In retirement, Richard and Molly Hoeg of Duluth finally found the time to take long bicycle trips. Not everyone will be drawn to the lengthy tours the Hoegs occasionally do — they’ve had expeditions of 3,000 miles more than two months — but if you’re considering graduating from rides around town to something that involves multiple days on the road, here are some things the Hoegs have learned:
• Avoid the tendency to carry too much. Determine what you think you need and then find a way to eliminate a quarter of it. You’ll be happy you did.
• Consider getting a touring bike. “A lighter road bike can break down more over the course of a long-distance tour,” Richard Hoeg said. “Light is good, but strong is better.”
• Check out Warm Showers, a hospitality exchange for touring cyclists. The Hoegs have used it for lodging and often find their hosts can offer good route recommendations.
• Be capable of handling basic bike maintenance on your own. Know how to fix a flat and carry the equipment to do it.