Friday, February 29, 2008

The Bike

After a lot riding and a variety of adjustments, it looks as if this will be the bike I take on Southern Tier Tour. I originally thought to take my recumbent, but I really don't like working so hard on the climbs.

I am amazed how small adjustments impact comfort and ride ability. Several adjustments worth noting are:

  • The steer tube extension by Delta which allows me to raise the height of the handlebar to maximize comfort.
  • The addition of auxiliary brake levers on the top part of the handlebar so I can ride more upright safely.
  • The change from my Brooks (with a cutout) to the Selle Anatomica saddle.
I have ridden with the Brooks saddle for the past year. However, after my last long hard ride in the foothills east of Ione, I decided to give the Selle Anatomica another try. I’m a cautious and conservative person, so I’ll only say; “So far, so good!” Selle Anatomica saddles are made of leather similar to the Brooks, but the center ridge of the saddle has been cutout and the leather is softer. The saddle is well known for its comfort by those who have used them.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Something Else Interesting About Our Ride Leader

It appears Andy MacIntyre, our rider leader, is a photographer who was exhibited at Mokka Gallery in Newport, KY. The following excerpt was found on the Internet:

"Images from the Road and Trail; contd., is the third exhibition of local adventurer Andrew MacIntyre’s photographs from his bicycle tours across the United States. While leading tours in 2006 from San Diego to St. Augustine (twice), and Anacortes, WA to Bar Harbor, ME, he collected over 10,000 images of wildflowers, stunning panoramas, working cowgirls and their dogs, lonely figures riding mountain tracks and desert roads, and many images of touristy roadside kitsch. New for Andrew is his “on-the-road” portraiture. Portraits include “Anne on her 50th birthday” – a lady paddling a canoe on a quiet upstate New York Lake, “Two Prayers” – a man prays over his meal while his terrier watches intently, “Jeremy at 19” – a portrait of a young man in a New Mexico firehouse, “Pecan buyer in Mississippi” – a man waits for locals to bring him sacks of pecans gleaned from roadsides, “Anne on the Roof” – a touring cyclist rests at the end of her cross-country trip. Other images include, “Crater Peak” - a jay perches on his hand with Crater Peak in the background, “Support Our Troops” – an inspiring mural of a modern Spirit of America from the Southwest, and his very popular “Rainbow Flowers” series.

All The Riders

All the riders and where they are from.
Richard H. Beeman San Diego CA
Douglas Bittner San Clemente CA
Nicholas Q. Bonnell San Francisco CA
Frank Fransioli Conifer CO
Tom Gamage Watertown NY
Jeff Holm Olympia WA
Herb Lee Sacramento CA
Kristine Martin Chicago IL
Eileen McGinnity Conifer CO
David Olson Murphys CA
Janice Peebly Alexandria VA
Dee Reddick Pittsburgh PA
Aede Schoustra Den Haag NETHERLANDS
Stephen P. Shapland Aurora CO
Matthew Stobbart Harrogate UNITED KINGDOM
Shirley Thomas Leicester UNITED KINGDOM

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Gang

This will be an international group of riders. Including the ride leader, there are 17 people in total. The leader, Andy MacIntyre, is 52 years of age living in Kentucky. He rode this route in 2005, and led tours twice in 2006, once in 2007. In Andy’s words, “I love this route! You get some of the best that the USA has to offer!” He also led the 2005 Great Divide Ride and the 2006 Northern Tier Expedition.

Some things about Andy! He rides a Surly Karate Monkey with disc brakes and uses Ortleib panniers. He prefers Continental Top Contact Touring tires (700x37c) with tire liners. He likes to travel very light so he plans to use a sleeping bag/bivy sack rather than a tent. He carries 3 pairs of short pants, 3 shirts, a nylon jacket and one set of rain gear; and rides in Shimano sandals. If it gets really cold, he'll just buy some cloth or whatever he needs along way.

