Thursday, August 28, 2008

On BIG RIDES and small rides...and YOUR small ride ideas?

Well, from the feedback so far, it seems like there is a big interest in S240s and 2-3 day tours. These are actually my preferred kind of trip, since you can do them more frequently and spontaneously without all the build-up and stress of The BIG RIDE. Why just do ONE ride a year when you can do it all year long?

There is something to be said about small nebulous trips. I've been bouncing it around with friends and aside from just time/money constraints, the nature of a small trip can be very emotionally and psychologically liberating. Instead of feeling the unseen pressure of going from Point A to Point B in a given amount of time, you can meander and explore and allow serendipity to be your guide.

For myself, on our first longish tour down the Oregon coast, in retrospect I actually found it a bit stressful. Everything was pre-planned and we had to be at EXACT locations at CERTAIN times. It took a little bit away from the "journey is the destination" feeling. I remember the urgency of "I HAVE to get to this place by 4:00pm..etc.,"

That said, I think it IS important to do a trip like that. By having it planned you don't have to worry about where you are going to sleep, eat, etc., It gives you a safe space to try out touring and refine your technique and feel out where your risk boundaries are.

Having done a few smaller and less rigidly planned tours, I find touring with a rough itinerary, a map and a sense of adventure a lot more enjoyable. You can change your direction and follow your curiosity. By keeping yourself open to serendipity, you allow the truly memorable moments to happen.

So let's hear it for the "small ride."

What are your favorite small rides? If you have photos and a map, send them in (you can post them to our Flickr group)! Let's start compiling different small rides!

(Send them to: russroca (at) gmail (dot) youknowtherest)


Jared said...

I'm planning a smallish 2 night trip here in a week or two...although I might wait until it's a little cooler.

I'll head down to Bastrop State Park (about 60 miles from my place), camp for 2 nights and ride back on the 3rd day. I plan on riding the scenic roads in the park on the middle day.

I have a couple of friends that have expressed interest but I highly doubt either of them will come along. Anyone want to join in?

Eric said...

I think the stress level of the ride also depends on your location. Last summer, I did the Northern Tier, and there was a lot of stress about getting to a decent place to camp. A couple weeks ago, I did a ~1 week tour down the WA and OR coasts, and there were so many state parks and campgrounds that it was much more relaxed, as on a given day there were as many as four possible places to stay withing a 10-20 mile stretch. Finding food along the coast was also much less stressful than in North Dakota and Montana where we went days between full-size grocery stores and fresh fruit and veggies.