Hub Spoke Zarathustra
June 7, 2011 7:28 AM   Subscribe

Wow. Holy cow.
posted by zarq at 7:33 AM on June 7, 2011

Oh god, this is not making me want to ride across the country any less, I can tell you that.

Indeed. Great stories and pics.
posted by mrgrimm at 7:34 AM on June 7, 2011

i agree, pts. let's meet somewhere in the middle and high five. damn. i'm glad i've got lots of shorter and a couple sorta big regional trips planned this summer.
posted by rainperimeter at 7:35 AM on June 7, 2011

My cousin and her husband posted their 2-year, 18,194 km honeymoon ride on that site. The entire extended family followed their adventures through Asia and the Middle East, and waited, sometimes nervously, for updates. The fact that there are 5,862 other journals and an equal number of crazy riders leaves me amazed, and somewhat envious.
posted by pernoctalian at 7:49 AM on June 7, 2011

I'm amazed this has never been posted on the Blue before. It's an incredible site! Every time I ride in to work, winded and wheezing, thinking, "Never will I be able to tour!" I get on that site and read about retirees, husband/wife teams, or just overweight shlubs that decided to go cross-country one day and my confidence is renewed.
posted by backseatpilot at 7:54 AM on June 7, 2011

I started reading this site when I was working an extremely boring desk job. It was a big inspiration for me to cycle to work more; eventually I sold my car and started riding to work every day time. I saved hundreds of dollars a month that I'd been spending on car insurance and payments, and I was able to quit my job with some savings. I went on my first tour shortly thereafter, and I was hooked (despite it being a tour in Wisconsin, in March). I did a cross-country tour in 2009. The only good excuse for not touring is not wanting to tour - everything else is surmountable.

Thanks, crazyguyonabike!
posted by yomimono at 7:59 AM on June 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

This is one of the things on my bucket list. When kids are old enough to join along or be out of the house I'm going to do it.
posted by dgran at 8:01 AM on June 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

holy moses. now i know what website i'm going to be crawling through all day, living vicariously through the tales of other cyclists on the road.

posted by cristinacristinacristina at 8:11 AM on June 7, 2011

Yeah, I wrote up my last trip on there, and it was good fun :) I read bits and bobs of other people's trips and was inspired to put mine up there ... unfortunately, I then linked all my pictures to Facebook and so it got deleted :(

Which reminds me, I should go back and fix all that, so that I can share. I also wrote it up on my journal, real-time, but there's something to be said for having everything congregated in the one spot.

Now I really will go fix all the boo-boos and share my mini trip--only from Melbourne to Canberra, Australia, but fun all the same :D
posted by owlrigh at 8:17 AM on June 7, 2011

Thanks for the post, amazing content. I'll be glued to this for weeks.

Battling the headwinds on my daily commute, I now see, are not tales of brave endeavour *sigh*
posted by KirkpatrickMac at 8:19 AM on June 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

I'm leaving to do Portland->San Francisco at the end of the month and have been reading this site religiously.
posted by bradbane at 8:30 AM on June 7, 2011

KirkpatrickMac, look upon those commutes of battling headwinds as training for the big day! Also, it's not very hard--the hardest bit is trying to get clean before you jump into your sleeping bag for the night.

Okay, I'm lying. The hardest bit is looking up at that hill when you've got 30kgs+ on your bike, and knowing you can't push the bike up ... but then there's when you're looking down at a steep descent AND IT IS THE MOST AWESOME THING EVER. EVER.

I still ♥ that day very, very hard. What I wrote about it, later on that day:
Off I went, then, towards Bellingen, headed on down Waterfall Way.


Now, when I was taking to my partner about my plans south, he mentioned that I'd like doing Waterfall Way from the north, as it goes down the hills.

What he did not say was: it is a mad trip going from 760km to sea level in 10km, taking you all of about five minutes ON A BICYCLE, and a twisting, turning, snake road of pure evil MAD FUN. I squeed all the way down, happily twisting my way, hogging the middle of the road because my life was more important than keeping some car behind me from going their full speed.


At the bottom was Thora, and from there to Belligen is something of up and down, but along the river. Beautiful scenery, lovely to look at as I couldn't look while navigating the madness of Waterfall Way. While doing this section I noticed all the cars going the opposite way with bicycles strapped to the top of them: they have the right of it, take the bikes to the top and come down. Very probably there is some sort of organised ride every so often for bicycles, closing the road to others for the few minutes it would take on a road bike.
Oh my god, I'm going to have to go in and see my manager next shift and ask for time off. This has been the kick in the arse to do a trip this year; haven't managed as yet, and I managed two last year
posted by owlrigh at 8:33 AM on June 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

I followed MetaFilter's own JeffL and his journal day by day when he rode from his home in Kentucky down to Florida, then up to New York, then over to Seattle. It was riveting.
posted by mathowie at 8:45 AM on June 7, 2011

People interested in touring should also check out Adventure Cycling. They make wonderful maps for cyclists, among other things. I'm in the middle of their Trans-America route and their maps have been invaluable.
posted by prambutan at 8:45 AM on June 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

As long as we're sharing stories, here's mine.

