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I did it! My first overnighter! It was fun! I'm happy! Thanks everyone for your help!

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I did it! My first overnighter! It was fun! I'm happy! Thanks everyone for your help!

Old 05-01-10, 04:56 PM
  #1  
AdamDZ
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I did it! My first overnighter! It was fun! I'm happy! Thanks everyone for your help!

I'm so happy! It was a successful first time! The weather definitely helped though

About 60 miles each way, all the way from Queens, through Manhattan bridges up to Harriman State Park, Beaver Pond Campground. I think 50 miles a day even in more hilly terrain is a reasonable goal, however if I can only do 30 I'll be happy. I do not feel exhausted, no stiffness, no pain so far. I paid attention to being fed and hydrated and take rest breaks. I will try to workout more through May and ride as much possible so I think I'll be OK.

If you're interested in details please see my CGOAB journal, so I don't have to repeat most of that:

https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/AdamsTrainingRide01

Feel free to comment here, I'll welcome your opinions!

What I do want to say here though is BIG THANKS to all of you for all the knowledge you've shared on this forum Without your posts here there is no way this trip would be half as good.

I'm hoping to do two more trips in May in preparation for the Adirondacks tour next month.

Cheers!

Adam
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Old 05-01-10, 05:02 PM
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Thanks for sharing and congrats on the first trip! I'm trying to figure out how you have so much stuff... Oh boy. I couldn't imagine having that much stuff strapped to my bike while touring. Based on your journal entry it sounds like you also realize you have a ton of stuff. Time to trim the fat.
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Old 05-01-10, 05:16 PM
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Yup, I'm trying to work on that issue. But like I said, I'm just not a minimalist. The bike itself is probably over 30lbs, the panniers are also heavy, the bear containers is heavy, probably 5-6 lbs right there. I'll save a pound or two by getting a sleeping bag instead of two fleece blankets. I probably took too many clothes, but I only had one pair of sneakers. And I had very little food too! If I was packing for the actual 2-3 weeks Adirondack tour now, I would have more stuff I didn't take my netbook this time and no camera, I shoot photos with the iPhone.

I think I'll learn to trim the fat gradually as I get more experience and invest in lighter gear but right now I have to do with what I have. But it looks like a trailer is my solution for now. I saw a few tourers heading North from NYC with trailers and they were PACKED! One had a two-wheeled trailer. So perhaps I'm not the only one

Like I said in the journal, I'm willing to haul more weight right now. I don't have the experience yet I need to trim the weight.
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Old 05-01-10, 05:21 PM
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AdamDZ.. It does take time. I had a very extensive backpacking and mountaineering background before I ever started bicycle touring. So from the start all my stuff was low weight and volume. None of it cheap either but because it was purchased over many years it didn't seem so bad.

I'd still suggest you try and stick with panniers though. I have had both a burley nomad and bob yak. Great for groceries but I sure never wanted to tour with them. YMMV though.

One thing that you can't really do with a trailer is paceline into stiff winds. Person following will end up losing almost all the benefit of sucking your wheel. I solo tour most the time but it can be nice taking turns pulling when touring with others.

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Old 05-01-10, 05:24 PM
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Congrats! It does feel great, doesn't it?

How much clothes did you take for two days? And what kind? What kind of clothing do you ride in?

[edit] Just looking at your pics now. If I can suggest getting an inflatable sleeping pad instead of the one you have. They're light and small to pack, we have Therm-a-Rest ones.

And when buying a sleeping bag, look for something lights and small when packed. We got goose down and even though expensive, they're super light and pack into a surprisingly small roll, when compacted.

I don't know the area, but did you really need to bring that much water with you? There was nowhere to buy/get water along the way? That's a lot of weight, unless going through really remote areas, I think you can just take two or three water bottle mounted on the bike and maybe a 1.5 litre bottle as an insurance.

Last edited by lucille; 05-01-10 at 05:37 PM.
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Old 05-01-10, 05:35 PM
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Oh, it does feel great I wanted just to keep going, didn't want to go back

I took too many long sleeved tops and three pairs of tights, that I didn't even use. But the goal of this trip was to pack in a similar way as if I was going to Adirondacks. It was a training ride in preparation for that tour. If I was packing strictly for two days I wouldn't take the bear container, no food, less water and less warm clothing.

