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Hello from Illinois!

Old 04-21-12, 10:38 AM
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BenzFanatic
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Hello from Illinois!

Hi everyone. Biking has recently become an obsession of mine after about a 7 year hiatus, and the amount I'm learning is huge. The internet is great for hobbyists. Anyways, I've never done a tour before, I was basically just into BMX throughout my adolescence. I'm just beginning to train to do a ~350 mile or so tour down to Carbondale, and then from there who knows. I was wondering if you guys think that's realistic for someone not in great shape, but not awful, after a few months of training? I'd hope to do it in under a week. I'm 5'11" 195 if that helps. I'm a pretty well practiced outdoorsman and amateur mechanic, so I've got that part down at least.

I've been cruising the forums for all sorts of tips relating to touring and training and whatnot and it's been super helpful. I hope to be able to give back with a few trip logs and tutorials on the projects I'm planning; a DIY cargo trailer and a fishing pole holder... I know there are several tutorials of both around, but none of them really fit my needs.

I'm a little embarrassed of my bike, but she's actually surprisingly nice for an 18 year old discount brand. It's a 1994(I think) Full Force Canyon Lands 26" mountain bike, 17" frame. Basically, in case you don't know, Full Force was a short-lived discount subsidiary of Specialized that cost them 1/3rd of their business because they only retailed them at big box stores... and this infuriated their long term customers.

Anyways, I just wanted to introduce myself since I'll probably have a few questions over the next few months, and to thank you all for what I've already learned from here and the forums like it. I call the below picture, "The pollution monster and the green machine." Not catchy, but apt I'd say. That's my 1984 500sel in the background. She's nothing special, but I do love her so. Thanks again all.
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Old 04-21-12, 01:49 PM
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10 Wheels
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Hello Benzfanatic,

Touring is not racing.

Touring is putting you stuff on your bike and pedal.

I met this guy first in Ft Hancock TX.


2nd 780 miles later in Sante Fe TX.


He averaged 26 miles a day on a $60 bike, camping all the way.

Meet Fred Tipps. 55 y/o Marine. He was riding from New Mexico to Florida, 2200 miles.

So load up and take a practice camping ride somewhere.
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Old 04-22-12, 07:14 AM
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You make a good point about it not being racing. I guess I've got nothing but time so why not take time to take in the sights right? That Mr. Tipps is an inspiration.

BTW, any suggestions as to upgrades on my bike would be welcome and highly appreciated. I'm getting some bottle holders today and a small saddle bag, maybe a new saddle. I'll probably get new handlebars and wheels when I have the time to go to a proper bike shop. And of course lights when I find some that I like. All I've done so far is put the rear Topeak rack on. Thanks again.
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Old 04-22-12, 07:48 AM
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10 Wheels
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Post in The Touring Forum for much help.

As for up grades, I would just buy a used bike from Craiglist.
Up grades add up very fast $$$
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Old 04-22-12, 07:57 AM
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Thanks for the tip... That's what I was thinking would probably be the smart thing to do.
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Old 04-22-12, 08:15 AM
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Thanks for the listings Fred. I can't send PM's until I've got 50 posts apparently. I could've easily spent twice that upgrading mine and it still probably wouldn't be as good as some of the sub $200 bikes I'm seeing on CL. Safe travels.
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