Lessons learned – South Carolina Lowcountry

Total Trip Statistics:
Distance: 237.3 miles
Saddle time: 19.6 hrs
Average speed: 12.18 mph

  • Somewhere along the way, you’re going to hit the wall. Accept that as fact and prepare to deal with it.
  • Having a rear view mirror on tight roads is a must. Even the small swerve caused by looking over my left shoulder was enough to throw me into traffic. Buy a mirror of any variety to get eyes in the back of your head.
  • Train… in any way, shape, or form you can. It may help you avoid the wall I mentioned earlier.
  • Buy a state map. Trim it to fit your route leaving some room to adjust. It helps with the bigger picture even if you’re rolling with a GPS.
  • Get, and use, a handlebar bag. Anything with a reputable mounting system. You’ll find yourself needing little things throughout the day more than you thought. And you don’t want to have to dig in your trailer bag/panniers.
  • Keep the volume low on your mp3 player. It’ll prolong battery life and give you a better sense of your surroundings (like banjos playing).
  • Keep a reflective vest or belt on hand. You never know when you’ll be riding early or late.
  • Prepare for the worst, hope for the best. You don’t want to – literally – be the only happy asshole on the road.
  • Inform everyone you know of your route, plan, itinerary, etc. You’re not good enough to do it alone if something goes go wrong.
  • If you’re riding a mountain bike, get a riser stem. The more upright riding position will save wear and tear on your shoulders and back.
  • If you have chaffing issues, try a nose less saddle. It worked wonders for me. Give yourself about 50 miles before the tour to adjust to the way it feels.
  • There’s some space under a bicycle trailer too. See if your tarp/tent/mat/ will fit. It might help from looking like a gypsy caravan with a bunch of crap strapped on the top of your trailer bag.

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