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Several people stopped to ask me questions, as I was the only one around who was traveling by bike, and I hope those who said they wanted to do bike traveling will do so.
I haven't tried a backpack, but I cant imagine it being terribly comfortable.It's not to bad for a 30-40 mile winter ride with some essentials (15 lbs or so) but it's no fun in summer--the warmer the temperature, the heavier it seems to get! It is truly amazing how much stuff you can fit in the jersey pockets, seat bag and, if necessary, seatpost mounted rack/bag.
You may have to live with neck and shoulder pain and aspirin. Almost every book I have read on touring mentioned it. On all my tours I've had it. There are various sports stretches which target the muscles and bones in those areas. They can relieve tension and stress. Many complained of pain in the lower back-spinal area, most particularly when climbing hills. Every form of transportation has its tradeoffs. Every form of refuge has its price.In addition to getting the fit right, I have to do a whole series of stretches several times a week. They seem to help a lot for the activities I do. biking seems to be one of the hardest on the body. I have to stretch for achilles, hamstring, lower back, and neck problems. I seem to have reached the place where, with the fit right and the stretching, and some work with light weights, things are good. I'm also 61 and was touring and riding a lot 30 years ago with very few of these concern.
No politics here, just worry!And justified worry, I think. I would not want to be stealth camping in parts of that route. In fact, There were places in Southern