Showing posts with the label solo cyclist

The Greatest American Long Distance and Ultra-Distance Cyclists

A couple of days ago I wrote an article about the greatest cyclists in American cycling history. It mainly focused on the media darlings that we have all seen on the Tour de France and other big time races. I am particularly impressed with ultra-long-distance cyclists too and wanted to give them some recognition too.   Cycling is a sport that has captured the hearts and minds of millions of people around the world. Whether it's the rush of wind in your face as you ride through beautiful landscapes, the feeling of pushing yourself to your limits, or the satisfaction of achieving a long-sought-after goal, there is something truly special about cycling that keeps people coming back for more. One of the most challenging and rewarding aspects of cycling is long distance and ultra-distance riding. These events push cyclists to their limits, challenging their physical and mental stamina as they ride hundreds or even thousands of miles in a single race. And in the United States, there are

Northern Tier vs Southern Tier Bicycle Routes: A Guide for Seniors

If you're a senior cyclist looking for an exciting way to explore the United States, a cross-country cycling tour might be just the adventure you're looking for. With two primary routes to choose from - the Northern Tier and Southern Tier - you have a lot to consider before you hit the road. In this blog post, we'll take a closer look at the differences between these two popular routes, so you can make an informed decision about which one is best for your goals and preferences. Northern Tier Route The Northern Tier Route is a 4,265-mile journey that takes cyclists from Anacortes, Washington, to Bar Harbor, Maine, through some of the most scenic and remote areas of the northern United States. While this route offers breathtaking views of the Rocky Mountains, the Great Lakes region, and the Atlantic Coast, it is not for the faint of heart. The Northern Tier is known for its challenging terrain, with long stretches of steep mountain climbs and descents. Cyclists will also enco

Cycling into the Golden Years: Conquering Long-Distance Tours with Grace

As the wheels of time turn, so do the wheels of our bicycles, carrying us through life's adventures. As a seasoned cyclist at the age of 67, I have come to understand the unique challenges that come with riding long-distance tours in my golden years. Nevertheless, with experience and a few well-honed tricks up my sleeve, I've managed to make these rides more enjoyable and fulfilling. In this blog post, I will share my insights on the challenges I've faced and the strategies I employ to make long-distance tours easier, so fellow cycling enthusiasts can continue to embark on epic journeys regardless of age. Embrace the Changing Dynamics As we age, it's crucial to acknowledge that our bodies might not be as resilient as they once were. But don't let that deter you from riding long distances! Embrace the changing dynamics of your body and understand that it may require more care and recovery time. Set Realistic Goals Long-distance tours are exhilarating, but it's es

Unexpected Acts of Kindness: My Bicycle Ride from Texhoma to South Padre Island

Sometimes, it's the unexpected moments that make a journey unforgettable. That was certainly the case for me when I rode my bicycle from Texhoma on the Texas Oklahoma border down to South Padre Island, Texas. The ride was a fundraiser to save a small nonprofit in Lubbock, Texas, that runs a dessert truck staffed with young people who have developmental disabilities. The 12-day ride was challenging but rewarding, and it was great to see local TV stations covering the story as it happened. But the real surprise came when I realized that when I reached the bridge that leads to South Padre Island that bicycles are not allowed on the bridge, which was a bit deflating for me, especially since I was so close to my destination. But then an ex-policeman messaged me with a solution. He had a friend in the Port Isabel police force, the town where the bridge to South Padre starts, and he told them about my ride and its mission. I was only 40 miles from Port Isabel when I got the message to cal

A Terrifying Night: My Experience Riding from Lubbock to Pensacola

In 2016, I rode my bicycle from Lubbock, Texas to Pensacola, Florida. The first two days were long rides, each over or very near 100 miles. My third day was from Seymour to Bowie, and it was a pretty uneventful day. When I got to Bowie, I went to a small restaurant to eat and decide if I would get a hotel or camp out. The next day was going to be a shorter day, and a look at the weather forecast showed a slight chance of rain around 9:30. I decided to go to Bowie High School and hang out under the canopy of one of the entrances. Once the rain ended, I decided to go down between the school and a small lake where there was a small covered picnic table that had space to put up my tent. The rain was not bad, and it passed quickly, so I set up and placed my bicycle and trailer up on the metal enclosure. It was really nice, and I was under the canopy, so I left the top cover of the tent open to feel the nice breeze. The ride was over 100 degrees that day, and it felt good to feel that breeze

How a Quality Bicycle Can Payoff

If you're planning a multi-day tour, you know how crucial it is to have a reliable bike. Don't risk getting stranded on the road! I am a seasoned cyclist who has ridden thousands of miles. I can attest to the importance of investing in a quality bicycle. Personally, I ride a Specialized Diverge and it has been a fantastic bike for me. In fact, I rode it for 962 miles across Texas in 2020 without any issues. And the best part? I didn't even have to pay for it! Here's how it happened: during a training ride on my Specialized AWOL in January 2020, the chainstay suddenly cracked. Thankfully, Specialized offers a lifetime warranty on their frames, so I took my bike to my local dealer. They were able to replace it with a Diverge in just a few days. While I still prefer the ride of my steel-framed AWOL, the Diverge has been an excellent training bike. It has also been a great option for touring. Although I'll likely purchase a new steel-framed bike for my nex

Solo Cycling or Social Cycling

  As an avid cyclist, I prefer riding alone for long distances. The freedom to ride at my own pace and take breaks whenever I please is exhilarating. This sense of control and independence is what makes cycling a fulfilling experience for me. One of my memorable rides was in New Mexico, where I rode 45 miles away from the nearest town. It was just me and my bike, and I relished in the solitude of the journey. While I have participated in group rides before, I find that some groups can be competitive and testosterone-driven. There is always that one person who tries to outdo others, which can be a turn-off for me. As for challenges, I enjoy pushing myself to complete rides spanning hundreds of miles over a few days. However, I am not a competitive cyclist and do not partake in races. While I respect the dedication and hard work of racing cyclists, it is simply not my cup of tea.I have been on a few long tours over the years and have encountered a few groups. Many of the cyclists were ve