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Messages - downtheroad

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General Discussion / Loaded Weight
« on: September 26, 2006, 11:34:40 am »
Dear Anna:

Your sugggestions were very helpful - thank you.  After I read your post, I started to think about ways to reduce the actual equipment/clothing/food weight. The first thing to go was the extra fuel bottle, extra tools, misc items, etc.  I also prepared several breakfasts and two dinners using ideas from the freezerbagcooking website.  This saved weight vs. carrying bulk food.  One can purchase food at specific points along the C&O trail but sometimes the location of the hiker/biker camp sites required that one carry some food.  While I was riding the road part of the tour, purchasing food was not a problem.

During my trip I met touring cyclist with loads that ranged from 20 lb to 60 lb.  The couple with the 20 lb load each, had toured across the U.S. and simply did not like to carry weight on the bicycle.  Although they were camping, their equipment and clothing was reduced to a bare minimum.  Regardless, the important aspect of touring is to enjoy the journey.

I would like to thank all who replied to my post.  The suggestions were helpful and much appreciated.  I learned valuable lessions on this trip and am thinking about ways to decrease the loaded weight but still takes the items I like and still savor the joy of life.

My lovely wife told me, "You are out there doing it."  In the end, if we want to be touring cyclists, we have to tour and not worry so much about numbers and the latest equipment. Speed and mileage are not as important to me as just touring and enjoying the moment.  Yes, on some of the steep grades I pushed the bike up the hill/mountain and on others I stopped to rest.  I call these stops, photo ops.

Thank You,

Kind Regards,

Rod  :)

P.S. Wine is the joy of life.  Depending on your state, Target, sells 2-glass soft packs (brickets) of wine, which would be well suited to touring. Perhaps not a premium wine, but then, I have never had a bad meal on the road.  They all seems to taste good.

This message was edited by downtheroad on 9-26-06 @ 7:45 AM

General Discussion / Loaded Weight
« on: September 25, 2006, 11:49:04 am »
Dear Touring Cyclists:

Thanks for your constructive suggestions.  The weight I reported in my initial post included the weight of the bags.  According to Ortlieb's specs, the bags weigh 11 lb with camera insert.  Therefore the equipment/clothing/food weighs 59 lb. - 11 lb or 48 lb total.

I completed my week tour of Western Maryland and the western section of the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal tow path bicycle trail.  I had a wonderful time and met many touring cyclists on the C&O tow path.  Some were using motels along the way but most were camping at the numerous hike/biker campsites setup by our National Parks Service.  Ages ranged from late 20's to 75.

My route took me from Baltimore to the Catoctin Mountains, across the spine of the Appalachia at Burkittsville to Boonsborro, Antietam Battlefield, Shepherds Town, WV, and the C&O trail up to Cumberland, Maryland via Williamsport and Handcock. Total mileage was 240 miles.  Daily mileage ranged from 60 to 15 miles.  The highlight of the trip was meeting and camping with the bik4peace group in Hancock, MD - an interesting, wonderful, dynamic group of individuals.

Equipment weight for the trip 43 lb.  This included some prepared food for trip up the C&O Canal National Park.  Total weight including panniers and bags was 54 lb.

The Peak 1 stove is heavy but I have the stove, hence used it.  The number of fuel bottles was reduced to one.  The French Mafac bicycle tool kit is a classic and weights 6 oz and includes wrenches sized from 6 mm to 14mm, two larger wrenches, a spoke wrench and three tire irons in combination with three of the small wrenches.  I left out the three large wrenches not needed and reduce the weight to 3 oz.  All the machine screws on the bike are socket-head hence the assortment of Allen wrenches (3 oz) must stay.  I dropped the Brooks proof hide, lube oil and a few other items already.  The Orikaso flatware weighs about 3 oz.  The tent is perhaps a little heavy but was purchased on an as need and price basis to continue the trip.

The camera equipment and tripod stayed.  Photography is one my interests, hence I captured the trip in color, B&W, as well as Infrared.  Digital cameras and the computer Lightroom make this possible.  This was a weight penalty I was willing to accept.

