Hi folks. Its gotta start somewhere so let the pre-tour planning begin!
I have scoured this forum for helpful hints on many cycling issues, mechanical problems and gear recommendations to make my year-round 6 mile commute go smoothly. Now I'll be hitting you folks up for touring planning so you've been warned...: )
So I am planning for an overnight ride from Pittsburgh to the north along the Underground Railroad spur. I would like to get to Lake Erie. Following that, if things go well (which I expect them to), I will do a ride to DC. But first things first.
The bike is a 2006 Bianchi Volpe which I bought for commtg/touring. Last June I took it on a 115 mile 2-day MS ride w/ a few friends. My knees suffered problems & arthritis was the diagnosis. A cycling expert found a leg length discrepancy & some pronation. He recommended clipless pedals w/shims and maintaining 90 rpm cadence as a minimum. I've been riding on Wellgos SPDs since early July. I am still mulling over Time Atacs (recommended by crazyguyonabike) and Speedplay X (recommended by a local shop who told me to get away from SPD systems) as well as others like Look KEOs (but the cleats just look huge!).
I am assembling a list of equipment that I will buy or borrow. Hopefully, I will get to try some friend's stuff for comparisons sake.
REI's sales/Outlet might be the best bet for putting together a camping kit (for example, I just saw this stove on sale:<http://www.rei.com/REI-Outlet/product/770295>, has anyone tried this setup?).
Second choice maybe Campmor (bigger selection, better prices but without REI's easy return policy).
Anyway, lots of stuff I'm working on here. Please comment on whatever your experiences have been. I expect to be hitting this sub-forum a lot in the next two months (not to mention training & mechanics!).