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Tell me a funny touring story experience...

Old 09-05-19, 05:48 PM
  #1  
dualresponse
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Share a funny touring story experience...

I was just thinking. I'm rebuilding a bike I used to do some touring in the early 1990's. It got me thinking about real life on the road- for example, I camped out on the side of a mountain fireroad. In the middle of the night, some VERY heavy animal walked right by my tent. 1/2 asleep, I knew it was a bear, so tried to yell, but 1/2 asleep, it came out all wrong. I shreaked like a little kid. Fortunately, the animal walked right on by. Next morning, two hunters walked up the trail and apologized for "scaring" me the night before....

Also... I was prepared for spring touring. I hadn't accounted for the elevation though. The next day (as I hit the mountains) it started snowing. I was stranded in a 3x5 foot tent that started to immediately collapse under the weight of the snow. "Well... this isn't so fun!!!" I thought. Stuff like that.

Stories like this- please share!

Last edited by dualresponse; 09-05-19 at 05:53 PM.
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Old 09-05-19, 06:30 PM
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This happened during my rest stop in a BC town.

I was staying the night over in the small town hostel. I met this German man who was hitch-hiking across Western Canada and was also staying a night at the same hostel. We got a long very well and discovered we were in the same room. In this room were two bunk beds. I took the top bunk from one bed and he took the bottom bunk from the other bed. What was left was a bed underneath me and a bed on top for him (hope I am making sense). I warned my new friend to take the top bunk on his bed because you never know who might be sleeping on top of you. He told me he wanted to stay on the bottom to watch his stuff. I didn't argue and simply said OK.

We both go to sleep around 12am. Around 2am, a man and a woman who reeked of alcohol came into our room. They were noisy, but it was expected. The woman slept underneath me and the man slept in the bed above my German friend. Around 3am, I hear (in a very German accent) "What the ****! Hey, BikeWonder, wake up! He's spilling something on me! I'm wet!" I wake up and get off my bunk.

I observe the wet stain on my friend's bed and wonder what it is. After some analysis of observation, I concluded it was urine from the heavily drunk man above my friend. When I broke the news, my friend started swearing and causing a scene, waking up the hostel.

We couldn't wake up the man, but fortunately we were allocated to two fresh rooms and refunded for our inconvenience.

The drunk man and woman were charged a $750 fine for the issue.


The morning after was met with some really good laughs. We found humour in the situation and couldn't contain our laughter. It was a moment to be remembered.

Last edited by BikeWonder; 09-08-19 at 10:07 PM.
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Old 09-05-19, 09:10 PM
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I was touring in Europe in '74 and looked up a buddy still in the service in Germany and we did some touring together with the month of leave he'd saved up. Our overnights were done in a mix of hostels, or tenting or crashing (under bridges or in unfinished construction--be sure to leave early!). One of our tenting episodes stays with me. We'd stopped late-ish and went to sleep pretty thoroughly until a huge noise woke us up in the middle of the night. A train, obviously, but where the hell was it and where did it come from? Turns out the tracks were about ten feet from the tent but because of the terrain and foliage we never knew they were there.
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Old 09-06-19, 04:23 AM
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Came face to face at about 25' with a giant black bear (at least 500 lbs.) as I was leaving camp at dawn on the edge of the Allegheny National Forest. He had raided the dumpsters overnight. There was a pile of scat about 20' from my tent. I figured he had left the area. I was wrong, but he must have realized that I have chunks of guys like Chuck Norris in my stool because he wandered away without incident. Here is the mess he left behind.

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Old 09-06-19, 05:13 AM
  #5  
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Nineteen years ago I was riding in Yellowstone N.P. when a car pulled along side me. The woman in the passenger seat said "Hi, Dave." I swung my head to the left to see Katy, who had been on my cross country trip the summer before. He boyfriend pulled the car over and we chatted for a bit. I asked her how she recognized me. She answered "You'are wearing the same clothes I saw you in all last summer." She was right. The only response I could come up with was "But I got a different tent!"
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Old 09-06-19, 07:16 AM
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was cycling along the mosel river in germany, and realized i was out of fresh inner tubes. next decent-sized town found a bike shop to make the purchase. having a couple years of high school german, i was not concerned.

