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My first fully loaded ride! And the lessons I learned...

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My first fully loaded ride! And the lessons I learned...

Old 07-17-14, 10:48 AM
  #26  
jhawk
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Originally Posted by rzldzl View Post
"Oh, and a GIANT Canadian flag – which I’m thinking of strapping to the bike next year!"

I suspect next year you will add -

Lesson 6: Leave the GIANT Canadian flags to GIANT Canadians.
+2.

Since I am neither giant, nor Canadian - I suspect I will!
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Old 07-17-14, 10:49 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
+1.

OP: Why do you think carrying the water weight on your back required more energy than carrying it on your bike? And if you are getting dehydrated that easily, I suggest the bottles and the Camelback. I ride with both when there will be longer stretches without water.
Retrospectively, I should have taken both the Camelbak and three water bottles, yes. Just something I forgot to put on the bike - schoolboy error, and I learned from it.
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Old 07-17-14, 06:08 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by jhawk View Post
Retrospectively, I should have taken both the Camelbak and three water bottles, yes. Just something I forgot to put on the bike - schoolboy error, and I learned from it.
Why so much water?

I know your camelbak ran dry on your test ride, but why did it run dry? Were there no service stations, convenience stores, little grocery shops in small towns, etc. etc. on your route?

I've done a lot of touring and cycling in general in a lot of different places ... especially throughout Canada ... and I've only ever needed 2 bottles (two 1-litre bottles) because there have been places to refill here and there along the way. Even in some rather remote parts of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba.
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Old 07-17-14, 08:18 PM
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I learned to ignore hills after doing the Hilly Hundred in Bloomington, Indiana a few times. Don't even think about them now. Lived in flat northern Indiana then and now live in HILLY Kentucky. I usually look down at the road most of the time, with glance ups fairly often. Seems to always look flat when your watching the road instead of looking at the top of the hill. Loaded panniers don't seem to make a whole lot of difference except the speed. Output always is regulated and consistent. I was a cat 2 racer and Indiana State Regional Champ and the racing really helped me in how I look at rides. Now I'm 62 and the past has really helped with the brain (not leg) power I require. My 2 cents
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Old 07-18-14, 06:08 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Why so much water?

I know your camelbak ran dry on your test ride, but why did it run dry? Were there no service stations, convenience stores, little grocery shops in small towns, etc. etc. on your route?

I've done a lot of touring and cycling in general in a lot of different places ... especially throughout Canada ... and I've only ever needed 2 bottles (two 1-litre bottles) because there have been places to refill here and there along the way. Even in some rather remote parts of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba.
I guess I was in a bit of a rush and forgot to fill up my hydration pack. Lesson learned, definitely. Unfortunately, I also learned the hard way.
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Old 07-18-14, 06:31 AM
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Originally Posted by jhawk View Post
I guess I was in a bit of a rush and forgot to fill up my hydration pack. Lesson learned, definitely. Unfortunately, I also learned the hard way.
Sometimes that's the best way ... you remember it better.
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Old 07-18-14, 04:54 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
+1.

OP: Why do you think carrying the water weight on your back required more energy than carrying it on your bike? And if you are getting dehydrated that easily, I suggest the bottles and the Camelback. I ride with both when there will be longer stretches without water.
Carrying the water on my back is unpleasant. And it requires effort as you move around in the saddle. And leads to a sweaty back. I have 5 water bottle mounts and carry extra water in a collapsible container on my rack. Much more comfortable than on my back!
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Old 07-18-14, 05:06 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Why so much water?

I know your camelbak ran dry on your test ride, but why did it run dry? Were there no service stations, convenience stores, little grocery shops in small towns, etc. etc. on your route?

I've done a lot of touring and cycling in general in a lot of different places ... especially throughout Canada ... and I've only ever needed 2 bottles (two 1-litre bottles) because there have been places to refill here and there along the way. Even in some rather remote parts of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba.
I camp most of the time. I may need to ride 25 miles without water to get to my campsite. If I show up at 3 pm then I might consume another couple bottles that evening drinking and cooking. Then a couple more for breakfast and another for cleaning. Then ride 25 miles the next morning before the first water stop. It all adds up. Yeah, I could go knocking on doors asking for water and pooring mosquito water out of some guys hose. I have, but I'd rather not.
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Old 07-18-14, 05:27 PM
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You have lost me. Carrying the water in a Camelback (in a backpack, no less, which seams to defeat one of the purposes) required extra effort yet you forgot to fill it up? Do you mean refill it?
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Old 07-18-14, 05:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Walter S View Post
And it requires effort as you move around in the saddle.
Huh? I don't even notice mine is there. although I will admit it's only 40 oz. or so, not one of those 100 oz. things.
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Old 07-18-14, 06:41 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by Walter S View Post
I camp most of the time. I may need to ride 25 miles without water to get to my campsite. If I show up at 3 pm then I might consume another couple bottles that evening drinking and cooking. Then a couple more for breakfast and another for cleaning. Then ride 25 miles the next morning before the first water stop. It all adds up. Yeah, I could go knocking on doors asking for water and pooring mosquito water out of some guys hose. I have, but I'd rather not.
If you camp in a campground, they usually have water available for the campers.
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Old 07-19-14, 03:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
If you camp in a campground, they usually have water available for the campers.
Yes, but that's not true for most of my camping. I recently went camping in Dawson Forest where I had to be careful to manage water. The camping is free but there are no facilities like bathrooms and potable water - just the forest and some trails. There's a store near the south east corner of the forest. But if you're on the north side of the forest you'll have to go several miles AFTER you get out the forest itself (which might be two or three hours on a strenuous trail) before you see safe drinking water.

