Touring, Bikepacking, and Long-Distance Cycling

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Stasher
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Re: Touring, Bikepacking, and Long-Distance Cycling

Post by Stasher »

There are so many great responses on here and looks like you have gotten loads of ideas.
I think from reading your journal you are into backpacking WRC, have you built up a good kit and focused at all on lightweight and minimal gear? Basically you are taking that gear and just strapping it to a bike. Personally dont overthink it and dont over do it by taking to much, in my opinion simple is better.

I am a huge fan of just setting out from your front door on adventures, definitely go this route. I recently did this huge route from my house and it was awesome. https://www.chrisistace.com/bikepacking ... oast-loop/

I have 2 bikes I use for bikepacking, my downhill mountain bike with a simple setup of using a few bags and then just dry bags strapped to the bike. I also have a gravel bike all set up. As mentioned above every single bike will get you there and you will love traveling by bike.
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My personal top pics for youtube channels for cycling and bike packing are
Ryan Duzer - bike packed/toured everywhere https://www.youtube.com/user/Duzaster
Path Less Pedaled - bikepacking and everything bike related https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaThRB ... K4seqq3-Sw
Dustin Klein (more big day ride focused) as he is just a brilliant funny creator https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCV9WtB ... 3Rev5PWy-Q

Then the ultimate resources including their incredible bike route database
https://bikepacking.com

Great advice from Gilberto on tweaking your new bike as a good place to start. I suggest removing the front rack and panniers for wind resistance if you plan to use the trailer.

Love the trip that MoreTrees did and hope to ride from the Olympic Peninsula to SanFran when the world returns to normal.

Wow...looks like I need to make time for a 60day trip BMF1102, that Western Highland route is awesome. I did a road trip to all those spots and to see them remotely via bike would be awesome. Again as said above, come on border and Covid get back to normal.

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Alphaville
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Re: Touring, Bikepacking, and Long-Distance Cycling

Post by Alphaville »

i own the park tool manual in kindle form, and it's great for repairs, and setting up your shop, but ultimately it's just a repair manual. you could also get zinn's mountain bike edition, very comprehensive.

no other writing corpus however gives you the full comprehension of what's going on like the sheldon brown website. that's where i go "ah!" or "eureka!", because it's not about "part a attaches to part b" but the what and the why and the when of it all. you get to understand the whole system not just the parts of a bicycle.

my brain is the type that requires the big picture before getting into the specifics, and that website delivers every time.

Western Red Cedar
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Re: Touring, Bikepacking, and Long-Distance Cycling

Post by Western Red Cedar »

@theanimal - Thanks for the feedback. Your recent trip looked amazing. I'm looking forward to checking out that channel when I have some time.
theanimal wrote:
Sun Mar 21, 2021 9:54 pm
I guess it's an aside but also my way of saying beware of having too much space as your gear will expand to fill it.
I've found this is true on all my travels. One of the nice things about the routes I'm looking at are the towns and communities I'll likely be riding through. It allows a more minimalist approach to planning for food.

@GDP - Loads of good advice and suggestions there. One of the nice things about the purchase was that I was able to spend an hour talking to the seller about the ins and outs of the bike, and why he set it up and designed it as he did. In a literal sense, there are a lot of bells and whistles included that probably aren't quite necessary (2 different bells :) ). He called the thing on the seat post his burglar alarm. The trunk bag was full of all kinds of spare parts, multi tool, instructions, and other goodies.

I've run across Crazy Guy on a Bike and he had lots of fun stories. Really enjoyed his perspective.

@Stasher - thanks for chiming in and all the links! Your trip on Vancouver Island looks awesome.

*ETA - Love the picture of your bike and setup. It looks both minimal and highly functional.
Stasher wrote:
Tue Mar 23, 2021 9:54 am
Personally dont overthink it and dont over do it by taking to much, in my opinion simple is better.

I am a huge fan of just setting out from your front door on adventures, definitely go this route.
Great advice! I've settled on a route for a shorter, test-run that I can do from my back door, but will also include a lot of separated/paved bike trails. Hoping to make it out when it warms up a bit in the Spring. I have a lot of lightweight backpacking gear, and think I could probably fit most of my stuff in the two rear panniers, with a sleeping bag and tent strapped on the rear rack.

