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Thread: Cool or Stupid?

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    Cool or Stupid?

    My original plan to take off all summer fell through, but I thought up something new and was wondering if anyone has tried this before. I bought an inflatable kayak and will take on tour with me. The details are a bit sketchy yet, but the general plan will be to ride fronm Madison, Wis. to the northeast corner of the state (3-400 mi). There are some good whitewater rivers up there, so spend a few days whitewater rafting, then head over to the wisconsin river head waters. From there float down the river back to Madison with the bike on the kayak! I bought a 2 person kayak, so on the calm Wisconsin, I don't think I will have any problems with the bike at all. On the whitewater I would chain the bike up somewhere. My kayak is 25 pounds, so with pump and paddles I should still be under 35 for the whole set up. I can fit my tent, clothes,sleeping bag, tools and every thing else in my panniers, so I have the entire top of my back rake for the kayak. I am really excited about trying this, I think it should work out beautifully but would like to hear from people who might have tried it before to get some pointers. Thanks,


    Kevin

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    Hooked on Touring
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    It's not crazy - I've done it BUT - -

    Mail your kayak ahead to a general delivery address in a little town at the headwaters. Also mail a pretty big inner tube which you can buy at most tire stores - like 3 ft in diameter. Then bungee your bike to the inner tube and trail it on a rope behind your inflatable kayak. Having the bike in the kayak limits your mobility, ability to row/steer, and can abrade the vinyl and cause you to have a Titanic moment.

    Best - J

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    Quote Originally Posted by jamawani
    Having the bike in the kayak limits your mobility, ability to row/steer, and can abrade the vinyl and cause you to have a Titanic moment.
    Its going to be tricky balancing Leonardo and Kate at the prow of your kayak but wish you luck with your Titanic moment.

    I think its cool. Let us know how it goes.

  4. #4
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    I'm a kayaker as well and own a Sevylor inflatable (and a perception carolina). They are pool toys. They have no manuverability and no comfort. As you sit in the middle they will fold up till you have to lie down to make it work. As you paddle the boat swivles with every paddle stroke. The only issue I would have with this idea (asside from comfort and frustration) is that I would not trust the cheap inflables to keep my valuble bike from ending up at the bottom of the Wisconsin River. If you do not have a cheap inflatable then it might be a different story.
    Scott

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    Formerly Known as Newbie Juha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevink159
    My kayak is 25 pounds, so with pump and paddles I should still be under 35 for the whole set up. I can fit my tent, clothes,sleeping bag, tools and every thing else in my panniers, so I have the entire top of my back rake for the kayak.
    Definitely kewl. Just be sure to include a PFD in the "whole set up". Not much weight there, but paddling vests don't necessarily fold down too well. You may have to just bungee it on top of the kayak.

    I seem to remember reading about someone touring with a foldable bike and a foldable two-person kayak (closed top). An inflatable kayak should be lighter and more compact. In your case the reduced seaworthiness and handling of an inflatable boat may not be an issue. I take it your kayak is actually a canoe (open top)?

    I know jamawani said he's tried it, but I would still consider twice before towing anything, except perhaps a tired co-kayaker and his kayak on flat water. Tow line attachment is crucial: if you get a leak in the towed inner tube, you will end up with maybe 15kgs of dead weight at the other end of the rope. Or the line may get tangled with something in the water. You do not want to attach it to your vest (as you would when towing a fellow kayaker on flat water), and if you attach it to the stern, you may not be able to reach it to cut the rope.

    If you choose to put the bike inside the canoe, figure out how you are going to secure it. Your ability to move around (to balance the boat) will be restricted, and you also need to make sure you can make a quick wet exit in case everything goes wrong.

    I'm sorry if this sounds like a bunch of negative thinking. Like I said in the first place, I like the idea . I'm a sea kayaker myself, so safety issues are a top priority for me.

    --J

    [edit] Actually, saying I'm a "sea kayaker" is a bit too much. I paddle at sea, but I have not done any longer tours. Yet. [/edit]
    To err is human. To moo is bovine.

