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  1. #1
    Senior Member Curiouswill's Avatar
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    Considering trying out touring along a familiar route?

    Hi Everyone, (first post in the touring forum, I think)

    I've been planning to try and set up for a cross country trip in the next few year once I get my step-uncle van within the next few months. But because of my enjoyment of traveling, I would like to see how I would take to traveling a little on my bike.

    (NOTES: I have not yet decided on the date of the trip, this is purely for researching so I can see a few possibly specific suggestions for me in case I suffer informational overload from reading the newb guide to touring and other research)

    I have a motobecane, thread about this bike, with a rear rack (not in the picture in the provided link about the bike). I'm 5'11" and are ~200 pounds (15 less by the trip hopefully!) and have been riding the bike very single day so far (beside last Wednesday due to a little spill on Tuesday causing a sore area in the inner thigh) so my leg have been developing and my gut shrinking. I also have some experience with camping and the light-weight packing part of hiking (have not done either much lately due to financial limit).

    Should I do go on this route (route info below), I would not be taking much food with me since there is a Wal-Mart on the way thru Canon City that I could use to get some disposable camping supplies to the campsite. While I don't have a tent yet, I'm looking around for a minimalistic type version so I don't have to lug it along too hard. I'm considering trying out the hammock/tarp combination (with the tarp being there for in case of bad weather) and maybe a large mosquito net to drape over the tarp (if I want a conventional tent, I'll look in a surplus store for a puppy tent). I know that there is a fire pit with a roofed picnicking spot next to it so I won't need to bring any heating elements but how should I bring cold foods (such as meats like hotdogs) to the campsite? Should I get and rig up a small cooler to hang off the side of the rack like a pannier do? Is there a "cooler bag" that I could roll up when not in use? I would not mind having to bike to Canon City for the foods but I think that I would perfer to use that time to explore the place and stuffs. I'm ok with having a cold breakfast and lunch but it is the supper that I might want to have something warm to eat with.

    As you might see, my comfort need are very very low and I'm willing to rough it if I need to but Like I said, I don't really wanna waste too much of my time just to set everything up. I also don't want to disturb the wildlife any more than necessary. (there are several bear-proof trash can and a restroom (extremely stinky though!) nearby so that is not much of a issue)

    There is a particular road that I have been eye-ing for a possible future century attempt and feels that this road would be best for me since I have driven through that route to a free campsite near royal gorge for a TD&TTT (teardrops and Tiny Travel Trailer) gathering (just was being a newb wishing for a trailer of my own). This particular road are very beautiful on a good weather day, going through meandering hills and occasionally at times you get to see far off into the plains to the east. There are some hills (a few partiulary steeps one are at the beginning of the highway 115. There are usually only a few vehicles there when I had driven there (on a nice weekend day) so this shouldn't be too much of a issue and I'll be willing to pull over at times to allow these vehicles to pass me. a large part of that highway are no-passing zone but I don't think that these people will follow that rule when there are no other cars coming in the next mile or so. I'm guessing based on this route, a 3 day trip with day 1 is for getting there and settling in, day 2 is for sight-seeing, and then day 3 is for cleaning up and getting back home (doesn't sound like much time to enjoy myself but I'm not sure how much time I could afford for this trip so 3 day is a good amount for this, I think).

    Here is a link to the Gmap route that I've mapped out, (the first part of the route (before highway 115) could be changed if necessary for better access if necessary)
    http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=924681

    Hopes to hear tips and suggestions of what to do for this practice trip.

    P.S.
    the rack that I have is the either one of the below,
    http://www.jandd.com/detail.asp?PRODUCT_ID=FRSTD (guessing this one is that I have)
    http://www.jandd.com/detail.asp?PRODUCT_ID=FRECN

    P.S.S.
    How would I go about getting a touring partner or at least somebody who might wanna camp at the same campsite? would be useful for livening up the day and helping each other big time. (I don't currently have any cycling friend yet though I'm going to be joining some group ride soon to meet a few )

  2. #2
    Senior Member Curiouswill's Avatar
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    [BUMP]

    Reading up on the tip&trick sticky and the bicycle touring 101 site. Also reading other's account of their trips for info and whatnot. Looks like Lost & Lost of info, in fact, so much that I'm having difficulties sorting thru it properly to find one that would work well for me.

    I'm thinking that maybe I should save up the money for some touring equipment (that can be transferred to a better bike when I can afford it) such as one of those cargo touring trailer (would be very useful for other errands like groceries anyway) and whatnot. Any suggestion for something (low budget wise) that a beginner like me should keep an eye out for?

  3. #3
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Look for a good quality used Kid trailer as an entry trailer.....

