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-   -   Tips and Tricks (http://www.bikeforums.net/touring/128270-tips-tricks.html)

Bikepacker67 08-06-05 08:07 PM

Generic powdered juice mix, plus a pinch of salt and a pinch of salt substitute makes a CHEAP and effective Gatorade substitute.

A velcro strap about 8 inches long, can be used as a "parking brake" by wrapping it around your front brake lever and securing it to the bar. You can lean your loaded bike against any vertical surface, and it won't roll out from where you put it.

Cars are like wolves... they travel in packs.
No matter how desolate the road, when one car is seen in the rear view, you can bet, that two or three others are close behind. Never relax after the first one passes.

Add your own....

locky63red 08-06-05 09:15 PM

Always empty the last bit of metho back out of your trangia in the bottle before you pack the stove away in your panniers.

MichaelW 08-07-05 05:07 AM

Pointy metal objects (such as mini tripods for a camera) should not be stored loose in a pannnier packet. They bounce up and down and wear a hole through the material.

onbike 1939 08-07-05 06:25 AM

Add a small amount of water to the meths for your triangia. No more soot on the bottom of pans.
Mix oatmeal with brown sugar,dried fruit and powdered milk. When mixed with water hot or cold this makes a good breakfast or emergency food.
Use a small cut-down length of spoke with a hook formed at one end as a chain-lifter for when the chain de-rails.
Carry an over-long spoke when on tour. In the advent of a spoke breaking on the drive side, cut off the end, form a hook which can be hooked through the hub and threaded up to the rim. Tension and if overlong cut down to size so that it doesn't protude through the rim tape.

stokell 08-08-05 11:03 AM

For extra space in your panniers, use plastic compression bags (like the ones on TV that allow you to remove the air from the bag). Hold them in their compressed stand by wrapping with a velcro strip. My sleeping bag becomes the size of a 2 L plastic pop bottle and comes right back when the vacuum is released.

jharte 08-10-05 06:30 AM

The inside of a pop can is fairly reflective and makes a great night time lantern. Cut a square hole in the side, cut small holes or X around the outside edge (for the 'star' effect), insert candle. Hang from a tree by the tab using bungi cord. I've done this for years.

stokell 08-10-05 06:56 AM

You can give yourself a refreshing sponge bath almost anytime. Buy a refill size of unscented baby wipes. put them in baggies and add rubbing alcohol (optional) to each bag. They are great for quick cleanups after fixing the chain and other sanitary purposes too.

David in PA 08-10-05 11:49 AM

* If it seems that your front tire may have lost some air, stop immediately to check it without turning. I did not heed this advice once, and almost paid dearly for it. I knew the tire was getting low, but decided to keep pedaling in order to get to a convenience store. When I started to turn into the parking lot, the entire bike slid on the partially deflated tire, while the bike continued to turn in a tight arc which I could not stop nor control. The bike finally stopped moving on its own. I almost fell, and almost landed in the street. I somehow jumped off the bike and landed on my feet....lucky.

David in PA

Machka 08-10-05 05:42 PM

Bring small luggage straps to attach to your handlebar bag and Carradice bag so that they are easier to carry around grocery stores, bus/train stations, on hikes, etc.

I spent 3 months in Australia with my handlebar bag tucked under my arm every time I left the bicycle for anything. It was uncomfortable and awkward to carry around like that. This year I clipped a luggage strap to the rings on the sides of my handlebar bag, and I can carry it over my shoulder quite comfortably.

acantor 08-10-05 09:25 PM

* Instead of folding and refolding large maps to squeeze into a map case, cut the map into pieces with scissors, and only use the section you need. Smaller sections are easier to deal with, especially when it is breezy.

* Wrap a metre or two of duct tape (or electrical tape) around a film canister, pill box, or something similar. Tape is great for temporary repairs/spontaneous construction projects.

* Carry an old toothbrush for cleaning the chain.

