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Messages - gypsysue

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Youth Bicyle Travel / Re: taking the family across the country?!?
« on: April 13, 2012, 03:33:13 pm »
We went on our first family tour when the youngest was 5, but she was trailered.  The other kids were 9, 10, and 12, and they did fine.  We stopped often, about once an hour, and let everyone get off and stretch for about 10 minutes or so.  At lunchtime we took a long break and goofed around after we ate, playing run-around games or just tossing stones in a nearby river.  Or we'd lay under a tree and read out loud to the whole family.  We read a lot of classics, a chapter at a time, on our breaks.  The diversion was great for the kids.

We also stopped at parks in small towns and let them play on the playgrounds.  Ice cream shops or child-friendly attractions were also a good diversion.  Remembering that the kids are still kids, even if we're forming them into bicyclists, is helpful.

I can't think of a better education than crossing the nation on a bicycle.  You're doing a good thing for your kids.  You can always use the education and family-time aspects to help convince your wife.  At their ages they will have already studied a lot of history, and it will be exciting for them to see these places for themselves, and at the pace of a bicycle, no less!  The experiences and adventures they'll have are priceless.

We're starting over with a 16-month old grandson, now that are kids are grown and gone.  We've already had him out in a baby-seat on the back of my bike, and will use the trailer on longer rides.  He LOVES being on the bicycle.  I hope it's the start of a long love relationship with him and the bicycle!  :)

General Discussion / Re: Woman Cycling Alone
« on: April 13, 2012, 03:23:50 pm »
I've done a few tours alone, including the Natches Trace across Mississippi both directions, two years ago.  I stayed out of cities like Jackson and just skirted them, and I found the people of Mississippi to be some of the nicest people I've ever met. 

I felt safe on those rides, even though I would have ridden with someone if I could have found anyone who didn't think of the whole thing as racking up miles in as short a time as they can!  :D  I'm out there for the adventure and my bicycle is just the tool to take me on the journey.

Classifieds / Re: Wanted: Infant bicycle helmet
« on: April 02, 2012, 11:15:38 pm »
Decent!  Thanks for letting me know! 

Classifieds / Wanted: Infant bicycle helmet
« on: April 02, 2012, 04:10:54 pm »
I need a helmet for a child that is currently 16 months old.  The size seems to divide around 2 1/2 to 3 years of age, from infant to toddler in helmet sizes.

Has anyone got one their child has out-grown that they want to sell?  We're hoping to find one soon so we can get out riding.  The nearest Bike shop or Wal-mart is 65 miles from us, and the gas for a special trip to look for a helmet seems better spent buying one online, plus we don't have to waste a day making the trip!


General Discussion / Re: Cost - WE to TA
« on: February 16, 2012, 11:57:01 pm »
I don't know what you like to eat, but consider hitting grocery stores for cheap eats.  A loaf of bread and a jar of peanut butter would set you back about $3 and make a lot of sandwiches.  Lots of fat and protein in the peanut butter.  You could get a couple days out of that.  A jug of milk or juice, a couple more dollars and you could get a lot of energy out of it.  Something like that would be good when you make camp, slug it down all evening. 

Dollar menus at McD, a $5 hot 'n ready pizza at little Caesars, Taco Bell's great cheap menu, lots of choices for cheap hot food.  Keep your eye out for festivals and potlucks and crash them!  :D 

Good luck!

Youth Bicyle Travel / Re: tour with small children
« on: February 15, 2012, 03:21:43 pm »
Wow, I'd been thinking the little guy would prefer to be up close to me, in the child seat on my bicycle.  But now I see the benefits of using a trailer.  I hadn't thought of him being able to have the entertainment of toys, books, snacks, etc. in the trailer.  We used to have a trailer, years ago, when our kids were small, and it zipped all the way closed, with a screen front.  Great idea.  I'll have to do some shopping.

I also like the idea of not having the child seat on the bicycle for long rides.  Then I can pack my bike the way I usually do.  I have a BOB trailer and the hitch works fine on my bike even with the rack/panniers I have.  A Burley should work okay too.

The food bribery and stopping more often are good ideas too.  I hadn't thought how long 2 hours would seem to a child that small. 

Youth Bicyle Travel / Re: tour with small children
« on: February 10, 2012, 02:59:32 pm »
This thread seems to have fizzled out but I'm hoping to rejuvenate it.

After our kids were grown I got into long-distance bicycling and touring, and talking my husband into going along for some of it.  Now we're both getting more enthusiastic, but guess what?

We acquired a grandson to raise last fall, and he's 14 months old now.  We would still like to make some rides this summer, a few days to a few weeks at a time, since 'time' is something we have a lot of on our hands.

He'll be 18 to 22 months old over the summer months.  We have an exellent child seat for the back of one of our bicycles (haven't decided which of us yet!).  Do you think that's too young for that many hours on the road?  We'd stop every couple hours and let him get out and play/run around.  We live in the west where traffic is pretty lght throughout the state. 

Right now we take him out in the baby backpack on long hikes, and carry him in the baby backpack while we go about our work, when he's not loose running around our house, playing.  He's done well with that.  We're hoping it carries over to time on the bicycle.

