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wundayatta's avatar

Describe one of your favorite bicycling trips.

Asked by wundayatta (58693points) August 14th, 2008

How long? How many days? From where to where? What were you riding? How much stuff? What did you like about it? Was poetic: what’s it feel like when you’re riding really well and the weather is perfect?

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6 Answers

Magnus's avatar

All I know is to set the seat as tall as you can so your leg is fully stretched out when the pedal is at the bottom point. This way you get the same efficiency as standing up cycling but the comfort of sitting. Also, when going up a steep hill, pull the handles and tighten the muscles in your arms to have a more efficient ascending.

emilyrose's avatar

^^ read as “tips”???
I biked from the border of Canada and Vermont to southern NH. It was 3 days, average of 85 miles a day. I was 16 or 17, it was awesome!

kevbo's avatar

The SW of Ireland from Cork to Kinsale to Ballydehob to Killarney, around the Ring of Kerry and back to Killarney. I thought I was going to die the first 20k but was flying a few days later and even passed a car on a downhill run. Met some great Irish folk, too. It was a great 7 day trip.

Harp's avatar

Way back when I was in my early 20s, a buddy and I quit our jobs, bought bikes and headed to Europe. We started in London in April, rode across to Wales, ferried to southern Ireland, rode up to Belfast (where the “troubles” were still going on), ferried to Scotland, rode back down to Dover, then ferried to France. We rode across France, Spain, Portugal, and Italy for a total of about 4000 miles over 4 months.

We lived like total bums. Having budgeted our trip at $5/day, even youth hostels were out of reach for us, so we slept where we could: sheep pastures, barns, parks. A few people took pity on us and gave us a corner of a garage or outbuilding.

Food was the constant obsession. We were burning tons of calories, but couldn’t afford to eat our fill. Bread was our staple, with whatever cheap canned meats we could find. In England, we fought off the cold, damp and hunger by stopping for a cup of tea, then gradually adding the entire contents of the cream pitcher, and most of the sugar as well, to create a calorific sludge.

We permitted ourselves one full-blown restaurant meal in a remote Spanish village. There was no written menu and we didn’t understand most of what the waiter was saying, so whenever he asked us if we wanted this or that we just nodded enthusiastically. We were in heaven.

The low point was a period of a couple of weeks in Spain when, because of an incompatibility between our rims and the local inner tubes, we were getting as many as 5 flats per day. That, coupled with the heat of the day and clouds of mosquitoes at night, nearly drove us nuts.

I can only account for a small fraction of all that time in my memory, but I clearly remember all of the little acts of kindness offered to us along the way. Just one example: Leaving Lisbon, which is surrounded by waterways, we came to a huge suspension bridge with a sign prohibiting bicycles. Having no alternative, we decided to risk it anyway. About a third of the way across, a cop pulled us over. We couldn’t understand him, but he was clearly intent on giving us hell. Then this little truck pulled over, and a guy gots out and started talking to the cop. The discussion got a bit heated, and finally the guy gestured to us to throw our bikes in the back of the truck and climb in. Over the cop’s protests, he drove us across the bridge and a few miles beyond, just to be safe.

kevbo's avatar

@harp, awesome! Great story.

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