Touring in the 50's

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
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Tigerbiten
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Re: Touring in the 50's

Post by Tigerbiten »

The biggest weight saving I can think of is from new weatherproof fabrics.

A cotton tent could be a couple of Kg when dry but double that when wet, whilst a modern tent stays a couple of Kg wet or dry.
Waxed cotton works (think Barbour jackets) but is heavy and stiff when compared with a modern outer layer.
Wool jumpers vs a modern fleece, less bulk/weight for the same warmth.

Luck ...... :D
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velorog
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Re: Touring in the 50's

Post by velorog »

Agree with you regarding fabrics. I had a Ventile jacket hoping I could manage without a cape. It soaked up water and ended up like stiff cardboard. Weighed a ton and took days to dry out. I soon went back to using a cape in heavy rain
francovendee
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Re: Touring in the 50's

Post by francovendee »

PDQ Mobile wrote: 22 Sep 2021, 10:42am I think the greatest difference between touring now and in the 50's and 60's is traffic levels and speeds.

The start of a tour to Wales from central England led two young cyclists along the A40 in those days!!
And it was ok.
I would not contemplate it now.
I remember the London end of the A40 in the 50's. It was one of the few dual carriageway roads I knew. At one time it had a concrete cycle path by each carriageway. I used to cycle to Northolt RAF aerodrome to see the planes. I remember the regular thump of my tyres going over the joins in the concrete. Happy days. :D
PT1029
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Re: Touring in the 50's

Post by PT1029 »

+1 for better fabrics. The other main advanrage I see is reduction in luggage volume (which in my case allowing the packing of empty space - useful for when buying food, though I sispect some people use this spare space to fit in more stuff!
Just had 5 days camping with 3 1/2 Ortleibs of luggage (plus tent poles on the rear rack (too long to go in a pannier).

Of course the best new thing is rigid rear racks and low rider front racks. My laden tourer stucks to the road like glue when it comes to handling and goes exactly where I tell it. My mountain bike isn't quite so good, at slow speeds a tendency for steering "flop", very slow climbing can be a wrestling match if I am not careful!
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Sweep
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Re: Touring in the 50's

Post by Sweep »

PT1029 wrote: 22 Sep 2021, 8:34pm
Of course the best new thing is rigid rear racks
why were there not rigid rear racks? One would have thought that in the glory days of heavy engineering they would be rigid. Heavy maybe but tough.
Sweep
Jdsk
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Re: Touring in the 50's

Post by Jdsk »

Jdsk wrote: 22 Sep 2021, 11:26am
simonineaston wrote: 22 Sep 2021, 11:21am
Biggest weight saving, then and now, comes from taking less
That reminds me of the old adage, "Spread out everything you're planning to take with you on the bed, before you pack, then remove half the kit and double the money..."
Haven't heard that before. Very good.

It's the flip side of putting it all out when you return, and seeing what you didn't use.
And, in an extraordinary coincidence, I've just been reading the notes for lawyers arguing before the US Supreme Court:

It has been said that preparing for oral argument at the Supreme Court is like packing your clothes for an ocean cruise: you should lay out all the clothes you think you will need, and then return half of them to the closet.
https://www.supremecourt.gov/Guide%20fo ... 202021.pdf

: - )

Jonathan
borisface
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Re: Touring in the 50's

Post by borisface »

Jdsk wrote: 23 Sep 2021, 2:49pm
Jdsk wrote: 22 Sep 2021, 11:26am
simonineaston wrote: 22 Sep 2021, 11:21am That reminds me of the old adage, "Spread out everything you're planning to take with you on the bed, before you pack, then remove half the kit and double the money..."
Haven't heard that before. Very good.

It's the flip side of putting it all out when you return, and seeing what you didn't use.
And, in an extraordinary coincidence, I've just been reading the notes for lawyers arguing before the US Supreme Court:

It has been said that preparing for oral argument at the Supreme Court is like packing your clothes for an ocean cruise: you should lay out all the clothes you think you will need, and then return half of them to the closet.
https://www.supremecourt.gov/Guide%20fo ... 202021.pdf

: - )

Jonathan
It doesn't sound at all stressful.
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simonineaston
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Re: Touring in the 50's

Post by simonineaston »

notes for lawyers arguing before the US Supreme Court
Excellent... mind, I'm confident that I'm unlikely either to appear before the Supreme Court or to enjoy an ocean cruise, although I have a chum who's been to NY twice on the QM2 and keeps telling me what fun it all is... I wonder if I'd be allowed to take my Moulton & cycle round & round the deck?
(rides: Brompton nano & ever-changing Moultons)
ambodach
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Re: Touring in the 50's

Post by ambodach »

When in my teens a pal and myself toured regularly with virtually no kit. We looked for bivvy spots under cover and always had a fire. We slept in our capes with no sleeping bags and relied on the fire for warmth overnight. I had a half pint primus and we had ex army pans for cooking and eating out of.
Later I went camping with my wife and we had much more comfort with a Black's Good Companions tent and a double sleeping bag. The weight must have been considerable but being young and fit it did not seem to bother us. Lightweight it was not.
simonhill
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Re: Touring in the 50's

Post by simonhill »

I also had a Black's Good Companion tent. It was considered a lightweight tent in the 70s. I think about 10lbs, plus another few if you had the flysheet.

