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Last Minute Trip - Need to know what to get today

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Last Minute Trip - Need to know what to get today

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Old 07-30-08, 02:06 PM
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nykoelle
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Last Minute Trip - Need to know what to get today

I booked a last minute trip up to Woodstock (NY) to stay at the hotel Kate from the B-52s owns. I'm being spontaneous. My plan for this is to drive the hour up there but to bike into town and to the neighboring town once I'm there. The mainstreet in Woodstock is 10 miles from my hotel and I think the stream I want to go rafting on is about 6 the other way. So I need to be planned for a 10 mile one way trip, paved roads. I ride around my town regularly, but never that far nor far from home. I'm curious what I should bring with me given no cellphones work up there.

Right now I have a Dahon with 20", already have a pump and lock and helmet (of course) and plan on getting a utility tool set. I'm sure I need a spare tire or something but have no idea what kind to get. I only have today and tomorrow to go get stuff, so ordering online is out of the question. I thankfully have a great shop near me and the usual Dick's sporting goods, so I shouldn't have trouble finding things there. Going out today to get a pair of polyester or lycra shorts, my old gym shorts barely cut it on 8miles round trip.

I really want to get the minimum things to ensure I don't get stranded in the middle of no where, I don't have panniers or anything and just am bringing my big ole messenger bag. I like my folder as I just fold it and bring it in places where I can't lock it down, hence the lack of panniers.

Thanks
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Old 07-30-08, 02:24 PM
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JR97
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Love Shack? rock on.
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Old 07-30-08, 02:41 PM
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nykoelle
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haha yeah. I don't think it is the love shack, sure as hell looks like it at the website: http://www.lazymeadow.com/

This is my list for my bag so far. I checked out the beginner threat that's stickied for tips on basics commuters should use, and am working on the most of them. I'm trying to get a barebones necessities thing together to prevent getting stranded heh.

notebook and pen (to write down directions to places I'm riding)
spare tire
flash light
multi tool
bungee (to strap my bag down to the rack on the back of the bike)
AA batteries and my camera
bug spray and sunscreen
canteen bottle
snack
bandaids/tylenol

Anything else? Should I get a patch kit? I've never changed a bike tire before (still training for my long ass work commute) and am still acquiring the other necessities and skills for daily commuting.

thanks again
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Old 07-30-08, 02:48 PM
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For repairs, the most useful things to carry are a set of plastic tire levers and a spare tube. It is easier to swap a tube than patch one (particularly in wet conditions). If the bike doesn't have quick-release wheels, bring a wrench for the wheels. A flat tire is most likely the only repair you'll ever have to do on the road. With good tires, you shouldn't even have to do that often. My average so far is one flat tire each 600 miles.
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Old 07-30-08, 05:08 PM
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Unexpected territory? Expect to deal with threats, dogs at the minimum. They probably don't have an Air Zound in stock, but you can pick up an air horn and zip tie it to your handle bars no? Air Horns are wonderful for traffic navigation, getting dogs to give up the chase, and fun to sound off when you do a ninja sneek up behind some of your friends =D. I hear you can get cheap ones at party stores, for like $1.
Also, Pepper Spray advised; works well on dogs and robbers...

Lockblade Pocketknife, yea the mutitool probably has one, but a single blade is much easier to work with when needed.
Consider adding a pencil, a bit more reliable in the writing department(does not leak), plus you can just sharpen it with your pocketknife.
By spare tire I assume you mean tube? Spare tire should not be necessary for a 10 Mile trip.
What kind of snacks? Trail mix? Granola bars? Honey packets? Just don't say chips and candy...
I like Advil, helps with any inflammation. Tylenol is ok if that's all you have though. Plus, that's just IMO.
Alcohol wipes are nice to keep next to the bandaids.
A bit of duct tape, maybe 3 feet, just wrap it around that pencil, takes up less space.
Some Zip ties.
3 Ariel Flares if you think you are really going to be in the middle of nowhere, which if you are river rafting, could be.
Whistle for same reason as above.
Trash bag if you have zero rain gear(cut holes for arms/head). But an emergency "space" blanket would be better.
$2 in quarters for a pay phone.
A bandanna can be quite useful(splints, soaked in cool water and applied to neck or forehead, sun/bug protection).
A light/glow/chemical stick. Good for a light all night, or if your batteries run out can be hooked to your bag so traffic can see you better, but also; attached to the end of your bungie/string/etc and then swung in circles(think helicopter) is HIGHLY visible to any rescue, be it Coast Guard, or random stranger driving by. You can get mini glow sticks too.

Sounds like a big list, but with the exception of the tube, does not even fill a cargo pocket, and you likely have most of this at your home already.

