Touring - First Camping Adventure a Success
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04-07-07, 08:59 AM
It was probably too early to really camp but with new toys, one never waits for the right time......... spring break was my only chance to test the gear before summer. Bike REI Rondonne, Burley Nomad Trailer, Kelty Gunnison2 tent and Kelty +25 sleeping bag. 4 nights in temps below 25 gave me tremendous confidence in my tent and sleeping bag.......toasty warm! The bike was fitted with 22/36/46 in front and 11/34 in back and while I wasn't climbing the rockies, dropping down to the 22 was not necessary. Flat for the most part with gently rolling hills, a couple of 1000 foot climbs gave me a chance to feel how the trailer would feel on my legs. Highways had lots of semi traffic and I was pleased with the stability of both bike and trailer. With a short day of 43 and the longes just over 60 miles, my biggest problem was taking time to enjoy the ride. Suprisingly and without any intention, averaged just over 11.8 mph with 40 lbs of gear in the trailer and another 6 or 7 in the trunk. What I learned: experience really improves you abilty to pack and have "extra space", early risers who are perpetually in a hurry to get moving are at a huge disadvantage when the weather is wet and/or cold. Stop looking at your watch and computer, ride when you want, stop when you want and enjoy the moment! MUST find a better saddle!!!! (any suggestions?) And finally, I was most impressed with the ease and comfort the The Burley Nomad trailer worked with and for me. I've never used panniers but I now have even less inclination to try. That's my recap, thanks to all of riders who have gone before me, your insight and wisdom served me well on my maiden trip. Can't wait to get back on the road again!
04-07-07, 10:34 AM
It's never a bad time to ride....never.
Almost 12 mph with almost 50 pounds of gear on a 30 pound steel touring bike? That's taking names and kicking some, well, errr, this a kind a family forum.
Saddles-- try Terry ot Brooks. One of them will work for almost everybody.
And I'm of those hard chargers at dawn types-- what works for me is to let go at noon and let the rest of the day play out as it may.
I've also have had good luck with a small shortwave radio. I listen to weather reports and plan the ride around them. Often, here in the rainy NW, it's not a bad idea to hide/sleep in the tent until 10am and knock out a quick 30-40 mile ride in the afternoon when the weather clears.
Although sooner or later--- you ride in the wet.
Brooks B17, Nashbar has good prices
Hey, I've got the same bike and live on the other far side of the Puget Sound. I love the bike, but I don't have a trailer. I use the stock rack with Ortlieb Back Roller panniers. I'm still waiting to take my first camping trip. I've got all my camping gear because we go camping every weekend, I just need to do it on the bike.
As far as saddles go, I got a Brooks B-17 Champion Special at A.E. Bike and I absolutely love it. I'm not having the break-in issues like most claim, but it did take some time to dial it in.
Congrats on your extremem weather bike-camping trip.
As for the saddle, get yourself a Brooks (mine are sprung), and a little can of that Brooks saddle fat. Thousands and thousands of miles on my Brooks, I never had a sore bum, except the times when I ride other peoples bike.
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