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Old 11-22-05, 08:03 PM   #1
spinnaker
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Two week tour, what to bring?

Besides Ginger and MaryAnn what do I need to bring on a two week tour (oh wait that was three hour tour).

Seriously, I'm planning my first tour ever, yeah ok maybe I should start out smaller but what the heck, it is going to be two weeks.

Can anyone point me to a good source of what tio bring along? I don't want to carry more than I need for obvious reasons but I don't want to be lacking anything either.

I imagine weather would have a lot to do with thhe answer so as mentioned it will be Ireland late summer / early fall.

Thanks
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Old 11-22-05, 08:16 PM   #2
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I think Ginger would be far too high maintenance for a bicycle tour.
Now MaryAnn, on the other hand, looks like a sturdy farmgirl that could hold her own in the way-out-about.
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Old 11-22-05, 09:00 PM   #3
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try crazyguyonabike.com
lots of equipment lists
Rain gear would be a good idea....when you get your list, find a location where you can lay it all out for a few days...weigh and discard....pack, weigh and discard. My first unsupported tour, I made the newbie mistake and carried far too much. Hills can be a pit with the kitchen sink on the rack. Have fun!!!
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Old 11-22-05, 09:02 PM   #4
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A friend of mine would take lots of stuff on a week long tour, and after about 3 days he'd stop somewhere, box up the stuff he didn't need and have it shipped home. ;-)
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Old 11-22-05, 09:11 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by fsor
try crazyguyonabike.com
lots of equipment lists
Rain gear would be a good idea....when you get your list, find a location where you can lay it all out for a few days...weigh and discard....pack, weigh and discard. My first unsupported tour, I made the newbie mistake and carried far too much. Hills can be a pit with the kitchen sink on the rack. Have fun!!!
Yes I know light as possible but any guidelines on weight? Yes I will not forget the raingear. I was looking at a new cycling jacket but now I am going to consider this trip in my purchase and spend the extra $$$ for better gear.
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Old 11-22-05, 09:17 PM   #6
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Bring the same stuff on a two week tour that you would on a two day tour, or a two month tour.


I divide the stuff I carry up into 7 categories to help me remember it all:

1. Bicycle: this includes my bicycle itself (making sure it is in good repair and set up correctly), my waterbottles, racks, lights, computer, etc.

2. Tools: tire changing stuff (pump, tubes, folding tire, levers, patches, and boots), a multitool, black electrical tape, zip ties, etc.

3. Medical: pain killers, bandages, sunscreen, anti-bacterial soap, baby wipes, space blanket, cream, etc.

4. Clothing: rain gear, reflective gear, shorts, tights, long-sleeved wool top, etc.

5. Personal: ID, camera, money, etc.

6. Nutrition: energy bars, gels, gatorade powder etc.

7. Camping: tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, cooking gear, etc.


If you're doing this tour in the late summer/early fall next year, you've got LOTS of time to do some weekend trial runs with the equipment you decide to bring. By doing some weekend trial runs, you'll be able to determine what kind of sleeping mat you can get away with, what kind of clothing you might like to have along, and how much weight you want to carry.
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Old 11-22-05, 09:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spinnaker
Yes I know light as possible but any guidelines on weight? Yes I will not forget the raingear. I was looking at a new cycling jacket but now I am going to consider this trip in my purchase and spend the extra $$$ for better gear.
The weight depends on how much climbing you are used to, how much climbing you suspect you'll end up doing, and how much weight you feel comfortable carrying around.


On your first test run, I would go with about half your body weight (or less) for bicycle, plus all your gear, and see how that feels.
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Old 11-22-05, 09:25 PM   #8
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Thanks like I said this is my first trip though I already have a couple of weekend trial trips planned. One being a trip to the Cannondale factory in Bedford, PA (I own an SR500)

I won't need tent and sleeping gear as I will be staying in hostals or B&B.
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Old 11-22-05, 09:28 PM   #9
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As far as how much stuff to take, for my next short 3 day tour, except for my sleeping bag, everything must fit in my two large rear panniers, including camping and cooking gear.

Last edited by roadfix; 11-22-05 at 09:37 PM.
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Old 11-22-05, 09:29 PM   #10
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Get together a list of everything you think you really need to take. Weigh each item and add it up.

Then, set your weight budget to 50% of your total and start crossing things off the list. you'll probably still have too much, but you'll save money on the postage mailling stuff back home after three days on the road.

Seriously, If you read tour journals of first time tourers, a large percentage of them seem to send home lots of stuff within the first week (or maybe after the first real hill?). You can get by with much less than you think.

Some thoughts:

You only need two pairs of bike shorts, shirts, and socks. Each afternoon when you get to camp, change clothes and wash the dirty set in a sink with woolite. Hang to dry by nightfall.

Get a pair of MTB bike shoes that have conservative styling, like Specialized Tahos, and you can wear them on and off the bike without looking too wierd.

