Author Topic: Dealing with boredom on long bicycle trip  (Read 3535 times)

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Offline EmilyG

Re: Dealing with boredom on long bicycle trip
« Reply #15 on: July 06, 2019, 05:41:15 pm »
Traverse City!!!   We loved Michigan, did a grand tour of the state last year as part of our cross country (the great lakes detour from Wisconsin to Ohio meanders all across the state).  In fact, we rode through Traverse City July 5th, last year!  Can't wait to get back to Michigan, to tour the whole UP some day. 

I share many of the same thoughts that have already been shared (and enjoyed reading those thoughts greatly.).  Boredom wasn't really a thing for us, though we had a couple of mind-numbing days in Montana cycling against headwinds all day for many days in a row, on terrible roads with tarred cracks that just about drove us nuts. But the little blue-tooth speaker we had saved the day, listening to music or podcasts to distract us.   

We averaged 60 mile days, with a short of 20 miles (horrendous headwinds and thunder/lightening storms in ND) and a long of 90 (July 6th, from Suttons Bay to Manistee!).  Typically rode 6-8 hours a day, with many breaks and detours.  Easily took 2 hours in the morning to get up, pack up, stretch, make breakfast, review route, check weather, etc (we camped every night).  Easily 2-3 hours in camp in the evening with laundry, bike maintenance, cooking, route planning, travel journal, showers, etc.    We often felt there just was not enough hours in the day to do it all! 

Any time you stop, people will want to talk, and ask their 20 questions.  So if you are inclined to be ambassadors for cycling, expect up to an hour a day talking to people!    For us, we didn't do much sight seeing, because we felt that being on our bikes seeing things WAS our sight seeing. 

We brought instruments to play (Uke and recorder) and enjoyed them in the evenings when we had time.  Also played cribbage the whole way, with a tiny travel cribbage board.

My partner has a great philosophy about touring that helped me switch gears from being a road biker to a tourer.  He says that touring is like backpacking, where slow and steady is the goal, compared to road riding or running a half-marathon, where speed and distance are critical.  Our primary goal each day was to get safely to the next place to camp, not to clock any particular miles or get into town at any particular time.  Our goals were often changed due to weather, our own wellness, changes in road conditions, etc.

I will add that when you are traveling with a significant other, it is helpful to divide up the chores of daily living  and check in with each other along the way to see if adjustments need to be made. It is nice to know exactly what one needs to do in the evening when the brain and body are toast, and it helps to avoid assumptions that can lead to miscommunication.   My guy did all the cooking, I set up camp each night, we both did laundry...  But he carried the tent and all the cooking supplies on his bike, so his packing up in the morning took longer. After we recognized this, I started packing up his sleeping bag/mat and the tent in the morning while he cooked and then packed up all the cooking and food stuff.    It was also important for us to both have input into our goal and route each day, and to both be aware of what was happening weather-wise so we could make joint decisions instead of defaulting to one person leading with little input from the other. 
Hope you have a great mini-tour and that it leads to many more adventures!
Emily
« Last Edit: July 06, 2019, 05:42:59 pm by EmilyG »

Offline UncaBuddha

Re: Dealing with boredom on long bicycle trip
« Reply #16 on: July 11, 2019, 01:41:24 pm »
When you get done with your "mini tour" up and over the BRIDGE (of death!<G>) I'll need a trip report! I want to bring my wife up later this summer for a 4-5 day loop and will need easy, flattish, hotel centric riding conditions. Trying to ease her back into bike touring after a long break.

Offline Shugart23

Re: Dealing with boredom on long bicycle trip
« Reply #17 on: July 11, 2019, 03:49:34 pm »
I can certainly report back . Right now, we are trying to get our endurance up to snuff and race the clock. Our first grandchild is due 8/14 and if we don't go before then, we may have a hard time doing it this year.  Our new current goal is to go from Elk Rapids (where we live) to Mackinaw Island...about a 95 mile trip one way.

Two days ago we did 30 miles over a 3.5 hour period and today we did 23 miles. We are riding Surly's and we carry no load....Not quite strong enough yet. Question : I was thinking of throwing a 20 pound weight onto my  rack.....good or bad idea ?

The roads are very bike friendly to get to Charlevoix from Elk Rapids. Out in the country riding  past farms and orchards or alongside inland lakes, with vey little traffic . I believe from Charlevoix to Mackinac City there is a bike/pedestrian trail for the entire 60 miles. We haven't encountered any steep hills, mostly small up and down rises...I think elevation change is around 200 feet
« Last Edit: July 11, 2019, 03:59:27 pm by Shugart23 »

Offline jwrushman

Re: Dealing with boredom on long bicycle trip
« Reply #18 on: July 11, 2019, 08:41:13 pm »
I am currently looking at completing my New Jersey to Anacortes bike ride. I think carrying weight similar to what you'll be touring with is a good idea. Prior to starting this trip, for the past year, I've been riding with 40 lb in my panniers. It has made my legs stronger and it has been good for my mind as well knowing that I can make it up the hills with the extra weight. One thing that I think it's difficult to simulate on your training rides is getting your butt in shape. During your tour, if you are going to be on your bicycle for 5 hours a day, your butt is going to be sore. And it's hard to prepare for this unless you're riding 5 hours a day, day after day, in your preparation.

Offline driftlessregion

Re: Dealing with boredom on long bicycle trip
« Reply #19 on: July 17, 2019, 10:02:55 pm »
"Traverse City!!!   We loved Michigan, did a grand tour of the state last year as part of our cross country (the great lakes detour from Wisconsin to Ohio meanders all across the state).  In fact, we rode through Traverse City July 5th, last year!  Can't wait to get back to Michigan, to tour the whole UP some day. "
Emily, do return to the UP but be aware that in the Keweenaw Peninsula many of the paved roads are not being maintained and many have turned to gravel.