Anna, I am impressed with 10,000 touring miles under your wheels.  That achievement requires dedication and time.  I rode from 1972 until 1992 when I stopped riding because I ran out of time - family, building a career and rebuilding a sailboat with my wife, who loves to sail.  I accumulated about 35,000 rode miles during this period including three self-contained trips across Oklahoma with the FreeWheel rally, and one tour across the Canadian Rockies in 1984.  I know my equipment load was much heavier for the Canadian trip and included a nice set of clothing for flying back home.  It was unacceptable to fly in shorts and t-shirts when pilots stuck their head out the cockpit and yelled, "Contact, Switch ON."

Because I am not as road hardened as you are, I rode accordingly and kept my average daily mileage between 30 and 50 miles, depending on terrain and destination.  Maryland is a small state and the wonderful state parks are close to each other but in hilly to mountainous regions of the state.   Many of the secondary roads follow old wagon and horse trails; the grades can sometimes be challenging - 8 to 10%.   In addition, I turned 60 the beginning of March of this year.  I rode about 1,400 miles including two weeks of training with The Load before starting my tour, hence the reason I am not a seasoned, as I would have like to have been before starting the tour. By the by, my birthday present to me this year was my first ride after a 14 year absence.

Regardless of how fast or slow I rode on my tour, the tour was the journey and not the destination, nor the miles made good.  I was treated well by the folks of Western Maryland and especially by Cindy and Bill, volunteer Rangers at Catoctin National Park.  To these wonderful people and the touring cyclists along the C&O trail, I say, Thank you.

Kind Regards,

Rod  :)

This message was edited by downtheroad on 9-25-06 @ 7:53 AM

General Discussion / Loaded Weight
« on: September 14, 2006, 08:09:59 pm »
I plan to restart my one week cycle tour from Baltimore to western Maryland and back.  My first start was aborted after my old tent failed during a heavy rain the first night out.

I repacked and inventoried my bags in attempt to reduce the load weight.  Because of my route, I need to carry some food with me, hence I have about 5 lb. of food packed into the panniers. Still, my total load including a compact tripod is 59 lb.  This is not even close to Adventure Cycling suggested load weight of 35-45 lb., p91. 27th Edition, 2006.  I have packed less "stuff" than the article suggests.

My inventory is a follows:

Right Front Pannier  Ortlieb Front Roller Classic

1.   Orikaso Fold Flat Tableware  2 plates, 1 bowl, 1 cup
2.   Mess kit  GSI Bugaboo
3.   Food  prepared freezer bags of granola, cookies, Bisquick  1.5 lb.
4.   Route Maps  4 oz.
5.   Cliff Bars - 4
6.   Granola Bars - 8
7.   Olive oil  4 oz.
8.   Peanut Butter  18 oz. Plastic jar
9.   Dish towel
10.   Cooking spatula

Front Right Pannier Pocket

1.   Tire tube patch kits - 2
2.   Tire Talc  2 oz w/tin
3.   Small container machine screws and nuts
4.   Inner tubes - 2
5.   Small Mafac tool kit  circa 1982
6.   Allen wrenches assorted
7.   Tire pressure gauge
8.   Shop Rags  2

Weight RF Pannier w/pocket  11 lb.

Left Front Pannier  Ortlieb Front Roller Classic

1.   Peak 1 white gas stove  2 lb. 4 oz.
2.   Fuel Bottle  1 lb. 10 oz.
3.   Small Nylon Sack w/Msc. Items
a.   Matches
b.   AA Batteries  4
c.   AAA Batteries  4
d.   Opinel knife
e.   Swiss knife
f.   Vitamins, Band-aids, Ibuprofen tables

4.   Small nylon sack of toiletries
5.   Pancake syrup  4 oz. Bottle
6.   Plastic knives, forks, spoons  2 each
7.   Rain Pants
8.   Rain Anorak

Left Front Pannier Pocket

1.   Spare brake and F&R Deraileur cables
2.   Shop rag
3.   Toe clip strap
4.   Flashlight  Maglite; 2 AA batteries required
5.   Teflon Plus oil  4 oz.
6.   Tail Light  Cateye LED
7.   Head Light  Cateye LED
8.   Lg. Shower Caps for Brooks Leather saddle and cycling helmet

Left Front Pannier w/pocket  12.5 lb.