If you are camping, a tarp tent packs much smaller and lighter than a tent. For summer/early fall, a summer weight down bag is very light and packs very small. An alcohol stove with 1L pot is extremely lightweight and fuel is readily available. A camelback partially inflated with air makes a fine pillow for no additional weight.

Keep off bike clothes to a minimmum. Less is more. Lightweight nylon convertible pants will work for both shorts and long pants as temperatures require. The dry quickly when washed. A single synthetic camp shirt will do for a shirt. Take a synthetic base layer for cold weather and use your rain jacket if it gets cold enough. any colder than that and either throw on your bike jersey under the sirt or go to bed!

Make sure your ATM card will work overseas before you leave but take some travelers checks for emergency cash in case there's a problem with the card.

Don't take a lot of tools and spare parts. I suspect they have bike shops in Ireland in the event a repair is needed. Get your bike tuned up and replace any worn parts about a month before you leave so you have time to make sure everything is properly adjusted.

Leave the CO2 cartridges at home. They're not permitted on aircraft. Buy them locally. Better yet, take a pump.

Leave some extra room in your panniers for that Irish Fisherman wool sweater that you'll have to buy. Better still, arrange to have it shipped home so you don't have to carry it.
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Old 11-22-05, 11:05 PM   #11
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Going on a 2-3 day local tour will answer most of your questions. Are you going to do any cooking? The issue that gave me the most worry for my 2 week tour was cooking gear and food. I spent weeks researching stoves before deciding to build an alcohol burner. I ended up never using it.

The weight you're going to carry is going to come down to comfort...how much you require personally (number of clothes changes, toiletries, reading material, souvenirs, etc) and how much repair and emergency equipment you carry to keep yourself from worrying.

Without getting into the unique challenges Ireland may pose, I'd aim for 20-25 pounds. A lighter load will of course put less stress on your legs and bike. If your bike fits properly and your rear wheel is strong and you won't have to worry about your largest potential problems.
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Old 11-23-05, 06:13 AM   #12
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You dont need to camp in Ireland, there is an excellent system of tourist hostels. You can also use the hostels as a base for day rides.
The weather can vary from warm and dry to quite cool and wet, esp in the moutains.
You need something for the pub and for cooler evenings.
2 small/med panniers and a bar bag should suffice.
Drying is not always quick so I take 2 shorts and 1pr padded underwear.
Lightweight waterproof top and bottoms
1 short jersey
one long jersey
tights/tracksters/leggings
ultralight windproof top
1 wicking T shirt
2 quick-dry underwear
1 polycotton travel pants (esp with zip-off legs)
1 warm pullover/light fleece
1 woolly hat or long neckwarmer.
3-4 socks
Travel towel

There are some decent bike shops around so you dont need spare tyres but a couple of spare inner tubes are essential.
You can buy stuff in Ireland if you forget.
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Old 11-23-05, 09:49 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Fixer
As far as how much stuff to take, for my next short 3 day tour, except for my sleeping bag, everything must fit in my two large rear panniers, including camping and cooking gear.
for my 2 week tour, everything INCLUDING my sleeping bag fit in my 2 large rear panniers
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Old 11-23-05, 11:22 AM   #14
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for my 2 week tour, everything INCLUDING my sleeping bag fit in my 2 large rear panniers
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Old 11-23-05, 12:27 PM   #15
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One week self supported with a Carradice Camper longflap (flap not extended) and a Topeak Front bag. Includes tent (tarp tent), bug netting, sleeping bag and Thermarest. No stove/pot, but I had room for it.

Total weight: 20 lbs including the bags.
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Old 11-23-05, 03:39 PM   #16
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Ireland is quite a bite for a first tour. Most of us carried way too much on our first tours and learned how to prioritize through experience. Anyhoooo, here's my take on it.
Bike stuff - frame pump, two or three spare tubes, a lock and the fewest amount of tools you can get by with for repairs that are most likely to be needed, such as flats, tightening bolts, etc. Leave the bottom bracket tool at home. I've found it helpful to carry two or three spare screws, bolts, etc. I carry a small headlight for the odd biking in darkness, which also doubles as a flashlight.
Shoes - SPD's are great for touring, but a lightweight pair of lowcut walking shoes are much more comfortable after a day of riding. This is especially true in Ireland as your riding shoes are likely to be soaked at some point.
Bike Clothing - a couple pair of riding shorts and a couple jerseys. That should be plenty for when on bike. Also a bike jacket because it can get cool in Ireland. I also had riding tights, but I went at an earlier time of year than you and it was a bit cooler. Don't forget the rain gear. I used rain jacket, pants and helmet cover, but I still got wet and chilly.
Off-bike clothing - A couple pair of lightweight long pants, a couple short sleeve t-shirts and a couple long sleeve t-shirts. You can probably get by with less, but that's always worked best for me. If you plan to buy shirt souveniers along the way, then reduce what you take. All shirts and pants should match when mixed. I have a formula for socks and undies. I carry old ones and wear them for 3 days and then discard. I do make sure to keep one clean set for my return trip home.
That's it for the necessities. Of course, you will want to carry a camera and something to take notes with. Also your toiletries, but keep this stuff to a minimum. Don't carry a big bottle of shampoo. Get a small bottle that will hold enough to see you through your trip. Same with shav cream, deodorant, etc.
My general rule of thumb: I don't take more than I can fit into my two medium sized rear panniers.
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Old 11-23-05, 05:34 PM   #17
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This is exactly what I was looking for. Thanks everyone. The tip with the zip off pants is a good one. It sure beats carrying a pair of jeans and shorts.