@Alpahville - I'll be sure to check out Sheldon Brown when I have some downtime. Thanks for the recommendation.

Western Red Cedar
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Re: Touring, Bikepacking, and Long-Distance Cycling

Post by Western Red Cedar »

Update:

I took the new bike out for a 12 mile ride on my lunch break on Thursday, and then a 37.5 mile ride yesterday. That was my longest ride ever. I was a bit sore today, but felt good enough to go on a hike for a few miles with DW. I think I'd like to do a 45-50 mile ride before tackling a tour with gear. The route I selected was ideal. It was mostly on a separated rail-to-trail, but included a couple miles of urban riding, four miles of highway/shoulder riding, and a couple miles on trails.

I stumbled across a large complex of wetlands with miles of trails. Loads of different birds, and I even had a moose run across the trail about 20 feet in front of me. It was a lovely afternoon and a good reminder how satisfying it is to explore new places via bicycle.

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Initial observations:

-I love riding with a speedometer and odometer. It is nice to be able to accurately track distance and speed.

-The bike rides really smooth. I realized I've probably been neglecting my old mountain bike after taking the new trek out on Thursday. I stopped by REI to pick up some cleaner and lube to do a little tuneup on Friday.

-Riding without shocks is a very different experience. I can really feel it when I ride off road or even over little bumps.

-I like being able to ride with a straight back. I feel completely different when I'm on this bike. It feels much more like a leisurely cruiser. The basket adds to this vibe. I'm kind of thinking of picking up an ET stuffed animal and putting it in the basket for a longer tour :)

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Alphaville
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Re: Touring, Bikepacking, and Long-Distance Cycling

Post by Alphaville »

dammit, i love the look of that bike but the handlebars do my head in :D

can you explain their operation?

Western Red Cedar
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Re: Touring, Bikepacking, and Long-Distance Cycling

Post by Western Red Cedar »

It feels like driving a car when I use the drop-up option. I don't have access to the brakes with that placement, but I can sit with a perfectly straight back and good control, which is nice.

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Alphaville
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Re: Touring, Bikepacking, and Long-Distance Cycling

Post by Alphaville »

so like a kludge for sweepback bar effect?

Western Red Cedar
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Re: Touring, Bikepacking, and Long-Distance Cycling

Post by Western Red Cedar »

Possibly - I think they are traditional dropdowns that he added to swept back bars, but positioned upright. I actually like them in their position, but haven't messed with them yet.

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Alphaville
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Re: Touring, Bikepacking, and Long-Distance Cycling

Post by Alphaville »

you might wanna experiment with a nitto north road handlebar in there. you might like the upright geometry plus brakes.

i'm currently looking for an albatross but they're sold out everywhere... prolly stuck in the suez canal :D

basic difference between the north road and albatross is the tubes are capped in the north roads... slightly narrower too, like 5mm or so as i recall. but so much comfort. ofc not aerodynamic if you feel like racing :D

sky
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Re: Touring, Bikepacking, and Long-Distance Cycling

Post by sky »

Thats a nice looking bike. I have a similar handlebar, but I put the bar ends on the inside of the brake levers. It gives me an aero position and it is a comfortable change from the regular handlebar grip position.

Stasher
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Re: Touring, Bikepacking, and Long-Distance Cycling

Post by Stasher »

Great idea to keep doing this shakedown rides and find out what works vs doesn't work for you. Tweak the handle bars and seat height/angle/distance to get the right fit and zero in on long range multi day comfort. I would suggest maybe trying to do some grocery runs next and load up the bags to see how it handles with weight and cargo on it. Awesome experience having that moose join you for a moment, thanks for the update.

