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Old 06-24-10, 08:51 AM   #1
AngryScientist 
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credit-card touring - bare minimums....

i'm looking to do some light credit-card style touring here and there over the summer.

i'm thinking of a few hundred mile trips, staying in hotels, and riding trains to get back home (or start location)

who's done this?

whats the bare minimum i need to have on my bike? i plan to use my Ti road bike, and literally carry as little as possible. i want my bike to remain light and fast, i think i have it all covered, but maybe i'm missing something:

what i have now:

flat repair stuff including spare tubes and mini pump
basic multitool with chain tool
f&r lights

i'll be travelling with one partner, the plan is to drive to selected start location, park the car, and ride the selected route to a pre-determined hotel.

i'll be carrying only the stuff mentioned above and a light pair of shorts/t-shirt/sandals to wear while drinking icy libations and stuffing myself as well as washing my riding clothes.

what am i missing here, anything?
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Old 06-24-10, 09:25 AM   #2
raybo
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In my experience, biking shorts (the pad, really) don't completely dry overnight so you might consider carrying a second pair of biking shorts.

What about a rain coat?

Ray
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Old 06-24-10, 09:39 AM   #3
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how about just a credit card?
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Old 06-24-10, 12:30 PM   #4
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how about just a credit card?
Rain gear
Small toilet kit.
Change of shoes
First aid kit
2nd set of riding clothes
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Old 06-24-10, 12:31 PM   #5
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Wow, this what, the 3rd time this week for "I wanna tour super-fast!"

I'm not entirely clear on what your plan is though. Are you planning to travel, say, 50 miles a day? Or do several 100-mile days back to back? And how long are you going for?

Even with this absence of information, I'd say the "bare minimum" is something like:

2 pr bike shorts / bibs
2 jerseys
1 pr shorts
1-2 pr underwear
socks
light and compact jacket
bike gloves
repair kit
spare tube & tire
patch kit
pump
cell phone, preferably smartphone that has maps and/or GPS
credit card, cash, emergency contact info (preferably RoadID or similar)
water bottles
on-bike food
front and rear lights
small lock
paper map and small compass
1st aid kit
sunscreen


That should cover you for a short tour. I'd guess you might be able to fit it in a big waterproof stuff sack and put it on a rack, and perhaps a handlebar bag. A Bento Bag can also be handy for fast access to snacks.

As Raybo points out, bike shorts don't usually dry fast, so you'll dry them on the bike while riding the next day. Keep in mind that bacteria is a major contributor to saddle sores, so it's critical to keep your shorts clean.

I'd also consider raising your stem, or swapping it out for a stem that has a ton of rise. There will be a bit of an aero penalty, but after mile 70 or so you'll probably be glad to have a more upright position. Same for using wider tires.

However, one thing to keep in mind is that an extra 5-10 lbs isn't going to kill you. So if you have room for it, there's no problem with carrying a few creature comforts like a book or regular sandals.
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Old 06-24-10, 12:36 PM   #6
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Other than what you're already taking: (I assume that you have tire removal tools)

The second pair of shorts is a great idea as is a light jacket. I don't find that I like a rain jacket as it keeps as much moisture in as it does rain out. Something that will take the chill off for the first hour in the morning and help maintain warmth if you get caught in a cool downpour.
I have a simple Cannondale handlebar bag on my Crit bike for when I do light fast touring with it. It's an extremely tight frame, so the handlebar bag keeps munchies and will hold my jacket, shorts and a set of clear lenses for my riding glasses in case I get delayed or you need to see better than dark lenses. Sun screen and a pack of moistened towelettes in case you want to wash the stink off before you go into an eating establishment. Don't just take a credit card, take a couple $10s. A map of the area.

For a fast day tour unsupported (100-200 miles) that's all I can think of at the moment.

I have other bikes for CC touring and full loaded touring. For light fast touring you don't need the kitchen sink. I don't even take a phone. I try to keep things except IDs out of my jersey pockets for these trips. The Cannondale handlebar bag comes off in a second, so you can take it into the hotel with you. I never leave the bike unattended.

Last edited by Ruffinit; 06-24-10 at 12:44 PM.
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Old 06-24-10, 01:36 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by raybo View Post
In my experience, biking shorts (the pad, really) don't completely dry overnight so you might consider carrying a second pair of biking shorts.

What about a rain coat?

Ray
Well, I just got through a credit card trip where it was raining a lot of the time on one pair of shorts. The secret to getting the shorts dry: after you wash the shorts and squeeze them dry roll them into a clean dry towel and press to get out more moisture. Then hang them in front of a fan or a blower from the air-conditioning unit or if the bathroom has one of those exhaust fans hang them from the shower curtain rod and leave the exhaust fan on. I back two small plastic cloths pins and a small piece of chord to facilitate the hanging but this is not a necessity. Using this strategy they've always gotten dry for me and I use the Assos Mille bib shorts which have a particularly thick chamois. In a pinch most hotels seem to provide hair dryers and you can get out the last bit of moisture in the morning using that, though I haven't had to use that strategy.
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Old 06-24-10, 01:50 PM   #8
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The secret to getting the shorts dry: after you wash the shorts and squeeze them dry roll them into a clean dry towel and press to get out more moisture. Then hang them in front of a fan or a blower from the air-conditioning unit or if the bathroom has one of those exhaust fans hang them from the shower curtain rod and leave the exhaust fan on. I back two small plastic cloths pins and a small piece of chord to facilitate the hanging but this is not a necessity. Using this strategy they've always gotten dry for me
I follow this same strategy and my comments were made in light of it. In my experience, the jersey is ready to wear but the shorts are not entirely dry by the next morning. But, since I carry 3 pair of biking shorts, I haven't ever bothered with the hair dryer.

Ray
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Old 06-24-10, 03:05 PM   #9
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That's my feeling... I'd also say it's easier just to carry an extra pair of shorts than fuss with fanning it all night long. Shorts / bibs are pretty light and compact.
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