Author Topic: Greetings!  (Read 4413 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Huli

« on: August 06, 2012, 07:41:49 pm »
Hello all!
This is my very first post and would like to do an intro and ask for advice.

I am new to the idea of bicycle adventure, but not two wheel adventure.  My girlfriend and I are attempting to make the transition from motorcycle to bicycle.  Currently we clock 15-20k miles a year (one year did 28k) and feel like the scenery and people go by too fast.  We purchased 2 Cannondale SL2 Trail bikes last winter and have been working on our saddle time, nothing overnight.  There are no major travel accessories, we have water bottles, patch kits, basic repair stuff.  Our current plan is to do the blue ridge parkway next spring.

With that said...
Could somebody tell me what common follies that new adventurers commonly make, or any advice in general?


Offline DaveB

Re: Greetings!
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2012, 08:32:13 pm »
One of the biggest errors is to take on too much too soon.  There is no substitute for saddle time but not all at once.  Take moderate rides and build up the time, distance and difficulty.   

Offline Huli

Re: Greetings!
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2012, 08:37:16 pm »
What would you suggest as far as daily distance and total distance for first long ride?

Offline easy

Re: Greetings!
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2012, 09:32:06 pm »
I also ride a motorcycle and pull a Leesure lite trailer. Since I've been riding the bicycle the GW stays in the garage most of the time.
If you are going to camp make sure your girl friend is comfortable on your sleeping pad. Our first trip, I sent back my self inflating sleeping pads and got a full size air mattress which just fit into our 3 man tent. It really improved our sleep. Since we were both carring equipment, it did not seem to add much weight.
We were used to having a propane camp stove on the motorcycle when camping for coffee etc. We ditched our whisperlite, and either bought coffee at the campsite or packed up really quick and peddled till we found some. We would eat a big breakfast and lunch. Usually have something left over to take to the campsite for that night.
We did the Blue Ridge on a motorcycle many years ago. I do recall if you get off, fast going down but slow coming up. There is a 2 wheel only campground called Willville near Mabry Mill which is very nice,quiet and clean. Motorcycle usually but I think he would let you in. Very friendly host.

Offline Huli

Re: Greetings!
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2012, 07:54:59 am »
Thanks Easy... what did you do foor cooking without the whisperlite?

I agree about that first cup of coffee, I have a Jetboil french press for just that and a whisperlite for cooking when we cannot have an open fire.  I am deffinatly going to need to reduce my gear a bit.

What does everyone think about the front wheel panniers?  I am buying rear ones soon but am concerned about the front changing handeling characteristics.

Offline DaveB

Re: Greetings!
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2012, 08:27:51 am »
Two answers to your questions:

Daily and total distance will certainly differ with the terrain you choose.   A tour across West Virginia will be much harder than one across Florida.  For modest terrain, probably 30 to 40 miles/day would be a good start with as many days as you can free up or afford.  Experienced tourists tend to try for 60 or so miles/day with a day off at least once a week.

Front Panniers, loaded properly, are a good supliment to rear panniers to keep the weight distribution more even.  They are normally not used alone.    As to changing the handling characteristics of the bike, any touring load will do that and you will have to adapt to the changes.

Offline Huli

Re: Greetings!
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2012, 08:43:39 pm »
Awesome DaveB!  Thank you much.  I guess I will be planning many more break in runs than originally planned... oh well.

I deffinatly think the rear only paniers will be good for that.

Offline johnsondasw

Re: Greetings!
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2012, 12:02:59 am »
Start with a one night loaded tour with moderate mileage and easy terrain.  You'll learn fast what to take, how to pack, and how to get along!
May the wind be at your back!

Offline nlsteve

Re: Greetings!
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2012, 06:06:50 pm »
You're getting good advice here so far.

Let me rephrase it a bit:  Plan your first trip or two so that you do too little rather than too much.  Make sure each of you gets off the bike at the end of the day feeling you could have gone a bit farther, as opposed to "ouch, that hurt, and man, I'm tired, and why the hell didn't we do this on a motorcycle instead." 

Make sure the intro to cycle touring is a pleasant one, or the concept will be DOA.


Offline Huli

Re: Greetings!
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2012, 12:17:44 pm »
Awesome advise guys!!

We are planning a 25 mile trip down the outer banks of NC (Ranger station by Rt 64 and 12 - the KOA).,-75.594563&spn=0.008621,0.016201&sll=35.90459,-75.594563&sspn=0.008621,0.016201&geocode=FbXbIwIdG3d--w%3BFZ_QHgId2XWA-ymL66mwF1ukiTH7a9Z5IAqJzw&t=m&mra=dme&mrsp=0&sz=16&z=16
It is mostly flat except for the bridges.  Going to try for some time in early October since we do not have any pack-out gear.

Any thoughts?

Oh! I was looking at clothing... what does one wear on ones legs when it is raining?
« Last Edit: August 09, 2012, 12:21:14 pm by Huli »

Offline nlsteve

Re: Greetings!
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2012, 07:07:02 pm »
I think most cyclists would continue to wear just shorts if it's raining but the weather is still mild.

Most of us would only go for rain pants if it is pretty cold and wet.  Even the best rain pants are not very breathable and you would get warm and clammy wearing them in mild weather.

Sounds like you have planned a great first trip.  Have fun.


Offline Huli

Re: Greetings!
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2012, 07:53:10 pm »
thanks steve!

I was reading about gear and was impressed by the Tubus frame with ortleib panniers.  ordered a set even!  I know for starters rear panniers and bar bag is enough (4000 cuin I think), down the road, what kind of volume is usually used?  my motorcycle was 3500 cuin and that was enough for month long trips... I didnt carry much food.