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Old 04-19-09, 05:07 PM   #1
anthonybcc
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Going biking/camping for my first time!

Im newer to riding, and have only road a couple times this year. The most being about 30miles before I went to work one day. My ass hurt more than my legs from that saddle, and my knees started to swell a day or 2 later. I figure my rear will get aquainted to his new friend (saddle), and Ill just bring alot of Ibuprophen with me on my trip if my knees get bad. I figure Ill take a 2-3 day trip, and just ride easy. Im going tommorow to get the rest of the gear I need (tent, panniers, cords, rain gear, sleeping bag).

I figure Ill just learn from experience (makes it even more fun!). But Ive never camped alone... What do I need to be careful of, and what the heck do I do at night when i get there? I dont think I can pack a case of beer on my back, so maybe a fifth of something will do. Maybe see if I can catch a fish or 2 and filet/cook it right there, bring a book, I dont know lol. I cant wait till tuesday, thats why Im posting now. Im pretty stoked about it.
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Old 04-19-09, 05:30 PM   #2
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Well, you are right in that you will learn by doing. Just don't do anything to put your life at risk and it'll work out fine. There might be some missteps along the way, but that's just part of the adventure. Have fun.

If you want to be a bit more prepared, check some camping books out of the library.
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Old 04-19-09, 05:34 PM   #3
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I grew up in Indy.
Here is my First Camping Trip on a bike.

500 Mile Tour from League City TX
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[SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
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Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
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Old 04-19-09, 05:45 PM   #4
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Just wait til the end of the day and stop by a gas station or grocery store to buy your beer. No need to schlep around heavy, warm beer all day.

Try to get lightweight gear. Make sure your tent is no larger than 2 person and isn't over 5 pounds.

Remember, less is more on a bike trip, and you will regret bringing all those extra items you didn't need when you are suffering on the hills.

Anyway, have an awesome time and welcome to the wonderful world of bike touring!
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Old 04-19-09, 05:48 PM   #5
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yeah, actually im about 25min south of indy right now in morgan county. Monroiva, by mooresville. I saw that pic of that ripped tire. I can see fixing a tube, did you have an extra tire handy?

edit.. oh that makes so much more sense, Carkmouch. Ill just purchase the stuff there. ty.
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Old 04-19-09, 05:50 PM   #6
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I carry 4 spare tubes and one spare tire.
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Old 04-19-09, 05:52 PM   #7
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Sounds like a fun idea. Now the things you should think about. Your knees should not hurt. Have you been fit to the bike? If you haven't you need to at the very least do some searching on fit on the web or better yet at a local bike shop. Maybe an experienced rider can help?

If you have done the above and your knees still hurt maybe your over geared? I would get these things figured out before hand. Adding weight will only make it worse.
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Old 04-19-09, 06:05 PM   #8
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I got fit for this bike at my LBS. I used to run ALOT, and my knees swelling are due to that. Before I do my trip Im taking my bike in so they can make sure everything is cool, and also make sure it was fit correctly. If a LBS improperly fits you for a bike, can you exchange the bike? I havn't had this one that long.

As well at my job im on my feet quite a bit too. And my target weight should be aroune 175-180, and im at 205 lol. This feeling with my knees would happen when I would pick up running again. It may just be unavoidable.
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Old 04-19-09, 06:13 PM   #9
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I got fit for this bike at my LBS. I used to run ALOT, and my knees swelling are due to that. Before I do my trip Im taking my bike in so they can make sure everything is cool, and also make sure it was fit correctly. If a LBS improperly fits you for a bike, can you exchange the bike? I havn't had this one that long.

As well at my job im on my feet quite a bit too. And my target weight should be aroune 175-180, and im at 205 lol. This feeling with my knees would happen when I would pick up running again. It may just be unavoidable.
I would suggest that you really focus on spinning. No mashing if you have knee problems. This will help with the stress on your joints. Maybe your already doing this. If you are not...... time to begin.
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Old 04-19-09, 06:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anthonybcc View Post
I got fit for this bike at my LBS. I used to run ALOT, and my knees swelling are due to that. Before I do my trip Im taking my bike in so they can make sure everything is cool, and also make sure it was fit correctly. If a LBS improperly fits you for a bike, can you exchange the bike? I havn't had this one that long.
No ... you just adjust it so it does fit you. You do know that you can adjust things on your bicycle, right?

When you say that you got fit for that bicycle at your LBS, do you mean that your LBS said, "This bicycle should work for you?" OR do you mean that they put the bicycle on the trainer, got you to sit on it, and then adjusted the height and fore/aft of the saddle, the height of the handlebars, and so on? What you need is the latter. You may also need a different saddle if you don't get used to the one you've got.
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Old 04-19-09, 06:18 PM   #11
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bad knees

my knees are bad from sports, i can't even run a block without pain. on a bike i have no problems what so ever. i can race, tour, and ride a 100 miles in a day and have no pain. if you have that much pain work on the setup, get more help if needed. it is wonderful to do something with no pain. goof luvk
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Old 04-19-09, 06:26 PM   #12
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A small (think two six pack styro coolers) can be filled with other stuff for hauling during the day, then filled with beer, pop, milk, at the aforementioned gas station at the end of the day.
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Old 04-19-09, 06:58 PM   #13
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I got fit for this bike at my LBS. ... and im at 205 lol.
I realize this is after the fact, but what type of bike did you get? I ask because most folks unfamiliar with touring are likely to buy a bike recommended by a shop, and most shops will recommend a bike that is not well suited to touring.

