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Guestbook — 112 Comments

  1. Proud of ya Harry! sometimes making the correct decision hurts insided, but it has to be done. Showed some moxie and set an example for all of us. Hey, I fell off my bike at home getting off it (a Fuji touring) with no helmet on in about 2005; couldn’t walk well for a month and busted my ego from hell to Sunday.


  2. Tourer’s Rule: When it ain’t fun no more, quit.

    Good job Harry, the ride and the blog.

    Idea: Plot a course next year from the west coast, one as flat as possible. Ride east to the Guffey longitude. Anywhere. Cross country complete. That’s basically how I’ve done it X2. Anticipation of the next stage is half the fun.

    See you in Phoenix, whenever.


  3. Harry, have you met up with Terry? Sounds like you are now riding with others. Still following you and realizing what a community bikers share; much common knowledge about route and people along the way apparently. Continued good fortune.

  4. Harry,

    What did you do on your day off? Where did you stay? I miss your daily update – no slacking just because you didn’t ride today! :)

  5. Harry,

    Congratulations on reaching Pueblo, 40% of the climb to Hoosier Pass is already done! You might have to slow down to complete your trip on August 5, Lin and I took 30 days last year on a long route from Seattle to Boulder averaging just under 60 miles a day. It is beautiful country, enjoy.


  6. ‘nothing about nothing’

    Concise and to the point. Like it.

    Impressive grind today what with the heat, wind, mileage. Morale busting day. How many liters of water?


    • Fluids were important for me as if I run low I risk AFIB. I used 64 oz Gatorade and four 24 oz water bottles. Finished with 3 drafts of Coors original:)

  7. Harry,

    While trying to figure out what your next stop would be 65 miles from Eads, I ran across

    you should see if you can score some of those 30 cent donuts – they certainly look good. It looks like an interesting journal, if you have time to kill.

    The wind forecast for Saturday certainly looks friendlier. I’m sorry you need to spend your layover day in Eads – it’s a pretty sad town now. We lived in Lamar way back when and drove through Eads on the way to Denver or Colorado Springs.

    Is the air bad? I just checked the fires – it doesn’t sound like the firefighters are gaining any ground. The wind certainly is not helping.

  8. Early is good, even if not for winds. Peaceful, magical. Noon is a good quiting time, for sure when Kansas is being mean, which is often, heading west. Kansas is where Oren and I experienced a 40 mph tailwind, heading east.

    Never been blown over, but have gotten off and pushed to stay upright in west Texas. I don’t do that anymore. Wind too high, Harpo stays put.

    Wind at back, rain to the left Harry,


  9. Harry,

    sounds as if you have some company and perhaps a way to sag in. Great. You hang in there. I had my cardio doc meeting yesterday. He merely said once every two years was great and keep going and so forth. I was back in sinus rythm at that point and have been so since. Plan to ride Colo as earlier decided.


    • Spoon there are two groups of three and myself here tonight.
      Tomorrow looks like everyone has different goals though. But we are all leaving any 5:30 am.

  10. Harry,

    What goes with wind and heat?

    I am not sure which way you plan to go in CO, but wildfires have started. Parts of Hwy 50 are currently closed.

    There is also a small fire in Rocky Mountain National Park that is flaring up today with a big smoke plume.

    If you are still contemplating routes the map on this page may help:

    Best of Luck,

  11. Harry, take care with the heat, we hit 105 on Ragbrai last year at Lake View and the EMTs were busy. You’re cranking out some miles, still aiming for Hot Sulfur Springs on 21/22 or so?

  12. Harry – Now you’re getting in to my kind of riding. I would FAR rather get up early and ride than battle the heat and a headwind.

    See this page for elaboration.

    Some years back when we lived in Lamar, CO (not so far from where you are now) we hosted a couple of college age cross country cyclists who had been riding at night and sleeping days to beat the heat. They had started out with lights, but the batteries ran out. Since it happened to be a full moon, they said they did fine without lights at all. Traffic was light throughout the wee hours, but their eyes took some adjusting after a car passed.

