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Old 03-27-06, 01:14 AM   #1
chimpunk
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First weekend Trip... disastrous fun

I made my first self supported weekend trip this week, and I have to say, it was a blast! I wanted to take a short trip so I could get used to the idea of self supported touring, so I traveled 65 miles round trip. I learned alot from this simple outing about what to do and not to do, what to bring and what not to bring. The thing I needed most that I didn't bring were extra rack bolts for my fenders and rack . It's no fun to travel three hours and have your rack bust off the end of your bike while riding, then having to improvise a solution because I wasn't forward thinking enough to bring extra bolts, Doh!

Any way, I had alot of fun freezing my butt off in my tent and and will be heading out as soon as I get my bike out of the shop! Thats right, I guess I pushed my non-touring hybrid bike to its limits. The fork is coming loose from the headtube, I broke a spoke and my wheel is way out of true, and there is a very anoying click coming from my crankset . The worst part is that this is my main commuter bike, so now I have to ride a womans bike till I get mine back . The only damage to me is that I injured my knee. I think I stressed a ligament on the side. This caused me to average a six mile-an-hour pace on the way back due to the blinding pain.

I know this isn't a very big deal to all you cross country folk, but I had fun, enough to want to do it again and again, and make longer trips. For now I am stuck with only making weekend trips as far as my legs (and bike) can carry me.
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Old 03-27-06, 10:36 AM   #2
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Another convert

All the trials and tribulations you went through are worth it for the wisdom you've gained. You never know all the hundreds of little things you can prepare for until you've done it once or twice.

One exception to the "worth it" comment: the injured knee. Try to find out what caused it. Pedaling in too high a gear, seat not positioned properly, poorly adjusted pedals....? Find it and correct it. On a long tour, when this happens it's usually best to lay up for a day or two (or 5) to heal, you can't afford to drive a strain into a severe injury.

It's good to hear a first-ride report. Sounds like you had a blast! It's springtime, the road is calling...

-- Mark
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Old 03-27-06, 11:27 AM   #3
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Glad you enjoyed it. As for the knee pain, a general rule of thumb is that if the pain is in the BACK of the knee you may have the seat too HIGH. If the pain is in the FRONT of the knee,the seat may be too LOW. Pain on the outside of the knee is often IT Band (illium-Tibual band ) issues. Those can usually be averted with a stretching routine. I have to keep on myself to do my IT stretches, otherwise it will rear up and bite me.

As for the rack, every tourer worth his / her oatmeal always has a few zip-ties of various sizes tucked tonto the bag for that eventuality. I also use blue locktite on all the fender / rack bolts, to make sure that they don't come loose. (These lessons learned by trying to fix a broken rack with a piece of wire that I found lying along the road). In a pinch you may be able to use the bolts from your water bottle cages to fix the rack.

Steve W.
If it ain't broke, fix it till it is....
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Old 03-27-06, 04:58 PM   #4
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Mentor: Excellent idea on the Blue LokTite for the racks. Also, I have gone to black machine studs with allen heads for holding the racks and fenders on. They just seem to work better.
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Old 03-27-06, 05:06 PM   #5
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Does Locktite mean you can never get the bolt out?

<sorry to digress>
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Old 03-27-06, 05:17 PM   #6
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What size are the bolts? The bolts that came with my fenders are too small for my back eyelets. The front ones were fine. I've used a bolt and nut for now.

On my last (first!) 50 mile ride, I started getting knee pain and raised the seat. Helped a lot - the pain went away (I didn't speed up though because I was spent and riding into a headwind.)

Oh yeah, congrats on the first tour. I haven't done an overnight yet. That's why people suggest doing short trips first - to sort out your equipment (and know what spares to take). Did you weigh your load?

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Old 03-27-06, 05:49 PM   #7
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Blue loktite

I use that stuff everyplace. Blue is formulated so it causes the threads to adhere, but it can easily be broken free. Red Loktite is like a chemical weld, and you'll likely strip threads or snap a bolt before it comes loose. Blue is the stuff
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Old 03-28-06, 01:16 AM   #8
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Red can be removed with heat.

