Author Topic: Touring  (Read 2302 times)

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Offline walt

Touring
« on: April 10, 2011, 12:30:20 pm »
We’re a mid-50’s couple planning a trip from MA to FL, leaving mid-October. We have a few questions about touring that we haven’t seen asked on the forum and hope someone has input. My husband rides a bit faster than me and we’re wondering how to distribute the weight in the panniers to equalize our speeds. We plan to cover about 80 miles a day and have done long rides but not for weeks at a time. What’s the best way to break up our daily rides so we can keep going day after day? Thank you . D. Walt

Offline John Nelson

Re: Touring
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2011, 12:49:33 pm »
how to distribute the weight in the panniers to equalize our speeds.
If you are going to carry a tent and/or stove, those are obvious thing to give him. You are going to want to keep certain stuff with you in case you get accidentally separated. Keep some money, some food, your water, a map, your tire patching stuff, your cell phone, and some warmer clothes if there is any chance of it getting cold. He can carry the toiletries, non-essential drugs, camping stuff, spare clothes (including all off-bike clothes for both of you), and extra tools and parts. This might enable you to use only one pair of panniers. You might experiment with using only small front panniers, with perhaps a small bag strapped to the top of the rear rack. This will save you the weight of the extra pair of panniers, which can be significant all by itself.

You can only equal out the speeds somewhat, however, with weight. There's a good chance he'll still be faster. You should decide in advance what strategy you'll use. Will you ride together at all times? Will you stay in sight? Will you meet at the top of the hill? or the next town? or a preselected restaurant? If you do agree to sometimes ride out of sight, then I suggest that whenever one of you stops, you leave the bike in clear sight by the side of the road so that there's little chance of the other one passes by without noticing.


What’s the best way to break up our daily rides so we can keep going day after day?
Stop frequently, at least once an hour. Have something to eat before you start. Then start early. Stop for a second breakfast. Take a break for lunch. Stop at points of interest. Take a small side hike. Overnight, get lots of sleep--at least an hour more than you do at home.

Offline csykes

Re: Touring
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2011, 01:40:22 pm »
Maybe you leave a little earlier and let him break camp and clean up!  Just make sure you are both completely clear about the route.

Offline valygrl

Re: Touring
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2011, 04:30:46 pm »
As a person who has been the slower one of a couple who didn't stay together the whole time, I can only recommend to you what it took me 5 weeks of touring to figure out:

Take care of yourself when you need to, do not wait to reconnect.  If you want to eat, pee, adjust your clothing, rest.... do NOT wait until you catch up to where he is waiting for you, do it right away. 

We distributed the weight so that he carried the tent and most of the cooking gear and more of the food, but he was still faster.  If there is a big size difference between the people it exaggerates the difference when you add weight.  An extra 20 pounds on him was like an extra 10 pounds on me (yes he weighed 2ce as much as me, and it wasn't fat, he was a big fit guy).  So don't be surprised if he carries almost everything, and he's still faster.  It's kind of to be expected.

Offline Patco

Re: Touring
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2011, 11:50:09 pm »
All I am able to suggest is the rule my spouse and I use. We backpack and we use the same rule when riding... we go as fast as the slowest person. We opt to be a couple and not two people riding together.

Offline tanslacks

Re: Touring
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2011, 01:18:16 am »
Patco says it quite well.
Quote
"we go as fast as the slowest person"

We are also in our fifties and we found a great way to even things out. I ride often farther and faster, so when I tour with my wife. I carry almost everything. My wife carries her soft items in rear panniers. I carry tent, cooking gear, food, sleeping bags in a BOB trailer. If she wants it, I carry it. My days are shorter than if I was traveling alone, but I find pulling a ton leaves me happy at the end of the day even with the shorter distances.

In reality touring with my wife has changed my appreciation for touring. I go slower (we stay together the whole ride) and I see SO much more.

Have fun. I love touring with my wife, I hope we can do it for a long, long time
« Last Edit: April 11, 2011, 01:19:55 am by tanslacks »

Offline Grumpybear

Re: Touring
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2011, 11:21:57 am »
+1 for what Patco said

I would add that riding together should be practiced. The faster rider needs to learn to be comfortable and happy with the slower pace. The slower rider needs to learn not to push to hard out of guilt for slowing up the pace.

