He met a lot of interesting people and found a lot of good hospitality. This is encouraging for someone that will be needing a lot of both pedaling my a** cross country. I guess scroungy looking bicycle guys on funny looking bicycles doesn’t pose a lot of threat to most people.
Say, between string bean Tom and overweight Rick we will probably look more like Laurel and Hardy. When things get tough I can always turn to Tom and say, “Well, here’s a nice mess you’ve got me into.”
Some of the 11 hour days cranking into 35 mph headwinds do seem daunting. I suppose I could start singing along with Tom if this happens. My singing will make anyone pedal faster if for no other reason than reaching our destination a lot sooner.
His comments about dogs is certainly reminiscent on one trip Margie and took. Our bikes were load to the gills, we had just climbed a tall hill towards the end of the day, we were dog (pun intended) tired, and this hug dog resembling a piranha came tearing out from his country house. We both had dog spray but I was so tired and winded from the hill I wasn’t able to get it out while riding. I stopped, which distract the dog so Margie could keep going. Finally I managed to get the dog to settled down so I could continue on.
The Doing It Differently section at the end certainly adds somethings to consider:
- bring pepper spray to deter dogs and other animals
- make sure you carry a variety of food; the same item day after day, no matter how cheap, gets old quickly
- pack carefully and keep it light; when Margie and I bicycled self contained I carried ~40 pounds, and she carried ~30, which was still too much
- make sure to carry enough water and ‘munchies’ to get through to the next town or rest stop
- plan accommodations well in advance; changes can always be made in the event of problems
- take at least one day a week off to rest, clean up, and replenish body, soul, supplies, and bicycle
- if the ride is being done as a fund raiser do a better job of marketing well in advance
Some items I took away include:
- if carrying cellphone, tablet, and gps how will can they be charged when sleeping ‘on the road’; it appears that solar chargers are not as effective as one might think
- how to document the trip both from a camera/video and blog standpoint; helmet cameras/videos are advertised quite a bit but that is one thing more to keep track of and recharge (ah, what would we do without technology)
- make sure all ‘camping’ items are lightweight; cooking fuel is easily available and a week’s supply is easily obtainable
- carry routine items to repair a bicycle while on the road (tools, tires, tubes, lubricant)
- I am sure other items will occur to me as we prepare for the trip