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  1. #1
    Senior Member bikexcountry's Avatar
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    Touring Revelations

    Hey everybody, check out my other posts, riding across country for charity, you probably already know.

    Anyway, I went on a 70 mile bike ride down to San Onofre today. I'm not sore at all, and I figure I can do 100 miles a day as long as the roads are good.

    While I was bicycling today, I had some realizations...

    1. Google Maps is not reliable. First it took me up a dead end hill next to Doheny State Beach. There was a dead end, again, and I was very angry. I went down the hill, asked the employee at the beach, and he directed me, skipping a couple of steps along the way. Then I followed the PCH a couple miles until my directions said to go down a bike trail on the beach...
    The trail ended in a 1/2 mile bridge where you had to walk your bike or face a fine. Then the trail ends at the beach...I had to make the decision between going back or carrying it up a bunch of stairs. I was tired at the end of the stairs...and Maps left out a direction, I luckily picked the right direction!

    2. I need bicycle shorts. I tried to do this in regular shorts and boxers. The boxers rode up and rubbed the back of my legs. Rashes are not pleasant.

    3. I can do this. I feel good!

    Alright guys, opinions?

  2. #2
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    4. A single 70 mile ride is a whole lot different from 30 x 100 mile rides.


    Get back to us when you've done back-to-back 100 mile rides and let us know how you feel then.

    With your title "Touring Revelations", I figured you'd finally loaded the bicycle up and had gone out and done an overnighter of back-to-back 100 mile rides ... and that you had actually learned a few things about riding those sorts of distances with a camping night in between. Oh well.

  3. #3
    eternalvoyage
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    Sounds great, Alex. Glad to hear you're sailing on past the naysayers. The power to live your life is with you.

  4. #4
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    I agree with Machka, 100 miles is very different than 70. Especially if that 70 happens to be flat, which won't always be the case on your travels.

    You need bike shorts, you need to know how much water to drink, you need to know when to eat on the bike, you need to be sure your bike actually fits....


    Quote Originally Posted by Niles H. View Post
    Sounds great, Alex. Glad to hear you're sailing on past the naysayers. The power to live your life is with you.
    He's 16. He's got about 2 more years until the "power to live his life" is fully his own.

  5. #5
    Senior Member simplygib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikexcountry View Post
    Alright guys, opinions?
    I don't remember where your planned tour is, or how much time you've given yourself to do it, but my advice is to give yourself more time than you think you'll need. The more time you have, the less training is really needed, since you can use the first few weeks of your tour as a training period. Meaning, frequent days off, short initial mileage goals, building them up as you go. If time is going to be tight on your tour then pre-tour training is crucial.

    Get out there and go for it. You will learn a ton while actually on the tour, and much of what you will decide really comes down to personal preference anyway. Get some experience, tweak what needs tweaking according to your own needs and desires, and above all else, have a blast.

  6. #6
    eternalvoyage
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    You're learning well, and you're right about the shorts. There are many to choose from, and it might take some looking and a bit of research and testing to find what works well for you. Sugoi and Pearl Izumi make some good quality products, and there are others as well.

    Some people prefer bibs, others standard shorts. Some like baggies over padded shorts, and baggies can help you blend in while off the bike. Some like gels, others foam padding (I recommend a good gel, modified if necessary for better ventilation). There are shops that can help. If you can find one that has a good return policy, it really helps to be able to try some of these things out. And amazon.com has great return policies. So does REI. And there are some LBSs that do as well -- some really do want you to have something that you're happy with, and that serves you well, and they understand the dífficulties. (One local shop here is glad to let you try saddles if you're reasonably careful wíth them, and they go out of their way to make it clear that it's okay to return.) Some people have whole drawers full of rejected shorts and saddles and other gear, things they bought that didn't work out, or weren't quite right. It can get expensive and wasteful. Better to find one or two that really work well for you.

    The saddle can also play a role in longterm comfort. But that's a big topic in itself, and you might already have something suitable.

    Glad to hear you're learning about maps. Some people take a lot longer to learn what you've already found out.

    So congratulations. There's more you'll learn, but you're doing fine.

    And yeah, I know what you mean -- it feels good.
    Last edited by Niles H.; 05-13-12 at 11:53 PM.

  7. #7
    mev
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikexcountry View Post
    1. Google Maps is not reliable.
    Typically I start with Google Maps auto instructions with avoid highways. That seems to work better than bicycle instructions. I then sanity check things with state highway maps to pick reasonable route. Also if I'm going on an established route, I might look up on the web for similar routes.

    For example, this past weekend, I took Amtrak to Seattle and cycled back to Portland. I followed a mix of STP route, local maps and past experience with some roads.
    Last edited by mev; 05-13-12 at 11:24 PM.

  8. #8
    eternalvoyage
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    @B: No, it's not two years, but less.

    Also, those who are under eighteen are not powerless, far from it.
    (Nor are they slaves, subhuman, or less than human.)

