Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Touring
Reload this Page >

Your best piece of advice

Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

Your best piece of advice

Old 12-16-10, 10:31 PM
  #51  
SBRDude
Godfather of Soul
 
SBRDude's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 1,517

Bikes: 2002 Litespeed Vortex, 2010 Specialized Tricross Expert,2008 Gary Fischer Hi Fi Carbon, 2002 Specialized S-Works hard tail, 1990 Kestrel KM 40

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by nameless View Post
Other than a solid spare parts kit, pack only what you imagine you'll use every single day.
I haven't put my pack list to test yet, but I'm pretty close to that with a few exceptions. One is for some extra clothing for colder than expected weather and the other is for 2 sets of off bike clothing - wash one set every afternoon and wear the other.
SBRDude is offline  
Old 12-16-10, 10:48 PM
  #52  
BigBlueToe
Senior Member
 
BigBlueToe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Central Coast, CA
Posts: 3,392

Bikes: Surly LHT, Specialized Rockhopper, Nashbar Touring (old), Specialized Stumpjumper (older), Nishiki Tourer (model unknown)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I almost always tour alone. I always worry - about flats, broken spokes, bears, not being able to find a campsite, not being able to buy groceries, not being able to find water, etc. The thing I've learned, and it becomes more clear with each trip, is that I can handle things; none of my worries ever amount to much. Now I just go and feel confident I'll be all right. Of course, I use a mirror, keep a sharp eye out, wear a Road ID, etc. But I worry much less.

Take all the advice you can, make all the plans, take every precaution, and then just go. I'll bet you have the time of your life.
BigBlueToe is offline  
Old 12-16-10, 11:33 PM
  #53  
djb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Montreal Canada
Posts: 8,962
Mentioned: 27 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1136 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 49 Times in 40 Posts
unless you get eaten by a bear
djb is offline  
Old 12-17-10, 12:25 AM
  #54  
B. Carfree
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Eugene, Oregon
Posts: 7,042
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 498 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Take the road less traveled, even if it is less paved. I would rather have a few extra thousands of feet of climbing than one too-close pass by a motorist. The direct route is for the car-bound. Carry some off-road tires, a water filter and leave the pavement behind.
B. Carfree is offline  
Old 12-17-10, 04:07 AM
  #55  
RollingTales
Newbie
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 4

Bikes: Thorn Sherpa

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Pack quick energy snack foods!
RollingTales is offline  
Old 12-17-10, 07:19 AM
  #56  
YoKev
hi
 
YoKev's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Kingston, NY
Posts: 2,611
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
^djb
YoKev is offline  
Old 12-17-10, 08:20 AM
  #57  
rhm
multimodal commuter
 
rhm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: NJ, NYC, LI
Posts: 19,096

Bikes: 1940s Fothergill, 1959 Allegro Special, 1963? Claud Butler Olympic Sprint, Lambert 'Clubman', 1974 Fuji "the Ace", 1976 Holdsworth 650b conversion rando bike, 1983 Trek 720 tourer, 1984 Counterpoint Opus II, 1993 Basso Gap, 2010 Downtube 8h, and...

Mentioned: 441 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1551 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 15 Times in 13 Posts
If you stop at a farm stand and buy fresh fruit, eat it right away. Don't try to save it for later. Especially peaches.
rhm is offline  
Old 12-17-10, 09:17 AM
  #58  
alexaschwanden
Bike rider
 
alexaschwanden's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: san jose
Posts: 3,167

Bikes: 2017 Raleigh Clubman

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 15 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
live with less.
alexaschwanden is offline  
Old 12-17-10, 09:28 AM
  #59  
djb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Montreal Canada
Posts: 8,962
Mentioned: 27 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1136 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 49 Times in 40 Posts
(thankyou yokev and blue toe for bearing with my bad sense of humour)
djb is offline  
Old 12-17-10, 11:17 AM
  #60  
crapslaw
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 13
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Always carry zip ties and a bottle of cheap red wine.
crapslaw is offline  
Old 12-17-10, 11:58 AM
  #61  
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 41,396

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 188 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6866 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 227 Times in 185 Posts
No matter where you go .. There You Are .
fietsbob is offline  
Old 12-17-10, 12:51 PM
  #62  
staehpj1 
Senior Member
 
staehpj1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 9,276
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 174 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 8 Times in 7 Posts
Originally Posted by SBRDude View Post
I haven't put my pack list to test yet, but I'm pretty close to that with a few exceptions. One is for some extra clothing for colder than expected weather and the other is for 2 sets of off bike clothing - wash one set every afternoon and wear the other.
Just something to consider... I thought the same thing, but did not find it to be the case in practice.

Clothes are an area where weight can add up pretty quickly. My experience is that the off bike clothes, really don't need to be washed often at all since I mostly wear them lounging around in camp, so I find one set plenty. A pair of running shorts with a built in brief weigh only a few ounces and will serve to wear while washing clothes, as sleepwear, as swim wear, and even as underwear if you feel the need for underwear.

