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  1. #1
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    Sooo starting to plan my first bike tour...

    The Idea has been floating around in my head for a few weeks now. Even changed my signature a couple of weeks ago. Right now It is real early in the planning, but hey have to start someplace. I'm thinking of a 2 night 3 day tour within about a 3hr drive radius of my house (in case I need rescuing). Most likely in the fall when it starts to cool off a bit. Being the first time ever trying anything like this I'll use the credit card rather than camping. I actually have a route in mind but still need to do a bit more planning. YEP I have been reading a lot in the touring section on here I know I could do this post over in the touring section... but hey this is where I'm comfy.

    1.. Convert my old Tassajara mountain bike into a touring bike (has lockout forks). Get some tires, panniers, maybe some fenders and other stuff I might need. I think this confuses me more than anything... what kind of panniers do I get, Trunk Bag??... SO many to choose from.

    2.. Ride more... lol.... I have to be able to do 50miles a day or so.. At one point no prob... right now.... well I need to ride more...

    Anyway.... Figured if I made a post with my plans ... well it might help me along a bit.. keep me motivated...

    I'll update this once in awhile as I figure things out..

    Please feel free to chime in with any ideas, hints, help or advice.

    Jay..... aka .... zzOtherlandzz
    "If you see me walking, my bike is busted!!"
    2011 Rocky Mountain Vertex 29'er
    2007 Trek 1500
    2006 Gary Fisher Tassajara Disc soon to be converted to a touring bike... I think... (Converted)
    2003 Gary Fisher Tassajara Sold, went to a friend who still rides it!!
    Gone but not forgotten 2003 Gary Fisher Sugar 3+

  2. #2
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    You will need narrow paniers on a mountain bike for heel clearance. Arkel make a wonderful one.

    http://www.arkel-od.com/us/all-categ...cessories.html

    If you travel very light on a credit card tour and you know for sure you won't have to camp a large expandable trunk bag may be enough and you can do without panniers. To that you could add a large handlebar bag for some extra space.

    http://www.banjobrothers.com/product...-rack-top-bag/

    http://www.banjobrothers.com/product...handlebar-bag/

  3. #3
    Slo Spoke Jim kjc9640's Avatar
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    zzotherlandzz, I just posted a message on your profile check for a message.
    SloSpoke Jim

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by sedges View Post
    You will need narrow paniers on a mountain bike for heel clearance. Arkel make a wonderful one.

    http://www.arkel-od.com/us/all-categ...cessories.html

    If you travel very light on a credit card tour and you know for sure you won't have to camp a large expandable trunk bag may be enough and you can do without panniers. To that you could add a large handlebar bag for some extra space.

    http://www.banjobrothers.com/product...-rack-top-bag/

    http://www.banjobrothers.com/product...handlebar-bag/
    Thanks for the info.... Just the kind of help direction I can use. And yep totally forgot about heel clearance. Last summer I put a big-ole basket on the back of my other mountain bike for taking packages to the post office. I had to cut and bend a couple of ribs (for lack of a better term) on the basket for my heels to clear.

    Jay....
    "If you see me walking, my bike is busted!!"
    2011 Rocky Mountain Vertex 29'er
    2007 Trek 1500
    2006 Gary Fisher Tassajara Disc soon to be converted to a touring bike... I think... (Converted)
    2003 Gary Fisher Tassajara Sold, went to a friend who still rides it!!
    Gone but not forgotten 2003 Gary Fisher Sugar 3+

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjc9640 View Post
    zzotherlandzz, I just posted a message on your profile check for a message.
    Thanks for the info.... Will keep updating this as I go/learn stuff/get ready .....
    "If you see me walking, my bike is busted!!"
    2011 Rocky Mountain Vertex 29'er
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    2006 Gary Fisher Tassajara Disc soon to be converted to a touring bike... I think... (Converted)
    2003 Gary Fisher Tassajara Sold, went to a friend who still rides it!!
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by sedges View Post
    You will need narrow paniers on a mountain bike for heel clearance. Arkel make a wonderful one.

    http://www.arkel-od.com/us/all-categ...cessories.html

    If you travel very light on a credit card tour and you know for sure you won't have to camp a large expandable trunk bag may be enough and you can do without panniers. To that you could add a large handlebar bag for some extra space.

    http://www.banjobrothers.com/product...-rack-top-bag/

    http://www.banjobrothers.com/product...handlebar-bag/
    After following your first link.. I really liked the Arkel panniers but not sure If I'm quite ready to spend that kind of money ... yet.. Well at this point I'm not sure of much lol I have A $200 Amazon gift card soooo trying to do some of my shopping on Amazon. While seeing if the arkel bags were listed on Amazon I came across these here. They got great reviews by people that had bought them.

