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Touring without carrying your gear?

Old 09-13-22, 09:13 AM
  #26  
Bald Paul
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Originally Posted by PedalingWalrus View Post
At night, in your comfy hotel you put that fancy bathrobe on they give you in hotels and you wash your junk in the sink and let it dry and then you tour the next day.
I prefer to wash my "junk" in the shower.
Oh, you meant my kit?
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Old 09-13-22, 09:25 AM
  #27  
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so hire someone to drive your (or their) car with your gear and your junk, and follow you along the route, making a couple stops at predetermined points each day for your rest breaks.

pay 'em $100/day + hotel and vittles. find some biker friends to join you and split the cost of the support driver.
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Old 09-13-22, 10:50 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by Polaris OBark View Post
After I did this a couple of times, I realized it was time to buy a touring bike.
N+1 for the win.
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Old 09-13-22, 12:27 PM
  #29  
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A lot depends on how far you want to ride each day as motels may be more than 100 miles apart and there are areas where there are few any restaurants. My first long trip was from near the Oregon border to Los Angeles and I had 25 lbs of stuff on the bike and this included a ground cloth, cook stove, tools, spare tires, tennis shoes, etc. but on my next trip the total weight of my gear was 15 lbs in total. When I could afford to stay at motels and eat at restaurants my bike gear load was around 10 lbs as I did not the camping and cooking equipment. And that was before the advent of bike shoes that could be used for walking as my original bike shoes were leather and the metal cleats were nailed to the sole and walking it sounded like I had tap shoes on my feet.

In the 1970's someone traveling by bike was viewed as a hippie in the USA. My riding companion and I have been turned away from roadside diners because we wore bike shorts. England has a long tradition of gentlemen hiking or biking from inn to inn and so it has long been considered respectable to do so. It is also where my I found my original bike racks and panniers for touring and paid to have them shipped to California.

I was happy to find on my first trip to Germany that my Garmin GPS had settings for walking or cycling and would provide a different route than if I was in a car. Many streets are closed to motor vehicles during the day and this made for very enjoyable cycling.
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Old 09-13-22, 01:45 PM
  #30  
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I haven't used Uber/Lyft as a method to support a ride.

I have participated in rides that were supported. For example, when I was in Colorado I introduced the idea of a "three day ride" with our local bike club that otherwise did recreational rides. When we coordinated things, one two two things often happened:
- There was someone who wanted to join us in camping/outing but wasn't necessarily exciting about riding. So they joined and drove a sag vehicle.
- Everyone was interested in riding, but enough interest among several people to split things up and take a ~60 mile day and have some drive a 20 mile shift.

I have also done a different variation on this theme since the pandemic started:
- I got to know some of my neighbors better. While most weren't that excited about camping in tents overnight, a few were - and others thought it was fun to visit in evening for campfire, smores etc. So what we've done in both spring and fall since then (when cooler in TX) - is I make a campground reservation and bike to a nearby State Park. A few others also join in camping overnight but carpool to the park. A few others join us just during the evening. As a result, I do have my gear carried back and forth.

With that theme in mind - the question would be whether you know anyone else going to the same destinations - but by automobile. If so, they might be interested in carrying some of your gear and meeting in the destination city - perhaps at same motel. If you make it worth their while by paying for a motel room - assuming they have other reasons to go that destination anyways - then you might at least be less expensive than one of those private tour companies. That might be harder to do across many days but perhaps for a shorter trip?
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Old 09-13-22, 03:12 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by Bald Paul View Post
Handlebar bag and long seat back aren't really an option. My handlebar has a Garmin, GoPro, and light. Seat post has my Varia radar/light/camera.
Neither of those will be an issue with bikepacking bags. My road bike has 36cm handlebars and gravel bike 40cm. I can easily fit a camera, wahoo, and light + handlebar bag on both. If you're worried, get a handlebar extension thing for either the bar bag or your gadgets.
A saddlebag will have mounting points for the varia. You may just need to buy the appropriate saddlebag mount for the varia itself.
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Old 09-13-22, 03:17 PM
  #32  
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Bald Paul is full of excuses, typical for old farts

You can have a handlebar bag, clip ons, Garmin, and a light. You can have a Varia and a massive saddlebag.

Sorry, Paul. Like most old people, you won't be doing a tour as you wish. Lots of useful advice here.

