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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Perpetual Confusion and Indecision
    Posts
    488

    Why No Touring Topic??

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    It seems to me touring would be worthy of its own space, like mountain biking, cyclocross or funny funny stories. I wanna talk about touring!

    I acquired a lovely new Trek 520 last summer, and have gradually been accumulating panniers, handlebar bag, light, mirror, hand-me-down front rack, .... in the hope that by the time I've spent the first billion dollars I'll be able to do unsupported touring. While I've commuted to work on it a few times, next weekend is the big test trip. My buddy and her DH spent 3 months touring Europe years ago, so they are all into it. My DH, not so much. He's sort of coming around, but not in time for this trip. We're just going up to Copper Harbor, maybe 40-ish miles away, camping a couple of nights, and then coming back. DH couldn't part with DD (Dear Doggie) for the whole weekend, and doesn't have a touring rig, so he and Zoe will meet us up there, with her somewhat worn out (hopefully) with some mountain biking. If she's too rambunctious, they will come back that first night, so as not to be too annoying to other campers. She's 50 lbs of pure Aussie-mix energy, and loves everyone. Anyhooo, I'm all excited (and sorta scared, for some reason).

    I also am not sure about my setup. For instance, I had my light mounted on the handlebars. I bought my front panniers and handlebar bag online, so I didn't see the handlebar bag in person. It's an Ortlieb Ultimate 5 Classic, size M - so smaller than the only other size, which is L Takes up some acreage. Acreage needed for the light. If I move the light, the light takes up acreage needed for my hands. Where should I put this thing? I'm playing with putting it on the fork, on top of the brake mount, thinking that would keep it from slipping down farther (it doesn't in any way interfere with the brakes there). I'm having trouble with the light mounting bracket (Cateye 510) not wanting to tighten down enough - it seems to jam at various points, and sometimes acts like it won't tighten OR loosen, ever again. Even if I get that part straightened out, I'm thinking it will want to be pointing slightly up, which just isn't going to work.

    Anybody have a super-neato mounting location for their headlight? As you can see in the photo, the bag comes up too high to be able to get the light to shine over the top of it. I assumed it would sit lower (the bag), and not affect the mounting of other things. Well, I probably won't need the light yet, anyway. I'll be off the road long before dark every night.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX
    Posts
    98
    That looks like a great rig.

    I am mostly ignorant about touring, though the idea is interesting. We have a very nice camp ground about 50 miles from here and my biking buddy and I have talked about riding to it, with her hubby bringing the camping gear behind us. Would that count?

    Sounds like you have a great adventure ahead of you. As for hubby and dog, look into a walky-dog (attaches to the bike frame so that the dog can run along side but it's designed to keep him away from your wheels) and a dog trailer. That way the dog can get exercise for a while, then when he tires can ride in the trailer. Eventually you all could tour together.

    Have a fun trip.

    Barbara

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Longmont, CO
    Posts
    545
    I don't tour, but I think a touring topic is a great idea. I'm fascinated by the whole idea, in a "wow I don't think I would want to do that" kind of way.
    monique

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    2,559
    Me, too! Me, too! I'm leaving in one week for 4 days on the Great Allegheny Passage/C&O Canal rail-trail. I'll be carrying two sets of front panniers and no handlebar bag, though I do have a map case for the handlebars. I'll post a picture when I get the bike loaded. Skierchickie, have you thought about a helmet-mounted light?
    Oil is good, grease is better.

    2007 Peter Mooney w/S&S couplers/Terry Butterfly
    1993 Bridgestone MB-3/Avocet O2 Air 40W
    1980 Columbus Frame with 1970 Campy parts
    1954 Raleigh 3-speed/Brooks B72

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    I'm the only one allowed to whine
    Posts
    10,576
    Lights are nice in the daytime, if only because they make you more obvious to cars. (When I'm driving I *definitely* see the bikes with "see mes" flashing in the daytime better than the bikes with no lights going)

    I have a side-facing blinkie mounted where you are talking about putting your light. It seems to be a pretty good spot.