    [There is also a difference between 'his own' and 'with him.' (As well as between 'fully his own' and 'fully with him.') In addition, there are powers apart from temporal legislations, which -- although they can be given their due respect or regard, as due, and as recognized, by the individual -- are far from the whole of the story.

    They are certainly not the original or fundamental power; the recognition, and the valuation (among other things), are given from and reside elsewhere.]

    [Ultimately, the power may be, in a certain real sense, both fully his own and, in another certain and real sense, fully with him.]

    And he still has the power to live his life, as we all do, while at the same time respecting the various forms of legislation in whatever country, state, or jurisdiction we are in.
    Last edited by Niles H.; 05-14-12 at 12:03 AM.

  9. #9
    eternalvoyage
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    From another perspective, the fact that we choose to accept certain guidelines (which all of us do) does not mean that the power to live life (including to choose) is not ours, or is not with us.

    Nor does it mean we are not free.
    Last edited by Niles H.; 05-14-12 at 12:23 AM.

  10. #10
    Neil_B
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    bikexcountry, you need to do an overnight tour so you can test your gear and get used to carrying a touring load. Your 70 mile dayride was nice, but it was a 70 mile dayride. Keep in mind touring means riding day after day, not one dayride and then a couple of days rest.

  11. #11
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil_B View Post
    bikexcountry, you need to do an overnight tour so you can test your gear and get used to carrying a touring load. Your 70 mile dayride was nice, but it was a 70 mile dayride. Keep in mind touring means riding day after day, not one dayride and then a couple of days rest.
    +1

    Since bikexcountry has told us that he plans to ride 100 miles a day over a period of 40 days (with 10 rest days) ...
    And since he is planning to start this tour in about a month's time ...
    ... He needs to up his distance to 100 miles.

    As I have suggested before, back-to-back 100 mile rides, on a loaded touring bicycle, with a camping night in between, would be a good experience. That will give bikex a much better idea if this tour plan of his is feasible ... or desireable.


    BTW - bikex, I'm not surprised you could do 70 miles without getting sore. Most relatively fit people can do a single 70 mile day ride. It's a good start, but it's just a start.

  12. #12
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    Trouble is, Neil, he has hardly got any gear. He intends to do a cross-country tour with an average of 100 miles a day, starting NEXT MONTH.

    There's a litany of threads he has started, and I suppose they give everyone here a chance to discuss their thoughts on the subjects, so they do have worth. But while we always wish everyone luck on any tour plan, there do need to be some reality checks along the way. The chafe from the legs on the shorts is only one.
    Last edited by Rowan; 05-14-12 at 02:52 AM.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  13. #13
    Zoom zoom zoom zoom bonk znomit's Avatar
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    Do a three day tour this weekend. You can cheat and camp in your backyard each night.
    140 miles a day should be about right if you're not loaded.

    Then start a thread on the DOMS (Delayed onset muscle soreness). Day three is the worst.
    And another on saddle sores.

  14. #14
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by znomit View Post
    Do a three day tour this weekend. You can cheat and camp in your backyard each night.
    140 miles a day should be about right if you're not loaded.

    Then start a thread on the DOMS (Delayed onset muscle soreness). Day three is the worst.
    And another on saddle sores.
    +1

    Excellent idea!

  15. #15
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Sounds like a good first step. As far as the naysayers... They are correct that back to back days day after day are a way different thing than a single 70 mile day. That said you are young and will adjust quickly as long as you don't go crazy and overdo the first part of the trip. I'd advise just continuing to get some miles in up until departure, packing light, and taking it fairly easy the first week to 10 days or so. Even if you hope to average 100 mile days it would be smart to allow lots of extra time. You can always finish early, but it would suck to run out of time and have to go home without reaching your goal if the ride has a definite endpoint as a goal.

    Personally I'd rather do seven 85 mile days in a week than six 100 mile days with a rest day.

    For rashes or chafing, Balmex or other zinc oxide based diaper cream worn overnight works like magic.

  16. #16
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Let's just make something clear here ... there are no "naysayers" in this thread. There are, however, those of us who would like to equip bikex with a bit of reality, and the skills and awareness to make this dream of his come true.

    bikex is extremely inexperienced in so many ways ... we are trying to encourage him to get some experience before he sets out across the US, so that he has a chance to be successful.

    Several of us have suggested good ways to gain that experience.


    And one of the reasons he can't allow lots of extra time is because he has to fit the trip into his summer holiday ... he can't start till high school's out, and he's got to finish before high school starts again.

  17. #17
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    And one of the reasons he can't allow lots of extra time is because he has to fit the trip into his summer holiday ... he can't start till high school's out, and he's got to finish before high school starts again.
    Did he actually say that was why he is limited to 40 days? If so I missed it. Most schools here in the US have much longer than 40 day summer breaks. He says he is from Southern California. The kids I know of there are off from early June until early September. That said, I think there are schools with other schedules so maybe he does need to be back that soon.

