I thought this was going to be 300+ miles, but.....
I only did 105 miles, and my butt was so saddle sore I called my wife and asked her to come rescue, er, uh, provide logistical support. I used up my entire supply of Goldbond medicated powder (baby powder) trying to cope but it was no use. Temperatures were above 100 and I was just sweating and chafing out of control. I was not wearing bike shorts, instead I opted for basketball shorts under thick cotton cargo shorts.The pockets of my cargo shorts were laden with food and tools and camera etc. Bad idea:nono: I should have taken the bike shorts with the shammy. The next time I make like taco bell and run for the border I will definitely be wearing my bike shorts. I could have maybe rested a day and then continued on to the Colorado river/Califonia border which was my turn around spot but my butt was destroyed and I needed ice cold beer and pizza badly.
My route was mainly the El paso gas line road that runs through Phoenix all the way into California somewhere. It is a pretty rough road in some spots with miles of washboard and ups and downs across alluvial areas. It turns out I did not need quite as much water as I thought, but I was riding into the unknown and was happy to know that my water carrying system worked well. The gear I chose (28/20) worked out great, there were only a couple times I had to dismount and drag the bike through some sand or up a steep section of hill. My single speed drive train was totally trouble free and worked beautifully. I was glad to have the handlebars on my seat post when that happened as they really help in handling the bike. They also helped to secure the load on the back.
Alan the fat Yuba rider (the bike, not Alan) from down under pointed out that the bike might need some weight on the front for handling and he was right. I put an extra couple of liters of water up there for a total of 6. The handling was still not great but presented no real problems as I slid stuff as far forward of the rear axle as I could on the rack. Although I liked how my modified jerry cans worked out on the sides I think I will move to two 36gal Rubbermaid totes on the old wrap-around deck next time because the dual totes really keep the center of gravity low and the bike handles way better. All in all it was a great trip, despite being cut down to 2 and a half days. I left Friday night and called in for back up Sunday night. While I waited at the gas station on I-10 for my wife to pick me up I slammed, repeat slammed, a 40oz of super Ice cold beer and was like moaning and groaning and stuff. My wife had some pot-roast in the crock pot and some cabbage waiting at home, damn it was good. I will try to get some pics up but the site is saying I dont have security tokens or something. Is that like little wooden coins that say "security" on them?
Summer wool shorts or pants with the leather shammy and the shammy grease is the best setup for long miles and hot days. This will wick the sweat away and the greased leather with no protruding seams will allow you to go many more miles without skin breakdown.
In the shorts department I use a Brooks saddle and normal cotton footy shorts. What a lot of people don't know is that synthetic seats mean that the riders have to wear synthetic pants. If they don't, the friction coefficient is too high and the weak link in the chain is the skin. In other words if one has a synthetic seat and non synthetic shorts, the shorts 'bind' to the seat and wont slip enough so the skin gets blistered. Now, nice shiny leather has an extremely low fiction coefficient, thus allowing cotton, or synthetics for that matter, to 'slip' this means the skin doesn't bind and therefore, no blisters.....sweet.... :thumbsup: I've toured '000's & '000's of K's with a Brooks saddle and never had a blister, I've had sore 'sit bones' but that is usually due to an extended time out of the saddle. Using a Brooks means one needn't carry any cream and it also helps with hygiene issues, particularly if one is better off drinking one's meagre water supplies rather than wasting it washing their nether regions....... The other point is no stinky synthetic shorts after day 3 on a 20 ride......:thumbsup:
Keeping that C of G as low as possible is a good idea.
I don't wear bike shorts on tour and never have a problem. Leather saddles that fit my anatomy are the ticket. I spent 20yrs+ being uncomfortable on/in numerous plastic saddles and padded bike shorts until I discovered leather.
I've toured on my Surly Big Dummy. Cargo bikes can be a competent touring rig if you need the hauling capacity.
I'm jealous of the desert biking living up in the Canadian costal rainforest.
Hi there, Lone Desert Walker,
I've been interested in Yubas for a while, especially since they have sliding dropouts that can be used for singlespeeding. Did you get the bike originally with gears and convert it to SS?
I live in the PHX area and dig that you're exploring the dirt roads outside of town. I will be getting a break from school over the X-mas holidays and look forward to making some trips of my own on my '80s Mongoose SS, courtesy of Goodwill!
Instead of chamois butter (which is a bit on the pricey side) I have been using "un-petroleum" jelly which I get at my local food coop. Its not a petroleum-based product, as you can tell by the name, and so far has not caused any of the breakdown of material that can come with regular petroleum jelly. And its a lot cheaper than chamois butter.
As for saddles, let's just say I'm hoping for a visit from the Brooks faery at X-mas.
And I have those same jerry cans - we use them for our cabin's potable water. That's a creative idea!
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