The Chainlink

anyone that has done long distance wanna give some advice

anyone that has done some long distance touring i would be interested in come advice

reference as in links,books ect.
anything you can offer up yourself
the best bikes do tour with?
 

you get what im asking 
thanks :) 

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The first question is how do you define "long distance?"
Followed closely by: how long per day? Camp or motel? Self-supported or SAG wagon?
I just started a discussion in the touring group: http://www.thechainlink.org/group/chainlinktourers

I'll go ahead and answer there...though I really wouldn't say that I am a very experienced traveler, hopefully one day I will be.

Also, http://www.crazyguyonabike.com is great resource for everything touring.
I joined the Adventure Cycling Association, which is just loaded with helpful stuff. Joined some groups on the chainlink and managed to find the book 'Bicycling Magazines Guide to Bike Touring' by Doug Donaldson in a bargain book bin.

as for what bikes work best I have the strong belief that any bike can be a good touring bike with the right modifications ;-) but i hear a lot of good things about the Surly LHT
Beware Glen's advise. If you intend to do anything of sustained distance, the bike will take more of a beating than you might think. Anything that could break, WILL break. I often see posts from people trying to save money on essentials such as racks, panniers, etc. If a $100 touring rack (such as a Tubus Cargo, just to give one example) is more than you want to lay out... my advise is touring isn't for you. I have heard so many people tell of their great low-budget "mods" only to have their trip cut short by disastrous, avoidable problems. Just my 2 cents, nothing more.
I'd suggest finding a reputable shop and getting properly fitted to a bike before even thinking about shopping for additional touring equipment or accessories. There is nothing you can read in any publication or online that can adequately substitute this.
I'll second http://www.crazyguyonabike.com

and add http://www.mrpumpy.net/ for some interesting stories.

Two pieces of advice regardless of your type of touring:
Use drop bars (or at least put extensions on upright bars). Having multiple hand positions available will keep your wrists and hands happier.
Keep all your clothes in one pannier, and in dry bags. As you use clothes you won't have to re-pack differently.

Oh yeah - and fully load up and do a few practice rides before your trip to get used to the different handling.

I've only ever toured on carbon framed road bikes (Trek 5500 OCLV), and when loaded down they steered like wet noodles. But the reward on the days when the packs were off was well worth it. I've gone two months on rear panniers and a handlebar bag, but was staying in guest houses, hotels and overnight trains.

I don't know that you need to start with very expensive stuff. It can be useful to just work your way up and use trial and error to figure out what works and what doesn't. On my first trip I used a triftstore sleeping bag and a $5 mat for camping. My rack is a topeak that I've had for so long and on 2 different bikes. I don't even remember how much it cost.

I'd like to invest in a better rack, but I haven't really seen the need for it. My big panniers were also kind of inexpensive and I'll probably try to go nicer, but I'm taking my time and I find that what I have works.



Arrak Thumrs said:
Beware Glen's advise. If you intend to do anything of sustained distance, the bike will take more of a beating than you might think. Anything that could break, WILL break. I often see posts from people trying to save money on essentials such as racks, panniers, etc. If a $100 touring rack (such as a Tubus Cargo, just to give one example) is more than you want to lay out... my advise is touring isn't for you. I have heard so many people tell of their great low-budget "mods" only to have their trip cut short by disastrous, avoidable problems. Just my 2 cents, nothing more.
Another thing you need to ask yourself is whether you're going to be east or west of the Mississippi River. Everything (distance between towns, elevation, weather) becomes much more extreme in the west. If it's your first tour I'd suggest cutting your teeth in the east. Unless you're feeling adventurous, of course.
I don't necessarily agree that the more money is proportional to more reliability. I've crossed swaths of this country with many people that were riding little more than garage sale bikes with seriously overloaded racks. Hell, their bikes with all their gear probably cost less than some people spend on a single rack. Do I necessarily suggest it? Of course not. But can it be done? Of course. But do bear in mind that your mechanical skills and the spare parts you carry are much more valuable than even the most high-end parts on the market. The most well equipped bike in the world is virtually worthless to someone without the know-how to fix it (even if the repairs are done in a unorthodox, MacGyver manner).

Arrak Thumrs said:
Beware Glen's advise. If you intend to do anything of sustained distance, the bike will take more of a beating than you might think. Anything that could break, WILL break. I often see posts from people trying to save money on essentials such as racks, panniers, etc. If a $100 touring rack (such as a Tubus Cargo, just to give one example) is more than you want to lay out... my advise is touring isn't for you. I have heard so many people tell of their great low-budget "mods" only to have their trip cut short by disastrous, avoidable problems. Just my 2 cents, nothing more.
West -----> East
I don't have any specific advice, but I would recommend checking out the Touring Forum on Bikeforums.net
Gearwise, two things: if you find a steel frame that fits you well you'll be comfortable on most terrain, and having either a triple crank or a compact double makes climbing much more pleasant.

Otherwise, the best way to learn is just to go somewhere. When I set out with a friend on my first tour, we were gone for five weeks and had almost no idea what we were doing. (I packed 10 pounds of spaghetti just in case Canada didn't have grocery stores.) You'll refine your methods over time, and even the mistakes make great stories once you're home.

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