26May12 Getting Ready for the Amazing "Be A Hero Bike Tour" (Florida to Washington D.C.)


Another incredible bike tour coming up this summer. Thanks to Scott VanDuzer and The VanDuzer Fountain, who have partnered with the Florida Blood Centers and the Boys and Girls Clubs in an Herculean effort to raise the awareness of the need for blood from the younger generation.

Thanks to the Trek Bicycle Store in Santa Rosa, CA., and their amazing crew … Brett, John, Robert, Phil, Chrissy, Robin, Justin, and a couple more employees that I’ve missed.

Planning for a 30 day, 1500 mile bike tour is always about the 5 W’s!   What, when, where, why and how?  A “must do” is always make sure you start planning and packing about 3 weeks in advance … because … there will always be at least “one item” that will keep slipping your mind.

Plus, it’s really helpful to have a check list, from some more experienced cyclists who have done a couple of previous tours.  Also Google is always helpful, although you’re never sure whether the suggestions posted by other cyclists on it,  really applies to you and the area where you will be cycling. (Yet, any suggestions are usually helpful for planning your checklist.)

So it’s easier if you break your planning down into important categories:  Bike, Cycling clothing, Luggage, Leisure clothing, and Personal stuff (that you just can’t live without!)

Right now … I’m working on the Bike category (allowing enough time to get the new bike equipped, set up, and still have time enough to do some training rides.  (The target date is usually 3 weeks prior to blast off!)

Be nice to your local mechanic, because it’s guaranteed that you will have to ask him to “tweak” a few things, while you learn your computer, don’t be afraid to ask him to make sure your wheels are “balanced” and “true’, (your life depends on them, so don’t skimp!)  …

Plus, a new Bike always means that you will need to have a personal “bike fit kit” to make sure the new bike fits you.  (Taking into account, seat height, handlebar reach, and many other very important items that an experienced bike fit expert can tell you, by watching you as you pedal and try to get comfortable on the new bike.)

Training rides on your new bike are a must … however, all they really do is to shorten your “my butt is killling me” breakin period from 10 days to about 5 days. (Just kidding … you really need to get into “shape” and that depends on what kind of training your body requires?)  It may be 40 mile rides, three times a week … or … it may be 50 mile rides, 5 times a week!  Only you will know for sure, and when you’re ready to go.

It also helps to have a Bike Service Check List … to share with your local bike mechanic, when he’s putting your bike together for you.  No matter how great a bike mechanic he is … unless he is going with you, he will be hundreds of miles away … when you realize, that you didn’t bring the correct spokes, the right size tubes, extra batteries for your computer and safety lights, a simple tire repair kit, your lower bracket is loose, your brake pads are rubbing, etc.

OK, OK!   If you haven’t figured it out yet.  I’m practicing “posting” to make sure I find out if this BLOG is working correctly  … the best time to find mistakes is while you’re still at home, close to your “webmaster”, who can quickly fix any “bugs”. (By the way, thanks John, for all your help, with the LAA website and the “Be A Hero Bike Tour” link and maps.

Well, that’s it for today… let’s see if this thing is posting correctly?

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