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  1. #1
    Senior Member cam117's Avatar
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    1st Mini Tour - 2 days, 160mi, solo - what do I take?

    I heading down to Jackson, MS in a couple of weeks and thought it would be a good opportunity to get some miles in on the Natchez trace. I'm having the wife drop me off in Tupelo and then I'm going to head south on the Trace to Jackson. I've never ridden > 60mi on the bike before, so I'm not too sure what to take.

    I'm planning on trying to find a motel somewhere around Kosizesco(sp?) , so I won't have to worry about camping. My bike has threads for attaching a bike rack, but I don't own one or any type of bag. I checked the 15 day forecast and it looks like highs in the mid 70's with a chance of rain on the second day. I don't mind spending say a couple hundred $$ on gear if its something that I can use on future trips.

    I'd like some help putting together a shopping / packing list.

  2. #2
    This user is a pipebomb brotherdan's Avatar
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    You will absolutely need:
    pump
    tubes
    tire levers
    cash/credit card
    map
    water bottles
    tooth brush, tooth paste

    You will probably want:
    multitool-with spoke wrench, chain tool and hex keys
    change of clothes-perhaps a jacket and pants would be nice too
    helmet
    sunglasses
    energy bars or some kind of trail mix
    cell phone
    cycling gloves

    There are lots of other things that you MIGHT want to bring along. But if you only plan to be on a two day tour you can leave a lot of things at home that you would want on a longer tour. If you wanted to camp, an essential equipment list would be quite a bit longer.

    If you really want to go bare bones and not bring extra clothes you might be able to do a short tour like this with only a handle bar bag and a seat wedge bag. If you want to bring more stuff along you should probably invest in a rack and a set of panniers. It really all depends on how light you want to travel.

    If you do decide to go for a rack I wouldn't skimp on price. You get what you pay for on touring racks. If you do decide to get panniers, you might want to just buy a set of small panniers that you could use as front panniers on a longer tour.
    Bikes belong in the motor city

  3. #3
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    Definitely bring a whole bunch of energy bars and some water / energy drinks. The rule o' thumb is to consume ~750ml / water and ~250 calories (mostly carbs) per hour. I have an odd feeling there aren't too many convenience stores along that route.

    If you haven't done that distance before, make sure to stretch frequently -- before, during and after the ride. Tiger Balm is also handy. You are likely to get sore from overuse, although if it's fairly flat on that route it won't be too bad.

    You should also do a few rides in advance with your luggage on the bike, so you get used to how it handles. (Fortunately weight is not as big of a factor in performance as people usually think.)

  4. #4
    aspiring wannabe hoogie's Avatar
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    a sense of adventure and a sense of humour ...
    thought for today: "Does my ass look fast on this bike?"

  5. #5
    Senior Member cam117's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brotherdan
    If you do decide to go for a rack I wouldn't skimp on price. You get what you pay for on touring racks. If you do decide to get panniers, you might want to just buy a set of small panniers that you could use as front panniers on a longer tour.
    Thanks for the advice. I lespecially ike the idea about using small panniers that could later be used for the front.

    Do you have any recommendation on brands for the rack and panniers? Also, should I get one of those rack-top bags or just stick with some small panniers?

  6. #6
    This user is a pipebomb brotherdan's Avatar
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    I run a Jandd expedition rack, which I would definitely recommend if you ever intend on getting into multi-week touring. It is longer than most racks, so it allows for more pedal clearance, and it has a larger platform than most racks do, so you can haul more stuff on top. It is also really sturdy, which is something that I look for in racks, as I broke a cheap rack when I first tried to get into touring several years ago. There are other good companies that manufacture racks, like old man mountain and several others that I can't think of at the moment.

    As far as panniers go, Ortlieb have always looked like the best ones on the market. If you want a truly waterproof pannier they are the best that I know of. But these panniers do have drawbacks. Because they are designed like drybags, you can only access your gear from the top, and they don't have any additonal pockets. There are lots of other options out there though, and I'm certainly not familiar with all of them.

    These are the front panniers that I use when I tour with front and back racks. They double as good small panniers that I use for day to day commuting as well. They are about as big as you want to get for a front pannier, so they might be perfect for the tour that you are contemplating:

    http://www.arkel-od.com/panniers/xm2...asp?fl=1&site=

    In terms of a rack top bag, that's a matter of personal preference. I've never used one myself, as I've always stowed my tent on top of my rack. I would just purchase a set of panniers in advance of your trip, and try to load them up with the items that you expect to take. If it looks like you are going to need more capacity than a set of panniers will provide you can go back and purchase an extra bag later.
    Bikes belong in the motor city

  7. #7
    Banned Bikepacker67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cam117
    Do you have any recommendation on brands for the rack and panniers? Also, should I get one of those rack-top bags or just stick with some small panniers?
    I do.
    For a rear rack, the bombproof Expedition, from Jandd. And for some good, but inexpensive panniers, a pair of Axioms

  8. #8
    Life is short Ride hard
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    Take one of these just in case


    Golite.com for more info
    The Ferrari ('05 Bianchi Forza) had a flat (Stupid Glass) the Japanese wagon ('77 Nishiki with Arkel Utility Basket) was in the body shop (On my bench being repainted...repent ye rust)
    so I took the SUV ( Cannondale V2000 Active 100SL)

  9. #9
    Life is short Ride hard
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    Oh and two of these



    Much cheaper alternatives can be found I would take the tarp so that you can put your self and the bike under the tarp incase it gets reall bad to the point it is dangerous to ride. Or you have a inconviente mechanical problem rises and can't make it to the motel
    The Ferrari ('05 Bianchi Forza) had a flat (Stupid Glass) the Japanese wagon ('77 Nishiki with Arkel Utility Basket) was in the body shop (On my bench being repainted...repent ye rust)
    so I took the SUV ( Cannondale V2000 Active 100SL)

  10. #10
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    Not sure I'd recommend "stealth camping" in the South. Sounds like a good way to get a derriere full o' buckshot to me...

