Tour rookie planning to venture into the outback

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Postby pbekkerh » Fri Mar 13, 2009 9:25 am

I have 2 4 liters, a 10 liter and 2 bike bottles and could be suplemented with a few 1 1/2 l plasticbottles.
Its better to have several water containers, you'll loose less, if one of them spring a leak. They could also be easier to place on the bike.
My two 4 liters I normally connect with a carabiner under the sadle and the other end to the end of the rack, they are then halfways lying on the lids of my panniers and the opening is kept upwards, in case of a leak.
I don't use front panniers, only two rear Ortliebs on a Tubus rack( the first 2 years warranty guarantees a courier delivery anywhere in the world, if it breaks down :D). And a small backpack on top.
In Morocco I carried up to 12 liters with about 10 on the back including the rest of my luggage, probably 25-30kg in all. No problems, but the rear tyre only lasts 3-4000km but then I buy tyres with low weight and low rolling resistance and not low wear tyres. Stability on the bike is ok but off the bike its rather light in the front, so front panniers would make it more stable off the bike.
I'm riding a normal hardtail mountain bike, which I have just equipped with discbrakes and wider 2.25 tyres for the sand and dust. The front fork is a simple 80mm fork with a metal spring, not air, so even if I loose all the gaskets and then the oil, I'll only loose dampening and not suspension and it won't sink in the front.
I don't use more than 1 cannister a week and have just yesterday tried eating freeze dried food only soaked in cold water for 1 hour. Its quite edible. You can survive. I only boil water for freeze dried food and tea. No lenghty 3 cours meal preparations and you can eat out of the bag, so there is no washing up, no soap or sink to bring along! Five minutes and you are eating !
If you can, avoid unleaded, it gives of rather poisonous fumes and I had to clean the jet in my multiburner (Nova+) almost daily on my last trip to Polynesia because of all the chemicals in it. I have used diesel, that soots a lot on the pans but it didn't clog my burner. When you buy it in strange places, I always first put it in a bottle to see if its dirty.
Its 00:22 here and I'm trial packing right now, just having a cuppa in front of the computer.
I still need to see if I can have an extra 10 liter waterbag on the bike, without a trailer.
It could have been fun to meet out on Plenty somewhere :D

PS Is the Extrawheel available i Australia ? maybe in Adelaide? How much is it ?
I could probably save money buying one in Australia instead of paying 250AUD each way in overweight charge.

SOMEONE BUY AN EXTRAWHEEL AND I'LL RENT IT FOR 250AUD , THAT WAY WE BOTH GET WHAT WE WANT AT HALF PRICE :D
Last edited by pbekkerh on Fri Mar 13, 2009 9:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
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by BNA » Fri Mar 13, 2009 9:48 am

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Postby BikingMarco » Fri Mar 13, 2009 9:48 am

Moocar wrote:...I'm still leaning to a different configuration, where I still have front + rear panniers, but I place the water bags on top of the front and rear racks so that the weight is evenly distributed. ...


Really envy you guys now!!!

In terms of stability - wouldn't it be better to pack the heavy water in the bottom of your panniers? For a lower centre of gravity?
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Postby Moocar » Fri Mar 13, 2009 10:54 am

I'm starting to think the same thing... Maybe I should look at returning those 2*10L bags and replacing them with 4 * 4L bags. One at the bottom of each pannier.

Oh, and I heard you can buy the extra wheel without the wheel (haha). But seriously, the components wouldn't weigh much, then you could just buy the wheel itself when you arrive.
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Postby pbekkerh » Fri Mar 13, 2009 11:07 am

I already have one. Its 4,66kg but I guess the wheel is only 7-800g so nothing is saved.
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Postby hartleymartin » Fri Mar 13, 2009 11:34 am

Have a look at ex-army 2L water bottles. They can be had for about $12 to $15 each and I can vouch that they are durable. I had two of them strapped to my front carry rack for my last trip. A 2L or 3L Hydration pack is a good idea. Mine is a smaller 1.5L model. I estimate that it takes about 2 hours to go through 1.5L on a Tour, so when I run dry I know that it's about time to stop, top it up, have a sit down, snack, stretch and then I'm off again.
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Postby pbekkerh » Sun Mar 15, 2009 4:47 am

I just repacked everything.
I have a spreadsheet with all my stuff, including weights, so I can pack on the computer.
As its impossible to put a bike in a box and bring stuff for 2 months of biking and keep within a 23kg limit, I just changed my spreadsheet to also calculate what every item would cost in overweight.

