Author Topic: Your best single piece of advice  (Read 16766 times)

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Offline PeteJack

Re: Your best single piece of advice
« Reply #15 on: February 20, 2023, 02:05:29 am »
Develop a gear and packing list. Start short and work to longer tours.  Take an overnight or weekend trip with all your gear.  Then take a week-long trip.  Update your list as you learn.  The starter trips are good for equipment shakedown, training and fun.
All good advice. If you use stuff sacks attach a label (next to nothing at Staples) with the sack's contents listed, then you aren't opening sack after sack to find that pair of warm gloves.

Offline PeteJack

Re: Your best single piece of advice
« Reply #16 on: February 20, 2023, 02:11:05 am »

I will be taking a short bicycle tour around the Scottish Highlands, canalligators, a few weeks before my TA trip.

And you won't have to deal with midges.

Offline LouisB

Re: Your best single piece of advice
« Reply #17 on: February 23, 2023, 12:08:18 pm »
Thank you for the suggestion PeteJack.

No midges in Scotland when I'm going. It's still a little too cold for the nasty buggers!

Offline j1of1

Re: Your best single piece of advice
« Reply #18 on: February 23, 2023, 08:01:20 pm »
First tour?   Lots of good advice from others - so read and heed all of it!   My additions:  1.  Know how to do basic maintenance on your bike; 2.  Doesn't matter if the bike is made of carbon, steel or aluminum, has 21 speeds or 1, has disc brakes or rim brakes - just make sure it fits you and is comfortable (especially the saddle.  Saddle sores will quickly end your trip...); 3. Pack for comfort, but don't overdo it; 4.  Take care of yourself while riding (i.e, drink lots of fluids, wear sunscreen, use chamois cream, etc.); 5.  Take advantage of BeWelcome and WarmShowers whenever possible - hosts live vicariously through you! 6. Make it an adventure, an experience not a chore or challenge. 

Offline LouisB

Re: Your best single piece of advice
« Reply #19 on: February 26, 2023, 04:27:07 am »
Thank you j1of1. I'm extremely grateful for the thoughtful advice I've received from yourself and other forum members. It has been read and well heeded!

Yes, first tour. I'm definitely erring towards the "comfortable" end of the touring spectrum, without going overboard. I'm in no hurry, and have always backpacked with an "exploration" mindset, rather than a "how do I get from A to B in the quickest time possible" outlook.

Offline mathieu

Re: Your best single piece of advice
« Reply #20 on: February 26, 2023, 06:00:47 pm »
If you don’t have one already, add a stand to your bike. You will appreciate the comfort many times each day.

Offline HikeBikeCook

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Re: Your best single piece of advice
« Reply #21 on: February 28, 2023, 12:04:19 pm »
If you don’t have one already, add a stand to your bike. You will appreciate the comfort many times each day.

I bought a click stand and use it sporadically - when I need it I am happy I carry it. It's funny, some days you always have something to lean your bike on, other days nothing.
Surly Disc Trucker, Lightspeed Classic, Scott Scale, Klein Mantra Comp. First touring bike Peugeot U08 - 1966

Offline froze

Re: Your best single piece of advice
« Reply #22 on: February 28, 2023, 03:03:15 pm »
Not sure how helpful this website will be for where you're going but you can check out your route on it and find out, but this is a website that shows free camping sites in green and pay ones in red, and the other colored ones you won't be needing.  I've never used it since I haven't done any far tours yet, just within the northern part of the state where I live, so I can't tell you how accurate it is, but it's worth checking out.

https://freecampsites.net/#!(41.0739,+-85.15598)

I think the red ones might be privately owned campgrounds because the state parks have no flags, not sure why maybe because their public?  Some of the places they marked green are Walmart type of areas, I doubt they would allow tent camping.  I advise checking each flagged location and see what it is.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2023, 03:08:25 pm by froze »

Offline LouisB

Re: Your best single piece of advice
« Reply #23 on: February 28, 2023, 04:16:41 pm »
Will check it out, thank you. Likewise the click-stands. I read on another forum that the designer of the bike I'm purchasing recommends against fitting a kickstand, but the click-stands look like something very different!

Offline canalligators

Re: Your best single piece of advice
« Reply #24 on: February 28, 2023, 05:03:51 pm »
On a three month trip last year, there were many times that I wished I had a kickstand.  This fall I bought a ClickStand.  I haven't tried it on a ride or tour yet, but it seems to work well.  And it weighs about half what a frame mount kickstand weighs.  I'm looking forward to trying it out with a loaded bike.

Offline froze

Re: Your best single piece of advice
« Reply #25 on: March 01, 2023, 05:08:26 pm »
I don't use kickstands, clickstands, or whatever, I just lean my bike up against a tree or lay it on the ground.  When you go backpacking, bike camping, or touring, you want to keep the weight and bulk down to a minimum, and any sort of stand simply will add that much more weight, and in this case, it's weight you don't need, nor do you need to take up a little more space with that thing either.  There are people who like that sort of thing, but I just don't see the need for it, and haven't ever wished I had something to hold my bike up in 40 years of riding, and 5 years of bike camping/touring.  But you have to make that decision.

Offline BikeFreak

Re: Your best single piece of advice
« Reply #26 on: March 07, 2023, 05:24:03 pm »
Not the best single piece of advice, but still some advice:

1. I did not like biking in the Appalachians on the TransAm (Virginia, Kentucky): Some locals were hostile, lots of aggressive chasing dogs, you are in hill billy country. I did not feel welcome in that part of USA. The bikers I met had similar experiences.

2. It can get humid: If you wash clothes in the evening and let them hang dry during the night, there is a chance they are still damp in the morning even though the nights are warm. It's the complete opposite in Colorado.

Offline froze

Re: Your best single piece of advice
« Reply #27 on: March 07, 2023, 09:13:36 pm »
That hostility you ran into comes from way back in the illegal moonshine days when anyone who didn't talk like they did were suspected of being federal agents, quite a few agents came up missing, even people who were not agents, they didn't care, they too would disappear.  What added fuel to fire was northerners coming into confederate territory, not a good thing to do, and they still carry that hate and mistrust to this day, though not as bad as it use to be, but bad enough to make it known to you that you're not welcomed.

Best to move through that area as fast as you can, don't talk to anyone, and mind your own business...see nothing, hear nothing, know nothing.

Offline LouisB

Re: Your best single piece of advice
« Reply #28 on: March 08, 2023, 01:41:02 pm »
Thank you. I was aware of the aggressive dogs, but not the aggressive locals!

Offline BikeFreak

Re: Your best single piece of advice
« Reply #29 on: March 08, 2023, 02:42:01 pm »
Thank you. I was aware of the aggressive dogs, but not the aggressive locals!

Aggressive is a big word: However I met a Dutch female cyclist who had a glass bottle thrown at her from a passing car. I had a cigarette butt thrown at me from a passing car. And then diesel pick up trucks who choose to floor the pedal when they pass you in order to cover you in soot: Basically telling you to get the fuck off the road.