* Before touring with an all-in-one tool like the Topeak Alien or Crank Brothers Multi, make sure you can effectively use the individual tools. I find some of these mini-behemoths too awkward to handle. My toolkit now contains only one multi-purpose tool, a Park Tool hex wrench set that I can use easily. Everything else is a single-purpose tool (needle nose pliers, tire irons, etc.)

Miles2go 08-11-05 12:23 AM

I shared the velcro strap around the brake lever trick with about 60 supported tourers on a tour of Maine several weeks ago. Been doing this for something like 12 years and I'm shocked that hardly anyone knows. It can even slow up an attempted theft enough to matter.

Number two...
Wash your clothes in the sink (bring something along to stop the drains), wring them out, place a dry towel on the floor, place a wrung out article of clothing on the towel, roll up completely, walk on rolled towel, unroll, hang garment, you have dry clothes by morning! I always ask for (and get) extra towels.

Number three...
Instead of trying to upload digital photos through your camera, buy a $20 card reader. They are recognized on all XP machines (in libraries) and upload photos much faster than through a camera.

Number four...
Get your butt outta bed early. It's great to have 30-40 miles in by noon. Then stop riding by two or three in the afternoon. This gives you time to actually experience where you'll be staying for the night. Also, even in relatively busy towns, there always seems to be a room available that early in the day.

Number five...
If you don't already have one, spend the $15.00 on one of these mirrors (A Must Have) if you don't already have one. If you have another mirror then buy this one anyway. Try it out for 15-30 days of riding, or just a few after you get it properly adjusted. You'll gladly give your other mirror away. This high quality device that moves with your head (big help) will become one of your favorite touring tools. A potential life saver and joy to use when riding with other tourers behind you. Totally clear, giggle free image that's large enough to really make a difference. I don't work for the company, but I do own two of these wonders.

Number six...
I'm not telling all...and besides, it's getting late. :p


Cheers

Machka 08-12-05 11:29 PM

A sarong is a wonderful thing! It is small and light so it doesn't take up much room or add to the weight of the load very much and yet ... it can be used as a piece of clothing, as a pillow, as a blanket, and as a towel. It's very versatile!

Mentor58 08-13-05 10:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Machka
A sarong is a wonderful thing! It is small and light so it doesn't take up much room or add to the weight of the load very much and yet ... it can be used as a piece of clothing, as a pillow, as a blanket, and as a towel. It's very versatile!

I'll wear lycra shorts, I'll wear 'elf-shoes', I'll wear glasses that make me look like the terminator, but I'm not sure the world is ready for me in a sarong. :)

btw, Machka, I took a quick browse of your site, and really enjoyed it. Looking forward to looking at it more when I get done with my chores today.

Steve W
WHO has a happy cat in his lap right now.

Miles2go 08-13-05 12:41 PM

You'd be OK in Burlington Vermont on Church Street. No kidding. It's a great place to people watch. Where else would you see a dude in his late 20s/early 30s walking around wearing a cape? Or a dress? Or...

Cheers


Quote:

Originally Posted by Mentor58
I'll wear lycra shorts, I'll wear 'elf-shoes', I'll wear glasses that make me look like the terminator, but I'm not sure the world is ready for me in a sarong. :)


Machka 08-13-05 01:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mentor58
I'll wear lycra shorts, I'll wear 'elf-shoes', I'll wear glasses that make me look like the terminator, but I'm not sure the world is ready for me in a sarong. :)

btw, Machka, I took a quick browse of your site, and really enjoyed it. Looking forward to looking at it more when I get done with my chores today.

Steve W
WHO has a happy cat in his lap right now.


If your tour takes you into a tropical area you could probably get away with wearing the sarong!

And thanks. :)

Machka 08-13-05 02:00 PM

Another tip ...

Rather than buying bags of uncooked oatmeal to make breakfast with (which oddly seems to be a favorite among cycle-tourists), and going through all the hassle in the morning of starting up the stove, cooking the oatmeal, and then washing out the cooking tins with the oatmeal that has turned to glue stuck to them . . . buy bags of ready-to-eat granola with the fruit and nuts in it. It is a little bit more expensive, but so much less hassle. In the morning, all you need to do is to add some milk (if you want, you could eat it without), add any extra ingredients you might have, such as honey or more fruit ... and when you're done a quick rinse and the tins are clean.

