Every year during Memorial Day weekend I have vowed to go ride my bike as far as I can, for as long as I can. This is a tour to push my spring limits, something to gauge what needs to be focused on for summer so that the fall gravel races are a little easier on the body than the early spring excursions. It could be fully bagged out, it could be a dirt bagging trip, it could be a “credit card” tour with support and hotel rooms. It could be anything, really, as long as there is a goal of at least 300 miles over the course of the four day weekend.
This is why it has earned the title of “The Good Intentions Tour”
The Good Intentions Tour is just that. It’s a set of intentions (outlined in P1) that are more like a limit than an intention. Last year I had decided that I was going to take an fifth day and ride a total of 400 miles. What actually happened was I chose to take my loaded touring bike, I started a day late and rode into intermittent rain storms, at fried chicken, got stuck in a shelter at a city park waiting out a storm, made it to the Night Hawk in Slater, IA drinking with a team of woo girls that were woo-ing their minds out inside a sheet metal shed which houses the back bar at the establishment. I rode north from Slater to Ames, IA, where I ended up in a hotel room as there were some very serious looking storm systems coming my way, then rode from Ames to middle-of-nowhere Collins, IA where I ran into BikeIowa.com founder Scott Sumpter randomly at a tiny bar, then rode to Cleverley Farms for the last historical Garlicpalooza. At Larry’s farm we had a blast, but the next morning it was blazingly hot and humid and I made it to a convenience store in Bondurant, IA where I ended up calling a sag for my last 12 miles as I could not get my body to act right. I don’t blame it, it had a reason to be hostile towards me. Three Days, 99.4 miles. I couldn’t even bring myself to ride around the steamy block to get to an even 100. I was done.
That is how it goes every year, first make a long list of good intentions, then say “fuck it” and just do whatever. This year I will have a partner in Intentions crime, who has vowed to ride one of the four days with me (sounds like a proper good intention), and will then pilot Kira as my support in my quest to ride at least 300 miles. I haven’t picked the bike yet, but I can tell you that it will not be my Vaya. Day 1 or 2 will be on the Java, and since there is support involved this year I will probably just pack a very stripped down Colossal for the solo miles. I can see this turning into a one day loop then a “tailwind tour” to wherever the time limit takes me.
No matter what happens, I am making my list of good intentions for this coming Memorial Day weekend. I’m looking at routes, plotting miles, and looking at where I can stick a tandem loop in the middle of all of this, in addition to working in some #vanlife with Kira, and also putting together a bail plan for when I give up on my intentions and just want to go home to my lovely vegan kitchen to eat something other than road food. That’s going to be the biggest challenge this year, spending 3-4 days on the road while still sticking to clean Vegan eating. We shall see how that goes, or if anything goes at all.