    • Kelly this morning was dark and light helped somewhat. Traffic was nil and I had plenty of time to get ready for any passing vehicles. My biggest concern on warm mornings is seeing snakes in time to avoid them.

  13. A red hair/freckle faced cycling friend of mine has a dermatologist who isn’t happy about John’s cycling habit. The Dr. told John to apply sunscreen to his lips at the same time as his face – skin is skin and sunscreen is better than the SPF lip balm. I do this now – I’m sure to give it time to soak in before eating/drinking.

  14. Harry,

    I just caught up with you. You are moving right along!You’re on the home stretch now. I don’t know where you are in miles – but I’m sure it’s more than halfway.

    You are putting in some big mile days. Woowwwee. It’s ok to allow yourself a normal distance day – especially when you hit those pesky headwinds.

    Here’s wishing you mild weather days and maybe one or two of Harpo’s bikini clad babes!

  15. Harry, took a look at the elevation profile today. Your incentive: All those long downhill runs out west, ending with a plunge into the Pacifc.

    Ain’t those surprise roadside parks great when they appear just in the nick? I was so surprised once in NM I rolled in on the DF and fell over, forgetting to unclip. Fortunantly, I was alone.

    Keep the wind at your back and the rain to your left.


  16. About that restroom…….you now have a mom and children from St. Charles praying for you so………..
    Just saying…. Had a great 20 miles in the hills today, bike and gear are 70 lbs certified scaled with a .5
    break. We had the same breeze here. Cool temps.

    • Terry did you include your water? 70-74 was where my bike and gear was. I since shipped home maybe 4 pounds but carry 2-4 bottles of Gatorade.

  17. Hi Harry,

    Sorry about the miserable weather you’re plaqued with. Oren and I feel your pain:)Looking good tomorrow though, ‘cept for quartering headwind.

    As you’ve noted, it’s probably time to cruise on asphalt. We rode the Erie for one day as a sampler. That was enough and it was dry and well groomed.

    Guess Spoon and others will be pedaling eastward tomorrow after bus ride today. Oren is really looking forward to the CO group ride in July.

    I’m on the downward leg of my ‘recovery’ mode. Normal after a tour. 2nd best tour I’ve done. Ride to Phx will always top the list.

    Keep on truckin’.


  18. Harry, while having coffee in Council Bluffs this am with my loaded bike parked outside a couple started to visit. Their CoMotions were out front and they started in Lakeland, Florida went over to the NacheznTrace and up to the Katy trail and over to here. They said the Katy just wore them out, soft. They are doing the L&C route now.
    Are you still using a kickstand? The Pleischer(?) I have is heavy, thought of leaving it home. Did you meet up with Sam and Rachel?

  19. Harry, That’s an OK decision. Yo’ve put Katy T in a good prospective; four days is enjoyable. The RAin could possibly be gone by Friday, but if it is wet the Katy is still quite rideable. I have loaded toured in in heavy rain before. Other than soupy, it remains firm enough.


  20. Harry, you’re moving along and it’s fairly incredible to see you passing through St Louis already. I’ve just signed up for Adventure Cycling’s Sierra Sampler trip starting 9/7 in Trucklee, CA and traveling the Lake Tahoe area. We’ll see if my spinning classes prepared me for the mountains. I’m better on the downsides, judging from my Big Bend experience. For now, I continue to vicariously enjoy your progress and wish you continued good luck.

    Bill Kappel

    • Bill I think the Sierra Sampler will be a great ride for you.
      After this ride I will be looking for more tours like Big Bend.
      Keep spinning.

  21. Harry, Glad to see your still trucking right along. If you keep moving forward like you are, you will be done with this trip in no time!! Very inspirational!!

