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First bike tour, 325 miles in 7 days?

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First bike tour, 325 miles in 7 days?

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Old 02-16-09, 06:26 AM
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cmscheip
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First bike tour, 325 miles in 7 days?

A friend and I are considering spending our spring break riding from Asheville NC to Wilmington NC. We both ride complete roadies, however, and after reading the forums for a bit it seems this could be a problem. I ride a Scott Speedster S60, he rides a Trek 1500SL. I think his has mounts for a rear pannier, mine does not. So with a seat post clamp rack on mine, perhaps a rear pannier on his, how does that sound? Both have triples up front with 8 and 9spd rears.

We're both experienced backpackers and have plenty of experience spending a week or so outdoors. Is it out of the question to wear small packs? For route finding, I was playing on Google Map's "Walking" directions, how do you all normally find your routes?

I searched and read the forums for a while but didn't find quite what I was looking for. Thanks for any help, has anyone done this ride?
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Old 02-16-09, 06:49 AM
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Bruce Rosar
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Originally Posted by cmscheip View Post
So with a seat post clamp rack on mine, perhaps a rear pannier on his, how does that sound?
If I remember correctly, seat post clamp rack mounts have relatively low weight limits. On a bike of mine that also lacks rear eyelets, my mechanic installed hose type clamps (on the seat stays where they attach to the rear dropouts) to create lower mount points for the rear rack.

Originally Posted by cmscheip View Post
Is it out of the question to wear small packs?
Personally, I hate having my arms and hands supporting any additional weight on a long ride.

Originally Posted by cmscheip View Post
For route finding, I was playing on Google Map's "Walking" directions [...]
You might want to check out NCDOT's bike maps

Originally Posted by cmscheip View Post
[...] has anyone done this ride?
I haven't biked across NC self-supported, but I have done CNC's Fall Ride several times.
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Old 02-16-09, 06:53 AM
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- Road bikes are OK if you're supported or staying in motels (or traveling really light by whatever means)
- Light daypacks are kind-of OK on mountain bikes where you're sitting up a bit more and spend a fair bit of time standing or even off the bike. I'd forget about it on a racing bike. Better to get a big seat bag and handlebar bag. Or skewer-mounted racks like those made by Tubus. Or a trailer.
- B roads and sealed C roads on the map are usually a good way to find a route. I prefer our local Department of Sustainability and Environment maps to google maps for this. Google maps is good too, also easier to use.
- The Adventure Cycling Association in the US publishes maps. No idea if they cover your trip, though.
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Old 02-16-09, 08:11 AM
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link to post from me w/info on rear rack with 40 pound weight limit on road bike:

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...22247#poststop
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Old 02-16-09, 09:26 AM
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My experience with Google's "walking" directions is that they can route you places very unsuitable for a road bike. I think you'd do much better with Google's "by car" directions with "avoid highways" checked. Then feel free to drag the line around to make adjustments to taste.
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Old 02-16-09, 07:59 PM
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Credit Card touring

I rode a Felt F-70 360 miles up to Lake Superior on Bike NOrthwoods a few years back. I was sore as hell from riding on that 'compact' geometry.
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Old 02-16-09, 08:29 PM
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don't do Google walking routes, you want to be on a road, not a trail.

I did a couple tours a little longer than that with road bikes carrying about 15-20lbs. Get the hardware that can mount a light rack off the rear dropouts,seat stays or brake bridge. The seatpost rack idea seems to put the rack kind of high. Check out OldManMountain racks for racks that can mount on the axles, front or rear. When I toured with road bikes panniers couldn't be mounted as they would sit too close to my heels so I managed with minimal loads on the racks and handlebars.

Experiment with packing a stuff bag/small sleeping sized bag between the drops on your handlebars or on top of the above mentioned front rack.

I've seen people carry small backpacks but I wouldn't do it.
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Old 02-17-09, 11:50 PM
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Originally Posted by cmscheip View Post
...So with a seat post clamp rack on mine, perhaps a rear pannier on his, how does that sound?...
Have you considered a Nelson Longflap on the saddle and maybe adding a Nelson Junior on the bars? Loads of space, no rack needed. Both are time and tour tested...
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Old 02-18-09, 07:39 PM
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Get a trailer and you can carry as much or as little as you want without worry.
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Old 02-18-09, 08:39 PM
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Either get p clamps things and attach a rack on both bikes.

or

Get a trailer and camp. Cost of a trailer might be worth considering how much the motels will run you.


Do not ride with a back pack or anything on your body, you will regret it.
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Old 02-20-09, 09:06 AM
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I think the trailer option would be the most practical. I don't like the idea of touring with a lightweight rack, or trying to rig a way to fix a rack to a bicycle that isn't designed to carry a rack.

I don't like backpacks, but I've seen at least one person bicycle touring with nothing but a large external frame pack, and making upwards of a century a day to boot. So it can be done. But it wouldn't be comfortable.
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Old 02-20-09, 06:06 PM
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edited -- sorry, I was looking at the S20 instead of the S60. The S60 looks like a better candidate for this trip, with 32 spokes in the rear and an alloy seatpost.

The current model of the Scott Speedster has a carbon fiber seatpost and fork, with 20 spokes on the front wheel and 24 on the rear. Doesn't sound much like a touring bike, maybe yours is set up differently.

I would think that a seatpost-clamp rack is inadvisable with a carbon seatpost. Better keep the load light if you tow a trailer, as the weight will be on that rear wheel, and take some spare spokes or some fiber-fix spoke replacements.

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Old 02-21-09, 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Boston Commuter View Post
Better keep the load light if you tow a trailer, as the weight will be on that rear wheel, and take some spare spokes or some fiber-fix spoke replacements.[/COLOR]
Good point. I met a kid touring around Lake Superior that was towing a trailer on a road bike with a low spoke count (~24). He said he had blown quite a few spokes along the way. Either a light load or an upgraded wheel would be advised. But I'd recommend the same thing if you are going to be touring with panniers and a rack. Either way there is going to be additional weight on the back wheel, and it is best to minimize the weight or get a stronger wheel.
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