Topic: Bicycle Touring [change]
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Dale Young (GusRiley)

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Joined: 3 September 2005
Topics: Bicycle Touring 
Bio: How does one start to describe oneself? I guess I just step in and do it! I grew up on Vashon Island, WA. I've retired from the US Air Force. I've been an avid cyclist for 15 years or so. Done RAGBRAI, nine times, the last time self-contained, I think that I might have seen more of Iowa than many Iowans! I have ridden the Wisconsin ride; GRABAAWR, North Dakota's CANDISC, North Carolina's CNC, did the Hilly Hundred in Indiana twice, and have ridden in Florida and extensively in Virginia. I did about 3,000 miles in the one year I lived in South Korea (very good riding there...loved it) I have lived in Central Illinois now for the past eleven years, and have ridden a bunch here too.

Completion of the TransAm Trail was my obsession! With two failed attempts it had been a burr under my saddle blanket for a few years. That is history...I completed it during the summer of 2012... and it was all and more than I expected!!! I had originally planned and prepared to ride it in 2001 as a reward to me after retirement from the USAF; a change of life...demilitarization so to speak. Shortly before a good start in the spring of 2001, my better-half expressed an interest in joining me, but, she said she needed a year to prepare, and she wanted to go as a stoker on a tandem. I was surprised and welcomed the thought of a trip with her.

We first needed to train as a team, and outfit our Cannondale RT3000 tandem for touring. Things were progressing when other life changing times caught up with us.

Charlie's father passed away, and we took in her mother who had developed Alzheimer’s. There was no possible way for both of us to leave for the extended time required to bicycle tour the TransAm trail. We remained committed to riding the route (some day) on our tandem.

A month later my mother passed away, and we became guardians to my 5 year old niece; Jessica. Jessica has become our youngest daughter. We began looking for ways she could ride with us. First we purchased a Burley Piccolo (tag-along) that fit like a fifth-wheel to the back of our tandem. We rode together locally for two years, but Jessica grew very quickly and became too big for the Piccolo...we now had to look for another solution if we might someday ride the TransAm. We found that solution in the form of a Santana Triplet.

In 2007, Charlie’'s mother passed away. A year later Charlie brought up the TransAm ride. Maybe we should start planning for it. I agreed, and planning began. New ACA maps were bought, and we decided to go with the Triplet. In the planning stages of our trip we thought hard about what style we would ride; self-contained or supported by a SAG vehicle and driver. In the end we went with the SAG.

Our trip in 2009 began in May; we managed to ride to within twenty miles of the Kentucky, Virginia border. Both Charlie and Jessica lost interest in going on, and in the process spending their whole summer on a bicycle. So we settled for the cross Virginia trip, and called the trip complete. For both of them the ride was a great achievement. We rode nearly 500 miles and much of it through some tough mountain regions.

The following year, 2010, I continued from where we left off on a single with a BOB trailer attached. I made it to Carbondale, IL, when my bike frame cracked at the steering tube. The result was a fork that stripped out. The bike was aluminum so there was no easy fix...I reluctantly scrubbed the 2010 attempt with a vow to return.

2012 was fast approaching; I now have a Surly Long Haul Trucker. I have spent the winter of 2010/2011, all of the 2011 riding season training. I have ridden over 5,000 miles, much of it on the Surly. My plan was to ride (indoors) and weight train through the 2011/2012 winter season. By the start date of 4 May 2012 my goal is to be better readied than at the conclusion of the 2011 riding season. In addition, I have a tour partner, so a new start from Yorktown is the plan.

So what happens after a successful TransAm tour? I don't know. Life for sure.

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Being sociable at RAGBRAI 2009

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2009 Team ready to climb Clinch Mountain

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Crossing the Kentucky border 2010

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"Shirley", my Surly LHT some where along the 2011 RAGBRAI route, ready to go for TransAm 2012!

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My completion of the TransAm...2012 Three was a Charm!

Updated: 6 October 2012

Journals and articles:

Summary Expanded
Type Title Author Updated Status Hitcount
 Journal   Three's a Charm; an E2W TransAm Tour   Dale Young  Oct 2013 
Completed Jul 2012
 Journal   Sir Walter Continues Where the Monkee Mobile Left Off   Dale Young  Jul 2010 
Completed Jun 2010
 Journal   Monkee Mobile's Big Ride   Dale Young  Mar 2010 
Completed Jun 2009

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