Bike Touring


19
May 2007
by mark

Bike Tour: Two Bags to the Farm, May ’07

bicycling in Kentucky, two perspectives

This was my first week-long self-designed tour. In the past I had added my own extensions to Cover Indiana and GABRAKY. Unfortunately, on both of these organized rides, I experienced some knee problems, and the fixed distances and schedules left me feeling locked into the event schedule.

By organizing my own trip, I had the flexibility to redesign the trip on the fly and use a more personally meaningful route– riding from my home to visit family and friends in central Kentucky, about 150 miles away.

See the complete tour journal.


20
May 2006
by mark

Bike Tour: Cover Indiana ’06

I banked my bicycle towards the sign labeled “International Circus
Hall of Fame”. On the outskirts of Peru, Indiana Hopi and I pedaled
down the rural road looking for something that would live up to the
name on the sign.

I thought we were close when we passed what appeared to be flying
trapeze rigging sitting in a field in front of two large barns. Still,
nothing looked active or open.

I paused in front of a plain trailer with a small window labeled
“TICKETS” on one end. As a dog barked nearby, I was working up the
courage to knock on the door of what increasingly appeared might be the
wrong building.

Read the complete tour journal.


2
Oct 2005
by mark

Bike Tour: Richmond, IN to the Tennessee Border ’05

Need a Ride?

By the 40-mile morning rest stop in Willisburg, I was about ready to give up again, and my bike was making a strange creaking noise at times. Scott, our ever-present mechanic from Pedal Power was there to help. Meanwhile, I snacked on Clif Bars and Advil and rested.

A small screw on my brakes was stripped he said, and he didn’t have the part to replace it with him. This was necessary to hold my back break on.

I ate a banana, drank some water, and let him tinker some more, half hoping a mechanical failure would be my excuse for not completing the day. Already, all but the slowest two riders had come and gone from the rest stop.

But dropping out was not my fate. A few minutes later Scott had jammed a wire cap perfectly into the stripped hole, and promised a full brake kit replacement that evening. He just happened to have parts for the exact model in stock.

So I was back on the road again now with no riders in sight ahead or behind me. At least one hill was too much for my knee before I got to the lunch stop. I got off and walked the bike up it.

Read the complete tour journal.


1
May 2005
by mark

Notes from my first bicycle camping trip

Early May, 2005

Need a Ride?
I got several positive looks and comments as I pulled my full loaded recumbent bicycle out of town. With the trailer and bright yellow pannier covers, it was hard to miss.

“What did you pay for that?”
“What IS that?”
“NICE BIKE!”

Along the route, I got the opportunity to try out a loose dog defense technique I’d read about. I squirted the barking booger in the face with my water bottle when he got close enough. The dog did in fact stop immediately, as confused as anything else.

Continue reading →


19
Mar 2005
by mark

Mounting a third water bottle cage on a Rans V-Rex recumbent

I wanted to follow the pattern of Rans V-Rex Commuting Weapon by adding an additional water bottle mount to carry a light system battery.

That’s what the picture above is. There’s also a large version. Here are some notes on how this was created.

Continue reading →


1
Jan 2005
by mark

Review of Arkel Utility Basket Pannier

 After spending hours poring over Arkel’s website, I’ve just purchased my third Utility Basket bag from them.

Today I’ll share some of the hidden features of the 2005 Utility Basket which make it suitable for touring as well as day-to-day commutes.

Continue reading →


14
Jul 2004
by mark

Test driving a Rans V-Rex recumbent bike

Today was the first real test of my new Rans V-Rex ‘bent. After a week of waiting, the new derailleur was finally installed. I planned a twenty mile solo trip to Whitewater, Indiana and back. Out on my own, I was going to find out how the new bike compared to my old one longer trips.

One part was no surprise. As a recumbent, it was definitely a more comfortable ride. The only part of me that was a little sore coming home was my legs.

The ride to Whitewater was a little disappointing. I just wasn’t keeping the speeds that I wanted to. The terrain was some of my favorite– the rural gently rolling hills of Indiana, with peaks and valleys that are often only 10 or 20 feet apart in height.

I did notice suspiciously that each new peak seemed a little higher than the last. When I arrivied at Whitewater, my average speed was lower that I would have liked: about 14 mph.

I had not been to ‘downtown’ Whitewater before that I recall. As I ride through each of the small towns around Richmond, I have almost always discovered a new General Store or cafe that I hadn’t noticed before.

Continue reading →