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Beginner tandem touring

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Beginner tandem touring

Old 10-13-13, 09:16 AM
  #1  
HoraceLai
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Beginner tandem touring

Hi,

I have a Nashbar 1000rt from maybe around 1994. Me and my girlfriend ride it on the weekends to get around town here in Gothenburg, Sweden. We would like to prepare the bike and ourselves for some touring during the summer. We're thinking of starting with weekend tours and going up to 550 km long round trip.

3 main questions I still have after some research:

1) Accomodation: We're planning on buying a tent so we can camp, mainly because our trips are short and it seems more fun. In that case, what do you guys do? Do you research on campsites or do you find an open field to camp on. In Sweden there's a law that allows people to camp on non private grasslands.

2) Bicycle modifications: We're light (~115 kg for our clothed bodies) people. How study does our tandem need to be? The wheels are 36 spoked 700C. The front fork doesn't have eyelets in the middle, only the bottom ones that are used for fenders. I have a TorTec Ultralite rear rack in the back, which is only rated up to 25kg. The seats I have are ok comfortable, not as good as the B17 I have on my commuter but if I change seats I do want something that is waterproof without the use of a cover.

3) How do people plan their routes? Google Maps? Is there a better source? Open street map?

Thanks,
Horace
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Old 10-13-13, 10:42 AM
  #2  
arctos
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Ah, tandem touring:

With a light weight captain and stoker your current wheels may work just fine. Have a bike shop true and re-tension the wheels and check the hub condition. I would also suggest using a wider tire [if you can] than you use for unloaded rides. This gives you the option to ride rougher roads and gravel to more scenic locations at times.
Front racks from Old Man Mountain can be mounted when no braze-ons are available. Other racks can use clamps on the upper portion of the fork.
A tent gives you more options for choosing campsites formal or informal. Flexibility in planning makes for less stress than a rigid itinerary.
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Old 10-13-13, 02:03 PM
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arctos
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I forgot to mention keeping the stoker happy by using a shock seat post. The better ones are somewhat expensive but the U.S.E. seat post and the ThudBuster have proven more durable and functional than the cheaper pogo-stick types in my experience.
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Old 10-13-13, 03:22 PM
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HoraceLai
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Good tips. Unfortunately my tandem has 26.2mm seatposts, which is quite hard to find, especially for suspension seatposts.

Do you have any tips on food? I eat a lot even when I am not working out, and without much backpacking camping experience, I think I will need to stick near towns to make sure I get enough calories.
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Old 10-13-13, 04:25 PM
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arctos
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The U.S.E and Thudbuster suspension seat posts offer shims to help fit unusual seat post sizes.

Do a little practice cooking at home on your camping kitchen outfit to find what basic foods you can easily cook while traveling. My preferences are red lentils, brown rice, couscous, quinoa and oatmeal supplemented with fresh steamed veggies and some protein from canned fish or chicken. Slow cooking on my Trangia cookkit makes for a quiet and efficient way to cook while touring.
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