Author Topic: Staying out of the breakdown lane; staying safe  (Read 720 times)

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Offline staehpj1

Re: Staying out of the breakdown lane; staying safe
« Reply #15 on: August 18, 2021, 11:23:15 am »

By the way look out for sprinklers that come on on timers at night.  In much of the west and the great plains, anywhere with green grass is sprinkled.  Most of us have been awakened by sprinklers coming on at one time or another.

And during the day. Camped at the city park in Lander, WY on the Trans Am. Guy there had left his tent fly open the previous while he went to visit his riding buddy at the hospital the day before. (Buddy had crashed and the two were waiting for the wives to drive out from MN to pick them up.) He told me when he returned his had at least an inch of water in his tent.

Coincidentally The city park in Lander was the same place where we got "sprinkled".  It was really pelting out tent.  I put a cook pot over the offending sprinkler, put something heavy on it, and went back to sleep.

Offline HikeBikeCook

  • World Traveler
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  • Touring for over 50 years and still learning
Re: Staying out of the breakdown lane; staying safe
« Reply #16 on: August 18, 2021, 12:48:31 pm »
Having thru-hiked the AT, backpacked and bike toured for many years I find two major differences. A place to pitch your tent is much easier to come by on the AT than on the road in my experience. When you run out of gas on the AT you find the nearest water source and camp. On the road, especially on the coasts, that can be a bit of a challenge. Be prepared to ride after dark if you get a late start or overestimate your ability to reach your destination. Things like rain, headwinds, traffic, heat, and hills hit you a lot harder on a bike than hiking. It is a lot easier to go 50% slower than planned on a bike than on foot. I like to have a plan A and plan B destination. Hiking I always plan for a 15 mile day and recalculate over lunch. Especially with a group, you want a midday rally point since a touring group or a hiking group often travel miles without seeing one another. Bike travel planning for me seems to have many more variables. I find it is easy to over plan or under plan my mileage. If you have the guts to ride with no plan and see what happens that will set you free.

 Darren Alff https://www.darrenalff.com/ who calls himself the bicycling touring pro has some great videos on roadside stealth camping I watched them on YouTube. We have so many darn reflectors on our bikes and tent lines now, we light up like a pinball machine if not out of the reach of headlights at night.

Resupply is thought of in terms of days on the AT but in hours while bike touring. Your water supply is the next stream, spring, etc on the AT and typically the next gas station on the road. You can live without food, but water is a keen necessity. Just like in times of drought on the AT, water sources guaranteed on the map are often dry, in times of COVID water and food sources on the map may be closed, closed on a particular day, etc. Especially with the staffing issues many small business are having when the government is paying more to not work. Bottom line - always carry a spare meal even if it is ramen or a freeze dried meal and never pass up the opportunity to top off your water. You know you are sweating when backpacking as it runs in your eyes, but the breeze on a bike quickly evaporates sweat, so you need to consciously hydrate if you are new to the transition between sports.
Surly Disc Trucker, Lightspeed Classic, Scott Scale, Klein Mantra Comp. First touring bike Peugeot U08 - 1966

Offline New Jawn

Re: Staying out of the breakdown lane; staying safe
« Reply #17 on: August 18, 2021, 01:11:26 pm »
BikeliciousBabe, neighbor!  I hear Spring Garden called every time I'm on SEPTA.  And in spite of all its many problems, nowhere would I rather be than Philly. 

HikeBikeCook, I saw that you did the AT in 2007, which coincidentally is the same year I did my hike.  I always regret not completing the thru, but I just ran out of time (9 weeks) and had to get back to work.  I'm too obsessive to go with no plan -- I couldn't do it hiking (I followed Jack Tarlin's 20mpd plan almost religiously) and I'm sure that I can't cycling.  Yes, I watch Alff's YouTube videos, also Bike Touring Mike (really enjoy his utilitarian pragmatism), and my inspiration, Jin Jeong (YouTube: Cycling Around the World) and her video, "Toughest Australia Outback Cycling Dirt Road Camping"

Offline BikeliciousBabe

Re: Staying out of the breakdown lane; staying safe
« Reply #18 on: August 18, 2021, 02:13:11 pm »

Coincidentally The city park in Lander was the same place where we got "sprinkled".  It was really pelting out tent.  I put a cook pot over the offending sprinkler, put something heavy on it, and went back to sleep.
Heh.

At the Bike Camp in Twin Bridges, MT there is a map hanging on the wall inside the shelter telling people where to not pitch their tents because of the sprinklers. It was not all that conspicuous. One of the times I was there the groundskeeper suggested to a few people that they should move. The last time I was there I let a couple of people know before they pitched.