The product I mentioned easily solves all of your imagined problems.
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Old 09-13-22, 03:31 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by rivers View Post
Neither of those will be an issue with bikepacking bags. My road bike has 36cm handlebars and gravel bike 40cm. I can easily fit a camera, wahoo, and light + handlebar bag on both. If you're worried, get a handlebar extension thing for either the bar bag or your gadgets.
A saddlebag will have mounting points for the varia. You may just need to buy the appropriate saddlebag mount for the varia itself.
I have the new RTC715, which uses a different mounting system (lever lock.) The aftermarket hasn't caught up with it yet that I can find.
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Old 09-13-22, 03:41 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
Bald Paul is full of excuses, typical for old farts
Being a somewhat older fart myself, I wouldn't agree with the "typical" stereotype, however I'd have to agree. Paul may be staying home unless he's willing to use his (or others) imagination and being a bit more flexible. Figuring out how to do what he wants to do with the bike he has is a big part of the fun..for me at least. Tossing up roadblocks at every option takes you down doing a "virtual tour"..maybe zwift or peleton has them (don't use either one..no idea).
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Old 09-13-22, 04:33 PM
  #35  
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I'm on the excuse windmill myself.

My inability to deal seems, at least to me, a symptom of age.

When I was young, gear never matter much. I could not have imagined placement of my radar device to be a constraint for a trip. Money was the limitation. Stuff is so much better these days, it is hard to make a mistake other than not going

I should go to Vermont and NH next week, the weather is to be good and I have not made any plans. A younger person would be stoked at the possibility, the old fart in me is like what if this, what if that, and I dither.
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Old 09-13-22, 04:57 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by Bald Paul View Post
That may work! Thank you!




You can see how my accessory bar mount holds my phone and headlight… I like this setup because I can adjust the height of my headlight above m handlebar bag, and keeps the cockpit open to use the flats.
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Old 09-13-22, 05:08 PM
  #37  
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Lots of options for any type of bicycle, but you seem to be limiting yourself by not wanting to modify your current set-up. Can you change the seatpost from Carbon to aluminum or steel? That would give you options for a seatpost rack that could hold 1-2 bags, maybe even a rear rack if you've also got eyelets down near the dropouts (you don't need to load it up, but nice to have the option to strap stuff on). Do you need the Garmin attached to your handlebars or could you just put it in a handlebar bag and look at it as needed? Same with the front light, I never found one of those to be useful during the daytime (a rear light might be a good idea for busy or narrow roads in daylight).
I got to ask, what's with the cameras front and rear? That seems like overkill to me. If I felt a road was that dangerous I wouldn't be riding on it.
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Old 09-14-22, 01:52 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by Jeff Neese View Post
Nice setups, both. When my wife and I were in California we ran into a group of guys on carbon road bikes, outfitted much like yours, riding from Portland all the way down to San Diego. There was also a guy that had joined up with them riding a Surly LHT fully loaded, and he apparently had a hard time keeping up. They pointed out that it's a lot more fun riding a road bike, just like it's more fun to ride down Highway One in a convertible Corvette than it is in an SUV. The roads there are generally very smooth and these guys didn't even have fat tires - they were running on 24 spoke wheels with skinny road bike tires.

I've only done solo fully-loaded touring, a long time ago on my '83 Trek 720. It's easy to see that if you take away the need for all the camping/sleeping/cooking stuff, and if you have access to laundry facilities every few days, it would be very possible to travel pretty light.
Thanks. The set-up on my gravel bike weighs around 19kgs (including the bike), and includes camping/sleeping/cooking stuff. That's about as heavy as I want to go and what I took with me for 4 days would also work for anything up to 2-3 weeks as long as I could occasionally wash my cycling kit (I had 2 sets for that trip, wore 1 set and one set packed away, 4 day trip). The gravel bike has 28 spoke rims and 40mm gravel tyres. 28 spoke rims are fine for the trips I do as I'm not expedition touring, nor am I heavily loaded. The road bike set-up weighed 16kgs and had no camping/sleeping/cooking kit. Again, it was a 4 day trip, but I took a fresh pair of bibs and a jersey for each day, 2 sets of off the bike clothes, and who knows what else. I way overpacked, but it was my first bikepacking/touring trip. I learned a lot from the first trip. 24 spoke rims and 25mm tyres on the road bike. If I were doing another road based, and not off-road, I would chuck my spare road wheels onto my gravel bike.
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Old 09-14-22, 05:55 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by saddlesores View Post
so hire someone to drive your (or their) car with your gear and your junk, and follow you along the route, making a couple stops at predetermined points each day for your rest breaks.

pay 'em $100/day + hotel and vittles. find some biker friends to join you and split the cost of the support driver.
You're describing a normal, supported tour. Some of those are large and well organized and have multiple vehicles. Naturally you can put one together yourself for just you and some friends, as you describe.

