Had to back off a bit.
3. Not stopping to explore things enough. But the other 2 guys werent really into that so much.

Overall was a great trip.
Re your trip, are you concerned about the amount of traffic on your route?

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Old 09-19-18, 07:05 PM
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Keep in mind part of PCH in CA near big sur is closed from mud slides a few years ago. It may very well be open by the time you come through.

Other considerations - avoid car week in Monterey if you can. I think it's usually around Aug 21. Tons of dingbats racing up and down hwy 1 making life miserable for the 2 wheeled traveler.
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Old 09-19-18, 08:50 PM
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Originally Posted by dgodave


Re your trip, are you concerned about the amount of traffic on your route?
I do have some concerns. I've ridden a lot of long rides on busy roads, it just takes time to get used to the traffic and noise. The last time I drove 101, I saw a lot of cyclists and there seemed to be room for both bikes and cars, but that doesn't count the distracted driver.
Thank you for your story. Whenever I travel solo I forget to stop and take time to look around.
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Old 09-19-18, 09:40 PM
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Originally Posted by popscube
I do have some concerns. I've ridden a lot of long rides on busy roads, it just takes time to get used to the traffic and noise. The last time I drove 101, I saw a lot of cyclists and there seemed to be room for both bikes and cars, but that doesn't count the distracted driver.
Thank you for your story. Whenever I travel solo I forget to stop and take time to look around.
I just ask because, while I'm not traffic averse, if the goal is to really enjoy myself, I will seek out low traffic rides. I'm concerned that the coast hwy is pretty busy. But thats me....
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Old 09-20-18, 04:54 AM
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I always wanted to ride across the U.S. Finally got the opportunity in 1999. Went with an Adventure Cycling unsupported group tour (Northern Tier) because I had zero loaded touring or camping experience. Learned a god deal from the other 11 participants. When the tour ended in Bar Harbor I rode home solo to Philly and then on to Ocean City, NJ and back. Biggest mistake was not having a wheelset that was up to the task.
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Old 09-20-18, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by TrojanHorse
Keep in mind part of PCH in CA near big sur is closed from mud slides a few years ago. It may very well be open by the time you come through.

Other considerations - avoid car week in Monterey if you can. I think it's usually around Aug 21. Tons of dingbats racing up and down hwy 1 making life miserable for the 2 wheeled traveler.
Nope Hwy 1 is fully open. Been open for a couple of months now. There are or where evening closures around Ragged point, where they are doing road work but bike or car you should not be on that road at night anyway.



I would do the coast in September or October. A lot less people on the road. And the fog is supposed to be a bit less that time of year.
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Old 09-20-18, 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by dgodave
I just ask because, while I'm not traffic averse, if the goal is to really enjoy myself, I will seek out low traffic rides. I'm concerned that the coast hwy is pretty busy. But thats me....
After September it is not horrible bad but yeah there are a few spots even that time of year that can shake just about anyone. The Oregon coast seemed to be worse than the California Coast to me.

I remember crossing a bridge somewhere around Big Sur. I looked down and it had to be the most beautiful array of colors I have ever seen. I stream was entering a small bay where some algae had collected. The bight green algae, the turquoise seawater. I had to stop and snap a photo. I stopped for about 10 seconds. After 4 or 5 cars zooming by I decided I should move on. I never got my photo.

The good news is Devils Slide is now a bike path! I did it back in the day it was a road. Everyone warned me to catch a ride and don't ride that section of rode. I ignored the warnings. My biggest danger on that section? Me! I fell in some gravel on the shoulder. I came inches from tumbling down the hillside.
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Old 09-20-18, 05:16 PM
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Originally Posted by popscube
How did you train,
I didn't.

what mistakes did you make,
Not training. Or, more appropriately, not at least loading up a bike for a day or two simulating how I would be riding and learning how/what to pack, what I did and didn't need, etc.

what prevented you from quitting if you felt like quitting,
I was in Europe on an open jaw flight schedule and would have had to lug my bike on public transit to the destination anyhow, after ripping my thigh open and pulling my groin in a crash.

how did you get into bike touring? I am just curious about peoples stories.
My uncle does a lot of it, and it sounded like fun, so I just decided to do it as I was getting bored with regular ways of seeing Europe
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Old 09-20-18, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by spinnaker
After September it is not horrible bad but yeah there are a few spots even that time of year that can shake just about anyone. The Oregon coast seemed to be worse than the California Coast to me.

