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Planning check list

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Planning check list

Old 12-27-13, 04:01 PM
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Planning check list

So I like to prepare as much as I can for things. I am doing my first bike tour beginning of August, about 400 miles here in Wisconsin. What should I be doing at this point? I am working on gathering gear, and some basic route planning. Any other thoughts?

Thanks,

Micah
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Old 12-27-13, 04:51 PM
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Get your stuff together, yes, but when the weather improves, go on practice tours overnight or starting on a Friday night and returning on Sunday to (a) test the gear you have (b) determine what you have but don't need and need but don't have and (c) that you can tolerate the sorts of loads and distances you intend to ride, as well as the sleeping arrangements you propose.

Plus, if you intend to cook for yourself, practice some simple dishes at home with the cook gear you intend to take.

The short tours also will shake out some fit issues on your bike, if there are any, and give you time at adjust without having to suffer the misery of a sore butt, or sustain a bad knee, for example.
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Old 12-27-13, 05:42 PM
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The preparation and planning is half the fun. Have fun. It'll all work out.
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Old 12-27-13, 06:00 PM
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buy a couple helmet/eyeglass mirrors/check for sunglasses with wind wings/bug nets/plan daily rides 10% less than practice ride averages/ride loaded intervals at semi-max spin.
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Old 12-27-13, 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by IAMAMRA View Post
So I like to prepare as much as I can for things. I am doing my first bike tour beginning of August, about 400 miles here in Wisconsin. What should I be doing at this point? I am working on gathering gear, and some basic route planning. Any other thoughts?

Thanks,

Micah
Do you have a bicycle for the tour? If not, acquiring one would be the first step and riding it would be the second step.
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Old 12-27-13, 06:57 PM
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Using my current bike, add a rack to it last year and made my own panniers.
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Old 12-27-13, 07:21 PM
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Originally Posted by IAMAMRA View Post
Using my current bike, add a rack to it last year and made my own panniers.
Great!

Do you have a tent, mat, sleeping bag and pillow? If so, you could go out and do a tour right now (depending on the weather conditions in your area, of course).

Meanwhile, it's on to Step 2 ... riding the bicycle. How much are you currently riding?
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Old 12-27-13, 09:58 PM
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Still gathering camping supplies..as for sleeping, I have been sleeping on a floor for 4 months in my living room, so should be good! Mid-winter right now, so camping is a no(was -25 F the other day). Before I put my bike away for the session I was hitting 2-300 a month. I was riding though everyday running errands, and was doing 30 miles very comfortably. Towards the end I was able to do a 65 mile day and still ride the next day as well.
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Old 12-27-13, 10:04 PM
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One thing I would do if I were going somewhere unknown, would be looking up and reading some trip journals of others who traveled through same area. Might not be as necessary if you are staying in the same state - but reading some of the journals on Crazy Guy on a Bike can give some good ideas.

August is a ways away, but I'd also anticipate a shorter shakedown trip, e.g. over Memorial Day weekend just to try out equipment and see what worked for me.
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Old 12-27-13, 11:52 PM
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Planning check list

Learn as much bicycle repair maintenance as possible and collect the necessary tools for your bike.
Puncture repair, replacing gear and brake wires, derailler adjustment... Even chain breaking, spoke replacement with cassette removal, etc...

One way of doing this is to take your bike apart and rebuild it

Last edited by imi; 12-27-13 at 11:56 PM.
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Old 12-28-13, 06:09 AM
  #11  
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In the months before your tour, it would be helpful to work your mileage up to 100 miles per week. You're almost there at 2-300/month. The 60+ mile days are great, especially when you can repeat the next day. Try a century at least once, as a confidence-builder. But don't hurt yourself! It's supposed to be fun.

You may have seen the ultralight threads on this forum. There may be some good tips there, as well as some articles, on reducing pack weight, if that's of concern to you at all.

Try to get some practice overnight rides in bad weather and dial in your foul weather clothing and packing.
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Old 12-28-13, 08:41 AM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by IAMAMRA View Post
So I like to prepare as much as I can for things. I am doing my first bike tour beginning of August, about 400 miles here in Wisconsin. What should I be doing at this point? I am working on gathering gear, and some basic route planning. Any other thoughts?

Thanks,

Micah
I assume you are using the Wisconsin bike trails and camping. The Wisconsin trails simplify things, it would be very hard to get lost. State highway map may help to have along too, along with a compass.

If you are not an experienced camper and are not an experienced bike mechanic, bring a cell phone and have someone you can call if you get it in trouble. Probability of that happening is small, but the peace of mind that someone can come and pick you up can make the trip a lot less stress free. Leave it turned off so you have battery if you need it.

August means you will only have warm to hot weather. So, cold weather sleeping bag and cold weather clothing is not needed, that helps a lot. You need rain gear but most August rains are only a few hours, not all day things. (Yes, there are all day rains in August, but they are more rare.)

I carry 5 water bottles (26 oz each) for hot summer riding, that is roughly a gallon of water capacity. Not all have to be bike bottles, you can put some disposable water or soda pop bottles in panniers or on the racks. Some prefer the newer water bladders, but I like bottles since knowing how many bottles I have gone thru tells me how many I still have left and how much I have been drinking.

Bring a good pad, I prefer thermarest pads. I find that even the thin thermarest pads are thick enough for me. But the cheap closed cell foam pads are the best way to ruin an otherwise great trip.

I avoid camping in August, too many people on vacation and too many bugs, but if that is your preference, go for it.

