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Old 05-03-11, 09:37 AM   #1
:andrew
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Advice/suggestions for first small tour.

My friends and I are planning on taking a little tour this summer and I would like to get some advice from some of you. We are in Columbia, SC and are either going to be riding from here to Asheville, NC or Myrtle Beach, SC. We are leaning towards going to Myrtle Beach since this is our first long ride and these roads are way less challenging in terms of hills. We plan to camp along the way and try not to spend that much money. I would just like to hear from some of you what you think we should make sure to pack, be prepared for etc. I do not have gear yet so was also wondering what gear I should look at? I do already have a nice backpacking tent and sleeping bag. Also, if any of you may have ridden to these places a route suggestion would be awesome. Thanks in advance.
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Old 05-03-11, 03:00 PM   #2
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Look up this page. Read the journals and articles. It will answer all your questions, and then some.

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/?o=RrzKj
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Old 05-03-11, 04:09 PM   #3
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Depending on your age I would suggest Myrtle Beach. If you are young enough to fit in, Myrtle Beach will be a blast (especially with braggin' rights of a bike tour behind you). I lived in Greenville for years and the route to Ashville can be challenging on an empty crotch rocket. You should definitely have some experience with loaded touring before tackling it. My advice is to start with a couple overnight trips of 30 miles or so.

http://simplecycle-marc.blogspot.com...s-natural.html

http://simplecycle-marc.blogspot.com...cking-101.html


As you will see,I am doing the same this spring. Do a few weekend trips and extend them a little each time. You'll be surprised ast how quickly your legs develop.

Marc
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Old 05-03-11, 04:14 PM   #4
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Once you do some research at the above link, and get your gear together, consider doing an overnighter or two to sort out what you don't need, or want to change. Most first time tourers overpack. Also, most prefer to balance the load, often 40% up front, 60% on rear. Makes for a more stable ride.
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Old 05-03-11, 05:05 PM   #5
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Here are a few of my thoughts:

1. Try to keep your distances down to 50 or 60 miles a day. That puts either location at around three days from where you live. Not bad for a short tour. Not bad at all. You may be able to do a lot more distance, but if you keep it modest, you'll have more energy all the way along your tour.

2. Try a couple of overnight tours first, just to get used to carrying the gear on the bike. Riding a loaded bike is not the same as riding an empty bike. The handling will change and the weight load will make the bike feel a bit sluggish. Get used to it now.

3. When you're doing the overnight treks, take a notebook and write down everything so you know what went right and what went wrong. That way, you can make the corrections before your bigger trip. Sometimes the little things will make a big difference. The little things might be how you've balanced the load or whether you have the tools or camping gear you needed or whether you brought too many or too few clothes.

4. Plan your route so you're off the primary highways. Back roads are more fun and less stressful. (When you're doing the bigger tour, it's also a good idea to know where you can find country stores along the way.)

5. Since you want to do your trek with your friends, it would be wise to determine who's carrying the gear you'll share. Otherwise, it's possible you'll be stuck with a flat tire because everyone thought someone else had the pump or the tire patches.

Good luck. Keep us posted.
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Old 05-03-11, 07:22 PM   #6
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Another site to visit

Here's another good site to visit - great for newby tourists (touring section, of course**: http://www.biketoledo.net
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Old 05-03-11, 07:24 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by irwin7638 View Post
Depending on your age I would suggest Myrtle Beach. If you are young enough to fit in, Myrtle Beach will be a blast (especially with braggin' rights of a bike tour behind you). I lived in Greenville for years and the route to Ashville can be challenging on an empty crotch rocket. You should definitely have some experience with loaded touring before tackling it. My advice is to start with a couple overnight trips of 30 miles or so.

http://simplecycle-marc.blogspot.com...s-natural.html

http://simplecycle-marc.blogspot.com...cking-101.html


As you will see,I am doing the same this spring. Do a few weekend trips and extend them a little each time. You'll be surprised ast how quickly your legs develop.

Marc
I am 27, but I agree I think Asheville would be way too difficult for my first long ride. I can comfortably ride about 30 miles, but that is without gear of course. Thanks for posting a link to your blog, I will definitely refer to it again before I go.
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Old 05-04-11, 08:01 AM   #8
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My personal feeling is that 50-60 miles a day is a lot. I usually average 50-55 miles a day over a long tour, but for the first few days while I'm getting accustomed to the grind, 25-35 is enough. I've been touring for years. I've done plenty of 60 mile days, and quite a few 80-milers, but I'm always really beat after those days. Others like more ambitious averages. If you've never done much touring you might not know what type of tourer you are.

Bike touring is similar to backpacking in that saving weight is crucial, but you still need enough comfort to enjoy the trip. It's a delicate balance. Try and take a minimal load. For instance, I'd rather wear the same bike jersey a few times between washings than bring more jerseys so that I always have a clean one. On a three day tour you don't have to bring much. You'll probably even have a reliable weather report so you'll know whether you need to bring raingear or not.

I suggest taking notes while you're on tour. Write down your thoughts on what you brought and what you wish you'd brought. Your thoughts are usually clearer and easier to come up with while you're on the road than if you wait until you get home.
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Old 05-04-11, 10:51 AM   #9
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I suggest taking notes while you're on tour. Write down your thoughts on what you brought and what you wish you'd brought. Your thoughts are usually clearer and easier to come up with while you're on the road than if you wait until you get home.
Hmmm..maybe I should do that on my upcoming tour !

It is amazing what you can get away withOUT. For instance, on a long tour, I lost a watch - never need one for the reamining month, no cook kit, no cup, no electrical/duct tape or knife, which is often listed as essential (not that there is anything wrong with carrying those -in fact the tape and knive are good ideas). Hell, I lost a tent fly in Kansas and did not need it all he way to California. OK, the last one required luck!

Still, a recent cold ride has reminded me that on my upcoming tour at the end of this month, I really need more cool weather gear than what I had planned on. So make mental notes even on those day rides!
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Old 05-04-11, 12:46 PM   #10
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If you ride in the low country of SC during summer, be prepared for hot, humid nights. Sleeping bag probably won't be needed, or if used will be a sweat box.
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Old 05-04-11, 12:57 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigBlueToe View Post
My personal feeling is that 50-60 miles a day is a lot. I usually average 50-55 miles a day over a long tour, but for the first few days while I'm getting accustomed to the grind, 25-35 is enough. I've been touring for years. I've done plenty of 60 mile days, and quite a few 80-milers, but I'm always really beat after those days. Others like more ambitious averages. If you've never done much touring you might not know what type of tourer you are.
I think it also depends where you're riding. Most of my touring is in relatively dry country. As long as the wind isn't too bad, it's comfortable to ride. If I was in a muggy area, or if I was in an area with relentless headwinds, I would be inclined to tour shorter distances and to take breaks more frequently.
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Old 05-04-11, 01:26 PM   #12
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Out your door , ride at a comfortable pace till about 16~17:00,
look for a place to camp. or lodging in a B&B , Motel , etc,

Having stopped somewhere along the way for something to eat in camp.

Get up and do it again the next day, return home, or go further ..
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Old 05-04-11, 06:09 PM   #13
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If you ride in the low country of SC during summer, be prepared for hot, humid nights. Sleeping bag probably won't be needed, or if used will be a sweat box.

Trust me, I know. I was just mentioning the gear I already have.
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