"ask me your questions bridgekeeper, i am not afraid"

i marched right in and demanded a "schlumpf" for my bicycle. the clerk asked really?, to which i responded in the affirmative. unfortunately, i did not use the word "schlauch" which would be an inner tube. clerk went in the back for a few minutes and came out with a dingie-bell version of a "schlumpf"

https://img0.etsystatic.com/027/1/85...48164_q2y5.jpg

yes, i did purchase it. no way i'd admit to being wrong about that!

Last edited by saddlesores; 09-06-19 at 07:20 AM.
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Old 09-06-19, 07:28 AM
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In 2000 our ACA TransAm group included a wonderful young man from Taiwan. We could not pronounce his proper name so we addressed him by his nickname "Shiangold" (Shung-go). His command of the English language was limited so he usually rode with at least one other to help him navigate American culture. Shiangold always rode with one of those flapping sun protectors for the neck under his helmet, sometimes a bandanna over his face and of course sun glasses. He looked like a warrior out of Lawrence of Arabia! The first day of the trip he started to enter a bank with all of his head gear on. His riding partner had to quickly stop him at the door!
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Old 09-06-19, 08:08 AM
  #8  
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From "Solo Without Pie. Part Determination". An almost true story.

I don't care how hard you ride or how fast you ride or how long you ride, if you ride in the yellow suit you don't look tough or fast or mean - you just look stupid and wet!

After a day of hills, wind, rain and breakdowns, I was tired of being wet, yellow, and stupid. I wanted to lay down and go to sleep. But I could see the mist of the rain that was following me and I could see the turn off to the campground so I "sprinted" up the last hill. Now "sprinting" is usually something done with a sub-20 pound bike (I'm even seeing some sub-10 pound bikes out there). It's fast and furious and all very exciting. Sprinting a bike that, loaded, weighs in at around 85 lb. is far from fast and furious. It makes turtle racing seem exciting but I did the best I could. Luckily the campground had some shelter for me to wait out the downpour so that I wouldn't have to put up my already sodden tent in the rain.

The campground was beautiful, at least that part of it that I could see from my tent window between waves of water as I ate my freeze-dried dinner. At least I was prepared for the weather, unlike the guy pitching the tent next to me. After he called his wife to tell her that he had the tent set up and was coming back to change into some dry clothes, he left me to ponder the wonders of camping within easy driving distance of home. (As an aside, aren't cell phones wonderful? I mean you can share your whole life with everyone around. Argue with your wife, yell at your kids, discuss the "Big Game" - anything at all, and everyone within earshot get to share. What could be better?)

As a bicycle tourist, I lived a life close to that of our caveman ancestors. I didn't carry more than a little flashlight and generally when the sun went down, I went to bed. When the sun came up I got out of bed. Everybody else in the world has lights and generators and starts camp fires and comes back to the campsite way after dark. Which of course wakes up those of us who are asleep. And their conversations off the cell phone are just as clear as those on the cell phone except this time I got to hear both sides.

"Vern, have you got the sleeping bags?", she yelled.

"No, Peggy Sue, I thought you had them.", he yelled back.

"Well, Vern, I thought they were in the back of the truck with the turkey fryer."

"Nope not back here. Let me get the 3,000,000 candlepower WWII surplus searchlight I got from Annoying Lights-R-Us and scan it round the forest for a while until I find those bags."

After 15 minutes of the reenactment of Battle of Britain -The Horizontal Version, she finally yelled, "Hey Vern, I found 'em. They were in the other car."

"Well, put them in the tent. Here let me shine some light on it for you," yelled Vern. "I'll just swing the light around your way." Just as he swung the light around towards my tent, I saw the bones in my hand as I put my hand up in front of my face. I could also smell the nylon of the tent as it started to smoke. Just then I heard Little Verny Joe Jr. yell to his daddy, " Hey Daddy, what is that over by that smoking tent?"

