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Let the packing commence!

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Let the packing commence!

Old 05-04-19, 07:01 PM
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Tandem Tom
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Let the packing commence!

Started bringing all the gear down to the living room today. The piles are being create in different parts of the room for clothes , camping gear, extras and etc.. I have a spread sheet that helps remind which panniers get what so it helps bring a bit of order!
We leave in 2 weeks for 3 months in Europe. Some might think that we would have started packing earlier but after touring every year for 2+ month trips it is fair easy to assemble and pack. Things are being washed and set aside.
The biggest non- planned event was having to build up a new bike today as mine was damaged on Monday. A big dent/crack in the chain stay. But as I work part-time at a bike shop I was able to order and receive a frame by Thursday night. So it is all built and ready for a brief ride tomorrow to tweak then it will be ready to be boxed.
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Old 05-04-19, 07:55 PM
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Retirement has been good to you Tom.
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Old 05-05-19, 05:59 AM
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I still work part-time at a bike shop but I let to owner know in December or January what our plans are for our next tour!
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Old 05-05-19, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Tandem Tom View Post
...
The biggest non- planned event was having to build up a new bike today as mine was damaged on Monday. A big dent/crack in the chain stay. But as I work part-time at a bike shop I was able to order and receive a frame by Thursday night. So it is all built and ready for a brief ride tomorrow to tweak then it will be ready to be boxed.
Several years ago I built up a touring bike with a great reputation but did not get around to touring on it for several years. Handled great without a load on it before the tour, I had no reason to suspect a problem.

But, within my first 20 miles on a 862 mile tour I found a shimey that I could not get rid of. When I got home, stripped all the parts off of it and put the frame in the metal recycling bin. Later I described the symptoms to a frame builder, she explained to me in great detail exactly how the welder that welded that up the frame had their heat settings all wrong which badly weakened the frame.

Do yourself a favor, load it up fully, add more weight to simulate some extra water and a grocery store trip, then go out and put it through the paces for a 20 plus mile ride that has some down hills to test for higher speed handling. That is something that I should have done, but instead since I had ridden the bike a lot unladen I trusted the reputation of that bike. BIG MISTAKE.
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Old 05-05-19, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Tandem Tom View Post
I still work part-time at a bike shop but I let to owner know in December or January what our plans are for our next tour!


After all of this, the Montour Trail is going to be boring. You still have a standing invite to come down for a ride. @rowbow is coming up in September and we are going to take it on his way to DC. I am going to join them to Cumberland.
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Old 05-05-19, 08:09 PM
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Ok, so who drove the car into the bike in the garage?!

Hope the wheel set was ok and so at least they are proven.

I guess just ride it as much as you can and double check the bb and everything, and other than maybe a quick barrel adjuster turn, it should be good to go.

Good final prepping.
And enjoy the trip.

Rough itinerary?
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Old 05-06-19, 03:39 AM
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The frame in question was my 57cm Long Haul Trucker. Someone wanted to try it out last week and Bam!
I replaced it with a 56cm and took it out for a ride last night and determined that the headset bearing are shot. So I will either get new bearings or a new headset.
As for itinerary? We will be in rural areas of eastern Europe.
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Old 05-06-19, 05:45 AM
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Ouch on the bam.
Well, I guess the main thing is that you have the background and knowledge about bike parts to not be stressed too much about these changes before the trip.
Still makes sense to ride it as much as possible, and check everything.
I always notice that grease oozes out a bit after initial setups, so careful wipes after a while riding is always good, especially with disc setups and hubs.

Eastern Europe, interesting.
I know Doug64 did some of that in the last few years. Have you considered a spare tire, just from the angle of less availability of stuff?
From my touring experience on roads of very varying conditions in Latin America, wider tires make a big difference. My two trips convinced me that wider is better overall. I used 50mm road tires.

Short answer- a lot less beating up of us, and much more safety of being able to roll safely over rough or soft stuff if and when avoiding sketchy drivers, which the stereotype of Eastern Europe is very likely similar to Latin America, with a dollop of alcoholism thrown in.

All the best head bearings etc.
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Old 05-06-19, 06:11 PM
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Regarding spare tire. We each carry one! I try to cover all the bases!!
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Old 05-06-19, 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Tandem Tom View Post
Regarding spare tire. We each carry one! I try to cover all the bases!!
I had never carried a spare tire in all the tours I had done, but figured that for some areas of the world, its just worth it. The chances are pretty slim of having a tire problem, but given how in some places you just simply arent going to have access to properly stocked bike stores, I figure its worth carrying the weight around.

have a safe, great trip.
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Old 05-06-19, 10:23 PM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
I had never carried a spare tire in all the tours I had done, but figured that for some areas of the world, its just worth it. The chances are pretty slim of having a tire problem, but given how in some places you just simply arent going to have access to properly stocked bike stores, I figure its worth carrying the weight around.

have a safe, great trip.
Especially those expensive Schwalbes
I always carry an extra tire (along with 2 inner tubes), not so much for the fact that I may not find a replacement tire, but more, if that tire goes, it will go at the most remote part of my trip. Even just being 10km from a major town can take an entire day to reach, find a LBS and repair, all the time griping about a poor quality or over priced tire.
Folding tires today are light weight and compact
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Old 05-07-19, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Tandem Tom View Post
Regarding spare tire. We each carry one! I try to cover all the bases!!
Some trips I carry a spare, some I do not.

WHen I carry a spare it is the lightest weight tire I have that is small in a pannier, only good enough to get me to the next bike shop, not a true replacement tire. My next trip my spare will be 250 grams lighter than one of the tires on the bike.
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Old 05-07-19, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
Some trips I carry a spare, some I do not.

