Touring - First try on a loaded bike!
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06-16-11, 02:19 PM
I'm leaving Saturday for an overnight "Test ride" in preparation for a week long ride this summer on the Kettle Valley Railway.
Loaded my bike except for water and groceries and took it around the block.
What a camel! Time to take a serious look at every item and thin the load a little.
We will ride 41 kms on Saturday, camp out, and ride 41 kms home. Just doing this will be a challenge.
Glad I'm starting early preparing for this tour.
06-17-11, 07:01 AM
Nothing like learning what works than to try it on shorter trips first. Good luck, and report back!
06-17-11, 07:18 AM
Nothing like your first overnighter. My was punctuated with 4 flats and amazing memories. Have fun.
06-17-11, 07:33 AM
A loaded bike feels clumsy at best when riding at slow speeds. Once you get going, it's not so bad. However, try and make sure everything is balanced side-to-side.
When I was in college two friends and I decided to take a week-long tour to the San Juan Islands (my suggestion.) I had toured before; they hadn't. My friend, Mark, had gotten a large birthday check from his grandmother. He bought a new touring bike, racks, panniers, etc. - a whole rig. He didn't load it up and try it until the morning of our departure. A group of friends gathered to see us off. Mark said his words of farewell, got on his bike, waved farewell, and rode about 8 feet, then attempted to turn around and crashed.
Luckily nothing was damaged, he got the hang of things fairly soon, and we had a great tour!
06-17-11, 08:55 AM
If it's loaded right and you have decent bike handling skiils, you should get the hang of it. My first tour was across the U.S. and then some. I took one fully-loaded test ride of about 65 miles before heading out west to start the trip. I remember being pleasantly surprised. I thought pushing all that stuff around (I had a heavy load that included well over 5 pounds of camera equipment) would be much harder.
The biggest danger on the test ride came from a stupid teen driver coming in my direction. He drifted off the road, lost control, hit a telephone pole and ended up on his roof in the middle of the road. This all happened about 60' behind me. If I had been a tad slower, I could easily have been killed.
06-17-11, 09:03 PM
"...what a camel!" Oh that's classic! I gotta remember that one LMAO
06-17-11, 09:33 PM
i just got my bike and dont have panniers yet, i am just getting used to riding it. Today i rode 30 miles but the first 7 miles or so i wasent doing to hot. i think i was riding to hard cuase i was just to tired, the rest of the ride was great because i found a good pace to keep i think. I'm sure that will all change when i load up and i will need to learn a new pace again. i still have 4 months till i tour though so i will get my panniers next month i think, i am slowly getting all my gear needed.
06-17-11, 10:04 PM
Thanks for your words of encouragement and advice. I'll try balancing the load.
This is not my first tour, but my first time on a Koga World Traveller with front and back panniers. When I tour on pavement I ride a Cannondale t1 and pull a burley trailer. It feels like a cadillac (land yatch)and I forget about the trailer.
The KVR has sections where the surface is soft (so says the guide book) and 2" tires are recommended. I guess I find out in July.
The forecast is for rain, but they are only predicting 5 mm- about 1/4 inch- we can handle that.
06-18-11, 08:54 PM
Have you weighed your loaded bike to see and compare with others? I have a Surly LHT, and my ride partner has a Kona Sutra. My weighs in right at 85 pounds. That to me is approaching heavy. My partner's bike weighed in at 99 pounds! He didn't realize how heavy he was. Since then he has taken a good twenty pounds off of it...kitchen sink etc.
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