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1st overnighter - lessons learned :) - and questios I need answered TIA!

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1st overnighter - lessons learned :) - and questios I need answered TIA!

Old 03-21-11, 04:10 PM
  #1  
episodic
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1st overnighter - lessons learned :) - and questios I need answered TIA!

My son and I went on a 70 mile overnighter. 70 down, 70 back the next day. I just got home. Here are my lessons learned:

1. Wind sucks. No really - wind sucks. 7 hours down (against wind) 4 hrs 40 minutes back (with wind) (stops subtracted).

2. We should have left at the crack of dawn.

3. SPF 30 sunscreen IS NOT sufficient. Neither is SPF 50 - in fact if you know what is sufficient please tell me.

4. Bike stores in other towns seem super friendly.

5. If the hotel is the first you see, maybe that shouldn't be the one you stop at.

6. Waffle house tastes REALLY good after a metric century.

7. I should have wore gloves.

8. Despite me telling him not to, I envied my son's choice of flip flops about 30 miles from being home.

9. 17 year olds can ride single speeds with no problems over vast distances and still be all happy and chipper.

10. Can't wait for our planned 600 miler this summer!

Now for questions:

Being a semi broke dad, I need to know low cost solutions for these things that will work decently:

Low cost rear panniers and front ones
Front rack.
Low cost 2 man tent

Is a sleeping bag necessary during the summer? Or would a couple of sleeping rolls and some light blankets suffice?

Sunscreen that works.

Talk to me about worst case scenarios as far as bike breaking. I have a Surly Cross Check, but as you can see in my sig, I'm still a big boy. I'm most concerned about tire / rim problems in the middle of nowhere - but there is probably others stuff too. What can I do to mitigate this - I don't have anyone to 'come get us'. . .

Water - we each carried 2 bottles and we went through them every 25 miles in Spring Weather - I'm assuming we'll need much more in Southern Summers. . . .


A seat (for me) - the stock WTB just isn't cutting it.

Solutions for camping - I know a little about 'stealth camping' from reading your posts here. I was going to try to plan it so we could do it legit - but the need may arise.

Finally, where would you guys go if you were departing from Monroe, LA? I've got several destinations in mind, but wouldn't mind some suggestions from ppl that have been there and done that.

Anything else you want to tell me? I'll read intently.

Last edited by episodic; 03-21-11 at 04:14 PM.
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Old 03-21-11, 04:30 PM
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For what you nee go to thetouringstore.com
He has just what you want and need tell him what you want to do and the kind of bicycles you have and he will get you what you need.He is good and the prices are good too.Hope this helps.
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Old 03-21-11, 04:39 PM
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Generally, the best way to find quality equipment for cheap is to buy used. Depending on where you live, you may be able to get decent panniers used. For long tours, I would advise not skimping on a tent - I have an REI Quarter Dome that I bought for about $250 new and have been very happy with. Again, you may be able to find a good tent used. Some of the manufacturers will warranty parts even if the warranty policy is non-transferrable - North Face replaced a broken tent pole (on my previous tent) for free even though it was no longer under warranty because I wasn't the original owner.

If you are in the south, you probably won't need a sleeping bag in the summer. The exception might be in the higher parts of the Appalachians. You can make a sleeping bag liner (that also works as a warm-weather sleeping bag) by taking a full- or queen-size bedsheet, folding it over, and sewing the edges together. Use that in conjunction with some kind of sleeping pad, and you should be fine.

Water in the south in the summer...yeah...I rode a century last June (in Oklahoma) where I averaged about seven miles per water bottle and still ended up dehydrated. A camelbak can help, but if you're like me and hate riding with any kind of backpack, I would just get a couple of extra water bottles and carry them in your panniers. Make sure you get electrolytes; most bike shops and sporting goods stores will sell electrolyte tablets that you can dissolve in a bottle of water. Gatorade also works for electrolytes, but sometimes the sugar can make you sick if you drink too much of it. Getting an early start and frequent stops in the shade help too.

