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  1. #1
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    Water source on long rides?

    What do you all do for getting more water on long rides? Particularly when on country roads with few stores.

    Bill

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    i often stop at houses or farms or occasionally a fire station or a commercial business or even a road crew that has those yellow barrels tied to their trucks.

    i ask nicely and smile.

    only been turned down once for free water from anywhere, and that was out near the Salton Sea in the Mohave desert. i think it was because they were making their living off of selling bottled water to the RVers going to a fro from the nearby off-road recrecation area. and probably had to pay to have it all hauled in the first place. i made do until i reached El Centro, Ca.
    Last edited by hueyhoolihan; 01-24-15 at 02:12 PM.

  3. #3
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    You get filtered water out of the Soda G*n in the Bar. On bike Tours I have 3 bottles to fill .

  4. #4
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    If I'm planning the route myself, I plan it so that I come across a small town every 2 or 3 hours, as much as possible.

    If I know that there's going to be a longer stretch without a store every 2 or 3 hours, then at the last store before the long stretch, I make sure to drink a full bottle of iced tea or orange juice so that I'm hydrated to start, I stock up my two 1-litre bottles, and I buy another bottle of iced tea and put it in my Carradice. I might even buy a bottle of water and put that in my Carradice as well if I know it's going to be a long time before I reach another store.


    When I designed randonnees in central Alberta, there were a few places where the stores closed by 8 pm, and then there was nothing open until 6 am the next morning. I put a note in the instructions that riders needed to stock up on food and water at the last store, so that they wouldn't be caught out in the middle of nowhere at 3 am having run out of everything.

  5. #5
    Senior Member theblackbullet's Avatar
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    In the south, there are churches everywhere, and they all have spigots on them

  6. #6
    Senior Member Roadbikedude's Avatar
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    I take (2) 24 oz bottles with me on every ride. When I know there will be distances between stores, gas stations, etc., I make it a point to stop at each one even if my bottles are nearly full just to be safe. I then ask the store owner how far it is to the next store so I can plan accordingly.

  7. #7
    Gear Combo Guru Chris_W's Avatar
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    Someone above mentioned looking for churches with water taps outside in the southern US. I've also used that tactic successfully in France, Italy, and Slovenia. In Switzerland, almost every town and village has at least one fountain in the centre that was originally the main water source for the town, and these are generally still maintained. Many of them have signs that say whether or not the water is fit for drinking, and nearly all are OK. I therefore carry a lot less water when riding in Switzerland than in other countries. In other places, I carry up to 3 1-litre water bottles because the time lost by carrying a little extra weight is minimal compared to the time that I could lose looking for places to get water and refilling bottles.

  8. #8
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    Part of route planning is working out where water, food, restrooms, etc., are available. On our randonneuring rides, we stop at convenience stores every 30 miles or so, sometimes with longer stretches between services. If you ride the same routes over, it helps to know where stuff is at, otherwise, you can spend a lot of time looking.

    On the churches, they're kind of hit-and-miss, I know of some outside taps, but a lot don't have them. One of our routes has a long dry spot, but there's a post office with an outside faucet around at the back.
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  9. #9
    Randomhead
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    I wear a hydration pack once it gets warm.

  10. #10
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    I have a 100 oz/ 3L "Hoser" bladder in the top right pocket of my Revelate XL Ranger frame bag. With room left over for 2 tubes. That's equivilant to 4 bottles. Granted, it's an MTB frame and this type of bag may not fit all road frames but the Tangle bag most likely will and has the same large pocket.
    Last edited by XXLHardrock; 02-08-15 at 10:25 PM.

  11. #11
    Senior Member GravelMN's Avatar
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    I ran out of water once on a long ride in 95+F temps in very rural MN when a town on the map turned out to be a few abandoned buildings and a church (no outdoor spigot). I learned my lesson and started carrying more, even at the expense of the extra weight. Smartwater brand has liter bottles that fit nicely in water bottle cages. I add a small bungie or velcro strap as insurance against them bouncing out as the bottles are taller and more flexible than regular water bottles. This lets me carry more water than the two 24-oz Camelback Podium bottles I usually use. Usually you can find a farmhouse or rural residence where they will let you fill your bottles, or at least which has a garden spigot if no one is home, but not always. When in really remote areas, I started carrying a filter straw and a foil pack of water purification tablets in case I'm ever stuck using a questionable water source. You can get these at any decent camping store. They provide good protection against biologicals and limited protection against chemical contaminants.

  12. #12
    Yes it is a paradox
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    You might want to be careful about rural farm well water. I managed a water test lab and often tested well water from farms. Found that a lot of the wells had significant bacteria contamination such as E. coli.

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    Senior Member CliffordK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlowSpinner View Post
    You might want to be careful about rural farm well water. I managed a water test lab and often tested well water from farms. Found that a lot of the wells had significant bacteria contamination such as E. coli.
    There are of course several types of E.Coli. You may have some as part of your normal gut flora.
    The really bad stuf, Enterohemolytic E.Coli is relatively rare, although it may be flora in cattle and other animals.
    I'm not sure about Enterotoxigenic E.Coli. Perhaps more of an annoyance than anything else, but you may already have immunity to the local strains. The problem comes when picking up new strains from far away places (traveller's diarrhea). Anyway, with well designed wells (in the USA), the water should be relatively safe. There are several restrictions to try to prevent surface water contaminating deep water sources.

    When camping, the rule I've generally gone by is that stagnant water is bad. Running water is ok, especially small streams near the source.

    On my trips along the McKenzie river, there is water everywhere!!! But, I've found two streams halfway up the old McKenzie highway that seem to have good, clean water.

    I do have a filter pump that I've used for camping. I'd probably take it for an overnight trip, but decided not to carry it for day trips.

  14. #14
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    When we ride long distances, we carry liter Zefal Magnum bottles. Most frames have enough room for them. If you think you might have to fill from questionable or bad water sources, you can bring a 3.6 oz. SteriPEN along. Much lighter and faster than a pump. If it's really going to be a long way between sources, use a Camelbak and bottles. There are several brevet routes around here where a Camelbak is almost a must-have.

  15. #15
    Gear Combo Guru Chris_W's Avatar
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    On long trips, I carry up to four 1-litre water bottles (both Elite and Zefal make decent models). I have two bottles in the frame, and the others in a behind-the-saddle mount. There are several types of behind-the-saddle mounts, mostly marketed to triathletes, and many of them are not ideal, so I have heavily modified a model by Tacx to make it completely sturdy. I did have problems with bottles ejecting when going over larger bumps, but since using Arundel Mandible bottle cages, this has never happened because they have such a strong grip. This might interfere with a saddle bag for some people, but I have my bags in other locations on the bike.

  16. #16
    Senior Member CliffordK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
    If you think you might have to fill from questionable or bad water sources, you can bring a 3.6 oz. SteriPEN along.
    I may have to try a steripen. It sounds like a good alternative as long as the water is clear.

    There is, of course, also bleach that is dirt cheap, as well as water treatment tablets.

  17. #17
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
    I may have to try a steripen. It sounds like a good alternative as long as the water is clear.

    There is, of course, also bleach that is dirt cheap, as well as water treatment tablets.
    Steripen is unreliable you may need to bring several of them. Another option could be to Diy your own filtration system using empty plastic bottles and ceramic filters.
    The Best Backpacking Water Filter and Treatment Systems | OutdoorGearLab
    DIY Ceramic Water Filters - DIY - MOTHER EARTH NEWS
    http://www.cdc.gov/safewater/ceramic-filtration.html
    Last edited by erig007; 03-03-15 at 03:01 PM.

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