Tour Daily Life

It's imagination time! Let's say your name is Barb, or maybe Bob. (Or how about Braveheart?) Okay, we're ready: this is a day of your life on the LS+G tour.

First, imagine that you are on the LS+G tour - you're standing near a large truck with the LS+G Tour logo on it. Pretty sweet.

Each participant is assigned two laundry baskets on a shelf as their personal space for their whole tour. The Gear Truck has power 24/7 and each shelf is provided with a power strip. This is where participants keep all their clothing, electronics, and toiletries. Their tent, camping gear, and camp chair are kept in their duffle. Duffles are loaded and unloaded each day.

Early Birds
  • 4:30 am: Coffee Team starts coffee and hot water. Meanwhile, Barb and Bob are still sleeping with their alarm set for 5:30.
  • 5:00 am: The Kitchen Team wakes and quietly gets ready for another day. A couple of early bird riders get up. More if it's going to be a hot day and LS+G has recommended an early start with an early breakfast.
  • 5:30 am: Kitchen Team begins prepping for breakfast and lunch. Staff and a few more riders begin to wake up and make their way to the restrooms.
First Light
  • 5:31 am: Barb wakes up as the sun begins to rise, no hiding from it in the tent. She changes into her riding clothes, stuffs her sleeping bag into its stuff sack, puts her camp clothes into her backpack, pulls on her sandals and listens to see if she can hear the neighbors. If not, she quietly unzips her tent, grabs her backpack and heads to the restroom, where she waits for a toilet. Then she waits for a sink, often sharing with someone to wash up and brush her teeth. She packs her toiletries into the backpack and stops to get a cup of coffee before heading back to her tent.
  • 6:00 am: Gear trucks open, quiet time ends, tent zippers all over camp start to hum as riders start waking and moving in earnest. The Breakfast Team assists the Kitchen Team.
  • 6:25 am: Barb gets to her tent just as others begin exiting their tents. She reaches in and pulls her camping duffle out of the tent, then makes her way around the tent, dropping and packing it into her duffle. Then it’s off to the gear truck with her backpack and duffle - she drops the duffle near the back wheels to be loaded by the luggage team, maneuvers past the other folks in the gear truck to her baskets, puts away her pack, grabs her helmet, and also a mesh bag that contains her utensils and favorite hot sauce, and then heads to breakfast.
  • 6:30 am: Breakfast is ready and lunch materials are in place. Riders and staff go through the lines, cafeteria style - some sit in their personal camp chairs to eat while others just stand. A few riders start to cue up and get ready to leave.
  • 6:35 am: Barb pulls out her bowl and fills it with hot oatmeal, adding brown sugar, raisins, and almonds. She fills one of her water bottles with juice, puts some scrambled eggs on her plate, and makes some toast. She’s looking forward to tomorrow because it’s pancake day - that means sausage links and an easy lunch-making session. After eating, she goes back to the food tables and grabs some energy bars, a hard-boiled egg, and two bananas. She makes a chicken salad sandwich, a peanut butter sandwich with strawberry jam, and fills her now-empty water bottles. In one bottle she puts in a couple of scoops of Gatorade. She heads over to her bike and packs the food into her handlebar bag, puts the bottles in their holders, and wipes the dew off her saddle. She walks her bike closer to the gear truck, puts her mesh bag into her basket, swaps her sandals for her riding shoes. and starts looking for her riding partners. Terry is at the bottom of the ramp telling folks that the word of the day is “Happy”.
  • 7:00 am: The push by riders to eat, get ready, and leave accelerates. Lines shift from the restrooms to the food tables. The song of the day ("Happy", of course) starts booming to let stragglers know breakfast closes in 30 minutes. A light stream of riders are leaving camp in small groups. Rest Stop Team 1 (or, RST1 for short) is packed and replenished - it heads out to set up before the first riders arrive. Support and Gear 1 (SAG1) leaves with them. RST2 packed their vehicle last night, so they are still enjoying breakfast. RST3 gets the late shift today, so they have slept in and are planning to go out for breakfast and see some sights before setting up in a few hours.
