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1 million excuses!

Old 10-03-11, 10:26 PM
  #1  
meaculpa
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1 million excuses!

First it was b/c I was laid off...have to get a job!
Then the frame cracked & I needed to replace it.
Then its because my knee flared badly, gotta wait y'know?
Now its getting too cold to do an east tour, DC to NC. Feels like I'm just an excuse seeking missile!

I need to do some sort of 4-7 day tour for my own sanity but I can't get my butt out the door. In a few weeks, I will be working part time at a grocery store cause I have to. At that point, forget a tour over two days. Its been months now, I've always had an excuse not to go. Jeeez.
How have any of you gotten the bike rolling?
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Old 10-03-11, 10:47 PM
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Buy a plane ticket...

But seriously, taking care of yourself, making good decisions about job and money and family responsibilities, those are important too. Touring will be here when you are ready for it.

OTOH, if you have the $ resources and won't be burning any bridges or otherwise abdicating on responsibilities, fly to San Francisco, ride your bike to LA and fly home. Good time of year for it, not too difficult logistically, great route.
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Old 10-04-11, 03:32 AM
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Originally Posted by meaculpa View Post
I need to do some sort of 4-7 day tour for my own sanity but I can't get my butt out the door.
How have any of you gotten the bike rolling?
Just go ... really ... why is it so hard for you? It's only 4-7 days, not like you're trying to get everything ready to go for an intense 4-7 months of long days over challenging terrain. The tour would be your tour, right? You could ride 25 km a day on easy roads if you wanted.

Do you have the bicycle?
Do you have the equipment?
Do you have the finances to do the tour?
Do you ride your bicycle regularly now?

Do you really want to do tour ... or is it something you think you might like to do, but you're not really sure that you do? Maybe it's just not that important to you.

But let me recommend parts of Europe or Australia. It's warming up down here in Australia.
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Old 10-04-11, 07:48 AM
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I think you have to face the underlying emotion which is fear. Most generally it's a fear of the unknown, although there could be other more complex fears in your individual psyche. The most simple way to overcome this fear is realize it's there and ignore it. Once your under way you'll find that things have a way of working themselves out. Keep in mind you could always hop on bus, car, train, or plane and head home.
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Old 10-04-11, 07:53 AM
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Put your stuff on your bike and ride.

2200 miles

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Old 10-04-11, 09:51 AM
  #6  
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Sometimes, you just gotta do it, trusting it'll all work out. Often called 'scratching an itch.' You know how good that can feel.
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Old 10-04-11, 10:33 AM
  #7  
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The big question is do you really want to do this? If so, just pick a time and place that make sense and do it.

As Valygrl said, I find that buying a plane ticket is for me the step that usually makes the commitment firm. Up until then I can change my mind at will. OTOH, for something as short as the 4-7 days that you propose, just pack up and go without much/any advance planning. Fall weather in the mid atlantic and southward is nice enough.
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Old 10-04-11, 06:55 PM
  #8  
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Yes its all true. I keep finding reasons for not heading out. But its an itch I must scratch (ironically that advice came from Cyclebum). On one hand, I want to go for weeks and seriously see some stuff, farm roads are fine with me, cool city-scapes are great. The flight ticket may be beyond my budget...buses? maybe not so much. I've got the camping gear, advil for an arthritic knee, a good rain jacket & pants for touring through bad stuff. Maybe its just as BigAura described...all those unknowns messing with my head.
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Old 10-04-11, 07:52 PM
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Well, if you've got all the equipment, go for a weekend tour this coming weekend.

All you have to do is load the bicycle on Friday night, then on Saturday morning you start riding ... just like you would on any other Saturday morning. But instead of returning home, you'll camp or stay in motel or something for the night. Then ride home on Sunday, much like how you go for a long ride on most Sundays.

