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A Noob’s Tale – First Bicycle Tour (56k warning)

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A Noob’s Tale – First Bicycle Tour (56k warning)

Old 06-07-11, 09:20 AM
  #26  
Neil_B
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Originally Posted by bautieri View Post
That is pretty much the conclusion that we came to when trying to decide if it was better to use a trailer or a set of panniers. I don't think that one is really better than the other. They each have their advantages and drawbacks. Panniers force you to pack smart and question whether or not something is really needed, the major draw back is it limits your capacity and places all the weight directly over your rear tire which may influence spoke breakage and pinch flats. You really need to analyze everything cost to benefit ratio, with the cost being the space it takes up. Food, for one, needs to be evaluated based on the caloric yield for the space it takes up as well as the preparation method. That is unless you want to live off of peanut butter. A trailer offers more flexibility in what all you can take along, especially odd shaped objects, but has the draw back that you will most likely over pack it and the transportation issues you brought up. The consideration with the trailer isn't so much the space that an object takes up, so much as the weight of the item. Thus I feel that one isn't necessarily better than the other, but I am no expert on the subject matter.

A single wheeled trailer like your Big Tow or a Bob Yak would definatly be better on the C&O because you won't have to drag one wheel through the rough in the middle of the trail. For a trail as well groomed as this one, the child's trailer did quite well. I suspect an on-road tour would have similar results though it is an extra wheel to care for, as well as drag and overall width.
That said, I see three wheeled trailers from time to time on the C & O. It's a bumpy ride, but some people don't mind.



And for trails like the GAP and Pine Creek, I wouldn't hesitate to use a two wheeled trailer.
 
Old 06-07-11, 09:24 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by callmeclemens View Post
God Bless Black and Tan.
Porter is better if you can find it. They only brew it a few times a year, so snatch up a case if you get a chance. You'll thank me later.
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Old 06-07-11, 09:38 AM
  #28  
Neil_B
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Posted so Bau and his partner in crime go back and ride more of it.... here's the north end of the trail, the ten miles or so before you enter the canyon.





Mount Tom, named for Tom Stormcrowe. :-)



Mount Tom from the little church across Rt. 6. The trail, and Marsh Creek, run under the highway bridge. Trail access is down the road past the church. Rt. 6 is PA Bike Route Y. Don't make the mistake I did the first time and ride across the bridge and then turn, unless you want a nosebleed climb and rocky decent. If you do, you can get on the trail at Darling Run trailhead instead of the one I recommend. BTW, Pine Creek Outfitters is about a mile to the right on Rt. 6, and has shuttle services for cyclists.

 
Old 06-07-11, 10:20 AM
  #29  
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I didn't mind the two wheeled kiddie trailer I used, but there were times I was wondering if it wouldn't be better to just have a single wheel vs. the two. I don't know if it would have made much of a difference though. I can tell you this though, after that rain storm... make sure EVERYTHING is in a water proof bag, even if it's in a trailer. The top might be water proof, but that doesn't mean the bottom is. The water running off the top just leached into the front and back and soaked the whole bottom of the trailer. If it wasn't for that slightly suspended seat my gear would have been soaked through.
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Old 06-07-11, 10:14 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by vXhanz View Post
I didn't mind the two wheeled kiddie trailer I used, but there were times I was wondering if it wouldn't be better to just have a single wheel vs. the two. I don't know if it would have made much of a difference though. I can tell you this though, after that rain storm... make sure EVERYTHING is in a water proof bag, even if it's in a trailer. The top might be water proof, but that doesn't mean the bottom is. The water running off the top just leached into the front and back and soaked the whole bottom of the trailer. If it wasn't for that slightly suspended seat my gear would have been soaked through.
Plastic trash bags. Double bag stuff. Works in most wet weather.
 
Old 06-08-11, 10:04 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by bautieri View Post
Porter is better if you can find it. They only brew it a few times a year, so snatch up a case if you get a chance. You'll thank me later.
I was talking with a good friend of mine who just finished trailing it from Vermont to Montreal. Both of us being big fans of Beer (especially Microbrews etc.), I asked him what he does with his beer. I loved this. He buys a box (about ten) of those sports ice packs that you have to pop before they get cold, after a day of riding he'll pop 2 or 3 throw them in his cooking pot with 2 or 3 beers,cool off, take a shower, and by the time he comes back he's got cold beer.
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Old 06-08-11, 10:44 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by bautieri View Post
That is pretty much the conclusion that we came to when trying to decide if it was better to use a trailer or a set of panniers. I don't think that one is really better than the other. They each have their advantages and drawbacks. Panniers force you to pack smart and question whether or not something is really needed, the major draw back is it limits your capacity and places all the weight directly over your rear tire which may influence spoke breakage and pinch flats. You really need to analyze everything cost to benefit ratio, with the cost being the space it takes up. <<SNIP>>
Being a backpacker, touring would seem to be a nice mash-up of activities for me.

Now that you have your maiden voyage done you can begin to refine your equipment choices through experience. That is what has happened with my backpacking load. The first couple of trips you take everything you own. After that you start to realize you probably don't need a case of AA batteries, a plastic carrier for a dozen eggs and an AM/FM/Shortwave radio. (Kidding. . .Sort of)
You might venture onto some of the more sensible backpacking sites to find equipment that will be just as functional but weight/volume friendly. Alcohol stoves vs. a heavy gas stove. A tarp enclosure or a backpacking hammock instead of a 3 person tent. You don't have to go crazy about it (you think the biking weight wienies are bad, have a peek at some of the loonies that hang out in the ultra-light backpacking forums).
Another thing is that the backpacking folks tend to be DIY'ers so lots of stuff is done on the cheap. And, it's highly functional because you are customizing it for your particular likes/dislikes/needs/wants/preferences. There are plenty of suppliers out there that provide raw materials for making your own gear--everything from ripstop nylon impregnated with silicone so it's very light and waterproof to high-tech wicking materials for making clothes.
It's all out there. . .
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Old 06-09-11, 12:06 PM
  #33  
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Thanks for the posts.

I'd probably go with a trailer...I once had a bike with heavy panniers flip over on me, badly spraining my ankle. Still don't have a full range of motion.
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