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  1. #1
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    It's going to happen, tell me what I'm missing

    I posted a thread last month that I was considering doing a short (week-long) tour with my 7-year old son. It's not a very long ride, but he's incredibly excited, and it's going to happen. The week has been selected, the time is requested off work, and I have 4 months to get things ready.

    Fitness-wise, I'll resume bike commuting 11 miles each way to work daily when the weather gets better, and will be taking him out on many evening and weekend rides, including an overnight camping trip locally as a test run.

    Here's the situation: I have a 1995 Mongoose Switchback mountain bike. This is a bike shop bike, before Mongoose became a wal-mart brand, so it's better than it sounds. I have a lot of miles on it, and it's been well maintained. I also have a Trail-A-Bike that he'll be riding behind me, and we've done hundreds of miles on it in the couple of years we've had it. (I've also done hundreds of miles with his little brother on it). Here's a list of things I'm expecting to do to the bike (much of it will make it useful as a wet-weather commuter too)

    Trekking bar + bar tape
    Fenders (and fender for trail-a-bike)
    Mirror
    Frame pump
    Front rack (already has rear rack)
    Rear rack on Trail-A-Bike

    I've already purchased Ortleib front rollers and back rollers for our stuff. The bike has fairly road-worthy tires (if I were buying tires today, I'd probably get big apples, but I have specialized armadillo all-condition tires, the center tread is smooth and they ride well enough). I'll have the bike rechecked for mechanical readiness shortly before the tour. I also have front and rear lights.

    Anyone else who's toured, tell me what I'm missing in terms of bicycle accessories that you would expect to make the journey better, safer, more fun?

  2. #2
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    Extra Credit:

    Tell me what fenders, frame pump, mirror, front rack, etc I should get. Show your work for maximum points.

  3. #3
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    Fenders-SKS
    Frame Pump-Topeak Mountain Morph
    Front Rack-Tubus-Talk to Wayne at The Touring Store

  4. #4
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    My biggest concern for fenders is to try to keep as much off of the boy as possible, so full coverage as much as possible in the rear is appreciated. Any particular model that is better for that?

  5. #5
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    buddy flaps will do the trick.

  6. #6
    Senior Member 58Kogswell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmilleronaire View Post
    I posted a thread last month that I was considering doing a short (week-long) tour with my 7-year old son. It's not a very long ride, but he's incredibly excited, and it's going to happen. The week has been selected, the time is requested off work, and I have 4 months to get things ready.

    Fitness-wise, I'll resume bike commuting 11 miles each way to work daily when the weather gets better, and will be taking him out on many evening and weekend rides, including an overnight camping trip locally as a test run.

    Here's the situation: I have a 1995 Mongoose Switchback mountain bike. This is a bike shop bike, before Mongoose became a wal-mart brand, so it's better than it sounds. I have a lot of miles on it, and it's been well maintained. I also have a Trail-A-Bike that he'll be riding behind me, and we've done hundreds of miles on it in the couple of years we've had it. (I've also done hundreds of miles with his little brother on it). Here's a list of things I'm expecting to do to the bike (much of it will make it useful as a wet-weather commuter too)

    Trekking bar + bar tape
    Fenders (and fender for trail-a-bike)
    Mirror
    Frame pump
    Front rack (already has rear rack)
    Rear rack on Trail-A-Bike

    I've already purchased Ortleib front rollers and back rollers for our stuff. The bike has fairly road-worthy tires (if I were buying tires today, I'd probably get big apples, but I have specialized armadillo all-condition tires, the center tread is smooth and they ride well enough). I'll have the bike rechecked for mechanical readiness shortly before the tour. I also have front and rear lights.

    Anyone else who's toured, tell me what I'm missing in terms of bicycle accessories that you would expect to make the journey better, safer, more fun?
    What makes you think the snow will be gone in 4 months?