Holy moses! 27AUD for 5 rolls of toiletpaper. 35AUD for one tyre and another 35 if I don't use it and take it back!!

I'm now drying out my waterbags,(who knows what the water left in them will cost) and peeling away any packingmaterial on the teabags. I might even cut some holes in my heavy Ortliebs ;o))

Why is it only 23kg to Australia? I got 2x23kg when going to Tahiti, via the US.
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Postby pbekkerh » Sun Mar 15, 2009 4:51 am

Moocar wrote:........Oh, and I heard you can buy the extra wheel without the wheel (haha). .....


It really makes sense. I made them do it, before they offered it, because the polish wheel would be better on an oxcart. I found a Mavic wheel on offer and saved around appr. 1 kg.
The dealers here normally only sell sets of wheels, so when they somehow had this one wheel left, I got it cheap.

Now if they would only offer the frame in aluminium :D
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Postby il padrone » Sun Mar 15, 2009 10:26 am

pbekkerh wrote:Holy moses! 27AUD for 5 rolls of toiletpaper. 35AUD for one tyre and another 35 if I don't use it and take it back!!

We do have toilet paper here in Australia you know? And bike tyres even! :o :? :lol:

pbekkerh wrote:Why is it only 23kg to Australia? I got 2x23kg when going to Tahiti, via the US.

Weight limits on US flights are much more tolerant as I understand. No idea why. American over-consumption I guess :roll:
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Postby pbekkerh » Sun Mar 15, 2009 10:36 am

We do have toilet paper here in Australia you know? And bike tyres even! :o :? :lol:


Yea yea :wink:
I have unpacked a lot of stuff but I prefer to be able to start directly from the plane, instead having to shop around for a day or two and its always easier to find, what you need, in your own hometown.
Even here I had to order my tyres from Germany: "Schwalbe Racing Ralph Double Defense Shark Skin " 8)

As for toilet paper, they always sell them in a 12 roll package, can you see me on the Oodnadatta with that on the rack?
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Postby Moocar » Sun Mar 15, 2009 10:58 am

pbekkerh wrote:Why is it only 23kg to Australia? I got 2x23kg when going to Tahiti, via the US.


I think the airlines only enforce the 23kg rule for touring cyclists. To enforce light weight cycling ideals ;). Think of it as a good thing :P

All the best on your trip mate!
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Postby il padrone » Sun Mar 15, 2009 12:19 pm

pbekkerh wrote:I prefer to be able to start directly from the plane, instead having to shop around for a day or two and its always easier to find, what you need, in your own hometown.

But 5 rolls :shock: :? ?

pbekkerh wrote:Even here I had to order my tyres from Germany: "Schwalbe Racing Ralph Double Defense Shark Skin " 8)

Get off the plane in Sydney and most decent bike shops in the city will be able to supply that, or a comparable tyres. It's just a spare after all.

pbekkerh wrote:As for toilet paper, they always sell them in a 12 roll package, can you see me on the Oodnadatta with that on the rack?

Go to the supermarket, pay a bit more for just a single roll. They are packaged in singles. I've done remote bush tours where we've been away from all supplies for up to 6 days in Victoria , NSW and Tasmania, but I've never carried more than 1/2 a roll of toilet paper. On longer trips (3-4 weeks in WA, Sydney to Queensland, Tasmania) there were regular towns for resupply. You won't need to 'bring your own' if you're camping in caravan parks. If all else fails buy a box of Kleenex tissues, they'll be sold in every highway roadhouse.