I have two pair of this type of pants. I picked up a couple very cheap. I use them for traveling to the Caribbean where it's cool on the plane but blazing hot when you step on to the tarmac. Plus these pants are still reasonably dressy.


I know about the tip of small bottles of shampoo. I do a number of sailing trips during the summer and I probably have delivered these small bottles to a number of marinas in the Chesapeake and the Caribbean.


Good tip on discarding the underwear and socks too. Your load gets lighter as you go.
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Old 11-23-05, 05:53 PM   #18
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You need the perfect towel: big enough to be useful; small enough to tuck under a strap without dragging in the wheel; and, not too heavy so it will dry in a few hours. Oh! by the way . . . make sure your towel is brown or red or anything but white or it will soon look so filthy you won't want to use it.

Another tip: bring some small wrapped soaps like you find in hotel room. You break it in half and just leave the unused part behind for the next person. So, two weeks equals ~ 7-soaps.
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Old 11-23-05, 06:08 PM   #19
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You need the perfect towel: big enough to be useful; small enough to tuck under a strap without dragging in the wheel; and, not too heavy so it will dry in a few hours. Oh! by the way . . . make sure your towel is brown or red or anything but white or it will soon look so filthy you won't want to use it.

Another tip: bring some small wrapped soaps like you find in hotel room. You break it in half and just leave the unused part behind for the next person. So, two weeks equals ~ 7-soaps.
I plan to stay in hosetels and B&Bs. I imagine B&Bs supply towels but what about hostels?

So I will not need cooking, tent or sleeping bag either.
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Old 11-23-05, 07:49 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by spinnaker
I plan to stay in hosetels and B&Bs. I imagine B&Bs supply towels but what about hostels?

So I will not need cooking, tent or sleeping bag either.

It depends on the hostel. I found that hostels in the US provided towels, but hostels in Australia did not. I would bring a towel with you just in case.

You might also want to bring a small inflatable pillow as well, if you are used to pillows that raise your head quite a bit. In a hostel, you'll likely get a small flat pillow. I either tuck my inflatable pillow underneath, or my jacket and a bunch of clothing to make the hostel pillow more comfortable.
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Old 11-23-05, 08:10 PM   #21
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[QUOTE=Machka]It depends on the hostel. I found that hostels in the US provided towels, but hostels in Australia did not. I would bring a towel with you just in case.



"Never under any circumstance go hitchhiking across the galaxy or bicycle touring in Ireland without your towel. If not needed towels make excellent pillows. However if used for intended purpose they tend to be a bit cold and damp as pillows...," Hitchhikers Guide to the Universe.


Happy Thanksgiving
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Old 11-23-05, 08:19 PM   #22
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[QUOTE=oknups]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Machka
It depends on the hostel. I found that hostels in the US provided towels, but hostels in Australia did not. I would bring a towel with you just in case.



"Never under any circumstance go hitchhiking across the galaxy or bicycle touring in Ireland without your towel. If not needed towels make excellent pillows. However if used for intended purpose they tend to be a bit cold and damp as pillows...," Hitchhikers Guide to the Universe.


Happy Thanksgiving


That's absolutely right!! You're never supposed to travel without your towel!!
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Old 11-23-05, 08:31 PM   #23
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That's absolutely right!! You're never supposed to travel without your towel!!
It is snowing in Baltimore, I am so excited I am going to put my schwalbe studs on tonight.

Slightly off topic. Sorry.
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Old 11-23-05, 08:37 PM   #24
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It is snowing in Baltimore, I am so excited I am going to put my schwalbe studs on tonight.

Slightly off topic. Sorry.
It's gorgeous up here in Canada ... we're setting record-breaking high temperatures. It has been warmer here now in late November than it was in June. Weird weather, but I'm certainly not complaining.

Do you know ... after all the years of cycling through the winter, I've never used studded tires. I've almost bought them a few times, but I've never actually done it. I just flatten my knobbies and I'm set.

Let me know how the snow riding goes ... maybe over in the Winter forum, I keep an eye on things there too.
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Old 11-23-05, 10:11 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by spinnaker
I plan to stay in hosetels and B&Bs. I imagine B&Bs supply towels but what about hostels?

So I will not need cooking, tent or sleeping bag either.

Well . . . if you ever find yourself touring--hiker/biker style--e.g., panniers, tent, handlebar bag, sleeping bag . . . one thing you should know: after a week or so you really get sick of the sound of zipping open/closed something for everything you need to do, e.g., in the tent, out, wrench, spray, eat a piece of cheese . . . zip, zip, ziiiip . . .
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