As Vern swung the light that way, I say the afterimage of my bike as it appeared to melt into a pool of molten metal and I heard Vern exclaim, "Why that's a bike Little Verny Joe. That guy is riding it a long way just like your daddy used to!" Finally, I might just get some conversation with a fellow bicyclist, even if I was permanently blind from his searchlight.

Again, as a bicycling tourist, your existence is closer to those of our caveman ancestors. When the sun goes down, you go to bed. When the sun comes up, you get out of bed. Unfortunately, a lifetime of going to bed after the 10 p.m. news and getting up before dawn has trained me to sleep for only about 7 hours. If the sun goes down at 8 p.m., that means that I'm awake at about 1 a.m. But it's way to dark and cold to get out of bed so I would toss and turn all night until finally falling back asleep at about 5 - just in time for the sun to come up. But this night, all I could think of was getting up in the morning and talking to a fellow bicyclist! I hadn't done that since the morning I started - a lifetime ago.

After it warmed up enough for me to get out of my warm sleeping bag and my bladder had told me that if I waited any longer my bag wouldn't be warm, I slipped on my clothes and headed off to the bathroom. As I walked by Vern, I waved. No response. I came back to my tent, made coffee, "enjoyed" a couple of well traveled breakfast squares and said "Good Morning!" No response. I walked back up to the bathroom, brushed my teeth, changed into my bike clothes, headed back to my tent, said "Hello" one more time and, you guessed it, got no response.

A drenching rain had come through during the night and Vern's tent had been flooded, which I overheard about in detail at a high volume as usual. I was trying to dry the outside of my tent before packing it up, and so had my back turned when I heard a much quieter voice than Vern's say, "Where you riding to?"

There stood an older gentleman and a small Yorkshire terrier. Larry, as I would learn, was a cyclist too. He wasn't a self-contained tourist but he did a lot of organized statewide tours. As we talked, he eventually told me to come spend time at his house in Columbia, just about 40 miles away (it was actually 65 but who's counting). We talked about all kinds of bike stuff and he told me about the KT Trail, which I was going to hit in about 20 miles (actually 30 but who's counting) and how to find his house and various other things. All this time, I was packing up my bike and getting ready to leave (Larry didn't find this rude at all). Finally, we said our good-byes, and just as I clipped my foot into the pedal, Vern came over to talk to me with his brother Earl. They were both cyclist too, they even ride on Brooks saddles which makes them true cyclist in my eyes! But by standing back for 2 hours in the morning when we could have been talking and laughing and commiserating, they missed out on a golden opportunity.

Larry didn't. I spent a wonderful evening discussing all kinds of things with him and a wonderful morning eating breakfast and talking with his family the next day. I’m glad he had the nerve to talk to me. As for Vern and Earl, I hope they have fun with their searchlight.
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Gold Fever Three days of dirt in Colorado
Pokin' around the Poconos A cold ride around Lake Erie
Dinosaurs in Colorado A mountain bike guide to the Purgatory Canyon dinosaur trackway
Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
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Old 09-06-19, 10:58 AM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by BikeWonder View Post
This happened during my rest stop in a BC town.

I was staying the night over in the small town hostel. I met this German man who was hitch-hiking across Western Canada and was also staying a night at the same hostel. We got a long very well and discovered we were in the same room. In this room were two bunk beds. I took the top bunk from one bed and he took the bottom bunk from the other bed. What was left was a bed underneath me and a bed on top for him (hope I am making sense). I warned my new friend to take the top bunk on his bed because you never know who might be sleeping on top of you. He told me he wanted to stay on the bottom to watch his stuff. I didn't argue and simply said OK.

We both go to sleep around 12am. Around 2am, a man and a woman who reeked of alcohol came into our room. They were noisy, but it was expected. The woman slept underneath me and the man slept in the bed above my German friend. Around 3am, I hear (in a very German accent) "What the ****! Hey, BikeWonder, wake up! He's spilling something on me! I'm wet!" I wake up and get off my bunk.