Yes, I'm thinking about inflatable sleeping pad too. Although, this one is large and cumbersome but really light, less that a pound probably.
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Old 05-01-10, 05:42 PM
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Congrats! There is a nicer way to get up to Nyack than riding 9w right off the bridge. When you get to the end of the GWB take a left onto River Road/Main Street/Hudson Terrace. Go down the hill a little bit and there is a left turn to go into the Park. You can then ride north along henry hudson drive through the woods for awhile. There is almost no traffic and it's nice. When it ends it spits you out onto 9w, and you can continue as you did.

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Old 05-01-10, 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by kyakdiver View Post
AdamDZ.. It does take time. I had a very extensive backpacking and mountaineering background before I ever started bicycle touring. So from the start all my stuff was low weight and volume. None of it cheap either but because it was purchased over many years it didn't seem so bad.

I'd still suggest you try and stick with panniers though. I have had both a burley nomad and bob yak. Great for groceries but I sure never wanted to tour with them. YMMV though.

One thing that you can't really do with a trailer is paceline into stiff winds. Person following will end up losing almost all the benefit of sucking your wheel. I solo tour most the time but it can be nice taking turns pulling when touring with others.

kyakdiver
Yeah, everybody's different, there a people who love trailers. I guess, I won't know until I try. I'll see if I can borrow one to try.

I can also put larger panniers on the front to offload the rear a bit.

I only did day hikes and some car camping so I didn't really have a lot of gear that would be appropriate for bike touring. I'm sure, it'll get better with time. I'm basically starting from scratch, including the bike

Oh, I'll be touring solo too and none of the roadies I met seemed very interested in sucking my wheel at 10mph
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Old 05-01-10, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by pasopia View Post
Congrats! There is a nicer way to get up to Nyack than riding 9w right off the bridge. When you get to the end of the GWB take a left onto River Road/Main Street/Hudson Terrace. Go down the hill a little bit and there is a left turn to go into the Park. You can then ride along henry hudson drive through the woods for awhile. There is almost not traffic and it's nice. When it ends it spits you out onto 9w, and you can continue as you did.
Thank! I'll give it a shot but I seem to remember from my club rides that it was very hilly. I don't want too many hills too early, it takes me around 3 hours to really warm up and get in rhythm. Although back then I was weaker so my frame of reference was different But then... in Adirondack Park I won't have the luxury of riding for 3 hours without hills
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Old 05-01-10, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by lucille View Post
I didn't realize they were so light, it looks huge. When we buy any outdoors gear, we think "is it small and light enough to tour with?" I find the bike gets so heavy, that it makes it much harder to ride.

This is our set up for a week long tour. Yes, it's easier with two people.
If you can see the yellow front panniers and the little roll sticking out, that's the sleeping pad.
Yeah, it's a little cumbersome, I'll be happier without it but it's not a weight problem. BTW, it's also made by Therm-a-Rest. Its advantage is that it really insulates very well.

Did you mean to insert a link or an image?

Last edited by AdamDZ; 05-01-10 at 06:06 PM.
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Old 05-01-10, 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by AdamDZ View Post
Did you mean to insert a link on an image?
Yes, I saw others posting large images. But it's OK, I see you can click to enlarge. I'm still figuring out the site...
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Old 05-01-10, 06:05 PM
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Seriosuly? That small? Wow! I have the same Axiom panniers by the way, just gray.

I looked at the pictures again. The two largest things in the back are the bear canister (the green cylinder right behind the saddle) and the sleeping pad. The compression sack atop the sleeping pad holds my two fleece blankets.

So if I:

- get larger panniers for front (same as rear)
- get a sleeping bag (get rid of the blankets)
- get an inflatable sleeping pad

I'd be only left with the tent and the bear canister on the back! I won't save a heck of weight but I'll take some off of the rear and redistribute it to the front. Hmm, that's one possibility.
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Old 05-01-10, 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by lucille View Post
Yes, I saw others posting large images. But it's OK, I see you can click to enlarge. I'm still figuring out the site...
Ah, sorry I meant "Did you mean to insert a link or an image?" - your post originally had no image in it at all.
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Old 05-01-10, 06:21 PM
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Yes, sorry, I was struggling with it a bit.

So, what kind of clothing do you ride in and took to wear off bike? Maybe we can shave off a little bit of weight there?
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Old 05-01-10, 06:35 PM
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Congrats on first tour.

