Monday, May 25, 2009


I wasn't able to get a new tire today, but my bike is cleaned and lubed, and waiting in the wagon for a ride to the bike shop in the morning. I hope they have the tires I need. (I'm only guessing that they keep extra tires around.)

This evening, I decided to throw my bike a 4000 mile party of sorts. I baked some cookies to take to the folks at the bike shop, and also will freeze some to take on my road trip. Hey, they're oatmeal raisin! They're practically health food!

I've really got the jitters about the trip, not about driving, because I've driven across the west a few times, and my car's in decent shape, and the roads are generally good this time of year. No, I'm worried about the biking.

I'm worried that I will just be so much slower than everyone else that I'll be a problem for the guides. I'm a pretty slow rider, especially if there are uphill slopes involved.

I'm also worried that I won't be able to ride the distances.

And finally, I'm worried that I won't be able to ride the distances five days in a row.

This is as close as I've ever come to doing something fairly athletic.

I keep telling myself that the guides are in the business of taking care of folks on biking tours, and that they'll handle my minimal skills/abilities with grace and kindness. That's how it has been when I've gone on rafting trips, and guides have taught me rafting basics and such. They're always really good at making people feel good about their learning and helping people have fun.

I keep telling myself that if it takes three or four hours to ride 35 miles, that's probably okay.

And still I have the jitters. I should have gone out riding in the rain a bit, to prepare. I should have ridden more.

I tend to get nervous just before things, and then once I get started, I have a really good time and I settle in and things work out. So I keep telling myself that it will work out and things will be fine.

I'm either going to have the vacation of a lifetime, or not. But for now, I have the jitters.


  1. My bet is on vacation of a lifetime. And you're right about guides. I've never done one of these trips, but my stepson and his partner have: he's a really good biker, and she's not so much. It's always been OK.

  2. Given the kind of biking you've been doing, I don't think you'll have a problem. I did a 6 day bike tour of Vermont some years back, with very little prep riding, and did just fine. Most of these tour have a van that goes along in case you decide to take it easy one day and ride a shorter trip - does your group have that? It's nice psychologically to know its there, but we never found the need to use it.

    Can't wait to hear about the trip!

  3. Have an awesome time, I bet it will be superb!

    I've been wanting to go back to Yellowstone ever since I first went some years back.

  4. This trip sounds great -- I hope you have a wonderful time. I don't blame you at all for feeling jittery -- I'd feel the same way, and I bet most people going on the trip feel that way! But I'd bet you'll settle into it very quickly and have a great time. I'm looking forward to hearing about it!

  5. I'm pretty sure you won't be the slowest one in the bunch and, even if you are, the guides will be there for you. You will be too busy enjoying the experience to worry much, I expect.

    Now I feel slothful and plan to get my bike out after dinner for a few more miles.

  6. Echoing everyone else - I think you'll have an awesome time, and I can't wait to hear about it!


  7. Jitters are normal and good. You will do what you need to do, it will be hard, but you will be a total rock star.

  8. I suspect that you'll do just fine...look at all you've accomplished getting out on your bike (and skis!). But I'm sending anti-jitter vibes into blogger to help you get through the pre-trip planning and into those first days of riding.

  9. I don't blame you for the jitters but I just know you're going to have a fabulous time! Please take a few photos to share with those of us much too inactive to ever do something so cool as your ride.

  10. You're going to be fine! In my experience, though, Day 2 of things like this is the *worst*. It's when your body is tired and doesn't want to accept the fact that it's going to have to continue exerting itself for multiple days in a row. I always want to quit physical things (and am really really irritable) on Day 2. Day 3, on the other hand, is usually a pleasure. So just stick with it until then! Good luck and have fun!