Get Out The Map: Bike Tour Prep

Get out the map get out the map and lay your finger anywhere down
We’ll leave the figuring to those we pass on our way out of town
Indigo Girls, Get Out The Map

This Indigo Girls song reminds me of long gone days wedded to the school calendar as it simultaneously urges me to hit the road to see what lies beyond the boundaries of Washington, D.C.

If only it was that easy to grab a map and set out. Limited free time and a desire to travel outside of an organized tour group or event mean Felkerino and I get out the map and start drafting our journey. For the past couple of months, we’ve diligently been working toward bike tour liftoff.

On previous trips, Felkerino has been the cue sheet master, but this year I’ve been helping with the routes for our upcoming bike tour of Colorado.

It’s been a good exercise, as I’m not that skilled in orienting myself. Also, Colorado days are somewhat easier to route than trips out east due to the more limited selection of roads.

As I’ve been scrawling out what I hope passes for an acceptable cue sheet, I’ve developed an appreciation for the preparation that goes into our tours. Daily distance, food stops, and overnights (in our case, hotels) take effort and time to coordinate.

We probably don’t absolutely need the cue sheets, but they are handy on the road. I hope to combine them with profiles of our route so I have a sense of the type of climbing we’re in for each day. Felkerino loves the mountains and our tour reflects that.

As we did last year, we’re breaking down our coupled Co-Motion Java tandem and stashing it away into three suitcases along with the minimal clothing and gear necessary for a summer tour (two jerseys or one, two jerseys or one?).

The port o’potty lined sidewalks and expanses of chicken wire extending over the National Mall have convinced me it’s a good time to get out of town. Colorado, here we come.


  1. Noooooo, I just left there WHY??? It would have been awesome to see you.
    My husband and I just moved back home to Florida >.<
    On a more serious note, you will love it. The air is dry and even hot days aren't really hot, the scenery is gorgeous, and lots of towns out there have a great path system.


    1. This is our third year going out there to bike tour. We love riding in Colorado, for all the reasons you mention. Also, Felkerino loves to climb over 10,000 feet.


  2. When you go to Colorado, do you experience any altitude related side effects? If so, how do you deal with or prepare for it?


    1. We have. Mine have come mostly in the form of headaches and breathlessness as we go higher. For the High Country 1200K, we arrived a couple of days early to get set up, but really, that is not enough to acclimate to the elevation. Essentially, we try to be aware that the elevation could be a factor. We modify our effort on climbs at elevation in order to manage the extra effort that it demands of those of us not used to or acclimated to it.


  3. Have fun in CO! I’m leaving for a short solo 48 hour trip (i believe the term is now man-cation) before the 4th tomorrow!


  4. I love the blog.
    I’m always curious as to how you guys escape D.C., and what route(s) you use.
    A few years ago, I followed a friend from Wall St in Manhattan, right out of the city, north into rural upstate NY and encountered nary a car.
    You must have something similar?


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