    Take Care,

    Sleep Inn & Suites of Clintwood Staff

  22. Harry:
    Sounds like a great ride, you were due!
    School is done Tuesday, will get some longer loaded rides in including an overnighter, tho I think 15 yrs of Ragbrai camping has helped. How is your food situation? Cooking at all or mostly cafe etc?

    • Terry I have eaten out mostly unless grocery and microwave are handy. Breakfast can be iffy though without some planning. No stove or cooking gear. Can opener (P38) and spoon. That’s it for eating.
      RAGBRAI isn’t proper training. No noise or early zippers to wake you up.

  23. Harry,

    I was happy to find your blog today, congratulations on your first 3 weeks. I hope we get a chance to see you in CO. I don’t think you can avoid being stronger and lighter by then. If we are here we can help get you over the hump with cheering, or serving as a porter, or a truck. After that “it’s all downhill” (hah hah hah).

    Best wishes,

  24. Harry,

    Following your progress. Keep up the good work. Very motivational for me so as to plan a similar trip in a several years. Tell Terry hello.

  25. Harry, can you believe that 19 days have been ridden? I hope you have found some time for an adult beverage if so inclined.

    The sister and family of my son-in-law live in St. Charles, Missouri which I believe is outside St Louis and the start of the Katy Trail? If so and it fits your route, they would open their house to you. Typical family with kids finishing up school and summer sports starting they said the place could be chaotic but open to you. If youmwantntheir contact info, I will email it to you.

    Take care,

    • Terry my plan is to hit the Katy upstream of St. Charles going through St Louis proper.
      Hey I did have a 32oz XX draft with some enchiladas the other night!

  26. Harry, you are moving right along! Won’t be long and you will be in Carbondale. Nice to see you’re meeting, greeting and eating with folks and the bike is holding up. Drove the Colo. route from Loveland to near Lincoln on Sunday via HWY 34. Will be flat compared to what you have been going through. I think we’re sending you some cooler weather. Take care,

    • Terry thanks for the cooler weather. It has been hot and humid. I think I like the rolling hills of Iowa rather than the dead flat stuff!

  27. Hi Harry, I’m enjoying reading about your adventure. Sounds like you are having a great time and you are meeting good people along the way. Sixteen days already, time sure flies and you have made a lot of progress. I like your approach for keeping your mind and body happier, I’ll keep that in mind for when I decide to take biking seriously. Take care and wish you many more smooth downhill roads, wind on your back and wide bike paths.

  28. Harry,

    You’re ticking right along! Yay for you. What are you having done at the bike shop besides new handlebar tape?

    Now you’re out of the rain, don’t forget the sunscreen.

    Following along with you – sending strong leg vibes.

    • Kelly I had the bike gone over and all checked out. It is tough to do yourself without a stand etc. I had a new chain put on as the old one was at half life.
      Weather wise looks like more rain is coming. I dutifully put on the sun screen every morning.
      Thanks for the leg vibes. I think it is working!

  29. Still with ya Harry. You go! So you rode thru the tstorm without rain gear, eh/ You a tough old coot. Rode 60 again today in 4 hrs 20 min, flat but windy course. Feeling better about NE.

    Re hills, your description reminds me of those hills between Marfa and Presidio!


  30. Harry, It was nice to meet you and talk about your journey. Myself and the crew at the Sleep Inn & Suites of Clintwood are pulling for you and hope you have safe trip. We will be following your journey. It was a pleasure meeting you. We hope you make it to Hazard Ky today!!

  31. “Thoughts” Well Harry, keep besting the ACA at figgerin out where to ride. You are doing great; keep it up.

    Rode my longest of the season today with a flat, no wind and cool 62 mi. Av 13.7 so feel pretty good about getting better for the summers tours.


  32. Harpo and Oren just texted me that they were starting their ride this morning. I think they were in Palmyra NY and headed east to complete Harpo’s merit badge ride.

    Didn’t hear about Thursday’s ride; hope all s well.


  33. Harry,

    What tent do you have? I didn’t notice you mention a brand, just single wall.

    Wait till Kansas where you’ll wish for rain to cool you off!

