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Day 5, 3rd day with rain in a row

Old 10-27-20, 11:42 PM
  #26  
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Last year, I had spent months planning a 2 week trek, then as the date approached the weather forecast was terrible, I decided to postpone for a few days, but the rain, the storms and the wind got worse, so I cancelled.
I posted a rant here about the disappointment, which was received with mixed responses.
In the end, it was the right decision, It was the worst month for rain in years. Roads were washed out, several campers died in flash floods.
Made up for it this year with a heat wave.
The risks of outdoor adventures
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Old 10-27-20, 11:48 PM
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Being an Ohio resident, my hat's off to you. I haven't ridden in over a week with this rain and the COLD, oof...no thanks. Safe travels and get home in time to vote!
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Old 10-28-20, 11:06 PM
  #28  
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Well the forecast went to pot pretty quick and the radar (screen shot below) is confirming the forecast. So I implemented one of my bug out options and got a ride home. If I didn't have election day on the horizon I would have hunkered down and waited out the rain for a day or two to see what it did, but if I did that I would probably have ended up needing a ride back without being able to make the miles in the time I had anyway so I chose to get back and clean up now as opposed to be cooped up in the tent in the cold rain without a shower in 10 days.

Anywho, my goal was to get to the lake and I did that several days ago so that was still an achieved goal. I had a few options after hitting the lake but with the weather and time doing a 180 and heading right back is what I ended up doing.

The yellow star is about where I ended the trek - near Dalton and Massilon.


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Old 10-28-20, 11:15 PM
  #29  
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If you think I had a lot of gear check out this rig. This is the fellow bike tourer I ran in to. We hunkered down in camp a couple nights waiting out some rain and resting at the same time then ran about 15 miles today together. Hes traveled the past 3 years - around the eastern US. Indiana to the east coast and down to florida. The trailer is new this season - 4th version hes made and toured with. The others all had some kind of design flaw and this one is an improvement born from lessons learned on the others. It is pretty heavy construction but is strong and tracked really well behind his bike.



This is my bike when I was loaded and rolling out of camp this morning.
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Old 10-29-20, 04:14 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by KC8QVO View Post
The yellow star is about where I ended the trek - near Dalton and Massilon.
I really enjoy that area - both the Sippo Valley Trail out of Dalton as well as the Towpath as it runs along the river just north of Massillon.

Congrats on making the lake.
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Old 10-29-20, 08:36 AM
  #31  
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Just a quick tidbit, also - the 12v battery I use is a 12Ah LiFePO4. It should have around 140-150wh of usable power. I had it charging for about 2 hours yesterday at a picnic shelter on the trail. It took 20 some watt hours in that time (no where near full charge). Then I used it for the rest of the last bit of the ride to power my tablet and charge my bike computer. I put it on the charger last night when I got home and its taken 88 watt hours over 10 hours so I'd say thats fully charged.

I don't know what the % drain was at the time it went on the charger, or what the % charge was yesterday when I stopped at the shelter, but going off the 88wh and the voltage around 12.5v I know I was pretty low. The battery cuts off (self-protection turns the terminals off) around 11.5 or 11.7v I think, but the real kicker to it is the lithium batteries hold voltage up all the way to the last 10-15% or so of charge. When the voltage starts dropping it tanks quite fast. So I am not sure how much usable power was there with the 12.5v or so I was left with. I will have to experiment with that some time and see - pull out 80-100wh and then see what I can do with it. It was still running the tablet and bike computer, and those were around 5 watts combined, but for how long would it do that? Possibly heading in to 2 days hunkered down in camp with this rain that likely doesn't amount to a whole lot of being able to run electronics - like the ham radio which I would have definitely wanted to be using, and did use, on my off days. The lower the state of charge on the battery the less current draw it can hold, also. So there may be 30wh left in the battery, but if you try pulling it at more than a few mA of current the voltage would likely sag and trip the protection circuit. In fact, I think that happened a few times. I taped the terminals up on the battery because I had them come off inside my bag a time or two. Yet, the power still cut off a few times. I can tell when it happens - I have a power meter on the stem that shows the voltage, amperage, wattage, and accumulated wh - you can see it in the picture of my loaded bike when I left the last camp in the last post of mine above (small screen between the bar and steer tube). If its not on there isn't any power and nothing is charging.
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Old 10-29-20, 09:36 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by KC8QVO View Post


Surly should use your photo in order to demonstrate the loads the LHT can handle : )
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Old 10-29-20, 10:30 AM
  #33  
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I think you did a great job if you enjoyed yourself, given the poor weather conditions you had.

