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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Western PA

    Self contained touring?

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    Does anyone do self-contained touring with panniers anymore? I would love to, and to introduce my 17 year old daughter to it. Haven't done it in 20 years, but rode through most of the lower 48 when I was in my 20s. (I just proudly turned 50!)

    Can't seem to find groups or folks interested. Or maybe they're just independent--the beauty of being self contained--and go their own way when and where they want.

    We have a week available in mid July. Would go anywhere w/in about a 6-7 hour drive of Pittsburgh. Any suggestions or anyone interested?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    WA State
    My mom and I used to do weekend tours often when I lived in Pittsburgh. Our favorite place to ride was out in Central Pa - around the Center County / State College area. I have an old book - I think its out of print, but I've seen copies still available on Amazon called 25 Bicycle Tours in Eastern Pennsylvania by Dale Adams and Dale Speicher. Its go a few nice loops of around 55 miles that make good weekend tours or good starts for longer ones. The terrain is mostly rolling valleys - quiet roads, lovely scenery and lots of state parks to camp at. A park I think called Greenwood Furnace was one of my favorites.
    "Sharing the road means getting along, not getting ahead" - 1994 Washington State Driver's Guide

    visit my flickr stream http://flic.kr/ps/MMu5N

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    North Andover, Massachusetts USA
    Barb -
    I do self-contained touring, sometimes with panniers, sometimes with a trailer. There are quite a few of us wandering on our bikes, but in the overall scheme of things I suppose the numbers are pretty small. Seems that more people are interested in supported tours than self-supported. I've done both, and my preference right now is self-supported.

    You might be able to find some ideas for routes in your area by looking at some of the journals at crazyguyonabike.com. There are over 1000 journals there about touring (including a few of my own that can be accessed at http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/denisegoldberg). My own experience doesn't include anything in Pennsylvania except the small stretch along Lake Erie. I'll be very interested in hearing about your plans and your trip. I think it's awesome that you want to introduce your daughter to touring.

    --- Denise

    • Click here for links to journals and photo galleries from my travels on two wheels and two feet.
    • Random thoughts and experiences in my blog at denisegoldberg.blogspot.com

    "To truly find yourself you should play hide and seek alone."
    (quote courtesy of an unknown fortune cookie writer)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Traveling Nomad
    Raising hand...

    I've only done this one in Fall 2004 (oh, and one single overnight two-day tour to practice for the real thing!), but it was amazing! I highly recommend this form of travel.

    Hope you are able to do a tour too. Maybe our website will give you some ideas and/or encouragement!


    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flow
    2007 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow
    2004 Bike Friday Petite Pocket Crusoe - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Victoria, BC
    I've done a couple of shorter (3-day) self-contained tours in the last year - I highly recommend the finger lakes region to you. We started in Ithaca, biked north along the western side of a lake, crossed over to the next lake to the west, and biked south along its eastern shore, and then back to Ithaca. There are some great wineries and historical sites, and amazing vistas. Good restaurants in Ithaca too to make up for burning so many calories during the trip! Most recently we did a weekend self-contained bike tour in Eastern Long Island - went east along the northern fork, crossed shelter island, through sag harbor to a beautiful campground in northampton, and back. I'm currently living in State College in central PA, so if you want some local suggestions, I'd be glad to give you more. The roads around here are beautiful and the valleys of the valley and ridge province are so different from one another. You should also consider something up around Lake Erie - that might be nice. Other areas I'd recommend are in/near the Allegheny National Forest and in/near Sproul State Forest (near Snoeshoe/Renovo, PA) - these are gorgeous, have good roads, access to great camping and either lakes or rivers or great hiking trails.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Between the Blue Ridge and the Chesapeake Bay
    I toured across France when I was 15. It took a month. We carried all of our gear (tent, sleeping bag, panniers of clothes and tools). It was great fun and I was at an age before anyone told me that I could NOT do something.

    Go for it!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Me too!

    I enjoy putting stuff on my bike and going places. In fact, DH & I gave each other panniers for our anniversary this year. Come October we'll be riding the Katy Trail (http://www.mostateparks.com/katytrail/index.html) together.

    I've got other plans, too, but it's too early to share them.
    Give big space to the festive dog that make sport in the roadway. Avoid entanglement with your wheel spoke.
    (Sign in Japan)

    1978 Raleigh Gran Prix
    2003 EZ Sport AX



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