Cycling Along The Way...

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Silver City, NM, United States
Riders of the wheel. Racers, Roadies, Mountain bikers, Touring cyclists, Commuters, and others. Diamond frames, recumbents, trikes, and more. Sharing a web of connections often misunderstood or unappreciated by those who don't ride. Herewith, my attempt to share some of the more rational thoughts that flit around inside my head while bicycling, knocking back a brew or three, or just thinking about life. Reviews of bicycles, gear, touring, and more, plus some unsolicited posts about people, politics, and philosophy. Other things, too. Me: retired, gave up my TV in 1988, avid cyclist, several cross country tours completed with more to come. Your thoughts?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

BICYCLE TOURING: Websites Worth Reading...

"Get a bicycle.  You will not regret it...if you live." ~ Mark Twain, "Taming the Bicycle"

In doing any kind of search online regarding bicycle touring or if you're just looking for information about bicycles/bicycling, there are numerous websites.  All, I'm sure, were put up by other cyclists who believe they have something valuable to say.  As I do.  For whatever it's worth, here are some bicycle websites I think have something interesting to add to the bicycle mix.

TOURING:
Believe it or not, but the above links should keep you busy for a while.  Doing your own Google search will generate a bunch of sites to check out, as well.

Here are a few more sites about touring bicycles.

TOURING BICYCLES:
That's enough to keep you busy, I assure you.  As with opinions and that ubiquitous body part, everyone has an opinion about touring bicycles.  I've seen a couple of riders use road bikes with trailers, so don't think you HAVE to buy another bike.  Try things out.

Ok, a few sites that go over gear and what others think is important.  Like I said, if you want to try stuff out without buying a bicycle, go backpacking...you'll use pretty much all of the same stuff except for gear related to the bicycle specifically.

BICYCLE TOURING GEAR:
Enough on that subject.  As you may have noticed, there are LOTS of websites to tell you what to do, what to wear, what to pack, what food to eat, where to shit, where to eat, where to sleep, blah, blah, blah.  Go out on your own, backpacking or a short bicycle tour (24hrs), and see what YOU like.  You'll find stuff that makes you happy and, after you've been on the road for a while, you'll know what works and what's just extra weight.  Personal experience is the best teacher.  But I've NEVER bicycle toured before!!  Jesus...sit down, take a deep breath, relax, then take a chance, see what happens, and go from there.  Trust me...after something has sat in your panniers as dead weight for weeks and you've not used it, send the damn thing home.  Unless it's rain gear.  I don't care where you are, if you send it home, it WILL rain.  Like washing your car.  Guaranteed.

Probably the most underrated, yet most useful, "golden rule" is: put stuff back in the same place...EVERY TIME...without fail.  You'll thank yourself for this simple thing.  There's absolutely nothing that will piss you off more than having to dig through every goddamn piece of stuff you have with you to find whatever it is that you're looking for.  Having to do it two, or, Jesus, three times, will drive you fucking crazy.  Another guarantee.  So, put it back in the same bag, in the same place, in the same pannier.  NO exceptions.

I'm quite certain there are more topics to go over, but that's why God gave us GOOGLE...go look up all the sites under heaven on whatever topic has your undies in a twist.  All the info you'd ever possibly want is online, somewhere.  Truly.

Ok, I'm out of here...a tune for you.  Tony Bennett, one of the truly great crooners, doing "Stranger In Paradise".  He's 86yrs old and still has a great voice.  Enjoy...