    I picked one up for $50 and it was only used 3 or 4 times when I got it.

    A Burley cargo trailer also would be good or a BOB trailer. (Actually, these would be the better option, but more expensive, even used!)
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  4. #4
    Senior Member Curiouswill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe
    Look for a good quality used Kid trailer as an entry trailer.....

    I picked one up for $50 and it was only used 3 or 4 times when I got it.

    A Burley cargo trailer also would be good or a BOB trailer. (Actually, these would be the better option, but more expensive, even used!)
    Yeah I'm considering this option. 1 question though, would I have to upgrade the trailer wheel to be able to hold more weight or what? For my (theoretical) style of camping (extremely minimalistic) 1 trailer should be enough to store most of my stuffs (guessing) beside foodstuffs. and I already have a pannier that I've been using quite a bit (perfect size for 2 bottle of 1 gal of milks (the gas station nearby sells it pretty cheap when I buy it in 2)). I'm going to look into a DIY route with making my own set of touring pannier, looks like there are alot of DIY info. I wonder if there is 1 or somebody would like to set up a DIY sticky thread where they would post links to various sort of info about DIY project and threads? (Looking for this in case I've missed it)

    I saw a BOB trailer for sale at the LBS that I go to, I think that it was around $300 defidently not what I can afford but if I could find a used one cheap Great! cause I rather like the design better than the 2 wheeled version.

    P.S. in case some of y'all thinks that I'm over-reaching in the minimalistic department. I think that I've already been living minimally for quite a while and actually enjoy it. the main differences between my home minimalistic living and camping living would be mostly in the cooking equipment and materials. I'm actually trying to sell off my computer, all of my furniture (beside an exercise bench), and ALL excess stuffs that I have in the few boxes in my closet. I've been really getting into this kind of mind-frame in the last few months and are starting to get tired of the computer (still love the internet and a free oldie laptop from a step-sister with a Ubuntu CD should helps with the internet/journal/basic thing) and the furnitures cause they feel excessive to me. I've managed to sell my TV and book shelf a few weeks ago, I saw a immediate improvement with my space management (allowed me to rotate my desk around against the wall) and time management (less TV to transform me into a couch potato).

  5. #5
    Senior Member ken cummings's Avatar
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    I have been down that road between Canon City and Colorado Springs many times and remembered all the traffic. The only part I liked was seeing the stables for the Budweiser Clydesdales south of C.S. Better for riding would be the route of the Tour de Hardscrabble Century that was being put on by a Colorado Springs cycling Club when I lived in the area. That club might also have some people to ride with you.That route went: Canon City - hwy 116 - Florence - hwy 67 - hwy 96 - Westcliffe - hwy 69 - US 50 - Canon City. Or you could ride up to Cripple Creek or Victor and back.
    This space open

  6. #6
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    My trailer is rated for 110 pounds, and I think that's the standard for them.

    Stay away from the real cheapies though, brand wise.

    Quote Originally Posted by Curiouswill
    Yeah I'm considering this option. 1 question though, would I have to upgrade the trailer wheel to be able to hold more weight or what? For my (theoretical) style of camping (extremely minimalistic) 1 trailer should be enough to store most of my stuffs (guessing) beside foodstuffs. and I already have a pannier that I've been using quite a bit (perfect size for 2 bottle of 1 gal of milks (the gas station nearby sells it pretty cheap when I buy it in 2)). I'm going to look into a DIY route with making my own set of touring pannier, looks like there are alot of DIY info. I wonder if there is 1 or somebody would like to set up a DIY sticky thread where they would post links to various sort of info about DIY project and threads? (Looking for this in case I've missed it)

    I saw a BOB trailer for sale at the LBS that I go to, I think that it was around $300 defidently not what I can afford but if I could find a used one cheap Great! cause I rather like the design better than the 2 wheeled version.

    P.S. in case some of y'all thinks that I'm over-reaching in the minimalistic department. I think that I've already been living minimally for quite a while and actually enjoy it. the main differences between my home minimalistic living and camping living would be mostly in the cooking equipment and materials. I'm actually trying to sell off my computer, all of my furniture (beside an exercise bench), and ALL excess stuffs that I have in the few boxes in my closet. I've been really getting into this kind of mind-frame in the last few months and are starting to get tired of the computer (still love the internet and a free oldie laptop from a step-sister with a Ubuntu CD should helps with the internet/journal/basic thing) and the furnitures cause they feel excessive to me. I've managed to sell my TV and book shelf a few weeks ago, I saw a immediate improvement with my space management (allowed me to rotate my desk around against the wall) and time management (less TV to transform me into a couch potato).
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  7. #7
    Senior Member Curiouswill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ken cummings
    I have been down that road between Canon City and Colorado Springs many times and remembered all the traffic. The only part I liked was seeing the stables for the Budweiser Clydesdales south of C.S. Better for riding would be the route of the Tour de Hardscrabble Century that was being put on by a Colorado Springs cycling Club when I lived in the area. That club might also have some people to ride with you.That route went: Canon City - hwy 116 - Florence - hwy 67 - hwy 96 - Westcliffe - hwy 69 - US 50 - Canon City. Or you could ride up to Cripple Creek or Victor and back.
    Well I would have to start from Colorado Springs anyway (no working vehicle at the moment) and there is a campsite that I've gone to near the royal gorge that I've liked. Is there any alternative route to royal gorge from COS? and why was this route unsatifying for you? Just want to know so I can understand to avoid the same mistake.