    http://www.amazon.com/Axiom-40-Litre...2&sr=8-1-fkmr1

    I think I'll get some kind of handle bar bag also.....
    "If you see me walking, my bike is busted!!"
    2011 Rocky Mountain Vertex 29'er
    2007 Trek 1500
    2006 Gary Fisher Tassajara Disc soon to be converted to a touring bike... I think... (Converted)
    2003 Gary Fisher Tassajara Sold, went to a friend who still rides it!!
    Gone but not forgotten 2003 Gary Fisher Sugar 3+

  7. #7
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    Don't lose track of the heel strike issue. Those axiom LaSalles are 12" wide, the arkels are only 6.5" wide at the bottom and 10" overall.

    Also, do you real need 40L pannier set for a short card card tour?

    I really think the expandable rack trunk and big handle bar bag might do it.
    Last edited by sedges; 06-22-11 at 10:05 AM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Spokie's Avatar
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    large panniers/beginning touring

    If you really are just checking it out. I'd suggest getting a very inexpensive set of panniers that you might find on Craigslist for your first tour. They may continue to be useful to you when you want a friend to try touring later, and s/he may want to use them to test the waters. They can also be good for short 48-72 hour tours where you can manage whether you are cycling in rain, etc.
    Once you know you like it, use your Amazon card to get, or supplement getting a very good piece of equipment.
    If you intend to do epic touring, you will want waterproof panniers. Using cheap, used equipment will help you know what you like and don't like about specific types of equipment before you spend what resources you have.
    I began with a used set of Transit rollers that I got 4/$60.00 from a friend. I used them until I was about 1000 miles into a big tour, and just fell into a great deal on a pair of Ortleib rollers. Bought the Ortliebs and now use the Transits for friends as they consider touring. I'm big on loaning things to folks to peak their interest in cycling.
    Cherri

  9. #9
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    I had been loaning bikes to a couple of friends to get them to ride with me. I thought I had them hooked enough to get bikes themselves. That was a month or so ago now I can't get either one of them to go for a ride hahah. I haven't given up on them yet though. Maybe its the 100 deg temps putting them off a bit right now (puts me off some days too, that and the smoke in the area from the wild fires).

    I have been checking Craigslist pretty regular. So far no luck. Gainesville is a college town so there are LOTS of bikes, parts and other stuff listed. But no panniers as of yet. I did buy the bike I'm going to convert off of craigslist a few months ago. At the time didn't really buy it to convert. Just bout it cus it was a good deal (and I would have another bike for friends to ride).

    Appreciate the input and advice though..... thanks... Jay....
    Last edited by zzOtherlandzz; 06-22-11 at 10:37 AM.
    "If you see me walking, my bike is busted!!"
    2011 Rocky Mountain Vertex 29'er
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    2006 Gary Fisher Tassajara Disc soon to be converted to a touring bike... I think... (Converted)
    2003 Gary Fisher Tassajara Sold, went to a friend who still rides it!!
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by sedges View Post
    Don't lose track of the heel strike issue. Those axiom LaSalles are 12" wide, the arkels are only 6.5" wide at the bottom and 10" overall.

    Also, do you real need 40L pannier set for a short card card tour?

    I really think the expandable rack trunk and big handle bar bag might do it.
    Hmmm Didn't realize they were that wide.. They kind of look shorter in the picture.

    As you said I could most likely get by with a trunk bag, handle bar bag and an under the seat bag for this trip. And in the meantime just keep on the lookout for a good set/cheap set of panniers.

    I'm still not really sure what I want to do... Get bigger bags that I can use later for longer tours (if I do indeed like doing this sort of thing). Or just get the trunk bag for now (which I can still use later). I'm leaning towards getting the trunk bag while I continue looking for a deal on craigslist or something else that may come along.
    Last edited by zzOtherlandzz; 06-22-11 at 10:40 AM.
    "If you see me walking, my bike is busted!!"
    2011 Rocky Mountain Vertex 29'er
    2007 Trek 1500
    2006 Gary Fisher Tassajara Disc soon to be converted to a touring bike... I think... (Converted)
    2003 Gary Fisher Tassajara Sold, went to a friend who still rides it!!
    Gone but not forgotten 2003 Gary Fisher Sugar 3+

  11. #11
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    My expandable rack trunk is always on my bike. It has a few extra tools that don't fit in the under the saddle bag. Room for extra clothes going on and off on those sunny winter rides that turn cold and wading shoes and towel for when I go to the river this time of year.