I found that in most parts of the south, small-town churches are generally ok with you pitching a tent behind their building.
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Old 03-21-11, 04:41 PM
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P.S. With regards to sunscreen, you have to apply it about every hour or so. If you start doing short rides pretty regularly, you might develop a good tan before you go on tour, which will help.
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Old 03-21-11, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by episodic View Post

3. SPF 30 sunscreen IS NOT sufficient. Neither is SPF 50 - in fact if you know what is sufficient please tell me.
The only thing I have found sufficient are long sleeve button down "sun" shirts. I've used them in very hot temps and I like it quite a bit. You can unbutton most of the buttons for max air flow and it still protects against sun. Also nice to dunk the whole thing in the cold river and put on for a nice 15 minute cool off, it dries quickly.
These are my go to shirts for touring now.

Can't help you much with the legs, I just use sunblock for that...
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Old 03-21-11, 05:04 PM
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I use this 2 man tent for one person, allows you bring all your gear inside.
https://www.target.com/gp/detail.html...t_adv_XSC10001

This fan is must have in our area.
$6 to $10 Kmart, Lowes
https://www.google.com/products/catal...ed=0CD0Q8wIwAg#
No sleeping bag needed.
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Old 03-21-11, 05:17 PM
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Used 4 of these, got them last year on sale for $14 a set.
https://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product...9_10000_202599

Carry 4 to 6 bottles in the summer. One ride down to The Rio Grande River I used one bottle every 6 miles.

https://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product...9_10000_202599

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Old 03-21-11, 05:37 PM
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Check out National Forests because you can camp anywhere in a National Forest that is not otherwise posted for free.

Never mention the wind, it's bad karma.
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Old 03-21-11, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by episodic View Post
My son and I went on a 70 mile overnighter. 70 down, 70 back the next day. I just got home. Here are my lessons learned:

1. Wind sucks. No really - wind sucks. 7 hours down (against wind) 4 hrs 40 minutes back (with wind) (stops subtracted).

2. We should have left at the crack of dawn.

3. SPF 30 sunscreen IS NOT sufficient. Neither is SPF 50 - in fact if you know what is sufficient please tell me.

4. Bike stores in other towns seem super friendly.

5. If the hotel is the first you see, maybe that shouldn't be the one you stop at.

6. Waffle house tastes REALLY good after a metric century.

7. I should have wore gloves.

8. Despite me telling him not to, I envied my son's choice of flip flops about 30 miles from being home.

9. 17 year olds can ride single speeds with no problems over vast distances and still be all happy and chipper.

10. Can't wait for our planned 600 miler this summer!

Now for questions:

Being a semi broke dad, I need to know low cost solutions for these things that will work decently:

Low cost rear panniers and front ones
Front rack.
Low cost 2 man tent

Is a sleeping bag necessary during the summer? Or would a couple of sleeping rolls and some light blankets suffice?

Sunscreen that works.

Talk to me about worst case scenarios as far as bike breaking. I have a Surly Cross Check, but as you can see in my sig, I'm still a big boy. I'm most concerned about tire / rim problems in the middle of nowhere - but there is probably others stuff too. What can I do to mitigate this - I don't have anyone to 'come get us'. . .

Water - we each carried 2 bottles and we went through them every 25 miles in Spring Weather - I'm assuming we'll need much more in Southern Summers. . . .


A seat (for me) - the stock WTB just isn't cutting it.

Solutions for camping - I know a little about 'stealth camping' from reading your posts here. I was going to try to plan it so we could do it legit - but the need may arise.

Finally, where would you guys go if you were departing from Monroe, LA? I've got several destinations in mind, but wouldn't mind some suggestions from ppl that have been there and done that.

Anything else you want to tell me? I'll read intently.
a good sleeping bag alternative might be sleeping bag liners. I've seen them made out of egyptian cotton and silk. Mine is silk. Costs about $40. very compact about the diameter of a 20 oz soft drink, about the length of a 12 oz soda can. The insulation is good for light use.
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Old 03-21-11, 05:53 PM
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as far as the stock WTB saddle on the CC...I've used it temporarily when it rains but it's so uncomfortable after about 30 minutes. Do yourself a favor, save a little money and buy a good Brooks. It really makes a huge difference. There's a lot of different types, too...so do some research before picking one. I started off with a B17 Narrow and I switched to a springed Flyer after 6 months.
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Old 03-21-11, 06:39 PM
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Hey, look at the bright side. If I had been riding with you, the wind would have changed directions overnight.

