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Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

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Old 03-28-02, 09:48 AM   #1
RainmanP
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Well it ain't quite touring, but...

I'm leaving at noon today for a three day cycling camping trip with some of my cycling clubmates. We are driving to a state park where camp will stay put, we'll just do different 40-50 mile loops each day. I approached it as something of a touring dry run, packing only what I would be able to carry on the bike. Did pretty well with it, too, though I do have more than I would take on a tour, like extra tools in case someone needs some maintenance and extra clothes. Hanging around with the same group for three days I just felt the need to have at least a couple of different sets of hanging around clothes. Even at that, everything would fit in two good size panniers with the tent and sleeping bag lashed to the rack. And that's with my oversized sleeping bag, which will definitely be replaced for actual touring. I'm not, however, riding my commuter/tourer since I just put together a really sweet new road bike that is begging for some miles.
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Raymond
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Old 03-28-02, 12:23 PM   #2
mike
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Neat, Raymond. If you are doing 50 to 60 miles per day, you are at least half-way to touring as it is. Heck, you ARE touring.

YOu don't have to carry a lot of stuff with you to make it a "tour". I do a lot of tours with only the clothes I am wearing and a credit card in my pocket. I stay at hotels and inns along the way- no reason to camp and carry all that gear.

If you like bike camping without the weight, have somebody be a designated driver and SAG all the gear to the campsite while you and your buds bicycle to the location.
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Old 03-28-02, 12:49 PM   #3
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Rainman,

I do this kind of touring all the time and I LOVE it! There are 4 state parks (with showers!) within a 3 hour drive from my house. Once a month or so I drive out to a state park and use it as a base camp for day-touring.

My job, by the way, is perfectly suited for this. I work four days a week and am always off work Tues,Weds,Thur. If I get up really early on Tuesday morning I can get there and set up camp by 7 a.m. and still get in 3 full days of riding.

Here's my number one piece of advice which I learned the hard way. Take a handlebar bag with snacks in it - granola bars or something - just in case you don't find a place to stop for lunch. Either that or plan on doing a figure-8 tour each day so that you end up back at camp right around lunch time.

The Missouri Department of Conservation publishes an excellent state atlas, organized alphabetically by county with amazing detail of local roads. I find it VERY valuable for planning day tours. Your state probably has the same thing.

And yes, what you are doing IS touring. Any bike ride taken purely for pleasure or sightseeing, whether around the block or around the world, is a tour. I just wish the bike industry understood that; maybe we would get better designs for road bikes.

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Old 03-28-02, 02:00 PM   #4
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Touring or not, it's still worthwhile. It's also the best way to prepare for doing longer tours later on. I also tour with two panniers and a sleeping bag and tent on the rear rack. I find I can camp every night in a reasonable amount of comfort like that.
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Old 03-28-02, 02:49 PM   #5
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Rainman
like the others have said if your on your bike and riding it you are touring:cool:
sounds like a lot of fun Chris L nice to see you back again
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Old 04-01-02, 10:37 AM   #6
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Well, I'm back. We had a wonderful time. The weather was perfect for our Friday and Saturday rides. Rain forced cancellation of yesterday's ride, but luckily since it was threatening we had everything packed before it started. I found I could definitely do unsupported touring with a couple of panniers. I decided I probably wouldn't fool with a stove at all, just stop somewhere for a nice breakfast, eat a nice lunch late, and have snacks as needed and for dinner.

My little $30 "2-person" bivy type tent worked great. It's a cheap little Texsport, but it makes a very comfortable one person tent with plenty of room for gear and only weighs about 3 pounds. It's a little bigger than a bivy shelter, tall enough to sit up comfortably at the taller end.I would hope not to have to depend on it, or any tent for that matter, in a downpour, but short of that it should work fine. Luckily, down here we don't need much.

I have already posted a little item about the riding itself over at Road Cycling. I have a question about Thermarest pads, but I'll do it as a new thread.
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Raymond
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Old 04-02-02, 06:37 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by mike
Neat, Raymond. If you are doing 50 to 60 miles per day, you are at least half-way to touring as it is. Heck, you ARE touring.

YOu don't have to carry a lot of stuff with you to make it a "tour". I do a lot of tours with only the clothes I am wearing and a credit card in my pocket. I stay at hotels and inns along the way- no reason to camp and carry all that gear.

Spot on Mike. While I like camping/touring, my wife insists on a nice en suite toilet and bath/shower at the end of the day, so for a few years we have been touring using hotels/inns and B&B's.

Great stuff.
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Old 04-02-02, 08:28 PM   #8
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Good to hear it went well rainman, it sure as hell whets my appetite formy first tour shakedown. hmmm, lets see, all i need now is a bike, panniers, tent. thermarest yadda yadda yadda. Now if the wether would just cooperate a little bit!! Like maybe bloody warm enuff the melt the $#% snow.
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Old 04-09-02, 08:48 PM   #9
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Hey rainman (or less sexist, rainperson?) I think you DID a tour! If you can ride for a day, you can ride for a year. If you can ride fifty miles, you can ride 500 or 5000 or....well, you get the picture. Now that spring has arrived here in New england i have a nice 40 mile loop I am gonna do every day and *hah*...I think its touring!


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