  12. #12
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    "bar ends"... I took my 29'er mtb for a 40 mile ride a month or so ago... Woulda been nice to have another hand position on the bars.
    "If you see me walking, my bike is busted!!"
    2011 Rocky Mountain Vertex 29'er
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    2006 Gary Fisher Tassajara Disc soon to be converted to a touring bike... I think... (Converted)
    2003 Gary Fisher Tassajara Sold, went to a friend who still rides it!!
    Gone but not forgotten 2003 Gary Fisher Sugar 3+

  13. #13
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    My first purchase for the bike... Sigma BC 906 .... 10 bux new in box at the flea market.. Only 99 more things to get now..
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    "If you see me walking, my bike is busted!!"
    2011 Rocky Mountain Vertex 29'er
    2007 Trek 1500
    2006 Gary Fisher Tassajara Disc soon to be converted to a touring bike... I think... (Converted)
    2003 Gary Fisher Tassajara Sold, went to a friend who still rides it!!
    Gone but not forgotten 2003 Gary Fisher Sugar 3+

  14. #14
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    Hiya Jay. I spend most of my time over on the 50+ forum but cruise other forums now and then. I'm pretty much at the same point regarding touring - lots of planning but no actual touring as of yet. Regarding panniers, on the recommendation of 10 Wheels, one of the moderators, I picked up a set of Nashbar panniers at a great price. They are the perfect size for what I wish to do and the quality is fine for my purposes. Check these out. http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/SubCate..._202334_202379 I've been riding around with them loaded with 20 lbs. and the bike handles well.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by berner View Post
    Hiya Jay. I spend most of my time over on the 50+ forum but cruise other forums now and then. I'm pretty much at the same point regarding touring - lots of planning but no actual touring as of yet. Regarding panniers, on the recommendation of 10 Wheels, one of the moderators, I picked up a set of Nashbar panniers at a great price. They are the perfect size for what I wish to do and the quality is fine for my purposes. Check these out. http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/SubCate..._202334_202379 I've been riding around with them loaded with 20 lbs. and the bike handles well.
    Thanks for the link berner..... Lots to look at there for sure. Right now I'm kind of leaning towards just a large trunk bag... but still not sure quite yet. I am starting to get the stuff straight as far as what I need/looking for. A rack & panniers that my heels can clear on a mountain bike... and that are compatible with disc brakes. The closest thing I have done to riding "loaded" is taking packages to the post office with a big ole heavy basket on the back.. I think the basket weighs about 10lbs empty (but not sure). And that was only a 6 mile ride (3 loaded) & 3 back lol.

    I think actually finding/buying the equipment is going to be harder than riding for sure.... DOH!! Going to try and post some before pictures of the bike tomorrow. Before I start adding/changing stuff.

    <remembers> Needs to get new bar mount for the camera... busted one of the 2 I had...
    "If you see me walking, my bike is busted!!"
    2011 Rocky Mountain Vertex 29'er
    2007 Trek 1500
    2006 Gary Fisher Tassajara Disc soon to be converted to a touring bike... I think... (Converted)
    2003 Gary Fisher Tassajara Sold, went to a friend who still rides it!!
    Gone but not forgotten 2003 Gary Fisher Sugar 3+

  16. #16
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    Before Pictures 2006 Gary Fisher Tassajara disc.

    Just a couple of before pictures... before what I'm not sure lol

    I got this bike off of Craigslist a few months back for $200. It had hardly any miles on it. The guy got out of the military with back problems. And even after he had a different stem installed to raise the bars it still hurt his back too much to ride. So It pretty much sat in storage until I bought it. I moved the spacers and lowered the bars a bit... and it is pretty comfortable to ride. A bit more upright than on my 29'er, good for the roads and loaded down I think. (I hope)

    It does have all the bolt holes for installing a rack on the back. Also the front forks lock out, making it pretty rigid. They actually work pretty good.

