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Thread: Tips and Tricks

  1. #26
    Senior Member onbike 1939's Avatar
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    Re the bother with cooking oatmeal... you North Americans are really decadent. Mix your oatmeal before going to bed and then eat in the morning uncooked as "Brose". Just as good as an energy food without the hassle even though in my opinion it still tastes like sh*t. We Scots know about such things.

  2. #27
    gnz
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    Nice tips!, specially the parking brake one.

    Here is one of my own:
    You can use a rear wheel quick release bolt, which is much longer, on the front wheel, combined with a pair of U bolts and some nuts and washers and you will be able to mount a front rack on a suspension fork.

    ***DISCLAIMER:***
    This setup has worked for me for over 5000km with at least 2000km of them being of loaded touring. It involves messing with your front wheel setup so it is probably not a very good idea. Im not a mechanic but I think I have an idea of what the extra load is doing to the skewer and decided to take the risk. If you decide to implement it it will be your sole responsibility.





    Last edited by gnz; 01-30-06 at 12:30 PM. Reason: Adding a disclaimer

  3. #28
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregw
    Another good use for a space sarong is as hail storm cover. I have been trapped out in a hail storm with no cover in sight. In my case I used my tents ground cloth to drape over the bike and climb under. The hail was as big as ping-pong balls for a few seconds and this kept me from getting clobbered. And..... certainly everyone could agree that the shinny space blanket is a far more stylish sarong than a drab and dirty ground cloth!


    Actually, I carry a foil emergency bivy too. They are a little heavier than the space blankets but as such are a bit warmer too, and I tend to get very cold at night when camping. That emergency bivy has been used as a storm shelter, in a situation similar to yours, as a ground sheet, and as an extra blanket on cold nights.


    Here's another one ... rather than carrying a flashlight, use an LED helmet light. The helmet light is good if you end up riding after dark, and can also be used if you set up camp after dark. It frees up your hands so you can set up the tent quickly and easily, and cook your supper. Then later when you are sitting at the picnic table or lying in the tent reading or writing up your journal, it makes a great light for that as well.

  4. #29
    Immoderator KrisPistofferson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka


    Actually, I carry a foil emergency bivy too. They are a little heavier than the space blankets but as such are a bit warmer too, and I tend to get very cold at night when camping. That emergency bivy has been used as a storm shelter, in a situation similar to yours, as a ground sheet, and as an extra blanket on cold nights.


    Here's another one ... rather than carrying a flashlight, use an LED helmet light. The helmet light is good if you end up riding after dark, and can also be used if you set up camp after dark. It frees up your hands so you can set up the tent quickly and easily, and cook your supper. Then later when you are sitting at the picnic table or lying in the tent reading or writing up your journal, it makes a great light for that as well.
    The LED helmet lights are surprisingly cheap due to their popularity now, too. I originally had a LED/Halogen headlamp that I got for under $5, "Cyclops" I believe is the brand name, that is simple, durable, and for all intents and purposes waterproof. I replaced it with a Cateye bar-mounted headlight that wasn't weatherproof, and when the rechargeable batteries exploded due to a really bad heatwave we had a couple weeks ago, I didn't miss it. I'm back to the headlight now. I clip my tail-light to the plastic strip on the back of my helmet. I prefer not to clutter my bike up with too much stuff, and feel safer with the lights as high up as possible.
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  5. #30
    gnz
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    Carrying the emergency blanket seems like a very good idea, has anyone used it for an emergency shade? how good is it?. I am riding in Cancun (southern Mexico) at the moment and the first days the sun has got me nearly exausted to the point I really need to go hide for a few minutes under a tree. I don't know what would have happened to me if I was unable to find one.

    Another advice when riding in hot wheather: think of how much water you are going to need, then carry at least two times that! I learnt that the hard way

  6. #31
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    I'm better with cold/wet weather tips than hot weather tips. Sadly I've got much more experience with the cold and wet conditions.

    Things like ...

    -- Splurge on a good waterproof-breathable cycling jacket with lots of ventilation. You will not regret it! It'll keep you warm and dry both on the bicycle and off.

    -- Get a helmet cover with a bill, and a neck flap. It can also be used on and off the bicycle ... while you are riding, and while you are frantically trying to set up your tent in a torrential rainstorm.

    -- Pick up two or three sets of those little mini-gloves which you can get for $1 in Walmart during the winter. They are small so they don't take up much room, or add much to the weight of the load. Wear them under your cycling gloves in colder or wet conditions.

  7. #32
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    - Put socks over your water and keep them wet... thanks to evaporation your drink will stay cool.

    - Use a canoing 'dry bag' to put your sleeping bag and other bulky item. These bags are relatively cheap, mush stronger than garbage bags and can easily transform into laundry bags or shoping bags if needed.

    - Keep plenty of space in your bags for shopping... food for a nice diner can be surprisingly bulky.

