Touring - touring on a crusier
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08-27-05, 10:33 AM
Listen I got a question for the forum. Has anyone ever seen or actually done any touring on a crusier style bike. I'm about to go nomadic for...well possibly permanently and I am trying to make a decision as to what type of bike to get. I did a 600 mile trip in May/June on a $166 Schwinn moutain bike and though it wasn't completely unbearable I dealt with a lot of arm numbness and fatigue. I was thinking of going with a crusier this time. I don't ascribe to the idea that a person has to have a $2000 bike to enjoy a long ride. So I thought I would ask the wonderfully intelligent and knowledgeable people of this forum for their opinions. All replys welcome.
08-27-05, 10:45 AM
Let me know too, eh? I'm sort of halfway playing with the idea of actually trying a short tour on my old Triumph one speed. We've got deadly hills around here and I figure I really can't run into anything much worse. Since I sometimes spend all day on her anyway, why not just take 'em in a straight line, if you see what I mean? A thirty or forty mile ride out isn't any harder than a round trip. My gear sure isn't any heavier than the twenty pounds of hamburger and ten pounds of dog-bones I lugged home last week! :D
For an interesting read about how far you can travel on a one speed bike find a copy of Full Tilt by Dervla Murphy. It is the story of her ride from Ireland to India overland alone in 1963. I think that she is still bike touring at age 70 or so right now last seen somewhere in Southern Africa.
08-27-05, 10:31 PM
I did a 1,950 mile tour on a Walmart Schwinn bicycle. I think they are excellent bike and I didn't have a lick of problem with it. I totally agree that you don't have to spend 2k on a bike to tour with. You can certainly tour with a cruiser as touring is nearly all mental and not mechnical. In fact, less things to go wrong on a cruiser. The only reason I can think of not using a one speed is steep hills. If you don't think that will be a problem, then go for it!
My tour is at http://biketour.ne1.net
Cheers and good luck!!!!
It is kinda an american thing whereby we assume that the technology has to at all time allow us to remain on the bike. I used to spend summers in Ireland, and the 1 speed black bike was everywhere as a means of transportation. People were often seen walking up hills. On an energy basis walking is often a lot more sensible.
The clash of curltures can be seen in Cyclocross vs mountain biking. One where the riders walk/run and even carry when the going gets tough vs the other where they have 30 speeds. Not sure who is winning, whether MTB are winning in cyclocross or not. Obviosuly a lot to do with course set-up. It does make the point that getting off the bike needn't be a bad thing.
I was very impressed with this tour across the US and into Mexico on a single speed:
The bike is a Surly 1x1, so it's not exactly a cheap supermarket bike though. I've never ridden a cruiser, but the riding position looks terribly uncomfortable to me (and the bikes themselves look ugly as sin...). I'd rather try a good used bike for touring.
I don't think the upright position, if that is what we are talking about, is uncomfortable, it is stock on most bikes the world over, not to mention motorcycles. I don't think it would be a comfortable position from which to make horsepower, but then there is a non-athletic form of cycling. The form where you wear you best suit to church, and arrive looking fine, just pop the metal pant clips into your pocket.
It is interesting that we have succesfully developed a high output method of cycling really fast, but it is that method that is uncomfortable and requires all kinds of specialized equipment clothes, and ointments to keep it going. Done properly it can be comfortable, or at least a lot of fun.
I tend to think of cycling as a slightly slower version of a car. It can be effective also as a slightly faster version of walking.
Cool 1x1 blog.
I don't think the upright position, if that is what we are talking about, is uncomfortable, it is stock on most bikes the world over, not to mention motorcycles.
Yes, I've had my share of utilitarian upright bikes. 'Uncomfortable' was perhaps not the right word; probably the reason I did not like them much is bad aerodynamics. I'm tall and have relatively long arms, so I may be worse off than shorter people sitting upright.
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