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Rethinking Touring Gear List For Light Weight Travel

Old 03-24-20, 04:29 AM
  #1  
illjustride
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Rethinking Touring Gear List For Light Weight Travel

Has anyone's bicycle touring plans change since the current situation our societies been undertaking? This can be a good time to rethink gear packing.
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Old 03-24-20, 05:52 AM
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Originally Posted by illjustride View Post
Has anyone's bicycle touring plans change since the current situation our societies been undertaking? This can be a good time to rethink gear packing.
absolutely!

i have added a paper mask in a ziploc bag to my hbar bag.
only used when i stop at convenience stores or fast food joints.
or if touring, when checking in at hotels.

already carry a couple disposable plastic gloves from kfc for chain repair.

probably should also add a small bottle of hand sanitizer as well.


**sorry, i only have a comment to add. no video from my channel to monetize.**

but i'll certainly think about flogging a 4-year-old video to see if i can
make a buck linking it to virus doom porn.

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Old 03-24-20, 06:44 AM
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overly self-centered(IMO)

Until you're in the Covid-recovered-group doing a tour is a bad idea and overly self-centered(IMO).

Possible Exception: Touring in remote area, with zero-interaction with others. Which means bringing everything you need for the entire tour. Of course ultra-lightweight is out of the question.

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Old 03-24-20, 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by BigAura View Post
Until you're in the Covid-recovered-group doing a tour is a bad idea and overly self-centered(IMO).

Possible Exception: Touring in remote area, with zero-interaction with others. Which means bringing everything you need for the entire tour. Of course ultra-lightweight is out of the question.
Sounded to me as if the OP is merely THINKING about changing his gear, NOT actually touring at this time.

It's also a great time to overhaul your bike or make any changes to it that you were/are thinking of doing. I'm going to slightly modify a couple of my bikes.

Cheers
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Old 03-24-20, 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Miele Man View Post
Sounded to me as if the OP is merely THINKING about changing his gear, NOT actually touring at this time.

It's also a great time to overhaul your bike or make any changes to it that you were/are thinking of doing. I'm going to slightly modify a couple of my bikes.

Cheers
My post-point stands.

BUT I agree thinking-dreaming about future tours is a good-thing. The current crisis will pass and touring will survive as a doable endeavor.
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Old 03-24-20, 08:42 AM
  #6  
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Originally Posted by BigAura View Post
Until you're in the Covid-recovered-group doing a tour is a bad idea and overly self-centered(IMO).

Possible Exception: Touring in remote area, with zero-interaction with others. Which means bringing everything you need for the entire tour. Of course ultra-lightweight is out of the question.
I think this is a good position.

Tours that include hotels, dining in cafes, public transit etc... are probably not the best idea at present.
Shorter self supported tours in rural/remote settings that allow social distancing while carrying all your supplies may be the way to go this summer.
In that regard, the only change I see is adding capacity for a duration supply of food. I'm already doing the bikepacking thing.
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Old 03-24-20, 09:40 AM
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Some of the posts on this forum sound like some people have more time on their hands right now than they are used to having. And I think this thread is an example. I do not mean that in a negative way, please do not take it that way.

I agree mostly with everything above, but I do not see how the virus will cause people to plan to go lighter.

***
Changes that I think the virus will dictate is:

- How do you get to your starting point? I am avoiding international travel and travel by air, train or bus at this time.

- Most of my tours in USA were in places where more than half the time I did not have cell coverage. And my foreign trips, I did not have a sim card so cell coverage did not matter as I had none. I would not want to go anywhere now where I could not get help. That means both proximity to help and ability to make contact for help. I would not want to be far from help and get badly sick.

- I do not see how the virus would cause me to make changes to go lighter. Most of my tours were intentionally where I was far from retail stores, etc., so I generally carried a lot of contingencies, including a spare tire on some trips. If you are more likely to find retail stores are closed, going lighter weight might not be a great idea.

- Most people I have met or that have commented on this forum that travel ultra light are on shorter trips of five or less days or are traveling where retail stores have been readily available almost every day, or both. For example the ultra light bikepackers that I have seen doing single track were out for no more than three days.

