Mostly recaps of two wheeled rambles through the countryside, but sometimes thoughts on other things.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Getting Ready to Ride the MRT

Well, we leave Sunday for points north. Tennessee in particular, where a visit with good friends Kevin and Diana will be combined with a solo 3 day bike tour by yours truly. Every year, something seems to pop up to get in the way, but so far this year is different. There's still time before Sunday of course :) Anyway, I got the trail guide and have mapped out 200 odd miles from KY to MS through TN, along the river trail route. It's 2 days in the guide book, but as this is my 1st try at solo touring, I've made it a 3 day excursion. I won't be pressed for time, so I can stop anywhere I feel like or need to. I'll go to Dyersburg the 1st night, Covington the 2d, and end up in Memphis along the river at days end on the 3rd, where I'll be picked up. Some museum and restaurant stops are already penciled in, along with wildlife preserves, but I am open to just seeing what is along the way. The trail runs from the Gulf of Mexico to Lake Itasca and makes a nice long trip for those with time enough to do it.

I've test packed the panniers and they total only 10 lbs including clothes, rain gear, toiletries and spare tire. There is some more to add for food and of course 3 bottles of water. A front rack and small bag have tools and other needed things. The bike (Rivendell Saluki) handles quite well with the baggage (it is designed for this sort of thing) and there is less weight added to the bike than I have lost since starting to diet in mid June of this year. If I could ride then, I can ride now. The river side portions are flat, but the side trips and hauls to the nightly lodging are quite steeply hilled.

The weather outlook has improved somewhat as of today, with cold but sunny weather for days 1 and 2 and possibly dry weather on day 3, but that too is subject to change. I'll have a cell phone, so if it gets to be too much like work and not enough like fun, I'll call for an early extraction.

In the mean time, last weekend's Sunday ride was very good, and a shakedown for this bike set up as it is. (most comfortable saddle and saddle adjustments, tires pumped up, etc.) No issues needing to be fixed.

For the club ride this weekend, I'll probably use a different bike and just ride it like any regular weekend outing.

Updates as they happen!

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