We’ve had some questions about how the videos are created, who does what in camp, and also concerns about riding day in and out. Soooo…. we thought it might be fun to give you an inside look at how things get done here on the road.
When camping, we usually wake up about 5:30 or 6:00 without an alarm. If there isn’t a big reason to jump up and get things going like sprinklers systems starting or rain, we lay in the tent and do a little dot-coming.
Dot.coms are checking weather, texts, news, sports, social media or blogging. Takes about 10-15 minutes.
Once out of the tent we usually both dash for a bathroom. Then Tom uncovers the bikes and lays the tarp out. Everything comes out of the tent and laid on the tarp and the tent is taken down. Tom then rolls the sleeping pads, and stuffs all the bags.
While he is doing that I’m making breakfast which is oatmeal with chopped walnuts and raisins, coffee and sometimes a bagel or breakfast bar if a second breakfast won’t be available. I finish up the blog if needed.
We get dressed in our cycling clothes, load our panniers, put them on the bikes, do push ups and planks, say our prayer and we are on our way!
Without rushing this all takes about 90 minutes but we can finish faster if we don’t cook and instead, get breakfast on the road.
Our fave time to cycle is first thing in the morning with fresh legs as we anticipate what the day will bring. We ride quietly and complete our own prayer time individually: Rosary for me and Tom says a litany of prayers daily.
At about 20 miles we plan for a second breakfast or a cup of coffee and snack at a gas station.
After that we may turn some music or a podcast on until the next stop which is never soon enough for me. I like “resties” a lot. These are when you get off your bike for 10 minutes or so.
If winds are favorable resties don’t happen quite as much. If unfavorable, they happen a little more often. If there are mosquitoes… We. Don’t. Stop.
We usually eat lunch on the road anywhere we can find a place to lean our bikes and sun (if it’s cold) or shade (if it’s hot) and always out of the wind.
Generally we know each day what our end point will be and if we will be stopping for dinner or cooking in camp. If stopping for dinner in town we do so on the way to camp.
The ACA maps are super helpful in providing mileage, services, elevation and even interesting field notes.
Sometimes we have to do a little exploring to locate the campground and if needed, we call ahead for details.
Once we arrive to our campsite, which may be a National Park, City Park, bike campground or RV/private campground we reverse the order above.
Bags off and unloaded. Both of us set up the tent (in about four minutes tops), we each get out our pads and bags and lay them out in the tent.
I like to get out of my bike shorts as quickly as possible. I usually cook up dinner and then it’s shower time if they are available. If not a spit bath works, too.
Tom looks the bikes over and every couple days cleans them and lubes the chains. Every single morning he checks air pressure in the tires.
We like to plan three or four days in advance where we think we may stay and we add up the mileage for each day. That’s one of my fave things to do, planning the upcoming days.
We’re usually in the tent reading and blogging by 9:00pm. It’s light here until about 10:00pm but we don’t have any issues getting to sleep at all.
An important part of the whole bike travel experience is keeping the devices charged – mostly the Garmin with the digital maps and our iPhones. We also have rear and front lights, Shuffles and an iPad with Tom’s books. The Garmin and the phones are prioritized for charging. Tom has a little gadget where multiple USB devices can be charged. We plug this hub in whenever we can to charge up (lunch stops, etc) . So far it hasn’t been an issue but just in case we both carry one charged portable battery pack.
As far as the blogging we both take pics and vids all day with our iPhones. After dinner Tom airdrops them to me. I then import them all into an app called VivaVideo where I can sequence the clips and add music. All the music is on my iPhone and if there is a song that fits particularly well and I don’t have it, it’s easy to buy and apply.
The vids are saved to my iPhone, and uploaded to WordPress.
After doing the video it’s pretty easy to write a blog post since the pics refresh the memory. We take turns blogging either at night or in the morning.
I snag the riding stats from Tom’s Strava account and link them at the top of the day’s post. Then we summarize the day.
The blog not only lets our friends, family and followers know what we are up to and where we are, it’s a journal for us that we will enjoy and use to plan our next bike travel adventure. The whole blogging process with video takes about an hour each day.
WordPress automatically posts to Facebook and Twitter. And it means SO much to us to get likes and comments on any and all of these platforms. We read every single one. Tom is reading them now!
Lastly folks are asking how the bodies are holding up. After all we are grands lol. And yes sometimes I affectionately call Tom “gramps”.
We feel pretty good! No soreness and we feel like we are getting stronger. And we’re going through a good amount of sunscreen now that the rainy cold weather is behind us. Fingers crossed.
We rode to Mass yesterday without bags on and the bikes felt so weird. It’s as if it was harder to steer them without the bags. So I guess it’s all what you get used to.
I struggled with energy a little yesterday but I think it had more to do with what I ate the last 24 hours than anything else. A nice big Caesar salad with grilled chicken for dinner sometimes isn’t enough. I’m still figuring that out although it hasn’t been a big issue. We miss our morning protein smoothies with greens, fruit, flax and chia seeds. Any my goji berries! I need goji berries!
Tom is riding strong and always positive! We have figured out that we say “huh” a lot to each other and might be losing some of our hearing. Can anyone else relate?
Oh and by the way, yesterday’s ride was sweet! Tom’s comment was “If I died and went to heaven this is what it would be like cycling.”
The roadside flowers kept me grinning yesterday while riding on Indian Highway – just miles and miles of wildflowers- mostly violet, some yellow, some white. All magnificent.
The place we are camping is super cool. There is an outfitter store in the front of a stone and cedar ranch. We are camping in their backyard and they are letting us use their deluxe kitchen and bathroom (yay). It’s out in the middle of the country and it is a lovely setting with horses grazing next door and an uber blue cloudless sky.