I'm starting a short tour to test my V-Rex setup and my body today - CycleBlaze

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I'm starting a short tour to test my V-Rex setup and my body today

Mark Boyd

I'm planning on three days, each with about 40 miles of riding and 2000+ feet of climbing, in a loop through the mountains and down to the piedmont of North Carolina

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1 month ago
Kelly IniguezTo Mark Boyd

Will you be doing a short journal to tell us what you tested and the results?

I also have a short/overnight trip coming up next week, provided the weather cooperates. It's one of my get out of town in the springtime overnights. This one is to Redstone, CO. My other favorite overnight spot is Aspen during mud season (when it's cheap). The bike path to Aspen has a wildlife  closure until May 1st.

 I plan to take my new to me coupled Stratus. The bike is a model I've owned before, so there should be no surprises. I'm changing the seat out to my preferred model. The bike came from Florida, so I need Colorado gearing on it. You know how the story goes. I only need to change the bike completely to make it mine!

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1 month ago
Mark BoydTo Kelly Iniguez

What I am doing on this 3 day tour is testing my ebiked recumbent and my aging body's ability to do some fairly serious touring. So far,after 50ish miles with a lot of climbing including some quite steep mile long hills., both my body and the fully loaded bike have done surprisingly well.

My ride started with a lot of traffic for the first half dozen miles and ended with me being rescued after I failed to find a room at my planned destination and had to push my tired body an extra 16 hilly miles to get to the next place to stay. My rescuer gave me and my bike a ride for the last half of those miles after the muscles in the back of my right thigh started cramping and I pulled off the road to try to stop the cramping. I don't think I could have made it here without that help. I probably would have had to start looking for a place to wild camp.

With help I was able to get a room at the Celo Inn which used to be run by friends of mine. New folks who are also friends of the previous owners took it over and just reopened this week, so l lucked out there too!

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1 month ago
Mark BoydTo Kelly Iniguez

I've probably already posted too much info here about my last tour, but I also wanted to post a response to your  mention of "short/overnight trip ".  After doing my, rather intense three day ride, my body feels good and my confidence in being able to tour in the mountains  on my e-biked V-Rex is restored.

When my best friend Don Patterson was still alive, I rode from Asheville to the Mt Mitchell golf course area where he lived  and back every other weekend with rideable weather - and my definition of that was it wasn't raining hard and none of the roads I needed were covered with snow -when I wasn't on tour.   I hadn't ridden there since he died roughly a decade ago until last Tuesday when I rode past the golf course on my way from Celo to Marion. Now I'm hoping to do overnight rides to the Celo Inn, which is about 5 miles from where Don's house was.

I used to ride to Don's house and back through Burnsville or on the Parkway, but one time I rode back through Marion because there was too much snow and ice on my regular routes. Without e-assist, I can no longer do that ride.  Now that I know I can do the ride through Burnsville - actually I  have used three different routes through Burnsville - and  I may be able to use he Parkway route- it has about a mile of climbing - with the batteries I have.

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1 month ago
Kelly IniguezTo Mark Boyd

Mark,

My intended overnight on Mon/Tues this week is hampered by the fact that my chosen lodging, Redstone Redcliff Lodge, is closed until May 1st! There is a more expensive choice in town . . . . my other overnight favorite this time of year is riding the bike path to Aspen. A section of that is closed each winter for wildlife habitat. It also opens May 1st.

Your overnight has a much better background story than mine. Let us know when you get a chance to ride it. 

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1 month ago
Mark BoydTo Kelly Iniguez

I'm now committed to riding it Wednesday and Thursday of this week.  Tomorrow, Tuesday, has a really bad wind forecast while Wednesday is forecast to be in the low 60s and Thursday is forecast to be in the mid 70's both with light winds.  I'll be riding  my favorite route trough Burnsville.  It goes over Paint Gap. Paint gap is VERY steep. Coming back down Paint Gap on my road bike I used to regularly get above 55 mph.  Wednesday, I may try walking my bike up using the walk feature on my e-bike controller.   That would save lot of battery usage. 

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1 month ago
Mark BoydTo Mark Boyd

Well, that didn't work out too well.  I rode my loaded e-biked V-Rex to the start of Paint Fork Rd, the road that goes over Paint Gap on the way to Burnsville . That road starts about 17.5 miles from my home and the actual gap - pass if you aren't in NC - is 25 miles  from here. 25 miles came and passed and I hadn't reached the gap. That road isn't marked except where it starts and I didn't mean to leave it but somehow(?) I had.