- Food is heavy. I have carried over two and a half weeks of food at the start of one of my bike trips, that is not ultra light. I have done some two week long kayak trips where I started out with over 30 pounds of food when you include the weight of the dry bags it was in. On a flat water kayak trip like Lake Superior, there are are no hills so if I could get the weight of the canned goods in the boat, that did not slow me down like it would on a hilly bike trip.

Last summer I went backpacking for two weeks in Northern Minnesota. Hiking on a backpacking trail is pretty much the definition of social distancing. The segment that I planned to hike this year would mostly have been out of cell coverage and I would have needed a shuttle ride to get to the starting point. Due to the virus, my plans have changed, if I go I plan to stay where I have cell coverage and will be able to walk out to a road within a day. Unsure yet if I will avoid the shuttle, but since the shuttle might not even run, my initial planning is to avoid relying on it.

And if I do that backpacking trip, I will need to buy gas on the drive there and on the drive home. Fortunately, you can pay at the pump. I could do the entire trip with social distancing and not having to stop at any other places where I could pick up something contagious.
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Old 03-24-20, 12:10 PM
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All good points. Added advantage kayaking on a lake, plenty of water. Social distancing is shorthand for reduced interactions. Those interactions have a time dimension as well as a distance. Overtaking a walker on a MUP is probably not much of a danger even though you get inside the magic 6' radius (2 Meters, in the non US). Hand sanitizer is probably a good idea. I'm wondering about bunkhouses, dorms in hostels, and air B&Bs, and will campgrounds even be open?
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Old 03-24-20, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Pratt View Post
... I'm wondering about bunkhouses, dorms in hostels, and air B&Bs, and will campgrounds even be open?
In USA a lot of govt campgrounds (state parks, etc.) are closed at this time, impossible to say what the future brings. In Wisconsin the state parks are open but the campgrounds within those parks remain closed until further notice.

Hostels, I have no clue, but I would avoid them myself at this time. That said, I normally am a regular hostel user on bike tours, stayed in three different hostels on my tour last summer. You could check the HI website and see what they are saying.

I would even be nervous about motels considering that the virus can live over two weeks on surfaces.
https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/23/cdc-...gers-left.html

I think any trips I do this year will be 100 percent camping.
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Old 03-25-20, 03:26 AM
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Great video. Lots of off topic over reaction in thread to someone thinking about their gear list.

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Old 03-25-20, 03:37 AM
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I agree that it might be a good time for some to tweak their packing lists and maybe dream about future trips, but probably not any time real soon. Me, my list has been tweaked a million times and with no bike trip in the near future I don't have much interest in doing that again at this point in time. To be honest I have even lost interest in dreaming about future bike trips at this point.
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Old 03-25-20, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by BigAura View Post
Until you're in the Covid-recovered-group doing a tour is a bad idea and overly self-centered(IMO).

Possible Exception: Touring in remote area, with zero-interaction with others. Which means bringing everything you need for the entire tour. Of course ultra-lightweight is out of the question.
I agree, it might not be a problem if one is 100% self-supporting. Bring 100% of the food one needs for the 2/3 day out and back ride. Is one riding from the doorstep, park & ride, or planning on taking public transportation?

NYC is one of the biggest Coronavirus hotspots in that nation. Please don't spread it.

Ride out and back without any contact and you're OK. Don't stop in stores, or "hang out" around others.

==============

As far as gear, did I miss the personal hiegene products?

Personally I have no need for CO2 cartridges.

Couple of spokes, nipples, a spoke wrench, and a chain tool are useful for me. Again, plan on being 100% self-supporting. Tire boot provisions?
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Old 03-28-20, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
I agree, it might not be a problem if one is 100% self-supporting. Bring 100% of the food one needs for the 2/3 day out and back ride. Is one riding from the doorstep, park & ride, or planning on taking public transportation?

NYC is one of the biggest Coronavirus hotspots in that nation. Please don't spread it.

