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My 1st Tour - What's 1 tip you wish you'd been given before your 1st tour?

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My 1st Tour - What's 1 tip you wish you'd been given before your 1st tour?

Old 05-12-21, 10:39 AM
  #26  
indyfabz
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Originally Posted by gauvins View Post
Our daughter once got onset hypothermia (uncontrolled shivering) during what was supposed to be a benign ride back to base camp, in the middle of July somewhere in Western Europe -- heavy downpour when a cold front crossed our route. We always carry a reasonable rain shell in our handlebar bags, but forgot to check hers when leaving in the morning.
I agree. (See post immediately above.) Advising someone green not to take something not safety-related if it's not going to be used every day without defining what is safety-related isn't sound advice.
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Old 05-12-21, 10:41 AM
  #27  
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Don't trust anyone but yourself with the operating condition of your bike. Even though you are having your bike checked out by your LBS, they will not necessarily check every single bolt or mounting screw. I'm not suggesting that you have to go get a torque wrench and over torque every single fastener but get out your 4mm/5mm/6mm hex wrenches and your pedal wrench and just give everything a once over and make sure everything is snug and nothing is loose. If one of the screws that holds on your rack or bottle cage gets loose and falls off, you'll never find it. I certainly don't want to advocate for over packing because, like others have mentioned, you're probably going to make the same mistake we've all made and take too much. However, I always keep 2-3 of the little mounting screws and 4-5 zip ties of various sizes in my tool/repair kit. I can't even count how many times the zip ties have come in handy either for myself or for someone else I'm with or meet along the way.

One other thing, don't pass up an opportunity to fill your water bottle!

Last edited by fettsvenska; 05-12-21 at 10:44 AM.
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Old 05-12-21, 11:07 AM
  #28  
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I agree, a small ziplock baggie containing various size zip ties, gorilla tape, screws and nuts, and a few feet of strong para cord can solve a whole lot of problems.
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Old 05-12-21, 12:41 PM
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I have all of one tour under my belt. C&o canal last year. Will be doing it again starting next Monday. I also brought too much stuff. In my case tools and liquor. Crank puller ? Really ? Daughter coming this year so no liquor.
But #1 mistake was not making the bike comfortable. Especially the seat. My butt really hurt
This place is a great resource so your on the right track
good luck
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Old 05-12-21, 01:47 PM
  #30  
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Wow, not many responders fully read the post. 2 nights, and they're leaving this weekend. SMH

Anyway, mine is: if you need it and don't have it, you didn't really need it. Don't overpack. Test pack everything before the night of - make a pile of the "not quite sure if I'll take this" and make sure you leave at least half of it behind
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Old 05-12-21, 02:04 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
You made the comment. How can I define what you meant?

Someone green might not consider rain gear, which one might not use every day, as something safety-related. Having become hypothermic myself when I had to descend a long way from 7,300' in a very cold rain with a crappy shell because I got the weight weenie flu just before I left for the trip, I would consider good rain gear safety-related on a trip in similar environs and will take it even if I end up never using it.
You made my point. People die from exposure.

It is incumbent on the individual to decide. Environment of the tour, skill of the tourist, and other factors come into play. Each and every trip is unique.

By your response, it is clear to me that you were trolling me.
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Old 05-12-21, 06:53 PM
  #32  
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I've done two very short test tours. One was two days/one night and the other was three days/two nights. They both were in Florida's hot weather. I can't emphasize enough to properly hydrate during your ride AND THE REST OF THE DAY AFTER YOUR RIDE. I usually ride (in my local neighborhood) and then come into my air conditioned home. But out there, camping, there is no luxury of air conditioning the rest of the day. I'm good at hydrating during the ride, but I don't think about hydrating off the bike.

So don't forget to hydrate the rest of the day.
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Old 05-12-21, 07:37 PM
  #33  
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Learn to read a map really well, and get a map that shows elevation changes/grades.

On an early tour, I had a simple map and I did not read it well. The first 50 miles of the first day were flat and downwind and felt like 25. Why not do another 50 miles, I figured? I looked at the map and saw that Paso Robles was only about four inches away. Hell, why not? I had ridden five inches already, I was sure I could ride another four inches.

The next, uh, four inches = 50 miles of hard climbs, no wind of any kind, temps in the 90s, 90 minutes without a drink of water (ran dry, and no water sources).

At last, I found water and a place to crash and even a small store. That was the good part. The bad part was that I spent a clandestine night napping on the tile floor of a men's room, with two black plastic garbage bags as my blankets and my rack trunk as my pillow, interrupted by the occasional bewildered trucker or insomniac.

I now devour maps.
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Old 05-12-21, 08:07 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post

By your response, it is clear to me that you were trolling me.
Nice try.

Time to add one more to the list.
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Old 05-13-21, 03:22 AM
  #35  
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A travel pack of baby wipes and a small cloth to dry your hands. Just to clean your face off when you're taking a break/go in a store or clean your hands if you work on the bike. Can also be used to wipe your butt.
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Old 05-17-21, 12:15 PM
  #36  
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Ride your bike fully loaded and find every expected kind of grade for trial rides. On my first tour... a seven day ride... I was on a familiar bike but with panniers and bar bag (Ortlieb like yours) pretty well packed. What I was not prepared for was the amount of flex when climbing a steeper grade (10-14%) and standing on the pedals. It's a wholly different feeling and needs a little time to adjust to.

I carried three spare tubes and one spare tire. Never used any. Zip ties can be your best friend and they don't weigh much. When a pannier rack screw disappeared midway through the ride it was a simple fix for three zip ties to temporarily secure the rack. I was warned so I had great rain gear (Showers Pass). Ended up wearing it six of our seven days.

