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Old 10-01-07, 09:44 AM   #1
I922sParkCir
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Preparing for my first tour, Orange County to Seattle.

I'm a 20 year-old full-time student, and every year in August I go up to Seattle to visit family. I've driven, took a train, and flew, but now that I'm car free, I want to bike. I'm going to do the Adv-Cycling route up Pacific Coast Highway. I bike about 150 to 200 miles a week, and I'm in fairly good shape. What should I do to physically prepare? I have a 1999 Trek 520, and I'm looking at these and these panniers, and these and these racks. What do you guy's think? Should I just save money on panniers and go with inexpensive REI's?

Also, I want to go for speed. I'm not too big on the out-doors. I don't mind sleeping in a tent for 20 days, or not showering often, or being cold and wet for days. The out-doors just aren't that impressive to me, so spending time/slowing down to enjoy the environment, isn't worth it to me. That being said, how long do you think it'll take? How many mile a day do you think I would be able to do? How often do you think I'll need to rest?

I'm really going to enjoy this. Thank you guy's for helping me plan.

-Jai


**edit**

Ok, so I now will be going north to south (wind issue), and I'm reading a journal and this guy used a BOB Yak.

I never really considered a trailer, the only downside I see is the added wieght of the trailer. Other say "don't take a trailer, you bring to much stuff", but is that the only down side?

-Jai

Last edited by I922sParkCir; 10-05-07 at 08:44 AM.
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Old 10-02-07, 06:48 AM   #2
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First I have to say that north to south is the preferable way due to prevailing winds, as well as the fact that the shoulder is often better on the outside. So think about getting to Seattle some other way and riding back????

Anyway, to prepare, just keep riding. Riding with a load is different, but you'll be in the swing of it after 3 days or so. I did this route once. The beauty in the daytime during the ride was spectacular, but when I got to the campsites at night I was too tired to "enjoy the environment". I walked to the beach once, spent about 20 minutes looking at it, and went back to camp to lie down. That was it.

I averaged 55 miles a day and took 4 weeks. I camped the whole way, except for two nights in a hotel in Brookings, Oregon - about halfway.

I used REI panniers, bought 15 years ago. They worked great and I still use them. I haven't checked out the new versions. I'd say buy them with confidence, or buy the Arkels if you really want them and plan on doing lots of touring in the future.
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Old 10-02-07, 07:53 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by BigBlueToe View Post
First I have to say that north to south is the preferable way due to prevailing winds, as well as the fact that the shoulder is often better on the outside. So think about getting to Seattle some other way and riding back????
Yeah, a classmate just informed me about this fact yesterday. The issue is that I always start school right after I come back. I don't want to underestimate time, and get back late. I also don't want to over estimate and have less time with my family. You're right though, I will go from Seattle to Orange County, I will just leave a little early.

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Originally Posted by BigBlueToe View Post
I used REI panniers, bought 15 years ago. They worked great and I still use them. I haven't checked out the new versions. I'd say buy them with confidence, or buy the Arkels if you really want them and plan on doing lots of touring in the future.
I'll only really do this twice a year at most, so the REI panniers are probably a better investment.

Thank you.
-Jai
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Old 10-02-07, 01:50 PM   #4
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Check out the journals of people who have done the Pacific coast on www.crazyguyonabike.com Lots of good info there as well.
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Old 10-02-07, 08:45 PM   #5
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You will love it. I just finished a 1000 mile piece of your trip, from Aberdeen, WA to S.F, which took us 18 days. Consider getting the Adventure Cycling maps. Also, there are a ton of hills on this section, but you are young & will do some hill training. I love Arkel panniers, if you spring for them they will last you forever. While you are at it take a look at Tubus racks. Oh, make sure that your wheelset is up to loaded touring.

Tom
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Old 10-05-07, 07:57 AM   #6
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That pannier combination is absolutely huge. The GT54's plus the T22's that I have are way more than enough.
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Old 10-05-07, 08:41 AM   #7
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Ok, so I now will be going north to south, and I'm reading a journal and this guy used a BOB Yak.

I never really considered a trailer, the only downside I see is the added wieght of the trailer. Other say "don't take a trailer, you bring to much stuff", but is that the only down side?