Also, I carry a sq ft of tin/aluminum foil. I folded it down and rolled it up. Its hard to say if that would be any use to you on this trip though. I carry it all the time so I don't forget it when I do go into the woods. I has a few uses: crappy mirror but decent daytime signaling due to it being shiny, water collection, cooking, hat(lol).

Yeah, its a unique list, but one I have found to be pretty useful and not heavy over time. There is no point in having a 50 lb survival kit you leave at home because its too heavy to carry with you.

A Condom or two is good to carry as well. Not just for the obvious reason. I did not mention it because you are already bringing a canteen. However, think about it, condoms are designed not to break, so in a pinch if you need to carry water with you until you make it to safety, it works.

Last edited by EliteTempleton; 07-30-08 at 05:10 PM. Reason: grammer
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Old 07-30-08, 08:04 PM
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Spare tire? You're not going to carry a spare tire, where would you put it?

There's really no point in carrying tools that you don't know how to use, and little point carrying things like sunscreen that you can apply at your home base and be done with. I'd also question the function of anything you carry -- like the flashlight, what are you going to do with it? It won't be useful for riding at night; if you've got some other purpose for it, cool, but otherwise, don't drag it along.

With that said, I'd want a spare tube and levers and a pump...but if you never changed a tire before, you're not gonna teach yourself at the side of the road. The time to have learned this was when you didn't need to know it, ya know? I'd carry some cash and a map if my route wasn't totally straightforward, and make sure to have a couple of water bottles. That's about it, though, a 5-6 mile ride is nothing much, and if the bike breaks down you can hike it easy enough.
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Old 07-31-08, 07:02 AM
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Originally Posted by EliteTempleton View Post
...A Condom or two is good to carry as well. Not just for the obvious reason. I did not mention it because you are already bringing a canteen. However, think about it, condoms are designed not to break, so in a pinch if you need to carry water with you until you make it to safety, it works.
Drinking from a condom? That would fall under the "weirdest thing I ever saw on my commute" thread.


Oh yea, and in my earlier post I mentioned a spare tube and tire levers as the two most important things, but I forgot to mention a road pump. duh! Thanks to lil brown bat for mentioning that.
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Old 07-31-08, 08:34 AM
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I meant spare tube. I've never changed tube nor tire, but I have a tube now that the bike shop picked out since I had no idea what I needed. Many thanks on the clarity. I did get levers as well, good thing you guys said something or I'd be totally Fd out there. Templeton your list is awesome, thanks. Totally appreciate the idea for quarters for a payphone, etc. Snacks wise I was going to do some granola bar type things and some soy jerky (I'm meat free, but faux-eroni is awesome imo) and other sort of high energy stuff. I'm allergic to nuts so that's a no go, probably sunflower seeds though.

The rafting area is somewhat in the middle of no where, there's a town I could easily walk to though if I were to wipe out. I'm going to get the glowsticks and other non-bike basics at target today (as well as some stretchy shorts things, the bike shop only had crazy expensive padded bike shorts I totally don't need). On the fence about the condoms though... my boyfriend wouldn't believe me for a second if I said I was bringing them for water.

I'm crazy excited to do this, I'll try to remember to post pictures and let you know if any random people in Woodstock break out into Rock Lobster.
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Old 07-31-08, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by nykoelle View Post
I meant spare tube. I've never changed tube nor tire, but I have a tube now that the bike shop picked out since I had no idea what I needed. Many thanks on the clarity. I did get levers as well, good thing you guys said something or I'd be totally Fd out there.
Hate to say it, but you're still pretty much screwed if you've never changed a tire before. Practice before you go, don't count on being able to figure it out by the side of the road.

Originally Posted by nykoelle View Post
Snacks wise I was going to do some granola bar type things and some soy jerky (I'm meat free, but faux-eroni is awesome imo) and other sort of high energy stuff. I'm allergic to nuts so that's a no go, probably sunflower seeds though.
You really don't need "high energy stuff" for a five mile ride. My short commute is about five and a half miles and I do that in the morning on an empty stomach. If there's no lunch where you're going, you'll want to carry that, but apart from that I'd just take a Gu, maybe.

Originally Posted by nykoelle View Post
The rafting area is somewhat in the middle of no where, there's a town I could easily walk to though if I were to wipe out. I'm going to get the glowsticks and other non-bike basics at target today (as well as some stretchy shorts things, the bike shop only had crazy expensive padded bike shorts I totally don't need).
Why do you totally not need them? Those shorts are designed to keep the skin from being chafed off your crotch. You can probably get away with whatever for a five mile ride, but if you sweat all over your shorts, hang out for a few hours, then ride five more miles etc., that's a recipe for chafe.
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Old 07-31-08, 09:58 AM
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If your bike does not have a quick release wheel you will need a wrench to take your wheel off to change the tire. If you're really concerned, try practicing at home taking the tube out and back in before you go.

