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Messages - dfege

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General Discussion / I got halfway there when...
« on: September 15, 2005, 05:48:48 pm »
Sorry, I forgot to say anything about trailers.  I have never tried a trailer, but I certainly see enough of them on the road.  I would again check with the bike store about trailers.  That may a a better option for the Cirrus Sport.  Tourist can debate for days about the pros and cons of panniers vs. trialers. They both seem to work.

General Discussion / I got halfway there when...
« on: September 15, 2005, 05:46:00 pm »
You're right.  Sorry I missed what type of bike you have.  I dont' know enough about the Sirrus Sport and whether and what kinds of racks it can support. In addition, you'll need to check what panniers that racks support.  Not all panniers fit all racks.  You'll just have to check with your bike store, and see what they say.  I would also check if the bike can take a front rack. Front racks really helps to balance the weight...I have never weighed the gear I take on a self-contained bike trip, but I have always suspected it was between 30 and 40 pounds.  Others travel much lighter, but I don't know how they do it.  If you e-mail at, I will send you a list of what my wife and I pack on our tours.  Hope this helps.

General Discussion / I got halfway there when...
« on: September 12, 2005, 07:54:55 pm »
Crescendo, just read the thread of e-mails and you have already received a ton of great advice.  Let me confirm some and add some.  I have done many self-contained tours in the U.S., Europe and New Zealand.  Here are some of the things I have learned.

1.  I agree with the comment about a mirror.  I can't believe that more people don't recommend it. In my mind, a mirror is seoncd only to a helmet as it concerns safety. You can especially see situations occuring before they happen, like a semi coming from behind and an RV coming in front of you, and little space for you on the road in this scenario.  I have gotten off the road several times to let things pass.

2. Cycling in the rain.  Staying warm is the most important in the rain.  Gore Tex is the best I have found in a cold rain. In a heavy downpour I have found my state of mind to be my worst enemy, just thinking about all my gear getting wet, and sleeping in a wet tent in a damp sleeping bag.  When this happens, I just resolve to pay to stay in a motel where I can get a warm shower, and know that I will be warm.  It makes such a difference during the ride knowing I will be completely dry in a few hours.  And I agree with the comment about fenders. It can make a big difference in an all-day drizzle.

3.  For repairs, first take duck tape.  That can fix a lot of problems in the short run.  Second, I cut out relevant chapters from bicycle repair books, because I am such a klutz at bicycle repair.  I obviously can change a flat, but I can never change a spoke without refering to the book.  Also, take extra spokes and make sure you have the right lengths.  And tools, including a chain link remover.  Check with your bike store for a suggested list of tools.

4.  No one has talked about gear.  You ususally get what you pay for, so I think this is one place to spend the money.  You can go to other forums for ideas and opinions about panneirs.  REI and Adventure Cycling have good deals on high-quality panneirs, but they don't have a full selection.  Also make sure that you have high quality racks in the front and back.  Nothing like a rack bending and breaking in the middle of nowhere.

5.  And you didn't mention the kind of bike you're cycling. For what you're planning, I would defintely buy a touring bike, although others may have different opinions.  REI has a decent low price touring bike at aboub $600-700.  At about $1000-$1200, Trek, Cannondale have good bikes.  I have a Trek520 and it is an awesome touring bike.  At about $2500 you move into another class.  Waterford, for example, has a fabulous touring bike at this price.

Sorry to be so long-winded.  Hope this helps.

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