Originally Posted by IAMAMRA View Post
Using my current bike, add a rack to it last year and made my own panniers.
Using home made panniers makes it more important to bring a cell phone in case you have an equipment failure. You I am sure have already packed a needle and thread and perhaps some spare nylon fabric or webbing.
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Old 12-28-13, 09:30 AM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
I assume you are using the Wisconsin bike trails and camping. The Wisconsin trails simplify things, it would be very hard to get lost. State highway map may help to have along too, along with a compass.

If you are not an experienced camper and are not an experienced bike mechanic, bring a cell phone and have someone you can call if you get it in trouble. Probability of that happening is small, but the peace of mind that someone can come and pick you up can make the trip a lot less stress free. Leave it turned off so you have battery if you need it.

August means you will only have warm to hot weather. So, cold weather sleeping bag and cold weather clothing is not needed, that helps a lot. You need rain gear but most August rains are only a few hours, not all day things. (Yes, there are all day rains in August, but they are more rare.)

I carry 5 water bottles (26 oz each) for hot summer riding, that is roughly a gallon of water capacity. Not all have to be bike bottles, you can put some disposable water or soda pop bottles in panniers or on the racks. Some prefer the newer water bladders, but I like bottles since knowing how many bottles I have gone thru tells me how many I still have left and how much I have been drinking.

Bring a good pad, I prefer thermarest pads. I find that even the thin thermarest pads are thick enough for me. But the cheap closed cell foam pads are the best way to ruin an otherwise great trip.

I avoid camping in August, too many people on vacation and too many bugs, but if that is your preference, go for it.



Using home made panniers makes it more important to bring a cell phone in case you have an equipment failure. You I am sure have already packed a needle and thread and perhaps some spare nylon fabric or webbing.
My tour is running from Milwaukee to Stevens point VIA Door county peninsula. I did a lot of camping when I was younger, but not in awhile, however I can still start a fire when needed. I can fix some things on my bike, but was hoping to learn a bit more by August. I am not dead set on it being in August if you have another recommendation. I am a wedding Photographer so I do have to work around what brides I book though.

These are my panniers I made btw: http://bigbonedbiker.wordpress.com/2...tter-panniers/

Easy to fix/replace on the road.

As for the route, was planning on a mix of bike trail and roadways, I am hoping to follow the coast as much as I can, and stay at state parks. Someone told me that theya re requried to give you a spot if your on a bicycle tour(though I still need to confirm this).

Micah
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Old 12-29-13, 06:26 AM
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Originally Posted by IAMAMRA View Post
...
These are my panniers I made btw: http://bigbonedbiker.wordpress.com/2...tter-panniers/
...
I assumed you sewed your panniers when I suggested needle and thread. If you hang them from hooks like that, a hard bump and they can bounce off the rack. I have some cheap panniers (fabric) that hang from hooks, they also have a velcro strap that holds them down so they can't bounce up and fall off. A friend of mine has a set of paniers that hang on hooks and last spring I watched one of his panniers go bouncing down the trail after he hit a bump and launched one pannier.

The metal hook on metal rack will chaff. Consider some way to put plastic or rubber or something between the hook and rack. Even several layers of electrical tape (which won't last long) is better than nothing. I sometimes use a layer of inner tube rubber with electrical tape wrapped tightly over that, but it is not a permanent solution. Some have put plastic hose from a hardware store over the rack metal for that purpose.

Originally Posted by IAMAMRA View Post

As for the route, was planning on a mix of bike trail and roadways, I am hoping to follow the coast as much as I can, and stay at state parks. Someone told me that theya re requried to give you a spot if your on a bicycle tour(though I still need to confirm this).
I have never tried to plan a route on Google Maps using the bike route layer, but a friend has and he says it has worked well.
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Old 12-29-13, 07:31 AM
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I put a adjustable elastic strap(one of those black heavy duty ones), that hold it tight ont he frame. They did well last year, even on the back roads. Good idea for the rubber/plastic, I am sure i can come up with something. Looking at tents right now, anyone tried teh Eurkea Apex Solo?
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Old 12-31-13, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by IAMAMRA View Post
I am hoping to follow the coast as much as I can, and stay at state parks. Someone told me that theya re requried to give you a spot if your on a bicycle tour(though I still need to confirm this).
Although I am not sure about the current rules, I have taken advantage of this policy in Wisconsin on a previous trip. It was very handy in the summer. I would try to confirm that the policy has not changed, but when my husband and I used it, they actually had camping spots without car access that were reserved for hikers and bikers...
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Old 01-02-14, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by btbeth View Post
Although I am not sure about the current rules, I have taken advantage of this policy in Wisconsin on a previous trip. It was very handy in the summer. I would try to confirm that the policy has not changed, but when my husband and I used it, they actually had camping spots without car access that were reserved for hikers and bikers...
Wisconsin's policy about making room for cyclists and backpackers in full campgrounds is nebulous. I contacted the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources last April about its policy. Here's part of the response I received:

Non-motorized travelers (bikers, hikers, boaters, etc.) are encouraged to utilize the established campsite reservation system to ensure that a site will be available upon arrival.

Properties with camping shall provide a space for non-motorized travelers, unless an appropriate location is not available within the property. If the property capacity is reached, such travelers may still be turned away, except in emergency situations.
I've talked to rangers about this. They also say they try to find spots for bikers and hikers but those spots aren't guaranteed.

If you're bike camping from Milwaukee to Door County, you're biking past Harrington Beach State Park, Kohler-Andrae State Park, Point Beach State Forest, Potawatomi State Park, and Peninsula State Park. All of those campgrounds (except Potawatomi on weekdays) are packed in early August. When you firm up your plans, you may want to check if campsites are available in those parks.

My sons and I are trying to put together that same trip from Milwaukee to Newport State Park in Door County. We can't nail down dates yet so our trip is little more than a harsh winter's dream at this point.

Good luck with your tour.
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