I hitchhiked round Europe with it strapped to the top of my rucksack (ex army, Bergen with steel frame) after my A levels.

Thinking about it, I still have the tent stored in a top cupboard. Must get it out sometime.
simonhill
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Re: Touring in the 50's

Post by simonhill »

Regards "pup tent".

It's a term used by Caravan Club, etc to designate a small tent for a kid, that is allowed on the main pitch.

I used to get annoyed when a friend insisted on calling my Saunders (£250 in 1991) a pup tent.
Jdsk
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Re: Touring in the 50's

Post by Jdsk »

Vorpal wrote: 22 Sep 2021, 11:50am
Jdsk wrote: 22 Sep 2021, 11:28am
Vorpal wrote: 22 Sep 2021, 8:42amIt was called a 'pup' tent, but I don't know where that term came from.
It's half of a dog tent.
:lol: :lol:
I think that really is the derivation...

: - )

Jonathan
PT1029
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Re: Touring in the 50's

Post by PT1029 »

why were there not rigid rear racks? One would have thought that in the glory days of heavy engineering they would be rigid. Heavy maybe but tough
Until Jim Blackburn racks came along, no rack that I am aware of had triangulated design struts, so the rack could flex/wobble from side to side when loaded (pedealling out of the saddle was always an interesting experience).
Most racks were 3 point fixing (drop outs plus brake bolt) allowing for even more flex. Anyone who went camping with a Tonard Brazing Co rack will remember this.
Karrimor racks were a bit better (clamped to the seat stays), though the metal was a tad slender, I often used to see racks that had taken a permanent set to one side or the other.
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freiston
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Re: Touring in the 50's

Post by freiston »

PT1029 wrote: 24 Sep 2021, 9:46pm
why were there not rigid rear racks? One would have thought that in the glory days of heavy engineering they would be rigid. Heavy maybe but tough
Until Jim Blackburn racks came along, no rack that I am aware of had triangulated design struts, so the rack could flex/wobble from side to side when loaded (pedealling out of the saddle was always an interesting experience).
Most racks were 3 point fixing (drop outs plus brake bolt) allowing for even more flex. Anyone who went camping with a Tonard Brazing Co rack will remember this.
Karrimor racks were a bit better (clamped to the seat stays), though the metal was a tad slender, I often used to see racks that had taken a permanent set to one side or the other.
I do remember my Karrimor pannier rack (I recall that we called them "carriers" rather than racks) swaying side to side when loaded. Before that, I vaguely remember a chromed steel wire affair and I do remember thinking the Karrimor to be better in both rigidity and weight. A lad who joined us for a trip had an awful tubular rack that fixed with large eyes over the axle and clamped with a single wide plate across the back of both seat stays.

Before my cycling days, I remember using 1950s (or earlier?) canvas "bivouac tents" with poncho groundsheets when camping with the CCF.
Disclaimer: Treat what I say with caution and if possible, wait for someone with more knowledge and experience to contribute. ;)
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freiston
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Re: Touring in the 50's

Post by freiston »

Vorpal wrote: 22 Sep 2021, 8:42am When I was a teen, in the 80s, my brother and I used some late 50s US military issue gear that was either our dad's, or purchased from Army surplus places. I think it was pretty good, and certainly better than anything we could have bought new. We had an aluminium nesting 'mess' set that was well-used & still served its purpose. Our tent was from the same era. It was called a 'pup' tent, but I don't know where that term came from.
I heard this term to refer to military 2-man tents before I'd heard of it to describe ancillary kiddie tents on campsite tariff boards but I don't recall the British military tents we used in the cadets at school being called pup tents.

From https://tenthacker.com/what-is-a-pup-tent
Why Is It Called a Pup Tent?

According to their history, pup tents got their name from American Civil War troops. During this time, military troops used the word dog to refer to their essential accessories. Tents fell into this group, as did their dog tags.

As walking was the primary means of transport, the soldiers needed a lightweight tent made from a material that was easy to carry. Hence, the pup tent—a smaller, lighter version of a regular tent—became a part of their essential commodities.

As with other items, the military associated the dog with a tent. Some troops, such as the Chattanooga Infantry, even dubbed their shelters dog houses. Later, the name changed to pup tents.

Some say that the name for these tents came from the soldiers’ description of the tents’ accommodation being more suited to a dog than a human since early versions of these tents had no floor and were prone to flooding.
Disclaimer: Treat what I say with caution and if possible, wait for someone with more knowledge and experience to contribute. ;)
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