Author Topic: Advice on a modified tour...  (Read 1541 times)

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Offline ScottC

Advice on a modified tour...
« on: June 29, 2019, 08:21:18 am »
I had bariatric surgery a couple of years ago and - along with saving my life - left me with almost not stomach.  Which means that I can't eat a lot in any one setting, which also means I can't engage in the caloric orgies that are a staple of most bike tours.  Bottom line, I can't ride more than 45 miles or so a day after the first day or two because I am running out of energy.  Just finished a trip around northern Michigan and the distances between the state parks worked well.  About 35-40 miles apart seems ideal if I'm going to be on the road for longer than a weekend.  Just not a big fan of huge ultra-developed campground experience, if you know what I mean.

I have three to four weeks in September/October to wander around and am not averse to backcountry/stealth/hide behind a rock camping.  Would like to go out west somewhere 'cause it would be new to me.

Anyone have any suggestions?

Offline EmilyG

Re: Advice on a modified tour...
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2019, 03:40:37 pm »
I'd like to suggest Minnesota.  There is a plethora of rail trails, with towns/camping options every 10-20 miles.  the Northern Tier section 5 and 6 have the maps.  It isn't the west, per se, but it is beautiful and fits many of your requirements. What I have found, cycling in the west, is that often services are spread out really far.  the Pacific Coast route also has some great sections with closely spaced services.  The northern section of California being an exception to that.

Also, not all touring cyclists eat massive caloric meals while touring, us included. Instead, we eat small meals throughout the day.  We tended to eat 200-400 calories every 15-20 miles/2 hours, depending on terrain.  And snacking while pedaling as needed.  Sports beans, cliff bars, power bars and bananas were favorites for eating while pedaling.    Tortillas with nut butter and dried fruit were favorite rest-stop meals, especially because we could get the ingredients everywhere.

Hope that helps some, and good luck with your touring!

Offline ScottC

Re: Advice on a modified tour...
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2019, 08:04:50 pm »
Thank you very much for the info!  I'll do some research - bet it's nice when the leaves are changing color!  Also, thanks for being so specific on the map sections - helps out a lot.

Yeah, I'm eating small amounts on and off pretty constantly while I'm riding, but it's more grocery store stuff and less convenience store stuff.  Bananas, peanuts and things like that are okay but cliff bars and processed foods are not.  My diet for the rest of my life is pretty simple - if I can grow it or kill it, I can eat it BUT if I can't, I can't.  Very small price to pay for all the benefit the surgery gave me...

Offline EmilyG

Re: Advice on a modified tour...
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2019, 10:24:57 pm »
You're welcome!    I understand about the eating whole foods thing. I eat a vegan diet, which was difficult at some points on our cross-country tour. Montana and North Dakota being the most difficult states.   We had to get pretty creative.   One thing we found was that most convenience stores carry frozen vegetables, which we could pack down in our panniers and eat with dinner.  Another great item we found was pre-cooked, packaged rice and other grains. Basically open and heat up. Not sure if that counts as processed though, for your diet.   Just thought I'd mention it.

Jay (my riding partner), is an RN, and he wanted to know if Ensure is okay for you?  Because we saw them in pretty much every store across the country. 

Best of luck,

Offline ScottC

Re: Advice on a modified tour...
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2019, 10:57:06 pm »
Ensure would be okay every once in a while, but it has some sugar and corn sugar so it couldn't be a regular item.  I have a protein shake I make with protein powder, a little PB2 and water.  But it's another thing to carry and another thing to stop and do and another thing to clean up after.  Not sure I would want to carry it in bear country.

I'm going to use that frozen veggie tip.  That sounds like a winner to me!

Offline staehpj1

Re: Advice on a modified tour...
« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2019, 07:03:56 am »
YMMV, but eating steadily in smallish quantities throughout the day should work fine.  The huge pig outs are not that universal of a thing among of all touring cyclists.  Many do not do that at all.  With that in mind I really don't think it should limit your choices of locale all that much if at all.

You mention the West, but not really what kind of riding or locale you like or are looking for.

The Pacific Coast north to south is nice, especially Oregon and northern California.  September-October is ideal as the vacation RV traffic is off.  The scenery is nice, the hiker biker camp sites are nice, and the company of other cyclists in camp at night is nice.

The Colorado Rockies can be nice if you want mountains.  Good roads, great scenery, tons of climbing.

The Sierra Cascades route is beautiful.  I did the southern portion and the scenery was amazing, but the riding was exceedingly difficult IMO.  It may not easily suit your shorter mileage days unless you modify the route a lot and plan carefully.  The areas may be a good option, but the actual route itself is probably out unless you change your mind about the shorter daily distances which may be further complicated by the difficulty of the riding.  The beauty of the areas may be worth the trouble of planning a different route through them.  Given the remoteness of a lot of the area careful planning may be required.  Passing through places like Yosemite, Kings Canyon, and Sequoia may be worth the trouble.