On Touring


Another fab morning. I hit the park early and grabbed my bench before anyone. After all this time Im still not familiar with all the things my new camera can do. I took this pic this morn but did not see the dude standing in the boat until I got to my computer. In fact I don’t think you could have seen that with your eye. Crazy! I cant wait to do more with this thing.

I have plans to sell pics in the store again. But just prints, no matting or framing. The cheaper you can sell them the better. Just sell the print and let them use whatever frame they buy at Walmart.

I have a riding window today from noon to 2. Warm enough for shorts and short sleeves. I cant wait. But I’ll have to.

Soon the summer help will get out of school and after some extensive training will allow me to get out more. The temps are warmer and its almost summer. Its almost go time for summer stuff.

In my head Im thinking about touring a lot. Id love to take a short one to get back in the swing of things. But touring is something you can prepare for but not train for. Sure, you can put miles in the saddle but as far as actually touring there is some skillsets involved. Mostly common sense. Ive made mistakes before. Twice I’ve been caught very late between towns, no food and no where to stay.

Here’s a bad day in 2012 heading up north.

You need to use your head. Mistakes can have you sleeping in a ditch. My mistake that day was ditching my camping equipment at my mom’s. It didn’t weigh that much and I should have kept it. But I didn’t have it anymore and if I could not find a hotel I was sleeping in a ditch. I came very close to calling someone to rescue and come and get me.

I’ve found that a early start is always best. You can have your 6 or 7 hours in early afternoon and can start looking for a place to stay sooner. When training for a tour you need to learn to relax. When your not riding you need to rest. If you rest badly you will ride badly. Some days on tours I only go 30 miles. You need to know when to say when, rest up for another day. There is always tomorrow for that century.

Paying attention to routes is also key. Once back in 2008 I was on a 1000 miler and I had a day that I left late and took a wrong turn, adding 17 miles to my route. Thats a huge mistake and it was not after I realized what I did that I was in panic mode, looking for alternatives, finding none. At the time I was heading to a MTB race and I called someone there to come and get me. The only time I needed outside help. But it was that or sleep in a ditch. I did have a tent at the time. But that kind of mistake is hard to do today with all the smartphone and mapping. If someone would ask me the most important item I had its now the phone. Google maps. Lots of old school tourers did this all without that and they will always let you know that. But I welcome the technology. If it keeps me from having to camp in a ditch someday Im all for it. It makes the task at hand easier and thus more enjoyable.

Just take your time and no expectations because shit happens. In Aug, I had planned to ride up to O2S and bum a ride home. Now, it makes more sense to bum a ride up there and ride home without any schedule.

I still need to buy a tent and I should stop procrastinating. That’s the last piece of my equipment puzzle I need. And maybe some kind of pillow. Then I can do a overniter sometime. Sooner than later I hope. But I can wait a bit longer to let it warm up a bit more.

Then its a go.


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