Anyone who is thinking about taking a long tour across the US: the hardest part is making the commitment to do it and setting aside the time.
posted by adamrice at 9:34 AM on June 7, 2011

Kentucky down to Florida, then up to New York, then over to Seattle

From Florida to Maine actually! I was following along with that one too. Great stuff.
posted by mikepop at 10:08 AM on June 7, 2011

@KirkpatrickMac -- headwind is just invisible hills. ;)
posted by Celsius1414 at 10:08 AM on June 7, 2011 [2 favorites]

Battling the headwinds on my daily commute, I now see, are not tales of brave endeavour *sigh*

I don't know about that. I mean, I've never toured personally, but I've got to think that 120km/day on a tour isn't hard compared to 30km/day of commuting plus 8 hours of work.

And headwinds... I wish they were just invisible hills :)
Hill climbing gets harder linearly with speed, wind resistance goes by the cube of speed.
posted by Chuckles at 12:09 PM on June 7, 2011

Today is the first day of sunshine since I don't know when. After work, I'm going to pedal my motherfucking ass off.
posted by entropicamericana at 12:47 PM on June 7, 2011

Amazed this hasn't been on the blue before. There are some truly epic journeys on there, my personal favourites -

Keith Hallagan
Peter Gostelow
Erin and Sam Barkley

Seriously worth digesting those from start to finish. The quality of the photography and some of the people and events encountered are second to none.
posted by fire&wings at 2:51 PM on June 7, 2011

Ah yay, now I can re-live my father's two crossings:

Adventure Cycling Northern Crossing in 2002
Adventure Cycling Southern Crossing in 2004

Is there any way to subscribe to active tour diaries now? Back then we set up a mailing list to broadcast his diary, which was a lot of fun to be able to read what they were up to even though they were out in the middle of nowhere, thousands of miles away.
posted by Kyol at 3:50 PM on June 7, 2011

Is there any way to subscribe to active tour diaries now?

Active journals have RSS feeds accessible from the journal's table of contents.
posted by yomimono at 4:02 PM on June 7, 2011

Ah, I know people with an epic journey or two on this.

For a long time, I thought "crazy guy on a bike" was their own invention, and wondered why the female in the pair was left out.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:56 PM on June 7, 2011

Thanks for posting this. I needed another addiction to pry me away from tvtropes. Also, one that I could access from work.

Someday, I will do a big-ass bike tour. *sigh*
posted by and miles to go before I sleep at 5:28 PM on June 7, 2011

I went on two bicycle tours in college - a 4500 mile cross country trek from Brooklyn - San Francisco as well as a 3300 counter-clockwise tour around Europe from Italy to Paris, by way of Slovenia, Germany and Denmark. Both trips were on fixed-gear bicycles, as they were the only bikes I owned at the time, and I was both younger and dumber then.

Touring doesn't take much more than time to do it in. Both of my tours took place in the summertime between semesters at college, and not having free summers any longer is the only reason I haven't taken a longer trip. By no means am I a very fit cyclist - the first week on the road acclimates you to your trip, and it's easy to do over 100 miles every day when you have all day to ride. I'm pretty sure I spent more on records in Chicago than I did in the entire trip on meals and lodging. I never stayed in private campgrounds or hotels, opting for cheap hiker/biker sites and ditch camping, and eating lots and lots of peanut butter sandwiches and granola bars.

Besides Adventure Cycling, I would recommend two sites -
Warm Showers, a Couchsurfing / Hospitality Club-style hosting site for touring cyclists.
The Touring Store, a racks and bags supplier. Although I never have ordered anything from Wayne, he has assisted many of my friends with sourcing parts to fix racks to bikes unsuited for them, as well as solving pannier heel-clearance issues on frames with short chainstays.

Go touring! The experience is well worth it.
posted by stachemaster at 5:39 PM on June 7, 2011

I've been seriously addicted to CGOAB since I found this journal about a month ago. Peter Gostelow takes some amazing photos, it's inspiring to read what can be done with the right frame of mind. He is touring Africa now.

I just need to work out how to afford the time off work and away from my wife and kids for my epic round-the-world cycle tour. Why oh why did I take on that mortgage? There must be some way to make this possible - how can I make this a reality?

For now though I'm just living vicariously through other peoples journals... planning and waiting for the day it is my turn.
posted by joz at 7:25 PM on June 7, 2011

joz--you might want to check out Family on Bikes to see how they an Alaska to Argentina trip with the whole family. This is their earlier North American trip hosted on cgoab. Plus you can look here for other cgoab journals of families or trips with kids.
posted by BlooPen at 8:11 PM on June 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

CircumTrektion: A cute, funny PhD student rides (mostly) by herself across the USA on a budget, mastering the art of sleeping on picnic tables. I loved this journal so much that I tried unsuccessfully to catch up with its author that summer; failing at that, I married her three years later.

That's pretty awesome. I'll have to check out some of those journals.

Right now I'm on Between the Ends of America. Fantastic stuff.
posted by and miles to go before I sleep at 9:56 PM on June 7, 2011

I'm glad folks liked this. I've added cgoab to the list of social sites to add to MeFi profiles.
posted by zamboni at 6:15 AM on June 8, 2011

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