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AaronJohnTurner 06-03-10 07:15 PM

First bike tour
Hi everyone! Just to give you a brief background, I'm heading off to basic training for the Canadian military in October, and being the young testosterone-filled, adventure seeking guy that I am, I thought a long distance tour this summer would be a great way to celebrate my 20th birthday, and to get some adventure out of my system before I'm tied down by my military training. My desired route is from Edmonton, AB to Jasper,AB and back, approximately 366km/227miles each way (732km total). I was hoping to do this trip in about 8 days, nearly all self-supported. Besides Jasper National Park in the rocky mountains, 3/4 of this trip will be flatter prairie, so hills won't be a big issue for much of the trip. At this distance I will need to ride 90-100km per day.

I'm currently riding about 20-25km/day for fitness, and have done three 60-80km 'mini-tours' between my small town and Edmonton. I am also riding my first metric century July 25. I am hoping to make the trip to Jasper from August 2nd-10th.

I will be riding a Trek Valencia, equipped with a rear rack. If you have suggestions for affordable panniers and a tent I can fit me and my bike into that would be great!

I would greatly appreciate any advice, tips, and words of wisdom any of you seasoned veterans can offer. Thanks for taking the time to read this. :thumb:


gcasillo 06-03-10 08:46 PM

A set of Transit Pro DX panniers for $50. If you're a member, you get 10% in points for future purchases. If you're lucky, you can apply a 10%+ coupon or double points. Not the greatest panniers, but definitely worth considering if you're on a budget. Heck, even without membership, it's a pretty decent deal.

AaronJohnTurner 06-03-10 08:58 PM

No kidding, for what I need it for that's a steal! As long as they don't gouge me on cross-border shipping of course! :lol:

electrik 06-03-10 09:18 PM

Don't ship it via UPS Ground, try the usmail... UPS Ground charges an arm and a leg for brokerage.

stringbreaker 06-04-10 06:21 AM

Try your own co op in Canada MEC they are pretty comparable to our REI and you might get the deals you seek. You might try Don't count out online sales from the US also or e-bay. Lots of ways to get good deals use the computer I don't ususally buy something online unless I can at least get free shipping and if you need lots of gear you might get it for above a certain dollar value.

AaronJohnTurner 06-04-10 09:03 PM

I hear nothing but good things about most MEC products, I'll have to take a trip into the city and check'em out.

electrik 06-04-10 09:37 PM

Originally Posted by AaronJohnTurner (Post 10915179)
I hear nothing but good things about most MEC products, I'll have to take a trip into the city and check'em out.

A small warning...
MEC panniers don't mount on racks with larger tubing... you have to order a replacement kit for racks with tubing over 9mm in diameter(not sure about your trek's rack). Also they ditched their waterproof bags so all you'll find are cordua nylon bags, which will soak through but for your budget... The bags are decent quality though, good stitching... i'm not sure about the rack mounting system either for heavy loads under cornering, some people complain the elastic hook lets the bag wander a bit.

They do make good bags for commuting and last a long time.

AaronJohnTurner 06-08-10 06:44 PM

THanks for the info. I won't have time much after this trip for touring,but I am a cycling commuter, so panniers I can use for one 10-day trip and to commute with later would economical in my situation.

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