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Alphaville
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Re: Touring, Bikepacking, and Long-Distance Cycling

Post by Alphaville »

btw speaking of @animal's shifting problem you might wanna do friction shifters also in advance of touring

mira: https://www.cyclingabout.com/use-barend ... e-touring/

Western Red Cedar
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Re: Touring, Bikepacking, and Long-Distance Cycling

Post by Western Red Cedar »

@Alphaville - thanks for the link and suggestions! My current plan is to just take the bike and do a 3-4 day tour when I can get some time off work and the weather improves. I realize I'm really ignorant now in terms of bikes, but I've already learned a lot over the last couple of weeks and figure I'll pick up more if I get out there and do it. Most of the routes I have planned are under 500 miles, but if I get inspired and think about long-term travel then I'll probably need to think more seriously about my current setup and maintenance skills.

@sky and @stasher - appreciate the feedback and support. I'll keep tinkering with the setup and provide updates here as I make progress.

Western Red Cedar
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Re: Touring, Bikepacking, and Long-Distance Cycling

Post by Western Red Cedar »

Update:

My dad was apparently inspired by my new bike and touring plans. He picked up a used mountain bike for free from a family friend. It's at REI right now for a tuneup, and he's looking forward to heading out with me for some rides around the city.

He rode regularly in his 20's, but is almost 70 and I'm guessing he probably hasn't rode a bike for 40+ years.

I'm a big believer that some of the magic that happens on these forums spills out and ripples into real life. Cheers!

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Alphaville
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Re: Touring, Bikepacking, and Long-Distance Cycling

Post by Alphaville »

haha, congrats! that is fantastic news.

Stasher
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Re: Touring, Bikepacking, and Long-Distance Cycling

Post by Stasher »

@WRC it will be great to get out and ride with him, enjoy the time together.
Have you gotten out on any longer rides or modified the bike any further?

Western Red Cedar
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Re: Touring, Bikepacking, and Long-Distance Cycling

Post by Western Red Cedar »

@Stasher - I've been pretty bogged down with family stuff the last few weeks. I took the MTB out on Sunday for a 22 mile ride which is the longest I've done since the 37 mile ride. I've been regularly getting out on my lunch break for 10-14 mile rides, but mostly using the MTB since I did a tuneup.

I did adjust the saddle a bit and tried out some different gear setups with my new dry sack. I'm leaning towards leaving the stove and cookware at home if I'm going out for less than 3-4 days. This is often my approach on backpacking trips to keep things simple and cut weight. It should be easier on a tour with access to restaurants or grocery stores.

I'm looking forward to getting out more as the weather keeps getting better.

Western Red Cedar
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Re: Touring, Bikepacking, and Long-Distance Cycling

Post by Western Red Cedar »

A new personal record on Sunday - 46+ miles. I was feeling good and could of kept going, but I was losing daylight. A little sore the next day, so it will be interesting trying to do that multiple days in a row. Simply stopping for 5-10 minutes when I get tired is usually sufficient to lift my spirits and carry on.

I may try a quick overnighter with some stealth camping in a state park next month, or I may just jump into a ride across the Idaho panhandle and back depending on my schedule.

Stasher
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Re: Touring, Bikepacking, and Long-Distance Cycling

Post by Stasher »

Western Red Cedar wrote:
Tue Apr 27, 2021 8:07 pm
A new personal record on Sunday - 46+ miles.
Way to go WRC , did you make any major changes to the bike to improve your distance? Be sure to get enough fuel into your body at least once every hour so you don't bonk when you are still 20 miles from home our your destination. :D

For other pack setups here is my gravel bike. I felt lacking in a bit of storage for longer trips so I had my friend make me a custom full frame bag that I am hoping to take out for a similar quick local stealth overnighter. The new frame bag will hold so much more than the little one I had (which will now be good to leave on the MTB)

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Western Red Cedar
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Re: Touring, Bikepacking, and Long-Distance Cycling

Post by Western Red Cedar »

@Stasher - I adjusted the saddle a bit again but no other major adjustments. I stuck mostly to paved trails and streets, which makes it a lot easier to cover distance than if I'm riding on dirt and gravel trails. I'm planning on adjusting the handlebars before I take it out next time.

I dig the setup on your other bike. After the last couple of months, I can see the allure of bikepacking.

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