What a marvellous tour topic :shock: :roll: :D

Have a great tour, but don't overpack. Aussie towns do have a reasonable supply of the basics - problems will be with fresh food esp. fruit & vegies, culinary extravagances and lightweight camping gear (eg. iso-butane gas cannisters). Once you leave Port Augusta though things will get even more spartan. Suggest you organise a food/gear package to be sent to, say, Oodnadatta.
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Postby Moocar » Sun Mar 15, 2009 10:10 pm

Another update.

Got some Keen commuter sandals for a very cheap price at a sale today. Good stuff. Also picked up 2 more 4L water bags, so that brings my potential water capacity to about 30L. And I'm able to put a bag in each pannier for weight distribution.

I've been researching the food problem. Looks like dehydrated meals are the way to go. I've got a friend with a dehydrator, so I'll cook up heaps of meals before I leave and get my folks to mail them to the post offices of the towns I'll be passing through. Once I'm on the road, my folks will continue the cook, dehydrate, send routine and this will form my main sustenance. bikefish has proved a very good resource for this stuff (google bikefish).

I'm 99% set on the Surly LHT with extra buff tires, euro bars, and tubus racks. The dudes at Cheeky Transport talked me out of the Salsa Fargo. There main reasons were that the Surly has been tried and tested to the extreme, and also that the 26" wheels were going to be stronger than the 29"s. They were convinced that as long as I use buff buff tires, and tighten the screws on days where I encounter road corrugations, then the bike will handle the conditions fine. Well, I'm willing to trust anyone who will happily sell me a $2000 bike instead of a $3000 bike.

I've spent the day plotting my proposed route on MapMyRide. You can check out the route if you're interested. I don't have posting access yet, so I'm going to be fiendishly evil to show you the link. Just copy the link and replace the "," after mapymyride with "."

mapmyride,com/ride/australia/nu/outback/793251246319

I've denoted the water symbols as reliable water sources, even if they charging per litre. The First Aid signs denote a town big enough to provide services such as basic groceries and a post office (or agency). It ends at Quorn because I'm doubting I'll make it back to Sydney. I'm guessing I'll be catching a train to Sydney from Adelaide once I get down that way.

I'm becoming such a frikkin bike camping nerd!
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Postby pbekkerh » Mon Mar 16, 2009 9:11 am

Thank you guys, I'm off !
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Postby Outback » Mon Mar 16, 2009 7:34 pm

G'day
Try the Pink roadhouse website,the maps are good.I use them when i cycled up that way in 2007.
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Re: Tour rookie planning to venture into the outback

Postby Moocar » Mon Jul 06, 2009 3:07 pm

Well, the time has come. I fly to Alice springs tomorrow to cycle to Sydney over 4 months. It's been an intellectual and academic pursuit for the last 6 months, and now I get to actually experience it :)

I'm keeping a blog at my mates website. Won't be very technical and will be very sporadic (I'm guessing internet is only availble at Uluru and Coober Pedy before I reach Adelaide or NSW) but it's something. It also has a rough itinery.

http://bootlog.com/index.php?cat=travelogs&aut=Moocar

Thanks for everyone's input. Talk to you all on the flip side.
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Re: Tour rookie planning to venture into the outback

Postby Tale » Mon Jul 06, 2009 6:42 pm

Good luck and stay safe! I'll read your blog.
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Re: Tour rookie planning to venture into the outback

Postby mylesau » Fri Jul 24, 2009 10:21 am

Moocar has made a blog entry if anyone is interested - see link two posts up. Sounds like he's had a few ups and downs...but on the up now...
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Re: Tour rookie planning to venture into the outback

Postby Tale » Fri Jul 24, 2009 3:18 pm

Thanks for the heads up. I can't believe he did the Mereene loop on a bike - I did that in 1991 in a group of 4WD vehicles and we only just made it. I definitely would have ridden the long way round! The sheer remoteness of Central Australia is wonderful, but threatening.
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Re: Tour rookie planning to venture into the outback

