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Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

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Old 02-09-10, 10:07 PM   #1
raydog
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8 centuries in 8 days

A friend and I are planning on riding from Reno to the Grand Canyon this June. He will use panniers and I'll use a Bob trailer. We will motel it about 3 of the 8 nights and camp the other 5(partly on the extraterrestial highway). I have no specific point to make other than it won't be a "gentle tour" across Nevada and Utah. I plan to do at least one two day two century camping trip beforehand with the trailer....to familiarize myself with it's handling. Meanwhile, I train intensely on a Compu-trainer during the Winter (110 miles weekly @ 80-100% effort). Any comments or suggestions? Thanks for reading!
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Old 02-09-10, 10:38 PM   #2
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Sounds fun. What bicycle will be towing that trailer?
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Old 02-10-10, 12:15 AM   #3
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Sounds like too many miles in too few days for me, hope it works for you.

A couple of thoughts: Do you have any long dry spots in there? If so, how much water do you have to tote? Also, do you already have the trailer, and know how it pulls?

With two people, if you know for sure that both of you will make the full distance, you can divy up the camping gear and save quite a bit of weight over what you'd be hauling going solo. When backpacking, it's tempting to take too much, and with the trailer and panniers, you may have trouble leaving stuff at home that you need to leave home.
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Old 02-10-10, 02:30 AM   #4
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Only comment is "Have a good time".
Are you from Reno, any chance?
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Old 02-10-10, 05:49 AM   #5
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Sounds like fun! If you're in half decent shape and have no weather complications (wind), you might even make it a couple of days earlier than you plan.

P.S. Don't listen to all the lightweight BF touring weenies who might chime in and tell you that you are trying to do waaaay too many miles.
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Old 02-10-10, 09:32 AM   #6
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Thanks for all your input everybody! I'll be riding a Motobecane 27 spd with 700x26's, aluminum with carbon fork, double wrap w/gel bar surface. The bike is about a 20 pounder with Crank Bros 1/2 platform pedals. I'lll use my mountain bike shoes (comfy and recessed clips). I'm having a blast selecting equipment (featherweight tent, bag, pad, iPod, etc.). I don't want to "share" the load with my buddy because I want to be fully independant to increase my knowledge re: future solo rides. I think I can get my cargo under 35 lbs including 5-6 water bottles and food (no stove equipment). I chose the Bob for a few reasons.....center of gravity is UNDER bike's axels, I love an unencumbered bike, Bob users I've talked to stay Bob users! And finally, I'll replace the 45psi Bob tire with a 90 psi one. Again, thanks for the dialog! Doyle (Raydog)
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Old 02-10-10, 04:01 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by rodar y rodar View Post
Only comment is "Have a good time".
Are you from Reno, any chance?
Why yes I am from Reno! Howdy to you. I train at Great Basin Bicycles on South Virginia....6 days a week availability.....come on over (4:30-6:00 pm).
It's a blast!

Also Thulsadoom....I agree, the more milage the better, the personal challenge is 1/2 the fun!

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Old 02-15-10, 09:44 AM   #8
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Wow, good luck. That sounds like a strenuous albeit fulfilling ride. I can't wait to do a LD ride through the desert. And the Grand Canyon, what an amazing way to end a ride. I camped there this summer for the first time in my life on my way back from CA doing a LD ride, and it absolutely blew my mind, breathtaking. I hope you have an amazing experience.
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Old 02-15-10, 10:53 AM   #9
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P.S. Don't listen to all the lightweight BF touring weenies who might chime in and tell you that you are trying to do waaaay too many miles.
Agreed. That sounds like an awesome ride and I'm very jealous.