Right Rear Pannier  Ortlieb Rear Roller Classic

1.   Sleep pad  self-inflating ¾ length  1 lb. 2 oz.
2.   Freeze-dried raspberry crumble (treat)
3.   Light Flees cycling jacket
4.   Extra 1 qt. Ziploc freezer bags
5.   Small bag misc. items  electrical tape, Brooks proof hide, nylon tie-wraps
6.   Swim trucks - nylon
7.   Pair Underwear
8.   Cargo Trekking Shorts - nylon
9.   Long sleeve cycling jersey
10.   Polypropylene long sleeve tops  light weight fabric
11.   Bags pasta  2 X 4 oz.
12.   Aluminum Pot w/bail  < 1 qt.
13.   Bags of breakfast oatmeal in 1 qt. Freezer bags.  2 ea.
14.   Toilet paper  one roll
15.   Water bag.

Right Rear Pannier w/pocket - 9 lb

Left Rear Pannier  Ortlieb Rear Roller Classic

1.   Freeze-dried black beans and rice  1 pk.
2.   T-shirt  1
3.   Cycling jerseys  2
4.   Cycling tights  1
5.   Cycling shorts  3 pair
6.   Wool watch cap
7.   Nylon sack w/prepared meals  1.5 lb.
8.   Cycling soaks  3 pair
9.   Bandanas  2
10.   Med. Pack towels  2
11.   Wash cloth  1
12.   Powdered Milk  3.2 oz.
13.   Small red potatoes  4
14.   Fresh eggs  4
15.   Tea  4 oz. Loose tea
16.   Insect repellent

Left Rear Pannier  10 lb.

Rear Rack Pack  Ortlieb

1.   Tent  2-person  5.5 lb.
2.   Tent footprint cloth
3.   Sleeping bag
4.   Plastic bags  2 Lg.
5.   Nylon sack containing plastic garbage bags
6.   Cable bicycle lock
7.   Sun Screen  4 oz  hung from pack
8.   Sandals  hung from pack

Rear Rack Pack  12 lb.

Handlebar Bag  Ortlieb
1.   Camera  2 lb.
2.   Media cards
3.   IR filter
4.   ND filter
5.   Wallet  sm.
6.   Cell phone
7.   Camera battery charger
8.   Journal  small
9.   Map Case w/maps

Handlebar bag  3 lb.

Misc. Item

    1. Tripod  compact  1.5 lb.

Granted the Peak 1 stove is heavy at 2.25 lb and the camera weighs close to 2 lb.  Even if I leave out the food, purchase a lighter stove, don't carry the tripod and use a lighter camera, the load weight would be on the order of 50 lb.  After reading AC recommended list of clothing and equipment, etc.  I suspect the load weight of the items in the list would be on the order of 55-60 lb without food.

I image if you eat out all the time and stay in Motels, one could easily achieve a load weight of 35-45 lb.

I am interested in hearing from other touring cyclist who have weighed their gear before starting a tour.

See you on the Road,


General Discussion / Off-The-Road Campgrounds
« on: March 15, 2006, 12:49:57 pm »
When I crossed the Canadian Rockies in 1984, I was rather concerned about bears, hence made all by campgrounds every day.  Some days were rather long with an average daily mileage of 68 miles.  I am thinking about a tour next year following the Transamerica trail from Missouri to Richmond, VA then following the Atlantic Trail from Richmond to Baltimore, MD.

I am interested to learn where seasoned cycle tourist make camp.  I believe along the Adventure Cycling routes, campgrounds and city parks (w/permission) are the norm.  I have sometimes been tempted to just pull off the road and make camp in a secluded area.  I do not know if this is such a good idea, hence am interested in opinions from seasoned cycle tourist.

Thanks :),

Baltimore, MD

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