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abominable slowman
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The missus and I have decided that our big trip next year will be a bike tour (three weeks if we can get away for that long). That is about all we have decided and we're just starting to brainstorm on locations and how we want to do it (self-supported vs supported, camping vs motels etc.).

We're leaning toward self-supported and undecided about camping vs motels. We're experienced cyclists and experienced campers (backpacking especially) but we have done almost no bike touring. We each have cross bikes that might work as touring bikes, especially if we go light or if we use a BOB trailer. But I'm considering new bikes for this. We'll see.

Anyway, my first step is to find resources to begin researching and planning. I just re-joined Adventure Cycling Association. I look in this forum quite often (and have started doing searches for old threads). And I know about crazyguyonabike.com and bikepacking.net.

Any other good websites for techniques, tricks, routes, forums, gear, advice, experts etc.? Or books that people would recommend.

Thanks.
 

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If you an experienced cyclist and experienced backpacker you should be pretty well set. If you like camping I would be inclined to camp with maybe the occasional motel. You get to stay in more interesting places for less money.

Try a weekend trip or three to pare down gear and get stuff dialed in. I think every tour I've carried a little less then the last one. Travel light, it'll work. With camping gear my base weight (no food, but including panniers) is under 20 lbs for a summer tour. I'm sure short trips it has been closer to 15. Just something to muse about, how much is it worth to carry?

crazyguyonabike.com has lots of good trip journals to read to see what other people have done. I see you mention it, but I've learned a fair bit from stuff people put up.
 

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Already there

llama31 said:
Anyway, my first step is to find resources to begin researching and planning. I just re-joined Adventure Cycling Association. I look in this forum quite often (and have started doing searches for old threads). And I know about crazyguyonabike.com and bikepacking.net.

Any other good websites for techniques, tricks, routes, forums, gear, advice, experts etc.? Or books that people would recommend.
Adventure Cycling and crazyguy are the top two resources. On the ACA site there is a "how to" section. Plus they have books available in their on-line store that might be a good read for you.

As others have said, the backpacking experience will be very applicable. One key to a good self supported tour is good panniers and racks. This seems to be where a lot of people have trouble with broken parts, loose screws falling out at inopportune times, gear getting wet, etc.
 

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Festina Lente'
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What Mr Irons said.

Pack up with good gear. Get moving. Nothing complicated. :)
 

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Kerry Irons said:
Adventure Cycling and crazyguy are the top to resources.
Yeah, I always check out www.crazyguyonabike.com. There are ride reports from bike tours all over the world, and lots of good ideas on where to tour.

Some advice: Before you pay for your panniers, try them on your bike at the shop (full) to make sure you have adequate heal clearance.
 

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abominable slowman
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the advice. If we decide to use panniers, I have them already (at least rear panniers). I bought a set of Ortlieb panniers and a tubus rack on sale last year. They're good for grocery shopping and running errands and will certainly do well for touring if we decide to use panniers.

I can't see trying a tandem. We just have no interest in it.

Yeah, it is nice to be able to take long vacations. I'm self-employed and, at least so far, I've had just enough work to have a decent income, but enough free time to do lots of fun stuff. And if my income is good enough this year, my wife will take unpaid leave so we can do a three week trip. :thumbsup:
 

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Baltic Scum
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llama31 said:
We each have cross bikes that might work as touring bikes, especially if we go light or if we use a BOB trailer. But I'm considering new bikes for this. We'll see.
Unless you are looking for an excuse to buy another bike (which is perfectly fine and understandable, of course), I recommend using the 'crossbikes for your trip. I own a couple of VooDoo Wazoos, one of which I use for commuting and loaded touring. Put on something around a 28 or bigger road tire, some fenders, a rack, maybe a wide range cassette and you're good to go.
 
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