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  1. #1
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    What gadgets do I need for long distance trips?

    So I'm planning a bunch of long distance trips on a cargo bike in the NYC area. I've never done this before. What gadgets should I get for my trip? I'll do reviews on anything I use so if you know any cool products that could use some exposure, let me know. This is going on my YouTube channels. Initially, I'm thinking:

    Headlight
    Security options
    Horn(LOUD)
    Seat upgrade
    Mirrors
    Road side assistance gear?

    Let me know what you think!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    What does long distance mean? My neighbor thinks any bike ride longer than 5 miles is long distance; this summer I met some people riding across the country. You'd probably want to pack differently, like no sleeping bag to go across town.

    Security options means your brain, mostly. It's good to lock your bike up but locks only keep honest people out. I've seen a frame locked to a sign post, a thief opened up the stem, cut the cables, and walked off with the handlebars and shifters. Same thing with the horn, it might be helpful at times especially for urban riding but it's not a substitute for situational awareness.

    But stuff like your saddle and other contact points, if it's not comfortable, you want to fix that.
    Don't believe everything you think.

  3. #3
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Independent Problem solving skills ..

  4. #4
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    I would bring a small radio to hear the news. If you have a smart phone, than an App like IheartRadio would work for me.

    Amazon.com: Sony ICF-S10MK2 Pocket AM/FM Radio, Silver: Electronics

  5. #5
    Senior Member Garfield Cat's Avatar
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    The 5 Boro Ride Tour is only 40 miles. Is that the distance you are thinking about. Or you going to Central NY state?

  6. #6
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    60+ miles. NYC to Connecticut, NYC to Fire Island. Maybe Philly?

    Quote Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
    What does long distance mean? My neighbor thinks any bike ride longer than 5 miles is long distance; this summer I met some people riding across the country. You'd probably want to pack differently, like no sleeping bag to go across town.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garfield Cat View Post
    The 5 Boro Ride Tour is only 40 miles. Is that the distance you are thinking about. Or you going to Central NY state?
    60+ and I'm not coming back. Could be 2-3 day trip.

  8. #8
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    Why do I need to hear the news? I don't listen to that nonsense when I'm home even. What are you thoughts exactly?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve View Post
    I would bring a small radio to hear the news. If you have a smart phone, than an App like IheartRadio would work for me.

    Amazon.com: Sony ICF-S10MK2 Pocket AM/FM Radio, Silver: Electronics

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the tips Seattle!

  10. #10
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    I did a Decade of tours with out any of the IT gadgets young people cannot seem to leave off for a Minute, these days .

    Maps and a compass .. and talking to the Locals ..

    I brought a Radio to listen to while in my tent at night. am/fm/lw/sw.

    And a Pocket Mandolin, to sit in at Pub Sessions on my last tour Of Ireland and Scotland .. and meet other Musicians.

  11. #11
    Senior Member no motor?'s Avatar
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    Are you bike commuting now? If you're not going to camp then your commuting gear should cover most of your needs.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    I was doing long distance trips back in the late '60s, long before there were gadgets. Now, of course, I feel naked without my cell, high intensity LED lights, and GPS bike computer, and couldn't imagine being without them.
    Eschew simplistic dogma.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    I did a Decade of tours with out any of the IT gadgets young people cannot seem to leave off for a Minute, these days .

    Maps and a compass .. and talking to the Locals ..
    I saw a documentary about people in the desert traveling three days to reach a well, their only source of fresh water. They used the sun and the stars, and the shape of the sand dunes which were carved over the centuries by the wind. Wind mostly blows in the same direction after all. You don't need this fancy map and compass crap, the lay of the land will tell you where you are. Don't you know how to read the stars to find your way?
    Don't believe everything you think.

  14. #14
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Bring an Astrolabe.. or Sextant.

    Oregon Dunes are not so Endless as The Bedouins traveled over.

    http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/siusl...a/?recid=42465
    Last edited by fietsbob; 09-21-15 at 09:25 AM.

  15. #15
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    I would advise against a very loud horn or other noise maker. If you really really need it, it's because you allowed yourself to get into an urgent situation. That's a matter of choice. If a bell isn't enough noise for you, you are riding faster than is safe for your conditions.

    A good headlight is a good thing.

    I like a mirror mounted on my glasses, but many get by without mirrors.

    As for repair stuff, bring whatever you are reasonably likely to need. I like bringing wrenches for adjustments, even though I rarely use them. I definitely bring stuff to fix flats, because those surely happen.

    The rest are optional. A way to log your miles or route is nice but not essential. Same with camera.
    Quote Originally Posted by noglider
    Please email me rather than PM'ing me. Thanks.
    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
    Residences: West Village, New York City and High Falls, NY
    Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

  16. #16
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    Well these trips are as much for me as they are for my viewers on YouTube. I want to keep it interesting and one thing I want to do is do reviews on cool gadgets for those in the market. I can give some real world feedback. So I want to pickup some of the latest wishlist stuff that folks are looking at.

    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    I did a Decade of tours with out any of the IT gadgets young people cannot seem to leave off for a Minute, these days .

    Maps and a compass .. and talking to the Locals ..