    Though, Like I've said, I've gone on that road with my car (when it was working) and I had really liked it. It may not have many thing going on along that route but I kinda perfer a quiet meandering road like this and thinks that I would enjoy it more on a bike (esp since I'm starting to get better riding no handed. maybe whenever I get bored I could always reads my book along the way )

    I'll have to ask the cycling group about the route that you suggested. I have not joined any of their ride yet and are currently trying to contact them for info and whatnot. Hopefully, they'll let me join a few of their easy ride before deciding whether it would be worth it to pay the membership cost (esp since their membership application doesn't says how often I would have to pay, monthly?, yearly?, or one time only?)

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe
    My trailer is rated for 110 pounds, and I think that's the standard for them.

    Stay away from the real cheapies though, brand wise.
    ~100 pounds? oh ok sound like I won't need to do much mutilation to the main support frame of the trailer. Thanks gonna put out a call tomorrow for one of these bike trailer on craiglist, freecycle, and the local bargaining yahoo group. Hopefully something cheap and good show up

    though which brands should I avoid? cause if I'm going the used route, I may not notice till it is too late due to my lack of experiences with these trailers.

    Oh, when I put out these calls for the trailer tomorrow, what information about my bike should I include? is there anything in particular about how the trailer hook up to the bike that may require me to focus on a particular type of trailers? I just want to make sure so I won't have to waste times trying to get there to check it out only to have it turns out to not fit my bike at all.

  8. #8
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Look for Burley, Schwinn, then I-Step is a bit lower quality. The Big Box Store Pacifics really stink!
    I use a Schwinn Trailer, myself, and have been fairly happy with it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Curiouswill
    Well I would have to start from Colorado Springs anyway (no working vehicle at the moment) and there is a campsite that I've gone to near the royal gorge that I've liked. Is there any alternative route to royal gorge from COS? and why was this route unsatifying for you? Just want to know so I can understand to avoid the same mistake.

    Though, Like I've said, I've gone on that road with my car (when it was working) and I had really liked it. It may not have many thing going on along that route but I kinda perfer a quiet meandering road like this and thinks that I would enjoy it more on a bike (esp since I'm starting to get better riding no handed. maybe whenever I get bored I could always reads my book along the way )

    I'll have to ask the cycling group about the route that you suggested. I have not joined any of their ride yet and are currently trying to contact them for info and whatnot. Hopefully, they'll let me join a few of their easy ride before deciding whether it would be worth it to pay the membership cost (esp since their membership application doesn't says how often I would have to pay, monthly?, yearly?, or one time only?)



    ~100 pounds? oh ok sound like I won't need to do much mutilation to the main support frame of the trailer. Thanks gonna put out a call tomorrow for one of these bike trailer on craiglist, freecycle, and the local bargaining yahoo group. Hopefully something cheap and good show up

    though which brands should I avoid? cause if I'm going the used route, I may not notice till it is too late due to my lack of experiences with these trailers.

    Oh, when I put out these calls for the trailer tomorrow, what information about my bike should I include? is there anything in particular about how the trailer hook up to the bike that may require me to focus on a particular type of trailers? I just want to make sure so I won't have to waste times trying to get there to check it out only to have it turns out to not fit my bike at all.
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  9. #9
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe
    Look for Burley, Schwinn, then I-Step is a bit lower quality. The Big Box Store Pacifics really stink!
    I use a Schwinn Trailer, myself, and have been fairly happy with it.
    The kid trailer mount is pretty standard. The only thing that would worry me is if you have carbon stays.
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  10. #10
    Senior Member Curiouswill's Avatar
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    My bike is not carbon (I think) so that shouldn't be too much of a issue.

    another question about the trailer attachment, seeing how it attach to or near the hub of the wheel, would having a quick release wheel interfere with the standard typr connection set-up? cause both wheel is quick-release on my bike.

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