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Local Test Tour

Old 04-13-21, 04:28 AM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by Bassmanbob View Post
I don’t remember where I read it, but there was something I read that stated that backpacking (and I guess bicycle touring) is where a financially comfortable person spends a lot of money on gear so they can act like a homeless person.
“What do you think?" i read above

and about bikes touring and homeless ... never judge people about their look.

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Old 04-13-21, 05:24 AM
  #27  
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Re a spare tire--i've toured since 89 and only have taken a spare tire when touring in Latin america, rest of the time you simply make sure that your tires are in good shape and you use your eyes and don't ride into obvious stuff.
just be normally attentive and for obvious reasons, don't ride through a scrap metal yard and you'll be fine, seriously.

re effort etc, as you noted compared to riding unloaded, downshift, downshift, downshift
18 wheelers shift a lot and don't lug the crap out of their motors, don't lug your knees and legs.
plan very reasonable daily distances, 30 40 miles, and take it easy.

internet asking is one thing, but like others have said, you'll figure out your stuff by doing it.
taking notes is an excellent idea.
I too hate being cold, and why I always bring full rain gear, jacket, pants and rain booties, cuz even up here in Canada eh, summer storms can be cool and being all wet is blah. (My opinion comes from numerous times of "been there, done that"----but hey, no matter what you do, you won't die, so go and see what works for you.

safe riding

oh, use a mirror eh.
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Old 04-13-21, 05:32 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
-but hey, no matter what you do, you won't die, so go and see what works for you.
Actually, no matter what you do, you WILL die. Just not on tour, we hope.

On a serious note, a senior couple was doing a TransAm in the western part of the state years ago and they were struck from behind and the wife was killed. Not their fault, according to the investigation. So it can happen.
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Old 04-13-21, 05:43 AM
  #29  
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Yup, we all die, so get out there and do stuff you love, try new stuff.

And ya, life can be dangerous, we just need to manage and evaluate risks, act accordingly and use common sense.
control the stuff we can, ie use a mirror, be situationally aware, try not to ride a narrow, busy highway at rush hour Friday, eat and drink properly and don't ride a 10 hour day so that you're so zonked that you aren't situationally aware. Etc

**** happens sometimes, but it usually doesn't.

comes down to evaluating risk really.
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Old 04-13-21, 05:53 AM
  #30  
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It sounds like you should be fine.

I personally am not a big fan of shake down cruises for myself. I took off on the Trans America as a first tour, but had a lot of other self supported travel experience (backpacking, canoe camping, etc.). That said it is probably a good idea if you either don't have the experience, or just want to do the shakedown trip.

I don't think a spare tire is necessary. I have never carried one and have crossed the country a couple times and done other long tours. A spare tube or maybe two if you feel the need and a patch kit. In goat head thorn country two can be a good idea. You could take some kind of tire boot, but I figure I can improvise one if necessary (I've never needed to on tour).

I typically don't start out carrying food other than a very little on tour and shop daily usually late in the day if possible. I may start out with a few granola bars and some items that are light weight that I may not be able to find on the road. For example I like bulk packed freeze dried peas, freeze dried refried beans, and dried banana chips from Honeyville Farms. The peas and beans are really light. So I sometimes take a little of one or more of those from home.

Definitely don't let it stop you if your buddies bail and have a great trip.
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Old 04-13-21, 06:06 AM
  #31  
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And about that spare tire. You probably don't really need one if riding near civilization where bike shops with full and varied inventory proliferate and no pandemic-related supply problems occur. Sure, they might not have exactly what you prefer to put on your bike but they'll have something that fits, right? They don't always. Touring in France in '74 it never occurred to me that small town bike shops would not stock 27" tires. I needed one and there were none. 700C, 650B, sewups; no problem. Had to take a train to an actual city to find a 27". Who'd a thunk?
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Old 04-13-21, 06:08 AM
  #32  
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Oh, hey thump, hope you know I was just referring to if he doesn't take rain pants or whatever......(he'll figure out what clothes are needed or not)

And yup, those extremely rare, very sad stories are just that, very sad.
I personally wouldn't have brought it up for someone going on their first bike trip though....

And stae, to me the key thing is that it's easier for those of us who had self supported, ie self propelled, outdoor experience already. That said, on my first big trip I took way too many tools, weighed a ton, but learned quickly. Should have done a smaller first trip, but oh well. C'est la vie.
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Old 04-13-21, 06:11 AM
  #33  
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Thump, cool to think that when you were boogying around France in '74 (very cool ) I was goofing around on my Mustang chopper with my friends!
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Old 04-13-21, 06:30 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
Oh, hey thump, hope you know I was just referring to if he doesn't take rain pants or whatever......(he'll figure out what clothes are needed or not)

And yup, those extremely rare, very sad stories are just that, very sad.
I personally wouldn't have brought it up for someone going on their first bike trip though....

