Monday, March 31, 2008

Climb I will

I created my routes in Bikely which conveniently gives you an elevation profile. Don't know how accurate it is, I'll soon know as I compare Bikely with my GPS after each day's ride. But for now, this is the profile of what my climbing is expected to look like.

To see the chart better, left mouse click on the graph.

Lest I Forget

I'm from a city of 6 million. The potential assailants I'm prepared for run on two legs. My KY and AL cyclist friends asked how I planned to deal with the packs of wild dogs. "The what?", I asked. Yes, they said, the wild dogs, I've been bitten 5 times, he said. Great, just great, I say. How should I prepare? Well, he said, I'd make certain you have the police-style pepper spray. You can get it at any gun shop. Gun shop? I've never been in a gun shop; don't even know where one is.

Well, I went to REI and there I found Assault Grizzly Bear Pepper Spray. Has a shooting range of 30 feet and the canister will empty in 7.2 seconds.

I ride with a hip sack on my left hip and my cell phone clipped to the pouch on my right hip. Probably wherever the wild dogs are will be out of cell phone tower range, so I guess I'll swap out my phone for my Grizzly Spray.

The REI salesperson who helped me with my bear spray said it would be good on the wolves, too. It's sounding better with each person I talk too. But Assualt Spray I now sport.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Cool, Useful Stuff

Unlike Darren Alff of Bicycle Touring Pro who is a data minimalist when he tours, I am a maximalist, if there is such a word. I love my data--PowerTap hub, GPS, bike computer,SmartPhone, camera, and maybe some etc.'s I'm not even thinking about at the moment. I don't know if it's just that I like electronic gadgets, or if it's a safety thing being female and 62; or if I don't really relish getting off course and having to ride and climb more than is necessary to get to where I'm going; or if it's my Type A busy person needing to get there so I can get to the next there. Maybe it's one of those things you just don't try to figure out. It's best to just say, "It is what it is." To that end, here are a couple of new gizmos that I'm looking forward to having with me on the GA Tour.

Thanks to Darren Alff, I remembered to get a tripod for my point-and-shoot camera. But, here's the good news. This one has articulated legs, or are they arms, that can be wrapped around bicycle handlebars, tree limbs, or whatever.

My next find was for $19.95 a charger that weighs less than a quarter of a pound for my rechargeable GPS AA batteries. Very compact. Can even charge AA or AAA's.

I'm in heaven. :)

Monday, March 24, 2008

March Madness

This is ridiculous!! 8 days till opening day at the Cubbie Park and 14 days till I begin rolling to Georgia and what to my wondering eyes do appear, yes, it's more snow making this Chicago's 10th snowiest winter in history. If we get just two more inches it will be the 6th snowiest winter, a record I'm really hoping we don't have to set.

Travel Booty

14 days and counting till Day 1 of my Georgia Tour. I'm so ready. I feel like a race horse in the gate chomping at the proverbial bit. This year of endless winter has only added to my itchiness to stretch my legs. Even a head wind sounds good right now; I may later live to regret having said that.

There are lots of little details for a trip like this, especially when traveling solo with no SAG wagon to carry the "what if or uh oh" supplies. So, somewhere in my pouches of many sizes I will have stashed my booty.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Route Details

Thanks to mapping software and good cycling friends in Kentucky and Alabama my route finally came together. Took about 80 hours of computer work to log in the routes, turn-by-turn. To see the daily details, click first on the city destination. Once the map has loaded, by using the + signs you can zoom in to see each turn. Or, click the - sign and zoom out for the big picture.

Day 1, April 8--Manteno, IL
Day 2, April 9--Paxton, IL
Day 3, April 10--Charleston, IL
Day 4, April 11--Vincennes, IN
Day 5, April 12--Owensboro, KY
Day 6, April 13--Russellville, KY
Day 7, April 14--Nahsville, TN
Day 8, April 15--Franklin, TN
Day 9, April 16--Cornersville, TN
Day 10, April 17--Huntsville, AL
Day 11, April 18--Anniston, AL
Day 12, April 19--Lagrange, GA
Day 13, April 20--Columbus, GA

GA Tour Route--April 8-20, 2008