My first tour (I didn't make it)

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
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sabrutat
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Re: My first tour (I didn't make it)

Postby sabrutat » 20 Aug 2014, 1:13pm

I'm currently two months into a global tour with the same trailer, and am perfectly happy with it so far, at least after some modifications made with mercalia on this very board. I much prefer not having to worry about weight and bulk as much as one might with a pannier set up. I'm happy to trade going up hills a mile or two an hour slower for the comfort benefits more gear confers.

Bicycler
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Re: My first tour (I didn't make it)

Postby Bicycler » 20 Aug 2014, 1:30pm

Remember that you can generally borrow the relevant Ordnance Survey maps (you want the magenta coloured 1:50000 "Landranger" ones) from the library. They show all roads and the NCN routes, as well as contours, steep roads and spot heights. Very good for route planning. They're also viewable online on Bing maps, just select "ordnance survey maps" from the menu. They are also good maps to carry with you if your tour doesn't cover a huge mileage.

Maybe even treat yourself and buy a couple you may need regularly. I normally buy from Dash4it as they tend to be the cheapest with quick delivery http://dash4it.co.uk/ordnance-survey-ma ... anger.html

BE1
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Re: My first tour (I didn't make it)

Postby BE1 » 20 Aug 2014, 2:20pm

Certainly not a failed trip as you got out there and did it :) which is more than I've managed this year :(

I also find the first day tough simply because it is usually the first time in a long time that I have sent all day on the bike. Throw in the hills you faced and it being a first ever tour and it could have been much worse.

Look at it this way you are om here asking for advice rather than trying to off load your bike and all your kit :D

theDaveB
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Re: My first tour (I didn't make it)

Postby theDaveB » 20 Aug 2014, 2:25pm

Bicycler wrote:Remember that you can generally borrow the relevant Ordnance Survey maps (you want the magenta coloured 1:50000 "Landranger" ones) from the library. They show all roads and the NCN routes, as well as contours, steep roads and spot heights. Very good for route planning. They're also viewable online on Bing maps, just select "ordnance survey maps" from the menu. They are also good maps to carry with you if your tour doesn't cover a huge mileage.


Cheers, wife has just picked up the 2 I need from the library.

If I find them useful will buy them.

EDIT: And yes BE1, I did think of selling it all and buying a exercise bike. That is one good thing about shopping at Decathlon, they give to 2 years to decide if you like something :-)

Dave

Ed81
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Re: My first tour (I didn't make it)

Postby Ed81 » 20 Aug 2014, 3:06pm

I would echo everything said so far.

1. It wasn't a failure; you got out on the bike, rode somewhere and camped.
2. You tested kit and learnt what worked and what didn't.
3. You are planning to do it again after some modifications.

My advice (built up from touring in the UK, Croatia and the Alps but also from mountaineering and hill walking) is to go as light as possible. For some tours I even go as far as cutting my toothbrush in half, not taking underwear for the evenings, not taking a second pare of shoes etc. As far as I am concerned this means that my tours are more enjoyable. Also have you thought about using panniers as opposed to a trailer. I tend to have to use both as I am often towing my daughter but I certainly notice that riding with panniers is far easier.

I also agree that it can take a few days to ride yourself in. How much riding do you do in general? If you could ride a little bit more maybe it would help........

I hope you learn from your experience and get back in the saddle soon.

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hondated
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Re: My first tour (I didn't make it)

Postby hondated » 20 Aug 2014, 3:37pm

Ed81 wrote:I would echo everything said so far.

1. It wasn't a failure; you got out on the bike, rode somewhere and camped.
2. You tested kit and learnt what worked and what didn't.
3. You are planning to do it again after some modifications.

My advice (built up from touring in the UK, Croatia and the Alps but also from mountaineering and hill walking) is to go as light as possible. For some tours I even go as far as cutting my toothbrush in half, not taking underwear for the evenings, not taking a second pare of shoes etc. As far as I am concerned this means that my tours are more enjoyable. Also have you thought about using panniers as opposed to a trailer. I tend to have to use both as I am often towing my daughter but I certainly notice that riding with panniers is far easier.

I also agree that it can take a few days to ride yourself in. How much riding do you do in general? If you could ride a little bit more maybe it would help........

I hope you learn from your experience and get back in the saddle soon.

+1 Well said and probably phrased more eloquently than I could have done.

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bigjim
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Re: My first tour (I didn't make it)

Postby bigjim » 20 Aug 2014, 3:38pm

Cheers, wife has just picked up the 2 I need from the library.

Does that mean that she's keen to see the back of you? :)

wearwell
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Re: My first tour (I didn't make it)

Postby wearwell » 20 Aug 2014, 3:47pm

Ed81 wrote:I would echo everything said so far.

1. It wasn't a failure; you got out on the bike, rode somewhere and camped.
2. You tested kit and learnt what worked and what didn't.
3. You are planning to do it again after some modifications.

My advice (built up from touring in the UK, Croatia and the Alps but also from mountaineering and hill walking) is to go as light as possible. For some tours I even go as far as cutting my toothbrush in half, not taking underwear for the evenings, not taking a second pare of shoes etc. As far as I am concerned this means that my tours are more enjoyable. Also have you thought about using panniers as opposed to a trailer. I tend to have to use both as I am often towing my daughter but I certainly notice that riding with panniers is far easier.