Camel 08-13-05 06:05 PM

...If you still "need" your hot oatmeal, give instant a try. Just add boiling water to your bowl&stir. A little left over hot water is used to clean the bowl.

gregw 08-13-05 08:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Machka
A sarong is a wonderful thing! It is small and light so it doesn't take up much room or add to the weight of the load very much and yet ... it can be used as a piece of clothing, as a pillow, as a blanket, and as a towel. It's very versatile!

OK I had to google "sarong" to figure this one out and I'm with Mentor58, I just don't have the legs for it.

Machka 08-13-05 09:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gregw
OK I had to google "sarong" to figure this one out and I'm with Mentor58, I just don't have the legs for it.

:D

Check out the guy with the ukulele on this site ... he's wearing one! Maybe you'd need to carry a ukulele though ...
http://www.kismethawaii.com/

Rogerinchrist 08-13-05 09:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Machka
:D

Check out the guy with the ukulele on this site ... he's wearing one! Maybe you'd need to carry a ukulele though ...
http://www.kismethawaii.com/

NOT gonna happen!

An old sock in the under seat wedge cramed with tools keeps them quite & keeps the hand clean when grabbing the chain for a flat fix.

gregw 08-14-05 06:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Machka
:D

Check out the guy with the ukulele on this site ... he's wearing one! Maybe you'd need to carry a ukulele though ...
http://www.kismethawaii.com/

This time I'll be a bit more clear, I'm not wearing a fruity towel and I don't play the Ukulele, sure I could strum it as good as the next guy, but I don't want to carry the extra weight. Ok Ok, if I had his hat, necklace and goatee to complete the ensemble, I would do it. :)

Ukulele is not a word you see in print very often, almost had to google that one too. :) :)

Mentor58 08-14-05 09:36 AM

A Space Blanket (aka Emergency Blanket) is a great thing to bring. Folds down to the size of a pack of smokes. tougher than a 2 dollar steak, I've used it as a wrapper over my sleeping bag when it got colder than I had planned, it's acted as an emergency rain shelter and sun shade. I've got an old military model, it's shiny mylar on one side, and OD Green on the other. Got some grommets around the outside edge, and it's a bit tougher than the very thin mylar ones, but still packs down pretty small.

Steve
Who thinks that a space blanket could even double as a sarong if the situtation required it

RiotBoi 08-14-05 10:03 AM

I would reccomend Emer'gen-C as far as a drink mix/gatorade replacement its full of goodies. I liek the orange flavour best. Avoid raspberry.

http://www.vitacost.com/AlacerEmergenC-SuperOrange

KrisPistofferson 08-14-05 10:16 AM

I have always been an advocate of the thick rubber band,(like the kind that comes with broccoli and other vegetables,) wrapped 3X around the drops, behind the brake lever. Makes an excellent parking brake, when you loop it around the lever. Also has value as a minor, "WTF"-type theft deterrent, and is super-cheap.
As long as we're on the topic of oatmeal, which to me is the greatest touring food ever, I have tried these two options:
If you're not going up into Saskatchewan or getting too far from civilization, forget the stove and fuel and carry a travel coffee mug and a bag of instant oatmeal. Get hot water at any gas station and voila! OR
If that seems like relying on fate too much, take a lightweight thermos to store hot water in.
Just a couple ideas I've toyed with, but seriously, the rubber band RULES.

gregw 08-14-05 10:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mentor58
A Space Blanket (aka Emergency Blanket) is a great thing to bring. Folds down to the size of a pack of smokes. tougher than a 2 dollar steak, I've used it as a wrapper over my sleeping bag when it got colder than I had planned, it's acted as an emergency rain shelter and sun shade. I've got an old military model, it's shiny mylar on one side, and OD Green on the other. Got some grommets around the outside edge, and it's a bit tougher than the very thin mylar ones, but still packs down pretty small.

Steve
Who thinks that a space blanket could even double as a sarong if the situtation required it

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!


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