  18. #18
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Niles H. View Post
    those who are under eighteen are not powerless, far from it.
    He's 16; he's still a minor. He may not be "powerless," but he does not have the same options as an 18 year old or an emancipated minor.


    Quote Originally Posted by Niles H
    Ultimately, the power may be, in a certain real sense, both fully his own and, in another certain and real sense, fully with him.
    To the best of my knowledge: He doesn't pay rent, he doesn't pay for his own food, he doesn't pay for his own medical care or health insurance, he doesn't do his own taxes, and he's still a minor.

    This does not make him less of a person or a bad person. But it does mean he is not "fully his own," whatever that magic phrase means to you. E.g. if he did launch this tour without parental permission, he could be classified as a runaway, and be dragged back home by the police (but not necessarily arrested; CA doesn't criminalize runaways afaik).

    The simple fact is that he has slightly less freedom than he will at 18.

    And another simple fact is that both his bicycle, and the US roads, will still be around in the summer of 2014. There is absolutely no reason why he "must" do this tour right now.

  19. #19
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
    Did he actually say that was why he is limited to 40 days? If so I missed it. Most schools here in the US have much longer than 40 day summer breaks. He says he is from Southern California. The kids I know of there are off from early June until early September. That said, I think there are schools with other schedules so maybe he does need to be back that soon.
    Post #40
    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...backpack/page2

  20. #20
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
    Trouble is, Neil, he has hardly got any gear. He intends to do a cross-country tour with an average of 100 miles a day, starting NEXT MONTH.

    There's a litany of threads he has started, and I suppose they give everyone here a chance to discuss their thoughts on the subjects, so they do have worth. But while we always wish everyone luck on any tour plan, there do need to be some reality checks along the way. The chafe from the legs on the shorts is only one.
    Yes, I see. After posting I went back and read some of the other threads. Curious fellow. He's a minor leaving in a month, with no experience, next to no equipment, and against his parents' wishes. I hope Bike Forums posters are choosing their words carefully. If something happens to this kid those words will come back to haunt them.

  21. #21
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe View Post
    He's 16; he's still a minor. He may not be "powerless," but he does not have the same options as an 18 year old or an emancipated minor.



    To the best of my knowledge: He doesn't pay rent, he doesn't pay for his own food, he doesn't pay for his own medical care or health insurance, he doesn't do his own taxes, and he's still a minor.

    This does not make him less of a person or a bad person. But it does mean he is not "fully his own," whatever that magic phrase means to you. E.g. if he did launch this tour without parental permission, he could be classified as a runaway, and be dragged back home by the police (but not necessarily arrested; CA doesn't criminalize runaways afaik).

    The simple fact is that he has slightly less freedom than he will at 18.

    And another simple fact is that both his bicycle, and the US roads, will still be around in the summer of 2014. There is absolutely no reason why he "must" do this tour right now.
    Also, keep in mind the US is on the cutting edge for lawsuits based on social media. Encouraging a minor child to leave home against his parents' wishes and embark on an unprepared adventure...... well, if something happens to this kid, some posters here might have exposure.

  22. #22
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    That post just says, "I'm shooting for 100 miles a day, and accounting for inclement weather, plan to make it in 40 days". It really doesn't say he needs to be back to school. He may or he may not. My point remains... He should allow more time if he can.

  23. #23
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil_B View Post
    Yes, I see. After posting I went back and read some of the other threads. Curious fellow. He's a minor leaving in a month, with no experience, next to no equipment, and against his parents' wishes. I hope Bike Forums posters are choosing their words carefully. If something happens to this kid those words will come back to haunt them.
    This. The boy is not listening to those who counsel caution, and from his posts in other threads has only the sketchiest idea of what he needs to take, what he may encounter etc. And since this weekend was his first ever ride of more than fifty miles, encouraging him in a 40-day solo crossing of North America seems to me to be plain irresponsible - especially since, as far as I can ascertain, his mother doesn't want him to go. Add to this the idea that this trip is said to be to raise money "for charity" when actually the primary purpose of fundraising appears to be to pay his expenses, and...

    Enterprise and a sense of adventure are all very well. Naive foolhardiness is quite another matter.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  24. #24
    eternalvoyage
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    Emancipation takes place inwardly. And no one can 'give' you freedom; they don't have that power, and it's already there.

    Epictetus was a slave (the name means slave). He wrote some great and lasting words on freedom. Pretty sure the copyright has expired, and that there are public domain versions available on the net.

  25. #25
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Niles H. View Post
    Emancipation takes place inwardly. And no one can 'give' you freedom; they don't have that power, and it's already there.

    Epictetus was a slave (the name means slave). He wrote some great and lasting words on freedom. Pretty sure the copyright has expired, and that there are public domain versions available on the net.
    None of which means squat if the kid gets into difficulties.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

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