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Old 05-15-09, 07:29 AM   #1
hnsq
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first tour

So I just found out I am being forced to take one unpaid day off every month so my company can save money. First I thought it sucked because that means less cash in the paycheck, but then I thought this would be a great opportunity to go on a mini-tour.

I was thinking of taking a mini tour (2 nights, 50ish miles a day) with my newly found time off, and thought I would ask some of you seasoned tourers for advice. I have a cannondale cross bike I will use. It has a rear rack, and I already have panniers I currently use for commuting/groceries/etc. Is it worth it to get a bag for the front? I can't mount a rack, but I could get a handle bar bag. I would travel pretty light (I used to go backpacking a lot, and my gear weight for a 5 day trip was under 25lbs). I am not too worried about camping or any of that stuff, I am just wondering if my gear list is right. I currently carry a spare tube, multi tool, spoke wrench, chain tool, tire irons, knife, patch kit, and a frame mounted pump. Do I need to bother bringing anything more than this? Also, how should I adjust my daily mileage for a tour? I have never ridden all day, but I do have a 25 mile round trip commute and I do longer rides on weekends. I don't want to commit to a length I can't do, but I also don't want to get to the campsite early and just sit around for half the day.

I know there are a lot of threads like this, but any help/advice would be appreciated!
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Old 05-15-09, 07:48 AM   #2
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If you can rig it so that you have a day off at the end of the month and one at the beginning of the next month - with a weekend in between - you might even be able to do a little longer tour - - if you wish.

For example, this month ends on a Sunday - so you could take Friday, May 29th off and Monday June 1st off, too.
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Old 05-15-09, 07:56 AM   #3
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I love having a handle bar bag.. Nice having camera and snacks close at hand. It gets old having my Jersey pockets stuffed with a whole bunch of junk. Nice having a map pocket as well for finding your way.

The answer really is........ no. But it would be nice to have.
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Old 05-15-09, 08:09 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by jamawani View Post
If you can rig it so that you have a day off at the end of the month and one at the beginning of the next month - with a weekend in between - you might even be able to do a little longer tour - - if you wish.

For example, this month ends on a Sunday - so you could take Friday, May 29th off and Monday June 1st off, too.
That happened to me once, with the reduced work schedule, and I negotiated with my boss to take all the days in each quarter off at a time - I ended up with several week-long vacations out of it.
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Old 05-15-09, 10:56 AM   #5
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Assuming the winds are reasonable and elevation gains on your route are low, I'd target at least 75 mile days if you want to avoid too much time in camp. The other way is to do a lot of hanging out or sightseeing during the ride. As with most things, just depends on your personal preference.
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Old 05-15-09, 11:57 AM   #6
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Handlebar bags are incredibly convenient! I have the Ortlieb Untimate, and I love it. It's waterproof, light, and you can't beat the Ortlieb mounting system for convenience.
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Old 05-15-09, 12:00 PM   #7
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Your plan sounds good to me. That is pretty much what I have been doing for a month and a half or so (three day weekends). I carry what you have and it is fine
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Old 05-15-09, 12:16 PM   #8
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Thanks for the help. I was just going to 'jump on my bike and go', but I thought it would be good to make sure I wasn't missing something obvious. Since it will be solo, self contained I want to make sure I have everything worked out before I leave.
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Old 05-16-09, 08:53 AM   #9
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I've toured with many configurations of bags and racks. I recommend both front and rear racks and panniers, and a handlebar bag. Distributing part of your load to the front will enhance handling (once you get above about 3 mph) and lessen the chance of breaking spokes, which almost always happen on the drive side in the rear. Having a handlebar bag is really handy, as mentioned previously, for camera, wallet, snacks, reading glasses, etc.

There are options for mounting racks on forks with no braze-ons; it's not a big deal.
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