Keep in mind you also have a folding bike and you are at most 10 miles away from something. If something went wrong and you're closer you can walk. If you're ten miles out and something breaks down, you can fold your bike and hitch a ride back.

Bring a tube and levers and a pump; but they are pretty useless if you don't know what to do. A mini tool with a basic screwdriver and allen keys is useful if anything comes loose.

Zip ties can be handy if say a screw falls off completely and you need a quick way of holding something down.

Beyond this your trip is way too short to worry about more tools, and they are only good anyway if you know how to use them. But make sure to check off your bike before you leave, air pressure, brakes, nothing is loose (one way to test this is to hold your bike slightly above the ground and drop it), see if you chain needs lubing (before you go)
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Old 07-31-08, 12:37 PM
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zip ties good idea. I have a bunch at home already. I'm going to sit down with my bike when I get home and see if I can do this tire thing. I have no doubt in my ability to figure it out, I'm a resourceful bugger.

Brownbat, I'm doing more than 5 miles, I'm riding min 10 into town then who knows where, then another min 10 back. Probably sounds like nothing to you guys but it's something to me, it's longer than I usually ride and guaranteed to be hilly given it's in the catskills. I'm still debating about going another few to the next town if I get bored of Woodstock. I also have no intent on going back to the hotel until I'm done for the day. I intend on eating in town of course if I can find something I'm not allergic to, but in case I get distracted and decide to ride down to the creek and hang out, I want to make sure I have something substantial enough I won't die on the way back. I'm just kind of taking the day out on the bike and see where I wind up. So yeah, I think I'll need a decent snack, this is more riding than I'm used to and won't be going back to base at all.

I did get stretchy exercise shorts, the kind I used to run in and do general exercise in. Not the 70 dollar padded ones, those I don't feel I need. I understand the need for good material that keeps me dryer and believe you me I know chafing.
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Old 07-31-08, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by nykoelle View Post
I did get stretchy exercise shorts, the kind I used to run in and do general exercise in. Not the 70 dollar padded ones, those I don't feel I need. I understand the need for good material that keeps me dryer and believe you me I know chafing.
You may know a whole lot more about chafing when your day is through, but if people believe that they don't need bike shorts, nothing short of an Experience will convince them, so go for it.
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Old 07-31-08, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by lil brown bat View Post
You may know a whole lot more about chafing when your day is through, but if people believe that they don't need bike shorts, nothing short of an Experience will convince them, so go for it.
I wear under-armour type shorts under cheap cotton shorts. You can get a no-name brand shorts for ~$10 or the Under Armour brand for ~$30. It works well on my round trip of 23 miles. I don't own padded bike shorts.
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Old 07-31-08, 03:07 PM
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yeah, the ones I got are kind of like the under armour material. Not that brand though. They seem nice so far.

Also, not sure if it matters but I'm a chick... there's less around there to chafe
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Old 07-31-08, 05:21 PM
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Perusing the thread, I didn't see anyone mention lights, so I will. You can pick up LED head and tail lights for ~$15/per. Good to have if you're caught out later than you thought you would be.
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Old 07-31-08, 07:07 PM
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good idea on the lights. I got a cheap LED headlight today. didn't see a tail light at the store. I'll check Dick's on my way up there tomorrow, thanks for the suggestion. I also got a cheap poncho and will bring a trashbag to put my messenger bag in as well as a rag in the bag to wipe down my bike. There's a chance of thunderstorms.

I'm really looking forward to this weekend. Thanks for the help guys, I was nervous about getting stranded and being helpless. At the very least I'm more confident and pretty prepared.
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Old 08-01-08, 06:55 AM
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Get the blinkiest blinky taillight you can! They're cheap and cool.

For country roads....eh, I really should get me a headlight for that. My LED headlight works very well as a "be seen" headlight, doesn't work so well as a "see" headlight, but since I commute in the city, that's not a big issue. Just try not to be out after full dark and you'll probably be fine.

Other stuff: you might want to toss in a bandanna. They take up little room and they're just so useful for wiping sweat, cleanup, scrubbing out scrapes, improvised bandage, improvised cooling towel, etc.
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Old 08-04-08, 07:27 AM
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just an update, this weekend was awesome. I wound up not needing the majority of what I brought with me, but am glad I did bring it (If I didn't have it, my wheel would have fallen off or something). My routes worked out weird, the way to either woodstock or phoenicia (the other town) were entirely up hill, and the ride back I barely had to pedal. It was really, really tough going there. Totally worth it when I arrived though.

The ibprophen that was suggested was a LIFESAVER. I also needed the rag to wipe my bike down after a bit of a rain shower and the sunscreen. I also feel naked without my bandana now heh.

So now I'm back at work. I feel much more confident about being able to commute to work... still working on it, I'm a bit intimidated by the 13 miles to the bus then 4 miles from the bus stop, but I'm gettin there. Thanks again for all the suggestions, I had such a blast
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