Friday, December 26, 2008

January MiniTour

It is now official. We will get to do a short, local 3 day tour of around 200 miles in January, starting the year on the right pedal! Accompanying me will be Fred (flying in from Colorado for the occasion!), Mitch, and Steve. Actually, Steve is not a sure thing, but I am hopeful. Our tentative schedule is January 10 - 12, but we have some leeway in case the weather is especially nasty. You never know this time of year.

The plan is to start here in Clermont and head west and north, finishing the first day in Ocala after approximately 75 miles on the bike. The second day we will do a loop north through the horse farms before turning to the southwest and overnighting in Inverness. That should be around 70 miles. The final day we will continue down the Withlacoochee trail for 10 or 15 miles before turning back toward home. That should be a day of 60 miles or so.

This trip will allow me to try out my new panniers -- Orlieb Back-Roller Plus bags -- which will be hanging on a new low-rider front rack. On the Tour de Fred last summer, I ended up using a Walmart shaving kit bag strapped to my rear rack as a place to keep snacks and other stuff I needed to get to on the road. With the panniers on the front rack instead of the rear, I can use one of our rack trunks on the rear to carry a camera, food, sunscreen, and what have you. From what I have read, the bike should handle even better with the panniers in front, though I did not have any issues with them on the back (other than what I just mentioned) last summer.

Next summer we hope to continue where we left off in Gainesville and ride 600 miles or so to Key West. We will spend a night in Inverness on that trip as well, so we can explore places to stay and eat when we are there in a couple of weeks.