What route are you thinking on using?
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Old 02-15-10, 11:03 AM   #10
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That'll be very easy to do if you put in the training time, I would recommend doing lots of back to back centuries on the weekends. The biggest thing to remember is to take it easy on the tour and don't push your legs too hard
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Old 02-15-10, 04:50 PM   #11
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I'll be going south on 95 then east on the "extraterestial highway" (I understand everybody just pulls off the road and camps, rv's included....to look for UFO"s!). From there into Cedar City in Utah then Kanab THEN the last leg will be 80 miles into the park and the North Rim Lodge). Our families will meet us there in the SUV's for a few days more then home! The total elevation gain for 8 days is 21,000 ft.....not bad. Some nights we will be nowhere around any civilization, that should be interesting.
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Old 02-15-10, 05:18 PM   #12
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That's a solid route. I've seen most of it from a car window and, as you know, everything looks better from the seat of your bike. I never did see any UFOs, but maybe you'll have better luck.

Enjoy the ride!
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Old 02-15-10, 08:16 PM   #13
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Loaded touring is rather different from lightly loaded touring. You need to do at least a couple of 2-3d
weekends with a full load over tough terrain and 80-100 mi/ day ahead of time to see just how different
this is. My one experience with this when I was a whole lot stronger than I am now, in the '70s, was
to bike loaded with ~20# clothes from Dulles Airport to Bham, AL, about 650 miles. Planned to go down
the Blue Ridge Parkway, that was in the era where ready info was not easily found. Knew facilities
sparse, not how sparse, as in no motels, food stops and rare water stops, hills 3-6mi long at 4-6mph
so I had to bail to Shenandoah valley. Made it to Ashville, when rain storms and early sunsets and
western NC mountains (this was in Oct) lead me to fly to Atlanta. Great trip, just not fully thought out.

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Old 02-15-10, 10:03 PM   #14
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Good stuff you guys. I just got home from another 40 miles on Computrainer at the shop. MY BOB CAME IN TODAY! I'm glad I got there early, the owner let me break it out of the box and assemble it myself. It's lighter than I thought it would be and I can't believe it's capacity! Powdercoated gloss black and big bright yellow bag (waterproof). The only mods I'll do is install a blinking LED tail light and go from a 45psi tire to a 90psi one (saving the 45psi for a spare). As soon as my LL Bean down bag arrives my equipment will be complete so I'm going to list it on a post under this heading, weigh just the trailer then weigh it fully loaded. I'll post all the results, I'm quite curious. (I even bought a S&W Airweight .38 that's part of the cargo/I'm totally legal BTW).
More later.
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Old 02-15-10, 10:37 PM   #15
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I guess I see why the OP posted this here, the touring forum would be too negative about it. My idea of a tour has always been to just keep riding until I get to my destination. I guess that's how I ended up here.
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Old 02-15-10, 11:27 PM   #16
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I guess I see why the OP posted this here, the touring forum would be too negative about it. My idea of a tour has always been to just keep riding until I get to my destination. I guess that's how I ended up here.
That's interesting....why do you think they would be negative, pulling a trailer? Too much daily mileage? I absolutely take full responsibility for this experience, including any mistakes I make. One thing for sure, no one can blame me for inferior equipment or no planning! Raydog
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Old 02-16-10, 12:04 AM   #17
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A lot of people, including myself, look at 100 miles a day as a doable distance. But it is a lot of riding, no doubt about that. And setting up for the night, eating and getting ready in the morning take some time. So basically it's a very hurried tour. And if you're going to do that, why so much weight? There is a lot of expertise down there in touring, you might want to ask them. Touring is a discipline, it's not easy and I've seen a lot of people make themselves miserable and have to adapt on the road when they could have learned from experienced tourists.
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Old 02-16-10, 01:32 AM   #18
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That shiny yellow bag is probably great for monsoons, but you might be a little surprised if you throw it on the scale alone. Seems to me it runs close to 4 pounds by itself. Mine lives happily in the back of my closet and a little nylon duffelbag more often rides in the BOB.

Raydog, what route are you thinking about? Down 95 to Tonopah, then over to Panaca and Cedar City?
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Old 02-16-10, 07:11 AM   #19
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There's no right or wrong way to do a tour. Sounds to me like he wants to do a lot of riding and he can rest when he gets to the Grand Canyon.