And there you have it ... a tour.
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Old 10-04-11, 09:03 PM
  #10  
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Hell, I've been talking about it and getting ready for months.... And this past Sunday... Just took off, told everybody I was going on a test ride.. Rode 48 miles to the park & camped. Can't tell you how many nights these past months I laid in bed wondering would I really go.... JUST DO IT!! I dunno... just showing up at a gas station, a fast food joint & the park with my bike loaded is kind of empowering... Gave me a sense of doing something that everybody doesn't do. For me that feeling & the sense of adventure makes me want to go again.... Well as soon as I find another pillow that is..
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Old 10-05-11, 02:05 PM
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Put your bicycle on a plane or train,go far away from home.It's amazing how much energy you'll find when home is 300-400 miles away.

Just get on your bike and go,after 1/2 hour,you'll wonder why you didn't do it sooner.Then the first big hill and you'll hate it,then the first big downhill and you'll be in love again.Repeat for days on end......

Last edited by Booger1; 10-05-11 at 02:10 PM.
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Old 10-06-11, 06:24 AM
  #12  
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You need to combine your problems (well, not the knee thing).

My favorite tour was when I had a job interview in Switzerland, took my bike down on the train, and rode home.
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Old 10-06-11, 11:42 PM
  #13  
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The whole undertaking will get a boost with an objective. This week may be the time to get going, get it out of my system. 3-4 days won't damage my knee if I stay in the saddle and keep up my cadence, I hope...just need to settle on a destination. N-S-E-W? 150, 250, 500 miles? Lots to mull over...
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Old 10-06-11, 11:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Well, if you've got all the equipment, go for a weekend tour this coming weekend.

All you have to do is load the bicycle on Friday night, then on Saturday morning you start riding ... just like you would on any other Saturday morning. But instead of returning home, you'll camp or stay in motel or something for the night. Then ride home on Sunday, much like how you go for a long ride on most Sundays.

And there you have it ... a tour.
Your adventures have been inspiring Machka. I want to do some randoneering...this year (seems I've obsessed on Bike Quarterly). Since I'm not a racer, those events hold the most appeal. That and touring of course.
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Old 10-06-11, 11:52 PM
  #15  
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Originally Posted by Cyclebum View Post
Sometimes, you just gotta do it, trusting it'll all work out. Often called 'scratching an itch.' You know how good that can feel.
When do you ever know it will work out anyways. Just take one step out your door with the bicycle and you've begun!
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Old 10-09-11, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
Put your stuff on your bike and ride.

2200 miles
+1 - People spend way way way way way too much time talking about "their gear" and other crap that has almost zero to do with touring at all. In fact, this entire forum has almost become a gear forum, rather then a touring forum.

That set up is almost how I did my SC to TX tour back in 2005.
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Old 10-09-11, 09:44 PM
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Originally Posted by gpsblake View Post
+1 - People spend way way way way way too much time talking about "their gear" and other crap that has almost zero to do with touring at all. In fact, this entire forum has almost become a gear forum, rather then a touring forum.

That set up is almost how I did my SC to TX tour back in 2005.
When I first starting lurking here in the touring forum 3 or 4 months ago I had NO clue what equipment or gear I needed to try touring. The forum was an invaluable source of information on everything touring.... Including gear and and equipment. I am grateful for all of the talking about gear and other crap. I am thankful that the touring vets still take the time to answer the same NOOB questions over and over. (I am a noob) .... First overnight trip completed last weekend... Would have gone again but it has been raining for 3 days straight... Not ready for an all rain trip yet...
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Old 10-10-11, 05:36 AM
  #18  
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Originally Posted by gpsblake View Post
+1 - People spend way way way way way too much time talking about "their gear" and other crap that has almost zero to do with touring at all. In fact, this entire forum has almost become a gear forum, rather then a touring forum.
My take is that:
To some extent the overall style of packing you pick defines the style of the tour. Each individual item less so. The specific details of the bike not much at all. So for example packing way too much or leaving home things you really need will really impact the tour experience, while differences in the bike itself would have to be pretty extreme to make much difference. Carrying 150 pounds or not having a sleeping pad would ruin the experience for me. Riding a $500 bike vs a $5000 bike would not change the experience in a significant way, at least not for me.