As for the rest of the gang, there are 11 men and 5 women representing the following States and countries:

California (5)
Colorado (3)
New York (1)
Pennsylvania (1)
Virginia (1)
Washington (1)
Illinois (1)
Netherlands (1)
United Kingdom (2)

Wish us luck!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Itinerary

Daily Itinerary for the Southern Tier Tour
DayDateOvernight LocationDaily Mileage
1 Mar 22 San Diego, CA – 7pm Introduction Meeting 0.0
2 Mar 23 San Diego – Discussions & Shakedown Ride tba
3 Mar 24 Alpine 37.5
4 Mar 25 Ocotillo 57.5
5 Mar 26 Brawley 49.5
6 Mar 27 Palo Verde 69.0
7 Mar 28 Blythe 21.0
8 Mar 29 Hope, AZ 55.0
9 Mar 30 Wickenburg 61.5
10 Mar 31 Phoenix 55.0
11 Apr 1 Phoenix – Layover (8 riding days) 0.0
12 Apr 2 Apache Junction 35.0
13 Apr 3 Globe 56.0
14 Apr 4 Thatcher (via Alternate Route) 75.5
15 Apr 5 Three-Way 37.0
16 Apr 6 Buckhorn, NM 43.5
17 Apr 7 Silver City 38.0
18 Apr 8 Silver City – Layover Day (6 riding days) 0.0
19 Apr 9 Mimbres 50.0
20 Apr 10 Caballo 56.5
21 Apr 11 Las Cruces 60.5
22 Apr 12 El Paso, TX 53.5
23 Apr 13 El Paso - Layover (4 riding days) 0.0
24 Apr 14 Fort Hancock 54.5
25 Apr 15 Van Horn 74.5
26 Apr 16 Fort Davis 90.5
27 Apr 17 Fort Davis - Layover (3 riding days) 0.0
28 Apr 18 Marathon 54.5
29 Apr 19 Sanderson 54.5
30 Apr 20 Seminole Canyon 80.5
31 Apr 21 Del Rio 40.5
32 Apr 22 Lazy Laguna Lodge (Dooley Ranch) 60.5
33 Apr 23 Lost Maples State Natural Area 58.5
34 Apr 24 Comfort 69.5
35 Apr 25 Wimberley 66.5
36 Apr 26 Austin 43.0
37 Apr 27 Austin - Layover (9 riding days) 0.0
38 Apr 28 Bastrop 32.0
39 Apr 29 Carmine 62.0
40 Apr 30 Navasota 48.0
41 May 1 Coldspring 66.5
42 May 2 Silsbee 76.5
43 May 3 Merryville, LA 55.0
44 May 4 Merryville - Layover (6 riding days) 0.0
45 May 5 Oberlin 57.5
46 May 6 Washington 55.0
47 May 7 Simmesport 56.5
48 May 8 St. Francisville (Green Acres) 55.4
49 May 9 Easleyville (Great Discovery Campground) 60.6
50 May 10 Bogalusa / New Orleans 50.5
51 May 11 New Orleans - Layover (6 riding days) 0.0
52 May 12 Perkinston, MI 59.5
53 May 13 Hurley 61.5
54 May 14 Gulf Shores, AL 73.0
55 May 15 Milton, FL 60.5
56 May 16 DeFuniak Springs 66.5
57 May 17 DeFuniak Springs - Layover (5 riding days) 0.0
58 May 18 Marianna 60.5
59 May 19 Midway 58.0
60 May 20 Waukeenah (Tallahassee East-KOA) 53.0
61 May 21 Spirit of Suwannee Park 67.5
62 May 22 High Springs 58.5
63 May 23 Hawthorne 50.0
64 May 24 East Palatka 41.5
65 May 25 St. Augstine 37.5

Monday, February 25, 2008

Getting It Done

There is a lot to do in getting ready for a major trip such as this. Besides the constant training with rides four or five days a week, I’ve been going over my equipment list and getting the gear together. Right now, the entire dining room area is laid out with my stuff: tent, sleeping bag and pad, bike cloth, camp cloth, rain gear, bike tools and spare parts, panniers, etc. I’m sure Kay will be glad when I’m finally on my way and the dining room is cleared. I also have to determine the best way to transport the bike and gear to San Diego. I will most likely take everything with me on the airplane. The bike will be packed into a large box and the gear stuffed into a large duffel bag. I plan to use the smaller front panniers as carry-on bags on the flight.

Because of this long trip, I also had the front yard redone to eliminate the lawn. This saves Kay from having to mow the grass during my two month absence. The new landscape will also work better in the future after we both have retired and begin traveling for extended periods. Below are before and after pictures of my front yard. I’ve always wanted a piece of the Sierras in my own yard. So now, the new landscape incorporates 11,000 lbs plus of moss rocks.