  • 7:20 am: Barb is a little frustrated. Her butt is sore and she wanted to get an early start so she could take her time and recover a bit, but she’s still waiting for one of her team to get ready. He is fiddling with a derailleur that should have been given to the mechanic to adjust yesterday when he got into camp. She can see riders leaving and waves goodbye and calls out to a few. Mr. Derailleur finally thinks he's got it and the four of them roll out of camp half an hour late. Oh well, let's just focus on getting happy - after all, it is the word of the day.
  • 7:30 am: The Kitchen team, camp team, and driver team begin breaking down their stations in camp and preparing to head to the next overnight. Bags start to get loaded into the gear truck, camp clean-up begins, and the sweep riders or vehicle follow the last riders out of camp. RST3, SAG2, and SAG3 head to their rally points. The route team heads out to inspect tomorrow's route for any last-minute issues and sign the tricky turns. SAG2 & SAG3 report any route issues missed by the route team. After camp is closed and all the walkthroughs are clear, the drivers, Kitchen, and camp head to a local coffee shop for a decompression and talk-down of last night and this morning. They review any upcoming camp challenges and take a moment to relax.
  • 10:30 am: The morning ride has been good and Barb and her team are having fun. They marvel at how they get to have such a simple life. Wake up, eat, ride, eat, sleep, and do it again. She stops several times to take pictures and update her social media. Her Local Charity is sharing her feed, so she wants to make sure to post up some good stuff so her supporters can share her experience. At RST she walked past the cheese sticks, pickles, and chips to grab her new favorite snack - a peanut butter/nutella/banana sandwich. She fills her bottles and the team sits for a bit enjoying their food. The mechanic is here, and Mr. Derailleur heads over for help. After about 15 minutes they get up (they don’t want to cool down too much) and head down the route.
  • 11:00 am: All the camp-based volunteers have reached the next overnight and begin preparing for the arrival of riders. The Kitchen Team makes a stop to pick up a few perishables or items that won’t be replenished by the food delivery. RST1 is closing up shop and bringing any riders with them to camp. They will also stop at RST2 to drop off any extra ice or items that are running short.
  • 12:00 pm: SAG1 helps RST1 pack up and then heads down the route. If SAG1 passes a rider who is behind Sweep, they call the Sweep team to let them know who it is and where they are. SAG1 keeps the rider in view until Sweep backtracks to her position and takes over. SAG1 then runs a few errands, including supplies requests from riders to pick up at a store. Around noon, the pig in the snake is between RST2 and RST3, who are at peak along with their SAG teams. Around 2 pm, the last riders are just reaching RST3, while the first riders are just reaching the overnight.
  • 1:00 pm: Barb is grateful for the rest stops along the way. She dropped a bottle and it was promptly run over by a car which caused her to run out before reaching the rest stop. At the stop she was able to rinse off her road rashed bottle and get it filled. Amazingly, it isn’t leaking! Mr. Derailleur stayed behind at RST2 so he could get the mechanic to make adjustments. Personally she was happy to wave goodbye since they had been taking turns waiting for him to get up the hills. Here at RST3 she is making a quick stop to grab a pickle and a couple of salty snacks. It’s been warm today and her jersey is lined with salt stains, hopefully she won’t cramp up. She especially enjoyed the fresh pie provided by a local charity. With only 30 km to go, she’s looking forward to getting into the shower and sitting in the shade.
  • 2:00 pm: The first riders to arrive help pull the camp duffles out of the gear truck and line them up on the sidewalk next to the truck. The Kitchen team is going full bore, and another team is setting up the serving area. The snack team is setting out a healthy snack to tide the riders over until dinner. The Hydration team is setting up the hydration area, filling barrels with water, iced tea, and making instant lemonade. As the RST teams come into camp, they drop off their water barrels at the Hydration table and head to the food truck to pick up washed barrels and replenish their snacks for tomorrow. After restocking, they take a much-deserved rest. SAG crews also start to arrive in camp - Sweep is the last team into camp, just behind the last rider. Sweep is happy that tomorrow they get to be SAG3. The SAG teams rotate backwards from Sweep to SAG3, to SAG2, to SAG1 and then back to Sweep. Riders during this time nap, do bike maintenance, or find a pub.
