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Discussion Starter #1
If you were to plan a long trip on your TW, say from coast to coast in the US, what would you carry? Here's the idea: the trip would involve camping for the most part including preparing meals yourself on the road. Traveling as economically as possible is another consideration. Setting aside - for the moment - details of route selection, etc., what would you pack on your TW and why?
 

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You need to talk to RickClick ( a member here). He has been on the road for months now and doing some camping (although he seems to have friends to crash with along the way as well). I would not carry a bunch of spare parts as they have shops along the way. I'd carry the standard minamalist tent, a sleeping bag, minimal clothes, and cookware (pretend you are backpacking and don't allow much more weight because you are carrying it on the bike (its a burden there too). tom
 

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I've always thought that an extended MC camping trip ride would be fun thing to do. Let me suggest a source of excellent and detailed maps. There is a large group of people who ride bicycles long distances, coast to coast and so on. They have an excellent association that has researched and mapped (in great detail) low traffic volume paved roads all over North America. They sell the maps at:



http://www.adventurecycling.org/routes/index.cfm



They have three routes coast to coast and dozens of other routes some associated with historic events like the underground railroad route.



One route that has really interested me is the one that follows the spine of the Rockie mountains from Canada to Mexico called the "Great Divide." Unlike most of Adventure Cycling routes, this one is mainly on dirt and they have designed it for mountain bike trips. I have seen comments from other MC dual purpose riders that they have done the route using the Adventure Cycling maps and they have had good things to say about them and the route.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I have a pretty good sense how I would do this. I've been across the country on various motorcycles, and some years ago, I completed a solo, cross country bicycle adventure. But I thought this might be fun for other TW riders to play with. And given the depth of experience and insight on this site, I thought I may get some good suggestions on what to carry myself.



And YES to Adventure Cycling! We all know a TW is not the best freeway flyer. But I think if we saw routes from a cyclist's perspective, we may find that our "little" bikes can go anyplace we want...and I mean ANYPLACE!
 

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Hey Hobo, that TW can carry lots more than a bicycle, so bring along what ever will keep you comfortable. I bought a Thermarest Basecamp air mattress, a 3 person tent and a warmer sleeping bag. I've backpacked, bicycle toured and hitch hiked but the T-Dub has been the most comfortable. I left my camper back in NM and only miss it when it rains. Tools? A $10 Slime air pump from Walmart would be my only necessity, but I can't resist about bringing along 10 pounds of other tools and parts. The full sized tire irons zip tie to my back rack and I have a full Moose Racing tool roll. I changed my tires with the help of a c-clamp and a borrowed ATV stand. You can camp in any National Forest in dispersed camping for free. Food was never a problem unless I wanted to stay camped remotely for a few days. I eat mostly fresh produce and finding places to carry much was an issue. The TW tiny gas tank can be a problem if you do much exploring. It's ok for just going from gas station A to gas station B. People with off road vehicles in trailers always have a can of gas they can share. I've had to do that a time or two. If you need help, people will always stop if you wave them down.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Good suggestions, RickClick! I especially like the Slime pump. Am I right in thinking in most cases I could patch a punctured tube without breaking the whole tire off the rim? I've done that many times on my bike. I read here that breaking a tire off a TW rim is a bit of a chore. But if I can fix most flats only going half way, that seems like a good thing.
 

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If you were to plan a long trip on your TW, say from coast to coast in the US, what would you carry? Here's the idea: the trip would involve camping for the most part including preparing meals yourself on the road. Traveling as economically as possible is another consideration. Setting aside - for the moment - details of route selection, etc., what would you pack on your TW and why?


Gear and route selection are important when it comes to gear selection, ie traveling in Arctic regions versus riding in Tropical regions or wet climates versus dry climates, etc.



That said, I want to address meals and meal preparation. I find that when I want to put in a lot of miles on any given day then, I hate to cook because you loose time both in preparing the meal and then with clean up. Because of this one might consider cold food as an option.



But if you elect to cook meals then one must ask what kind of stove do you want. If you just want to boil water for coffee, freeze dried meals (which are expensive-but I tend to carry one or two for just in case),etc. A stove like the JetBoil works real well. Down side of these kinds of stoves is cost of fuel canisters and they can be hard to find at times. If you want to cook more substantial meals and don't mind clean up then a stove that uses liquid fuels might be worth considering. Fuel costs for these stoves is much cheaper and you can use gas from the bike to power some of these kinds of stoves. ADV has a lot of discussion on this topic.



With regard to a sleeping bag, I no longer take one with me. I colder climates I use a bivy bag and with all of the gear I wear riding and to keep warm a sleeping bag is not necessary and that saves space. If you have a suit like an Aerostich and the layering worn underneath you really don't need a sleeping bag. I do carry extra warm clothes in case I get wet and a space blanket for emergency situations. In warm climates a blanket and sheet is usually all that is necessary. By skipping the sleeping bag you can save space on the bike.



With regard to tents the longer the trip the larger the tent I prefer to take. I can tolerate a small tent for shorter trips but if the weather gets 'crappy' a small tent is hard for me to handle. If you have to hole up waiting for the weather to improve a larger tent is nice because it is roomy and you can easily sort through your gear, get some indoor type things done or what ever to kill some time. I also like to carry a trap with me on longer trips. This way you can get out of the weather and I'm able to stand up or work on the bike, etc. A trap doesn't take up much space but sometimes finding things to tie the tarp to can be challenging.



I avoid gear that has down feathers in it in when traveling in wet climates. Down works well in cold but when it get wet it has poor insulation properties. Wool and synthetic materials work much better in wet.



In general, I try to keep the load on the bike down below 70 pounds whenever possible. If you are traveling on pavement or good gravel then weight is less of a problem.



When it comes to carrying gear on the bike I have become partial to soft baggage. Though less secure then are much more rugged and dependable than hard luggage. If you read RR on ADV look at the number of times hard bags get torn off. Repairing hard luggage becomes more challenging when remote than soft luggage which can be sewn up and re-waterproofed afterwards with paraffin or glues. My favorite way to carry gear on the TW is the Giant Loop bags. They carry a lot of stuff and easily fit onto almost any bike without having to buy a bunch of specialized attachment kits.



The Mule when he did his trip to Alaska on the TW did a great RR describing what he carried how, he also included pictures. This was posted on the old TW site but I believe the pictures there are now lost. He also posted it on ADV maybe someone has the link.



Some people can be hard core super-minimalists and others carry everything including the kitchen sink. A big part is personal preference.



But the biggest comment I see on most RR in ADV is that most carried too much stuff and needed to off load somewhere during their journey.



Mike
 

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Good suggestions, RickClick! I especially like the Slime pump. Am I right in thinking in most cases I could patch a punctured tube without breaking the whole tire off the rim? I've done that many times on my bike. I read here that breaking a tire off a TW rim is a bit of a chore. But if I can fix most flats only going half way, that seems like a good thing.
When I broke my rear tire down I tried everything from massive C clamps to a sledge. The best way I found was a hydraulic jack and the trailer hitch on my pick up. Just put the tire between the two and pump on the jack. It works best with one of those NASCAR style jacks.
 
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