I observe the wet stain on my friend's bed and wonder what it is. After some analysis of observation, I concluded it was urine from the heavily drunk man above my friend. When I broke the news, my friend started swearing and causing a scene, waking up the hostel.

We couldn't wake up the man, but fortunately we were allocated to two fresh rooms and refunded for our inconvenience.

The drunk man and woman were charged a $750 fine for the issue.


The morning after was met with some really good laughs. We found humour in the situation and couldn't contain our laughter. It was a moment to be remembered.
Bikewonder, you did not have to say anything the picture was worth a million words. I haven't laughed so hard in a long time, without reading what you wrote. Reading what you wrote made me laugh even more.
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Old 09-06-19, 12:26 PM
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My wife and I had just crossed from Germany into the Netherlands near Nijmegen, and were looking for a bike shop. When we saw the sign Velorama we thought we had found a shop. What we didn't realize until we got closer is that we discovered the National fietsmuseum Velorama, the Dutch National Bike Museum. How could we pass his up? Just arriving in town, our bags were still on the bikes, and we were still in our bike clothes. We figured our attire was appropriate for a bike museum so we locked up our bikes and went in.

It was a great place to spend a couple of hours. While I was inching my way past rows of beautiful "vintage" bikes I was approaching a young woman, older teens or early 20s, sitting on one of the display platforms. As I passed her she said in English, " You have really nice legs". When I said " Thank you" in English, she got really embarrassed, and stuttered out an unintelligible reply. My wife who was just around the corner overheard the whole exchange, and was trying to laugh as quietly as she could. She didn't succeed, which made the situation even more awkward. I din't think it was all that funny, but my wife sure did. Heck, it was one of the highlights of the trip for me


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Old 09-06-19, 02:49 PM
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Stealth camping is always awesome. Southern VT 2 years ago, on a dirt rail trail off the the side, I set up camp at the end as it came out to a public day use area. Swim pond, port o potty, picnic table all good. I did see some construction equipment on the way out. I'm in my hammock, set down maybe 10 ft off the trail, out of sight, no issues. 7 AM, giant rumbling. Getting louder. Hammock is now vibrating and shaking. Now 10 feet away is a LARGE bulldozer, 10-12 ft blade. I did not notice they took down the gate at the end to allow it in. Good times. I'm standing in my boxers on top of my sandals next to the hammock. So much shaking, stove and small bits are rolling off the table, small pine cones are raining down. In truest VT fashion, the driver just gives me a nod as he rumbles by. Anyone remember that B grade 70's movie, Killdozer?
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Old 09-07-19, 03:12 PM
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dualresponse
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Originally Posted by Leebo View Post
Stealth camping is always awesome. Southern VT 2 years ago, on a dirt rail trail off the the side, I set up camp at the end as it came out to a public day use area. Swim pond, port o potty, picnic table all good. I did see some construction equipment on the way out. I'm in my hammock, set down maybe 10 ft off the trail, out of sight, no issues. 7 AM, giant rumbling. Getting louder. Hammock is now vibrating and shaking. Now 10 feet away is a LARGE bulldozer, 10-12 ft blade. I did not notice they took down the gate at the end to allow it in. Good times. I'm standing in my boxers on top of my sandals next to the hammock. So much shaking, stove and small bits are rolling off the table, small pine cones are raining down. In truest VT fashion, the driver just gives me a nod as he rumbles by. Anyone remember that B grade 70's movie, Killdozer?
This reminds me of a gas station I camped behind in 1991. I thought I was in the woods, put up the tent, walked across the street to a BONANZA steak house, and stupidly gulped down a big steak. In retrospect, perhaps some carbs would have been better. I went back to my hidden tent, only to find, that at 3:00 in the morning, I had perched myself next to an 18 wheeler trucking (lorry?) station. Whoops... Lots of air brakes- but at least I wasn't going to get plowed over by a bulldozer! Not a lot of sleep that night!
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Old 09-08-19, 06:56 AM
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In hindsight it was funny, but a bit annoying at the time...