And stae, to me the key thing is that it's easier for those of us who had self supported, ie self propelled, outdoor experience already. That said, on my first big trip I took way too many tools, weighed a ton, but learned quickly. Should have done a smaller first trip, but oh well. C'est la vie.
Yes, they are sad and extremely rare but bringing it up for the first bike trip is very important and I stand by that. I did it when working in shops and selling touring bikes and gear. "Be careful out there" just does not do it for some people. "Bad stuff like X or Y or Z can happen out there and you need to be aware of the possibilities and be prepared to deal with them," is sometimes not enough. I personally knew people who died on bikes. I probably could not have done anything to save them but sound advice taken seriously might do some good for someone and I'm not ashamed to promote that.

Not really a rain pants guy, although I took them on the last tour for off-bike time. It was a wet month. But on that trip in '74 I was using a poncho for rain protection (still prefer a tailored rain cape), which turned out to be only partial rain protection, and I remember sitting in a small park in the rain installing fenders on my bike so I could continue riding in slightly less discomfort than I had been doing. Been a fender guy ever since.

You can prepare as much or as little as you like. If you're lucky, you overprepare and it winds up being inconvenient. If you underprepare, it could be disastrous. You seldom get it right the first time but the OP is asking the right questions.
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Old 04-13-21, 06:38 AM
  #35  
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Cold, this time of year, in Florida? On our two person tour, we were roasting on a two week Florida tour in Feb, you are riding in Apr, right?

This is intended to be a learning experience, quit working on your list of things to bring and go. You need to make mistakes to learn from them, so go make some mistakes. As long as you have a cell phone, charged battery, someone to call, and have cell coverage, you should be good to go even if you have a serious problem.

If solo, that makes it easier for the group (of one) to make decisions. If not solo, you have someone you can rely on if you have a mechanical or some other problem. I have done group tours with a dozen people with ACA, done small group tours with one or two friends, and have done solo tours. All are great, but in different ways.
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Old 04-13-21, 06:56 AM
  #36  
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Thump, in the end I agree with you.
Like me (always) bringing up using a mirror, its something that we can control, and we all know there are those moments where a few seconds of heads up of what's happening behind (narrow road, incoming rear truck, incoming front truck, car with wide trailer etc-- all of us meeting at same spot) can safely and clearly show us that we should go onto the grass.
Win win for all, easy and stress free.
cheers
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Old 04-13-21, 10:55 AM
  #37  
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great idea!

The ride will teach you more than we ever will.
Bug repellent?
Couscous is a nice starch (pasta) that cooks really fast, preserving your stove fuel.
I would try to buy fresh fruits and veggies as I went.
A European market (sort of) near here has great cured beef and pork. Infinitely superior to Spam.
Have fun.
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Old 04-13-21, 11:24 AM
  #38  
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OP make a spreadsheet /checklist. It helps to remember things. This is just an example, not recommendations for gear to bring on a tour. This includes the clothes we would be wearing. We were packing for a 3-month tour in Europe, so there are a little more "nice" clothes. This was fine tuned as we packed. The GPS and knickers were left home.

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Old 04-13-21, 11:25 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by Pratt View Post
A European market (sort of) near here has great cured beef and pork. Infinitely superior to Spam.
Have fun.
Spam can be delicious depending on how you prepare it. The foil packed slices are an option, but I wouldn't carry them from home. I especially enjoyed some of the many flavors we found in Hawaii, but the standard product fried up a little crispy on the outside is yummy..
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Old 04-13-21, 11:30 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
And stae, to me the key thing is that it's easier for those of us who had self supported, ie self propelled, outdoor experience already. That said, on my first big trip I took way too many tools, weighed a ton, but learned quickly. Should have done a smaller first trip, but oh well. C'est la vie.
True, but even if you make packing mistakes on a long tour, there is the option of mailing stuff home and buying things or having things sent from home. So it isn't like you can't learn and adjust during a long tour.
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Old 04-13-21, 02:25 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
True, but even if you make packing mistakes on a long tour, there is the option of mailing stuff home and buying things or having things sent from home. So it isn't like you can't learn and adjust during a long tour.
Heh. At the start of the third day of my Northern Tier tour with 12 other people one participant mailed home her blow dryer and Sony WatchMan TV (Remember those?). A couple of other people also mailed stuff home that morning. Smart move as we were only 4 days away from crossing the North Cascades Highway.

I had never toured before. (Didnít even do a practice overnight.$ But before the trip I had the benefit of a phone conversation with the late Bruce Gordon about racks and bags. He told me that people tend to fill all available pannier space. Because I was going to be taking a lot of film camera equipment no matter what, I really kept his statement in mind when deciding what else to take. Ended up not sending anything home except exposed film. (Periodically had fresh film mailed to me.)

