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Thread: Hiking on tour

  1. #1
    Hamish200sx
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    Hiking on tour

    In addition to cycling I am really into backpacking. I am planning my first extended tour for next year and it will take me through many areas that I am going to want to get off my bike to explore. What do I do with my bike? What would you do?
    Are my only options to do one or the other, but not both?

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    While in New Zealand, we did a bunch of backpacking. We just strapped our backpacks to our rear racks and parked our bikes with businesses that were willing to stash them. Many motorcamps (kind of like KOAs) locked up our bikes for a small fee. If you use warmshowers, you may be able to negotiate some sort of storage deal with your host. As a last resort, you could always hide your bike in some brush and hope for the best.

    Mixing some backpacking in with bike touring is a nice chance of pace. I would just go for it and create solutions as you go. There's always a way to make it happen...

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    Senior Member wheel's Avatar
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    stealth bicycle parking will eliminate that if you really feel someone wants your crap.

    I leave most of my crap and bike at the trail head. leave a note ( The woods have eyes watch out)

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    Haven't done any backpacking while cycling, but for day hikes I just wheel the bike in a little ways from the trailhead and then find a place to lock it to a tree that's a little hidden and at least not visible from the trail. If I ever wanted to leave it for more than a day I think I'd leave a note to show that it's not abandoned.

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    Cycled on all continents JohnyW's Avatar
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    Hi,

    half day/day hikes: I park my bike on the parking lot (Hiking areas). If they are a lot of tourists/hikers I lock the bike. If the hike starts from a major street I park it about 100 m on the hiking trail. If there is shop / ticket or ranger office I ask if they can have a look to it.

    day/multi day hikes: I store my stuff at a campground/hostel where I stay one night after the hike


    Including sight seeing I make this every second day - I never had bad experience. This holiday I parked the loaded bike in Split (Croatia) at the ferry port and visited 3 hours the city.

    Thomas
    My Travelogues: http://thomasontour.de (currently only in German)

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    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    We always just parked at the trailhead on the Trans America. None our "hikes" were more than a few miles though.

    I have considered combining backpacking and bike touring and decided to keep the two separate.

    A lot of folks say they leave their bikes in town, at a KOA, or with a business. I am a bit puzzled by that since where I have backpacked the trail heads are never near towns and seldom near campgrounds. Anyone care to elaborate on how they pull that off?

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    Cycled on all continents JohnyW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
    A lot of folks say they leave their bikes in town, at a KOA, or with a business. I am a bit puzzled by that since where I have backpacked the trail heads are never near towns and seldom near campgrounds. Anyone care to elaborate on how they pull that off?
    Hi,

    depends on the hike. If it's a famous one a good public transportation exists. I don't think a thief goes to the none famous ones...

    I mostly make day hikes. So I leave the luggage at the hotel/campground and cycle to the trail head.

    Thomas
    My Travelogues: http://thomasontour.de (currently only in German)

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    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnyW View Post
    Hi,

    depends on the hike. If it's a famous one a good public transportation exists. I don't think a thief goes to the none famous ones...

    I mostly make day hikes. So I leave the luggage at the hotel/campground and cycle to the trail head.

    Thomas
    Thanks. I can see how that would work well if hiking on a rest day or at the end of a half day.

    Our hikes have always been fairly short and just involved stopping along the way. There was seldom any choice other than to leave the bikes at the trail head. We always just locked them up, usually in plan sight, and took our handlebar bags along with us. My companion's handlebar bags converted to fanny packs and mine has a shoulder strap so that was fairly convenient.

    I figured the risk of leaving bikes and panniers was acceptable, but that would be dependent on the location. The TA is the only tour I did any hiking on, but am sure that I will do other tours where some hiking (or trail running) will be a nice diversion.