You'll get lots of good advice for most of your questions, but let me offer my opinion about the sunscreen issue. I'm a fair-skinned redhead, as is my father. I don't tan. My father has had several small pre-cancerous skin lesions removed and I'm trying desperately to enjoy my outdoor hobbies and, at the same time, avoid the same fate or worse. I'm something of a self-appointed expert in what keeps me from burning.

This is it:



I've tried lots of sunscreen products. Lots of them. I'm over 50 years old and I got the sunscreen religion good in my 20s. (I wish I had gotten it earlier)

Any sunscreen is gobs better than nothing at all, but Sawyer Stay-Put #2 is the clear winner for me. It's hard to find locally, so I find a supplier on the internet and order plenty for the upcoming summer. This is the only sunscreen I've found that literally protects me all day long while I'm sweating like a glass of ice water at Miami Beach. Some days it's like my skin is a sieve. I pour water in and it leaks right back out.

Here's the key to effective sunscreen (and this is true for any brand). Most people don't put it on heavily enough. My bike tour routine includes packing and loading everything onto my bike in morning except for the sunscreen. The last thing I do is to apply it generously to every inch of exposed skin. It's a white cream out of the bottle and it looks rather white on my skin if I've applied it heavily enough. Don't worry. It will soak in and the white color will disappear.

I try to apply it as I'm leaving a campground while I'm near a bathroom sink. It doesn't wash off easily, but I gently use a bit of soap on the palms of my hands to make them less greasy on the handlebar tape. All good sunscreen claims to be non-greasy. That's true to some extent, but you just have to accept some residual greasiness.

After that, I'm good to go for the entire day. I've proven to myself I can ride exposed all day long with that routine.
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Old 03-21-11, 08:18 PM
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If you think you have to leave at the crack of dawn in order to arrive at your location before dark or before the accommodations close ... you've bitten off more than you can chew. Shorten your daily distance.

My 30 SPF sunscreen works just fine for my long rides.

Why did you envy your son's choice of flip flops?

Experiment with sleeping solutions. I went minimal, then decided I didn't like that so much and have gone for comfort instead.

The drinking recommendation is one 750 ml bottle every 1 to 1.5 hours ... give or take a bit depending on temperature and wind. We usually carry a bottle of coke or something as well as two 750 ml to 1 litre bottles, and then fill up whenever we have the chance. Never pass up an opportunity to fill the bottles.


What kind of daily riding do you do? Distance? Hill work? Wind work? Etc.?
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Old 03-21-11, 08:34 PM
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Hi, my crack of dawn comment was mostly directed at my sunburn. The sun would not have been as intense if we could have avoided mid-day. I applied SPF 30 cream liberally every 30 minutes till I got there - and my arm and my legs from knee to bike short are bright painful red. I changed brands on the way back and kept SPF 50 smeared so much it was comical, and still got burned worse. I'm blond haired blue eyed - sigh.

The flip flop envy was from the heat of my feet. He doesn't like foot retention, I have toe cages. After a while, I wished I was him as my feet were burning up. My work up until this point has just been lots of riding. There is a local 30 mile loop favored by those around here that participate in various timed events. It is quite hilly - in fact very hilly. I've been doing that about twice a week since last year. I made the loop the first time on a Fuji Comfort Bike when I weighed 310 lbs - it took me 5 hours the 1st time. Hows that for dedication?
6
Now I can cover it easily in a little under 2 hours.

I've been on rides as far as 50, and since I've got a better bike been participating in the local bike club, and they average 16-18 mph for 30 miles or so of various local loops. I've been keeping up lately .

I've probably rode more than 300 miles a month since last year, and I commute to work. I sold my car and do not use motorized vehicles any more. My cross check is new, so I'm still getting use to her. My immediate purchases in the future are going to be a saddle (probably a B17 or B68) - and a mtb bike granny gear / new derailleur (it is set up for cross events, and isn't so granny).


Originally Posted by Machka View Post
If you think you have to leave at the crack of dawn in order to arrive at your location before dark or before the accommodations close ... you've bitten off more than you can chew. Shorten your daily distance.

My 30 SPF sunscreen works just fine for my long rides.

Why did you envy your son's choice of flip flops?

Experiment with sleeping solutions. I went minimal, then decided I didn't like that so much and have gone for comfort instead.

