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Thread: Tips and Tricks

  1. #51
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    1. For cold rain or snow, I carry a pair of large dishwashing gloves that I put on over my full finger gloves. They keep my hands warm and dry and they are cheap, very light weight and don't take up much space.

    2. I wrap my duct tape around a small pencil so it doesn't take up much space or I wrap it around a section of my frame pump.

    3. Guys, I save my first empty Gatorade bottle and keep it in the tent with me so I don't have to leave the tent in the middle of a cold night to relieve myself. It takes up a little space in the pannier, but it is very light weight to carry.

    4. When I'm camping, I really like having a soft chair so I have one similar to this that utilizes my Thermarest sleeping pad. It is also lightweight (for a chair) and folds up nicely to strap on to my rear rack.
    http://www.backcountry.com/store/CAS...l?CP=Affiliate

    5. For a backup to a flashlight or headlamp in case they burn out, I carry one of those little promotional keylight mini flashlights. They are very small and light weight.
    "The wind, it is what it is, you can't curse it and you can't count on it."

  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka
    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. .
    To be honest, I tend to avoid 'squashable' bread and prefer the hard crust stuff... I also tend to buy lots of fruits and veggetables (especially in the summer) to make salads or to eat along the road or in the morning... it takes quite some space... I understand that we all have our own indulgence once on the road and these are mine and for this reason I find it useful to keep some extra space in my bags!


    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.
    The idea is to ask the right people! you can usually tell sunday riders from the more adventurous ones... This summer, I avoided a 30 km dirt road thanks to the advice of a cyclist who told me that the shoulders of an otherwise very busy road was paved which made it easy to cycle.

  3. #53
    Caffeinated. Camel's Avatar
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    More tips:

    1)My favorite "multi tool" is a Swiss Army Signature II Lite Knife.

    -Very lightweight+pretty darned durable, I allways keep it nearby (in an outside handlebar pocket, or in a pants pocket).
    -The tiny blade is suitable for cutting slices of cheese, pepperoni, zip ties etc.
    -The scissors can be used to trim nails, mustache/beard, and as scissors on paper (maps, guidebooks ec).
    -The nailfile/flatblade screwdriver is the perfect size for deraileur adjustment screws, and also works excellent to pry off beer bottle tops.
    -The pen is handy, still works after a couple tours+a trek. Not the greatest ergonomic design if you write novels, but passable for short entries/notes.
    -The red LED works great/and is pretty bright. I'm still on the original battery. Handy to find stuff in bags/do some short reading (you have to hold the button on) or find the bathroom in the middle of the night at a hostel, without waking everyone else up by turning on the lites. I've even used it to lite a trail when I was late getting back to camp after a hike, and didn't bring a regular lite.

    2) Cycletouring I don't wear a bladder backpack, but take just the bladder (saving a bit of weight). I melt two holes (with a heated awl at home) through the extra plastic at the bottom of Platypus water bags. I then tie off looped reflectorized spectra utility cord through the holes. Makes for a simple handle, as well as a nifty hanger for hanging the bladder off of a branch etc. Super handy for using the bladder for a sponge bath/rinsing dinner ware/filling bottles. Triple/quadruple looping the spectra cord allows for a couple yards of it, with a shorter handle-but then bits of the cord can later be used to repair stuff if needed.

  4. #54
    Conquer Cancer rider Boudicca's Avatar
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    Try not to ask car drivers/shopkeepers/random pedestrians for directions. It's always "five minutes" but that's five minutes in a large chunk of metal that takes no extra effort to go up a hill. In fact these guys don't seem to realise that hills exist.
    Zero gallons to the mile

  5. #55
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    Isn't it funny how non-cyclists often don't have a clue as to their immediate topography?


    Quote Originally Posted by Boudicca
    Try not to ask car drivers/shopkeepers/random pedestrians for directions. It's always "five minutes" but that's five minutes in a large chunk of metal that takes no extra effort to go up a hill. In fact these guys don't seem to realise that hills exist.