  9. #9
    Hooked on Touring
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    I have done serious hiking as part of my bike touring - with overnight wilderness trips throughout the West, Canada, and Alaska. I have a Kelty lightweight hiking pack that I strap sideways on my back rack. While cycling it has all my camping stuff - so I can grab it and be inside my tent in two minutes if the weather gets bad fast. When hiking, I have to repack and use straps - so the transition takes some time - but it is worth it.

    As for my bike, I just lock it to a tree that is off the trailhead, but not in the wilderness - and try to make it so that it isn't very visible. I have never had any problem - but I realize that there are nasty folks out there. My sense is that if someone doesn't see it from the parking lot, that they are not going to go to any trouble to search it out.

    I have done four transcanyon hikes of the Grand Canyon while on tour, I hiked up from Yosemite Valley to Tuolumne Meadows twice. (I have gotten my bike shuttled in both parks.) Banff, Jasper, and Yoho let you bike into the backcountry on fire roads. Then you can hike even further into the wilderness. I've hiked deep into the wilderness in Denali - locking my bike at Toklat.

    It's easy and makes touring all that more fantastic.


    By Jamawani
    Toklat River in Denali

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    Okay, so nobody specifically mentioned this one thing . . .

    I just did my first (mini) tour two weekends ago. I rode 52 miles to a state park, camped the night, rode back the next day. I really like to hike, and my original plan (which got trashed by the weather) had been to ride up on a Friday, have all day Saturday to swim/boat/hike, ride back Sunday.

    But what to do about footwear? My favorite hiking boots would have taken up way too much space/weight in my panniers. I guess I could have tried to MacGuyver something to bungee them onto the racks somewhere, but real estate was pretty limited. (Sleeping bag was on rear rack, Thermarest pad on front.) I ride in mountain bike shoes, but the soles are extremely stiff.
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    In New Zealand I strapped my backpack, containing my tent, sleeping bag, and hiking boots to my rear rack. We left the bikes stored in the offices of motorcamps or hostels.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Neil G.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maxine View Post
    But what to do about footwear? My favorite hiking boots would have taken up way too much space/weight in my panniers.
    I suppose it depends on the conditions and where you're hiking, but you could ask if you actually need hiking boots to do off-the-bike day-hikes. I worked in about 70 miles of hiking in the course of 28 days on my last tour, and was perfectly comfortable doing it all in my Teva Dozer sandals (basically a ripoff of Keen Newports, meaning they have an enclosed toe). They're lightweight, smoosh down fairly well, are super-comfortable to change into in camp, and are great for tromping through rivers and stuff, so I'd never leave home without 'em (or something similar).

    Most of my hiking was on marked trails (concentrated at Arches NP, Bryce, Zion, and the Grand Canyon), so maybe that makes it easier, and also I'm not loaded down with 80 lbs. of gear on my back.

    I've also done a fair bit of hiking in my Cannondale "mountain bike" SPD shoes, and those have worked fine too, so if you want to go for a one-shoe solution, you could probably find something that works for both.

    On the original topic, I've only done day-hiking rather than "backpacking", so I don't know if that makes a difference? But, like most others, I've usually just locked my bike at the trailhead, or in camp if the campsite is close enough to the trail. Usually I leave my tent and much of my gear at my campsite, so the locked bike doesn't have much on it.

    For this last tour I replaced one of my Arkel front panniers with one of their new models that converts into a backpack. For shorter hikes I would be fine taking my handlebar bag with its shoulder strap slung around my chest, but for the 10-12 mile hikes it was great to have the much more comfortable backpack to wear.

    Neil

  13. #13
    Cycled on all continents JohnyW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maxine View Post
    But what to do about footwear? My favorite hiking boots would have taken up way too much space/weight in my panniers.
    I wear for MTB cycling shoes without clets. They are perfect for hiking with stiff sole and a good profile. They have also the same good grip as hiking boots for rocky paths. But they aren't boots.
    I hike approx. 50-100 km on a bike trip - no problems.

    Thomas
    My Travelogues: http://thomasontour.de (currently only in German)

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