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Topics - TCS

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Urban Cycling / Urban Touring
« on: December 21, 2006, 03:39:00 pm »
When riders talk of urban cycling they usually mean commuting or short pleasure rides.  I think urban ~touring~ is the cats pajamas.

I live on the northern edge of a major metropolitan area, and I love to tour down to the state park just beyond the southern side of the city.  I use a myriad of quiet streets and a few thoroughfares that on the weekends are eminently tourable.  At the end of the day, I usually camp and cook at the state park, but there are motel and restaurant options as well.  On the second day I take a different track home.  It makes a quick get-a-way and its a good way to shake out new equipment.

Leaving out my front door, I can ride through quiet neighborhoods, past landscaped McMansions, by the best parks and public art, along winding, shaded streets, through historic areas, across major bridges, to the base of impressive architecture, through the heart of down town; traverse university campuses and ride into areas where none of the signs are in English.  I can visit any of dozens of museums and notable locations, photograph great cathedrals and tent revivals, choose from countless street-side cafes with menus from the world, stop at quirky places, see how both of the other two halves live and even go by the gravesites of the famous and infamous.  I can see where the old money and power brokers live, visit locations recently in the news and observe how the city is evolving.  All this in just two 45-mile days.

I started doing this years ago by myself.  After I got married I brought my wife along, and she loved it.  Weve started inviting friends, who say they experience more of the city in a weekend than they have in twenty years of living here.  The route varies, and last time we took in Frank Lloyd Wrights only theater, a delightful little shop that offered 167 flavors of soda water and stopped on a street corner to point out and discuss the seven locations from which assassins fired at President Kennedy.

Urban touring  give it a try!


Routes / Road tourists: gravel roads?
« on: December 08, 2006, 05:22:41 pm »
A stretch of gravel road on a touring route:

-0- Why not?  A good touring bike shouldnt have any trouble, it gets me out in the true countryside, and its no worse than a rail trail.

-0- No way.  White knuckle ride and flat tire city.  Add some bad weather and your talking one miserable experience.  A narrow shoulder on a busy highway is more fun.


Fun fact: the original Bikecentennial Trail included some gravel roads.

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