My five week tour in summer 2019, I started it a day late, forecast was for over an inch of rain on my first day so stayed at a hostel an extra day before my start. And a couple weeks later, forecast was for very heavy rain event, planned to camp for two nights in a campground in a small city, but ended up staying there for three nights, gave me time to do laundry, etc. And later when I had a forecast of five consecutive days of rain, I decided to spend three nights at a hostel and sightsee, do laundry (again), etc., while sleeping indoors. Your continuing to persevere in the bad weather makes me sound like a real wimp.

You can buy tires that have a folding bead. When I carry a spare tire, I carry a folding tire in the bottom of a pannier. It is not a direct replacement for one of my tires, instead it is a lightweight one that I would not trust for thousands of miles, but I would certainly trust it to get me to the bike shop.
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Old 10-29-20, 10:34 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by robow View Post
Surly should use your photo in order to demonstrate the loads the LHT can handle : )
LOL. Maybe.

This was the 3ord day of the return. I had made my 1st resupply run at the north end of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and stayed up top of the valley rim that night after the resupply. The next day I got sun and dried everyrjing out plus got some solar power. Then I made the drop down to the valley floor and a couple riding by stopped very intrigued with my packing. So we sat and talked for a while. The guy was on a Surly also so I got this picture - opposite ends of the spectrum.

This is at the Carriage and Towpath Trail intersection - bridge is on the Carriage Trail. That was some hellatious climbing to get to the valley rim with the load. I made it walking 10ft at a time. But it was the best shot I had to resupply for a while so I hammered it out. I lucked out and found the nice clearing at the rim on the way out and that was where I set camp. One of the best camp spots of the trip, minus the elevation!

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Old 10-29-20, 10:54 AM
  #35  
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I know we have shown this before but for those that have not seen it, how to fold a wire bead tire into a smaller more manageable package.

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Old 10-29-20, 01:04 PM
  #36  
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Conti Top Contact II (the “Top”” is key) comes folded and is a tough tire. Took a spare on my Black Hills tour because I had planned some rough dirt, and bike shops were a rarity in parts.
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Old 10-29-20, 01:34 PM
  #37  
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KC--serious suggestion here.
When you are back home, it would be a good idea to have a good mechanic check your spoke tensions. I've kinda lost track of the timeline of your bike, but seems to me its new this year. Carrying so much stuff would have most likely loosened up spokes, so a good check over and retension is going to save money and grief/hassle in the long run if you get it done before you forget and head off again next year loaded to the gills.
Im fairly certain your rims are the Adventurer 2 rims like on my wifes Troll, and 36 spokes also. So yes, its pretty darn impressive how they have held up like an old Timex watch.

I saw that you are back, but I'd suggest making a list while its fresh of everything you took.
This will possibly help you reconsidering what you need on your next adventure.
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Old 10-29-20, 02:01 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by KC8QVO View Post
This is my bike when I was loaded and rolling out of camp this morning.
what is that giant black pole on the back of your bike?!?! I hadnt noticed that in the where's waldo of stuff packed to the bike.
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Old 10-29-20, 02:14 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
what is that giant black pole on the back of your bike?!?! I hadnt noticed that in the where's waldo of stuff packed to the bike.
Antenna support mast. It has a 1/4 wave ground plane 2 meter antenna on the top. And it makes for a nice spot to mount a tail light - high up for better visibility cresting hills.

If you look at the front of the main frame to the right of the blue nalgene you'll see my handheld radio. It actually does a lot - has wideband receive so I get all the broadcast bands plus the ham stuff.

Edit - if you are talking about the black tube by the seat - thats a 4 piece packable fly fishing rod. I took my 4wt rod and an old Hardy reel that was my grandpas.
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Old 10-29-20, 04:40 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
KC--serious suggestion here.
When you are back home, it would be a good idea to have a good mechanic check your spoke tensions. I've kinda lost track of the timeline of your bike, but seems to me its new this year. Carrying so much stuff would have most likely loosened up spokes, so a good check over and retension is going to save money and grief/hassle in the long run if you get it done before you forget and head off again next year loaded to the gills.
The front rim is not stock, the rear is. Both front and rear wheel sets have been trued a few times. The bike was new in 2014 - so 6 years old now.