Have fun.
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Old 05-17-21, 01:36 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by stassy View Post
I recently acquired a 1988 Terry-style Miyata 615 light touring bike and (assuming all goes well with a safety check at my LBS today) plan to take it on my first ever bike tour this weekend!

It'll be a self-supported 2-night camping trip sharing gear with my partner, in a Pacific Northwest park that has a permanent fire ban so stove cooking only. I've done a couple of multi-day backpacking and canoe trips so have most of the gear. I'm currently planning to pack a pair of Ortlieb back-roller classics and strap a dry bag to my rear rack.

I'm curious - what's one tip that you wish you had been given before your own first tour?

Thanks in advance
so dude or dudette, how'd it go?
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Old 05-17-21, 07:42 PM
  #38  
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What tip do you wish you had been given

What others have said, don't take too much stuff BUT have enough warm clothing to avoid hypothermia.
In a hypothermic emergency just pitch your tent and get into your sleeping bag asap

Mike
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Old 05-18-21, 06:10 AM
  #39  
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The hypothermia story brought me back to this Radavist post about two guys who cycled up a mountain in winter but got hypothermia on the way down because they didn't pack any extra clothing. And that was only a short trip down.

Reminds me of trying to pitch a tent in very windy weather around freezing temperatures while hiking in summer in Norway. I was fairly well dressed but had to stop pitching the tent twice to warm up inside because I couldn't feel or move my hands anymore and started to shiver. Usually it takes me less than 5 minutes to pitch the tent but this time it took me well over 30 mins. But the upside of a tipi is that you can have it up and usable as a shelter with just 6 stakes and a pole on the inside. Still needed to go outside to set the extra lines to make sure it would survive the night. We woke up with one side covered in snow.

Moral of the story:
some thermal leggings and a small packable down jacket are essential for those unexpected cold nights.
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Old 05-18-21, 10:07 PM
  #40  
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For me: Don't try to look like a pro cyclist. Forget the lycra outfits and sponsored jerseys. Wear comfortable, baggy clothes and any comfortable shoes you want.
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Old 05-18-21, 11:11 PM
  #41  
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Do you carry CO2 or a pump? I carry both. CO2 is easy, quick and not strenuous. The pump is because you can never run out of air
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Old 05-19-21, 01:06 AM
  #42  
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Huh, fitted cycling clothing is far more comfortable than baggy street clothes for long days in the saddle. Almost makes you wonder if, you know, it’s designed for that purpose

But whatever, if you want chafed thighs and sore butt, suit yourself
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Old 05-19-21, 11:33 AM
  #43  
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Being from New England and doing my fist tour out west, goat head thorns are the only thing that took me by surprise. (There is no vegetation in the northeast that can damage a bicycle)

However, much of the advice I took beforehand that was most valuable came from Darren Alff's videos at Bicycle Touring Pro. Notably, make the first day in the saddle about half the distance you think you'll cover on a normal day. My first days are always under 30 miles. Also, it's best to view everything you encounter as the reason you're out there. The human mind loves to problem solve, and touring can be seen as one sustained problem solving festival.
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Old 05-19-21, 01:43 PM
  #44  
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If you ride by a park and see a porta-potty stop and use it, even if you donít need to! The next one may be another 6 hours away.
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Old 05-19-21, 01:49 PM
  #45  
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lighten up

don't take more than you'll use.
- except for a few tools you'll hope you don't need (chain tool, tube, tire levers, etc)
- except for a small first aid kit (Benedril, immodium AD -- really hopin' not to use those!)
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Old 05-19-21, 08:37 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by mrv View Post
don't take more than you'll use.
- except for a few tools you'll hope you don't need (chain tool, tube, tire levers, etc)
- except for a small first aid kit (Benedril, immodium AD -- really hopin' not to use those!)
If it could be wet/snowy and/or cold, Iím taking rain/cold weather gear even if I may not end up needing it.
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Old 05-19-21, 10:41 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by fourfa View Post
Huh, fitted cycling clothing is far more comfortable than baggy street clothes for long days in the saddle. Almost makes you wonder if, you know, itís designed for that purpose

But whatever, if you want chafed thighs and sore butt, suit yourself
Huh? Someone on the internet who disagrees with me? Whatever shall I do?
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Old 05-20-21, 05:53 AM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by Ghazmh View Post
If you ride by a park and see a porta-potty stop and use it, even if you donít need to! The next one may be another 6 hours away.
IDK. Iíve encountered park bathrooms that have left me wanting to use the bushes or even the side of the road.
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Old 05-21-21, 04:30 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by Brett A View Post
Being from New England....(There is no vegetation in the northeast that can damage a bicycle).....
y'all must have mighty diminutive trees up thar.
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Old 05-21-21, 04:30 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by stassy View Post
I recently acquired a 1988 Terry-style Miyata 615 light touring bike and (assuming all goes well with a safety check at my LBS today) plan to take it on my first ever bike tour this weekend!

It'll be a self-supported 2-night camping trip sharing gear with my partner, in a Pacific Northwest park that has a permanent fire ban so stove cooking only. I've done a couple of multi-day backpacking and canoe trips so have most of the gear. I'm currently planning to pack a pair of Ortlieb back-roller classics and strap a dry bag to my rear rack.

I'm curious - what's one tip that you wish you had been given before your own first tour?

Thanks in advance
I seriously considered getting a Terry bike for my wife a bunch of years ago, with the smaller front wheel. Even had a nice conversation on the phone with Ms Terry herself trying to figure out if any dealers selling them were in our part of Canada (answer no, closest was in Vermont from memory)

so, in the end, did you do the two day trip?
Enquiring minds want to know.
how did it go?
any of these interwebness blah blah blah any help?
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