a bit different than bikepacking
So, we did a short intro to bikepacking last week and got to thinking. As much as we’d like to jump right in, let’s start off working with what we have. Bicycle wise that is. And really I didn’t get to thinking, my wife did. We have road bikes. We’re used to road bikes. We’ve done very little off road cycling. This way makes more sense and when with the wife, being “adult supervised”, I’m a rational thinker. So it looks like I’ll be starting off doing some Bicycle Touring on my road bike. Not a big deal as bikepacking is really just touring on a different surface.
Road touring as the name implies takes place mostly on paved roads and bike paths. This would be the traditional bicycle touring. It Is the most common type of bicycle touring and definitely has been around for the longest period of time. So for our purposes, and to make me feel better, road touring is bikepacking on the pavement. It’s easy and you only need a few things to get started. Of course the list starts with a bicycle, and then a way to carry your gear. Carrying gear can be done a number of ways and really is up to you- either a trailer, pannier (and other) bags, or some combo of the two. You’ll pack a few clothing essentials, food, water, and then navigation. Navigation is either digital or can be simply a map. I would choose both- where I am you definitely can lose service.
The Mongoose Elroy above is built for bikepacking, touring, camping and is a reasonably priced “starter bike.
do i need much?
So if you ride already, you most likely have some gear on hand. Start with what you have and build your kit as you expand distance and experience. One of the big differences between touring and packing is accommodations. You certainly can and may prefer, to camp while touring. However, you can also hit up hotels and restaurants. The level you “rough it” is completely up to you. If you want to stay in hotels each night, take a hot shower each day, and sleep in a bed, then you can. You want to sleep in a tent or a hammock, go ahead. You’ll save a couple bucks for sure.
If you are completely new to cycling, and I’ve only been at it a couple months myself, some things to consider when looking at a “touring” bike. A touring bike is going to be a bit different from a road bike- which I’ll be converting- and a mountain bike. Mainly because they are designed to be-
- extremely comfortable over long distances.
- able to carry your belongings with the use of front and rear racks and a set of pannier bags.
- easily repaired, should something go wrong with them once you are out there on the road.
While it is definitely possible to use just about any type of bicycle on a road-based bike tour, consider the length of your trip. The longer you plan, the more gear/food/water you need to carry. The more important it then becomes to think about a bike designed for touring.
trailer and bag for BICYCLE TOURING
The Maya Cycle is a great bike trailer with a kickstand that holds your bike and trailer upright. The trailer converts into a wheelbarrow so you can easily move your heavy cargo. The Maya Cycle was designed for city streets, rides to the beach, camping getaways, and cross-country touring. With the Maya Cycle bike trailer, you can bring what you want, when you need it.
These paniers are perfect for bike touring, camping, and road tripping, A great grocery bag or just your everyday commuter. Clips on and releases within 3 seconds – no straps required! Ibera panniers can be used as a set or by themselves.