Postby Moocar » Thu Jul 30, 2009 3:55 pm

Haha, Thanks Tale. The Mereene was an absolute bastard, but I feel I can do anything now. Which is good, because I'm heading off for the painted desert tomorrow and then 400k along the Oodnadatta. Can't wait!! I'm gonna post again tomorrow morning. They're kicking me off the free internet in Coober Pedy ;)
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Re: Tour rookie planning to venture into the outback

Postby r2160 » Thu Jul 30, 2009 9:28 pm

Given where you are talking about going, it may be wise to consider getting your amateur radio licence also. You can get a foundation licence really easily and it will give you access to use a radio that has significantly greater range than a CB radio.

Go to www.wia.org.au for more info

cheers
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"Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever" Lance Armstrong
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Re: Tour rookie planning to venture into the outback

Postby il padrone » Fri Jul 31, 2009 9:08 pm

Tale wrote:I can't believe he did the Mereene loop on a bike - I did that in 1991 in a group of 4WD vehicles and we only just made it. I definitely would have ridden the long way round!


http://www.northaustraliaholidays.com/v ... ralAus.htm
Please Note: Camping is prohibited along the Mereenie Loop Road, and stops are only allowed at the Jump Up Lookout.

Wonder how he coped with that :? ??
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Re: Tour rookie planning to venture into the outback

Postby Tale » Sat Aug 01, 2009 7:31 am

I remember on the 4WD trip we camped a night out there in swags. We had a local Aboriginal family with us, and we were a group of about 20 doing voluntary work for the Ngurratjuta Aboriginal Corporation, so perhaps we didn't need to get permission (or someone had obtained it). The vehicle I was in hit a brumby on the way back to Kings Canyon, which is why I say we only just made it - had to tow that 4WD about 100km.
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Re: Tour rookie planning to venture into the outback

Postby MTBRuss » Sat Aug 01, 2009 5:08 pm

Moocar wrote:Haha, Thanks Tale. The Mereene was an absolute bastard, but I feel I can do anything now. Which is good, because I'm heading off for the painted desert tomorrow and then 400k along the Oodnadatta. Can't wait!! I'm gonna post again tomorrow morning. They're kicking me off the free internet in Coober Pedy ;)


Hey Moocar, I just did that section of your ride recently on my 10 Deserts Solo Cycle Epic - approx 3 weeks back; look out for Surly Endomorph tyre tracks :lol: I was lucky enough to score a tailwind and went from Coober Pedy to Oodnadatta via the Painted desert in 24hrs, albeit one very long day. The wind was side on all the way south of Oodnadatta to Marree. I had a fair bit of food with me as I carried this from Coober Pedy to Marree. I carried 2 x 10lt MSR bladders to William Ck, re-topping there to get to Marree. Cool conditions helped though, as did the 4" tyres on my Fatback. I used Crosso panniers, 4" Extrawheel fork and my own trailer (4" rear wheel). You can certainly get by with lesser, but I was grateful for the 4" tyres which made the ride more comfortable.

Hope all goes well. Cheers, Russ.
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Re: Tour rookie planning to venture into the outback

Postby Moocar » Sat Nov 28, 2009 5:17 pm

H everyone. I was just browsing through the Touring Australia forum and thought I should bring a sense of finality to this thread. I finished the trip almost 2 months ago now. I pedalled into Canberra 1 month ahead of schedule and having done 2000km more than I anticipated. Touring makes you fit!

I just wanted to thank everyone for the help in the months leading up to my departure. I wouldn't have come up with my current route if it wasn't for peoples input. I had a blast and can't wait for the next trip, which will inevitably happen once I've paid my dues to society by contributing to the economy again. haha.

If you want any info on the trip, feel free to ask. Now that I'm technically no longer a rookie, I'll try and browse this forum as much as possible. Thanks again! For those interested, here's a link to the blog I kept over the three months.

Bootlog

And my online photo album:

google photos
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