Bicycle Touring Tips
Here are some things I've learned from my time on the road:
Before you go on a tour, take a bicycle maintenance class.
Make sure your bike fits and is in good mechanical condition.
Outfit your bike with a triple crank (44-32-22) and an 11/34 cassette for climbing.
Carry extra spokes with you.
Bring a spare tire along, especially if you have 700C wheels.
Carry a tire patch kit in case you have a flat.
Invest in good rain gear.
Bring a universal sink stopper for campground sinks.
Pack items in your panniers in Ziploc bags so they stay dry and are easier to find.
Always wear an approved CPSC helmet when riding.
Use a rearview mirror.
Follow the rules of the road. Ride with traffic.
Do the majority of your riding in the morning when it's cooler, less windy and there is less traffic.
For optimum bike handling, distribute 40% of the gear weight in front panniers and 60% in rear panniers.
Pack heavy items not frequently used (tools) in your pannier bottoms to ensure a lower center of gravity.
Drink before you are thirsty and eat before you are hungry.
When braking on long downhills alternate your front and rear brakes.
Be careful when riding in the rain. The roads are slicker and it takes longer to brake because of wet tire rims.