I think that it would be nice if routes and the tours themselves were discussed more, gear about the same, and the bikes themselves less. The thing is that people can and should discuss the aspects of touring they are interested in.

I do agree that touring isn't really about the bike or the gear though. When I think back on a tour, neither the bike nor the gear really come up much. The people and places do. The thing is that the tour experience just isn't a subject that lends itself to this type of forum. A journal format is better for that.
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Old 10-10-11, 10:06 AM
  #19  
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Dude…you’re in Pittsburgh. I mean seriously…the Great Allegheny Passage runs through your backyard. Load up the bike, get on the trail and head towards Cumberland Md. It’s only like 130miles and there is plenty of affordable and even free camping. Heck, do an overnight to Ohiopyle on the trail.

We all can’t take week, month or year long trips, but I promise you that the 2-3 day getaways are pretty cool themselves.
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Old 10-10-11, 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
I do agree that touring isn't really about the bike or the gear though. When I think back on a tour, neither the bike nor the gear really come up much. The people and places do. The thing is that the tour experience just isn't a subject that lends itself to this type of forum. A journal format is better for that.
Yup, touring is 90 percent mental. It doesn't matter if you tour on a $5,000 bike or a $100 bike like I did, it's all about the experience. Touring can be great and there are days when touring isn't (like riding in wind and rain). It's not going to matter if the bike is a Trek or a Giant or a Schwinn etc when you actually start touring.

I think the idea is just do it and stop worrying about the "right size of tire", "right bike" etc . Just do it.
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Old 10-10-11, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by gpsblake View Post
Yup, touring is 90 percent mental. It doesn't matter if you tour on a $5,000 bike or a $100 bike like I did, it's all about the experience. Touring can be great and there are days when touring isn't (like riding in wind and rain). It's not going to matter if the bike is a Trek or a Giant or a Schwinn etc when you actually start touring.

I think the idea is just do it and stop worrying about the "right size of tire", "right bike" etc . Just do it.
I agree and of course the other half is physical .
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Old 10-10-11, 10:17 PM
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Agree wholeheartedly with the description of the 'mental' game of getting rolling. Terry66, I actually have ridden from Cumberland to Pgh in Oct 2010. Matchka will recall I was asking the forum for advice for treating a double Achilles-strain (from ankling during pedaling). That was a fun but screwy trip, racing in the dark to get to the overpriced B&Bs. Now I have camping equipment and so that's the mission, to be self-supported all the way. What I would like is to combine some rail-trail with non-rail-trail. I want to mix it up a little, I like farm country, forest roads, etc.

One technical challenge is the wet: how to manage to get the tent & footprint & fly dry but not waste the entire morning....?

Its raining like crazy this week until Sunday-ish. Thinking early Sunday or Monday for a departure for 2-3-4 days (the week after looks a little busy).
Thanks for the advice and encouragement!

Last edited by meaculpa; 10-10-11 at 10:18 PM. Reason: clarification
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Old 10-10-11, 10:49 PM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by meaculpa View Post
...

One technical challenge is the wet: how to manage to get the tent & footprint & fly dry but not waste the entire morning....?
...
glad you are getting out!

I feel your pain on this question. Usually I just don't bother trying to get the tent dry unless it's actually sunny or windy out when packing up, and the waiting is going to really be worth it. Bag the tent body separately (garbage bag, doesn't have to be perfect), pack up, and hope for an opportunity to dry it mid-day or pass by that opportunity and just wait for the end of the day, if you're pretty confident it will be dry out.

And that night, if it's still raining? Well, this is when I usually just get a hotel room. But you can pitch a damp tent and just deal with dampness. You can also wipe it out with a tiny camp towel, bandana, or whatever.

Generally if it's raining day after day, I'm alternating staying indoors, or just bailing.
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Old 10-14-11, 02:13 PM
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It's a scary thing, esp alone - that's even scarier, but sometimes you've just got to take the leap. You only live once.
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