The drinking recommendation is one 750 ml bottle every 1 to 1.5 hours ... give or take a bit depending on temperature and wind. We usually carry a bottle of coke or something as well as two 750 ml to 1 litre bottles, and then fill up whenever we have the chance. Never pass up an opportunity to fill the bottles.


What kind of daily riding do you do? Distance? Hill work? Wind work? Etc.?
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Old 03-21-11, 08:38 PM
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I like to leave in the dark or first light to beat the afternoon heat.

Have you tried toe clips without the straps?
That is the way I ride.
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Old 03-21-11, 08:41 PM
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Some good ideas here already. I like 10 Wheels tent/pannier suggestions for a first tour. That's the 'start modestly and work your way up' approach. Nothing wrong with that. Others like to buy the very best up front. Just depends on your philosophy and bank account. If you're pretty sure touring is going to be your 'thing', might be better to go for quality up front. You can always sell it for about half what you paid, maybe more.

I'm a big fan of the Eureka Spitfire 2. It's a double wall tent, especially suitable for use in hot, humid weather, if you don't mind leaving the fly off for breezes and star gazing. The Coleman is single wall.

I use a flannel sheet my wife sewed up for me for summer camping. On a full length Thermarest Prolite. The pad is not a place to skimp. More comfortable is the NeoAir, but $$s and takes a lot of air to inflate.

If your bike is in good mechanical condition at the start, chances of significant trouble are minimal. Tires with a puncture resistant belt are pretty much a must. I like Maxxis Overdrive 700x38. The Schwable Marathon series is the most popular, and usually the most expensive. Vittoria Rondonneur and Continental Travel Contact have their share of fans.

Spoke breakage can be a problem. I always carry a temporary fiber fix spoke. Have used once in 6 years.

Carry 4 liters of water, refill at every opportunity. More if wild camping. Adjust for refill availability.

Saddles are very personal. What works for one won't for another. The B17($$)is a huge favorite, but requires a long breakin for most to be comfortable. And rain is not its friend. Been there and done that. Ride a Velo Biologic now, but not very comfortably. So does the Dallas Police Department bicycle patrol.

To stealth camp, pick a secluded non-fenced, non-posted spot, don't be seen entering or leaving, pitch and spend the night. Practice 'leave no trace.' Not hard to do, but a bit more stressful than public camping. I've done a good bit and never been disturbed. I differentiate 'stealth' from 'wild.' Wild being in semi public view, but where no one is likely to disturb you, and done without specific permission. Behind a rural church would qualify. A cemetery would qualify. 99.5% of people have no interest in approaching someone who would do anything that crazy. Common sense will carry the day.

I know your original destination was NO, but should you change your mind, head west, north of I-20. Several conveniently placed state parks in La., and in Texas. Good roads mostly, 'cept for the rough Texas chip seal. Or north thru Mer Rouge and get you some of their famous ice cream Msg me if you would like more info on routing west of Monroe.
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Old 03-21-11, 08:42 PM
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A lot of people love spd sandals like these https://www.chainreactioncycles.com/M...?ModelID=46688
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Old 03-21-11, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Cyclebum View Post
Some good ideas here already. I like 10 Wheels tent/pannier suggestions for a first tour. That's the 'start modestly and work your way up' approach. Nothing wrong with that. Others like to buy the very best up front. Just depends on your philosophy and bank account. If you're pretty sure touring is going to be your 'thing', might be better to go for quality up front. You can always sell it for about half what you paid, maybe more.

I'm a big fan of the Eureka Spitfire 2. It's a double wall tent, especially suitable for use in hot, humid weather, if you don't mind leaving the fly off for breezes and star gazing. The Coleman is single wall.

I use a flannel sheet my wife sewed up for me for summer camping. On a full length Thermarest Prolite. The pad is not a place to skimp. More comfortable is the NeoAir, but $$s and takes a lot of air to inflate.

If your bike is in good mechanical condition at the start, chances of significant trouble are minimal. Tires with a puncture resistant belt are pretty much a must. I like Maxxis Overdrive 700x38. The Schwable Marathon series is the most popular, and usually the most expensive. Vittoria Rondonneur and Continental Travel Contact have their share of fans.

