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Old 02-15-06, 11:56 PM   #1
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First time touring. Any advice, or comments about my situation.

Leaving tomorrow for a trip from San Diego to Jacksonville Florida. First time touring, or even riding a bike more then 70 miles a day. My main questions are if there is anything major or even something that I couldn't have known about that might be a helpful addition or subtraction from my packing list.

I'm traveling with two other friends which will bring a tent, and a cooking stove, and shampoo and soap so I know those aren't on my list, and that is why I haven't added them.

My bike is a standard touring Schwinn frame with a 40 spoke back back rim, 36 spoke front. I've done a bit of research and it should do fine, I'm not concerned with it really.

Here is my packing list.

packing list.

bike or attached.

one pair of rear ortliebs.
one pair of front low riding jandds.
one handlebar bag.
one time trial bars/drop bars.
three water bottles.
two fenders


multi screw driver
needle nose.
patch kit
a tube of grease
tire lever
two ajustable cresents
hose clamp
bb tool
zip ties
allen keys
crank puller
chain breaker
chain whip
duct tape
spare brake/derealier cable
spare brake pads
master chain link
13/15 mm cone wrenchs
bb lock ring tool
a tube
multi tool
spoke wrench
stix all glue
swiss army knife (can opener)
small wd-40


rain pants,
rain jackets
two pairs biking shorts
one jersey
pair of neoprene shoes
two bandanas
full set of long johns
three short socks
one set of wool socks
one long glove, one short glove
a belt
two pairs of pants
one pairs of shorts
three t-shirts
three pairs of underwear
pair of tennis shoes
sweat shirt
zip up track jacket.
one helmet
one beanie

everything else.

therma rest
large tarp
+20 sleeping bag
credit card
twenty rolls 120 film
medium format camera. (holga and kiev 88)
ipod / headphones / charger
two pens

I haven't put any food on there either yet, as I plan to mainly eat oatmeal in the morning with nuts/fruits etc. and snacks and lunches on the road, and then a ramen/pasta dinner style thing. I will purchase this along the way as needed.

Thanks in advance for any input suggestions. I appreciate it.

Our route will just be a guess and check style following a large atlas, and smaller state maps. California / Arizona / New Mex / Tex / LA / Missi / Florida.
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Old 02-16-06, 12:28 AM   #2
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Well, assuming the bike is in good shape, has good tires and a recent service, you seem to have covered the basics pretty well. I think you are heavy on tools, and light on cold weather gear, but you know your bike better than I do. Even taking the southern route and in spite of the unseasonably warm weather, I would probably bring a fleece jacket instead of the sweatshirt, as it will get cold at night, espec at elevation. Ditch one pair of the off-bike pants and bring at least two jerseys to cycle in (long sleeve) and a pair of leg warmers to keep your knees warm. You will undoubtedly make some other adjustments along the way. Oh, and one of those little LED headlamps works great as an all-purpose reading and flashlight.

I would also be concerned about those MF camera bodies and lenses - make sure that you find a way to carry them so that they are protected from road vibration and and moisture. I used to shoot MF and they are very mechanical and delicate, not to mention heavy. Nonetheless I expect you will get some truly outstanding images.

Good luck, enjoy the trip, and keep us posted.
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Old 02-16-06, 08:43 AM   #3
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Have a great trip. Reading your post makes me want to hit the road right now too! I agree that you are heavy on tools - but there's gotta be a certain comfort to having all those bases covered. You can always mail stuff home. I found (to my surprise) that my topeak alien handled about everything I needed on my cross country trip and have left most other tools behind on trips since then. I don't see any chain lube on your list - I like Prolink. Where's your towel? And if it were me, I would skip the tarp and the bike jersey. I can't do without good bike shorts when touring long days, but prefer "normal" shirts that work on or off the bike.
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Old 02-16-06, 09:02 AM   #4
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If it was me, I'd service the bike before leaving, and then leave a lot of the tools behind. The chances of having problems with the cones or bottom bracket are small, and if you do have problems there are bike shops along the way.

I would also bring my own soap and shampoo so I wouldn't have to wait to shower if there are multiple showers in the place I was staying. Showering simultaneously can mean the difference between cooking dinner in daylight, and cooking in the dark.
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Old 02-16-06, 09:21 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by sir_knight
Leaving tomorrow for a trip from San Diego to Jacksonville Florida. First time touring, or even riding a bike more then 70 miles a day. My main questions are if there is anything major or even something that I couldn't have known about that might be a helpful addition or subtraction from my packing list.
I agree with MTNROADS that your're carrying more tools than you need, but I guess that would depend on the bike, but just to offer suggestions, I don't think you will need:
crank puller
1 adjustable crescent should be enough
zip ties instead of hose clamp
why bring a multi screwdriver when you'll have a multi tool AND Swiss Army Knife?
chain whip
bb lock ring tool

By way of clothes you may want to consider a helmet cover for rain.

Instead of a flashlight bring a detachable headlight if you get caught in the dark which can double as a flashlight.

Do you have rope for that tarp?

You may want to bring some chain lube.

Why WD-40? I don't think you'll need it.

A spare foldable tire couldn't hurt

Do you need spare brake pads really?

What about extra spokes?

Why glue?

Everyone carries too much on their first tour OR forgets something....except for me, I've NEVER done that.
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Old 02-16-06, 10:46 AM   #6
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The list looks good to me.

I would add:

- Sunblock.
- Cycling goggles.
- Sunglasses or clip-ons.
- Nail clippers.
- Liquid detergent (handwash clothes, do dishes).
- Baby wipes (or similar packaged moist wipe product).
- Basic first aid kit.
- Needle, thread, and a few buttons.

Consider a jersey with long sleeves. No need to worry about sunburn on the arms.

Why 20 rolls of film? Take enough film last a week or two, and buy more as needed. Mail exposed rolls home so they aren't exposed to days or weeks of high temperature.

You could probably get by with two short-sleeved shirts and two pairs of underwear instead of three. You will be handwashing clothes at least every other day anyway.
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Old 02-16-06, 11:03 AM   #7
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agreed, too many tools, several are duplicates. also keep in mind if you are traveling in a group many of those tools can be shared. except for a multi-tool and tire repair kits . those you keep with you in case you get separated.

Btw instead of Long Johns get a pair of cycling tights, You will want them in the mornings.

rear view mirrors?
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Old 02-16-06, 11:27 AM   #8
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Sir knight,
leave most of those tools home. All you need to do if you have a breakdown is to strap it together to get to the next LBS. I just traveled that route solo a year ago and found lots of places to get parts, spares, fixes if needed. A multi tool, and tire tools, should do just fine. 3-4 spare tubes, patch kits, air pump and you will be set.

I did find several legs that required more than three bottles of water. I took a camelback that I left folded up except for those extra long legs with no services. If you are leaving this early it shouldn't be too hot in the desert, but it will be really cold in the mountains. Wouldn't be surprised if you see snow in eastern Az. and western N.M. If so you can bail out to the south and get on interstate I-25 eastbound into Las Cruces. Even that leg will be COLD now.

I will be curious to watch your progress. Of all of my fellow tourers that I met on that route, all of those that left in groups of 3-4 had separated and were going it alone. Pace issues, routing choices, etc. seemed to make it difficult to stay together. The husband and wife teams seemed to stay together.

Have a great trip and keep us informed.
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