    That's where I'm at right now.....
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    "If you see me walking, my bike is busted!!"
    2011 Rocky Mountain Vertex 29'er
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    2006 Gary Fisher Tassajara Disc soon to be converted to a touring bike... I think... (Converted)
    2003 Gary Fisher Tassajara Sold, went to a friend who still rides it!!
    Gone but not forgotten 2003 Gary Fisher Sugar 3+

  17. #17
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    My first attempt at using MapMyRIDE. I think this is pretty close to what I want to ride on the first day. Except that I may change the route when I get close to Lake City. I might take State Highway 10A. I imagine the last few miles will be on the sidewalk (uggg) ... Don't think I would be comfortable riding either 10A or the last stretch of SR100 to the hotel. Looks like it will be close to 61 miles. A bit shorter than my longest ride to date... DOH! Anyway here is the link to check it out... Thoughts, comments, Ideas & advise welcome.

    http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/39089846

    Jay..... aka... zzOtherlandzz
    "If you see me walking, my bike is busted!!"
    2011 Rocky Mountain Vertex 29'er
    2007 Trek 1500
    2006 Gary Fisher Tassajara Disc soon to be converted to a touring bike... I think... (Converted)
    2003 Gary Fisher Tassajara Sold, went to a friend who still rides it!!
    Gone but not forgotten 2003 Gary Fisher Sugar 3+

  18. #18
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    Rack, Trunk bag, Grips & Camera mount...

    My new rack, grips & trunk came in the mail today... Plus I put the camera mount together. Making progress...

    Just a few pictures...

    Went with the following.. Mostly after going by the reviews on Amazon (with some good advice from people on here mixed in).

    Topeak Super Tourist Tubular Bicycle Trunk Rack DX with Side Bar for Disc Brake Bikes
    Topeak MTX Trunk Bag DX with Side Panniers (that fold out).
    Ergon GC3-S Composite grips, standard - blk/gry

    I think I'm going to REALLY like these grips. I only got to take the bike for a short short ride but wow... VERY comfy. The friend that rides with me sometimes is mad that he just spent 15 bux on grips now..

    The rack went on smoothly fit around the disc brakes perfectly.

    The bag snaps into / onto the rack.. Very easy to take on and off.

    Got the camera mount done... I can tell already that it is better than the cheap one I bought.

    Still need to load the bag up and test ride... but I'm making progress...
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    "If you see me walking, my bike is busted!!"
    2011 Rocky Mountain Vertex 29'er
    2007 Trek 1500
    2006 Gary Fisher Tassajara Disc soon to be converted to a touring bike... I think... (Converted)
    2003 Gary Fisher Tassajara Sold, went to a friend who still rides it!!
    Gone but not forgotten 2003 Gary Fisher Sugar 3+

  19. #19
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    So, you have adequate bags for a credit card tour! That is a nice rack and it looks like there will be good heel clearance. Have you thought about tires for the road? Those knobbies have to go!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by sedges View Post
    So, you have adequate bags for a credit card tour! That is a nice rack and it looks like there will be good heel clearance. Have you thought about tires for the road? Those knobbies have to go!
    Yep lots of clearance... I really went with this rack because in one of the reviews on Amazon somebody had put this rack on almost the same bike. So that did help take a bit go guess work out of it. I do have small'ish feet so that helps with clearance too. Plus if this is something I like doing (no reason to think I wont at this point), the rack will support panniers nicely (from what I have read anyway). I could see myself staying at the kind of campgrounds that have rest rooms and showers.. but the primitive stuff... NOT so much...

    Yes I need to think about tires soon.. Back before I got my road bike (and I rode my mountain bike mostly on the road). I had some of those tires with smooth middle and a bit of tread on the outside. But the ones I had, had the kevlar bead...... UGGG they sucked trying to repair a flat on the side of the road with sweat in your eyes and bugs flying around. But they did last a long time. Haven't really looked into tires yet for this project, any ideas?

    Things I still need to get.... (because I don't like swapping stuff from one bike to the other)
    1: Patch and lever kit
    2: Tire pump
    3: Handlebar bag.. Might still fit a seat bag on the bike too, even with the trunk bag in place.
    4: Fenders??? Do I need fenders? I dunno....

    Jay....
    "If you see me walking, my bike is busted!!"
    2011 Rocky Mountain Vertex 29'er
    2007 Trek 1500
    2006 Gary Fisher Tassajara Disc soon to be converted to a touring bike... I think... (Converted)
    2003 Gary Fisher Tassajara Sold, went to a friend who still rides it!!
    Gone but not forgotten 2003 Gary Fisher Sugar 3+

  21. #21
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    Fenders are necessary only if you will ride in the rain. If you can plan your short tour around a good stretch of weather you won't need them. If your climate has frequent afternoon showers no matter how good the forecast then you might be riding in the rain and fenders are a good idea.

