Touring Tips by Troy Mustache

Review: Sinewave Revolution

Dynamo, aka generator, hubs are a great way to power bicycle electronics. You never have to worry about carrying spare batteries for your lights, and if paired with a dynamo USB charger, you’ll never have to worry about keeping your smartphone/GPS charged. The problem I’ve found with dynamo USB chargers, though, is that the reliable models are not modestly priced, and the modestly pric...

Take Advantage of Bicycle Co-ops

Bicycle co-ops (and collectives) are an invaluable resource while on tour. As not everyone knows what a co-op is, or what they do, I’d like to first lead you on a guided meditation to bring you into their magical world. Close your eyes and have the person next to you read this aloud: You are riding your bicycle through a magical land. In this magical land, there are neither hills nor headwin...

Staying in Shape in the Off-Season

One of the toughest challenges any cyclist can face is that of staying in shape during the off season. It’s easy to stay in shape in the summer when you’re riding your bike every day, when being active outside is far more appealing than being lazy inside. But what about when you’re in the depths of a bitter cold (often icy) Philadelphia winter? Some riders swear by resistance tra...

Planning Your Tour Route

Living in the moment is always the best way to tackle life, right? Pick a destination at random, hop on your bike, and just go. Ride hard for a few days in the general direction you think you should be heading, and then when you’re in the middle of nowhere with low supplies and lower water, you can use that sense of reckless abandon to keep yourself going. Yeah man. Living! If the above soun...

Dressing Yourself on Tour

It’s that time of the year again, the time when all the latest spring fashions are hung from storefront windows. Are you going to hit the red carpet in the latest Louis Garneau full leg lycra? Frolic on the beach in the newest Pearl Izumi shorts (Don’t get that chamois wet!)? Maybe have a romantic, sunset dinner on the veranda in your favorite shop’s newest kit? Of course not. Yo...

How to Cultivate a Tan Line

Whether touring, hiking, or performing any other sort of extended outdoor travel, the miles are endless, the days are long, and when you’re finished you’re left with little more than the fading memory of fleeting thoughts. For this reason, it’s important to maintain some sort of record of your travels. Some write in a journal and others talk into a recorder, but I recommend a for...

How to be a Bicycle Tourist

Note to the reader: This piece is about being a Tourist, not a Touring Cyclist. Do you love to travel, but hate not knowing your way around? Do you eagerly anticipate visiting new places, but cringe at the thought of being lost in an unfamiliar place? Do you prefer to hit the ground running on vacation, but fear the thought of having to ask someone for directions because you don’t know if th...

Staying Charged on Tour

While touring, a smartphone can be invaluable. They are GPS-powered world atlases, making it impossible to get hopelessly lost (unless by design). They are never ending jukeboxes of all your favorite songs to help get you up grueling hills. They are a direct line to those close to you, no matter how far you get from them. But most importantly, they are the peace of mind you get from knowing that y...

The Self-Reliant Mechanic

Tenana, Alaska. A beautiful place in the middle of nowhere to get stranded. It’s Day 8 of a two week tour. You’re in the middle of nowhere, which means there are over 200 miles separating you in every direction from the nearest bike shop. All of a sudden you hear a snap and you lunge forward. Luckily, you didn’t flip your bike, but what just happened? You look down and see your c...

Review: TiGr Bow-Locks

I’m not sure which is a more powerful force, a first impression or resistance to change.  That said, the TiGr bow-lock can be a fairly polarizing piece of bicycle hardware.  It’s not shaped like, nor made of the same material as, nor sitting at a similar price point to any other lock on the market.  These attributes, along with others, can make either your jaw drop or  your lip sneer. ...

Boring Bikes for Better Tours

Touring is not like other cycling, so different equipment rules apply.  Instead of always leaning towards lightweight, fancy components, it can be advantageous to stick to slightly overbuilt and commonplace parts.  Carbon frames with ultralight components are great for a road bike, but how would they handle 2,000 fully loaded miles?  Hydraulic brakes are a high-end, frictionless braking alternativ...

Bike Touring on the Cheap

Have you thought about going on tour, but have had second thoughts due to the associated costs? Well, there are plenty of things you can worry about while on tour (being flattened by a reckless driver, dehydrating in the middle of the desert, getting eaten by a bear, etc.), but money doesn’t have to be one of them.  Touring can be as costly or inexpensive as you’re willing to make it. ...