I've only done fully-loaded touring, but the idea of touring on a lightweight road or "sport touring" bike instead of a big heavy beast carrying everything I need, is very appealing. What kept me from doing something like PALM (Pedal Across Lower Michigan) or one of the Shoreline Tours is the inflexibility. You don't need to keep up with anybody, but at the end of the day you need to be with the group, and the next day you are going where the group does. You don't have the option to say "You know, I like this place - I'm going to stay another day". Sometimes I didn't know where I wanted to be at the end of the day, until I sat down at the picnic table and looked at maps. Flexibility was important, to me. It felt more free than if I had a preplanned route and daily checkpoints. But I wouldn't rule it out, especially since I don't have a proper touring bike any more.
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Old 09-14-22, 06:53 AM
  #40  
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ah and then ... there is also RAGBRAI
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Old 09-14-22, 07:09 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by skidder View Post
Same with the front light, I never found one of those to be useful during the daytime (a rear light might be a good idea for busy or narrow roads in daylight).
I got to ask, what's with the cameras front and rear? That seems like overkill to me. If I felt a road was that dangerous I wouldn't be riding on it.
Being struck from behind on a "safe" back road in the middle of the day and ending up in an ambulance will tend you make you a bit paranoid. The more lights you have, the more visible you are. When I was hit, I had a flashing front white light, and a large flashing rear red light. When the driver was stopped (he tried to run at first, but was chased down by a witness in the car following his) he told the LEO the usual - "I didn't see him". The LEO looked at my bike (lights were still flashing) and immediately wrote him up.
I added the cameras just in case someone else decides to pull a hit and run, or harasses me (I had someone roll coal on me.) Video evidence can be crucial in those cases.
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Old 09-14-22, 07:35 AM
  #42  
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a long time ago, I wanted to spend my bachelor night cycle camping with my buds. I was the only one with a touring bike, they all had rackless mtbs or racing bikes of various frame materials. Everybody figured out how to carry tents, sleeping bags etc for the weekend, using baby trailers, racks attached with cushioned electrical conduit clamps, velcro'd frame bags etc. It was fun, and interesting to see all the Rube Goldberg solutions.
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Old 09-14-22, 07:36 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by fishboat View Post
Being a somewhat older fart myself, I wouldn't agree with the "typical" stereotype, however I'd have to agree. Paul may be staying home unless he's willing to use his (or others) imagination and being a bit more flexible.
Yeah, I agree.

As a fellow septagenarian I still can't relate to his unwillingness to be at all flexible with his setup. We apparently are talking about going for a few days at a time given the description in the first post. That would be staying in motels. For that you really need very little. You need the clothes on your back. Then there are some things that you want and would easily be able to carry. A few toiletries a pair of civillian slacks and a shirt along with a pair of off bike shoes would probably greatly enhance the trip since he'd likely want to eat in nice restaurants. Those few items might weigh what? 3-6 pounds? Worst case they could be in a little backpack, but really you could figure out a way to carry that small amount of stuff on any bike. A bar roll with little pvc pipe ectenders to get it below the other stuff on the bar and out of the way would work on most bikes. All of those must have items that prevent carrying stuff sound like pretty unnecessary stuff You really could ride with a bare frame and none of that for a few days and might find it a refreshing change of pace. Think of it as a ride down memory lane.

Just another option... If all else fails, take a trip down memory lane and ride an older bike like you rode 20, 30, or 40 years ago. If you still own one it might be fun to dig it out. Otherwise a used one might be cheap. I did a few tours on my old favorite 30 year old bikes and really enjoyed the experience. One was even a coast to coast trip on my old favorite crit race bike. I had to modify it to get low gearing with two small front rings, but otherwise it was pretty much as I rode it way back when. I really enjoyed the choice.