For colder weather clothing... Remember three things:
1. You can layer all of your on and off bike clothes at once in a pinch.
2. You can typically buy a sweater, long underwear, thick socks, or what ever just about anywhere you go if the weather is not what you expected.
3. A windproof outer layer goes a long way toward keeping you warm. Some really lightweight coated nylon rain pants and jacket serve very well in this function.

A thin cap that cap and a pair of long fingered gloves are a must if cold is likely, but if it gets cold and you don't have any then plastic bags do surprisingly well as substitutes until you can acquire a real hat and gloves.
__________________


Last edited by staehpj1; 12-17-10 at 12:55 PM.
staehpj1 is offline  
Old 12-17-10, 04:38 PM
  #63  
SBRDude
Godfather of Soul
 
SBRDude's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 1,517

Bikes: 2002 Litespeed Vortex, 2010 Specialized Tricross Expert,2008 Gary Fischer Hi Fi Carbon, 2002 Specialized S-Works hard tail, 1990 Kestrel KM 40

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
Just something to consider... I thought the same thing, but did not find it to be the case in practice.

Clothes are an area where weight can add up pretty quickly. My experience is that the off bike clothes, really don't need to be washed often at all since I mostly wear them lounging around in camp, so I find one set plenty. A pair of running shorts with a built in brief weigh only a few ounces and will serve to wear while washing clothes, as sleepwear, as swim wear, and even as underwear if you feel the need for underwear.

For colder weather clothing... Remember three things:
1. You can layer all of your on and off bike clothes at once in a pinch.
2. You can typically buy a sweater, long underwear, thick socks, or what ever just about anywhere you go if the weather is not what you expected.
3. A windproof outer layer goes a long way toward keeping you warm. Some really lightweight coated nylon rain pants and jacket serve very well in this function.

A thin cap that cap and a pair of long fingered gloves are a must if cold is likely, but if it gets cold and you don't have any then plastic bags do surprisingly well as substitutes until you can acquire a real hat and gloves.
One difference here is that I'll be staying in hotels and will want to look 'normal' when off the bike while sightseeing and dining after we cleaned up for the day. As such, I want clean and presentable clothes. That being said, it only means an extra tshirt and pair of lightweight boxers. I have a lightweight shell that will work for extra cool nights off the bike goofing around in town and can be used if it gets too cold on the bike one day. This is a summertime European trip, so I don't expect anything super cold, and if something bizarre happens with the weather, I'll go shopping. Really trying to avoid packing for "what if" situations and instead am focusing on what I really expect to need.
SBRDude is offline  
Old 12-17-10, 05:01 PM
  #64  
Rowan
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 16,750
Mentioned: 124 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1432 Post(s)
Liked 24 Times in 16 Posts
Learn how to read a map, and take a decent orienteering or hiking compass, such as a Silva. You will be surprised how lost you can get in a flat, featureless town or city, or come to a fork or junction in the road that makes you uncertain which one to take.

Rely less on battery-hungry devices and more on your ingenuity, knowledge, skills and common sense.

Be prepared to package up and send home stuff in the first week that will become very obvious you don't need.

And I, too, advocate practising with overnight and weekend tours (even day ones) to find out how you handle your load and how to do things like erect a tent and cook a meal (if that is what you wish to do). Trips like that help you sort out your daily routines -- getting up, packing up, setting up.
Rowan is offline  
Old 12-17-10, 05:05 PM
  #65  
gitarzan
Lost Again
 
gitarzan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Columbus, Oh!
Posts: 1,041

Bikes: Soma Saga, 1991 Sirrus, Specialized Secteur Elite, Miele Umbria Elite.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Drink your coffee black and you can always get it the way you want it.
gitarzan is offline  
Old 12-17-10, 05:17 PM
  #66  
seedsbelize 
necessary illusions
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Tixkokob, Yucatán, México
Posts: 11,451
Mentioned: 99 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4789 Post(s)
Liked 52 Times in 38 Posts
spare batteries and bulbs
seedsbelize is offline  
Old 12-17-10, 08:31 PM
  #67  
SurlyLaika
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 1,251
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
Take the road less traveled, even if it is less paved. I would rather have a few extra thousands of feet of climbing than one too-close pass by a motorist. The direct route is for the car-bound. Carry some off-road tires, a water filter and leave the pavement behind.
Okay, I always wonder about that! I have two sets of tires. A pare of slick Armadillo's and some cross tires. I like the slicks for most paved riding, even slightly rough terrain but I wondered if it would be worthwhile to take the cross tires for some off the beaten path rough riding. So I assume you carry spare tires? What do you do? Just strap them down with some bungee cords?
SurlyLaika is offline  
Old 12-18-10, 02:02 PM
  #68  
badamsjr
17yrold in 64yrold body
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Northern CA
Posts: 922
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Maybe it is too obvious, but my best tip would be to make sure your bike fits you, and is comfortable for long rides. +1 to the mirror too.
badamsjr is offline  
Old 12-19-10, 09:11 AM
  #69  
foamy
Senior Member
 
foamy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: The Land of Pleasant Living
Posts: 772

Bikes: Trek 630 • Jamis Quest • Bilenky Tourlite and various others

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by badamsjr View Post
Maybe it is too obvious, but my best tip would be to make sure your bike fits you, and is comfortable for long rides. +1 to the mirror too.
^That.

