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  1. #1
    Junior Member L_Peter's Avatar
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    Planning a 3400-mile ride, need advice...pretty please

    This is completely foreign to me. I'm doing it with my Uncle, and we want to go about 100 miles a day. We think we are going to camp about 3/4 of the time.

    I'm not worried about me being physically capable of doing it, I just need to know what to bring, what to expect, I need help. I figure the folks here would know best, thanks a lot!

  2. #2
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    If you haven't already, check out the "Touring" subforum. Many Long Distance subforum folks also do self-supported touring, but not all of them. Also check out the Web site of the Adventure Cycling Association, it has a lot of good information. (BTW, from what I have read/heard, 100 miles a day seems like a lot for a fully loaded tour. Not impossible by any means, but maybe more work than fun.)
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  3. #3
    politically incorrect surly_tourer's Avatar
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    Check out crazyguyonabike.com. Lots of people have equipment lists at the beginning of their journals.

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    I averaged 105/day last year while crossing Adventure cyclings Northern Teir. My only advice would be to pack light. If you going in the summer months, bag the stove and eat out of the supermarket. It saves time and weight. At that distance/per,day, the simpler your keep it, the better off you are.

    Off to PBP on Thursday!

    Have fun!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Richard Cranium's Avatar
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    'm not worried about me being physically capable of doing it,
    I'm not worried about you doing it either. Of course, it would help if you understood that there isn't any good way to "plan" for a 3400 mile trip. Typically, you learn a lot on the road, hopefully without too much pain.

  6. #6
    dpr
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    Insect magnet. dpr's Avatar
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    Machka's website is a very useful resource of information but I can't remember the URL. Im sure she'll be online and post in here some time.

    Please tell us about the trip you and your uncle are planning!

  7. #7
    Portland Fred banerjek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by L_Peter View Post
    This is completely foreign to me. I'm doing it with my Uncle, and we want to go about 100 miles a day. We think we are going to camp about 3/4 of the time.
    This is going to sound nuts, but depending on when and where you are going, you might be able to skip the tent. I haven't camped for a long time, but unless you expect to deal with significant cold and/or you travel where rain is a real issue, you do not need one.

    During a 6 week trip of the Western US, I'm having difficulty remembering using my tent more than a couple times (and except for during a storm near Devil's Tower, I can't remember really thinking I needed one). Picnic tables are great to sleep on because they're even -- unlike the ground. Even when I was out in the wild, I typically did not use one.

    If you get caught needing to sleep in the rain without a tent, you can take refuge under a bridge, decide this is part of the 1/4 time you're not camping, or improvise something else.

    Huge disclaimer: I have no real bike touring experience. However, I did used to hike and camp a lot.

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    am planning a similar quest. Leaving Sept 4 and heading west. Hope to cover 75 miles a day. I'm 58 years old, in great shape but haven't a clue as to realities. Any suggestions as to what to bring, what to expect?

  9. #9
    Crankenstein bmclaughlin807's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dpr View Post
    Machka's website is a very useful resource of information but I can't remember the URL. Im sure she'll be online and post in here some time.

    Please tell us about the trip you and your uncle are planning!
    http://www.machka.net/
    "There is no greater wonder than the way the face and character of a woman fit so perfectly in a man's mind, and stay there, and he could never tell you why. It just seems it was the thing he most wanted." Robert Louis Stevenson

  10. #10
    Senior Member Thomasdregos's Avatar
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    I once used a line of rope, a hammock, a tarp, and a light blanket as a "tent". I always had a "chair" and was off the ground if it rained!

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    Senior Member john bono's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by banerjek View Post
    This is going to sound nuts, but depending on when and where you are going, you might be able to skip the tent. I haven't camped for a long time, but unless you expect to deal with significant cold and/or you travel where rain is a real issue, you do not need one.
    I don't know if you could do that in the east coast or midwest. The weather can be pretty changeable, and in the summer months, thunderstorms can hit with little warning. It is quite possible that you'll go to sleep, and wake up in the middle of the night to a raging t-storm one day, and the next day, with fundamentally the same conditions, nothing happens.
    Ride a bike. It makes your legs stringy, and less tasty to our Kanamit friends.[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  12. #12
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    I did a 5200 mile camping tour in 1981. A tent, IMO is very useful under the following conditions:

    1. Camping in mountains - you can get hours of snow and/or cold rain - hypothermia is a real possiblity if you can't stay dry.
    2. There are lots of mosquitoes - you will want to be able to sleep at the end of a 100 mile day, when you are facing another 100 mile day tomorrow. Mosquito netting would obviously be a lightweight alternative to a tent.

    Agree with the advice to "keep it light". My load, including tent, pad, stove, cook kit, tools, clothes, etc was about 40 lbs. Add in water and some food, and it was at 45 lbs most of the time.