    When you get done with all of the climbing, you’ll have legs of steel.

    What do you snack on during the day.

    • Hi Kelly. The tent is a Black Diamond Lighthouse. I have had it for a few years and used it quite a bit in the rain before.
      M&M’s peanuts, PayDays, and various Snickers. Coke and Gatorade when I come across a store.

  34. We hit 101 on Tuesday with 15 mph winds so I got a ride done in your honor! Nasty. Fortunately it dropped back right away into the 80’s. be safe,

  35. Harry, hope you at least had some sunshine with the wind Are your legs are holding up and getting in the rhythm? I wondered if you are planning a rest day and how you feel the schedule is going. Take care,

    • Terry hi.
      Legs are good and have no issues physically. Nor mentally either. I think the next couple of days will tell a lot about the schedule. Seems like the weather might be decent for a change.

  36. RE: “In a hard rain the single wall acts like a shower head and condensation gets sprayed everywhere”

    Wow, Harry, that sounds rough alright; don’t think I have ever had that happen in a tent. Strange it should be so prominate in a high dollar tent. Most of mine have been of the less expensive variety. Understand fully about packing wet digs around — heavy on the hills.

    Today I am going to ride again after 11 days off due to the butt blister deal. It seems healed though sensitive. With renewed friction gook maybe I can hold it at bay.


  37. 5/11
    Harry, I’ve never concerned myself about a wet tent. Have always just packed em and started riding to the next campground. Mine almost always condence on the inside to the point of being saturated. They always seem to dry out adequately somewhere along the tour, m ost usually that same evening after the tent has been up for a while. I can’t recall ever trying to dry out the tent before resuming in the am except occasionally when a heavy dew can be burnt off by the sun quickly.

    It is a personal preference of course, but have always dried the tent out immediately when home again and never suffered mildew. Hope it isn’t too disconceting a problem. Hang tough.


    • Spoon the issue is mostly keeping the down bag dry.
      In a hard rain the single wall acts like a shower head and condensation gets sprayed everywhere. The second issue is hauling all that water that gets inside. This morning I just wiped everything down with the micro fiber towel and packed it up wet. But I knew I was heading to a motel.
      I keep thinking the rain will go away for a while. But that doesn’t look likely.

  38. Bad news about your bud Harry. Clipped by car, tendon tear. Not in the cards apparently. Nice campground looks like. Good to see you getting some sunshine. Are you going thru Afton, Va, the Cookie House? Let us know if it’s still open to cyclists.

  39. Harry:
    Tough start, and that is too bad about Ron after all the effort. How was the climb up Mt Afton?
    Rain every other day/night in SW Iowa too but clearing to come. Have u found a good piece of pie yet aka Ragbrai? see you in Colorado.

    • No pie yet but I have great hope. Mt Afton is tomorrow. Not sure if I’ll stick with US 250 or do the Blue Ridge Parkway. Virginia highways sometimes have itty bitty shoulders. Mostly, however, the concept of shoulders escapes the Virginia DOT.
      I am ready for some lighter traffic.

  40. Harry,

    It’s tough getting started with problems of wind, rain, traffic and mountains. Too bad you are losing your bud. Makes things doubly rough. I can imagine you are low right now and am so empathetic. Bright sunshine and another few miles forward will make it better. Hang tough for a while and things will brighten. Your bud


  41. Harry,

    I am also waiting to hear the details of the auto/bicycle disagreement! More details in general if you have a chance.

    Be sure and stop for a break once and awhile. You don’t have a darn thing to do every day except ride your bike – might as well take your time!

    Sending you dry thoughts.

    • Not much to tell. Ron was riding from bike shop back to the motel and was merging to make a left turn and the second car behind him swing out to pass the “slow traffic” and clipped him. Took rear derailleur hanger off.

  42. Good luck with your start. Some rain it looks like but better ahead. We still got snow this past week in Iowa! Looking forward to your posts. See you in Colorado.

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