WHen I carry a spare it is the lightest weight tire I have that is small in a pannier, only good enough to get me to the next bike shop, not a true replacement tire. My next trip my spare will be 250 grams lighter than one of the tires on the bike.
I see the logic behind this, but when I made the decision to have a spare with me for my last trips, I figured that if I was going to spend the money on a folding tire anyway, plus the fact that the chances were good that if on the slim chance that I really damaged a tire, then I might as well just have the same model as on the bike, and then just use the spare and be done with.
It did only weigh 560g, so the diff in weight is there I guess compared to a really light 26 folder, but then I kinda figured that I might not be able to find a good replacement.
I really do think the main factor for anyone to take into account is the place you are going, and likelihood of finding a good quality tire that wouldnt cost an arm and a leg.
Last summer I crossed France and didnt bother taking the spare, figured it really wasnt an issue there for bike stores and tires.
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Old 05-08-19, 05:20 AM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
I see the logic behind this, but when I made the decision to have a spare with me for my last trips, I figured that if I was going to spend the money on a folding tire anyway, plus the fact that the chances were good that if on the slim chance that I really damaged a tire, then I might as well just have the same model as on the bike, and then just use the spare and be done with.
It did only weigh 560g, so the diff in weight is there I guess compared to a really light 26 folder, but then I kinda figured that I might not be able to find a good replacement.
I really do think the main factor for anyone to take into account is the place you are going, and likelihood of finding a good quality tire that wouldnt cost an arm and a leg.
Last summer I crossed France and didnt bother taking the spare, figured it really wasnt an issue there for bike stores and tires.
I have not had a tire blow out or otherwise become unrideable since I was a kid, so I agree it is a highly unlikely event. In the past decade, I have had three tires develop bulges where it was clear that the internal fabric was rapidly failing, but I managed to get home and change the tire before a blow out.

If I carry a spare tire, I see it as an insurance policy, I am paying (in weight) for protection against a highly unlikely event. Before I bought that light weight tire, when I carried a spare, it was a replacement tire that was the same as I was riding on. I did not intentionally go out and buy a light weight tire to carry as a spare, but when I saw it on a clearance price, that is when concept of the light weight spare came to mind. Kind of like the tiny little spare tires on some cars.
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Old 05-08-19, 11:53 AM
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same experience for me (but I wont actually say it to ward off any bad luck)
and yes, makes sense of a light tire on sale, and the car small spare is a good example.
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Old 05-08-19, 02:08 PM
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I have used my spare tire. I may have been able to boot the tire and reinforce the sidewall with duct tape, but I had the spare and I used it. Depending on where I am touring, I might carry a spare. Lately I've been tempting fate, and leave it home. Like both of you, mine is a lightweight temporary use spare.

If I'm in locations where bike shops are not easily found, I don't know the language, no public transportation, few if any pickup trucks on the road, cars are all small compacts, and cell service is sketchy; I'll carry a spare. This describes quite a few places in Europe. This lack of pickup trucks and small cars preclude hitch-hiking, especially for 2 people. If one of our bikes becomes unrideable, I don't want split up with my wife or leave our bikes in this situation to go looking for a tire. A spare tire is worth the weight penalty for peace of mind. It also saves a lot of time spent trying to find a tire.

We once got split up riding through a large European city, and we only had one operating cell phone between us. That was quite an adventure. After that we never got out of each others' sight, unless we both had working phones.

The tire under the bungees in the picture is headed for the trash heap.

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Old 05-08-19, 03:16 PM
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This morning we were doing our trial packing of our panniers. And it was with a sense of peace that I tucked a spare tire in the bottom recesses of a pannier!
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Old 05-08-19, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Tandem Tom View Post
This morning we were doing our trial packing of our panniers. And it was with a sense of peace that I tucked a spare tire in the bottom recesses of a pannier!
And may it lay there quietly hibernating in the dark for the whole time!
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Old 05-08-19, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Tandem Tom View Post
This morning we were doing our trial packing of our panniers. And it was with a sense of peace that I tucked a spare tire in the bottom recesses of a pannier!
Yeah, I now carry a spare on tours. On one Europe tour, we wanted to buy new tyres but it took several days of visiting bike shops along the way before we found suitable tyres for replacement. They aren't always available when you want them. I have also had two tyres blow a sidewall during tours and both times, it would have left us stranded and wasted a couple of days to get a new one from the nearest shop.

I will be interested to read of your trip on CGOAB. We are looking to do Eastern Europe next year, including Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary, Czech and maybe Poland, as well as a little France, Italy and Germany.
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Old 05-08-19, 06:09 PM
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Here is our journal
http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/Eur1019
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Old 05-08-19, 07:11 PM
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fun. Will try to check in on it, always fun to read of adventures.

Be sure to think through what is in the carry on panniers (if you do that) to not do a boo-boo and have a multi tool or whatever confiscated. Thats one of the things that I worry a bit about, is not paying attention to X doohicky in carry on when we tend to be going over all of our lists etc and thinking only of stuff we need for the trip.
Its like you have to think of both scenarios--what stuff goes in what pannier for the actual trip (I kind of always have the same routine now, and my post trip lists help with my memory in that regard)

but then we have to think of the carry-on scenarios etc.
I tend to stick my tent or sleeping bag inbetween the front fork or jammed between the fork and the end of the cardboard box, for some added cushion, and then usually transfer enough stuff into a couple of panniers that go into one big cheap bag that goes on as one piece of luggage.

This leaves me with one pannier and my handlebar bag as carryon. Both are small enough that its always been fine with the two and my helmet as carryon.

we will all touch wood for you for safe bike handling.
cheers
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