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URL:  http://boards.fool.com/ill-give-it-a-c-and-take-some-of-the-30191585.aspx

Subject:  Re: Trip One Date:  8/7/2012  4:43 PM
Author:  reallyalldone Number:  14956 of 15397

I’ll give it a C+ and take some of the responsibility for it.

The places we stayed- Topnotch Resort, Inn at Mountain View Farm, Tram Haus Lodge and Manoir Hovey. Very nice except the Inn at Mountain View Farm. It and the Tram Haus Lodge were considered “casual inns” but they were nowhere near the same level. My room at Mtn View Farm was like the ugly stepsister’s – small with a tiny bathroom with only a shower stall. Topnotch and Tram Haus were quite nice and Manoir Hovey was fabulous.

The riding- Here’s where I should have thought harder. I very often ride on back roads that are in mediocre condition but usually have little traffic. On this trip I was riding on some pretty awful back roads(including some dirt) that actually did have traffic. I was usually alone with a not always helpful tip sheet and a cell phone number to call if I wanted to be picked up or needed help. The same support as many of my normal rides w/o tip sheet.

Where there was a huge difference is humidity which I am totally not used to. I somehow thought training at altitude would help balance it and it didn’t. A subsequent conversation with my older son confirmed that-wish we had talked about it a few months ago. Also, showing elevation turned out not to be helpful without steepest grade info, IMHO.

The bike was also an issue. It was titanium but it was not well set for me and I really didn’t know what to do other than raise the seat which didn’t do much. Road bike handlebars and I normally ride on the hoods. My own bike is a womens – smaller hoods/smaller hands so I was already stretching a lot. Also by about the third day, the only way I could move the left shifter was to use the heel of my hand. I lost my chain twice early in the week(This has happened to me maybe twice in 5 years outside of this). I was told all of this was my issue and nothing to do with the bike. Also told it was odd that I normally ride on the hoods(contrary to what I’ve been told at my bike shops).

I am heavy – Rubenseque if you will(not sure if anyone who posts here has met me). There was judgment passed on what I could possibly do and no one believed I had trained for this trip. This was from leaders and participants. It was surprising because I don’t hit that at home(one of the fittest places in the country).

I didn’t do the mileage I had hoped. I did have a great swim in the lake by Manoir Hovey with a woman from the Netherlands.

I should have thought more about the time of year and choice of location. For a trip that I did to help improve my confidence on the bike, I had lost much of what I had built this year.

Once I got home, I hit my bike in Denver and in Steamboat Springs and now I do put a lot of the onus on the trip bike.

Many of the people were from the NYC area so were thrilled to be out in the country. Again, I was not thinking.

If you are thinking about this trip, it may be the right one for you – it just really wasn’t the one for me. I hope the one in Ireland works out better.
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