So I've learned by experience. I fill up five water bottles at my last water stop along with my collapsible water container that will fill most of five again. Even at that, I'll need to leave the forest sometime the next morning rather than just go exploring. On my last trip I had one water bottle left when I made it to my water stop the next day. Having that is not excess - that's a buffer in case of unexpected delays like fixing a tire in the sun for example.

Edit: It's worth mentioning that I could treat the plentiful water that's in the forest, like from the Etowah River. I need to learn more about doing that. And also educate myself on the risks to my health that might remain in spite of that. This might enable me to spend the whole weekend in the forest. In the meantime I'll continue to stay safe by carrying it all with me.

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Old 07-19-14, 04:20 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by jhawk View Post
Lesson 3: Hills are made by an evil, evil being with a total lack of moral compass and/or no soul.
To enjoy riding in most of the country you have to find peace with hills. I know exactly how you feel. I've had similar feelings but they're feelings I think I've managed to move on from. I like the feeling of power and freedom I get on my bicycle. That feeling is increased by the feeling that I can glide over the earth at a good clip with little effort. Then hills become an unwelcome interruption in that feeling by introducing reality to the whole equation.

There have been some good posts on this thread about hills. I'd like to see if I can add just a little bit. Not to improve on the comments about strategy on a hill, but to comment on an attitude you might strive for. One thing you have to accept up front is that going uphill requires more effort if you want to maintain your speed! Yes, that's obvious right? But are you really fully accepting that and accepting the full magnitude of that reality on a feeling level?

I know that at one time I did not accept hills that way. And the old feelings come back sometimes, but with a lot of riding experience I can now sweep them away and enjoy myself at a truly sustainable rate. I don't mean sustainable, like it's pushing me to the limit. I mean sustainable like my mind is freed up to enjoy the natural beauty I find along the way and I'm at comfort with my surroundings.

Make a rule for yourself. If you're going up hill on tour then you shouldn't be trying for a real hard workout - you're riding all day and make it pleasant. If you're going up a hill, upshift early in the climb. Don't wait till you need to finally accept reality in recognition that you can't sustain your effort. Trust your feelings. If the riding becomes difficult, even if your perception of the terrain tells your intuition that it should not be difficult, slow down. Upshift. Keep a good cadence. Let me stress that you're doing this based on how you feel, not based on your perception of the terrain and how fast you think you should be able to go.

Also recognize that long hills are harder than short hills. With a pretty short hill I might give it short unsustainable push and go over it by holding my momentum. I do that much less on a touring bike than when unloaded. Once the hill gets longer than that I'll upshift early and keep my cadence up. But then as you're going up the hill, you're not done pushing perhaps intuitive negative feelings away. The next reality to recognize is that what feels like a sustainable gear on a short hill will not be sustainable on a long one. Your legs start out with more energy in reserve than you can maintain over time and once those reserves run thin they'll let you know. Don't make that a negative signal you're unwilling to accept early! Upshift more as necessary. And upshift early as necessary! Don't wait till your legs hurt - you're likely to put yourself behind the eight ball and end up climbing the hill ragged and out of breath and inefficient and slower than if you just slowed down earlier.

Also don't let cars make you feel like you're going up too slow. I have this feeling that I need to push out of my mind with rationalization. It leads to pushing yourself to the limit to reduce the frustration that car drivers might (or maybe obviously) feel following behind you and finding passing difficult. Luckily this seems to be a small factor on the open highway. I find this more in congested areas. But realize that if you're going six miles per hour instead of eight, that can make a HUGE difference in how you feel and how well you can manage an extended climb. But this makes NO difference to the cars! You might feel at six mph that you are SO slow. But again, it's all the same to the cars. So why not slow down?

In the end, if you're going up a hill and huffing and puffing and not actually wanting to do that (i.e. not looking for a workout), then upshift! If you're in first gear doing that then you've finally hit a real barrier. Grin and bear it, change your gearing, choose a different route, lighten your load, etc. But if you're not in first gear, which is almost always the case, then look at those lower gears as friends that are trying to make your trip more enjoyable. Accept their help by letting them participate in the ride.
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