Monday, September 15, 2008

Touring Tuesdays

Welcome to a new feature on Guitar Ted Productions for the next few months, or however long it takes to tell the story. The story of my loaded, self supported touring adventures. Here's a bit of back round for you all to read up on so you will better understand where this is all coming from.

Inspiration: I would be totally remiss if I did not mention the sole reason I even thought about any of this again in the first place. That reason is the blog started by Jason Boucher who has detailed out his own touring experiences there. The things he spoke of rekindled the memories of my own trips. Let me say, it was hard not to fill his comments section with my own versions of his experiences! Well, here's my opportunity to spout off. Thanks Jason!

Why now?: I feel that there is a new awareness of touring and a thing I like to call "Adventuring". Maybe there will be some things folks can learn from my own trips and experiences, and maybe it'll just be a goofy way to entertain folks. The thing is, I think there just might be something good that will come of this for somebody, and heck.....I like writing stories anyway, so why not?

What to expect: There will be plenty of story telling, and a bit of bicycle tech. My experiences will be gleaned mostly from two major loaded tours I took and several "overnighters" that happened between 1994 and 2003. Some of the stories may seem unbelievable, some maybe a bit mundane, but all will be true, with a bit of foggy remembrance and a dash of embellishment here and there.

So, here's a bit of a brief introduction to where I was at with cycling, life, and the whole idea of touring at the beginning of all of this in 1994.

I was just into my first year of working at a shop after being a bench jeweler/designer/gemologist/salesman for ten years. I really liked bicycles, and I did regular rides, but very short lived mountain bike rides. I didn't race at all. Just rode for the fun of it. My longest ride in one chunk was 35 miles that I did once on gravel in 1991. I thought I had ridden to the moon and back that day!

Now it was three years later, and I was working at the bicycle shop when one of my co-workers and a customer that was hanging out started talking about doing a tour. The talk progressed and suddenly I was invited to tag along. (I think more as an object of curiosity than anything else). Anyway, I hadn't a proper touring bike. The co-worker reminded me of an old mountain bike trade-in the shop had that would turn the trick for me. Well, it was on after that. I was going on my first ever bicycle tour.

Next Tuesday: I'll be at the Interbike Outdoor Demo. I may find some time to embellish this, but if not, look for the next installment in two weeks.

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