I also agree that it can take a few days to ride yourself in. How much riding do you do in general? If you could ride a little bit more maybe it would help........

I hope you learn from your experience and get back in the saddle soon.

Agree with all that - though I haven't cut a toothbrush in half yet! Hm, how may bristles do you really need on a toothbrush?
Summer riding you don't need much spare clothing - if you have to wash them do it just before you set off and you can put them on wet - a bit chilly at first but they dry very quickly as soon as you get moving.

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Farawayvisions
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Re: My first tour (I didn't make it)

Postby Farawayvisions » 20 Aug 2014, 6:03pm

Well done. At least you got out there.
Even from my female perspective, I think you took an awful lot of kit for just a few days. A good sleeping mat is the key to a decent night's sleep. Do you really need the trailer?
Anyway, you will go out again and learn from each trip. Enjoy each experience.

mercalia
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Re: My first tour (I didn't make it)

Postby mercalia » 20 Aug 2014, 6:55pm

theDaveB wrote:Been planning my first tour for a long time and finally decided to go for it on Sunday, parents picked me up today and am back home.


My plan was cycle from Runcorn to a campsite between Talacre and Prestatyn (St Mary's). This is about 40 miles door to door via NCN routes.

Dave

Like every one has said youve learnt some thing now and will be a bit more careful about routes. After a bit of time to recover I 'm sure you will find the physicality of what you did satisfying. Getting around under your own steam is exciting in this day and age of quick A to B's

40 miles is too much for a heavilly laden trailer. And not up hills of any kind off road!. I think 20 miles tops ( for me ) I have pushed mine up a short steep main road outside Dorking. Surrey - took me 1/2 hour I think with lots of stops. Your stint up the hills was what did it I think. All this silliness u see about BobYaks offroad - I remember seeing a video of same - is nonsense for a burden such as yours. Also I dont think wise to try and go very fast or ride for long lenghts of time without breaks. I remember when I first used my cheapo trailer from just Streatham London to Holmbury St Mary YHA ( about 25 miles) , my legs ached for days and I had to rest ( though that was a good excuse lol ) As for comfort sleeping I think self inflating mats good but should be allowed to lose some air when u lie on them ( so that it isnt a hard plank - real beds mould them selves to your body ? so must allow the self inflating matress to do the same by letting a bit of air out when u lie on it) Also need a decent pillow - Aldi had some cheapo ones recently that do the job well.

randomblue
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Re: My first tour (I didn't make it)

Postby randomblue » 20 Aug 2014, 9:08pm

Looking at your hesitancy to carry luggage on the bike and the comments about the weight of trailers, is it worth trying to find someone local who will lend you a set of panniers for a weekend so you can try it out that way too and see if you find it noticably easier? I'm currently on my first tour, 3 months in with 1 left to go and have used 2 rear panniers plus tent nested between them on the top of the rear rack and have found it to work really well. I have a cargo net (few £) from amazon which means if I do go a bit nuts on food shopping I can just strap it on top, and I can wash clothes each evening and strap them across the back of the bike to dry on the way. It's a really versatile option as you have extra space if necessary. For example I'm currently carrying 2 cheap foam roll mats that I found in a campsite hedge because my self inflating mat has a hole and I don't have access to a bath to find the hole and fix it!

mercalia
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Re: My first tour (I didn't make it)

Postby mercalia » 20 Aug 2014, 9:23pm

I think it is his own personal weight that worries him - together with a load of stuff on the rear wheel. I am about his weight and that was my worry also in getting a cheap trailer. Not that he is against panniers.

Urticaria
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Re: My first tour (I didn't make it)

Postby Urticaria » 20 Aug 2014, 9:41pm

I reckon getting off and pushing is not a good idea and it could even have been the cause of your problems. It twists your upper body for a start, then you apply a load which can cause all sorts of muscular strains and aches.It can get your legs as well; these have adapted to the cycling motion and not the climbing motion. I've a history of talking a lot of nonsense on this forum , but I guess cycling is still more efficient than walking, even if it means twiddling away in bottom gear?

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bigjim
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Re: My first tour (I didn't make it)

Postby bigjim » 20 Aug 2014, 9:54pm

Back,back in the day. When I were a lad and out on club runs. It was nothing unusual to dismount and push up steep hills Nobody thought anything of it and it never did any of us any harm. To this day on tour, I'll get off and push if it is too much for either me or the bike. This obsession today about never getting off the bike no matter what the cost amazes me.
Get off and push. Big deal.

mercalia
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Re: My first tour (I didn't make it)

Postby mercalia » 20 Aug 2014, 10:17pm

bigjim wrote:Back,back in the day. When I were a lad and out on club runs. It was nothing unusual to dismount and push up steep hills Nobody thought anything of it and it never did any of us any harm. To this day on tour, I'll get off and push if it is too much for either me or the bike. This obsession today about never getting off the bike no matter what the cost amazes me.
Get off and push. Big deal.


believe me pushing a bike fully loaded with those cheapo trailers uphill no fun. I was only able to do a short distance at a time then stop for a time. This poor man had a few hours of it, my heart goes out to him. No wonder he was so down.