Or do you think we should wait another year or two?

General Discussion / Re: Long distance trip alone?
« on: February 10, 2012, 02:48:29 pm »
I'm in the middle of the Southern Tier alone. If you want to follow my blog it's: I'm doing it for a nonprofit in Haiti and its been great so far. 1200 miles in!

Your blog is very awesome, and inspiring. I've saved it to my 'favorites'. 

I've already posted on this thread that I enjoy riding alone, and after some failed attempts to hook up with riding partners, I pretty much ride alone.  My husband is my favorite riding partner but he's not as into it as I am.

General Discussion / Re: NEW BICYCLE QUESTIONS
« on: February 10, 2012, 02:41:22 pm »
We got on at South Bend, Indiana once with our bicycles.  It's pretty much on the state line with Michigan.

You'll also go through a 7 mile tunnel after you leave Whitefish, Montana, which is west of Glacier National Park.  Wave at me as you go by.  We've about halfway from Whitefish to the tunnel! 

When we got to Everett we took the Ferry across to Whidbey Island, then rode up to Anacortes and spent the night there before starting the Northern Tier.  The ferry was fun, and the ride up the Island was delightful.  There's a cool bridge when you go off the north side of the Island.

General Discussion / Re: Blatant Anti-Cyclist Comic in Today's Paper
« on: February 10, 2012, 02:37:06 pm »
The only city riding I've ever done has been when I couldn't avoid a city on a tour, and like it shows in the video, there was obstacles in random places.  In one town in western Tennessee the bicycle lane had a seam running right down the middle where the pavement from the driving lane ended and the concrete for the gutter was at least a few inches lower than the street pavement.  The bike lane was narrow and you had to pick which level of paving you wanted to ride on.  Then at least once in every block there was a storm sewer grate that went all the way across the bike lane and a few inches past the white line into the driving lane.  It was a busy street.  I had to pick whether to stay in the bike lane and swerve around all the drain grates (and hope I didn't go off the edge onto the lower pavement and then hit the curb), or just stay along the edge of the driving lane.  The latter is what I did.

What kind of idiot would have marked that as a bike lane in the first place?

General Discussion / Re: Blatant Anti-Cyclist Comic in Today's Paper
« on: February 09, 2012, 06:44:20 pm »
Maybe, maybe not, on the 4' law.  It does seem excessive, but about 10 years ago, here in Montana, a woman on a bicycle was hit in the head by one of those big wide mirrors sticking off the side of a motorhome, and she was killed.  The guy driving probably thought he was giving her plenty of room, and it was probably hard to judge the far side of his motorhome and mirror.

I live along the Northern Tier route and bicyclists all summer long insist on riding on the traffic side of the white line with vehicles flying past them at 70 mph.  It's nerve-wracking as a driver, even though I'm a cyclist.  Part of our section only has about 1' on the outside of the white line but some of it has 6' wide paved shoulders that are pretty clean.  Yet I don't see many cyclists besides myself riding out there.  People around here hate bicycles. 

I have a stupid daughter who rides a tandem with her 7-year old, pulling a trailer with her 5 and 2 year olds in it... in the middle of the lane of traffic in town.  I'd never take that chance with my kids, and I can't get through to her that she's putting them in danger out there.  People have called the police on her and written letters to the newspaper.  Doesn't matter, she continues to not only be in the lane of traffic but right out in the middle of it.  Whaddya do?

So regarding the comic, Yes I think it's rude toward bicyclists, and Yes I feel the frustration of drivers.  I wish we had bicycle lanes in the towns around here.  Though it sounds like they get misused a lot.

General Discussion / Re: First long distance ride?
« on: February 05, 2012, 10:38:52 pm »
I live on the west side of Glacier National Park, and we bicycle, hike, and backpack all around here.  It's wise to be careful with your food and cooking, like those above have said, but you're really not likely to even see a grizzly.  Pepper spray is adequate defense unless you are backpacking way out into the wilderness.  You're more likely to get rid of the bear with it than a firearm.

I'd skip the firearm.  Too many other problems can come from it.  Just seeing you with the firearm can draw attention from not only law enforcement but also from 'good ole boys'. 

The reservations in Montana are pretty decent.  The worst I've ever encountered is guys hollering obsene or nasty things from cars as they go by, usually teenagers of both sexes, and males in their 20s.  Not a big deal.  I look up so they know I heard them and just go on with my riding.  If you pretend you didn't notice them, they'll turn around and come back and yell more. 

General Discussion / Re: Long distance trip alone?
« on: January 27, 2012, 01:08:35 pm »
I've done two rides alone, one was 633 miles and the other was 1105 miles.  The only time I didn't like it was a few nights when I had to stealth camp.  Being alone made that scary.  The rest of the time?  It was great.  Like someone else said, you can talk to people wherever you stop, and in fact it can be hard to avoid.  People like to talk to bicyclists!  After years of raising kids it's great to have some uninterupted time for my mind!  :D 

That said, I really enjoyed the long-distance ride my husband came along on!  I'll get him hooked on this yet!  But the rides I did with strangers I connected with online didn't go as well.  Too many differences is speed, distance, food and camping ideas, etc. 

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