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Thread: Touring

  1. #1
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    Touring

    When I started riding long distance tours, being an Anorak I read everybody’s posts on the subject, talked to everyone I could, and slowly formed an idea of what was best for me. It was also the same for when I started camping again. Everybody’s different, everybody has a different take on a subject, but these are my “takes”. As always feel free to disagree. (It’s called being human)

    Riding Position
    When I first started riding longer distances I found at the end of the day my backside, shoulders, and wrists used to ache like mad, I put this down to my advancing years. This didn’t cause a problem, because I was staying in Hotels and a nice hot shower, followed by half an hours kip solved the problem. I got myself an aftermarket seat, and being a Poseur, a back rest. Using the back rest showed me why I got Shoulder Aches. I slouched, as the day wore on I started to slouch forward putting more strain on my shoulders and wrists. You don’t need a backrest to solve this, just remember to sit up straight when on the bike for a few hours.

    Bike Gear
    As well as protecting yourself if the worst happens, being at a comfortable temperature when riding the bike is very important, so I tend to wear gear that has a lot of venting zips.
    I have had both gear that has a waterproof membrane and non-waterproof with waterproof overgear.I now plump for waterproof overgear.If you’re staying in a hotel it doesn’t matter, but if you’re camping, it’s difficult to get the gear dry for the next day.
    Waterproof Jackets have to let in air, it’s what they do, so wind on a cold, wet day must get through, and over time you will get cold, whereas a plastic over jacket is completely windproof, and coupled with layers underneath will keep you warmer. My plastic over jacket has a big pocket in the middle of the chest for all those necessary items. My Over trousers are Berghaus Gore-Tex at Ł99, the reason for this is my legs are more protected from the wind, and they have zips from the ankle to waist so really easy to get on in a hurry. There is also the fact if you are out sight seeing for the day you can put your waterproofs on over your going out gear. Whilst on the subject don’t forget to take you Expedition Brolly, I found this a real boon last year as a sunshade and keeping showers of rain off me, and these days you can buy so many different colourful ones.


    I have a pair of Aerostich Tank Saddlebags that I use to keep my cooking gear and food in, this packs bulky items for me with not a lot of weight. The good side to this is that there are pockets on the outside that I can put Peage tickets in, and my Passport if necessary, they also act as crash barriers if the bike goes over, the same as the panniers, and save the wing mirrors, and make it easier for the others to lift the bike up.
    I keep a pair of open toed sandals in the top box and it is such a relief to take off the boots when we stop for lunch, and put them on.

    If you’re travelling with a group you don’t have to stop at every Petrol Station that they do, you don’t have to stop at every photo opportunity that they do, sometimes it’s good to have a different story to tell at the Evening’s campsite get together.

    Camping
    I remember reading somebody mentioning that you don’t need to take clean underwear, socks or T-Shirts, as you can buy them as you travel. This seemed like a good idea until I thought about it. It means that you are committed to looking for somewhere to buy them, unless you are Charlie or Ewan and can wear them back to front, inside out, and so forth. Being a sensitive soul with a strong sense of smell I can’t do this. I found the ideal to be 3 Pairs of underwear, socks, and T-Shirts, made of a man made material not Cotton. When you are having your shower at night you can wash your T-Shirt, Pants, and Socks then. Hang them out to dry on your Tent, and they should be dry in the morning. So with 3 of everything, you have one washed, one to wear, and one spare, and being man made they pack down small, especially in those Vacuum Bags.
    I have to have a tent that I can stand up in, crawling around on all fours at my time of life is not a pleasure any more, and being able to stand up to get dressed in the morning is one of life’s little treats.
    The same goes for the chair, I have an aluminium framed one that I can sit in comfortably after a hard day’s riding, that doesn’t feel like you are doing Squats when you get out of it. The Kermit Chair would be my ultimate one, but I just can’t afford one at the moment.
    The same goes for the table I have one of those aluminium slatted ones that stand about 700mm. high so you can stand and work on it when you are preparing food or pouring that Ice Cold first Beer of the Evening.
    I always take about 6 packs of army boil in a bag rations with me, as sometimes the camp shop is closed or I don’t fancy anything they have to offer. Also dried milk and tea bags, and Coffee in paper packs, & salt&pepper, Olive oil, and Tabasco Sauce. Lately I have started to take dehydrated mince as it gives me a meat source for the evening meal, and doesn’t take up much room.
    I found out last year that the price of electricity is included in the pitch fees, so now I take a 20m. Extension lead with the special plug to charge my Thingies at night and work my Laptop.
    One thing I did learn on this site is always carry a Wee Bottle. It has proved to be a Godsend many times in Wet weather and just “I can’t be bothered to walk to the block& if I do it outside somebody will hear me” moments.
    Lastly I’ve found you need to be adaptable, some things I did and used were set in stone, but I did change my mind, for I think the better.

    Enjoy your touring; it’s what these bikes are for.

    Ken.

  2. #2
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    Touring

    Forgot this Paragraph.

