Author Topic: Trying to get started  (Read 1625 times)

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Offline JC

Trying to get started
« on: May 08, 2016, 02:24:16 pm »
 :) Hello out there. My plan is to make a life change and live on a bike a couple years. Just little lost with getting started. I'm new at all this bike touring/camping and trying to get started. Not new at ridding just bike touring/camping thing. I have two road bikes and one old school MTB. Been ridding on and off since the mid 80's.

Looking for any help. Bike/gear list. First trying to figure what bike would work best. Road or MTB rigid frame?

Offline John Nelson

Re: Trying to get started
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2016, 09:55:30 pm »
Have you got some time before you start?

I'd just take this one step at a time. Do you have camping experience? Do you have backpacking experience? If not, you might want to get some first.

Are you planning to tour in your home country? Are you going around the world? Your preparation will vary depending on whether you are going to travel in first, second or third world countries.

Gear lists are a dime a dozen. Just don't take everything on most of the lists. The lists are just to spark your thoughts. You're not supposed to just take it all. There's a gear list on this site. Many journals over at have gear lists. You have to decide whether you want to take all the comforts, a medium amount of them, a limited amount, or just the bare bones. There are touring cyclists who are quite happily touring in each of these modes.

Not until you decide what you want to take should you decide how to carry it. If you go untralight, you might be able to get by with a frame pack or beam rack. If you go light or medium, maybe you'll just need a rear rack and panniers. If you go heavier, maybe you'll need four panniers and/or a trailer.

You also have to set a budget. Is money non-existent (if so, fix that)? Is it merely "tight"? Is it comfortable? Is it generous? If the budget isn't too tight, you might want to think about getting a touring-specific bike. A touring-specific bike isn't strictly required, but it is optimized for what you plan to do.

First, start thinking about an overnight. Get enough gear to camp out one night. Plan a menu. Find a destination 40-80 miles from your house. Pick dates with an excellent weather forecast. Go. After you do the overnight, you'll know a heck of a lot more than you do now.

Read journals over at Find journals that are similar to what you want to do (the site has a great search tool). You'll learn a lot. Then ask more specific questions, both here and over at CGOAB.

Good luck.


  • Guest
Re: Trying to get started
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2016, 07:13:25 am »
Look at the menu on the right for starters:

Offline BikePacker

Re: Trying to get started
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2016, 10:48:39 am »
When I was starting out as you are now I had vast numbers of questions, as well. 
The one source that provided the most accurate (as proved to be the case over miles of touring :- ) / well organized answers more than any other source + that answered more questions 'all from one source,' was the following text available for purchase via Adventure Cycling:
- Wishing you a great time learning & touring.