I wouldn't see weight being a huge issue. Obviously you always want to go as light as you reasonably can, but the climbing isn't even 3,000 feet per day.
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Old 02-16-10, 08:56 AM   #20
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Rodar....yes, that's my route. Re: daily schedule....leaving super early (6-7am) then getting the mileage done, even at 15 mph average, is less than 7 hours daily seat time. If I can't arrive at my daily destination at 3pm and get 1)ducks in a row for next day 2)eat and rest 3)set up and dissassemble campsite, then I don't deserve to do this! As to mechanical issues, I am competent enough to do roadside repairs if needed. Total towing weight? I'm shooting for under 40 pounds but I don't have numbers yet (will soon). This ride DOES NOT go over the Rockies and the BOB has very little rolling resistance. BTW, skeptisism makes my pretrip efforts even more intense! Doyle
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Old 02-16-10, 07:21 PM   #21
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That's interesting....why do you think they would be negative, pulling a trailer? Too much daily mileage? I absolutely take full responsibility for this experience, including any mistakes I make. One thing for sure, no one can blame me for inferior equipment or no planning! Raydog

the tendancy at the touring forum is that you shouldnt plan so aggressively, that you might prefer to take a day for rest in the middle, or choose to stop at various places along the way "to smell the roses"
that said, they really do have a lot of valuable information about equipment and planning and you can probably get some good pointers on stopping points.
I am hoping to do a 6 day 600 mile "tour" at the end of this summer, I am interested in your experience and what you might choose to do differently if you could do it over again.
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Old 02-16-10, 08:53 PM   #22
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I just typed a long reply then lost it to the abyss! How frustrating. Anyways, the jist of it was that I know myself enough to say I'm not the type to plan on taking in the local "colors" or indigeneous bird families. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that type of rider, I'm simply hardwired to emphasize the ride itself. That doesn't mean that I won't enjoy laying on my back in the evening after a big meal and pondering the universe....but come morning, "the ride" is what it's about for me. How far will we get today? Let's pound an extra 18 miles today cause there's a hot springs in that next town....stuff like that. If "we have to do a rest day" comes into the dialog, that means one of us didn't train hard enough for this tour! Doyle
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Old 02-17-10, 04:22 AM   #23
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I just typed a long reply then lost it to the abyss! How frustrating. Anyways, the jist of it was that I know myself enough to say I'm not the type to plan on taking in the local "colors" or indigeneous bird families. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that type of rider, I'm simply hardwired to emphasize the ride itself. That doesn't mean that I won't enjoy laying on my back in the evening after a big meal and pondering the universe....but come morning, "the ride" is what it's about for me. How far will we get today? Let's pound an extra 18 miles today cause there's a hot springs in that next town....stuff like that. If "we have to do a rest day" comes into the dialog, that means one of us didn't train hard enough for this tour! Doyle
That's an excellent post, very well put.

Unfortunately, you can't make most "touring experts" understand that mentality. Of course, most of the experts spend a lot more time on their computers than on their bikes.
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Old 02-18-10, 08:58 AM   #24
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Quick little update.....I just assembled my new Bob trailer, took it home, and was pleased to discover that my new Underarmour black bag is 1 1/2 lbs. lighter than the yellow bag that comes with.....and fits in perfectly! I'll simply pack a drawstring trashbag for rain protection, no big deal. BTW, the common critisism seems to be, "the Bob trailer allows you to pack to much, therefore you are unnecessarily too heavy". Since I'm being very precise with my cargo....I believe that aspect is irrevelant for me. Doyle
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Old 02-20-10, 01:54 AM   #25
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100 miles a day is a lot. However, it is perfectly sustainable.
Keep in mind, people walk the whole Appalachian trail every year walking 20 miles a day with a lot of weight on their backs, which is more of a beat down on your body than a bike.
If you aren't doing 100 mile days often, your legs will get really, really sore on about day 3, like too sore to walk. The more often you put in that type of mileage the less your legs will hurt a few days after starting.
Thing is, your body is insanely adaptable. If you have the mental strength to push through the pain, your muscles will come around and the last 3 days will be a really good time.
The first time I did a century a day for 7 days I was in no shape to do it. The first 3 days sucked. The last 3 were a great time. That middle day was a wierd one. Do not underestimate your body's ability to get in shape on the trip.
But train anyway!!!!
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