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Old 05-22-05, 05:52 PM   #1
paloewi
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OK, I am planning a tour of North and South America. I won't be doing this for at least 3 years, but will need to train, save money, plan, etc. I am planning to ride down the Pacific Coast to South American and then up the Atlantic coast to Canada, and time permitting, cross Canada to Alaska. Its roughly 30000 miles. I have done very little touring, and even less ultra long distance riding. I feel fine after back-to-back centuries, riding up mountains, super high speeds, high winds, big trucks, etc. Can I get some help planning this ride in terms of panniers, clothing, and food. I don't know what to bring, how much to bring, and other important things like that.

Thanks very much

peter

Last edited by paloewi; 05-23-05 at 08:41 PM.
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Old 05-22-05, 05:56 PM   #2
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Hi,
let's start with the frame. You want something insanely rugged.
A Waterford Adventure Cycle is the toughest bike I have ever ridden.
They treat the metal to resist corrosion, and custom is standard.
http://www.waterfordbikes.com/2005/d...k/ac/index.php
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Old 05-22-05, 06:05 PM   #3
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Hi,
let's start with the frame. You want something insanely rugged.
A Waterford Adventure Cycle is the toughest bike I have ever ridden.
They treat the metal to resist corrosion, and custom is standard.
http://www.waterfordbikes.com/2005/d...k/ac/index.php
I know the guy who makes Vanilla Bicycles (www.vanillabicycles.com) and I was thinking of getting on of those, Money permitting. Any experience with those?

I will look into Waterfords too.

thanks
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Old 05-22-05, 07:34 PM   #4
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Beautiful bikes. Can't answer your question.
I'd ask for references from someone who has taken one
on a similar journey. Bikes that are plenty tough for
going coast to coast sometimes crumble when they hit 3rd world conditions.
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Old 05-22-05, 07:57 PM   #5
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Bikes that are plenty tough for
going coast to coast sometimes crumble when they hit 3rd world conditions.
Why is that?
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Old 05-22-05, 08:17 PM   #6
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Hi,
I have read where bikes rusted amazingly fast in the humidity down there. Other bikes simply fall apart under that kind of abuse. Read online journals, books, etc and see what guys that have done this have experienced.
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Old 05-22-05, 08:36 PM   #7
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Well, this is a really cool thing to do. Congrats on your decision. What do you plan on doing when you get to Colombia? I have a few friends who have biked through this country and their advice is to get official letters in Spanish from bike organisations, etc.. that will state why you're on the ride and what your purpose is and that they know your riding through Colombia. These kind of documents can help with police, para's and geurilla's.
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Old 05-22-05, 09:42 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by paloewi
OK, I am planning a tour of North and South America. I won't be doing this for at least 3 years....
WOW! you may not realize it Peter, but your trip has ALREADY begun! Planning and anticipation are among the greatest aspects of a tour like this. I did Alaska-to-Chile as the 1st part of my world tour. I'll make just a couple comments so that we can focus on tour issues bit-by-bit instead of having mega-paragraph letters.

Asssuming you are going to be staying on or close to the PanAm highway system, the roads will be excellent to reasonable in almost all locations in North and Central America. A standard touring bike (I used a Cannondale hybrid; if I was to do it again as I will someday I will take my Fuji touring) should be able to get ya thru these portions. Bottled water is widely available throughout the region. I carried tincture of iodine rather than iodine tablets. Visit a health clinic specializing in travel overseas so that you can get your rabies, tetanus, and yellow fever innoculations on a timely basis.

On the west coast of south america: if you are going north/south thru the coastal valleys OR the mountain valleys, the roads are OK. When you go EAST/WEST over the Andean ranges, the roads can be unbelieveably horrible, and in many cases can't even be called roads. You may find yourself on dry riverbed in some places. Here you just have to walk or accept a ride on a local bus, which offers a bonejarring ride.

You are best to get information about 'security threats' and such from people in the region and on the roads upon which you are traveling. 'State department bulletins' and such tend to be out of date, focus upon urban/touristed areas, and not particularly useful to cyclists. My own experience with Colombia was that it was such a cycling-mad country that riders are well respected. I had folks join alongside of me on some of the climbs.

Just a bit for starters!

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Old 05-23-05, 09:26 AM   #9
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How much stuff should I bring?

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Old 05-23-05, 08:40 PM   #10
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A question about food. How much food do you guys (and gals) carry with you? Do you stop and buy a meal here and there, do you buy bulk things, or do you carry it all with you?
thanks

peter
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Old 05-26-05, 12:05 PM   #11
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A question about food. How much food do you guys (and gals) carry with you? Do you stop and buy a meal here and there, do you buy bulk things, or do you carry it all with you?
thanks

peter
Food and Stuff: You'll make many adjustments along the way, depending on what kind of stores you have nearby and what they sell. In most of Canada and the USA, grocery stores now have so much fresh bread and a good selection of deli meats that I buy both breakfast and lunch from the stores directly. I usually have a couple fresh rolls and yogurt for breakfast---even if I did buy them the night before! Lunch I usually have peanut butter (Which I carry) on more bread with cheese and something to drink. Dinner, i cook up 1 or two sweet italian sausages with a potato, onion, and tomato.

I found in Mexico/central and most of south america that eating in the roadside 'restaurants'/stalls is better. You get local foods/flavors, and ya meet more local yokels. I tend to go to the place with the most people: the food is probably healthier and just recently cooked.

I wouldn't pack any differently for an "americas" tour than I would for any other long tour. It will be chilly at the beginning in the mountains, and pretty chilly in the mtns even in summer if you hit cloudy weather and are at higher elevations, as much of the PanAm is in central america. Good raingear is the key that unlocks everything else. I carry a water reistant windbreaker and a waterproof Colombia rain jacket. The latter got me thru many days of Hurricane Mitch.

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Old 05-28-05, 09:34 AM   #12
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(Which I carry) on more bread with cheese and something to drink. Dinner, i cook up 1 or two sweet italian sausages with a potato, onion, and tomato.
roughstuff
How much stuff do you carry with you? A loaf of bread and a jar of peanut butter, or like a pound or two of rice, some spices, beans, etc?
Also, how do you cook sausages on a tour?

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