    Riding Necessities (for me)
    Keeping Hydrated is very important when riding, so I keep a Camelback in my Tank bag with the Mouthpiece Velcro’d to the outside, so I can drink on the move, & I carry a 2 litre bottle of water on top of a pannier, I also carry those Muslie Bars in the Tank bag to eat if I feel peckish, but need to keep moving, I also have a tin of boiled sweets in there, because if you start to feel lethargic they give you an instant boost. Lidl sells these for 50p. a tin. And they taste like a……Boiled Sweet


  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Major Gadget View Post
    If you’re travelling with a group you don’t have to stop at every Petrol Station that they do, you don’t have to stop at every photo opportunity that they do, sometimes it’s good to have a different story to tell at the Evening’s campsite get together.
    Ken.
    That's what I agree with most, Ken.
    A good read.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Major Gadget View Post
    Lately I have started to take dehydrated mince as it gives me a meat source for the evening meal, and doesn’t take up much room.Ken.
    Ken, I'm really looking forward to meeting you! My experience of campsites on 'tother side of channel is that they always have a cooked meal on the go until late in the evening or, there's a Cafe nearby.

    But ............... if I'm wrong, cuisine a la Ken is nearby?

  5. #5
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    Ken !
    Think youre a star ! I aint camping but have in the past (not on a bike though ) .

    The info youve posted will no doubt be of great value to those who havent done it before and most likely to some who have.I've read most of your posts regarding this trip and am looking forward to meeting and Riding with you.

    Keep up the good work,you must have a lot of patience !

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by L'Escargot View Post


    Keep up the good work,you must have a lot of patience !
    Thanks Charlie, but I think it's more like Bryn said,

    Ken you've got too much time on your hands.

  7. #7
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    On the subject of heat.

    Its shaping up to be a very hot summer here in Europe. Don't underestimate the dangers of riding overheated.

    An increase of core body temperature by as little as 1-2 C can cause loss of coordination and judgment similar to being above the legal alcohol limit.

    An increase in 1-2C is quite easily achieved by a motorcyclist clad in black leather or other insulating fabric with a helmet on (especially if he/she is, ahem, on the substantial side ) Our usual protective garb then becomes the enemy.

    Its not an issue of hydration, you can drink and sweat as much as you like but it will have only a minimal effect if it can't evaporate.

    I personally had an incident recently (no harm done as it happens), but where I made a stupid, stupid error of judgement, almost certainly because I was too hot.

    Here on the France/Germany/Swiss border, its in the low 30s Celsius (90ish F) and the mid-term forecasts are that its not getting cooler anytime soon.
    There can only be 11 and I'm one.

    My pics

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    Quote Originally Posted by stolzy View Post
    Its shaping up to be a very hot summer here in Europe. Don't underestimate the dangers of riding overheated.

    An increase of core body temperature by as little as 1-2 C can cause loss of coordination and judgment similar to being above the legal alcohol limit.
    Hi Stolzy good to hear from you again, do you remember what happened to Chuck last year, I thought he was going to pass out.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Major Gadget View Post
    Hi Stolzy good to hear from you again, do you remember what happened to Chuck last year, I thought he was going to pass out.
    I do indeed, I was right behind him.
    Passing out is one thing, often you can feel it coming - what is more insidiously dangerous are the more subtle effects of hyperthermia on judgement and coordination.

    Another thing I remember well is that beemer you carved up on my behalf
    There can only be 11 and I'm one.

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by stolzy View Post

    Another thing I remember well is that beemer you carved up on my behalf
    I seem to remember both of us "adjusting" his speed for a few miles on that motorway. On reflection, not a good thing to do,but Boy was the Adrenalin flowing.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by stolzy View Post
    Its shaping up to be a very hot summer here in Europe. Don't underestimate the dangers of riding overheated.

    An increase of core body temperature by as little as 1-2 C can cause loss of coordination and judgment similar to being above the legal alcohol limit.

    An increase in 1-2C is quite easily achieved by a motorcyclist clad in black leather or other insulating fabric with a helmet on (especially if he/she is, ahem, on the substantial side ) Our usual protective garb then becomes the enemy.

    Its not an issue of hydration, you can drink and sweat as much as you like but it will have only a minimal effect if it can't evaporate.

    I personally had an incident recently (no harm done as it happens), but where I made a stupid, stupid error of judgement, almost certainly because I was too hot.

    Here on the France/Germany/Swiss border, its in the low 30s Celsius (90ish F) and the mid-term forecasts are that its not getting cooler anytime soon.
    Find the nearest moutain river and take a plunge....ok, so it stops the heart for a moment or two but grateful relief from the heat....keep a towel and shorts handy.

  12. #12
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    one word!

    imodium

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevo View Post
    imodium
    Diarrhoea ????

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevo View Post
    imodium
    Well slow down a bit then.

    How y'all doin' stevo?
    There can only be 11 and I'm one.

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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Major Gadget View Post
    Diarrhoea ????
    That's right. If you get the runs, it can really ruin your day

    Especially so if you're on tour and trying to put a few hundred klicks on the clock.

    So imodium is worth thinking about

    Luckily last year novice/intermediate/indecisive had some - came in useful in Pisa

    Just a thought eh, and no i am not sitting on the throne typing this!

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