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    What should I do the last week before I leave?  
    You may want to consider laying off the rides earlier - say, your last ride on the Wednesday prior to CO. Many tour riders do a layoff as final preparation. As an ol' fart with some experience with CO, I have found that a two or three day layoff prior to CO gives the old bones time to rest up for the big charge on Sunday. It also allows time to build up glycogens with some carbo loading during the last few days prior to the ride. I am convinced that a well balanced diet prior to a tour is essential. There is little value spending your fuel prior to needing it for CO. You want to top off the tanks.

The Ol' Fart From Happy Rock.

I think you should stop riding that last week before Cycle Oregon. Everything I've read or heard says that any riding you do the week before a big ride is too late to contribute to your conditioning for the ride and you need the time for your body to recover from your training. This is the great part of a big ride: the week before just rest your body and do some serious carbo loading.

Jim Morrow

I think light exercise, whether easy bike rides or easy weights, should be ok the last week, and don't forget to continue regular stretching and back exercises throughout the week. (accumulate stretch credits) Stay loose. Probably good to take one or two days off before starting CO. Massage would be nice for late tune-up. Sleep enough, eat right, you know, take vitamins, eat an apple every day, go to bed by three....

Amy Ream

Most people recommend stopping riding around Wednesday of the week before. This has the added benefit that you can start cleaning and packing your bike stuff so you are ready to leave Sat. morning.

Carbo loading is just trying to maximize the Glycogen you have stored in your body. Eat a lot of carbohydrate rich foods from Wed. on. However, you need some protein in order for the carbo-loading to work (more recent info says this now) so don't cut that out entirely. Avoid lots of fats. Spaghetti is the commonly advertised item - I think because it is easy to cook for a large group of cyclists camping together. Any carbohydrates work, though. We normally eat a lot of bread and other carbohydrates so I don't change much.

Rox Heath

A dietitian can give you a much more accurate description of this process than can I, but here goes. As to "carbo loading", that just refers to the practice of emphasizing a higher proportion of carbohydrates in your meals in the 3 or 4 days prior to a long distance ride. The purpose of this ratio change is to build your internal store of glycogens. Don't make the mistake I did in my newbie days of stuffing myself with pasta, making total calorie input greater than normal. All you want to do is change the ratio of carbos to other elements of your diet.

Also, there is little point in carbo loading if you are going to go out and "spend" your glycogen stores on exercise prior to the tour. So, most people will avoid a ride during the time they are carbo loading. Furthermore, there is much positive to say about giving your body a rest for a few days before you start this 7 day bike ride. Usually, when I do that, I am surprised at how well I feel and perform during a ride after a few days off.

Curt Coleman

They recommend you lay off for two weeks prior actually.

Just don't take the "superman effect" too seriously on day one and you'll do fine.

I cut it to one week, having the Sun of Labor Day being my last ride prior. (the old brochures said one week layoff and I'm an old timer) :-) That Monday is my bag packing day.

Seriously the downtime is *good* you will be overly strong on day one and if not careful can push too hard and suffer long about day three for the first ten or so miles then begin getting stronger the rest of the week. (As we all will.)

Day one is interesting. Everyone seems to hit the road at once (rest of the days this gets more spread out) and the cattle guards, intersections, bridge narrowings, etc can be a tad exciting as result. Be aware of the riders around you as they might not be aware of you.

I recommend for the week or two before the break riding *every* day. 15 to 20 miles, mix in some easy stuff one time with some hill work or high gear wind mashing another. Get your *ss used to being on the bike every day.

Don Bolton

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Feed Your anxiety with ritualistic preparation !

It's a ritual for me in way of CO preparation - makes for a longer CO experience for me. I thought I would share some of the self-questions that I do each year. It makes for a prepared vacation. The only surprises I care for are the ones that come along the way on the tour. I really hate forgetting something, when it could have been prevented by my own doing.

Now that you have ridden most of your necessary base mileage for Cycle Oregon, you might want to take a closer look at your bike. Has it be tuned-up or overhauled lately? How are the cables/cable housings? Does your bike shift smooth like teflon? How about the tires - did your training mileage "do them in"? Is your drive train in good shape, i.e. chain, rings, cogs, and chain?

Still making "the hurt go away adjustments"? Maybe you need a bike fit after all. It's not too late.

Have you rounded up your gear that you will be taking? Do you still need some stuff? How do you know if you haven't gathered it up yet?

How are you doing? If you’re a rookie to CO and have "Any" questions - Let us help you out!
Do you have the shuttle [bus] ticket purchased?
Do you know how to break your bike down for boxing?
How about the week long parking pass for those who are driving?
Do you need to get special med's, or even if it's a new camp pillow or a tent :-) -- Now's the time to do it.
Did you get one of those neck cooler's at the State Fair?
How about a new gear bag?

Now’s the time for final adjustments before the tour.