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Old 04-13-21, 02:41 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Heh. At the start of the third day of my Northern Tier tour with 12 other people one participant mailed home her blow dryer and Sony WatchMan TV (Remember those?). A couple of other people also mailed stuff home that morning. Smart move as we were only 4 days away from crossing the North Cascades Highway.

I had never toured before. But before the trip I had the benefit of a phone conversation with the late Bruce Gordon about racks and bags. He told me that people tend to fill all available space. Because I was going to be taking a lot of film camera equipment no matter what I really kept his statement in mind when deciding what else to take. Ended up not sending anything home except exposed film. (Periodically had fresh film mailed to me.)
I still mail stuff home. These days it might be because I am out of the mountains and the season has changed, but it might also be because I decided I really don't want to do some extra activity I thought I might do or because I am done with it. Maybe I wanted to fish in one location or do a lot of hiking somewhere like Yosemite Valley and wanted better shoes there. I might go to the trouble of having the gear only for that portion of the trip.

Also I have taken a gps or water filter and decided the trip didn't warrant carrying them. They were packed up and mailed home.

On our first TA I think we mailed stuff home 3 or 4 times and had a couple purges where we threw stuff away.
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Old 04-13-21, 02:43 PM
  #43  
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If touring through populated areas, I don't bother carrying more than a few hours worth of food, except for snacks like fruit that I try to munch constantly. I stop and shop for whatever strikes my fancy for the upcoming meal. Same goes for alcohol - just grab a couple of bottles (of whatever you and your pals want to share) at your last stop before reaching your campsite. Hopefully you don't need a bottle of bourbon before you start riding at 8AM.

THe one thing that I have found you can never have enough of is water. Running out can be dangerous, and even though it's a kg/L you go through it as you ride and the load is lightened as the day goes on.
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Old 04-13-21, 05:38 PM
  #44  
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As you take trips you may want to start to make unpacking lists. When you get home, list everything you brought home, and whether you used it or not. Then you can start to decide whether or not to take that/those items nest time. Obviously, just because you did not need your Epi Pens, does no mean you can leave them home. But it will give you and idea.
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Old 04-13-21, 05:53 PM
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I've decided not to take a spare tire. My buddy is taking two pieces of old tire as a boot. If he doesn't go, then I'll be OK with no extra tire.

I do have, and will use, my mirror on my glasses.

Cold in SE Florida in April? Honestly, not usually, but it did go down to the mid to high 50's last week. Besides simulating a week or two summer tour, I'm also simulating a tour outside of Florida, hence a top and bottom base layer and buff as well as my rain jacket. I do have rain pants, but I really would rather not considering it's fairly heavy.

Food & Water: I'm taking two days worth, even though I don't need to. We will be near a quickie mart/ gas station Friday night and a supermarket Saturday night. but I want to simulate a situation where I'm not near a reliable food source for two days. I will have access to water at the camp sites, and I'm taking two 28 oz water bottles and 2 empty liter Smart Water bottles. I will fill them up Saturday and Sunday mornings, considering we will not have a water source for about 40 miles during that ride and about 30-35 miles the next day. For those of you who know Florida, Saturday we are riding out of Palm City to Okeechobee. Sunday we are riding out of Okeechobee to Ft. Pierce. There is no reliable water source between each of those towns. Then I will continue, solo, to my home about 20 miles south of Ft. Pierce with plenty of water purchasing opportunities.

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Old 04-13-21, 07:11 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by Bassmanbob View Post
I've decided not to take a spare tire. My buddy is taking two pieces of old tire as a boot. If he doesn't go, then I'll be OK with no extra tire.

I do have, and will use, my mirror on my glasses.

Cold in SE Florida in April? Honestly, not usually, but it did go down to the mid to high 50's last week. Besides simulating a week or two summer tour, I'm also simulating a tour outside of Florida, hence a top and bottom base layer and buff as well as my rain jacket. I do have rain pants, but I really would rather not considering it's fairly heavy.

Food & Water: I'm taking two days worth, even though I don't need to. We will be near a quickie mart/ gas station Friday night and a supermarket Saturday night. but I want to simulate a situation where I'm not near a reliable food source for two days. I will have access to water at the camp sites, and I'm taking two 28 oz water bottles and 2 empty liter Smart Water bottles. I will fill them up Saturday and Sunday mornings, considering we will not have a water source for about 40 miles during that ride and about 30-35 miles the next day. For those of you who know Florida, Saturday we are riding out of Palm City to Okeechobee. Sunday we are riding out of Okeechobee to Ft. Pierce. There is no reliable water source between each of those towns. Then I will continue, solo, to my home about 20 miles south of Ft. Pierce with plenty of water purchasing opportunities.
sounds all very reasonable.
(my rain pants are quite light, its my rain jacket that is heavyish, but its what I got...)
re a boot for the rare occurance of slicing a tire, take some pieces of tyvek envelopes, apparently it makes a great tire boot. I finally just bought a pack of Parks stick on tire boots, pack of 2 or 3, so I have one in my repair kit now. The old dollar bill trick apparently works well too, never had to myself, but modern bills are very tough. We however, use Loonies, a dollar coin, so we can not get away with using a buck...
Yup, making sure to have water , more than needed, is really smart. Totally worth carrying the weight.

