A springtime warm-up tour - Training for The Big One - CycleBlaze

March 28, 2022

A springtime warm-up tour

Returning to old patterns

IT'S NOW less than two weeks before I plan to depart for a week of cycling in Florida.  The reason for this trip is simple: I feel like I need miles - a lot of them - before I set out for three months of loaded touring, and this is as good a way to get them as I can think of.

Since 1993 I've been part of about two dozen organized, week-long supported bike tours.  They've been predominantly up and down the East coast of the U.S., that being the region in which I live, but there have also been a few forays to Kansas, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Michigan.  This year I've signed on for the 2022 edition of the Florida Bicycle Safari, a ride I've not previously done.

The last time I rode in Florida was years ago: 2009 to be exact, according to my log.  So, although the FBS will be in some of the same areas I visited then (and previously) it'll still seem fresh to some degree thanks to the dimming of my memory over time.

This should be an "easy" tour in many ways.  Rather than a succession of point-to-point days, it's a collection of loops (choose your distance each day) from one location, a transfer day, another loop day, and a final transfer day to return to the point of origin.  That means that the daily housekeeping tasks are greatly simplified: there's much less packing, unpacking, reorganizing, tent takedown and setup, etc. to be done.  I like that, especially early on.

Another aspect that should make it easy is the Florida terrain.  Although we'll be in the panhandle, there are no routes that have even 2,000 total feet of climbing, and what there is will be neither steep nor lengthy.

My main recollection of the 2009 trip is of rain, rain, rain, flooding, and more rain.  In fact, the rain and consequent flooding meant the tour organizers were compelled to re-plan that tour on the fly because some of the host venues were inundated and inaccessible.  I hope the same will not be true this year.

The last trip of this sort that I took, along the eastern shore of Lake Michigan, was sometime around 2015 or maybe 2016.  It's not in my log, which is an indication of how jaded I had become: keeping a record was unimportant because I didn't care.  Nor do I have any photos from which I could pick off a date, or even hand-written notes that could have been used to write a journal.  In short, there's no evidence that I went, apart from my memory and that of my traveling companion.  That's how blasé and burned-out I was at the time.

Now, six or seven years later, I feel like it's time to try again.  And the prospect has me growing increasingly excited and enthusiastic with each passing day.

Rate this entry's writing Heart 6
Comment on this entry Comment 0