    Does the bar bag have a mounting loop on the front anywhere that you could put a "see me" for your daytime rides? (the Planet Bike Superflash blinkies are amazingly bright and have a nice mounting set up)

    I've also had a nice effect from putting a Mutant Guppy blinkie on the top of my helmet (feed the loop through the vent holes). It blinks in whatever direction you turn your head, so if you look at a car, you also blink directly at that car.

    Oh, and if having your Ortlieb shoulder strap hanging out near your front spokes makes you nervous, you can take it off or tuck it into the bag, fold the sides of the bag in like a paper lunch bag, and then roll it down and click the closure strap. I go over enough rough pavement that I prefer to just remove the shoulder strap. But I'm a worry wart.

    Not the best picture of my Ortlieb, and its full of funny-shaped stuff, but you can see it if you squint a little:
    Last edited by KnottedYet; 05-18-2008 at 07:31 AM.
    "If Americans want to live the American Dream, they should go to Denmark." - Richard Wilkinson

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    8,548
    my lights attach to my wheel which has a Schmidt dynahub.

    we talk about touring a lot, just not in its own category!
    Mimi Team TE BIANCHISTA
    for six tanks of gas you could have bought a bike.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Bainbridge Island, Washington
    Posts
    8

    Absolutely - touring as a separate category

    In fact, I just discovered this forum, and came here especially for touring info. If someone knows how to set up a touring category, I'm all for it.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Perpetual Confusion and Indecision
    Posts
    488
    Quote Originally Posted by bounceswoosh View Post
    I'm fascinated by the whole idea, in a "wow I don't think I would want to do that" kind of way.
    Hee hee! I know what you mean. I sort of got bitten by the bug, thinking how cool it would be to see Alaska that way. Then my friend was talking about how cool it would be to ride to Ely MN, when we went to the Boundary Waters last summer. Reality check: just putting my clothes, shoes & lunch in my panniers to ride to work slows me down by about 2 mph average. And it feels like more work. Now I'll have a tent, etc.

    Barbara: Thanks! That would be considered a supported tour - still counts. From what I've read on Bike Forums, a lot of people "credit card tour", eating in restaurants and sleeping in motels. I'm just intrigued by the whole brute-strength aspect of carrying everything - however much I may find I hate it in practice!
    I've thought about the walky-dog thing. I'm concerned though - she isn't real leash-trained (we live in the country, and she doesn't get regular walks - when I run with her I use a leash that attaches around my waist if we're near the road, and otherwise she runs free in the woods. My DH uses a regular leash on the road, but doesn't try to keep her by his side, however much I nag him). We skijor with her sometimes, and so she's learned to pull. I tried riding down our gravel (extremely lightly traveled) road Friday, to get to some two-tracks about 1/2 mile away, on my MTB. Couldn't get her to stop pulling, so I rode the brakes a lot while yelling. Once it smoothed out and I was positive there were no cars, I let her go a little, and she just kept running faster and faster. Fun, but not going to work on tour. Practice, practice, practice, I guess. Maybe I should get a walky-dog to ride short stretches with, and see if she acts differently. I wonder how much harder a 50lb dog in a trailer would be to pull, in addition to the full load? So many what-ifs. Like what if we couldn't pull her and our stuff up some monster hill, and needed her to walk, but there was traffic? I fret about things like that.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Perpetual Confusion and Indecision
    Posts
    488
    Yeah, I need to figure out this light issue. I do have front and rear blinkies - it's just the light I got for seeing where I'm going if I get caught out too late or something. The front blinkie I think I can move to the fork with no problem - I haven't checked that out yet. The handlebar bag doesn't appear to have anything to hook to in front. I'm going to need to find another location for the rear blinkie, too - the seat bag will be blocked by the tent and stuff. Odd - it seems like rear panniers would have a blinkie mount, pretty standard.

    The helmet light might be the best solution. I got the Cateye thinking it was the standard mounting location, not too expensive, etc. I don't want to spend buku $$ for something I'll almost never use. I know there are some really nice ones out there. Hmmm - I do have a headlight (literally - straps to my head) for skiing at night. Better than nothing.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Spokane, WA
    Posts
    818

    Me Too!