 When I realized I wasn't going to reach   Paint Gap, I decided just to keep riding. Eventually I reached D+D grocery  at the intersection of the road I was on - Holcomb  Branch Rd - and Barnardsville Rd.  At that point I was closer to my home than to the the start on Paint Fork and I decided, after stopping for a snack, to head on home. My ride time was about four hours and after spending a lot of time studying maps, I still can't figure out what my route was! Basically there is no road, or roads, that I can find to get between the start of Paint Fork Rd and Holcombe Branch Rd  without turning around on Paint Fork and riding back through roads I had already ridden to get to the start of Paint Fork. I didn't do that!

Anyway,much of the road  was nice riding and I spent so long riding it that I didn't have the time, or the energy, to get to the Celo Inn, which was my planned destination for today.  Maybe next week.

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4 weeks ago
Kelly IniguezTo Mark Boyd

Do you have ridewithgps.com? Bertha (my name for the app - it reminds me of a sensible, no nonsense German woman) has saved me from a wrong turn several times. 

Did you have a reservation at the Celo Inn? Were you able to change it?

Quite a few years ago, the weather Thanksgiving weekend was so warm that I decided to ride to Aspen (70 miles) for an overnight. I got as far as Carbondale (45 miles) when I learned about the winter wildlife closure of the path. This was in the very early days of cellphones, and definitely before mapping apps. Had I been more familiar with the area, I could have taken roads around the path closure. I did try briefly, but ended up turning around and heading home. 

Luckily, I had my strong commuter lights with me. I ended up arriving back home several hours after dark. It was COLD, late November night. It didn't even occur to me to ride the extra miles to make it a century ride.

I had a couple of turkey and cranberry sauce sandwiches to fuel me for the trip. They were delicious!

the point of that story was to say that I was able to cancel my reservation for the evening at the St Moritz hostel. The clerk said they hadn't turned anyone away who might have wished for a room, she would see me next time. This was back in the good old days when a dorm bed cost $25. and included a glass of wine in the evening. In Aspen! Such a bargain.

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4 weeks ago
Mark BoydTo Kelly Iniguez

Do you have ridewithgps.com? Bertha (my name for the app - it reminds me of a sensible, no nonsense German woman) has saved me from a wrong turn several times. 

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I don't enjoy touring when I'm being told where to turn. Even though I used to tour in Europe with a Garmin GPS on my bike's handlebars, I can only recall one time when I used it in that mode. That was when I got on the wrong train in Hamburg and ended up going south instead of north. I was planning  to take the train to Timmendorfer Strand and ended up in Uelzen.  I got off the train with my bike, programmed my GPS to route me  Timmendorfer Strand, and it sort of did. There were several interesting places on the Garmin's route that I enjoyed, but I didn't like getting to my destination without knowing exactly how I got there. That made it very hard to write my ride report that night!

I have, in my 27 years of touring, I have made one reservation in the US. That was because I was riding ,in Nebraska with horrible headwinds, to the next town north which had a motel.  It was Friday and the folks where I was riding from told me  that that motel was always full on Friday night.  That 55 mile ride, with no services, took me ten hours of very  hard riding because of very strong headwinds.  I didn't want to camp because of those winds, but also because of the very open nature of the country would have made stealth camping impossible..

I thought about calling the Celo Inn yesterday, but, instead, I took my camping pannier, knowing I could camp at or near the Inn if they were full. I've only toured once in the US without my camping pannier, but the one time I did, I ended up staying in a homeless shelter in Palatka FL because it was SpeedWeek at Daytona Beach and all the rooms in north eastern Florida were booked.

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4 weeks ago
Mark BoydTo Mark Boyd

Just a short note to say that I will not be ridding my recumbent in the next two  weeks. I realized today that my recumbent's seat had slipped back an inch or so and that my good knee had been damaged as a result of my hard riding with excessive leg extension, that I've been doing in the last couple of weeks.  This is something I should have noticed on my short tour since both my US  RANS V-Rex and European Bacchetta  Giro recumbent bikes have had this problem before.

I will be riding my upright touring bike this coming week and then be out of town the next week to be with my youngest grandkid on her second birthday. Hopefully that break will give my right knee time to heal.

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4 weeks ago