  6. #56
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    As we're on the topic, the absolutely best way of clearing up is water. I live in Thailand and every toilet has a tub of water for flushing and washing. You do your business and then use a bowl (some places have a hose) to run water down your bum and use your other hand to aid the washing. For cleanliness it's the business - no more skid marks on your shreddies. Try it and you'll never look back again! (so to speak)

    (Thai toilet paper is no good for wiping as it's only designed to dab dry.)

    When I go home (UK) I take a water bottle with me so I can use this technique in more "primitive" conditions. It's the red one - at least I think it's the red one! I keep this one on the bottom of my 3 water cages that I can't get access to unless I stop.

    Saves on carrying paper and cleaner too. Want to dry off? Pull up your pants.

  7. #57
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    I cut an old inner tube into thick sections (0.75cm-1cm) and use these instead of rubber bands - they don't degrade as fast and are free. I use 1.5 or 1.75 size tyres. The sections fit snuggly round the handbars and stay in place for when you need them.

  8. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikepacker67
    Isn't it funny how non-cyclists often don't have a clue as to their immediate topography?
    When someone tells me my destination is X minutes away, I ask, "by car?" If they answer "yes," I multiply by 6 to 10 to arrive at the time to cycle. (The fudge factor varies according to the distance, road conditions, hilliness, how tired I am, and how anxious I am to get there!)

  9. #59
    Macaws Rock! michaelnel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gpljr75
    Perhaps glistening would have been a better term.
    I suppose you could shine them up using the space blanket, but why? Is there going to be a contest or something?
    ---

    San Francisco, California

  10. #60
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    hook bunge cord to spoke slow down grab and run theft

    half the time i forget to unhook it and i'm wondering whats going on
    bridgestone touring frame 21 speeds
    wheeler 3000 hybrid frame 21 speeds
    assorted mongrels

    winfield, illinois

  11. #61
    gnz
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boudicca
    Try not to ask car drivers/shopkeepers/random pedestrians for directions. It's always "five minutes" but that's five minutes in a large chunk of metal that takes no extra effort to go up a hill. In fact these guys don't seem to realise that hills exist.
    Well, its funny but my experience is the opposite, when I ask for directions to random pedestrians or drivers they will notice Im going by bicycle, then they will try to estimate the actual riding time for me and tell me my destination is soo far away that I should go by bus or something when the actual destination was only 2km away. These of course are the people who think bicycles are toys.

  12. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by gnz
    These of course are the people who think bicycles are toys.
    They're not!?

  13. #63
    gnz
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregw
    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
    Wow, I just had to pop in and say that after the first day implementing this bungee version of the trick I can surely say that it is the best thing since sliced bread

  14. #64
    gnz
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magictofu
    They're not!?
    humm, well err.. ok you got me, let me rephrase that... these people think a bicycle is ONLY a [silly] toy which is the only one those without a car (or suv) could afford play with. Does my point get trough now?

    edit: grammar
    Last edited by gnz; 09-01-05 at 12:34 AM. Reason: grammar

  15. #65
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Just thought I'd "bump" this post for the benefit of knoxg who might be looking for some good tips and tricks for his brochure.

  16. #66
    gnz
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    Maybe if it became a sticky post we could collect even more tips and tricks.

  17. #67
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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…
    Notice the tire saver!

  18. #68
    Baz
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    If you plan on pitching a lot of tarps, go to a camping shop and get a few replacement sections of tentpole (the fancy aluminum kind). They're quite light, and It's much easier than finding sticks every time you try to pitch. If I'm bringing a tent, I bring 3 12" sections, and if I'm not I bring 6.

    A u-lock makes an excellent peg hammer.

    A shower cap makes an excellent rain cover for your saddle for overnight.

    An upside down 2L pot covered with a fleece or a sarong makes a consistently shaped, high enough pillow. (I always had problems with a sore neck from making a pillow from whatever bunched up clothes I had available until I found this trick.)