    Yep. Add me to thoses who have been bit by the touring bug. We did a kinda sorta tour in Western Washington's Skagit Valley and San Juan Island (Lopez) in April. I/we had a great time. We are planning multiple mini tours and overnighters to get the kinks worked out and see if we really can spending day after day on a bike.

    We have decided to go with BOB trailers instead of Panniers. My husband got me a trailer for christmas and I returned the favor and got him one after pulling all our stuff around Lopez Island. We WAAAY over packed. I use my trailer every week for groceries and to haul stuff to work. So far I really like it. Our first overnighter is going to be in two weeks. We're going down to the local state park and camp. No epic mileage but will be the first time hauling and using all the camping gear. bikerHen

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Riding my Luna & Rivendell in the Hudson Valley, NY
    Posts
    8,409

    Exclamation Yes we need a TOURING forum category

    Not that I'm currently a multi-day touring cyclist, but I've always thought there should be a Touring forum on TE. Right now, the closest thing is "Adventure Stories", where some have posted their epic rides. But it's not the same- we should be able to discuss practical touring details without having to recount 'adventures'. It's at least as relevant and distinct as Cyclocross or Race Results. And it's different in so many ways from commuting.
    Touring is gaining in popularity.
    Lisa
    Our bikes...OurBikes...and my mountain dulcimer blog
    Ruby's Website and My blog
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  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Longmont, CO
    Posts
    545
    I also kind of wonder why there is no "road riding" topic. Is that just the assumed default?
    monique

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX
    Posts
    98
    From what my friend has said, pulling is not an issue with the walkie-dog. odd are low that your dog can go faster than you on the bike for very long, and leaps to the side are mitigated by the design of the walkie-dog.

    Just a though.

    Maybe the dog needs some professional training.

    Barbara

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
    Posts
    6,981
    A separate touring topic space would be useful. Not every touring ride is an epic adventure...but it is different to do one's own self-loaded touring ride even for a few days.

    I actually have only done 2 touring rides where there was a sag wagon, all other multiday or multi-wk. trips we cycled with our own panniers, camping gear and he made up the route. Longest self-supported ride was in the Canadian Maritime provinces, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick with a blend of camping and bed 'n breakfasts ..for 3 wks. Just over 1,100 kms.

    Other non sag wagon, self-designed touring rides in: Vermont, Hawaii, southern Ontario, southern Quebec and whenever we go to Vancouver Island and Gulf islands. We don't have a car and only rent one rarely annually.

    My partner has done several extensive self-loaded touring rides, most of it solo across North America. His longest ride was 9,000 kms. That 3 years ago. He is retired, though now becoming semi-retired now..

    So you can see, why I have done my own cycling solo at home, for huge hunks of time. That's ok, we still share cycling stories everyday while he's on the road.

    Self-loaded touring is another type of athleticism...both physically and mentally. Locals also respond to you, on bike, differently than carbound tourists since you are open, "out there" on the bike.
    Last edited by shootingstar; 05-18-2008 at 03:19 PM.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    where the wind comes sweeping down the plain
    Posts
    5,269
    I agree about a Touring section all on its own! I've really been excited about doing some touring this summer (after spending all winter reading journals on www.crazyguyonabike.com). I think I'm addicted and I haven't even done one measly tour yet (my first will be a 4 day in early June). I've bought an older Trek set up for touring, have rear panniers and a ginormous handlebar bag (I'm in the same quandry as you, skierchickie). I bought a headlamp for my head in camp, and I can put it on my helmet should I find myself out after dark. It wouldn't be ideal, but would work. I'm toying with putting trekking bars on my flat bar tourer. I need more hand positions, but need the upright sitting position.

    Anyway- I could get carried away. I was just thinking the same thing the other day about wishing there were a touring topic on TE! Thanks for voicing your wishes (as there are surely many of us out there who would love it as well).
    Check out my running blog: www.turtlepacing.blogspot.com

    Cervelo P2C (tri bike)
    Bianchi Eros (commuter/touring road bike)

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