Ride out and back without any contact and you're OK. Don't stop in stores, or "hang out" around others.

==============

As far as gear, did I miss the personal hiegene products?

Personally I have no need for CO2 cartridges.

Couple of spokes, nipples, a spoke wrench, and a chain tool are useful for me. Again, plan on being 100% self-supporting. Tire boot provisions?
I go double duty and use a Clif Bar wrapper or if I am out a dollar bill for a tire boot. Heck I once used a receipt because that is all I had luckily it was a commute home and I wasn't super duper far when it occurred and I believe it was on the front if memory serves so I wasn't so worried.

CO2 is relegated to my Ti road bike pouch and even then I haven't used it yet and don't really want to but I generally don't tour on that bike or go long distances in the middle of nowhere without some support or a phone to call someone.
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Old 03-28-20, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Miele Man View Post

It's also a great time to overhaul your bike or make any changes to it that you were/are thinking of doing.
Really good idea and so I'm off to clean and repack the bearings of my hubs and might as well true the wheels while I'm at it.
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Old 04-04-20, 08:25 PM
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Originally Posted by illjustride View Post
Has anyone's bicycle touring plans change since the current situation our societies been undertaking?
if course people's plans have changed. Everyone I know, have read about, and have seen on tv has been affected.
Parks, campgrounds, entire states are shut down to leisure activities.
Odd into sentence to push a video on others for clicks.
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Old 04-12-20, 11:01 AM
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You have a pretty good camp kit laid out, I didn't notice any fire starting stuff, and water wise you seem to be a bit short, 2 bottles on a tour is nothing! So i'm guessing there is plenty of water along the way to fill the bottles up with. Personally, I know this is going to sound bad, but I wouldn't take a racing bike touring unless I was credit carding it. I actually read about a guy on a touring forum that broke his CF racing bike frame doing what you're going to be doing, the rear stay snapped off at the seat tube, he didn't say how much combine weight he was carrying but he was going the ultralight route so I assume close to your weight. Wish I had booked marked that discussion.

Anyway sounds like a fun trip, enjoy.
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Old 04-13-20, 06:45 AM
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Originally Posted by greatscott View Post
You have a pretty good camp kit laid out, I didn't notice any fire starting stuff, and water wise you seem to be a bit short, 2 bottles on a tour is nothing! So i'm guessing there is plenty of water along the way to fill the bottles up with.
I found that taking two bottles and adding capacity by using sport drink, bottled water, or soft drink bottles as needed works great. That way you add or delete capacity as needed rather than carry containers the whole trip that are only needed for a portion of the trip.

The exception is when touring somewhere that a filter makes sense (most places I have toured it did not, but on the southern half of the Sierra Cascades in spring the filter was great. Having ice cold water from a mountain stream was wonderful. On other trips like the TA and ST I found it pretty worthless and didn't carry it or started to and mailed it home.

Personally, I know this is going to sound bad, but I wouldn't take a racing bike touring unless I was credit carding it.
There are two ways to look at that. In my experience folks staying in motels don't actually tend to travel all that light. It is possible to travel pretty light with UL backpacking gear. I know that I have managed to go lighter than most credit card tourists while managing to cook and camp. I think most folks credit card touring tend to carry more off bike clothes and other stuff and most often don't really travel all that light. Some may, but the ones I have met were actually carrying more than I do on and UL camping style tour. I think that because they don't need to edit what they carry they don't want to or don't bother to. I did the ST with a 14# base (with heavier gear than I own now) buying food pretty much daily rather than carrying much and have gone as light as a 9# base bike packing in the back country, but of course the total load was heavier in the backcountry due to food and water.

Since I first heard the term credit card touring many decades ago, I have often though about actually doing a really light credit card tour. I am thinking the clothes on my back and a handlebar bag with a few things in it if not just stuff in jersey pockets, maybe 2# or less total (plus the ~1# or so of tools and repair stuff in the seat wedge).