    Driveway snow.jpg

    Just kidding, of course. Good luck and have fun.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Cyclebum's Avatar
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    With your experience and equipment, sounds like you could teach us a thing or two. I hope you journal this adventure and post an alert here.
    The bicycle is one of the great inventions of mankind. Delights children, challenges young men to feats of daring, and turns old men into boys again.--Me

  8. #8
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    We toured with both of our guys when they were small, I didn't like the trail bike for touring - it wasn't the most comfortable ride for either of us. Eventually we got a tandem - which was much better. However both wanted and did so solo - when they were ready. Each rider had a mirror, the pilot could keep an eye on the navigator and one of the navigator's jobs was to help look out for traffic.
    ride long & prosper

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    I agree there's probably benefit to a tandem over a trail-a-bike, but I'm using the resources I have.

    However, I did take my bike to my LBS to get a trekking bar, fenders and a full tune-up done, plus they're going to see what they can do about a front rack on the old mountain bike and let me know what my best options are.

    My LBS is great, they won't be charging extra to install the fenders or trekking bar. They're even going to give me a flag for the trail-a-bike because they have some in the back from trailers that they've sold to people who insist they don't want them.

  10. #10
    Senior Member WonderMonkey's Avatar
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    When you go on your week long trip where will you be staying? Do you have it mapped out to end the day at a camp ground? How many miles do you plan to do in a day? On this trail and stops what is nearby for you to purchase rather than carry?
    http://www.280dude.com/
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  11. #11
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    Several days I've already located appropriate campgrounds. There are a couple of days up in the air, because campsites are pretty out of the way, so those might have to be "cheap motel" type nights. We'll be travelling through a lot of small towns, so we can get groceries and hit up diners (and any ice cream we happen to see).

    Right now, it's looking like mostly ~20 mile days, possibly one day of much more riding where there won't be much to see. There's a lot of neat stuff to stop and see on the way (hinckley fire museum, for one) to keep us both entertained.

    One other thing that's making me nervous, the boy does have asthma, and I'm trying to figure out how to power a nebulizer in an emergency.

  12. #12
    Senior Member WonderMonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmilleronaire View Post
    Several days I've already located appropriate campgrounds. There are a couple of days up in the air, because campsites are pretty out of the way, so those might have to be "cheap motel" type nights. We'll be travelling through a lot of small towns, so we can get groceries and hit up diners (and any ice cream we happen to see).

    Right now, it's looking like mostly ~20 mile days, possibly one day of much more riding where there won't be much to see. There's a lot of neat stuff to stop and see on the way (hinckley fire museum, for one) to keep us both entertained.

    One other thing that's making me nervous, the boy does have asthma, and I'm trying to figure out how to power a nebulizer in an emergency.
    Glad you are focused on the ice cream, it's an important part of a multi-day trip!

    I know over in the gadgets and electronics forum some people would have an opinion on how to power that nebulizer. My son used to use one but grew out of it.

    For your camping are you taking tents + pads, etc. or using hammocks? I'm a hammock camper myself and find that it is less bulky especially if you normally use a pad for ground camping.
    http://www.280dude.com/
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  13. #13
    Senior Member
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    We'll be doing tent + pads. I already have a decent tent, and a pad for myself (I used to be outdoors a lot, before suddenly being married and having 4 kids). So I'll pick up a pad and a sleeping bag for him.

    I'll be spending money where necessary to make the trip fun, but I don't think that it would make sense to purchase new hammock tents for a first tour.

  14. #14
    Senior Member WonderMonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmilleronaire View Post
    We'll be doing tent + pads. I already have a decent tent, and a pad for myself (I used to be outdoors a lot, before suddenly being married and having 4 kids). So I'll pick up a pad and a sleeping bag for him.

    I'll be spending money where necessary to make the trip fun, but I don't think that it would make sense to purchase new hammock tents for a first tour.
    If you have it taken care of then that's it.

    This sounds like a fun adventure. Hopefully as you do it you can journal it for him to have when he gets older.
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