Author Topic: Midwest Icebreaker  (Read 38660 times)

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Midwest Icebreaker
« on: June 15, 2009, 05:22:52 pm »
This forum has been pretty quiet, a little too quiet.  To get things rolling, I'll go ahead and introduce myself.  My name is Josh Tack, and I'm an employee here at Adventure Cycling Association.  Growing up in Iowa, I caught the cycling bug about 15 years ago when I toured across Iowa on my first RAGBRAI, and haven't looked back.  To this day I'm still touring, but have also taken on road, mountain, and cyclocross racing, and have ridden my bike for science on numerous occasions (muscle biopsies aren't as bad as they sound!).  My current fleet consists of the following:

Surly Long Haul Trucker
Surly Pugsley
Felt F3 SL
Cannondale XR800
Cannondale F1 Caffeine
Ross Euro Tour cruiser bike

I would love to see this discussion group become more active, so feel free to introduce yourself and start some new topics relevant to the Midwest.


Offline carolina

Re: Midwest Icebreaker
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2009, 04:03:24 pm »
I've recently returned from my very first tour [of any kind]. It was the Intro to Road Touring-WI. FABULOUS! I'm definitely looking forward to my next tour.

My name is Carolina and I live in Waverly. Any readers from this area?

Offline ecoronin

Re: Midwest Icebreaker
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2009, 09:43:22 pm »
Im brand new here, Im from MN I'm trying to get into bike touring. Im trying to get the funds but its hard. Im riding on a mountain bike Im trying to convert into a touring bike. going for short tours for now when I get all the gear and next summer I want to get a big tour next year

Offline JoeM57

Re: Midwest Icebreaker
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2009, 12:00:03 am »
Hello, my name is Joe.  I am new here as well.  I live way up in the northwest corner of Nebraska.  I use to ride a lot when I lived back in western Ohio.  Some of the best riding I have ever done, I did there.

These days my trips are short ones out to Ft. Robinson State Park and just around the area in which I live.  I've long ago had to give up my Schwin 10 speed for a mountain bike as blacktop is mighty scarce in these parts.  Still, I enjoy my bike riding in the Spring, Summer, and Autumn.  Come Winter, I hang my bike up until weather once again permits me to enjoy my riding.

I have no plans at this time for taking any tours, but someday, well, you never know?  I think it would be a lot of fun to set off on a journey that would consume 2 to 3 weeks.  Right now it's just not in the cards, so I keep peddling around here locally, enjoying my area.

Offline habanero

Re: Midwest Icebreaker
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2009, 03:34:12 pm »
Hi, my name is Ted and I'm live close to St. Louis, MO.  I've done a few short tours and 2 long ones.  The longest was the Lewis & Clark trail from St. Louis to Astoria, OR in 2004.  I'm planning to do the TransAm next year (2010) starting sometime in May.

Email me, if you want to talk bicycle touring.

Offline TouringMN

Re: Midwest Icebreaker
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2009, 01:42:58 pm »
Hello group.

My Name is Al and I live in MN, in the Twin Cities area.  Up here we boast that we have some of the best and longest paved trails.  But that is not a big deal to me; it is road touring that is my intended focus.

For me the longest tours have been three instances of the RAGBRAI.  That is what got me back into biking six years ago.

My Fleet has morphed since that time:  I started out on a recumbent trike, then moved to a long wheel based recumbent, and now upgraded to a Carbon Fiber Road bike.  So that fleet was a BigWheel trike, replaced by the Easy Racer  Tour Easy.  I have added the aforementioned CF Road bike just this summer.  I also have a modified mountain bike that I use as a utility vehicle and a Bike Safety instruction bike.

Getting me back on the bike has eliminated the perceived need for a recumbent as I reduced some of the aging factors that I was facing originally. 

I do intend to do the RAGBRAI this next season as well and more importantly some one of the ACA tours for a week.
Looking for success stories and recommendations from this group on good tours.

Offline MarkG

Re: Midwest Icebreaker
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2009, 09:13:04 pm »
My name is Mark and I am in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  I just finished rebuilding my mid-80's fuji touring bike and hope to do some touring this next summer.  I have ridden several RAGBRAI's and my last big tour was to CA to see the olympics in 1984.  Marriage and kids will do that to you.  Planning to ride to Indiana this coming summer to visit friends.

Offline DU

Re: Midwest Icebreaker
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2009, 07:58:26 pm »
My name is Dick and I live in Central Iowa. I enjoy solo self-contained touring. I rode the Transam in 2006 and this past summer traveled from Burlington, WA to home. I hope to ride from Maine to Iowa on the Northern Tier next summer.