Capt. "my CO has begun" Dink ~

[Posted the last Friday before CO - ]

Just a reminder to get ready - start hydrating enough today (Friday) that you are sure you have the water your body would like to have normally - start drinking extra tomorrow afternoon (Saturday).

Eat carbohydrate rich stuff (but still healthy - the first thing that came to mind was chocolate cake, but I suppose that is not healthy. It does have flour and milk and other good stuff in it, though.) :-)

Get plenty of sleep (I haven't figured out how to accomplish this one!)

Rox Heath

"Perspectives" by Don Bolton

It’s nearly time to disembark on a truly unique journey. Cycle Oregon is a unique experience every year. The people change, the routes change, the landscape changes, and mother nature can always lob a spitball or two our way along the trail.

If you are new to this tour and are now wondering if you can measure up, relax. You will soon be finding strength you didn't know you have, you will be in awe of our states raw beauty, you will experience stunning vistas, sunrises, sunsets, starry nights so vivid you'll feel like a child again full of wonder. If we're lucky we'll get a night display of high desert lightning off in the distance. You'll never forget it if you get to experience it.

You'll meet local people with an open friendliness and spirit of community that has long been lost to us urban warriors, but beware, it’s catching.

Cycle Oregon is many things to its participants. To some of us it’s just a vacation, others it’s a sense of accomplishment not achievable in day to day life.

It’s a logistical marvel! An army on the move serving the needs of its riders and bringing much needed revenue to the remote communities it touches.

It’s a fleet of mobile kitchens, shower trucks, baggage trucks, medical crews, bike mechanics, state police, staff vehicles, SAG support, blue rooms.

Its course crews are up long before us marking the day’s route and up long after we've settled in erasing our presence from the day prior.

There's a soundstage crew that takes down the stage after the music stops and moves and reassembles it in our next overnight.

The rider next to you may have been up late driving the edition for the mornings Cycle Oregonian off to be mass printed and returning with goods in the wee hours.

Its local communities that band together to serve our food and after we're gone pack out all our trash.

So many details constantly in motion. Occasionally (not often) something misfires and you may be inconvenienced in some fashion. (food not there yet, baggage truck not there yet, course temporarily shut down). After a week’s riding and sleeping on the ground it’s easy to have a short temper. Try to keep things in perspective.

Instead look at all the things that have gone right, all the personal triumphs you've accomplished and carry some extra snacks with you just in case.

For the week all you need do is ride between meals, stand in a few lines, and set up and take down your campsite. In the week you'll garner a lifetime’s worth of memories.

Prepare yourself for the thrill of victory and the agony of the seat:-)

Don "Bag Balm, Take me away" Bolton

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It couldn't have been said better - -

I'm standing up on my bent seat applauding you Don.

Capt. Dink ~

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It won't be long now... Beautiful sunrises, sunsets, night skies full of stars so dense you'll be mesmerised. Maybe a spectacular lightning display some evening, packing up an icy tent in the morning, live music, new and old friends, and there’s that other thing too. Riding between meals for seven days.

Don "it don't get much better than that" Bolton

The music has finally faded, you shuffle off toward your tent stopping at the blue room for one more visit before bedding in for the night.

As you get near your tent you look up and see stars like you've never seen before. Billions of pinnacles of light giving texture and a warm glow to the cold blackness of the night. You suddenly realize you have almost fallen over backward having been so engrossed in the heavens.

As you nestle in trying to find that smooth groove in the ground, the air is still and the only sounds you hear are from 1,500 of you new closet friends snoring gently thru the night.

Don "somewhere distant a blue room door slams" Bolton

Some typos are priceless.. "Closet friends"? Closest:-)

Don "Spel chekr helpt dat werk gud huh?" Bolton

[ Note: Try not to worry!!! ;-) ]

Is it worrying that I did not train enough, the fact that I will be married one week from tonight, or trying to figure out if there is such a thing as "Cool" wool socks. I CAN NOT SLEEP

OH Sh.. I forgot to take the back rim in for a quick true..... the kids have to be packed, the dog sent to the kennel and the sheets done on the d=bed..... how does anyone make it through these last few days.... this is worse than waiting for a baby. Arghghhghg not to mention the panic attacks.

Okay I feel better, David assures me that this is a normal feeling.

Don "oh words of wisdom" Bolton HELP.

Amy the about to be Grahamcrackers


When you figure out how not to fret over every last detail please let me know, I've been packing and re-packing all week. I keep worrying I'll forget something critical, like my helmet or worse my bike. I'm even using a list, in fact I have lists coming out of my ears, NO MORE LISTS!


Richard, the other Richard

No list on paper just an almost husband calling me every two hours from work.
Did you do.........
Have you called..............
Are the kids packed...............
Now he is in bed, snoring and my stomachs are in knots (cow humor)
Glad to see it is not just me.