FWIW, I could see myself heading out a few days with my bike set up as for a day ride and a few toiletries in a fanny pack, backpack, or pretty much any sort of bag on the bike. I know that may not apppeal to everyone. I have not actually done that for two reasons. First, I have tended to camp on my tours, and second I have not tended to go on tours of less than 10 days at the least and tend to prefer multi week or multi month tours. That said I have considered it and may try it at some point.
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Old 09-14-22, 07:41 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by Bald Paul View Post
I don't really know if this belongs in this forum, but...
When I was young, I toured quite a bit through New England and Nova Scotia. I carried my tent, sleeping bag, clothing, cooking gear, etc all on the bike.
Well, those days are well behind me now. Now my idea of touring is traveling from hotel to hotel, eating at local restaurants, and laying my 70 year old body on a nice, comfy mattress after a long, hot shower.
I've been thinking of planning a multi day ride, but my current bike really isn't set up for panniers, or even anything remotely large enough to load some clothes and personal items. Has anyone ever tried calling something like an Uber or Lyft to pick up a small piece of luggage, transport it to the next stop, and drop it off? Of course, this would have to be arranged with the next night's accommodations, as the luggage would arrive before I would, so they would have to keep it somewhere until I arrived to check in. To be honest, I'm not even sure Uber or Lyft would do this, but perhaps there's some other way (taxi? Do they still have taxis??)
Suggestions welcome. Note - I have looked into the organized tour companies, but most of them are almost $700 per day, if not more. A little steep for my budget.
check out the Quebec "Velo Quebec" week long supported trip in august called "Le Grand Tour", like ragbrai, they carry your stuff, food, with a few hotel rooms available, mostly tent sleeping

and on your own, no reason why you cant just put on any light rear rack and use really light panniers like Arkel Dry-Lites (about a pound, about 20 litres) which could easily carry light off bike clothes--but in the end, if you want a totally unloaded bike, you're going to have to come up with other solutions.

good luck with your decisions and reasoning
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Old 09-14-22, 07:46 AM
  #45  
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also ... the regular non touring bikes and saddles are good at being light but (in theory) not great at all day in the saddle, day after day after day touring ... for that saddles that are more comfortable and frames that are more forgiving are better options IMHO
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Old 09-14-22, 09:39 AM
  #46  
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I consider - and this is just my opinion - the backpack to be the absolute dregs of cycletour gear hauling. That said, I had a nice three-day credit card overseas in summer weather on a rented folding bike tour hauling what little I needed in my shoulder/sling/chest bag.


No, I didn't look like a gentleman of the road, but I will note that I chose my overnight accommodations and eating establishments so I wouldn't need white-tie attire in the evenings.

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Old 09-14-22, 10:05 AM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by Bald Paul View Post
I have looked into the organized tour companies, but most of them are almost $700 per day, if not more.
I've taken waifu on a couple of tours where a company had a network of B&Bs and picked up our dunnage every morning and deposited it at the next night's accommodations. It wasn't that much - certainly not $700/day! - and we would have been laying out for an overnight stay and a breakfast anyway. Uh...shop harder?

Note: these trips were on well-worn cycletouring routes, so the company was hauling bags in both directions for several unassociated and independently touring folks/groups/couples. Defrays costs.
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Old 09-14-22, 11:59 AM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
Bald Paul is full of excuses, typical for old farts

You can have a handlebar bag, clip ons, Garmin, and a light. You can have a Varia and a massive saddlebag.

Sorry, Paul. Like most old people, you won't be doing a tour as you wish. Lots of useful advice here.

The product I mentioned easily solves all of your imagined problems.
Ha! Sorry I haven't responded sooner, but the only reason I saw your post is because someone else quoted you. I really wish there were a "BLOCK" function, rather than merely an "Ignore List". You've been on that list of mine for some time, for obvious reasons.
For all the good advice, well thanks, but I already know that. Remember when I mentioned touring when younger? I wasn't asking for advice about what tour pack was best, or how to mount racks on my carbon fiber bike that doesn't have eyelets. I was asking for ideas about having a service transport between stops. But, as usual, BF didn't disappoint and the replies went completely off topic, or, in your case, just degenerated to insults.
To those that tried to offer ideas, at least, thank you.
Mods, please close the thread for this "old fart".

Last edited by Bald Paul; 09-14-22 at 12:10 PM.
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