30 Bananas a Day!

Cycle Touring: Advice from experienced riders appreciated :D

Hey everyone!

I'm looking into a TransAmerican cycle ride (East to West)...Soooo...

If anyone has any advice/experience it'd be much appreciated if they could share!
Such as:
-Bikes...which brands/models are comfortable, reliable, and geared well (preferably around or under $1000)

-Pannier vs. trailer

-Equipment...tools, camping gear, clothes, gloves, shoes, etc.

-Suggested routes, points of interest, and/or bi-coastal bike trails (the last one is probably a dream!) :D

Any info, big or small, would be very appreciated!

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hmmm... well i did my first big cycle tour this year down the east coast of australia, over 800 km's!! it was big for me!

we averaged about 60 or 70 km's a day pulling a b.o.b. trailer full of clothes, camping stuff and food. i loved having the trailer because you are more bottom-heavy and it really contours with the bike. it takes a bit of getting used to, but eventually you will have it! it can take quite a bit, so you can be prepared.

in terms of equipment, a very light tent is good if you want to stay places on the cheap. a blow-up mat and pillow that folds away. blanket/sleeping bag. flashlight. good water bottles and a brita filter bottle too maybe. something to cover you if you start burning or you can cut stockings and make "sleeves" for your arms. maybe a hat to go under your helmet (or a helmet with a viser). i did the whole trip in sandals but you might look into biking shoes if you are comfortable with the click-ins. a good pocket knife and maybe a spoon too. lights for your bike (back and front). tools and a kit to fix tires, extra tube, oil, etc.!! SO SO SO important. i got over 8 flats in one day and had to repair them all on the side of the road before i could finally get new tires!!! be waterproof and expect rainy days. a good waterproof bag for your stuff. a wind/rain jacket.

whew!! i think that will get you started :)

this is so exciting!! keep us posted on your trip!
"Pannier vs. trailer"

Probably need both. Dan the Liferegenerator just did a coastal tour on fruit. Made a bunch of videos.

Taking care of flats is probably easier with trailer.
Ive toured all over the world. Asia, North America,Australia,Europe..Ive cycled up to 515km in a day solo, 1530km in a week, 4350km in month, 30 020km in a year..and these are some things I have learnt.

*Ive toured with both panniers and trailer. Trailer is great for fruit carrying and pannier is great for superlight super fast touring with just bare bones basics.

*If your doing most of your miles on the road, stick with a skinny wheeled road bike. Youll be glad you did when the headwinds pick up, hills get steep or you forgot to eat/drink enough and highway life is getting tuff! :)

Julie just jumped on a bike and took off. Ive got mates that say 'Im not fit enough to go touring..maybe one day..' and they just never get around to it... Sure, we can cover more ground, reduce chance of injury, know what to do when shite happens etc if we have done a bit of training first, but like they say, where ever you are, be in the moment and learn from it. Just get out there and BUILD UP THE MILES SLOWLY and go from there. Dont expect to be able to hammer out big weeks off the bat. I knew an obese guy that rode Adelaide to Perth in like 60 days. I did the exact route in 15. But we both made the distance and that is what counts. The obese dude dropped some serious poundage. I hope he is living the health and fitness lifestyle where ever he is.

*You need warmth,food,shelter and basic bike stuff. Thats it. My moto is that if we cant pick the combined weight of our bike and trailer (minus food/water) up with one hand over our head, then we are carrying too much stuff. But thats my moto, I like to travel lightly. Carry whatever you need vs want.

*Get a bike from a good shop that is known for fitting people right to there bike. Dont skimp on bike fit, EVER! :)

*Eat before your hungry, eat before your thirsty. Doesnt matter what diet we eat, we need a tonne of carbs each day if we want to be super fit n healthy and have real fun in life. Eat so many carbs each day that sedentary people question your sanity almost.

* Buy last years model to get better parts for less coin. The advances in cycling havent changed much in the last 10years with road bikes. The hill climb times in the TDF prove this.

*Road bikes feel a bit twitchy to start with but after an hour of riding we will feel better. Same with a loaded bike. You can run 25/28 width tyres on your road bike if you want the peak of comfort/performance.

*Get some aero bars but ONLY use them if you are real confident in traffic. Practise first in park'n lots etc.

*Get out the saddle for a few seconds every few minutes. Sitting down for longer than a few minutes is going to cut blood flow. So every few minutes, dance like Lance.

* I listen to audio books whilist out riding. More rid'n = more learn'n. I was a bike courier so am used to being in heavy traffic with earphones on. It takes practise though.

*Specialized armadillo make the best tyres for puncture resistant IMHO. Learn how to fix a flat, check a rim tape, check the tyre aint pinched against the tube. Your local bike shop will show you for free but its probably up on youtube somewhere like all over bike mechanic stuff.

*Get a mirror for touring. Looks dorky but sometimes Ive left my mirror on and gone riding with roadies just so they comment on it and then I drop em on the next hill so I can comment on their lack of fitness.. :)

*Youll run into some Japanese riders out there somewhere. They are usually towing a caravan and about to collapse, but they never whine..Plus there is a few 80 year old world cycle tourers out there somewhere..

*Have fun! Get ready to cry, laugh, kick,scream, bliss your heart out.
Thanks you guys! Fantastic advice!!
i would want to go for a bike trip one time... dont know where..maybe that the problem.. wouldnt want to do it alone either:(

i am in the process of upgrading my 500buck trek to a bamboo bike.. working with a guy to make me one for about 1500:P it should be cool looking i think:P



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