    I am assuming that your bike has 26 inch wheels. I don't see these suggested very often, but I like the Kenda commuter tires a lot. I ride my day trips with the Kwest hi-pressure, but you might like the "iron clad" ones for puncture protection touring. I think the 1.5s will serve you well, the 1.75s if your tour is going to take you off pavement. The 1.5 are higher pressure tires.

    http://www.kendausa.com/en/home/bicy...k-tendril.aspx
    http://www.kendausa.com/en/home/bicy...ler-sport.aspx
    http://www.kendausa.com/en/home/bicy...k-bitumen.aspx

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by sedges View Post
    Fenders are necessary only if you will ride in the rain. If you can plan your short tour around a good stretch of weather you won't need them. If your climate has frequent afternoon showers no matter how good the forecast then you might be riding in the rain and fenders are a good idea.

    I am assuming that your bike has 26 inch wheels. I don't see these suggested very often, but I like the Kenda commuter tires a lot. I ride my day trips with the Kwest hi-pressure, but you might like the "iron clad" ones for puncture protection touring. I think the 1.5s will serve you well, the 1.75s if your tour is going to take you off pavement. The 1.5 are higher pressure tires.

    http://www.kendausa.com/en/home/bicy...k-tendril.aspx
    http://www.kendausa.com/en/home/bicy...ler-sport.aspx
    http://www.kendausa.com/en/home/bicy...k-bitumen.aspx
    I was just going to ask opinions on these tires here (also Kenda) when I noticed you had replied. http://www.amazon.com/Kenda-Kross-Pl...9885011&sr=8-1 They have a TON of really good ratings on Amazon. I like the idea of a lil bit of tread on the outside because there is ALWAYS sand and dirt here in Florida. And I am a heavy-er rider so I'll most likely go with the 1.75's. LOTS to look at on the Kenda site for sure thanks for the info.

    I live in Florida... So it could rain anytime in the afternoon, or NOT for days at a time. Usually it likes to rain for 15-20 minutes then stop and the sun comes back out and it gets EXTRA muggy..

    Question... Do they make full fenders for mountain bikes? Or just those shorty half fenders that I have seen before.. (google time... lol)

    I dunno what I'm doing.... But I do know I'm having fun planning the trip ...
    "If you see me walking, my bike is busted!!"
    2011 Rocky Mountain Vertex 29'er
    2007 Trek 1500
    2006 Gary Fisher Tassajara Disc soon to be converted to a touring bike... I think... (Converted)
    2003 Gary Fisher Tassajara Sold, went to a friend who still rides it!!
    Gone but not forgotten 2003 Gary Fisher Sugar 3+

  23. #23
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    kross

    I had Kenda Kross on my bike for a long time and liked them. I'd pump them up to 75 for the pavement and let them down to 45 or less for the Forest Service roads in my neighborhood, often on the same ride. Those knobs make for a lot of air resistance, but if you aren't in a hurry-so what! They are real handy tires for pavement/dirt combination rides. Its interesting that everybody seems to have these tires, but Kenda does not have them on their website.

    There are full fenders for front suspension bikes.

  24. #24
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    Yep, I checked out the Kenda web page when looking at the links you posted. And your right the page has NO info on the kross tires.

    I'm really itching to take the bike on a bit longer ride to try out the new grips... But my luck the first time I went out without a pump and tire levers I would get a flat..... LOL So trying to be patient and wait until I get my pump and levers...

    And NOPE I'm not in any hurry most times when I'm riding.... sept when I think its gonna get dark on me before I get back...
    "If you see me walking, my bike is busted!!"
    2011 Rocky Mountain Vertex 29'er
    2007 Trek 1500
    2006 Gary Fisher Tassajara Disc soon to be converted to a touring bike... I think... (Converted)
    2003 Gary Fisher Tassajara Sold, went to a friend who still rides it!!
    Gone but not forgotten 2003 Gary Fisher Sugar 3+

  25. #25
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    Took a short test ride today with the setup so far. Loaded the trunk bag with packages for the post office. I really don't want to go on a longer ride yet... Still have to get a pump & tire levers. And I'm spoiled I can't stand riding without the bike pc hooked up... DOH.. I have one... just haven't put it on yet.

    First impressions of the Ergon grips after a 6 mile ride..... VERY COMFY... Still need to do some minor adjustments to the position of them & the brake levers but still NICE!! Need to adjust seat height also.... But didn't do much of that today was getting ready to pour down on me.

    Tires... yep...... need some tires...
    "If you see me walking, my bike is busted!!"
    2011 Rocky Mountain Vertex 29'er
    2007 Trek 1500
    2006 Gary Fisher Tassajara Disc soon to be converted to a touring bike... I think... (Converted)
    2003 Gary Fisher Tassajara Sold, went to a friend who still rides it!!
    Gone but not forgotten 2003 Gary Fisher Sugar 3+

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