Wednesday, May 11, 2016

18: A Day in the Life

Woke up, fell out of bed,
Dragged a comb across my head
Found my way downstairs and drank a cup,
And looking up I noticed I was late.

Found my coat and grabbed by hat
Made the bus in seconds flat . . . 

Notwithstanding the Beatles' everyman, what's it like on a typical day of touring? Some of my friends have asked this question. I'll try to share something about our days, but what I've noticed so far is that there doesn't seem to be a typical day!

We expected to spend more time camping then we have done so far on this trip. Part of the reason for that is that our weather is not yet camp-friendly. So staying with friends, finding a hotel, or finding a Warm Showers host has turned out to be much more prevalent for us.

Regardless of where we are, our day begins when we wake with Roger getting dressed first while I try to put our stuff together into the various sacks and bags that we store it in. If we are camping, he gets some coffee and oatmeal going while I work inside the tent to roll up the sleeping pads, stuff the sleeping bags and sort out our clothing.

We haven't camped enough to really have this routine dialed in yet. Even in a room - whether hotel or warm showers - we end up mostly unpacking the panniers and repacking them most days.

A chief issue in touring is being able to reach the things you need. That means each day we try to anticipate the weather, the climbing conditions, whether or not we will need snacks on the road. Those decisions feed into how we put our stuff into the packs. We also need to balance the weight in the packs and Roger always tries to put the heaviest items in the bottom. So we are constantly shuffling our stuff around.

Once we are on the road, we usually ride 10 to 20 miles and then take a break. This could take an hour or two depending on head winds and terrain. We call it our second breakfast.
We continue to ride, sometimes stopping at a coffee shop or to get a soda, and when we are approaching our destination we make a decision about where to have dinner. We might have a late lunch and just pick something up to eat at camp, or we might go ahead and have a full meal if we are staying indoors somewhere. Sometimes our hosts, Warm Showers or friends and family, will offer to include us at dinner. That's really nice and very much appreciated!

I'm usually the one that knows where things are in the panniers. Or rather, I know which of the stuff sacks has the stuff we're looking for. So Roger will get started cleaning up first and I will pull out our clothes. If we are camping, we put our tent up before we do any kind of cleaning up ourselves. A daily chore is laundry, whether we are indoors or not. It's great when our hosts offer use of their washing machine, but if we don't have access to one, we still have to wash out our shorts and jersey each day. If they aren't dry in the morning, we wear the other set and bungee them to the panniers while we ride. 

We don't do much in the way of nightlife. Visiting with our hosts, updating our trip records and the blog, then it's bedtime. Typically we hit the sack pretty early, sometimes as early as 8 o'clock. 

And then we do it all again the next day!

The main thing that we've observed on this trip is that we are not riding 10,000 miles. We are riding 50 to 70 miles, over and over and over. So, while our overall goal is daunting and seems very ambitious  (my sister used the word 'audacious'!), we try to take it one day at a time. And that makes it seem much more achievable.

It is important to stay hydrated, no matter what you do!
This being a day off with our daughter Dana, the routine is different.  But always fun!

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