“Instead of cycling 20 miles today, how about cycling 60? That’ll be similar to the distance we want to cycle each day, on the MRT.”
My friend Sam(antha) asked me that question on Saturday morning, 2 days ago. She’s planning on joining me for most of the Minnesota part of the MRT.
Our initial plan for Saturday was to cycle 20 miles to O’Brian State Park. That was all part of our shake down ride. In bike touring, a shake-down ride is an overnight bike ride where you bring all the gear you’d bring on the full bike tour. On the shake down ride, you can see how well your bike and gear work.
I was impressed, surprised, and asked something like, “You want to ride 3 times as far?”
She nodded, and we did cycle 60 miles on Saturday. Another friend, Jody joined us for most of the ride, 40 miles. Sam and I camped overnight. Here are more pictures.
Here are some lessons we learned from the ride.
Things I forgot:
- Tent stakes: It’s actually not easy to forget tent stakes, since they’re rolled up in my tent. But that shows why shake down rides are important.
- Spices for lentils: Sam bailed me out with her backup supply.
- Camping plates: Sam bailed me out again by letting me use hers.
I couldn’t find any gear that I won’t need, unfortunately.
- We need to leave earlier to cycle 50-60 miles each day on the MRT. I should know that, but I may subconsciously choose to forget, since I like sleeping in until 7:30 on vacation.
- 60 miles on a loaded bike is tough. Sam and I were both exhausted at the end, but we’re still excited about cycling the MRT.