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Thread: Touring 101?

  1. #1
    Retro Prairie Girl terraskye's Avatar
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    Touring 101?

    Hi there,

    My husband and I wanted to start doing some touring starting next summer (self-contained trips) but I'm at a loss at how to go about planning for this. I'm a huge planner and like all my ducks in a row as much as possible.

    We'll have a Burley nomad plus panniers and we'll need be bringing a tent,sleeping bags etc. Is there any kind of checklist online or something that can help me sort this out??

    Any book recommends on bike touring? works of encouragement?

    Our 1st trip will be a long weekend trip to Elk Island National Park. Its about an hour drive from us so is it kinda realistic to think the bike ride will be about 3-4 hours??

    I want this to go well because my husband, the skeptic, doesnt think a good trip/holiday cant involve a vehicle and I want to show him it can just be about the bikes.

    If it goes well then we'll bike from Edmonton to Jasper for camping and then after that the skies the limit

    TIA
    ~Fiona~

    My Bikes:
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    '07 Specialized Globe City 7.1 "Serenity"
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    Also, Check out my Bike Blog:)
    Girl Can Bike

  2. #2
    Crazyguyonabike
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    There is a new edition of the book "Bike Touring: The Sierra Club Guide to Travel on Two Wheels" by Raymond Bridge, which has up-to-date information and overviews of the various aspects of bicycle touring in general. I reviewed it recently:

    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/revie...read_id=123501

    Neil

  3. #3
    Touring - loving it!!! mylesau's Avatar
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    Retro Prairie Girl terraskye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mylesau View Post
    As simple as that

    Thank you!!!
    ~Fiona~

    My Bikes:
    1978 Raleigh DL-1 "Eliza"
    '07 Specialized Globe City 7.1 "Serenity"
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    2010 Pashley Princess Sovereign "Mina"

    Also, Check out my Bike Blog:)
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  5. #5
    Retro Prairie Girl terraskye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NeilGunton View Post
    There is a new edition of the book "Bike Touring: The Sierra Club Guide to Travel on Two Wheels" by Raymond Bridge, which has up-to-date information and overviews of the various aspects of bicycle touring in general. I reviewed it recently:

    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/revie...read_id=123501

    Neil

    Thanks! I actually bought that book last week so I guess I better start reading it..lol
    ~Fiona~

    My Bikes:
    1978 Raleigh DL-1 "Eliza"
    '07 Specialized Globe City 7.1 "Serenity"
    Forthcoming
    2010 Pashley Princess Sovereign "Mina"

    Also, Check out my Bike Blog:)
    Girl Can Bike

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    If you go to www.crazyguyonabike.com you can read journals from other people's trips - many include packing lists.

    You can have a GREAT vacation without a car - better, in fact. You could also consider making your first trip a "credit card" tour - meaning instead of camping, you stay in a hotel or B&B, just carry clothes.

    I usually say an hour in the car is a day on the bike - so plan on longer than 4 hours of ride time.

    Also, one thing about touring... now matter how in-a-row your ducks are at the beginning, they do tend to fly off every which way as things progress. If you can accept that up front, you'll have a better time. I'm not saying don't be prepared, I'm just saying, it's a take-it-as-it-comes kind of a deal.



    when you get to Jasper - hang a south and ride to Bannf. Hard to find scenery better than that.
    ...

  7. #7
    Retro Prairie Girl terraskye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by valygrl View Post
    If you go to www.crazyguyonabike.com you can read journals from other people's trips - many include packing lists.

    You can have a GREAT vacation without a car - better, in fact. You could also consider making your first trip a "credit card" tour - meaning instead of camping, you stay in a hotel or B&B, just carry clothes.

    I usually say an hour in the car is a day on the bike - so plan on longer than 4 hours of ride time.

    Also, one thing about touring... now matter how in-a-row your ducks are at the beginning, they do tend to fly off every which way as things progress. If you can accept that up front, you'll have a better time. I'm not saying don't be prepared, I'm just saying, it's a take-it-as-it-comes kind of a deal.



    when you get to Jasper - hang a south and ride to Bannf. Hard to find scenery better than that.

    Thanks for the information. I wasn't really sure how to calcualate drive time in a car vs. on a bike. I dont mind the unexpected happening too much so as long as it doesn't rub hubby the wrong way I think we'll be good to go:: fingers crossed ::
    ~Fiona~

    My Bikes:
    1978 Raleigh DL-1 "Eliza"
    '07 Specialized Globe City 7.1 "Serenity"
    Forthcoming
    2010 Pashley Princess Sovereign "Mina"

    Also, Check out my Bike Blog:)
    Girl Can Bike

  8. #8
    Senior Member BigBlueToe's Avatar
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    Start pouring over all the journals, etc. at CrazyGuy. Search for any of the places you'll go on your tour. You'll probably find descriptions, pictures, names of campgrounds, etc. I always do this and it's very helpful.

    There are tons of packing lists there. Some of the items vary wildly depending on the person. People have different personalities and different perspectives. One person might state their preference very strongly, while someone else states an opposite preference just as strongly, and they're both right - for them.

    I suggest going over packing lists on Crazyguy. Consider which items might make sense for you, then go on some shorter tours to see. I suggest a notebook. Write down what you brought that is invaluable, what you brought that you reallly don't need, and what you really wish you had brought. Those thought become much clearer when you are actually on tour, compared to after you come home and the vividness starts to fade.

    It's good to have your packing list pretty refined before you head out on a long tour, but also know that many tourers have stopped to send home stuff they decided they didn't need (I've done it) and they also often have to stop and purchase something they have at home but neglected to bring (done that too.)

