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Thread: First Tour

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    First Tour

    I'm planning my first tour. Its gonna be a 245 mile ride from Marquette MI to Atlanta MI. I'm thinking it'll take me three days so I'll average just over 80 Miles a day. There are towns at the two places I'll be stopping but I plan on camping. Now, I have a few questions about what to bring. e.g. extra tire?, tubes (how many)... I'll be riding pretty decent roads the whole time and I know the route. Though finding parts would be a nightmare. Any advice would be great. Thanks!

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    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    On a ride that length I would carry the same tools and spares that I would carry on a day ride. That would be some basic tools, a patch kit, and one or two spare tubes depending on the area. Personally, I wouldn't carry a spare tire. On a coast to coast trip I added a few spares, but not all that much more.

    Have a great trip.

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    I don't mean to sound negative, but doing 80+ miles a day on a route that you're familiar with doesn't sound like a lot of fun. Couldn't you take a bit more time off, and do less miles per day in a part of the country that's new to you?

    On my own first tour I packed far too much, and had set far too gruelling distance targets for each day. I met a Frenchman who was touring the whole of the UK with a single bag, and had set himself a target of maximum 30 miles per day. That's the way to enjoy it.

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    I take something to deal with anything on the bike I know how to fix. There are a few things that are too bulky and heavy that I don't fix. But just go over your bike and look at everything and ask yourself what you would do if it gave trouble. You either dont know how to fix it, won't be able to carry it, or you need to carry it. I should point out through careful equipment selection over the years the stuff I need to carry goes mostly in the palm of my hands. Try to get everything adjustible by allen wrenches, and just carry the keys your bike actually uses not the fancy tools with lots of heavy bits you won't use.

    Tire wise I do carry a folding tire. One can go any time and when it does it will let you down in a big way. I can't always get the repalcement parts I want even in a big city, and it means a lot of wasted time. However, a lot of people don't take it this far, also it depends how bulletproof your tires are. I would rather carry a tire and run light ones than rotate dead weight all day. At least on blacktop tour.

    For patching, I use instant stick patches, a Quick Stick for unzipping the tire, and a Road Morph pump for making inflation easy.

    I carry light gloves to keep oil off my hands and other dirt.

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    Senior Member gregw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Al Downie View Post
    I don't mean to sound negative, but doing 80+ miles a day on a route that you're familiar with doesn't sound like a lot of fun. Couldn't you take a bit more time off, and do less miles per day in a part of the country that's new to you?

    On my own first tour I packed far too much, and had set far too gruelling distance targets for each day. I met a Frenchman who was touring the whole of the UK with a single bag, and had set himself a target of maximum 30 miles per day. That's the way to enjoy it.
    +1 on the mileage, 80 miles a day is doable, but if you have the time, why do it? Depending on what types of things were along the way, I would defiantly do 4 days or if there was something interesting along the way, schedule a half day there and extend the tour to 5 days.

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    Senior Member gregw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
    On a ride that length I would carry the same tools and spares that I would carry on a day ride. That would be some basic tools, a patch kit, and one or two spare tubes depending on the area. Personally, I wouldn't carry a spare tire. On a coast to coast trip I added a few spares, but not all that much more.

    Have a great trip.
    +1

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    Thanks for the great tips. I should have been more clear about how "familiar" I am with the route. It is similar to the route I drive to get from my house to my parents, but I have never biked it. The big reason for the 8o miles is that it is very convenient as far as places to stay go. Depending on what happens I may stop at Mackinaw Island, for those that don't know, its 8 miles around and no cars horse's and bikes only. So hopefully everything goes good and I enjoy it.

  8. #8
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by ivesjd View Post
    I'm planning my first tour. Its gonna be a 245 mile ride from Marquette MI to Atlanta MI. I'm thinking it'll take me three days so I'll average just over 80 Miles a day. There are towns at the two places I'll be stopping but I plan on camping. Now, I have a few questions about what to bring. e.g. extra tire?, tubes (how many)... I'll be riding pretty decent roads the whole time and I know the route. Though finding parts would be a nightmare. Any advice would be great. Thanks!
    Whoa! Isn't 80 miles a day a bit much for your first tour? If you keep the mileage shorter, you'll probably enjoy the trip more. Don't get white line fever!

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