With your weight (which I understand because I weight 225) and extra weight of gear, you will need strong wheels. If your bike has tires about as wide as a penny and with 16 spokes, that may create problems for you. Wheels should be 32 or more spokes, and the spokes should be tight. Loose spokes break easily when under load and that will be a problem.

I also recommend racks both front and rear to help distribute weight of gear fore and aft. I tend to place most weight on the front since that typically is the stronger wheel due to lack of dish.

I think the best recommendation is for you is to learn how to be your own bicycle mechanic. Perhaps you are now, if not, you should be.
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Old 04-19-09, 07:00 PM   #14
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Damn, I didn't even realize this was so much of an issue. Tommorow I will ask them to fine tune it for me. The sales guy just watched me ride it around in a circle a couple of times and then special ordered the size in the bike i liked.

I was almost depressed thinking I couldn't get around this knee pain, but Joel, you give me hope that I wont have to deal with it.
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Old 04-19-09, 07:04 PM   #15
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Damn, I didn't even realize this was so much of an issue. Tommorow I will ask them to fine tune it for me. The sales guy just watched me ride it around in a circle a couple of times and then special ordered the size in the bike i liked.

I was almost depressed thinking I couldn't get around this knee pain, but Joel, you give me hope that I wont have to deal with it.
That's nowhere near a proper fitting. No wonder you're in pain.

Of course proper fit is an issue. You and the bicycle are a machine ... think physics and engineering. If part of the machine is set up incorrectly, the machine doesn't work properly.
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Old 04-19-09, 07:54 PM   #16
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Proper fit is the key. Besides the fact that you will be able to produce more power with more efficiency. Like mentioned above.
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Old 04-19-09, 09:38 PM   #17
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Just search the internet for "bike fit" and you will come up with tons of articles on how to adjust your bike to fit your body. If you don't want to pay for a bike shop to do it for you, all you need are a set of hex keys, and a lot of time and patience. Once you get things close to what is perfect, then you start making tiny tiny adjustments and ride it for a day or two to see if it is better or worse.

Riding with chronic pain sucks, especially on a tour where you have all day to think about how much your knees hurt.
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Old 04-20-09, 04:48 AM   #18
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anthonybcc your going to have a blast ,you can always make MINOR adjustments when your on the road,even experience cyclists do this all the time.knee pain if you feel yourself pushing on the pedals ,your in the wrong gear.give yourself all day to get to your next stop .your average speed would be around 10 to 12 mph fully loaded .if you had a hard days cycling the night i reckon will look after itself ,your going to be to knackered to worry about things to do.anyway hope you have a great tour take a camera and post some pic's when you get back.
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Old 04-20-09, 05:22 AM   #19
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Bicycling is good for the knees. They should not hurt. The things that make knees hurt are usually:
  1. Saddle at wrong height (usually too low).
  2. Pushing hard against too high of a gear.
  3. Feet at wrong angle, if using any kind of retention (clip-less pedals) to hold feet on pedals.
It is normal for your butt to be sore until you have at least a few hundred miles in.

Remember that when deciding what to carry less is more (within reason).

Good luck with your travels it will be a great adventure.
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Old 04-20-09, 06:29 AM   #20
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Bicycling is good for the knees. They should not hurt. The things that make knees hurt are usually:[LIST=1][*]Saddle at wrong height (usually too low).[*]Pushing hard against too high of a gear.[*]Feet at wrong angle, if using any kind of retention (clip-less pedals) to hold feet on pedals.

a good website for knee pain is www.cptips.com/knee.htm. it helps locate the reasons for the pain and then suggest a different setup. you butt should be your only pain and the only thing that helps with that is a lot of riding and maybe a different saddle. no one should have to think of how much pain will i have during and after my ride. good luck with your fit.
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Old 04-20-09, 08:01 AM   #21
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My two cents:

I'm 57. My only worrisome knee pain was on a tour over the North Cascades Highway on a bike that didn't have low enough gears. Spinning is really the way to go. When you're riding along on a stretch of road where you don't need to shift gears, and you think you're in the perfect gear, try shifting down one gear and watch your computer. I tried this and discovered I actually went faster in the lower gear. That caused me to readjust my shifting technique so that my normal spin rate went up a bit.