and yes, a great idea to jot down what you didnt use, what you know you really didnt need, what you would have liked to have had, etc etc. What clothes worked great, what combos to take and use for a given temp, ie was I comfortable etc....
Its a great exercise for "next time" planning your equipment list.

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Old 04-13-21, 08:46 PM
  #47  
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OP, Using a piece of tire as a tire boot is overkill, and I'm not sure if it would work very well. A piece of Gorilla tape, or as djb said a dollar bill. makes a good improvised boot.

My son rode back home using a $5 bill as a tire boot. I taught him this trick about 20 years ago with a $1 bill. He said it was inflation I also carry a Park tire boot in my tool kit.

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Old 04-14-21, 06:38 AM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by Bassmanbob View Post
I've decided not to take a spare tire. My buddy is taking two pieces of old tire as a boot. If he doesn't go, then I'll be OK with no extra tire.

I do have, and will use, my mirror on my glasses.

Cold in SE Florida in April? Honestly, not usually, but it did go down to the mid to high 50's last week. Besides simulating a week or two summer tour, I'm also simulating a tour outside of Florida, hence a top and bottom base layer and buff as well as my rain jacket. I do have rain pants, but I really would rather not considering it's fairly heavy.

Food & Water: I'm taking two days worth, even though I don't need to. We will be near a quickie mart/ gas station Friday night and a supermarket Saturday night. but I want to simulate a situation where I'm not near a reliable food source for two days. I will have access to water at the camp sites, and I'm taking two 28 oz water bottles and 2 empty liter Smart Water bottles. I will fill them up Saturday and Sunday mornings, considering we will not have a water source for about 40 miles during that ride and about 30-35 miles the next day. For those of you who know Florida, Saturday we are riding out of Palm City to Okeechobee. Sunday we are riding out of Okeechobee to Ft. Pierce. There is no reliable water source between each of those towns. Then I will continue, solo, to my home about 20 miles south of Ft. Pierce with plenty of water purchasing opportunities.
Tire boot, I cut up some rectangles from US Post Office Tyvek envelops. I pack one with each spare tube. Never used one yet, but if I need one I probably will need the tube at that time too.

Mirror on glasses is great. I mount my mirror on helmet, but glasses works too. A friend of mine that I have toured with used glasses mount.

One liter Smartwater bottles are great, if you pack one in a pannier they are less likely to leak than a standard water bottle. And that size fits in most water bottle cages. I am lucky that I can fit three of them on the frame on one of my bikes. Life WTR one liter size is another brand that fits water bottle cages. I use the flip top lids from other size bottles on them.



But as you probably already know, only the one liter size of those water bottles fit in cages.
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Old 04-14-21, 02:31 PM
  #49  
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Something else to consider is insulating one of your front panniers, and dedicate it to all food products. This allows your to keep drinks cool and carry some perishable items longer. It also simplifies food storage in camp where bears raccoons or other pests could be a problem.

The insulation is fabricated from a cheap sleeping pad and duct tape,


This guy walked by our campsite, while we were eating breakfast, about 15' away. He didn't even look at us. We've had more problems with raccoons than bears.



Last edited by Doug64; 04-14-21 at 02:43 PM.
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Old 04-16-21, 11:05 AM
  #50  
Bassmanbob
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Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
Something else to consider is insulating one of your front panniers, and dedicate it to all food products. This allows your to keep drinks cool and carry some perishable items longer. It also simplifies food storage in camp where bears raccoons or other pests could be a problem.

The insulation is fabricated from a cheap sleeping pad and duct tape,


This guy walked by our campsite, while we were eating breakfast, about 15' away. He didn't even look at us. We've had more problems with raccoons than bears.


I like this idea and will do this for my next tour.

So far. Part 1 of Day 1 of the 3 Day Tour was done this morning, from home to work. My buddy is coming to my work place this afternoon at 4 PM, and we are doing Part 2 this afternoon to our first campground. It's a 21 mile ride, unfortunately during rush hour, and we hope to get there by 6:15 or 6:30 PM. It'll give us at least 90 minutes to pitch our tents with some light and then make a quick dinner. And, yes... I have my bug spray with DEET ready in my handlebar bag.
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