Dreaming... - CycleBlaze

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Dreaming...

Karen Cook

Hello,

I received my first dose of vaccine last week and my body is now happily making anti-bodies and preparing to be invaded by vaccine dose 2, in 28 days.

In addition to thinking of normalcy at home, I am also thinking about touring ideas for summer.

What about you?  What are you dreaming of in a "normal" bike touring world, post vaccine?    Any trip plans?

Karen

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1 month ago
Gregory GarceauTo Karen Cook

My main hope is that National Park and State Park campgrounds re-open to tent camping all over the country.  At this time last year I was two weeks away from flying down to El Paso to begin a tour that included four national parks and three state parks in West Texas and southeastern New Mexico.  

Unfortunately, I had to cancel.  My wife didn't think it was a good idea to go while the Covid scare was increasing.  I think she might have relented but, what would've been the point of going if the most exciting locales of my trip were all closed?   (Turns out, she was right about discouraging me from getting on an airplane at that time.) 

So the introductory pages of that trip still sit in the netherworld of unpublished CycleBlaze journals until (hopefully) I can make it happen in October.

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1 month ago
Wayne EstesTo Karen Cook

I expect to be eligible for a vaccine in May. That makes touring possible for me in June but I'm skeptical that US society will be back to normal by then.

I did 2 short tours last year while many businesses were closed due to the pandemic. The tours were successful thanks to advance planning, flexibility, and lower expectations. I want my next tour to be "normal" with restaurants, attractions, and museums all open for business.

I have no idea when that will happen in the US. A full reopening in June seems unlikely because half the US population will still be waiting for a vaccine and maskless gatherings will continue to cause widespread virus transmission.

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1 month ago
Gregory GarceauTo Wayne Estes

Hi Wayne,

Here in Minnesota I still have no idea when a 62-year-old like me will be able to get a vaccine.  I'm healthy and I don't mind waiting my turn, but still, I'd sure like to get that shot.  It sure would be nice if bike tourists could somehow get in the front of the line.  (Just a joke, of course.)

You're absolutely right about the mask-less gatherings.  That's why I still have very low expectations in regard to touring in Texas anytime soon.

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1 month ago
Karen CookTo Wayne Estes

Good points, Wayne.

I was thinking of riding a stretch of the Trans-American Trail that I have not done and assumed that, since it goes through states that seem more averse to masks and lock downs, it would be mostly open.  But your point is well taken.

My summer school classes have been cancelled this year so I was hoping to take advantage of the extra time.  I'm definitely going to do something but will keep my options open.



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1 month ago
Brent IrvineTo Karen Cook

I keep dangling that exact carrot in front of my nose as I have been doing for pretty much a full year now. My professional association is pushing for our vaccinations now and some are getting them, though that is in southern Ontario, while I am in forgotten northern Ontario. This leads me to think I will get mine in April or maybe May.

So... my latest carrots are 1.  a distancing tour in my home province this summer, and 2. possibly a Euro tour in the fall if the EU allows in vaccinated Canadians  and our government is not recommending we stay home.

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1 month ago
Scott AndersonTo Karen Cook

Dreaming is probably the right term for it, but yes we have plans - which we just announced in a recent post.  We’re optimistic enough that we’ve already bought our flights, encouraged by the fact that fares are still so low and changeable without fees.  We plan to fly back to Minneapolis in early June to visit our son and his family, and bike from there to Rome (the Italian one, although we’ll probably pass by the one in New York also), with a hop from Newark to Amsterdam in early August.  If Europe is still closed to Americans we’ll just keep biking south somewhere.  The nonstop flight from Newark to Amsterdam was only $280, so it seemed worth the risk.

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1 month ago
George HallTo Karen Cook

Karen et al;

It's still scary to contemplate it, and there is definitely some risk involved, but I am planning on a major tour commencing April 28.   I'm 68 and have had both doses of the vaccine, and I will be touring with 2 others my age who have also had both doses of the vaccine.   We are going to ride the Transam east to west.   At least that's the plan - we postponed the tour last year, partially due to COVID, but I had other medical issues that would have kept me from going last year anyway. 

While I'm recently retired, another of my tour group works full time as a doctor and he has had to make plans a full year in advance to arrange to be off 3 months and have others cover his practice.  So our plans can't be easily changed.  Part of our criteria (developed many months ago) was that the vaccine had to be developed and we all had to have it prior to departure.   So we met that requirement.  Other requirements included training goals, and we are all on track to meet those.

This will be my 2nd traverse of the Transam - I rode it solo in 2015 - I'm riding it again because it will be a better experience for my less experienced touring partners than, say, the Northern Tier would be (which is the route I would have ridden if this was a solo trip).   Frankly, I think there's only about a 25% chance that my touring partners can handle the physical and mental stress of the Transam, and I think the probability would be close to zero if we attempted the Northern Tier. I am concerned that a lot of the touring "infrastructure" that exists along the Transam may not be available now due to COVID - for instance, churches that allow cyclists to sleep inside may not offer that accommodation now - but there will be other places to stay.  And - how do I say this delicately? - the Transam traverses some very rural parts of America where the populace isn't exactly highly educated - so I am concerned with the lack of COVID concern that seems to exist in small towns.  We will carry masks with us and wear them when we venture inside stores - and I don't plan on doing any inside dining - but there is still a risk, especially with the new variants of the virus expected to fuel an upsurge in coming weeks. 

So, it may not be the smartest thing I have ever done, but 3 of us "more mature" folks are going to attempt a coast-to-coast tour despite the pandemic.   I wouldn't do it if I was younger and had not received the vaccine - but I'm old enough to realize that my touring opportunities are limited.  And so - we go soon...

Buddy Hall

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1 month ago
Wayne EstesTo George Hall

Buddy, you have a truly exemplary COVID risk-management strategy for your upcoming TransAmerica tour.

I most likely would participate in indoor dining after I'm vaccinated. Something I should think about...

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1 month ago
Jacquie GaudetTo Karen Cook

Dreaming...I've been doing a lot of that.  We had to cancel, I mean postpone, our long-anticipated trip to Italy last year.

It was tricky to do anything here in BC last year; first everything was closed, then the Provincial Parks opened and campgrounds were booked up incredibly quickly as even people who had never camped decided 2020 was their year to try it.  Many privately-operated campgrounds didn't open, nor did many B&Bs or other accommodation.  Whole towns and villages remained closed to visitors.

I am hoping to do something this year.  Maybe bikepacking all or part of the BC Trail (https://bikepacking.com/routes/bc-trail/) or some other route, maybe backpacking the Rockwall Trail, who knows?  I'm also hoping that the BC government is correct in its latest estimate that everyone can have their first dose of vaccine before July.

Whatever I choose, it will have to fit in with getting our place ready to sell, selling it, and actually moving to our new home, whenever it's ready.  Oh yeah, and our son's wedding.  At least we have a date for the latter and it should be possible to have a gathering by then.

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1 month ago