    - Ask local cyclists about the best roads!

  8. #33
    Senior Member biodiesel's Avatar
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    Bring a ziplock of your favorite Meal replacement/ protien powder.
    When you finish dinner and are itching for a midnight snack, when dinner was too little or when your low on food at the end of a day you can supplement.

  9. #34
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magictofu
    - Keep plenty of space in your bags for shopping... food for a nice diner can be surprisingly bulky.
    Ah, but you can squash your bread so it takes up less room. After all, bread is half air! I hadn't thought of that one until the first time my cycling partner and I went grocery shopping on our Australia trip. We got out of the store ... he picked up the loaf of bread ... and squashed it so that the slices were still the same height and width, but their depth had significantly diminished - each piece was about 2 mm thick. Later, when you get to your campsite, and peel off a slice of bread, it plumps up a little bit so it isn't too bad.

    I got so used to doing that to bread, I had to stop myself a few times once I got home!


    Quote Originally Posted by Magictofu

    - Ask local cyclists about the best roads!
    You have to be a little bit careful with this one.
    -- If the local cyclists are avid, adventuring cyclists who really know cycling (different aspects of it) and know their area, you can get some good answers.
    -- But if the local cyclists are the ones who do 5 miles a day on bicycle paths, you'll get the directions to the local bicycle path which might be scenic, but will slow you down significantly and will usually take you quite a bit out of the way. That might be all right, but if you are trying to make some time, it might not be what you're looking for.
    -- Or if the local cyclists are racers who easily ride straight up mountains at 30 mph on their 3 lb bicycles, they might tell you that the road ahead is basically flat ... and once you get there you discover you are pushing your 60 lb loaded touring bicycle up the never-ending, steep hills.

    It wasn't long before I started taking all directions and suggestions with just a tiny grain of salt.

  10. #35
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    Okay, I've been reluctant to post this because no matter how I say it, it sounds strange and embarassing, but what the heck, it works for me, and if you try it, you'll be convinced, too.

    About 2-3 weeks before your trip, begin drinking three big glasses of Metamucil or some other fiber supplement every day. I believe one can take pills now if drinking that stuff is not your, well, cup of tea. Continue this through your tour.

    Why?

    Well, let's just put it this way: It will make your #2 potty breaks much less of a chore because your stools will be firm, shiny, uniform size and shape (I can't believe I'm writing this), and a breeze to pass. Most of all, you will find there is very little "clean-up" work afterward. If you've camped a lot like I have, and if your diet on the tour involves a lot of powerbars as mine does, then this can be a real morale booster as you hover, sweating, swatting flies, over some stinking vault toilet in the middle of nowhere.

  11. #36
    Banned Bikepacker67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gpljr75
    Okay, I've been reluctant to post this because no matter how I say it, it sounds strange and embarassing, but what the heck, it works for me, and if you try it, you'll be convinced, too.

    About 2-3 weeks before your trip, begin drinking three big glasses of Metamucil or some other fiber supplement every day. I believe one can take pills now if drinking that stuff is not your, well, cup of tea. Continue this through your tour.

    Why?

    Well, let's just put it this way: It will make your #2 potty breaks much less of a chore because your stools will be firm, shiny, uniform size and shape (I can't believe I'm writing this), and a breeze to pass. Most of all, you will find there is very little "clean-up" work afterward. If you've camped a lot like I have, and if your diet on the tour involves a lot of powerbars as mine does, then this can be a real morale booster as you hover, sweating, swatting flies, over some stinking vault toilet in the middle of nowhere.
    I just had to quote ya...
    Just in case you chicken out, and decide to "edit"

    BTW, it is a great "Tip", as those power bars can really bind you up!

  12. #37
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    Brilliant, gnz, thank you.
    ...

  13. #38
    Gravel for Breakfast
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    Quote Originally Posted by gpljr75
    … your stools will be firm, shiny, uniform size and shape (I can't believe I'm writing this), and a breeze to pass.
    Shiny?
    Sin after sin I have endured, but the wounds I bear are the wounds of love.

  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by konageezer
    Shiny?
    Perhaps glistening would have been a better term.

    P.S. Open the pod door HAL! --Great movie, one of my all-time fav's.

  15. #40
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    Instead of a towel or "camp towel" (those blue thingys), go to Wally-World and get an $8 man made chammy in the auto department. Take it into the shower (or whatever you are using), rinse it out, hang it within reach, shower, use the chammy, wring it out (marvel at how much water it absorbed), and put it up wet. It packs into a small cylinder, packs well and doesn't need to dry out.

    Now you aren't going to be absolutely dry when you use this thing, but in 30 sec you will be.
    Greenspeed GTO 1027

  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by beowoulfe
    Instead of a towel or "camp towel" (those blue thingys), go to Wally-World and get an $8 man made chammy in the auto department. Take it into the shower (or whatever you are using), rinse it out, hang it within reach, shower, use the chammy, wring it out (marvel at how much water it absorbed), and put it up wet. It packs into a small cylinder, packs well and doesn't need to dry out.