  13. #13
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    A guestimate based on my tours and mountaineering experience:

    Panniers 4 lb
    Tent 1.5 - 2lb
    Sleeping bag 1.5 lb
    Pad 1 lb
    Stove, matches, gas canister, pan, plastic cup, spoon 1.5 lb
    Bear/varmint bag 1.5 lb
    Foul weather gear 3 lb
    Flashlight or headlamp 0.5 lb
    Rope 0.5 lb
    Toiletries (including soap, towel, tooth stuff, 1st aid, sunscreen, bug juice, etc) 2 lb
    Extra clothes 5 lb
    Toys (c. phone, MP3, camera, palm pilot, chargers...) 3 lb
    Food (self supported) 1.5 lb/day

    About 25 pounds. Not including equipped bike with rack, water, handle bar bag, bike tools and spares. Where you are going would also dictate how much water (and carriers) and how many tools and spares to take.

    Don't prepare your own hot meals and save about 3-4 lb.

    Note that the panniers themselves contribute a large amount of weight (20-25%). That's why I try to go with just rear panniers and a handle bar bag (for convenient access on the go).

    Depending on where and when you are touring you can cut back on the clothing for 1-2 lb savings.

    The weight of the communal stuff (2 person tent, cooking, bear bag) would be split two ways so really the self-supported essentials are just over 20 lb/person.

    This should get you through almost any kind of 3.5-season weather. If it gets really bad you need to pitch the tent and hunker down for the duration.
    Last edited by The Smokester; 08-18-07 at 08:50 AM.

  14. #14
    Senior Member onbike 1939's Avatar
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    I do think that you are being over-optimistic re the 100 miles/day idea, and especially with a camping load. In my experience I would say that 50-70 is more realistic if the whole thing is not to be an endurance test rather than a tour.

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    I have some web sites you need to study as well as their links.

    http://www.kenkifer.com/bikepages/touring/
    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/?o=QzzM
    http://www.adv-cycling.org/mag/companions.cfm
    http://www.faughnan.com/touringbike.html
    http://www.mikebikes.org/gear.htm
    http://www.thedairyair.com/10kofusa/10kofusalinks.html

    The Machka site at http://www.machka.net/ is also a good site, she use to post on here but lately haven't heard from her. She is probably the most experienced person that ever posted on this forum.

    Also don't be too concerned about your physical conditioning. When I decided to go touring about 15 years ago I wasn't in that great of shape for cycling long distances not alone loaded with extra weight. so I did about 4 weeks of short mile loaded training routines that got me home every day, then left. My touring legs actually came about 4 weeks into the first tour. Keep in mind, that I was in my 50's when I started, so the physical conditioning took longer then it would for you; but you could get your touring legs while doing the tour.

    Also to say your going to do 100 miles a day is over-optimistic to me too. Some days may be nothing but climbing, or riding into a head wind all day, or raining all day, these days you may be lucky to put in 40 miles not alone 100. Also if your not in real good physical shape going into it you can't expect to do 100 miles on your first day with a loaded bike that you admitted to being completely foreign to; you may only do 25 to 45 miles before pooping out. There are too many varables to say your going to put in 100 miles a day. I've done loaded touring for 15 years and there are some days I can do 150 while on others may only do 35; of course I realize that I'm way older then you and you might be able to do more. My last tour I finished about 4 months ago was my toughest only because I'm pushing 70 and sleeping on the ground has become a literal pain; so my next tour is going to be ultralight/credit card touring where sleeping in motels will become the norm rather then the exception.

  16. #16
    Senior Member onbike 1939's Avatar
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    freako

    I'm in the same position. After thirty-five years of cycle-camping touring I've had to pack it in.
    To ease the pain somewhat I've ordered a folding bike, an Airnimal Chameleon,
    http://www.airnimalfoldingbikes.com/...manceSport.php
    and I'll use this for credit card touring. Here in Scotland we have a free bus pass for people over sixty-five so I can pop this bike in a bag and take a bus to anywhere in Scotland absolutely free. It should also be handy for using the train and ferry to nip over to France every summer.

  17. #17
    Walmart bike rider gpsblake's Avatar
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    Advice, do a shakedown ride.

    Do a two or three day weekend tour doing 100 miles per day with the equipment you feel you will need. If possible, try doing it with some rain and wind in the forecast. At least practice setting up your tents and gear in the rain at home. That way, you'll know what gear you'll need and what gear you don't need.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by gpsblake View Post
    Advice, do a shakedown ride.

    Do a two or three day weekend tour doing 100 miles per day with the equipment you feel you will need. If possible, try doing it with some rain and wind in the forecast. At least practice setting up your tents and gear in the rain at home. That way, you'll know what gear you'll need and what gear you don't need.
    By the way this is GREAT ADVICE!!! You need to do both bits of advice given here, not one or the other.

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