Lessons Learned - I Hate You Because I Love You - CycleBlaze

June 5, 2018

Lessons Learned

Being a lifelong student

I truly do learn from everything I see and do, even here in my dotage. Sometime I learn things the hard way - a figurative 2 x 4 upside the head - and this was one of those times.

Things to do:

  1. Drink, then drink some more. When you're through doing that, drink some more.
  2. Fill your bottles at every single opportunity. If it's potable water, put it in your bottles.
  3. Drink some more.
  4. Keep all those water bottles on the bike. Hydration is life; four of them is not a luxury, especially when you don't have a gallon of liquid stashed somewhere.
  5. Drink some more.
  6. Know your limitations. The guy passing you on that badass 7% hill is less than half your age, riding a sub-16-pound, $4,000, carbon framed, Ultegra grouped beauty, and even he is standing up on the pedals in first gear. You have nothing to prove to him or anyone else.
  7. Engage with the people you encounter. Yeah, it adds time, but where does one have to be in such an all-fired hurry? One guy on the train with me debarked at 2 pm and planned to ride to Gaviota that day, 51 miles away. Remember, he was starting at 2 pm and had to negotiate two large, steep hills. On the other hand, several of the people I met wanted to lnow how a 67-year-old grandpa was going to ride that far without a motor. Others wanted to tell me about their own cross country jaunts.
  8. If it seems to be worth stopping for, it likely is. Guadalupe is largely (86%) Hispanic, but the cemetery is also filled with Italian and Japanese names, and there is a ghost bike memorial close by. One has to wonder how all that came to pass in such a tiny, dusty town.

Things not to do:

  1. Take crap you think you MIGHT like to have along. That 12-ounce bluetooth speaker because you like your music? You didn't use it one time, preferring to ride in glorious silence and listen to the birds. And the bottle cage it was in can be used for another water bottle.
  2. That lightweight collapsible camp chair? When you only camp in established campgrounds, there is always someplace to sit. Save the chair for outdoor concerts.
  3. The action cam you thought would be fun? Just more weight and equipment to keep track of. You already have a camera and smart phone, and you used it all of one time, for that long downhill into town. Not worth it, save it for snorkeling.
  4. Three days of bike clothes for a seven day trip, plus off bike stuff?  Every town has somewhere to wash clothes, or you could just rinse them and let them dry. Touring shorts with padded cycling underwear are just fine for train, car, and air travel.
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