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  1. #1
    torontonian and proud. GSmith's Avatar
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    Thinking about doing a couple first tours

    Hey,

    I got myself a CAAD5 a couple weeks ago after years on a Norco mountain bike, reason being I've found I love biking for hours at a time and I rarely do trails anymore. Anyways, I'm thinking about doing a couple tours in the next 2-3 months. I'm in Toronto, and I plan on getting (on my first trip) to Campbellford (Google directions), and then perhaps later in the summer, Montreal.

    I'm only going to worry about Campbellford for now. The route is about 200km, and I know the waterfront route is nice, not sure about the northbound leg. Before I get ahead of myself, though, I would love some input on how I'm going to go about carrying things with me. I've read that backpacks shouldn't be considered, and that makes sense, using racks instead. However, I don't know that my CAAD5 will take a rack. Here's a picture. I don't see any appropriate mounts.

    I'll have a friend with me on an older (80's Japanese) road bike, and I know it has the correct fittings, but I don't really want to dump all of the crap on him when his bike is already heavier to begin with!

    One more thing - pedals. Right now I have strap pedals (whatever they're called), and of course there are safety concerns with those. Should I be buying the proper shoes and clip pedals? Will that not be a huge pain if I want to do any walking at all? Is there a happy medium?

    Thanks for any input, all!

  2. #2
    Gr8 day 4 hill repeats JustMe's Avatar
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    If you can avg. 20 to 25 kph, your talking about 8 to 10 hours of saddle time. I bet a young guy like yourself can avg. better than 25 kph, so all you should really need is a typical cycling jersy, with 3 pockets on the back for some fruit or nut bars, and a few dollars for lunch. Go for it.
    "Thunder is good, thunder is impressive; but it is lightning that does the work." - Samuel L. Clemens 1908 letter

  3. #3
    torontonian and proud. GSmith's Avatar
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    Thanks for the response!

    I do average about 35km/h, should be a little under 7 hours, 8 with breaks and such. I think I can keep it up for that time.

    I do need to buy shorts and a jersey, though, I have yet to get in any events that give out jerseys.

  4. #4
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    Is this a tour or do you just want to ride 200km in one day? My first tour was in 2004. We rode from Venice Italy to Siena in ten days (Then we took the train to Rome). Our average was 30km to 50km per day, but we were more interested in seeing the sights than just getting there.

    If you are going to take a couple of days to get there, you will need clothing and supplies. For our 20 days in Italy we brought three sets of bike clothes, toiletries, "civilian" clothes, a few tools, power bars, water bottles, etc. We researched laundromats on the internet. Don't forget a camera! Carrying this "stuff" will mean using a rack with panniers. A word of advice, TRAVEL LIGHT!

    Without mounting lugs on your frame, you may need a rack that is supported mainly by your seatpost or something like the Headland Rover Rack that mounts to the rear brake and axel. It comes with it's own slightly longer skewer. Although there are racks that will hold a lot more weight, 20 to 25 lbs is a lot on the back of a bicycle. A fully loaded touring bike rides much differently than your unloaded racing bike. Bike geometry is another thing to consider.

    Most touring bikes have a longer wheelbase and a more stable steering geometry, making them easier to ride with the extra weight. They usually have stronger, but heavier wheels. Putting 20 or 25 pounds over the rear wheel may make your "racing" frame really exciting to ride.

    As for you pedals with toe clips, lots of riders still use and like them. I changed to clipless pedals when I got my first mountain bike. It took a couple of weeks to get really comfortable. Read as - quit doing the clipless flop. That is where you ride up to a group of friends, stop and forget you are clipped in. Clipless pedals means bring a second pair of shoes if you what to go out at night.

    After all of this, I still feel my first tour was the adventure of a life time. Do your research, test your equipment in advance and go!

    Carminev

  5. #5
    Senior Member Cyclebum's Avatar
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    It isn't clear about how long you're planning to take to do the 200 km. One day, a bar bag should suffice for a credit card ride. Taking food, add a seat post rack/trunk bag. If you're gonna camp/cook, then definately a skewer rack with panniers, plus the bar bag.

    Go clipless, and take a pair of Crocs if you plan on doing much walking about. The happy medium is platform pedals and a pair of good biking shoes, or even running shoes.

    Have fun.

  6. #6
    torontonian and proud. GSmith's Avatar
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    Thanks for the responses!

    Good point, Carminev, I guess it's not a tour at all! Sounds like I'm going to experience some change in my ride.. I can deal with that. Worst comes to worst, I'll put the gear on the other bike and we can swap bikes every so often. I'll probably stick with the 'cage' style pedals. I'll have a few more weeks of time to try them out, and I can always remove the cages. I don't think I want to carry around two pairs of shoes, maybe on a longer trip.

    Cyclebum, I do plan on doing the whole thing in two days - 200 there, stay overnight, 200 back. I wonder if I can make do with a shoe that I can walk and bike in? A running shoe with the right shape and fit?

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