I almost always tour alone. (My wife says she'll join me when she retires, but that won't be for several years.) My "recreation" is to read. I love to read. I don't drink; I don't enjoy drinking alone. I enjoy eating, and I'm always starving when I tour, so finding yummy things to eat is a good way to pass the time. Sometimes I wander around and take pictures. But mostly I read. I'm pretty tired after a day's ride, so I go to bed pretty early. There aren't many evening hours spent wondering what to do.

Depending on what route you're on, you may meet other tourers. This changes things, in that there will be people to talk to, share a bottle of wine with, etc. But I still go to bed early, due to the poopedness, and the fact that I have to get up and ride again the next day.

If you want to drink cold beverages, you'll probably need a bag of ice. Assuming there is a grocery store by your campsite, buy your beer and ice, go back to the campsite, dig a hole, line it with the plastic bag from the store, and dump in the ice and beer. It will keep the beer cold through the night. You're not planning on drinking the beer in the morning (shudder) or worse, carrying the beer with you on the next day's ride, are you?

Good bike fit is crucial to comfort. You already have your frame. Assuming you can't change that, there are still some things to adjust to get your fit right.
  • Adjust your seat height. I find that raising or lowering the seatpost by as little as 1/8 of an inch can make a difference. It's hard to notice immediately, but over time it will. When I'm on a new bike, or using a new saddle, I make tiny adjustmets, ride a few miles, adjust again, etc., until I think I've got it right.
  • Adjust your saddle fore and aft. If I feel like I want to sit further back or further forward on my saddle, I stop and adjust the fore-and-aft. I'll adjust it several times until it feels just right.
  • Adjust saddle angle. I used to think saddles should always be level. But playing with the angle can make a difference in long-term comfort. If you make an adjustment, don't worry if it feels odd at first. Ride a few miles before deciding if you've made things better or worse.
  • Adjust your stem. If you have a threaded stem (usually on older bikes, but not always) you can raise or lower it a bit. Make sure you don't raise it higher than is safe. There's a line on the shaft that should not be exposed - it should be inside the head tube. If you have a threadless stem, you may need to try a different one. You might want to try an adjustable stem at first, adjust it until you find the proper angle, then buy a rigid stem. Pay attention to both length and angle; both can make a big difference in how your bike feels.

I'm another guy who endorses Brooks saddles as a way to avoid a sore bum. I've tried others. I have a whole assortment of saddles I've tried, but I keep coming back to Brooks. I have a Champion Flyer (a B-17 with springs) on my tourer. The springs are heavy and squeak, but they add to the comfort. On my "fast" bike I have a regular B-17. You might save money by trying a Brooks first and not going through a progression of other saddles to get there. But all bums are different. Some people don't like Brooks.
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Old 04-20-09, 12:06 PM   #22
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Learn to take it easy on your knees. It's an important touring skill.
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Old 04-20-09, 07:06 PM   #23
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Thank you guys for all the great advice! Its nice to be in a forum community with those that really help out us new guys.

Im a little bummed out. I took my bike back to my LBS and told him everything here. He looked at me ride around a little bit and told me to raise my seat. Then also told me the importance of gears, and how newer riders tend to peddle less when I should have my rpm's up alot higher. As well someone spoke of "mashing" and he talked to me about that too. He spoke to me on peddling and what I need to concentrate on. Im a bit of a salesman myself so I was a little unsure if he was speaking to me sincerely, or if what he told me was "pre-recorded". He did sell me on an extension for my handlebar, and tried to sell me a 25$ pair of gloves (ive got some old weight gloves, for now they will do). He didn't charge me labor to install the extensions.

When I spoke to him about going camping wendsday, he asked if I could wait a month. Considering Im new and getting accustomed to riding, that I should wait before taking a trip where I would be riding with more weight/gear. Thats where I felt he was more sincere, considering he could of easily sold me on some Panniers, and extra gear that I may have needed for the trip.

Quote:
Bicycling is good for the knees. They should not hurt. The things that make knees hurt are usually:
Saddle at wrong height (usually too low).
Pushing hard against too high of a gear.
Feet at wrong angle, if using any kind of retention (clip-less pedals) to hold feet on pedals.
It is normal for your butt to be sore until you have at least a few hundred miles in.
Thanks! I think that was exactly my problem.

Should I wait a month or just go ahead and do it? Like I said, Ive got a whole day to take my time. I wont be leaving the state. Im 31, and have a history of exercise. And if anything happens, I always have the cell phone. I really need this lol.
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Old 04-20-09, 08:12 PM   #24
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It's going to take some saddle time to get your bike feeling good. Your hind end will also get used to the saddle with more riding. It's not a bad idea to give it a few weeks or a month. Base miles are what you should be thinking about. Ride... ride....ride... You will be happy you did when it comes time to tour. You will have much more fun if your fitness is up for it.
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Old 04-21-09, 04:06 AM   #25
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if your pretty fit to start with then go for it,put plenty of chamois cream on (assos is brilliant),one thing if you can get your hands on a dvd on even look at some pro cycling on utube ,and just look at the way those guys peddal ,super smooth,thats what you need to do.
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