Travelogue On My First Bike Tour and Why You Should Too

Tengu91

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Hey nomads!
I bought a used Trek 7000 that's pushing 20 years old for $250. I got a new seat, new tires (Schwalbe Marathons), and a Garmin 350 Edge, plus some lights and minimalist tool kit. All-in-all, I've got a great set-up for less than $700! I'm currently in Berea, KY after leaving Hamilton, OH a few days ago...According to the Garmin I've been in the saddle for 19 hours and traveled 190 miles. Not gonna lie, these hills are absolute murder and are wrecking my average speed but it's been a great ride regardless. My original goal was Fort Benning, GA where I went to basic & airborne school (Once upon a time, a long time ago, I was a paratrooper), but then I found a white water raft guide gig (free training!) in Tennessee so I'm gonna detour that way, possibly for the summer. The people at the white water place haven't gotten back to me yet, but it's only slightly out of the way and it'll be a pretty route regardless.
Aside from having to mace a pack of dogs (That made me feel bad...I'd rather pepper-spray the irresponsible owners) and nearly getting creamed against a guard rail in Boonesborough State Park, it's been AMAZING! I haven't traveled in a few years and it's been getting to me--I'm sure all of you understand--and this is my first bike expedition. I don't know if it's my preferred mode of travel just yet, or if I even have one, but it's been great so far and I love how easy it is to change plans on a whim.
If you're on the fence about doing a bike tour, I highly recommend giving it a shot! The first couple days are sorta brutal, but your body adapts quickly and--so long as you give yourself a break every 2 to 3 days--you'll be fine :)
This has been a great way to get back into the swing of things so far as travel is concerned, and I hope anyone who's never done anything like it gives it a try at least once. Hills suck going up, but flying down is nothing short of incredible. The interaction you get with your environment is second to none, and the ability to adapt to new plans is second to none. I miss hitchhiking and trainhopping, but this is equally great in it's own way and I hope everyone gets to experience it for themselves at least once.
 

Tengu91

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nice, glad you're having such a good time! i do miss bike touring, im woefully out of shape for that kind of thing right now. i hope the rafting job works out that sounds like it would be pretty dope!
Rafting gig fell through. Also, both my knees started giving me issues so now I'm holed up in Corbin, KY waiting for them heal! Still a great ride though. I'm really digging this place--never would've stumbled across it had it not been bike touring! Lots of great places to stealth camp. I'm kicking around the idea of getting a bartending gig for a few months before continuing on.
Honestly, it just feels good to be without structure and on the road again. It's been far, far too long.
 
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