Offline indyfabz

Re: Touring
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2011, 11:33:20 am »
We distributed the weight so that he carried the tent and most of the cooking gear and more of the food, but he was still faster.  If there is a big size difference between the people it exaggerates the difference when you add weight.  An extra 20 pounds on him was like an extra 10 pounds on me (yes he weighed 2ce as much as me, and it wasn't fat, he was a big fit guy).  So don't be surprised if he carries almost everything, and he's still faster.  It's kind of to be expected.

I am 6'2", about 208 when I am at my fighting weight.  My girlfriend, who I tour with, is 5', 105 sopping wet.  The above is what we experience.  When loaded, I often can ride faster than she does even though I carry the heavy stuff, including a 3P tent and virtually all of the cooking/eating gear.  On road rides, she's waiting for me at the top of the long hills.

I am happy to slow down or at least stop and wait from time to time if she falls behind.  It helps that I am the one taking most of the photos.  And she will wait for me if I fall behind because, for example, I had to shed a layer.  Definitely take care of your own needs when you need to.

Someone posted something like this on Bikeforums recently:  You must really love someone if you are willing to ride 5 mph fast or slower that usual to stay with them.  You must really hate someone if you are willing to ride 5 mph fast or slower than usual to get away from them.

Offline paddleboy17

Re: Touring
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2011, 01:02:59 pm »
Some good points have already been made.

As for 80 miles a day, "What is your hurry?".  I am of the opinion that touring should be a spiritually rewarding experience.  At 80 miles a day, your whole focus is going to be on the ground covered.  I would not do it that way. 

I will add to the position that you should stay together.  Divide the gear up to burden the faster rider, but still stay together.  Make this a shared experience. 
Danno

Offline tombrogan

Re: Touring
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2011, 03:27:11 pm »
Start by going very light. He carries 4 panniers and all the stuff. You take only a large seat pack large enough to carry a jacket, food, and your wallet. Do not separate. By you not even having a rack and rear panniers, you will save about 6 pounds. He is your sag wagon. This arrangement will only work if you are willing to go light. Here is an idea for the seat pack I am talking about from Carosel Design Works  http://www.flickr.com/photos/carouseldesignworks/3666941699/in/set-72157611514005907

Offline Tourista829

Re: Touring
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2011, 03:56:31 pm »
Do you know anyone with a tandem or contact a local tandem club? (Harris Cycles in West Newton, Mass might be able to help) It would solve your problem of keeping together. As stated before, you could do a combination of panniers and a trailer. I met a couple from the Netherlands who did this and made it across the USA.

Offline indyfabz

Re: Touring
« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2011, 11:39:11 am »
Start by going very light. He carries 4 panniers and all the stuff. You take only a large seat pack large enough to carry a jacket, food, and your wallet. Do not separate. By you not even having a rack and rear panniers, you will save about 6 pounds. He is your sag wagon. This arrangement will only work if you are willing to go light. Here is an idea for the seat pack I am talking about from Carosel Design Works  http://www.flickr.com/photos/carouseldesignworks/3666941699/in/set-72157611514005907


The tent, two sleeping bags, two sleeping pads, the cooking gear, all his clothes and other stuff and all her clothes and other stuff save a jacket?  That sounds like a mighty tall order from a capacity standpoint alone.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Touring
« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2011, 12:07:04 pm »
Start by going very light. He carries 4 panniers and all the stuff. You take only a large seat pack large enough to carry a jacket, food, and your wallet. Do not separate. By you not even having a rack and rear panniers, you will save about 6 pounds. He is your sag wagon. This arrangement will only work if you are willing to go light. Here is an idea for the seat pack I am talking about from Carosel Design Works  http://www.flickr.com/photos/carouseldesignworks/3666941699/in/set-72157611514005907


The tent, two sleeping bags, two sleeping pads, the cooking gear, all his clothes and other stuff and all her clothes and other stuff save a jacket?  That sounds like a mighty tall order from a capacity standpoint alone.
Sounds doable to me, especially if you pack fairly light, have gear that isn't too bulky, and have large panniers.  After all tandem riders do it all of the time.  Things like neoair sleeping pads and compression sacks for the sleeping bags help a lot in this regard.  Compressing clothes in ziplocs or a compression sack helps too.

I think I could have fit all of the gear my daughter and I had in the Sierras last year even with my smallish panniers but with some stuff on top of the racks.  With larger panniers it could have all fit in the panniers.  It wouldn't have made sense in our case since she was definitely the stronger rider on the climbs.  Maybe I should have given her more stuff, but she already had the tent :)

On the other hand I see some folks with more stuff for just one person than the two of us had combined.  So it all depends