Thursday, July 02, 2009

reviews will be up tomorrow- instead we thought we'd put up our tour stories- enjoy! and come back tomorrow for the reviews- we're gonna have a lot of good stuff over the next few weeks!

on tour: welcome to michigan

Cole: If at first you don't succeed, try, try again right? Well for me it was if at first you don't succeed, get a bunch of rad gear to review, a good friend to go with you, and try again. If you're a regular follower of the site you might remember last September when I attempted my first mini-tour from Chicago to West Michigan to see my parents- if not, I'll sum it up quick- Under prepared, over confident, leaky tent with a torrential downpour...the list goes on and on. Anyway, I learned a lot and needed to give it another chance.

This time, one of my best friends and our web guy, Brandon, decided he'd give it a go with me. I have never toured with a partner, and was kinda concerned it would be harder. This would be Brandon's first tour and his first time riding large miles. I figured we would take it slow, and as an older tourer said to me anyone can ride 60 miles in a day. The plan was this: Brandon would come down on Amtrak from Michigan with his gear, spend the night, and we'd leave early Sunday morning. Read More!

Brandon: After listening to Cole talk about touring, reading several traveling books and then a bike touring book by The Metal Cowboy, as well as several stories online, I decided it was time to do it- it was time for me to tour by bicycle. I'm not getting any younger- I was about to turn 34 two days after getting home. Cole had been talking about hitting the road again and it was getting me excited about doing it too. Part of me thought he wanted to do it alone, but he sounded pretty excited when I asked if I could ride with him. I was stoked to say the least, and couldn't wait to go.

Cole came home (Muskegon, MI) for a visit about a month before our trip, and we got to talking about it with his parents. His mom was ecstatic that he wouldn't be riding alone, and his dad let me borrow his road bike so I could make the trip. I had also scored a few things to review for the trip- namely a sleeping bag from Kelty (review coming soon!) that I had been dying to try out. I even left it in it's compression bag so it would be a nice surprise on the first night (and I was not disappointed!). We set a date and ended up rescheduling twice before finally deciding to leave Chicago June 20th and returning to Michigan by the 23rd so I could make my MRI appointment (I had my shoulder reconstructed a year & a half ago, and a couple crashes later- I'm seriously accident prone- it still hurts pretty much all the time.), and also be home to my girl & my dog for my birthday on the 25th. Read More!