    I brought a Radio to listen to while in my tent at night. am/fm/lw/sw.

    And a Pocket Mandolin, to sit in at Pub Sessions on my last tour Of Ireland and Scotland .. and meet other Musicians.

  17. #17
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    I don't have anything though. This is all new to me. I don't even have a helmet yet. I'm also going to be doing reviews so I want some cool stuff that people want to learn more about.

    Quote Originally Posted by no motor? View Post
    Are you bike commuting now? If you're not going to camp then your commuting gear should cover most of your needs.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carlylespicks View Post
    Well these trips are as much for me as they are for my viewers on YouTube. I want to keep it interesting and one thing I want to do is do reviews on cool gadgets for those in the market. I can give some real world feedback. So I want to pickup some of the latest wishlist stuff that folks are looking at.
    Shimano Di2
    Garmin Varia Radar
    PowerTap pedals
    Don't believe everything you think.

  19. #19
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    I'm surprised you say that in NYC because in NYC a bell can be useless at ANY speed. People are so spaced out I've had to yell at people while on foot when they are a few feet away. I'm talking, "sir. sir. SIR. SIR! SIR!! (waving arms)" "OH!! sorry. haha". Now that is perhaps me just trying to get passed somebody blocking a doorway or curb ramp. Can you imagine doing 15MPH on a bike and another fool steps out without looking? Even creeping at 3MPH on a quiet sidewalk I'm surprised how it's normal for me to be able to get right up on a person without them hearing either that ticking sound the bikes make or my loud brakes. I'll be 5 feet behind them and they will still be 2 abreast like they think they are in Idaho or something. I ride motorcycles and our horns are louder than bells but useless. Sometimes even car horns are not enough. I mean people crash into emergency vehicles with sirens and lights. LOL

    Quote Originally Posted by noglider View Post
    I would advise against a very loud horn or other noise maker. If you really really need it, it's because you allowed yourself to get into an urgent situation. That's a matter of choice. If a bell isn't enough noise for you, you are riding faster than is safe for your conditions.

    A good headlight is a good thing.

    I like a mirror mounted on my glasses, but many get by without mirrors.

    As for repair stuff, bring whatever you are reasonably likely to need. I like bringing wrenches for adjustments, even though I rarely use them. I definitely bring stuff to fix flats, because those surely happen.

    The rest are optional. A way to log your miles or route is nice but not essential. Same with camera.

  20. #20
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    NOW we talking! Good stuff! Thanks!

    Are you in the market for any of those?

    Quote Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
    Shimano Di2
    Garmin Varia Radar
    PowerTap pedals

  21. #21
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    My girlfriend has told me a couple times she would be happy if I had the radar kit. I don't think it would be terribly useful most of the time, but there are some occasions (usually out in the middle of nowhere) when I'm coming down a long hill or mountain, on a road that doesn't get much traffic; I prefer to ride out near the center of the lane so I have more room to maneuver and avoid debris or potholes, I don't check for traffic as often above 30 mph, and it would be nice in those situations if I had a toy on the handlebars that started blinking to tell me a car was behind me and I should move over for a moment.

    I was in the market for a power meter this spring, and wound up with Vector 2 pedals instead of the PowerTap ones. The PT have some neat tech in them, though, that makes them easier to set up. Besides the obvious, a power meter is also a great pacing tool and can help you avoid blowing up on a long ride. (That's not how most people use them though.)

    Di2, it sounds nice but I'd rather spend the money on something else (like a trip).
    Don't believe everything you think.

  22. #22
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    @carlylespicks, I ring the bell from 20 or 30 feet back. If they don't respond, I figure they are unaware, and I treat them like unaware people, perhaps like children. That is, I don't trust them to do anything aware or rational, and I may also expect them to do irrational things sporadically. If people are going to act like children, then it's best if I treat them like children.
    Quote Originally Posted by noglider
    Please email me rather than PM'ing me. Thanks.
    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
    Residences: West Village, New York City and High Falls, NY
    Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

  23. #23
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    Yeah, I'm really into those radar kits for sure.

    Quote Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
    My girlfriend has told me a couple times she would be happy if I had the radar kit. I don't think it would be terribly useful most of the time, but there are some occasions (usually out in the middle of nowhere) when I'm coming down a long hill or mountain, on a road that doesn't get much traffic; I prefer to ride out near the center of the lane so I have more room to maneuver and avoid debris or potholes, I don't check for traffic as often above 30 mph, and it would be nice in those situations if I had a toy on the handlebars that started blinking to tell me a car was behind me and I should move over for a moment.

    I was in the market for a power meter this spring, and wound up with Vector 2 pedals instead of the PowerTap ones. The PT have some neat tech in them, though, that makes them easier to set up. Besides the obvious, a power meter is also a great pacing tool and can help you avoid blowing up on a long ride. (That's not how most people use them though.)

    Di2, it sounds nice but I'd rather spend the money on something else (like a trip).

  24. #24
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    Smart phone and credit cards. Who needs more? Actually, the best long distance riding accessory is an understanding spouse who will go ahead of you, find a nice place to stay overnight, and send you a text message with directions as to how to find it....

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