I was cycling in Peru, climbing up to altitude on my way to Puno. At end of the day, I found myself near 4000m and close to a toll booth with a few small shops nearby. I stopped there for some food and decided to see about ending the day nearby. It was going to get pretty cold (below -5C) soon after the sun went down so I inquired about a possible inside place. Neither police station nor what looked almost like an "alojamiento" was a possibility.

Right at the end of the village, was what looked like an abandoned house. There was some barbed wire fencing it off. On the side and behind was a lot of broken glass but up front it looked flat and like I could sweep it up. In my halting Spanish, I asked neighbors next door if I could camp there. They said it wasn't their place, but didn't see a problem. So I decided to park my bike there and camp. There was no stealth to this site. I was out in plain view, not too far from the toll booth, with a family next door and in plain view of traffic that might pass.

Soon after sunset, the wind picked up and it pretty quickly became cold (my water bottles and camelbak froze overnight). Everyone went inside and except for a rare car passing the toll booth, it became rather quiet. I settled in for a blissful sleep.

Just past two am, loud honking and bright lights on the tent. Uh oh... I had been camped in plain view, toll booth people knew I was there, and police likely did too after I had inquired about a place to sleep. I got out of my tent

It turned out, this place wasn't quite so abandoned after all. The owners had decided to come back at 2am. I think we were both a bit startled to find the other. Once we cleared up, that no particular harm was done, they let me camp in front of their place until morning and I went back into the tent and cozy confines of my sleeping bags until the sun came up and it started to get warm again.

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Old 09-08-19, 05:56 PM
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I have to admit that I fondly remember Killdozer
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Old 09-08-19, 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Stretch44 View Post
I have to admit that I fondly remember Killdozer
Me too, although I mostly remember being scared. I was pretty young are the time. My wife remembers it too, and we still jokingly bring up the title if the situation suits.
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Old 09-08-19, 10:54 PM
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I pulled in to Gualala campground on the Sonoma/Mendocino county line. I'd been there before, so the first thing I did was put my food in the raccoon-proof locker, then I set up my tent. As I got back from the shower and went to bed, a large group of cyclists arrived.

This group didn't put their food in the lockers. A while later, they noticed the raccoons. Then they noticed that their pot-laced brownies had gone missing. All night long, we listened to singing, arguing, intoxicated raccoons as they fell out of the trees.
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Old 09-09-19, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
I pulled in to Gualala campground on the Sonoma/Mendocino county line. I'd been there before, so the first thing I did was put my food in the raccoon-proof locker, then I set up my tent. As I got back from the shower and went to bed, a large group of cyclists arrived.

This group didn't put their food in the lockers. A while later, they noticed the raccoons. Then they noticed that their pot-laced brownies had gone missing. All night long, we listened to singing, arguing, intoxicated raccoons as they fell out of the trees.
Chuckle. It's been 25 years since I did that trip but I still remember that goofy sounding town name...
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Old 09-09-19, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Leebo View Post
Stealth camping is always awesome.
Trying to race the failing daylight to a camp that was on the map, but kept failing to show up on the road where I expected it. Getting frustrated and concerned by the growing shadows, I finally come upon a trailhead. I take it and find, not a fully-staffed state park campground like I thought, but an empty, reservation-only, group camp for horseback riders. Wisps of smoke from the fire circle lead me to believe someone camped there last night, but it seems unlikely that anyone's going to show up now, so close to dark. I string up my hammock between two horse tie-outs and get an uneasy night's sleep. Uneasy because I can hear voices every now and then, not too far off. Should anyone wander through camp, it'll be pretty obvious that I am not a group of horse riders. As soon as daylight returns, I am up and breaking camp. Quick as I can because I figure with daylight comes increasing chances for someone to catch me camping horseless and without a reservation. Also I'm hearing voices again. Someone is not too far off. Bike loaded and back on the road, continuing on the way I had been traveling the night before... for a dozen yards or so. As I round the next bend in the road, I see the sign to the actual campground, adjacent to the group camp where I had slept. The voices I had been hearing belonged to the campers who were probably less than a quarter mile away. I mean I probably saved myself a couple of bucks, but I would have slept with a lot less concern if I had only pedaled around one more curve in the road.
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Old 09-09-19, 11:03 AM
  #19  
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Miyazaki Prefecture, Japan 2019. Coast road between Miyazaki city and Nichinan.