-Jai
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Old 10-05-07, 08:52 AM   #8
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There's no reason for you to take a trailer, you have a real tour bike. Trailers mess up the handling of your bike, you have to carry a different size spare tube, they are a pain to park. They are an OK solution for carrying gear on a bike that has some problem with attaching racks/panniers, and for off-road riding. Other than that, there's no up-side I can see.

("Hey valygrl, tell us what you REALLY think!" hahaha)
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Old 10-05-07, 09:21 AM   #9
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I'm just about to do a tour with my BOB in Oregon. Did one this summer with it and it was great.

It does mess with your handling, but so do loaded panniers. Its heavier, but you can easily detach it when you get to your campsite and head off for "rest day" rides.

It is easier on wheels since you have a third wheel to distribute weigth to.

Its harder to travel with for sure, because you have one more thing to take apart/put back together.

Packing everything into one bag is faster in the morning than 4 to 5 panniers and bags.

Parking is more challenging, kinda, because its harder to lean againts something, but you can just jack-knife the trailer and it acts like a big kickstand.

Bottom line, there's advantages and disadvantages to both. The biggest negative to the bob is the extra weight, but for me that's always been outweighed by the convience of it compared to racks and panniers.
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Old 10-06-07, 04:32 PM   #10
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Besides what was mentioned about trailers. I don't like the problems they present getting on and off curbs, getting on ferries
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Old 10-08-07, 08:42 AM   #11
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I've posted about trailers before, as have many others. I was curious about them so I bought a BOB Yak and took it from Seattle to Omak, Washington, over the North Cascades Highway last summer. Here's my review, in a nutshell:

Pros:
- Can carry a ton!
- Easy to pack - no need to worry much about balancing side to side like panniers, or exactly where everything goes. Just stuff it in the big yellow bag.
- Big yellow bag is waterproof. No need for garbage bags, pannier rain covers, etc.
- Handling is great. Others have posted to the contrary, but I didn't have any trouble with handling. In fact, after starting up after a rest I'd always check my rear view mirror to make sure it was attached!
- Easy to attach. Oh, there were those awkward moments when things weren't quite balanced and it would jackknife or get away from me somehow, but usually it was a simple matter to hook it on and get going.
- Great for bikes without brazeons.
- Diminishes chances for broken spokes.
- No need to buy racks (or panniers).

Cons:
- Weight - the thing weighs something like 13 pounds unloaded. That's a lot for bike touring.
- Rolling resistance - you can't deny that a third wheel adds some.
- Have to carry an extra tube. My 700 tube just won't fit the 16" tire.
- Different valve. My BOB wheel came with Schrader valves. I have a Zefal HPX pump. When I'd pump up my tires in the mornings I'd have to do the switch of the rubber thing on the pump head. Not a huge deal, but inconvenient.
- Harder to park and lock up. Again, a minor inconvenience.

My conclusion: Even though the trailer worked great and had some pros, I'm going back to panniers. The main thing was the weight/rolling resistance. On flats and gentle hills it wasn't bad, but climbing the passes was a pain! I started referring to it as "the anchor". I kept trying to shift to a lower gear and there wasn't one.

However, I'm still not convinced that I wouldn't have suffered similarly with panniers on that route - the North Cascades is a bear! I think the definitive test would be to something similar - steep and long - twice is fairly rapid succession - once with the trailer and once with panniers, so I could compare apples to apples.

For now I'm going back to panniers on my next tour, which probably won't be until next summer. We'll see then. Of course, it still won't be a scientific comparison because I bought a new bike - a Surly LHT, which should improve my experience with either rig.
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Old 10-08-07, 06:17 PM   #12
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I rode the pac coast as one leg of my recent tour around the perimeter of the country. Sweet Riding, you'll be happy you chose N-S, the winds would be brutal.

I rode with panniers, my buddy with a bob. The trailer was nice as we could flip it and use it as a table or a grill whenever we were bushing campsites (not a real problem on the coast as there are literally hundreds of camping areas).

we averaged around 80 miles a day, but if I had to do it again, I would go a little slower and enjoy the scenery and the people you meet. If you have any questions, feel free to drop me a line. If you want to see some of our pics, you can find them here:

http://www.ride4ror.com
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