    Now you aren't going to be absolutely dry when you use this thing, but in 30 sec you will be.
    Ohhh I LOVE those micro-fiber towels! Except I get mine at the "clearance" store for about a buck.

  17. #42
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    Use a friend as your personal Storm Spotter.

    While touring Kansas on the TransAm several weeks ago, I had heard from some locals in a tiny town that some severe thunderstorms were moving west to east. I was going in the opposite direction. The storms were predicted to bring huge hail, high winds, and a chance of tornadic action.

    Thunderstorms are relatively small, so I didn't know for sure if I'd actually encounter one. I didn't want to chance it because almost no shelters exist between towns in that part of western KS.

    I called a friend in PA, who began tracking the storms on www.noaa.com. I told him the exact route I was to take to the next town. He informed me that the storms would miss my route by many dozens of miles. Therefore, I proceeded to the next town without incident, but did see the storm clouds in the distance.

  18. #43
    Senior Member stokell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka
    You have to be a little bit careful with this one.
    -- If the local cyclists are avid, adventuring cyclists who really know cycling (different aspects of it) and know their area, you can get some good answers.
    -- But if the local cyclists are the ones who do 5 miles a day on bicycle paths, you'll get the directions to the local bicycle path which might be scenic, but will slow you down significantly and will usually take you quite a bit out of the way. That might be all right, but if you are trying to make some time, it might not be what you're looking for.
    -- Or if the local cyclists are racers who easily ride straight up mountains at 30 mph on their 3 lb bicycles, they might tell you that the road ahead is basically flat ... and once you get there you discover you are pushing your 60 lb loaded touring bicycle up the never-ending, steep hills.

    It wasn't long before I started taking all directions and suggestions with just a tiny grain of salt.
    Oh yeah! I'm lost. It's raining hard and I ask a couple of farmers for directions. They have local knowledge. Problem is the farmers in that area are tired of bikers going down their lanes. They have had a few too many close calls with bikes and tractors. They have removed the bike route sign posts. That is why I'm lost.

    They direct me to a superhighway. It's illegal, but I biked the 12 km on the shoulder.
    TIP: Always carry a good map.
    Last edited by stokell; 08-17-05 at 06:45 PM.

  19. #44
    Senior Member Doug Campbell's Avatar
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    Regarding Machka's reply. Where do you find a helmet cover with a bill and a neck flap?

  20. #45
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Campbell
    Regarding Machka's reply. Where do you find a helmet cover with a bill and a neck flap?
    Right here:

    http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_d...=1124332359933

    I have a blue one, and I see they sell black now, but I guess the yellow would have been the more visible choice.

  21. #46
    Macro Geek
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Campbell
    Where do you find a helmet cover with a bill and a neck flap?
    I use a Louis Garneau head cover that I pull on before I put on my helmet. It protects the neck from the sun, and wicks away sweat.


  22. #47
    Curmudgeon Wil Davis's Avatar
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    I did a quick check to see if this had already been dealt with, and was surprised to find that it hadn't - or at least not in exactly the same manner as my solution for a "parking brake", which involves using a Velcro™ strap looped through the front wheel and down-tube. It makes the bike much more docile when leaning it against a wall/bench/whatever… (see pic…)

    - Wil

    PS - this could be better described as a "hobble" than a brake…
    Last edited by Wil Davis; 08-21-05 at 02:00 PM.

  23. #48
    Senior Member bernmart's Avatar
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    I wish I'd seen this yesterday! I missed out on a club ride today because my chain fell off the front sprockets while the bike was on my trunk rack. What I suspect happened was that the brifter banged against the rear window of my wagon because I hadn't immobilized the front wheel. For want of a piece of velcro,. . . .
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  24. #49
    Senior Member gregw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wil Davis
    I did a quick check to see if this had already been dealt with, and was surprised to find that it hadn't - or at least not in exactly the same manner as my solution for a "parking brake", which involves using a Velcro™ strap looped through the front wheel and down-tube. It makes the bike much more docile when leaning it against a wall/bench/whatever… (see pic…)

    - Wil

    PS - this could be better described as a "hobble" than a brake…
    It's not a hobble, the technical name is "A front tire holder thingie" just for the record. Here is my one handed model.
    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/journ...e_id=9172&v=4n

  25. #50
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    Do they still make those flick stands? Back in the day when 700c ruled those things were a big item in bike mags, I never had one, but with all the alternatives, maybe they have a market.

    That thing is a dew rag! I don't wear a helmet, seems like they are required in NB. Maybe if I made one out of cardboard and covered it with one of those, or reflector tape, I might get by.

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