Ok, so I'm done packing. My bag is considerably more than the allotted 65 lbs. Sure, I could lighten it up by removing the fan, spray mister, jacuzzi, wading pool, inflatable doll, patch kit ;-), but hey, this IS a vacation--right?! I'm taking it all!!!

See you in Prairie City. MOO man.

Richard, the other Richard

As this is my sixth chapter, one would think I would have it down to a science. I do, the particular science is called chaos. I too have trouble sleeping.

Although the bag was packed Monday, I've done some "refinements" every night since. I don't worry about training levels - that part was answered back on IX when I did my first.

You will find strength you didn't know you have, you will push beyond where you have been and return with a renewed sense of self confidence.

Smartwool socks rock! Keep you warm when it’s cold and cool when it’s warm (How do they know?). Rim true can be done on the tour.

Can't help ya on packing kids. Back when I had to deal with that I found hard sided luggage and duct tape to be most effective (although they did complain when removing the tape) :-) Ahh, the good old days :-)

I'll be dozing off today at work when I should be awake, and restless tonight when I should be sleeping.

Don "as it should be" Bolton

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And here I sit worrying and telling myself not to worry! –

Last year I did a very fast packing job so I know I can get it done tonight... (haven't started yet!) But what if I can't find something?

The bikes are fairly clean so they don't need a major bath, but I do still need to go to Ace Hardware and get some spare parts... and I need to finish making my "dashboard". And I need to find all the little bike related doodads we take along (like the water bottles and flashers) and get them on the bikes before loading. Oops, gotta clean the car so there is room for the bikes in it!

I ran the last minute errands yesterday and already the list is long enough for today that I will be running last, last minute errands most of today!

Somehow I need to get a lot more laundry done...

A week ago I felt like I was jittering because it wasn't time to start really packing and doing the last minute stuff.

Now suddenly it's past time to start. The adrenaline rush has hit! Yeehaw!!!! Less than 48 hours and we will be outta here!!!!

Rox "running in circles" Heath

This will be my third CO, and it seems like something different happens every year.

This year, I got laid off before Memorial Day and have spent the summer collecting unemployment and hunting for work. I kept my CO berth because _surely_ I would be employed before Labor Day, hunh?

About a week ago, a job opportunity began to firm up. (It looks 95% sure at this point.) Unfortunately, the HR lady said that I had to start on a Monday, and 10 September looked like the most likely start date.

I wandered around for about two days in an alternating state of elation (for being employed) and depression (for missing out on the one week a year I really get to myself).

Tuesday morning the HR lady told me it would be at least a week for the paperwork to be final, so my start date has been pushed out to the 17th.

Now I am wandering around alternating between elation (for getting to go on the trip), depression (for going another week unemployed), and SHEER OUTRIGHT PANIC as I make last minute packing and organizing.

I have a pile of stuff in the middle of my bedroom and I'm still throwing things into the pile. Got the tent waterproofed Tuesday, but couldn't seam seal yesterday because the weather wasn't cooperating. I too am waking up in the middle of the night trying to decide on a) what I took last year that I can afford to leave behind, b) what I'm considering leaving behind that I'll _really_ _regret_ <grin>, and c) how to pack it.

The third item is non-trivial. The strategy I have gone to is to organize into a small number of stuff sacks, mark the contents of the stuff sack with an adhesive label (freezer tape on the bottom of the bag works well), and then place each stuff sack into a _clear_ plastic bag and twist-tie it closed. Be sure to pack a number of extra plastic bags as you _will_ lose a few over the course of the week.

Jason "Tent? Did I pack a _tent_?" Penney

I sympathize with everyone! You'd think, since this is our 11th Cycle Oregon, that it would be mere routine now. Not so! It's like the week before Christmas when I was a kid... I can't focus very well on anything else! And I'm supposed to WORK?!

Susan Christie

Talk about not being able to focus . . .

Gee - there REALLY IS a bunch of us in this boat.

Curt Coleman

Soon the uncertainty of preparations missed and training unfinished will be gone.

Soon the hubub of everyday life, the cadence of business will be behind you.

Ahead lies an adventure, a journey to be relished. Far away from the rush of the cities you'll see the night sky perhaps as never before.

You'll see entire towns banding together in a community spirit we've lost here at home.

You'll pass school children let out for the occasion to greet us as we ride through their town.

You'll amaze yourself at what you can do on your bike.

You'll see entertainment of amazing caliber some of which may touch you in startling ways.

Cycle Oregon is a journey of the senses, a journey of discovery, a journey of emotions.

Soon the journey begins.

Don "See ya’ll in Prairie City" Bolton

I'm packed!!! Oh God, what did I forget?? I know I packed light, HOWEVER, with a smaller tent and extra space in the bag I must be forgetting something?

My Bike?

He'p me, Please???



don fogetcha hemet.


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  Page Last Updated: Jan. 20, 2003  
    CyclingSite > CO Collected Wisdom > Training > Last Week Before You Leave  

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