I'm not a light weight packer, and my bike is heavier with 48-spoke rear wheel. However, I noticed your weight for a weekend was almost same weight I had when I flew out of LAX for a year of touring Australia. In that case, the airport scales said 45 Kg or 100 pounds for bike + gear for a year of cycling.
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Old 05-01-10, 07:02 PM
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Thats a lot of stuff, as others have mentioned. Three pairs of tights? Why? After a few days you will be so dirty that changing into a clean pair of tights wont make any difference. Unless you have a place to shower every single night, in which case you can also just wash the pair of tights your not wearing! I would say two pairs, max!

Why a bear box? You say it weighs 5 pounds?!? How about a rope to hang your food? It weighs nothing and takes up minimal space. Anywhere there are bears that are also trees so I dont see why this wouldnt work out for you.

I DO consider myself a bit of a minimalist but I think that for the price of an bob yak or similar trailer you could just buy some better, lighter, smarter gear and be much happier. Especially since you already invested in a very nice set of large water proof panniers.

Here is my bike on a 2 week tour around South Korea. I was never wanting for anything and I think the gear probably weighed about 25 pounds plus the 30 pound bike or so. 55-60 pounds total maybe? I have all the cooking gear, cloths, even a 2 man tent! It was summer though so I did not need to many cloths.


I would suggest taking a look at some other peoples packing lists and see where it is that you are gaining so much stuff. Everyone is different though and congrats on the first tour!!!!!
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Old 05-01-10, 07:19 PM
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Congratulations on the successful tour. It looks like a great ride and campsite.

I gotta agree with the posters who suggested you overpacked. If you decided to use a trailer, base your decision on something other than increased carrying capacity. :-)
 
Old 05-01-10, 07:36 PM
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I think carrying a bit less will make your life easier. Yes, you can put a lot of weight on the bikes, but why if you don't have to?

In that set up you see in my picture, each of the yellow front panniers hold sleeping bag, sleeping pad and a rain jacket.
In the rear I have our cycling clothing (one set of cycling clothing per day x 2 people), two sets of off bike clothing per person, towels (thin camping towels), windbreakers.

On hubby's bike, with bigger rear panniers: toiletries, all rain covers, sandals, food (quite a bit of it, but we weren't sure of stores along the way), spare tubes, tools (including pedal wrench, as we had to take pedals off for train).
He also had our tent on the back rack.

I pack whatever I can in ziplock bags, and squeeze the air out, keeps it smaller.

I also make spreadsheet with everything I want to take listed, and another one per pannier. That way I know where everything is.

Make sure your rain gear and emergency kit is easily accessible, you don't want to be unpacking everything to find that stuff.

Last edited by lucille; 05-01-10 at 09:14 PM.
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Old 05-01-10, 07:51 PM
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I know some people who hike regularly in the Adirondacks and they all advised me against hanging food. Bears become quite adept at getting to your hung food as well as other critters. Also, often you just can't find a suitable tree and hard and time consuming to do this right. When I said 5lbs that was my approximation for the box and the panniers, not just the box. Also, the bear box is required by law in High Peaks part of the Park. I could rent one, but then I'll have to return it to the same place and I won't be biking through the same place twice.

Again, I don't mind the extra weight. Of course it'd be nicer to go lighter but it won't be a showstopper for me. I think that it'll get better with time as I gain experience and I'll know better what I need and what I don't. Remember, I'm a total noob at this I will also need to build up confidence that I can get away with less, I don't have that sort of confidence yet So, I'd rather haul extra stuff than be miserable and wishing I had taken more stuff along - that could sour the experience and discourage me.

I'll start by buying a super light inflatable, insulated sleeping pad and sleeping bag and re-thinking my clothing. Although June up there can be cool (low 40s at night). I may also get different panniers.

The panniers I have, Axiom Typhoon and Monsoon are meant more for any-weather, worry-free commuting and shorter trips. They're not really touring panniers. When I bought them I wasn't thinking about touring. They're hard to pack effectively, hard to get into, and due to many layers of thick waterproof materials, they're heavy. My front panniers are small too, so most weight goes on the rear rack that worries me.

The Bob Yak trailer is $300 and it's hard to find a used one so that's a bit too much, so yeah, as zeppinger said, I can almost have new panniers, pad and sleeping bag for that.