I remember crossing a bridge somewhere around Big Sur. I looked down and it had to be the most beautiful array of colors I have ever seen. I stream was entering a small bay where some algae had collected. The bight green algae, the turquoise seawater. I had to stop and snap a photo. I stopped for about 10 seconds. After 4 or 5 cars zooming by I decided I should move on. I never got my photo.

The good news is Devils Slide is now a bike path! I did it back in the day it was a road. Everyone warned me to catch a ride and don't ride that section of rode. I ignored the warnings. My biggest danger on that section? Me! I fell in some gravel on the shoulder. I came inches from tumbling down the hillside.
I grew up on the CA coast, and every time I go back there it seems busier. And with that steep coastline, there's basically 1 road where everybody goes. Very pretty tho.
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Old 09-20-18, 09:17 PM
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Best advice I've ever heard of came from (I think) was Willie Weir. Never base any of your major decisions (to quit or which way to go) at the end of the day. Get a good night's rest before making any decisions. I once cut a ride short because of a really hard day. I regretted it the next day when I was well rested. Second best advice is to pace yourself at the beginning. It's easy to push too hard at the start.
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Old 10-30-18, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by jargo432
Best advice I've ever heard of came from (I think) was Willie Weir. Never base any of your major decisions (to quit or which way to go) at the end of the day. Get a good night's rest before making any decisions. I once cut a ride short because of a really hard day. I regretted it the next day when I was well rested. Second best advice is to pace yourself at the beginning. It's easy to push too hard at the start.
I just began practicing this manoeuvre for my upcoming first next May.
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Old 10-30-18, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by seedsbelize
I just began practicing this manoeuvre for my upcoming first next May.
I often violate that rule, riding too many miles on day 1. Last year in MT my first day turned out to be 90+ miles when the smoke had cleared. (I'll advised, impromptu detour from the planned route added miles.) Two years ago it was about 82. I need to get away from that. Three years ago it was about 85. 2015 also featured a hard first day than a very had second day. I was knackered.
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Old 10-30-18, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz
I often violate that rule, riding too many miles on day 1. Last year in MT my first day turned out to be 90+ miles when the smoke had cleared. (I'll advised, impromptu detour from the planned route added miles.) Two years ago it was about 82. I need to get away from that. Three years ago it was about 85. 2015 also featured a hard first day than a very had second day. I was knackered.
First day, almost by necessity is 70, followed by a day or two of rest, touring the cemeteries of my ancestors. I think about breaking it up, but seems like it would make for two very short days. And very early May, before campgrounds are open. Being my first, of course, I don't know, but I am training for it. Since we last wrote, I've purchased a Hennessey Hammock and am looking forward to the freedom it offers.
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Old 10-30-18, 05:06 PM
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Keep a pad to take notes. As a backpacker, you started with all your food and fuel. But on a long bike ride where you are resupplying every few days, you do not want to walk out of the store forgetting anything. Keep notes of what you need as you realize you need it.

In 2014, I started at Astoria and went to San Fransisco. Some of my notes, thoughts and observations are at this link:
Southt to North Pacific Coast Highway Concerns

My info is of course five years old by the time you go next year, but I suspect that 90 percent of it is still valid. You should double check locations of state park hiker biker sites on the state websites to verify that they still have hiker biker sites where you plan to go.

They changed the software for this website a few times since I posted it, so the photos are a bit messed up, but you will still figure it out.

And bring a cork screw, you do not want to have a bottle of wine in your pack and then realize that your cork screw is at home.

Test your panniers and racks on the bike with a load around home to make sure that everything works in harmony.

You will get it figured out pretty quick, you are going to have a great time.
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Old 10-30-18, 09:59 PM
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You guys are making me want to go back out right now. You bastards!!!
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Old 10-31-18, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by 52telecaster
You guys are making me want to go back out right now. You bastards!!!
I know! I really need to get on sorting out next years trip so I've got something to hold me over!
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Old 10-31-18, 12:22 PM
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Train? Nope, but I'd been riding most days for years and I was young..
in the 50's done boy scouts
built up my own bike , changing components (a 3 cubed 3 speed with 27)

then post HS, late 60's; Navy, Got mechanics down solid so Any repairs , I figured it out..

Internet still decades in the future back then..

Tour is just a series of day rides , you just go on, rather than return home at night..

I next had to get a grasp of going with my Bike to Europe, on 747's,
boxing and re assembling.. Pre Euro, so Currency changing and all that.





....

Last edited by fietsbob; 10-31-18 at 12:31 PM.
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