    It may be difficult to estimate how long a ride will take that takes an hour in a car. Most tourers keep track of their daily mileage, and have a distance range in mind that feels right to them, depending on conditions. If there are lots of ups and downs and a headwind, you're not going to make as many miles in a day as easily. If it's flat with a tailwind, you can fly!

    I usually am a slug for the first 3 days of a tour, and I'm okay with that. I have to work my way into "tour shape". So I often stick to distances around 30 miles for the first three days. After that, my average is usually around 50. I'm still not averse to a 35 or 40 mile day, and I'll ride 60-80 mile days if I need to. I'd say my daily mileage is a little on the low side of average. I carry a heavier-than-normal load, and I'm not in a hurry.

    Others go further. I met a few cross-country tourers last summer. They had a long way to go and didn't want to dilly-dally. One couple in their 50's was doing lots of 70-, 80-, and 90-mile days. A guy in his 20's, riding from upstate New York to start a new life in Portland was riding 100 miles almost every day. He was carrying a very light load.

    I suggest you try some tours and see what kind of tourer you are. I think it's foolish to worry about how far someone else rides in a day and whether I'm adequate. I want to enjoy myself. (I'm also someone who enjoys being in camp - walking around, reading, drinking coffee, eating, talking to fellow campers. Some people see camp as just a place to sleep. They're in no hurry to get to camp. I like pulling into a campground and getting off my bike for the day!)

  9. #9
    Retro Prairie Girl terraskye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigBlueToe View Post
    Start pouring over all the journals, etc. at CrazyGuy. Search for any of the places you'll go on your tour. You'll probably find descriptions, pictures, names of campgrounds, etc. I always do this and it's very helpful.

    There are tons of packing lists there. Some of the items vary wildly depending on the person. People have different personalities and different perspectives. One person might state their preference very strongly, while someone else states an opposite preference just as strongly, and they're both right - for them.

    I suggest going over packing lists on Crazyguy. Consider which items might make sense for you, then go on some shorter tours to see. I suggest a notebook. Write down what you brought that is invaluable, what you brought that you reallly don't need, and what you really wish you had brought. Those thought become much clearer when you are actually on tour, compared to after you come home and the vividness starts to fade.

    It's good to have your packing list pretty refined before you head out on a long tour, but also know that many tourers have stopped to send home stuff they decided they didn't need (I've done it) and they also often have to stop and purchase something they have at home but neglected to bring (done that too.)

    It may be difficult to estimate how long a ride will take that takes an hour in a car. Most tourers keep track of their daily mileage, and have a distance range in mind that feels right to them, depending on conditions. If there are lots of ups and downs and a headwind, you're not going to make as many miles in a day as easily. If it's flat with a tailwind, you can fly!

    I usually am a slug for the first 3 days of a tour, and I'm okay with that. I have to work my way into "tour shape". So I often stick to distances around 30 miles for the first three days. After that, my average is usually around 50. I'm still not averse to a 35 or 40 mile day, and I'll ride 60-80 mile days if I need to. I'd say my daily mileage is a little on the low side of average. I carry a heavier-than-normal load, and I'm not in a hurry.

    Others go further. I met a few cross-country tourers last summer. They had a long way to go and didn't want to dilly-dally. One couple in their 50's was doing lots of 70-, 80-, and 90-mile days. A guy in his 20's, riding from upstate New York to start a new life in Portland was riding 100 miles almost every day. He was carrying a very light load.

    I suggest you try some tours and see what kind of tourer you are. I think it's foolish to worry about how far someone else rides in a day and whether I'm adequate. I want to enjoy myself. (I'm also someone who enjoys being in camp - walking around, reading, drinking coffee, eating, talking to fellow campers. Some people see camp as just a place to sleep. They're in no hurry to get to camp. I like pulling into a campground and getting off my bike for the day!)
    Thanks for the tips. I think I'm going to spend some time on the crazyguyonabike site as I didn't even know there would be individual packing list.

    I think our initial trip will be 45km one way and we're in no hurry to get there as I've never really been anywhere East of Edmonton.
    ~Fiona~

    My Bikes:
    1978 Raleigh DL-1 "Eliza"
    '07 Specialized Globe City 7.1 "Serenity"
    Forthcoming
    2010 Pashley Princess Sovereign "Mina"

    Also, Check out my Bike Blog:)
    Girl Can Bike

  10. #10
    Crazyguyonabike
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    Quote Originally Posted by terraskye View Post
    Thanks for the tips. I think I'm going to spend some time on the crazyguyonabike site as I didn't even know there would be individual packing list.
    I run crazyguyonabike, so let me know if you have any questions about using it. There is a contact form on the site, if you click 'Help' at the very top of any page then you should see the link.

    The journals have categories, which the author sets at time of publication. One of these is 'Equipment list', for those journals that include one. All this signifies is that somewhere in the journal there should be a page describing what type of gear they used on the trip. You have to scan the table of contents to find the likely looking pages, since everybody writes their journal differently. You can browse by category; for reference, here's a link:

    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/c...ategory_id=212

    The Help and FAQ (both linked at the top of every page) have a lot of info on how to use the site, but like I said, let me know if you have any questions. Probably better to ask over there rather than clog up the forums over here.

    Thanks,

    Neil

  11. #11
    family on bikes nancy sv's Avatar
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    I've written up a short series of articles about that here.

    Hope it helps!
    WE DID IT! Our little family of four cycled 17,300 miles from Alaska to Argentina! The trip of a lifetime for sure. www.familyonbikes.org

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