I've done 2 ACA self-contained 2 week tours, one in Vermont (2004) and the Great Parks North (2005). Both were very good experiences and well organized yet not hurried, a lot of very nice people. It was a great way to see how other cyclist go about touring. There was a wide range of experience, from first timers to ACA tours cross-country tourists. I did these to see if I wanted to do the Transam with ACA and decided that solo touring would work better for me, particularly on a tour of that length.

Offline bikeNRGY

Re: Midwest Icebreaker
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2009, 08:39:52 am »
Please, read about my cycling trips in Ohio. It seems the older I get the longer I like to ride. 2009 has been quite the cycling adventure for me.

Read My blog by following this link:

Offline johnsondasw

Re: Midwest Icebreaker
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2009, 11:02:51 pm »
Hello group.

 I reduced some of the aging factors that I was facing originally. 

Interesting statement!  As a 61 year old, I'm always interested in how to accomplish this.  Have you got any hints?

On another note, I'm impressed at the number of responses to the "icebreaker" title.  I tried to get something going on the Northwest Regional  section, but the paucity of responses was discouraging.
May the wind be at your back!

Offline macwild

Re: Midwest Icebreaker
« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2009, 01:48:03 pm »
Hi, my name is Matt and I live in Hutchinson, Ks. Currently most of my cycling is commuting but the wife and I have done some touring in the past.
We are planning a 7 day tour for the spring/summer next year.
Seems that most of the rides around here have tapered off due to the time of the year. Looking forward to more organized rides in the spring.

Offline bikeNRGY

Re: Midwest Icebreaker
« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2009, 08:25:07 am »
I've posted some photos of our, (me and My wife), trip to Japan Last year. We didn't do much cycling but the Japan is a beautiful place. I've begun planning rides for next year and taking spinning classes and working out at the Gym. Please visit the blog at

Offline globalgirl

Re: Midwest Icebreaker
« Reply #12 on: December 27, 2009, 01:44:59 am »
My name is Michele. I have lived in northeast Iowa now for 15 years on an acreage, but am a transplant from big city Los Angeles to the rural midwest. I am an avid off-road adventure motorcyclist, and am now interested in doing more adventure bicycling. I just got a Montague Paratrooper folding bicycle, and am looking forward to using it on day trips through the country areas here in the upper Midwest, as well as longer bike trips. I live close to many Amish farmers, so my first "adventure bicycling" trip will probably be through Amish country once it warms up a bit and some of the snow melts here. Does anybody ride their offroad or mountain bikes in the snow? Are there certain techniques to follow? Thanks!

Global Girl

Offline commuter

Re: Midwest Icebreaker
« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2011, 10:33:51 pm »
Hi     I'm from St. Paul, Mn.and I do a lot of biking.My biking styles are commuting, bike touring and triathlons. I've been doing the Northern Tier as my vacations will allow and have made it from the Washington/Idaho border to Niagra Falls in upstate New York. I've also done the Lewis and Clark Trail as well as many loops in MN,WI and IA. I find that commuting and touring have a lot of similarities in both the equipment you use and the mindset required to enjoy them.

I thought I would respond to Global Girl in her quest for information on winter cycling. It is a different world from other cycling with a unique set of challenges. First, you need the right gear and remember layering is the best strategy because the ride in the morning is a lot colder than the ride home so you need to shed some clothes for the ride home.(My assumption is that you work day shift)
head       I use my rain cover on my helmut. It cuts the wind
             Dog Earz is the brand name of a triangular piece of polar fleece with velcro to attach to your chin straps
             Baklava with wind stop
torso      base layer - many many choices. WCP is a mail order company and they have the top of the line products.
             light wool sweater (emphasis on light)
             your choice of biking jacket. Let price be your guide.
             gore tex outer shell
lower body
             biking shorts
             heavy weight tights
             gore tex pants
feet        I wear shoes that are a little big so I can wear heavy heavy socks
             gore tex lined light hiking shoes
On the bike I have what some people call Bullwinkles. I've seen a comercial brand named BarMitts. I've not found any better than a set made by a bike mechanic in St. Paul. On the coldest days of the winter I ride with light winter gloves inside my Bullwinkles and my hands stay nice and warm. If you want to connect with this guy you can email me  You will find the toughest part to keep warm is your feet

Happy Biking       Steve


Offline scottskaja

Re: Midwest Icebreaker
« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2013, 02:35:51 pm »

My name is Scott and I live in the Twin Cities. I first got into long riding in 2000 when I did my first Heartland AIDS Ride... 6 days and 575 miles. After that I was bitten by the touring bug and have done several multi-day organized rides around the US, but was still hesitant to go unsupported. I finally went out solo last fall, CC touring from SF to Bryce Canyon on the Western Express, 830 miles over 12 days. It was a little scary, in a good way and ended up being very rewarding. Still riding and loving my 2000 Lemonde Tourmalet steel frame.