I did repack the bearings before the trek. I checked how true the wheels were before I left and they weren't worth adjusting.

I did have a bit of a wobble in the front yesterday that felt odd. I checked the front wheel and there was a little slop in the axle/cones/bearings so I tightened it up a hair and put it back on.

As far as spoke tension goes - I'll go over the wheels again in the off-season, no worries there. I do all my own work, between myself and another bike friend of mine. If there is something I don't have I work on things over there sometimes.
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Old 10-29-20, 04:45 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by KC8QVO View Post
Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
what is that giant black pole on the back of your bike?!?! I hadnt noticed that in the where's waldo of stuff packed to the bike.
Antenna support mast. It has a 1/4 wave ground plane 2 meter antenna on the top.
Post #18 with the picture of the bike and lake in the background shows the whole mast and antenna. The ground plane is 12 gauge Romex solid copper wire (from the ground wire of the 3) and the radiator (vertical rod) is a TIG welding rod on a PL-259 connector. Each element is around 19" (1/4 wave on 2 meters).
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Old 10-29-20, 04:58 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by KC8QVO View Post
The front rim is not stock, the rear is. Both front and rear wheel sets have been trued a few times. The bike was new in 2014 - so 6 years old now.

I did repack the bearings before the trek. I checked how true the wheels were before I left and they weren't worth adjusting.

I did have a bit of a wobble in the front yesterday that felt odd. I checked the front wheel and there was a little slop in the axle/cones/bearings so I tightened it up a hair and put it back on.

As far as spoke tension goes - I'll go over the wheels again in the off-season, no worries there. I do all my own work, between myself and another bike friend of mine. If there is something I don't have I work on things over there sometimes.
oh, I got that all wrong about the bike, thought it was new. I still like getting a mechanic to go over tensions with their tension gauge, figure they do a much better job than me.

oh, cool restoration of that welding thing btw.

next trip, I hope you can choose a better season, this will help a lot for less gear. I realize you're a guy who will always bring lots of stuff, but summer will very much help, and you'll probably take less two of things.
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Old 10-30-20, 01:02 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by KC8QVO View Post
This is at the Carriage and Towpath Trail intersection - bridge is on the Carriage Trail. That was some hellatious climbing to get to the valley rim with the load. I made it walking 10ft at a time.
DUDE, you ain't kiddin' about that climb! I tried it earlier this year on a very hot day and failed colossally. I had started walking it very early on, hoping I could make it up to the connector to Brandywine Falls. Even though I only had a trunk bag on my bike, I was stopping every 20-40 feet. Once I checked the map and saw that I had over a half mile at that rate, I said "F this" and turned back around. Damn near lost my brakes on that downhill. Never again.
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Old 10-30-20, 07:36 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by a_d_a_m View Post
DUDE, you ain't kiddin' about that climb! I tried it earlier this year on a very hot day and failed colossally. I had started walking it very early on, hoping I could make it up to the connector to Brandywine Falls. Even though I only had a trunk bag on my bike, I was stopping every 20-40 feet. Once I checked the map and saw that I had over a half mile at that rate, I said "F this" and turned back around. Damn near lost my brakes on that downhill. Never again.
Heres the GPS data. You can guess where the trail was... Note that everything in to town, nearly, was up. There is close to a 400ft difference between the towpath and the elevation up top out of the valley in town. And the reported grade goes up to about 16% in the dataset. How accurate that is I am not sure.


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Old 10-31-20, 11:27 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by KC8QVO View Post
Heres the GPS data. You can guess where the trail was... Note that everything in to town, nearly, was up. There is close to a 400ft difference between the towpath and the elevation up top out of the valley in town. And the reported grade goes up to about 16% in the dataset. How accurate that is I am not sure.
400ft sounds damn near correct. Not sure about the 16% grade but I certainly wouldn't be surprised if that's even on the low side! I love CVNP but I think they might need to put a bike-capable ski lift in on the carriage trail.
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Old 11-01-20, 07:37 AM
  #46  
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for as long as I can remember when bike touring, these sort of "gotcha" moments at the end of the day, to the campground, to the town to buy food, whatever, have always been around--and always will be, it's just part of bike touring.
KC, I'm know this is the broken record again, but this is why all of us have learned to take less crap. Self propelled outdoor activities mean a very pared down way of day to day, you just have to have a different mind set of what is needed, and it has a very direct impact on how hard things are physically--and there is always going to be another hill...

