Thinking of a Bike Tour Vacation

My Bike! :)

My Bike! 🙂

I was chowing down some food with a friend of mine and she brought up an interesting topic, bike touring. You know, one of those three to four-day trip on bike where everything is planned for you.  The route, food, lodging and support are all provided and all you have to do is show up and pedal. We talked about it further and who could go with us and as a result, I have a hankering for a guided road bike tour somewhere in the US of A.

A bike tour is something that I’ve always wanted to do since I was a kid. I rarely take a vacation and I’m due for one. My buddy asked me to go with her and drag her sister, and anyone else we can think of, along for the ride. Sounds fun to me! Now where to ride? East or west coast? Or maybe somewhere in the heartlands?

After doing a little research, it seems that there is a general prerequisite for any tour of any length, the ability to ride at least 40 to 50 miles a day on average or more if needed. It all depends on how far and the number of days the tour is scheduled for. I, myself, can easily work my way up to that, but my friends will need to start training for it. I’m sure they can do it, just need to devote some time to the project.

The real problem I see is which tour guide to go with. There are so many to choose from that it becomes overwhelming. The one that struck me as the most organized is the one sponsored by Trek called Trek Travel. What strikes me as being exceptional is how they categorize your skill level and then allow you to search tours that match it. Nice! I just wished others would do the same. I would hate to go through all the trouble of booking a tour and only to find out that it’s really beyond what we can do (such as too many steep climbs, or daily distance is grueling) and the tour turns from a nice vacation to work!

Where I’m from (deep south Texas), the terrain is flat, flat and more flatness. Our idea of hills are the overpasses crossing the expressway. With that in mind we would like something that is similar with some hills thrown in for a challenge.

I do want to go on a bike tour this year, but I would like real-life experience feedback from cyclists that have taken a road bike tour here in the United States. Let’s hear about your experience (good or bad), where did you go, how long was it and would you recommend the outfitter to others or not. Posting a comment would be greatly appreciated.

Keep them wheels spinning.

Losing Weight – The Plateau

Spring weather is here along with Daylight saving time adjustment. What this means is more pleasant weather and more daylight after I get off from work. I used to have about 1 to 1.5 hrs of daylight left after getting off work at 5 pm. That’s just enough time to get out and put in a workout, but I always had that rushed feeling. Now I have time to slow down and take my time to workout and extra time to cycle a bit further. Thank goodness for that cause I’m stuck at a Plateau in my weight loss.

Everyone trying to shed some weight has come across this phenomenon. Your body simply refuses to corporate and lose some weight. Ah, that arch nemesis as struck again! It’s in a stubborn phase and it can really bum a person out. It does me! I workout hard all week, putting in the miles on a consistent basis, watching what I eat and poof, nothing happens on weigh-in.

Discouraged, I go over what I’ve been doing and eating. Maybe I need to cut back on this or that or eat more of this or that … it’s all the same stuff that everyone seems to go through and there is no one bullet answer to solve this.

I think I’ll go back to a food diary, such as MyFitnessPal, and see where I’m going wrong with food consumption aspect of things. It really is a pretty good app. Maybe I can figure out how to get off this plateau.

Any suggestions? Drop me a line or post a comment, I’d like to hear from you and your struggles with the weight loss plateau.

Keep them wheels spinning!

BAM!

BAM! No, this isn’t about Emeril Lagasse (although I love his food), but rather it’s an acronym for Bike across AMerica. Am I planning to cycle across America? I wish I was, the thought of long rides with your bike packed with camping gear plus weeks of free time is really appealing to me. It something that many of us dream of doing, but in reality only a select few have the opportunity to do so. Unfortunately, I’m not one of them. Although it’s not me doing the ride, I did come across a fellow dailymiler that is planning on doing this in the very near future, Jasmine and Fiji.

I’ve had a friend request on dailymile sitting in my queue for a day or two, just sitting there. I usually accept friend requests quickly, but lately I’ve been busy and distracted. Today, I went ahead and accepted the request and took a look at who the new friend was. Jasmine is her name and the first thing I noticed is that she has ridden a lot. Neat! The next thing I noticed is that she gets a lot of comments (that’s always good) and then I noticed the pictures. I love pictures. To me pictures always bring the page to life. The next item I checked was her goals that she wants to achieve:

Lose all my college weight by the end of 2013 and successfully bike across America in April. First, I gotta raise funds!

Lose college weight, check. Bike across America, wow! Now that caught my eye and then I noticed a blog link. I like blogs that users have as I always find something interesting. Jasmine’s blog is all about her preparation on her journey across America with her faithful companion Fiji, her doggie.  Her path takes her straight down the middle of America from New York City down to Virginia and then onwards to Los Angeles. Very ambitious goal and a great way to work off the weight.

It takes a lot to cycle across the United States on a bike. You would think that it’s fairly inexpensive, but little things add up. First, all the gear that needed for the trip – sleeping bag, tent, food, water, spare parts for the bike, repair kit, etc. Then you need a bike to carry all this equipment. These two basic items cost money. Sometimes you got the funds and other times you don’t. Jasmine is fund-raising to help with the expenses. Drop by her blog and see if you can donate to her cause or get an item or two from her wish list.

Fiji and Jasmine can be found at Fiji and Jasmine Bike Across America. Visit her blog and see how she is preparing, training and fund-raising for the big event. She plans to blog or tweet along the ride so you can follow her progress. Live your dream through her and support her endeavor with funds, kind words of encouragement or advice. A little go a long ways. Besides, she has cool, fun graphics on her page. I was moved and inspired to help her reach her goals and I hope you are to. Maybe some of it will rub off on me and get me riding more.

Keep them wheels spinning.