I'll see what I can do for my next training ride either next or the following weekend.

Also, some people are just overpackers, I guess
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Old 05-01-10, 09:24 PM
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I'm actually thinking of investing in a BOB YAK primary because I don't have a serious "touring" bike. I use a racing bike i've grown too accustomed too. Also, I hate the feeling of having all this stuff on my bike. it feels like it's weighing me down, towing my stuff just feels much easier.

O and hey, Adam, Let me know if you want a partner for any more trips or even just overnighters. The days have been beautiful in NY recently

by the way, I think you guys are crazy hauling along as much as you do. I'm an incredible minimalist when it comes to touring, I've been forced to using a child carrier trailer and I just chuck in a tent, light sleeping bag, lightweight food (unless short trip, then i'll buy along the way), maybe 1 extra change of clothing & shoes, bike tools, bags/rope/toilet paper and a couple other non-essentials.
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Old 05-01-10, 09:25 PM
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You will find the way that works best for you, as it was said, everybody is different. I'm not a super light packer either, but try to keep it to absolute minimum, for me.
I think it helps to write everything down, it helps to see what the essentials really are.

As you start accumulating your gear, just try to keep the weight in mind, and how it's going to work for touring.

Either way, as long as you're having fun, that's all that matters.
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Old 05-01-10, 09:28 PM
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Congratulations!!!

I'll echo what others have said - try really hard not to overpack, it is more fun over the long haul if your bike isn't too heavy.

Also, get a scale and *weigh* your items, rather than guessing what they weigh - you might be surprised where you can save weight. Just a few substitutions of clothing items could really lighten (and shrink) things up. For example, jeans and sweatshirts are heavy and bulky, choose nylon pants and a down jacket instead.

ALso, for the bear box - is that the requirement for being in the area, or just wild-camping in the area? If the latter, maybe you could camp in a developed camp ground that provides bear containers, or ask a fellow camper to let you put your food items in their car. Anyway, keep thinking about options to lighten the load.
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Old 05-01-10, 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by zeppinger View Post
Why a bear box? You say it weighs 5 pounds?!? How about a rope to hang your food? It weighs nothing and takes up minimal space. Anywhere there are bears that are also trees so I dont see why this wouldnt work out for you.
Why bear canisters are nice.



I'll hopefully do a short tour this summer, I'd like to get a bear canister, we'll see how it fits in though. Kind of nice to just toss it away from camp if you stop late. Then again, roping a tree to hang your bag from can give you something to do when you are bored.
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Old 05-02-10, 12:46 AM
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Originally Posted by a1rabbit View Post
Why bear canisters are nice.



I'll hopefully do a short tour this summer, I'd like to get a bear canister, we'll see how it fits in though. Kind of nice to just toss it away from camp if you stop late. Then again, roping a tree to hang your bag from can give you something to do when you are bored.
Wow, I will agree that I would have never guess a bear could do that. However, I would still opt for a tree and rope rather than a heavy bear box because, for me at least, the main goal is not to keep bears from potentially eating 4-5$ worth of food. The main goal for me is that the bear does not come into my tent or destroy my bike, panniers, head, equipment, ect... while he does it. Unless your bear box is also air tight they are still going to smell it and come looking. I just want to make sure that the food is away from me. In the reasonably off chance that you have a particularly nimble bear on your hands by all means I would just assume him eat some of my food rather than tow around a five pound bear box. Are there lighter weight options for the boxes? I am guessing not if they actually are supposed to stand up to a freaking bear! Great picture by the way!
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Old 05-02-10, 06:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Lamabb View Post
I'm actually thinking of investing in a BOB YAK primary because I don't have a serious "touring" bike. I use a racing bike i've grown too accustomed too. Also, I hate the feeling of having all this stuff on my bike. it feels like it's weighing me down, towing my stuff just feels much easier.

O and hey, Adam, Let me know if you want a partner for any more trips or even just overnighters. The days have been beautiful in NY recently

by the way, I think you guys are crazy hauling along as much as you do. I'm an incredible minimalist when it comes to touring, I've been forced to using a child carrier trailer and I just chuck in a tent, light sleeping bag, lightweight food (unless short trip, then i'll buy along the way), maybe 1 extra change of clothing & shoes, bike tools, bags/rope/toilet paper and a couple other non-essentials.
Don't you find a racing bike uncomfortable for touring?
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