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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 06-10-12, 12:30 PM   #1
tarwheel 
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If at first you don't succeed ...

Try again. I posted here a few weeks ago about the failed attempt on my first loaded tour. In summary, once I got my bike loaded, it handled terribly and I didn't feel safe riding it. So, I went back to the drawing board, and got:
- A Tubus Tara front rack and Ortlieb Classic Front Roller panniers to better distribute the weight.
- A new, lighter 2-man REI Quarter Dome tent that weighs half as much as my other tents.
- A Thermarest Neo air mattress that is a fraction of the size and weight of other groundpads.

The difference was incredible. Although the weight savings from the new tent and air mattress were somewhat offset by the front rack and panniers, the better weight distribution made a huge difference in handling. I took my first -- successful -- loaded tour this weekend, and everything went well. I was able to fit all of my gear in the panniers, with nothing on top of the rear rack to throw off the balance. Total weight of my gear was about 30 lbs because it was just an overnight trip and I was traveling light. My Bob Jackson World Tour handled great and actually rode nicer with the load, and I was surprised that the added weight did not make climbing that much harder. I averaged nearly 16 mph on Saturday with a nice tailwind, but a headwind on Sunday slowed my pace down to about 14 mph.

I also picked a destination that was somewhat shorter, a state park campground on a large reservoir (Kerr Lake) about 50 miles north of my home in Raleigh, NC. Rode to the lake on Saturday, set up camp and then rode my unloaded bike to a nearby town (Henderson) for a nice BBQ dinner, for a total mileage of 70 miles for the day.
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Old 06-10-12, 04:28 PM   #2
Chris Pringle 
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Congratulations! Glad to hear you followed all the suggestions, didn't give up but tried again. "He conquers who endures!"
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Old 06-10-12, 05:31 PM   #3
wahoonc
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Sounds like you got a handle on it. I love being able to distribute the load to stabilize handling. After doing a tour with a low rider front rack I have never been without.

I look back at the equipment I used way back in 1977 for a transcontinental and shake my head, mainly surprised I am still here.

The bike was a Motobecane Nomade with a Pletscher rear rack with Frostline bags and Kirtland handlebar bag. I remember more than one white knuckle descent when the frame shimmy was all but uncontrollable. Still have the bike and the rack, the bags are long gone. Current tour set up is much nicer.

Aaron
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Old 06-10-12, 05:41 PM   #4
conradpdx
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Seems to me that just instead of getting a new wallet, why not just line your bill pocket with foil. When your wallets folded it would be covered with the foil. Seems like it'd be easier than getting a new wallet or wrapping/unwrapping individual cards, and would defiantly be cheaper.
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Old 06-12-12, 07:04 AM   #5
djb
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Conrad, it would appear that the invisible rays have caused you to post in the wrong thread, I suggest either the forementioned total body wrap with an emergency blanket, or at the least, a foil helmet cover.
Good luck
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Old 06-12-12, 07:08 AM   #6
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Tar, very glad the bike is now nice to ride and that all went well!
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Old 06-12-12, 07:17 AM   #7
Snydermann
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The bike looks great all loaded up too!
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