Wednesday, August 30, 2006

A Typical PAC Tour Day

My first PAC Tour experience was Wisconsin Training Camp in May, 2005. We hubbed in Beloit, WI and did a diferent century (100 miles) each day. That was a trial run for me to see if there was a goodness of fit between my style and ability of riding with that of PAC. There was a fit. It was after WI Camp I knew I wanted to do my first transcontinental ride with them.

PAC Tour runs seven weeks of Desert Camp in Arizona each February/March, so I did a Tour week with them in March 2006. We rode about 80 miles a day from Tucson to Wickenburg and back. That was another trial run for me to see if there was a goodness of fit riding from point-to-point; hoteling it; and doing it again all over again the next day. There was more than a fit. I loved it.

So what does a ususal and typical day look like on PAC Tour?

For starters our schedule is precise.

5:00 a.m. Breakfast in the parking lot prepared by PAC Tour. (hard to find a restaurant open that early).

5:30 a.m. Trailers open so we can pump up our tires, get our gear bag in the trailer, and make final clothing decisions based on the forecasted weather.

6:00 a.m. Riding begins.

Pit stops are genearlly every 20-30 miles. Lunch prepared by PAC Tour and served at a road-side pit stop mid day.

2:00 p.m. earliest time we can check into the hotel. Before checking into our rooms we will do bike clean-up and maintenance. Most maintenace we can do ourselves, but Lon Haldeman and at least one other crew member are excellent mechanics. PAC carries plenty of supplies so if we need anew wheel, tires, tubes, cables, etc. it just goes on our tab.

Pre-dinner socializing in the parking lot of the hotel.

Dinner is on our own in whatever little town we're in. No haute cuisine for sure.

Early to bed. After riding >100 miles we're ready to turn in early. Plus we'll be up before sunrise getting ready to ride anothe 100+ miles and climb another 3,400+ feet.

I'm lovin' it.


DiannaW said...

Hey, Susan, that's our tagline here at Mickey D's (I'm Lovin' It)! Maybe some day soon, after my shoulder is fixed and I am close to goal on weight and fitness, I'll try a hundred with you - here in flat Illinois! One question: What type of recumbant bike do you use, and where did you buy it? Are all of the riders on this trip on recumbants? Dianna W.

DiannaW said...

Susan, maybe one of these days, after my shoulder's fixed and I'm closer to goal on weight and fitness, I can try 100 with you -- in Illinois where it's flat! Right now, I'm happy with 10-12. One question: What type of recumbant bike do you ride, and does it fold up? Are all the riders on recumbants? Dianna W.

Susan said...

Dianna, I'd love to do a hundred with you. You set the timeline and we'll put a plan in motion. Maybe Tom, Darren, and Jack would like to ride too? 2007 is sooner than you think.

Susan said...

Actually I'll be the only recumbent. I believe PAC Tour has only had 5 or 6 recumbents out of the couple thousand they've supported across the country.

The best places in the Chicago area to shop for recumbents are:

Rapid Transit Cycles in Chicago,

The Bike Rack in St. Charles,

Village CycleSport in Arlington Heights,and

Amlings Cycles in Niles

GeneP said...

Actually there will be 2 other recumbents on the tour! We will be joining you in San Diego for the send off and then meeting everyone in Oklahoma to ride to Tybee Island. (We did the first half in April/May with America by Bicycle).
Our journal is
Gene P.

Tom Rosenbauer said...


Good luck on your PAC Tour. I've ridden a couple of events with the PAC Tour folks including the Northern Tour in 2004.

I found it difficult to just get by with the standard PAC Tour breakfast ... I found I needed more time to eat and let things settle before clipping in and riding. I usually tried to find a 24-hour restaurant like a Perkins or Wafflehouse and eat earlier. If that wasn't an option, I usually stocked up on convenience store food the night before. After breakfast #1, I would then top off at the official PAC Tour breakfast with some oatmeal and bannanas.

BTW, I was impressed with the time you posted for your double century ... looks like you have prepared well for the adventure ahead of you.

I'm looking forward to following your progress ... Tailwinds!!!


-Tom Rosenbauer
Eastern PA RBA

Say hello to Daniel, Walt, Mike, Jim, Marlene, and Karl for me! (I also rode with John Lake on the Eastern Mountains in 2000 but he probably doesn't remember me).