  11. #11
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    This is pretty easy. Treat this like two metric century rides. You don't need a lot of repair stuff since your wife will not be very far away and can come pick you up if your bike becomes unrideable.

    Take the basic repair stuff for flats and minor adjustments. You'll need either a lightweight jacket or a base layer shirt that you wear under your jersey. It will likely be cool in the morning. Same for a pair of tights or long cycling pants. If there's a chance of rain, you'll need the jacket and rain pants. You'll probably want a change of clothes so you have something clean to wear when you get to the motel and go for dinner. You can take a second set of cycling clothes for that and wear them the next day riding.

    You'll want your cell phone for emergency, but check for service coverage before you go. Some providers, like Sprint, can have pretty poor coverage in rural areas. There may not be any cell towers along the Trace either. Maybe check with the Park Service now.

    For food, presuming you plan to stop for lunch about half way each day, you just need some snack food along the way. You don't need a big stash. Just a little more than what you might take on a 60 mile ride. you might want to take enough for both days if you have certain specific foods you like. Otherwise, you can restock at a convenience store when you stop for lunch and for the night.

    You should research water supplies. Since there are no commercial services along the Trace, you need to see where there are park facilities where you can refill water. Since you expect pretty cool temperatures, your water needs will be lower than if you were riding in the summer, but may still need to have some supply available. You can probably get by with a single CamelBak, but check into it so you know what to expect.

    I would skip the tarp. If weather is likely to be bad enough to need it, you would probably delay or cancel the trip anyway.

    As far as panniers go, smaller is better. Trust me, you will fill up whatever size you get.

  12. #12
    vintage tourer
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    first, i'll just note that you may not even need panniers at all for an overnight ride, since you'll be staying in a motel. in my racktop bag i can fit: lightweight raingear (top & bottoms), small tool kit & tube, an extra shirt, cable lock, paperback book & a few snacks. a lightweight fleece jacket can be stowed on top.

    check out the products at mec. excellent quality & good price. I've been using the aquanot 46 liter panniers and the rackpack backpack (page 2) for years. that size pannier would be way overkill for an overnighter, but all of their in-house products that i've ever bought have been very impressive performancewise.

    http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_l...=1160535365382

    racks with 3 stays will be extra stable: http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_l...=1160536161608

    hope you have a nice ride

  13. #13
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    For a list of water/restrooms along the Natchez Trace Parkway as well as nearby markets see: NatchezTraceTravel.com

  14. #14
    Senior Member meanderthal's Avatar
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    First time riding over 60 miles a day? A two-day, 160-mile trip? What do you take? Three days. Then enjoy a leisurely ride, stopping to take lots of photos along the way with the camera you've added to the above suggestions. Have fun!
    An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. - G. K. Chesterton

  15. #15
    ah.... sure. kayakdiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by supcom View Post
    This is pretty easy. Treat this like two metric century rides. You don't need a lot of repair stuff since your wife will not be very far away and can come pick you up if your bike becomes unrideable.

    Take the basic repair stuff for flats and minor adjustments. You'll need either a lightweight jacket or a base layer shirt that you wear under your jersey. It will likely be cool in the morning. Same for a pair of tights or long cycling pants. If there's a chance of rain, you'll need the jacket and rain pants. You'll probably want a change of clothes so you have something clean to wear when you get to the motel and go for dinner. You can take a second set of cycling clothes for that and wear them the next day riding.

    You'll want your cell phone for emergency, but check for service coverage before you go. Some providers, like Sprint, can have pretty poor coverage in rural areas. There may not be any cell towers along the Trace either. Maybe check with the Park Service now.

    For food, presuming you plan to stop for lunch about half way each day, you just need some snack food along the way. You don't need a big stash. Just a little more than what you might take on a 60 mile ride. you might want to take enough for both days if you have certain specific foods you like. Otherwise, you can restock at a convenience store when you stop for lunch and for the night.

    You should research water supplies. Since there are no commercial services along the Trace, you need to see where there are park facilities where you can refill water. Since you expect pretty cool temperatures, your water needs will be lower than if you were riding in the summer, but may still need to have some supply available. You can probably get by with a single CamelBak, but check into it so you know what to expect.

    I would skip the tarp. If weather is likely to be bad enough to need it, you would probably delay or cancel the trip anyway.

    As far as panniers go, smaller is better. Trust me, you will fill up whatever size you get.
    I think he'd end up 40 miles short
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  16. #16
    ah.... sure. kayakdiver's Avatar
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    The mileage is reasonable... Get an early start and take a break every few hours. Relax and repeat x 4 = 80 miles.

    Although I don't like them.... for your trip something as simple as a beam rack/bag combo should be enough for rain gear and one extra set of riding gear. Keep it light as possible so the miles go by quick. No reason to go crazy for two day rides in a row.

    I'm guessing you'll do great. Have a kick arse time.
    Save 15% on your first order at Hammer Nutrition!!

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  17. #17
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    You will absolutely need:
    bicycle
    water

    You will probably want:
    pump
    tubes
    patch kit
    tire levers
    cash/credit card
    map
    sun glasses
    water bottles
    shorts
    socks
    shoes

    You might also want:
    jersey
    multitool
    change of clothes
    helmet
    energy bars or some kind of trail mix
    cell phone
    pocket knife
    lighter

  18. #18
    Subjectively Insane MilitantPotato's Avatar
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    Zombie thread!!!
    You've got a bike, so you gotta move.

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