I have been dabbling in cycling over the last 4 years or so with dreams of Touring. Unfortunately, as a woman, it's a little scary to make the leap and take off by myself. My son is now 11 and he is interested in trying the PALM ride in Michigan with me this summer. Then, not to feel left out, my husband says he would like to go to. I figured this is a good family friendly, supported tour, that will give us a taste. Especially for them... Hopefully it will lead to more supported and also some self-supported tours. SO, I'm looking for some gear recommendations. I have read through posts for hours and hours on this site and really appreciate it. Most posts regarding tents/equipment are geared toward single riders or couples. If it is a family, the kids can take one tent and the parents another. I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions on a tent for three. My son is 11 but not small. He is probably 5'1 and 125lbs. He is growing like crazy. I considered a separate tent for him and use my Eureka Mountain Pass 2xt for us. BUT, I think the ability to have time in the tent together if raining, etc, would be part of the bonding experience. It seems tents are highly overrated for size. Would a 4 person work for the three of us? I really like the vestibules on my Eureka for keeping gear out, yet in. Although this is a supported tour, I would prefer to get something that would be light enough to go on a self-supported trip if we would ever move on to that. I'm hoping there might be someone out there who has dealt with the same situation.
Next question. Being that this ride is in June in MI, weather is unpredictable, what should we bring sleeping bag wise? Does anyone ever layer, like clothing? Maybe a fleece bag and a liner. We already have a couple of 35 degree bags and a couple of fleece bags. I have read that the silk liners are great. Just not sure how to go with this as I was trail riding (horses) last year that time in Indiana and it was extremely hot and humid. The next week though, we were wearing jackets.
Right now I am riding an 06' Specialized Allez Sport Triple. I'm sure that will be fine for this ride. Maybe in the next year or so I would like to get a dedicated touring bike for self-supported. The boys are riding some older hybrids that we use for camping bikes. Occasionally I see Trek 7.3'fx's used locally. I am thinking that might be the way for them. My husband prefers a little more upright position because he has some back issues. He doesn't like my drop bars. They like the trekking bars so probably put them on right away. Then add some lower gearing if we head for more hills or do some self supported.
Sorry to be so long winded.....any suggestions would be appreciated!