  • 3:30 pm: Barb rolls into camp and parks her bike. She walks over to the gear truck and grabs her sandals, backpack, and duffle, then heads out to pick out a spot to pitch her tent. She’s looking forward to Saturday when she can leave the tent up for two days because of a Sunday layover day. Some riders like to sleep in the gym, but she likes the fresh air and a little privacy - out in the field she has a higher chance of not having to worry about someone snoring right next to her. She pitches her tent, takes off her cycling shoes, puts on her sandals and walks over to the showers. She’s early, so there is still a good chance of getting hot water and no waiting! During her shower, she gives her riding clothes a good rinse and afterwards hangs them out to dry on the baseball backstop, then lays her blanket out under a tree and promptly falls asleep.
  • 5:30 pm: Dinner is served! Rider service teams and the Kitchen team work hard to keep the food coming. There is usually a green salad, a pasta salad or potato salad, PB&Js, a protein, several hot veggies, carbs, and a dessert. If a local guest speaker is available during dinner, they present for a few minutes right before the rider meeting during the last half hour of dinner. The rider meeting goes over tomorrow's route, including any concerns or dangers for tomorrow, approximate rest stop locations, and any schedule or route changes.
  • 5:35 pm: Barb is briefly annoyed, someone is ringing a stupid bell. Her eyes snap open realizing it’s the dinner bell! She grabs her blanket, bottle and book and tosses them into her tent and zips it shut. Then walks over to the gear trailer to grab her mess bag and joins the line. It smells like mexican (her favorite!), but knows it’ll be windy later. She sanitizes her hands and then serves herself, filling her two plates and bowl with salads and dinner. She walks over to a few familiar faces and leaves her food, heading back to fill up her cup with tea. It’s a good day. A "Happy" day, even. During the rider meeting, they covered a small detour due to repaving. The best part was it did not add any distance to the day - whew!
  • 7:00 pm: Riders work on their bikes, blogs, vlogs, and visit one another. During this time some riders host yoga sessions, meditations, and even book clubs. Most are out for the count by 9:30. Riders visit their gear baskets to get tomorrow's riding gear ready and pull drying clothes into their tents or hang in the gear trailer.
  • 7:30 pm: The Kitchen team is preparing for tomorrow making lunch spreads and pulling frozen items. The Coffee Team is setting up the percolators for the morning. The Driver Team is checking the generators, making small repairs, and planning for any needed maintenance of vehicles or equipment. The Hydration team makes one last fill up of the water barrels and moves any remaining lemonade into the food truck to keep it from attracting any insects or animals. For the same reason, the Clean-up Team pulls the trash cans to the designated dumpster or trash area, empties and rinses the cans, re-lines them, and then stages them inside the hall to the restrooms.
  • 7:45 pm: Barb pulls out her phone and updates her social media with a quick video she took of an elk foraging along the road. She reminds her P2P circle to please support her Local Charity! Next, she has a brief confab with her riding group about what time to leave - Mr. Derailleur is ready to roll and promises to lead the charge tomorrow. Eh, maybe he’s not so bad after all. Finally, one last visit to the restrooms to wash up and grab her still damp riding clothes. She drops them off at the gear truck, grabs her gear for tomorrow, and packs herself into her tent.
  • 10:00 pm: Gear Truck is locked for the night. Barb is tired and ready for sleep. But it’s a little warm and so it’s taking a little longer to fall asleep. She thinks of how simple yet busy life is on the tour. Before she left, it felt like this was going to be a long quiet respite of cycling. But each day has been full. One of the surprises is how much walking she is getting. Walk to the restroom, walk to the gear truck, walk back because she forgot something, walk to find a spot for her tent, walk to eat, walk to wash, walk to get water, walk, walk, walk. But she feels content. Many of her fellow riders agree - life on the tour has been pretty simple, and they are happy to be out here. The routine is comforting, it’s been humbling to see folks donating to their Local Charity, and it’s been eye-opening to see how little they need to be happy. Two laundry baskets filled with riding and camp clothes, a tent, and her bike. Barb’s biggest worry right now is tomorrow's big climb... but it’s not enough to keep her awake. Camp is quiet except for the wind orchestra of burps, farts, and snoring.
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