Thursday, June 28, 2007

6/28/07 2:24 PM Sauk City, WI Afterthoughts

Ted and I wanted to add a few thoughts to our blog for the next time around. It may be not all that interesting but other present or future bike tourists might find this helpful.
  1. Would we do this again? Yes, we will although we realize that some wouldn't as it can be hard and unpredictable. you need to be patient and tolorant of occasional discomfort.
  2. What's the biggest change we would make? More rest days. We cranked too hard too long to make it here on time.
  3. Shorcomings in terms of equipment or changes in what you would bring?
  • Andy would use a more heavy duty frame. While the Volpe worked okay itbent and wiggled more than I would like. Ted's bike was very solid in comparison.
  • Ted had a pair of Avid Shorty 4 caliper brakes that were not really adequate. My bike had short pull v-brakes that worked brilliantly even with a heavy load.
  • My rear cassette was a 12-28 and could have keen stretched at both ends. Ted had an 11-34 that worked really well.
  • If going through any part of the southwest you need thornproof tubes. I left without one in my front tire and probably patched it 8 times before I picked up a thicker one in Las Vegas, NM. Interestingly enough that tube blew out in Kansas and we replaced it with a regular non slime thin tube and it worked for the next 1000 miles without incident. Ted never had a flat.
  • We broke 3 bottle cages. Make sure that the ones you have are high quality and in good shape before you go. If not bring spares as insurance.
  • Don't be miserly in terms of water storage. We carried over 2 gallons of water between us in NM. We never ran out but we did drink most of it up.
  • Bring high quality biking shorts that you have worn before as well as chamois lubricant for those ocassional hotspots that develop on a hot day. We had three different types of shorts and the $25 Performance shorts had shortcomings that the other higher quality ones didn't.
Finally, don't plan exactly where you will go and stay. Things change too much and you need to react to circumstances. Do plan generally though. Plan for the big picture and let the details unfold.

4 comments:

Rich said...

Congratulations! I have enjoyed living vicariously through you! Not sure I would do it on a bike but you have piqued my interest in visitng middle america! Nice job on the blog, too!

Charles Price said...

Hi Andy and Ted - Liv just got home from his trip to Maine, and told us about your blog. So I just now finished reading thru your trip comments - what a great trip! Now Liv wants to do it!
Charles

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