Saturday, March 28, 2015

Happiness is an impending tour

shoot-326I’ve already started to ride the grind again. The key to a happy tour is saddle time. More than a few days in my near future will consist of getting up early, working, coming home, riding, dinner, then beer. There will be some extra strength training in there as well. The afternoons and evenings of weekdays are going to be all sweat, huffing and puffing. Even at the office, I take eight stories of stairs a few times a day to the top just to come back down. It’s a step in the direction I need to go.

I’ve just about gotten the bike dialed in. Changes to the riding position, handlebars, and a few other tweaks, and it’s almost ready to go. I’ll have a lot of opportunity to get everything right riding the trails the next couple of months, so any last problems should be ironed out before we start the tour.

Amtrak Guest Rewards was very good to me and we have deluxe accommodations booked. Private bedrooms on the California Zephyr and the Capitol Limited. I love bedrooms, the step up from the roomettes on sleeping cars. Private showers and bathrooms and larger than usual beds. Traveling in style. And, thanks to the Guest Rewards credit card, the price of the ticket for both of us is already covered. We’ll have to pay for a couple of bike boxes at the beginning of each ride, but that will be it. Meals are included as well. I’m looking forward to introducing Stephanie to train travel on what I hope will be the first of many long distance train vacations on the cheap.

The map is dialed in, keeping the daily ride between 50 and 60 miles a day while on the trail. Making reservations on the phone, the magic of tour people has already started. The kind lady we’ll be staying with in the sprawling metropolis of Paw Paw West Virginia offered to make us dinner since there isn’t really anyplace to get a good one in town. I’m willing to bet it’s going to be a fantastic chicken pot pie.

shoot-325I’m hoping for fair weather, but upgraded the rain gear just in case. I raided the REI garage sale to get it at a good price. All in all, the tour is coming together well. I’m savoring the experience of checking off steps and loving it when a plan comes together. I’m still not sure how or if I’ll do any live blog posts from the trail if I can find cell/internet service.

I’m not sure if anyone ever said it before, but they should have. Happiness is a set of train tickets in your pocket and plans for hundreds of miles of gravel riding ahead of you.

Happiness is an impending tour

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