    In cold weather, a thin fleece balaclava can get you from miserable to cozy quite easily.
    - Baz

  19. #69
    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baz
    An upside down 2L pot covered with a fleece or a sarong makes a consistently shaped, high enough pillow. (I always had problems with a sore neck from making a pillow from whatever bunched up clothes I had available until I found this trick.)
    Great tip, thanks!.....as I don't like to sleep on pillows that are too cushie.....
    Last edited by roadfix; 11-01-05 at 11:51 AM.
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  20. #70
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    A camelbak water bladder makes a perfect pillow. Just blow into the bite valve to inflate to desired thickness and lock the valve. You can leave it in the backpack or remove and wrap with clothes or a towel.

    Telescoping trekking poles make great supports for a tarp when there may not be any convenient trees or branches.

    A silk sleeping bag liner is very lightweight, adds a bit of extra insulation, and is very compact and lightweight. On warm nights you it may be all you need.

    Many quick releases (seatpost or wheel) can be used as emergency tire levers when your plastic ones break.

    Don't go crazy carrying spare parts and heavy tools. If you have a major repair job, have someone at home FedEx stuff to you or use overnight delivery from a mailorder place for any parts and tools unavailable locally.

    You can make a pot cozy by cementing together pieces of a blue foam sleeping pad. Instead of wasting fuel simmering food like pasta, bring it to a boil then set the pot in the cozy so its completely contained within. The cozy will maintain the temperature and the food will cook as if you were simmering.

  21. #71
    Caffeinated. Camel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by supcom
    A camelbak water bladder makes a perfect pillow. Just blow into the bite valve to inflate to desired thickness and lock the valve. You can leave it in the backpack or remove and wrap with clothes or a towel.

    Telescoping trekking poles make great supports for a tarp when there may not be any convenient trees or branches.

    A silk sleeping bag liner is very lightweight, adds a bit of extra insulation, and is very compact and lightweight. On warm nights you it may be all you need.

    Many quick releases (seatpost or wheel) can be used as emergency tire levers when your plastic ones break.

    Don't go crazy carrying spare parts and heavy tools. If you have a major repair job, have someone at home FedEx stuff to you or use overnight delivery from a mailorder place for any parts and tools unavailable locally.

    You can make a pot cozy by cementing together pieces of a blue foam sleeping pad. Instead of wasting fuel simmering food like pasta, bring it to a boil then set the pot in the cozy so its completely contained within. The cozy will maintain the temperature and the food will cook as if you were simmering.
    Nice tips. Re the cozies: I've found Relectex insulation easy to work with (for various sizes/shapes) and insulates well also.
    mmmm coffeee!

    email: jfoneg (_"a t symbol thing"_) yahoo (_"period or dot"_) com

  22. #72
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    Instead of regular old oatmeal (which I'm not too crazy about) try making savory oatmeal - just cook it the same way, but instead of adding honey/raisins/apples etc, just add a dash of dried chicken/vegetable stock, or a some crumbles of bouillon cube.

    It ends up tasting like stove-top stuffing that was cooked too long.
    Much more palatable for my tastes. (I'm not a sweet tooth except for chocolate)

  23. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Belugadave
    3. Guys, I save my first empty Gatorade bottle and keep it in the tent with me so I don't have to leave the tent in the middle of a cold night to relieve myself. It takes up a little space in the pannier, but it is very light weight to carry.
    sleep in a hammock with a tarp. among numerous other advantages, you can unzip you sleeping bag in the middle of the night and pee out the side straight onto the ground. expecially good when the ground is wet/muddy/snowy.

  24. #74
    Banned Bikepacker67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr_Super_Socks
    sleep in a hammock with a tarp. among numerous other advantages, you can unzip you sleeping bag in the middle of the night and pee out the side straight onto the ground. expecially good when the ground is wet/muddy/snowy.

    I just hope you take notice when you're stepping out barefoot, in the cold morning light!

  25. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikepacker67
    I just hope you take notice when you're stepping out barefoot, in the cold morning light!
    that's the beauty. by morning it's all gone! absorbed into the ground! well, unless it freezes on some snow. that's not so great. also, be sure to jiggle aggressively before zipping up, esp. if you have a down bag.

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