Sunday, August 26, 2018

The Touring Series: The Race Against Death Tour Begins!

A Guitar Ted Productions series
Thanks for joining me again on another adventure in "The Touring Series". This tour was dubbed the "Race Against Death Tour". This tour occurred in August of 1995. The three participants, Ryan, Troy, and your's truly, left from Cedar Falls, Iowa to try and get to Winter Park, Colorado in two weeks. Here I am reproducing the tale as it was posted on the blog in 2009. I also will add new remarks and memories where appropriate at the end of each post. 

 Once again, there were no cell phones, internet, social media platforms, or digital cameras in use by we tourers in 1995. I will post images where I can, but this tour wasn't well documented in images, so there probably will be very few sprinkled throughout. A modern image will be used only where it depicts things I want to clarify, like where we were in that part of the tour via a map image, or the like.
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So, with all the preparations done well in advance, we had nothing to do but wait for the day to arrive for our departure. As with the "Beg, Borrow, and Bastard Tour", I wanted to chronicle the event for the future. I had a lofty goal of writing as we went, and even went so far as to buy a little book to take along and write in. I got as far as the first entry! Ha ha! So much for that. Here's a little excerpt from that entry, which will help lock a few details in;

Friday, August 4th: .....Now during a typically hot, humid Iowa summer, we tourers are on the brink of a once in a lifetime experience. .........We have as a goal to reach Winter Park, Colorado, via the Black Hills of South Dakota in two weeks. 100 mile a day average for an approximate total of 1300 miles. The stage is set. On Monday, August 7th at 6:30 am we shall set forth on our journey.

That was a lofty goal, and as you might be able to tell, I was pretty confident I had the details worked out. Well, we will see later how far off the mark I was! However; until then, there is much to tell, so on with the story......

The details were not written down as I went, but I did have the foresight to make notes on each days happenings and to record the mileage. Fortunately the rest was memorable enough that I can piece this together into a coherent and (hopefully) entertaining read. The highlights and low lights are all engraved on my memory still.

So it was that this tour was setting off on a hot August in 1995. Troy on his trusty green Voyager, Ryan on a slightly too big burgundy Voyager, and myself on the old Mongoose All Mountain Pro in chrome plate. Once again, we all had loads on that would render our bikes un-liftable. I have no idea what the weight we had on those rigs was, but I assure you, they were overloaded! The six man Eureka dome tent was split into sections that we all shared in carrying. We all had front and rear panniers, handle bar bags, and seat bags. I'm sure we looked pretty special out there!

The first goal was to get beyond Fort Dodge, Iowa to a campground just west of there. 100 miles a day average was the set goal for each day. We were all going to try to hold to that. The weather sounded great for the next few days, and with much expectation, we were all pumped for this trip.
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 Yes, this was a much anticipated ride for me. A couple more notes to keep in mind here before this story takes off on down the road next week........

My handle bar bag was festooned with a string of "temple bells", a silver necklace, actually, which I found at a local trendy clothing shop. In fact, Troy, Ryan, and I all went to this place to get a "hacky-sack", which is another story in itself. But anyway, the bells on that silver necklace drove the guys nuts as it jingle-jangled whenever I hit a crack in the road. I figured it would be a good distraction from the monotony of pedaling. I've still got those things and the handle bar bag! I'll have to post an image of that as well.

I replaced the Avocet Touring saddle from the last tour with a rare Pirelli saddle which had rubber donuts separating the rails from their mounts under the saddle. It was very similar to an automobile's motor mounts and it worked very well.

Next Week- Onward Through The Fog!

1 comment:

Robert Ellis said...

This is going to be fun!