There is a very clear liberating aspect to figuring out what you need, what you need to cover weather possibilities. Taking two of this and two of that is always going to add weight.
I have a very clear memory going down the west coast back in the early 90s, all of us in a campground setup ready to go to sleep, and in roll a couple loaded up to the gills in the dark, completely and utterly exhausted, floor pump and everything hanging off their bikes. When you told of setting up camp at 1am earlier, it really did recall that 25+ year old memory.
Good luck with your future possible bike adventures.
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Old 11-01-20, 08:39 AM
  #47  
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I prefer the 400 ft elevation climbs early in the day when I am full of energy in comparison to end of day when I am already beat.




I do not know how accurate the 4 km sign is, but the 13 percent grade sign matched my inclinometer. If my math is right, 13 percent grade for 4 km is about 1,700 feet of elevation gain on this one hill. The other sign says 3km, that would have only been a bit under 1,300 feet of elevation. Tackling that at the start of the day when I was fresh was a lot better than end of day.
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Old 11-01-20, 11:59 AM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
you just have to have a different mind set of what is needed, and it has a very direct impact on how hard things are physically--and there is always going to be another hill...
Bold added. You are speaking to "the norm". I am not "the norm" and thus there are lots of "noisy" replies.

That is exactly why I made the following comments in another thread here (you can click the square carat next to my username in the quote to link back to the post, and thread, where the quote is from to read more if you wish):
Originally Posted by KC8QVO View Post
Also - do realize that, as has been discussed in this and other threads, your ideas on gear (shelters, heat, cooking) and ways of going about your type of touring is most certainly not the norm here on Bike Forums. That, I believe, is the root of the question/concern in some of the "noise makers". You are (and I am as well, as already noted) an odd-ball. Don't take that in the wrong way, we all only live once and however odd of a path we want to go down we should go down. Just be prepared for the noise because it isn't mainstream. There is a difference between being an odd fit looking for guidance/assistance and those trying to offer guidance/assistance. I think that is where the previously removed post was getting at with trying to assist you seeming like a waste of their time. I'm not in to politics, however its like a die-hard democrat trying to have a conversation about the same topic as a die-hard republican. Not only is it a challenge for them to have discussion, it is a challenge for them to even understand what they are discussing to begin with. Not picking any sides, the point is - audiences vary. If you are speaking to an audience on a subject that is foreign to them, or outside their wheel-houses, or worse - frowned upon by the audience, you are bound to get noisy replies.
We all only live once and however odd of a path we want to go down we should go down.

What the "norm" is gets back to efficiency - transportation efficiency. Transportation efficiency isn't a trumping factor to my style of riding. I like to be comfortable and enjoy my time "out" (away, outside, in the woods, etc). That is also why I don't slam the miles. I want to enjoy my breakfast and coffee in the morning. If it takes me 3 hours from the time I get up to eat, have my coffee, and break camp then fine. That 3 hours doesn't eat in to my target 100 miles for the day. My body wouldn't hold up to that from the get go, but even if I set a goal of 60 miles a day that would be a lot and would require stricter use of time off of riding to allow more time for riding. That isn't what my trips are all about. I do travel by bicycle - but at a much more relaxed and laid back pace to enjoy where I am and other things while off the bike than what appears to be the "norm".

That isn't a bad thing, it is just different. Two different mindsets, two different philosophies.

That having been said, yeah there are ways to trim down - but the decision on what to trim down/out and where requires, at the moment, sacrificing the utility of something by not having it. I'm not going to go spending money on new gear. For example - winter cycling boots with SPD clips and rain gear. In both of those areas I could shave several pounds by buying different gear. Therefore I am retaining the utility of the items by substituting them with gear that will do the job, just at a weight reduction. The several hundred dollars required to do that isn't worth the weight reduction - to me. To gram counters it may, but not to me.

Another point is the shelter options. In another couple threads I've had here recently I've tossed around ideas for shelter options, lighter tents, etc to possibly trim some load there. However, after this trip I have to say that I don't think it is worth it to swap the tent I have for anything else - even with the weight. The protection it offers, to me, stands higher on the list than dropping a couple lbs with a lighter option. For a short trip of a few days there would be some merit to a lighter tent where it would be possible to get a more reasonable outlook on what the weather is going to do, but for a couple weeks or more and the likelihood of stronger/poorer weather going up with a less accurate outlook on weather conditions that far out I would feel a lot better having the tent I already have.