Spoke breakage can be a problem. I always carry a temporary fiber fix spoke. Have used once in 6 years.

Carry 4 liters of water, refill at every opportunity. More if wild camping. Adjust for refill availability.

Saddles are very personal. What works for one won't for another. The B17($$)is a huge favorite, but requires a long breakin for most to be comfortable. And rain is not its friend. Been there and done that. Ride a Velo Biologic now, but not very comfortably. So does the Dallas Police Department bicycle patrol.

To stealth camp, pick a secluded non-fenced, non-posted spot, don't be seen entering or leaving, pitch and spend the night. Practice 'leave no trace.' Not hard to do, but a bit more stressful than public camping. I've done a good bit and never been disturbed. I differentiate 'stealth' from 'wild.' Wild being in semi public view, but where no one is likely to disturb you, and done without specific permission. Behind a rural church would qualify. A cemetery would qualify. 99.5% of people have no interest in approaching someone who would do anything that crazy. Common sense will carry the day.

I know your original destination was NO, but should you change your mind, head west, north of I-20. Several conveniently placed state parks in La., and in Texas. Good roads mostly, 'cept for the rough Texas chip seal. Or north thru Mer Rouge and get you some of their famous ice cream Msg me if you would like more info on routing west of Monroe.
Yea, I'm still thinking NOLA, was just look for possible alternatives I have not considered. Learned alot today about what I can do. . .
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Old 03-21-11, 08:56 PM
  #18  
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Originally Posted by safariofthemind View Post
A lot of people love spd sandals like these https://www.chainreactioncycles.com/M...?ModelID=46688
I just can't see that I'd ever 'clip' in - I'm just not that coordinated. I like the straps as I can pedal with one foot out in high traffic areas then slip my foot in when I get going. I'm probably going to get sandles like that though - minus the clip.
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Old 03-21-11, 09:33 PM
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Just because it's on my mind and OP mentioned low cost camping stuff...

Do you have an REI near you? Most, if not all REI stores have a yearly scratch and dent sale. It's a great way to get really high quality used camping stuff. Some of it is well used and battered, some of it is stuff people just bought and returned without opening. Last time around I came away with a 9.5' x 12' nylon tarp for $10 and a $250 rain jacket for $50. I saw a few Big Agnes and REI brand tents snatched up early, but never got a look at the prices. You do need a membership to get into the sale, though.
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Old 03-21-11, 10:12 PM
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Nuetrogena SPF 70-- Works great.
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Old 03-21-11, 10:19 PM
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Actually most riders over think touring.
Touring is loading your stuff on your bike and take off.

I met Fred Tipps on his tour from New Mexico to Florida.
He camped the entire 2200 miles and averaged 26 miles per day.
He was a 55 year old marine who was missing his colon from cancer.

August 4 2009


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Old 03-21-11, 10:30 PM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
Nuetrogena SPF 70-- Works great.
Neutrogena makes a face sunblock with spf 110.
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Old 03-21-11, 11:16 PM
  #23  
johnr783
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I didnt use sunblock.

Instead I wore these on my arms: A pair will cost you >$20 at Academy Sports. I think Louisiana has Academy.

On the legs I wore these: I bought a pair of compression ones for $60 in NJ but you can find them online for $30 a pair.

As for the face, I wore a bandana but I bought this when I got home, in preparation for future tours: Its the same piece of head gear but can be worn multiple ways.

All these items are thin and lightweight yet sufficently block UV rays.
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Old 03-21-11, 11:51 PM
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I use sun block very little, instead I'll wear long sleeved shirts and thin long pants, even in the middle of summer. I wear a baseball hat under my helmet sometimes as well. I'll put a zinc oxide based sun block on my ears and nose, it's white in color, and works well. BTW concerning my base ball hat, they usually have a small button on it's top. Well I have just pulled it off, so that it'll fit under my helmet more easily, the bill is a bit long, but it works just fine for me.
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Old 03-22-11, 12:12 AM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by johnr783 View Post
I didnt use sunblock.
As for the face, I wore a bandana but I bought this when I got home, in preparation for future tours: Its the same piece of head gear but can be worn multiple ways.

All these items are thin and lightweight yet sufficently block UV rays.
Is that a buff? I have one, but it seems much shorter and does not cover my neck well... More info please?
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