It is imperative to have a good bike mechanic on any cycling trip. I am very lucky to have married one! His talents and skills keep us rolling without having to rely on expensive bike shop repairs and being held up while the repairs take place.
We experienced many flat tires in Ireland. Let me rephrase that, the mechanic experienced many flat tires in Ireland. My bike’s only problems were two broken spokes, at two different times no less.
With his trusty tool kit/pack and various bits and pieces of odd items (rubber from an old dinghy that came in handy during one of his flats and spokes given to us by a bike shop on the Aran Island of Inishmoir) we managed to cycle over 2000 miles without too much delay.
We arrived to visit our daughter and son-in-law at the Three Lakes (Prairie Lakes Unit) Wildlife Management Area and took to our bikes with them before the sun set on Jackson Lake! Lucky for us, we had lights on our bikes as we completed the 12 mile ride as dusk settled on these prairie lakes. My biggest concern as we cycled back to the campsite was meeting up with an alligator, or a coyote, or deer, or wild hog. The hard, sand-packed roads were a little bumpy, but no traffic made for a great ride. 1/21/2015
Fort Pickens State Park on Pensacola Beach, Florida offered easy cycling on the campground roads as well as having a bicycle lane on the main road in the Park. We cycled to the Visitor Center, back to the campground then on to the Fort and back – while not much mileage was covered the views of the Gulf of Mexico and Pensacola Bay as well as the historic Fort Pickens are worth seeing from the seat of a bike. 1/20/2015
While my husband and grandson took to the lake on a paddle boat, I decided to check out the hiking trails and headed off to hike the Sonoita Creek Trail, Blackwood Canyon, and the Cottonwood Loop. To reach the trailhead, I cycled about 2 miles with a steep ascent out of the campground, then a steep descent to the trailhead on a dirt and gravel road. The 3 mile loop trail provided panoramas of the surrounding hills, the creekside riparian environment and a quick sighting of a deer. I also encountered cows on the trail who quickly ran from me. Cycling back to the campground was an easy ride. Our grandson was thrilled to be able to ride his bike all through the campground, even managing a jump off one of the steps at a campsite. No injuries as he quickly righted himself and his bike, dusting off his “seat”. 1/11/15
While staying with my son in Tucson, we decided to try one of the river trails. We headed to the end of Country Club Road, made our way to the Rillito River Trail and cycled east towards the end at Craycroft Road. We then turned around and cycled to the western end near Orange Grove Road and then returned to the Racquet Club where we ate a scrumptious lunch! While the total distance was only 25 miles, it was paved and provided a scenic route along the riverbed. 1/9/15
Flagstaff is known for its many and varied bike trails, bike routes, and bike lanes. However, we wondered if the snow would prevent us from trying them out. Since many of the roads had been cleared, we decided to attempt a ride on the Flagstaff Loop which paralleled Route 66. The bike trail had also been cleared and the ride of 14 miles was an out and back from the Visitor’s Center at the train station where we had parked our car. While the trail was paved and easy to cycle, taking a shortcut through some gravel and red dirt was not the way to go. Sinking down into the red mud and having muddy tires and shoes was not worth the few minutes the shortcut saved us as it was spent cleaning the mud off our shoes in the snow! Moral to this story: stay on the paved trail!1/5/15