And open up on the 'ol comfort zone. Be ready and willing to meet new folks and experiences. It's the best part of bike touring.
foamy is offline  
Old 12-19-10, 10:03 AM
  #70  
Gus Riley
HomeBrew Master!
 
Gus Riley's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: West Central Illinois
Posts: 2,208

Bikes: Aegis Aro Svelte, Surly LHT, Cannondal R3000 tandem, Santana Triplet.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Unless you are a loner or know you prefer to tour alone, you might consider a good compatable tour partner. Share the experiences, the pleasures, the pain, and the expenses of a long tour.
Gus Riley is offline  
Old 12-19-10, 05:56 PM
  #71  
SurlyLaika
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 1,251
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Gus Riley View Post
Unless you are a loner or know you prefer to tour alone, you might consider a good compatable tour partner. Share the experiences, the pleasures, the pain, and the expenses of a long tour.
what's the best way to find a touring partner? i've pitched the idea to all my friends and i've yet to find a taker
SurlyLaika is offline  
Old 12-19-10, 06:56 PM
  #72  
valygrl
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 8,546
Mentioned: 83 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 163 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by albertmoreno View Post
what's the best way to find a touring partner? i've pitched the idea to all my friends and i've yet to find a taker
Y'know... I'd say forget it. Riding with strangers has a pretty good chance of not working out, in my experience, so if you're friends aren't lining up and asking if they can join you, just go by yourself. A partner that isn't working out sucks the joy out of the experience. If you ride one of the common "routes" like the ACA TransAm or Pacific Coast, you may find people to ride with for a day or a week, or you may not. I never thought this would be true, but touring by yourself can be *more* social, because everyone wants to talk to you, and you are motivated to meet new people, whereas if you are with a partner, you can easily end up interacting with just your partner, and missing out on exploring the human landscape you are riding through.
valygrl is offline  
Old 12-19-10, 06:57 PM
  #73  
bhchdh 
Senior Member
 
bhchdh's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Hampton Roads VA
Posts: 1,788

Bikes: '07 Trek 520, '09 Gary Fisher Triton, '04 Trek 8000, '85 Trek 500, '84 Trek 610, '85 Trek 510, '88 Trek 660, '92 Trek 930, Trek Multitrack 700

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 19 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by albertmoreno View Post
what's the best way to find a touring partner? i've pitched the idea to all my friends and i've yet to find a taker
You could try posting here:http://www.adventurecycling.org/mag/companions.cfm or over at crazyguyonabike.com
__________________
"When I hear another express an opinion, which is not mine, I say to myself, He has a right to his opinion, as I to mine; why should I question it. His error does me no injury, and shall I become a Don Quixot to bring all men by force of argument, to one opinion? If a fact be misstated, it is probable he is gratified by a belief of it, and I have no right to deprive him of the gratification."

T. Jefferson
bhchdh is offline  
Old 12-19-10, 08:07 PM
  #74  
Gus Riley
HomeBrew Master!
 
Gus Riley's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: West Central Illinois
Posts: 2,208

Bikes: Aegis Aro Svelte, Surly LHT, Cannondal R3000 tandem, Santana Triplet.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by albertmoreno View Post
what's the best way to find a touring partner? i've pitched the idea to all my friends and i've yet to find a taker
Good question, and with no good answer...Like Valygrl stated, it's a crap shoot with strangers. My last ride I ran into a group of five, where only two had ever ridden together before. They had basically come together through the ACA companions list. At Berea they bounced one of the members and by west Missouri they had split into two and two. I rode with them for a few days, they were great people, but clearly their group had some issues.

The ride can most certainly be done solo, and if you're riding on an established route such as the TransAM, you will meet and ride with dozens of others. You just might end up riding with a few for most of a trip and have a great time. If things aren't going well in those times of opportunity, you have no obligation to stay with them.

Last edited by Gus Riley; 12-20-10 at 10:40 AM.
Gus Riley is offline  
Old 12-20-10, 07:00 AM
  #75  
staehpj1 
Senior Member
 
staehpj1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 9,276
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 174 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 8 Times in 7 Posts
Originally Posted by Gus Riley View Post
Like Valygrl stated, it's a crap shoot with strangers.
My observation was that folks I met on the TA who started with partners other than family or close friends had mostly split on less than amicable terms. Some of the ones who started with a close friend split with hard feelings. I'd just start out alone unless you have an obvious option for a partner.

On the TA it was pretty easy to meet folks to hang out with in camp or have lunch with or whatever and we made some good friends who we bumped into repeatedly on the trip. We didn't ride with any of them though, but probably could have.
__________________

staehpj1 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.