The click in your cranks usually means they need tightening. Suprising this didn't show up in the first 500 miles of commuting. I usually remove the cranks, grease and retighten. You may need a long handle to do this justice.

One thing that often helps knees is to hook your heel under a piece of furniture (a foot off the ground, like a chiar someone is sitting on), and try to lift it. Just a basic hamstring tensioning exercise. This can provide amazing relief with minimal application. Just some gentle isometric exercise don't go all Flashdance on me. Seems as though the quads get out of ballance at the knees and a minimal amount of exercise of the hamstrings sets you straight. Seat positioning is critical as has already been mentioend. Be sure you Hybrid actually allows a correct position. Some of them have seat tubes that are far too slack. A tube in the 73 degree range is a good sign.

Learn to spin.
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Old 03-29-06, 10:18 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caspar_s
What size are the bolts? The bolts that came with my fenders are too small for my back eyelets. The front ones were fine. I've used a bolt and nut for now.

On my last (first!) 50 mile ride, I started getting knee pain and raised the seat. Helped a lot - the pain went away (I didn't speed up though because I was spent and riding into a headwind.)

Oh yeah, congrats on the first tour. I haven't done an overnight yet. That's why people suggest doing short trips first - to sort out your equipment (and know what spares to take). Did you weigh your load?

I put the back of my bike on a scale before I took off and it came in @ 85 pounds. some of that was the bike weight and panniers. I believe the panniers are ten pounds by themselves when empty. I didn't take a whole lot of stuff. Two Panniers, a tent, sleeping bag, and tons of water. I took twice the water I actually needed and that added alot of weight to the bike also. The reason I took so much was because I was riding a bike trail through mostly wooded areas and wouldn't have a convenient place to refill.

I rested my knee with a compression wrap and it healed up in one day. The pain was in the side of the knee, so I believe it was due to improper stretching as mentor suggested. Next time I will stop more frequently to stretch.

The bolts on my bike are 10/32 if I remeber correctly. I had to pick up longer ones at the hardware store, but all they had were phillips head. I am looking for the hex stainless machine bolts, but I have to get them from a specialty shop. I haven't been down to the bike shop to see if they have any. I was thinking of using pipe tape on the rackbolts. I have used it on cheaper beater bikes to hold loose parts on with success in the past.

Thanks for the input and support!
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Old 03-29-06, 06:11 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Peterpan1
Seems as though the quads get out of ballance at the knees and a minimal amount of exercise of the hamstrings sets you straight.
Yeah this is definately true cyclists build up quads alot more than they do hammstrings. It's very important for these muscles to be close in stregth or else it becomes very easy to pull one (at least thats what track coaches have told me but I imagine the same goes for cycling).
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Old 03-29-06, 08:40 PM   #11
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Congrats on your first tour! While carrying some spare parts seriously consider a fibre spoke and a few zip ties. Between the two you can handle a lot of unexpected problems!

It sounds like you had fun regardless of anything else. That's the most important thing!

~Jamie N
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Old 03-29-06, 11:03 PM   #12
5 more
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Originally Posted by jnoble123
Congrats on your first tour! While carrying some spare parts seriously consider a fibre spoke and a few zip ties. Between the two you can handle a lot of unexpected problems!

It sounds like you had fun regardless of anything else. That's the most important thing!

~Jamie N
I've seen fibre and Kevlar spooks mentioned before. How sells them? Do you have a web address?

Vince
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Old 03-29-06, 11:04 PM   #13
5 more
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jnoble123
Congrats on your first tour! While carrying some spare parts seriously consider a fibre spoke and a few zip ties. Between the two you can handle a lot of unexpected problems!

It sounds like you had fun regardless of anything else. That's the most important thing!

~Jamie N
I've seen fibre and Kevlar spooks mentioned before. Who sells them?

Vince
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Old 03-29-06, 11:05 PM   #14
5 more
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jnoble123
Congrats on your first tour! While carrying some spare parts seriously consider a fibre spoke and a few zip ties. Between the two you can handle a lot of unexpected problems!

It sounds like you had fun regardless of anything else. That's the most important thing!

~Jamie N
I've seen fibre and Kevlar spooks mentioned before. Who sells them?

Vince
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