Author Topic: Vermont - Independent Support Companies  (Read 744 times)

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Offline cyclist11234

Vermont - Independent Support Companies
« on: February 15, 2014, 12:47:12 am »
Hi,

I am planning on doing the Green Mountains Loop in Vermont this summer (first bike trip). I just learned it's a bad idea to put panniers on my bike, so I need a support van to transport my gear from destination to destination. Does anyone know of companies in Vermont that offer such a service?

I've found a couple that advertise independent support tours, but it looks like they only transport gear on their own specific routes.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Offline staehpj1

Re: Vermont - Independent Support Companies
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2014, 06:47:39 am »
I just learned it's a bad idea to put panniers on my bike
Why is that?  I find I can carry my gear on any bike just fine.  It helps if you pack very light. If you go light enough panniers are not even necessary.  If you don't pack light and have a bike that won't handle a heavy load in racks and panniers a trailer is an option.

It is your choice, but having a motor vehicle in the mix changes the touring experience in some very fundamental ways.  For me it would be likely to spoil the trip.

If you decide you want to go really light, ride a light bike, and avoid the heavy gear load check out my article on my ultralight experiences at:
http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/Ultralight

Offline DaveB

Re: Vermont - Independent Support Companies
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2014, 08:34:46 am »
. I just learned it's a bad idea to put panniers on my bike...
I'll also ask who told you this and what the reasoning was.   Nearly any bike can be fitted with a rack and panniers.  Obviously touring bikes are designed to do this most easily but most other designs can be adapted if you keep your loads reasonably light.

Offline cyclist11234

Re: Vermont - Independent Support Companies
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2014, 09:21:12 am »
I have a cervelo RS. It's not the fanciest by any means, but it's a racing bike - carbon fibre frame and seat post. I didn't think there would be a problem with putting racks & panniers on it, but there was some vitriol on cervelo message boards about the idea of putting packs on one. I wasn't sure if this was just from stubborn traditionalists, so I checked with a mechanic at the shop I bought it from and he thought it would be bad for the seat clamp - so even if I switched out the carbon seat post for an aluminum one the seat clamp wouldn't take the strain.

Anyways I'm obviously still in the very early stages of planning and am open to all options (other than buying a new bike). I agree that having a car transport gear would detract from the experience, but I'm just trying to cover my bases (so if anyone has suggestions on that end still would love to hear!). It's a relatively short trip (5-6 nights) so I know I could pack light.

If I stay at inns, purchase my meals (indulgent, I know, but trying to keep things simple for my first time) bring one change of clothes and the necessary bike maintenance tools, can I get by without panniers? I.e. with a really large bento box and saddle bag? Might have to forgo rain gear but it would be warm enough not to really matter, I hope.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Vermont - Independent Support Companies
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2014, 09:40:28 am »
The Cervelo RS looks like a great bike for ultralight touring.  You could use bike packing bags, a rack with UL stuff sacks attached, or a saddle bag.  Nun, who posts here has an RS and uses the saddle bag approach.

I toured coast to coast on the ST with a guy with a similar bike and he used a trailer.  He had a couple bent derailleur hangers that he blamed on the trailer, but he was loaded VERY heavy.  I think he would have been fine if he had packed more carefully (lighter).

It isn't all that hard to camp and cook with less than 20 pounds of gear and less than 10 pounds is doable with careful planning and minimal gear and clothing.  Your bike can easily handle that kind of load.

Offline mdxix

Re: Vermont - Independent Support Companies
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2014, 01:00:10 pm »
Take a look at Revelate Designs for various frame, seat, & handlebar bag options.

Offline cyclist11234

Re: Vermont - Independent Support Companies
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2014, 09:00:04 pm »
Thanks! It looks like the saddle bag and 1/2 frame pack would do the job. Did not know these were options. It was the torque created by a seat post pannier rack that would have been problematic for the seat clamp.

Offline briwasson

Re: Vermont - Independent Support Companies
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2014, 09:18:07 am »
Why not use a trailer? That's what most folks who want to tour on "racing" bikes do. If you are worried about stressing the dropouts too much, use a two-wheeled trailer like a Burley, which puts less weight in the trailer tongue.