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  6. #6
    In Memory of One Cool Cat Blackberry's Avatar
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    And people thought I was crazy because I carry a camera, two lenses and a tripod.
    Dead last finish is better than did not finish and infinitely better than did not start.

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    Still Newbie way124's Avatar
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    Nah, I carry two cameras, a lens, a tripod and bicycle camera mount.

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    PFD - absolutely. And the previous poster is right about it not folding up. I make sure all the belts are snapped and pulled taut and put in on my rear rack - double-checking so that there are no straps flapping into my rear wheel. As for the tow rope - it would be crazy on anything but a float trip - but from what you are saying and from what I know about the Wisconsin River - it would be a float.

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    Not exactly related... but have you seen this:

    http://www.openwatercycling.com/

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    This looks about the best affordable kayak for cycle touring.
    http://www.pakboats.com/puffin.htm

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    Thanks for the replies guys. I would agree that this seems more like an inflatable canoe than a kayak but the manufactur saya it is a kayak so who am I to argue. It is viewable at www.seaeagle.com under inflatable kayaks, the SE330. I like very close to a lake with no currant, so I will absolutly be testing my setup on a nice calm surface before I'm stuck up a creek without a paddle. (That is tthe best joke I've heard in a while). Thanks for the links,


    Kevin

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    Wow, wow, and wow. Talk about courage and heart.

    Cheers. Let us know how things work out.

  13. #13
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    Kevin -

    I stand by my assessment after looking at the 330. I've seen plenty of fishermen out on rivers and lakes in British Columbia and the Yukon using good-quality inflatables with electric motors - and I've done it twice. But I've only been on the river for short stretches. As long as you don't try anything technical and exceed the inflatable's limits - you should be fine. And towing the bike with a rope doesn't require a knife to cut the line - just a clip that you can snap off quick - although I've never even come close to having to do that. Then again, Rhinelander does have a bike shop and you could get a bike box and ship your bike back. It would make the river section a lot simpler.

    I think it comes down to what you are willing to deal with. I've seen a guy cycling cross-country on a three-speed with K-mart bags. I like more gears and decent panniers - but it can be done. Likewise, you may not have the fastest or most agile craft, but if you are prudent - get off the river BEFORE the weather gets bad - and are willing to stop at any point if the inflatable kayak gets damaged - then you should be fine. If there are heavy spring/summer rains and the river is at flood stage - then, obviously, put this trip off to another time. Even so - I think you will be in a situation somewhat like the guy on the three-speed.

    I wouldn't start on the river much above Rhinelander - and remember that there are a couple of dams and reservoirs - and the reservoirs have slack water which means a heap o' rowing. Plus there will most likely be southerly winds in the summer - which are even stronger when you hit open water on those reservoirs. Be careful there - do the reservoirs early in the day and stay close to shore.

    Not to mention the Dells with 80 zillion tourists clogging the river.

    Best of luck and be careful - J

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    Old thread, but I was interested to see how this worked out.

  15. #15
    This user is a pipebomb brotherdan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert_in_ca View Post
    Old thread, but I was interested to see how this worked out.
    Me too.

    I've always thought about following the Lewis and Clark trail, kayaking the length of the Missouri, and biking over the rockies to get to the Columbia. I know that the Swedish mountaineer, Renata Chlumska, did a complete circumnavigation of the continental United States with a bicycle/kayak setup. She kayaked the coastlines and biked the borders with Mexico and Canada. But she used a rigid, full size, sea kayak. She towed the kayak in a trailer behind her bicycle, but I'm not sure how she carried the bicycle when she was on the water.
    Bikes belong in the motor city

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    About ten years ago I saw an article on something called a bikecanoe. The canoe folded in half and was towed behind the bicycle. All the touring gear was kept in the canoe. When he decided to go on the water he unfolded the canoe and folded the bike in half and put it in a sack of some sort.

    I could not find a reference for it, but the guy would bike tour everywhere with it, and then go on canoe trips.

  17. #17
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    Concept:

    Build a folding kayak.

    Instructions here: http://www.yostwerks.com/

    Tow behind a folding bike on a trailer.

    When water is encountered: Place bike in boat.

    Cool and doable

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