So yea, we definitely have different mindsets. Transportation efficiency is a consideration, but in my case that isn't a trumping factor as it appears to you and most people on the forum. What trumps in my realm is comfort in the conditions and enjoying the trip + places I go and where I camp.

You can make the argument that more gear = more suffering on the trip by making the riding more miserable, but I don't see it as that - to the same extent. Weight is weight, yes, but the benefits to having the gear along means I have options and stuff to match conditions so I am more comfortable on my travels. There is a balance there, yes, and where I put emphasis in gear selections and preferences is definitely not what the norm is - I realize that. Hence the quoted comments.

To each their own.

I am putting a video together on the trip - mostly the gear break-down but I do have a slideshow in there also. It should be up this afternoon. I'll put that in a new thread since it would be buried deep in this one by now.
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Old 11-01-20, 12:39 PM
  #49  
mev
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Originally Posted by KC8QVO View Post
Bold added. You are speaking to "the norm". I am not "the norm" and thus there are lots of "noisy" replies.

What the "norm" is gets back to efficiency - transportation efficiency...slam the miles....target 100 miles for the day... goal of 60 miles a day that would be a lot...
...more relaxed and laid back pace to enjoy where I am and other things while off the bike than what appears to be the "norm".

I'm not going to go spending money on new gear....To gram counters it may, but not to me.

...the benefits to having the gear along means I have options and stuff to match conditions so I am more comfortable on my travels.
I think you might be creating a bit of a straw man when you refer to a "norm". In my experience, slamming miles, 100 miles a day and gram counting is much more an exception that what I see myself and most others I meet doing.

Myself personally, I've been throughout that spectrum. Doing some pretty intense riding focused touring when I was younger and some more relaxed trips when I was older. There is enough room for diversity in a lot of different styles in everything from going self-supported vs. credit card, going early vs. late, rest days, distances, etc.

What has worked best for me is to do a bit of a feedback cycle on what worked/what didn't work after my trips as well as slowly developing checklist. In that regard, I had found that weight on the bike was less about buying the most lightweight stuff and more about setting out my gear and taking a good look at it to divide into a few piles:
- stuff I used and was useful
- stuff I brought along, but would likely still need in emergency or similar situation e.g. if it didn't rain on my trip, I might still think it important to bring since it could rain on the next trip
- stuff I didn't use
It is that third category that I start trimming from my checklists. When I've replaced gear, I have brought in weight as a consideration but the notion of approaching gear choices as mostly an issue of replacing existing stuff with the lightest weight stuff hasn't been a big focus for me.

In the end, I probably end up with slightly more than average. My bike shown below in Cartagena Colombia. The biggest areas I find myself with some extra things others might not bring:
(a) a few more electronic toys
(b) as I've gained experience with things breaking or circumstances happening on tours; I've added a few more spare parts and similar e.g. in bike below pretty sure I had two spare tires, though in my defense did actually find myself using both as the wore out and Schwalbe wasn't as easy to find in South America
On the other hand, I've also learned some cases where I brought some things on early trips but found I could do without as well, e.g.
(a) I have less cook gear since I found I could get something to eat along the way during the days and also do fine with "no cook" solutions at night when I was camping

So I think this is less about conforming to a specific "norm" or trying to be difference and more about looking at how one tunes ones process and gear as you learn more what works and what doesn't work...
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Old 11-01-20, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
and in roll a couple loaded up to the gills in the dark, completely and utterly exhausted, floor pump and everything hanging off their bikes.
That brought back a virtual memory. Maybe a decade ago I advised a local couple that was relocating to CA by bike. Once they got started I followed them on Crazy Guy. Saw that they were, indeed, carrying a full size Park Tools floor pump. They also had a large, cast iron skillet and what sounded like a dozen or so books. All the while they complained about how hard it was. I messaged them and suggested that they lose, among other things, the pump and get a Road Morph G, which is quite a popular pump. They said they didn’t trust it even after I explained to them how durable and popular it is. IIRC, they made it as far as OK and somehow got a ride (or rides) to TX before abandoning and catching a train or something to CA.
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