Monday, April 25, 2005
I've got Sunshine....
Spandex as far as the eye can see!
This past weekend, Jason and I decided to pack up all our touring gear for a "trial run" up on the Sunshine Coast (50km & 60 km). Highlights included:
1. Stopping to share a ripe sunshine-warm mango and strawberries and dip our toes in the ocean at Davis Beach.
2. Conquering the 21% and 18%-grade hills, plus countless others, without losing any gear.
3. Jason patiently feeding me Clif bars as I not-so-gracefully bonked in the last 10k en route to the campsite.
4. Shiraz and Danish Blue on a picnic table in front of a beach sunset at our campsite.
5. Meeting people along the way that were full of great touring advice and funny stories.
Toes & Mangoes on Davis Beach
Cool things I found out:
1. The Sunshine Coast is GORGEOUS and named quite aptly.
2. There are free hot showers at Porpoise Beach Campsite. YAY!
3. The ferry fare to Langdale is only $11 RETURN!!!
My travel partner is probably the most patient and understanding man on the planet. I have to admit that I had a few low moments... bonking on a hill or two (although I never walked my bike!), my stomach being upset with meat (still mostly a vegetarian), forgetting to pack the sunscreen... Jason was very supportive and relaxed, which makes me extremely happy and lucky! I've never had any doubts about these qualities in him, but when you're sweaty and cranky and starving, having a handsome man feeding you a Clif bar on the side of a hill - he was like a knight in shining spandex, pulling up on his red metal steed.
Doing this trip gives me a ton of confidence about our upcoming cycling tour to Germany. Since we are self-directed, self-supported and self-propelled... well there are a lot of bases to cover to ensure an enjoyable trip! That being said, I'm a pretty laid-back traveller (when I'm not bonking) and I'm learning quickly that Jason and I are very like-minded and compatible in that sense. I'm looking forward to running after bike-friendly trains, plotting out our course as we go and trying to find our way in the dark.
As far as planning goes, well there isn't much of one. We are going to take a train from Frankfurt to Passau, then start riding along the Danube to Vienna. We'll stay there for a short while, then ride up to Prague. We'll train back to Frankfurt from there. We were toying with the idea of hitting Budapest, but it really depends on what kind of mileage we get. We were averaging almost 18km/hr in the hills of the Sunshine Coast. The Danube route has a net elevation LOSS and is quite flat (being alongside a river and all).
Another funny thing is getting used to the mindset of riding for a while, then stopping and eating almost hourly. You're not trying to race anyone, not trying to hump it up every hill to get to the finish. You're not going to average 30+km/hr, you're going to stop and take pictures and smell the flowers. The enjoyment comes from the journey itself, and not just the destination.
One roadie passed me (while I was drafting Jason) and I started to pick up my pace, as if to catch up... what was I thinking???? Jason laughed. Silly competitive side always comes out, even when I'm loaded with panniers on my makeshift touring bike!
Cool Grandma/Grandpa Mirrors!
My bike sucks, it's a $250 mountain bike with slicks and racks. Jason souped it up with a nice mirror, which I have to admit is a WONDERFUL addition, even if it is a little grandma-ish.
We leave in less than 2 weeks, yay!!!!