I speak no Japanese except for thank you, excuse me, and may I have a beer please. Nor can I comprehend barely a word when someone speaks to me. Its all translator apps and gestures.

Thats typically adequate, but what happens when the middle aged man in hardhat and uniform running traffic control for this massive hillside erosion control project gives you special cyclist instructions, and then you incorrectly apply common sense because you cant grasp a single thing he says, and then he's running toward you waving his arms and screaming at you something like "NAKA HANDAAA!!! NAKA HANDAA!!"....?

What could I do? I just stopped and applied my 2nd best common sense guess about how to ride through, and he calms down instantly and smiles at me.

Not high drama. But it was kind of funny.


Across the bay looking at the horrid concrete erosion control mat.^^^



The horrid concrete erosion control mat. Its way taller than it looks here.^^^
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Old 09-18-19, 06:56 PM
  #20  
TiHabanero
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The first tour I did was with my best friend Pete back in 1977. Drinking age was 18, and I looked 18, and was only a year shy of the mark. We did a ride of the Lake Michigan shoreline and the first night Pete decided to have a six pack of Stroh's. I suggested he rethink this, but he insisted and I got the beer. We climbed to the top of a sand dune and hung around for a while. We only had a can of soup for dinner. Pete drank 5 of the 6 six beers. Upon leaving what does one do with a steep sand dune? Naturally one runs down the dune!

Well, Pete face planted once he hit full speed. Wasn't pretty, but I couldn't help busting a gut and telling him "I told you so!"
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Old 09-19-19, 05:38 AM
  #21  
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My first tour was with ACA. Northern Tier unsupported. One woman in the group was directionally challenged. On the penultimate day of the tour she stopped on U.S 1 in Maine to look for a gift for her sister. Left the shop and started riding. Stopped at a second shop. Left that one and started riding again. She then stopped again and went into a shop. Finally realized that it was the first shop she had stopped at. See where I am going with this. We were headed north on U.S. 1. When she left the first shop she accidentally started riding south. When she left the second shop she accidentally started riding north again. How she managed to dot that is beyond me, especially since she had a compass attached to her bars.
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Old 09-25-19, 07:25 PM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by BobG View Post
In 2000 our ACA TransAm group included a wonderful young man from Taiwan. We could not pronounce his proper name so we addressed him by his nickname "Shiangold" (Shung-go). His command of the English language was limited so he usually rode with at least one other to help him navigate American culture. Shiangold always rode with one of those flapping sun protectors for the neck under his helmet, sometimes a bandanna over his face and of course sun glasses. He looked like a warrior out of Lawrence of Arabia! The first day of the trip he started to enter a bank with all of his head gear on. His riding partner had to quickly stop him at the door!
Bumping this thread only because I found pictures of Shiangold. Would you let this guy enter your bank?


sun protection ^


smoke protection^
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Old 09-25-19, 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted by BobG View Post
Would you let this guy enter your bank?

Sandals with socks? I'd trust him with my life.

Last edited by thumpism; 09-25-19 at 10:06 PM.
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Old 09-29-19, 08:00 PM
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I thought that I posted this but it must not have connected.

I'm doing the Erie Canal in New York State with an over night in Syracuse. Settled in the tent on public grounds and sleeping soundly. Suddenly at 2:00 or 3:00 am, I'm hearing lions roaring. Not your typical occurrence in an upstate NY city. Turns out that on the other side of a small mound about 1/4 mile away was the Syracuse Zoo. Too weird to be scary but a big laugh in the morning.
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