Offline HikeBikeCook

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Re: Staying out of the breakdown lane; staying safe
« Reply #19 on: August 18, 2021, 02:35:18 pm »
I left Springer on the afternoon of April 5th. My trail name was Iceman.
Surly Disc Trucker, Lightspeed Classic, Scott Scale, Klein Mantra Comp. First touring bike Peugeot U08 - 1966

Offline New Jawn

Re: Staying out of the breakdown lane; staying safe
« Reply #20 on: August 18, 2021, 03:01:30 pm »
Sunday, April 1 (yes, Fool's Day), '07.  Trail name: Jawny B.  Left from the base of the falls and dropped dead at Gooch Mt. shltr for first night  My next day was over Blood Mt (didn't carry enough water and staggered into Mtn. Crossings.  There I learned how to use duct tape for blisters and vowed always carry 2 liters. Took zeros in Hot Springs and then again in Damascus, did a near-o in Dalesville, but other than that, all was tenting but for staying at Miss Janet's hostel.  Lots of great memories.  I'm sure  you've the same.

Offline John Nelson

Re: Staying out of the breakdown lane; staying safe
« Reply #21 on: August 18, 2021, 07:52:54 pm »
I use two techniques to avoid sprinklers: (1) pitch on concrete, (2) pitch on the dead grass.

Offline PNWRider92

Re: Staying out of the breakdown lane; staying safe
« Reply #22 on: August 31, 2021, 02:32:47 pm »
I've done 2 cross country tours and several other 2 week to 6 week tours and admittedly know very little about bike maintenance. Beyond changing a tire and fixing a broken spoke I know enough to get me to a LBS to have it repaired fully. I've never stopped into a LBS for the sole purpose of having the chain and cassette degreased. Will only stop in if I need something. On my first tour (5,200 miles from Oregon to Maine) my chain was lubed twice, once in Minnesota and once in Massachusetts and only because I had to stop by a LBS for other reasons. My other long ride (2,100 miles from Illinois to California) it was only done once, in New Mexico.

Never had any issues in city parks. Also never had to call the sheriff or let anyone know. I've camped in city parks where I suppose camping wasn't allowed but at the same time I feel like LEO's will see you and realize you're a tourist and not a homeless person and will quickly be moving on, especially if said town is on a major cycling route. I always have bear spray on me and keep it in my tent but never felt like I needed to use it. I've also been known to camp outside fire stations in small towns. Occasionally they'll let you use their showers/restrooms/kitchens.

Happy Touring!
Instagram: tyjames0604

Wisconsin --> Washington ---> Colorado

Offline BikePacker

Re: Staying out of the breakdown lane; staying safe
« Reply #23 on: September 01, 2021, 09:06:25 am »
I've a few questions for those who've done long tours. 
(1.)  Do you carry spray lube for derailleurs or just do the best you can with liquid?
(2.)  Assume you've been on the road for 1,000 miles, your bike is running just fine, but you have another 1,500 miles to go.  There's a bike shop ahead.  Would you stop to have your chain and cassette degreased/cleaned? 
(3.)  Do riders typically plan town stops in places with a bike shop to have that and other adjustments done that require more than a multi tool?
(4.)  I'm studying Park Tool videos more intently than I ever prepped for the GRE.  My goal is to be competent in changing tires, adjusting brakes and derailleurs, and replacing cables.  Any other repair skills that you consider "must know" before doing a long tour?

Keep in mind that I'm going solo. Any and all comments and suggestions would be most welcome.
(1.) Small can of WD-40 spray.  To everyone who reviles the use of WD-40 ~ yes, I know it is not technically a lub; however, it is light, slippery and stands for 'Water Repellent.'  Light and slippery for me has worked well for years.  I'll spray about every 4 days .... more if I am in a lot of rain.
(2.) Every 1000 I pick up a small degreaser aerosol foaming spray-on from the auto depart. of Walmart ... spray it on and find a hose & wash off.  Done.
(3.) I do not.
(4.) When I had my 1st flat I discovered : ) that the average frame mounted pump would actually not adequately re-pressurize my tires.  Hence I looked into both the most robust frame pump I could find, as well as, air pressurized cans (with the cans I learned I would lose a lot of air from the can as I fumbled around trying to get it properly seated on the value stem - hence, had to consider carrying enough cans with me to make up for my ineptitude - gave up on cans as it was easier to just keep a great pump on the frame.).