As far as the suitability of a racing bike... For a lighter rider, they could carry a good bit of gear and still not have the bike heavily loaded. I am a fairly heavy guy and rode the ST on an older (1990 vintage crit race bike). Granted it had 32 spoke wheels and maybe the aluminum frame was more durable than the newer race frames (I doubt it). Personally I don't think I'd be worried about anything being too fragile on a new race bike other than the low spoke count wheels and if I was a skinny little guy carrying UL gear I probably wouldn't even sweat that.

I know that quite a few folks successfully rode across the US on race bikes by pulling their gear in a trailer. Personally I don't think that is a great idea unless they keep the weight fairly light, but I met quite a few on the Trans America, the Pacific Coast, the Southern Tier, and elsewhere who seemed to be doing okay with pretty heavy loads. I even rode with a guy who pulled a trailer with a CF bike on the ST. He was carrying quite a bit of gear and was a fairly big strong guy. He did have some wheel problems and I think he bent a derailleur hanger at some point. The CF frame held up okay though.
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Old 04-13-20, 07:34 AM
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I have never done bike touring. I had plans to do some touring on the Natchez Trace this week. I canceled that due to the present crisis. I am now sort of doing day tours locally. If I stay away from the beach areas, it is very rural here. I am leaving from home and finishing at home. I am self sustained with food, hydration, tube/patches kit, tools and alternate outer apparel. I also pack a mask, gloves, and hand sanitizer. These items are for stopping at convenience stores or just in case situation. I passed a gentleman walking his bike that I had a flat tire. As I went around him, I slowed and asked if he needed any help, and offered to patch and refill the tube with air. He declined as he was only about 1 mile from home. That was a situation where the gloves, mask and sanitizer would have been an ideal situation for having those items. Even at the beaches, there is very little traffic. That includes vehicular, pedestrians and other cyclists.
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Old 04-13-20, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
...
I know that quite a few folks successfully rode across the US on race bikes by pulling their gear in a trailer. Personally I don't think that is a great idea unless they keep the weight fairly light, but I met quite a few on the Trans America, the Pacific Coast, the Southern Tier, and elsewhere who seemed to be doing okay with pretty heavy loads. I even rode with a guy who pulled a trailer with a CF bike on the ST. He was carrying quite a bit of gear and was a fairly big strong guy. He did have some wheel problems and I think he bent a derailleur hanger at some point. The CF frame held up okay though.
I would hope that they used lower gearing than stock if they are also pulling a trailer, but then a lot of the newer race bikes I see in stores seem to have the gearing that a customer like a stock broker would want instead of what a professional athlete would historically have used.

In the last decade or so I see a lot more compact cranks than I saw before that.
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Old 04-13-20, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
I would hope that they used lower gearing than stock if they are also pulling a trailer, but then a lot of the newer race bikes I see in stores seem to have the gearing that a customer like a stock broker would want instead of what a professional athlete would historically have used.

In the last decade or so I see a lot more compact cranks than I saw before that.
Strangely enough in some cases they didn't and in almost all cases they didn't go very low even when they did go to lower gearing. On my road bike tour I used a triple with the big ring removed to create an ultra compact double. Most of the guys I saw pulling trailers with race bikes had way steeper gearing than I could have tolerated with the load they had. I might have considered their gearing with an UL setup.

OTOH a lot of the road bikes pulling trailers weren't race bikes and had triples.

Edited to note that one young guy that I met on the Trans America that was on a road bike with tall gearing made it as far as Riggins Idaho (eastbound) before blowing out a knee and returning home for knee surgery. He was carrying quite a bit but was still usually first to the top of the long climbs. Just an anecdote and obviously not statistically significant, but a cautionary tale all the same. Not that I am one to preach that particular sermon. I have always tended to mash big gears.

When I was young the other MTB guys marveled at the big gears I mashed and commented that I'd wreck my knees. I always joked that I was saving my thumbs because they were the most screwed up parts of my body. That was prophetic. Now pushing 70 I still have healthy knees and daily hand and wrist pain especially in the thumbs and the base of the thumbs (the shoulders aren't great either). Thankfully it isn't particularly bad on the bike.
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