Suggestions for a VERY long distance ride?

I’ll remember that about the goretex, thanks.

I’m definitely looking at hammocks as my means of shelter for the entire ride. They now seem pretty easy to set up and they protect from just about everything.

I never even considered having a rack. They are just too bulky. Falls are really bad with them, too.

For storage I plan on using a decent backpack and my T7 with some thin rope. I can easity tie things like bivys, hammocks, shirts, or tools to my unicycle.

I’m now trying to decide North to south or south to north. I’m pretty used to the CA coast already. That’s where I usually do my distance rides.

Thank you for the advice on going north to south instead of south to north. I’m really considering it now.

Food can be a problem. When you’re in an area you can get a little booklet saying what’s edible in that region. Those can help when you get hungry and there’s no place for miles. Even if you still have food and you notice some edible berries or something, you can stop and eat those instead of using a meal in your pack.

That tent and bivy both look really good, but I’m starting to lean towards hammocks. Still another person telling me north to south. I’m almost convinced.

Why not a small tent that has been given the name “bivy”. :roll_eyes:

Good real-life examples there. I’m going to be deciding this weekend if I’m going N to S or S to N.

What is your setup?

+1 for hammocks. I got mine for my birthday (15th) and spent the last few days testing it out. I wasn’t uni-touring, but it is certainly light enought to wrap around a hub and set up is a breeze.
The first night was a little difficult as I didn’t know the correct distance or height, but it got easier every time. I used trees in the first night, a tree and a fence post on the second, the roof racks of two cars to make an impromptu seat on the third day, and finally, a hook on a wall and a railing on the last night. I’m now seeing the world as a series of hammock sites.
The temperature has been about +4 Celsius, and the wind did give me a chilly back, but I think a decent pad would have stopped that. I was using a sleeping bag with a 12.5C comfort rating and a “survival” mat (very thin closed cell foam with a foil back), but I slept much better than my friends who were tenting with good quality mats and bags.

I’ll try strapping it to my uni and riding out in a few days, but I’m sure it will meet the challange head on.

I was going to post that hammocks are great until you don’t have trees to tie to but I think Pseudonym just blew that argument out of the water.

With some creative staking you could use your unicycle to hold up one side.

I thought that the hammocks from mec were overpriced at $140 ish but when I decided to make my own and priced out the materials it came to $160 in materials alone. Hammocks are lighter than tents and more comfortable than a bivy. It would be my choice for ultralight camping assuming there are places to string it up.

Please let me know how it does!

If I have the money or good enough sponsors I might have a hammock and a bivy. Always gotta be prepared!

I would not go the hammock route if you sleep on your stomach or side. I can’t sleep comfortably on a hammock, which is why I went the Tarp Shelter route.

Here is a thread with some info when I was figuring out my gear:

My current setup is a ultralight nylon hammock (like an eno singlenest, but uncoated nylon to make it lighter) that weighs 8 oz and folds up into it’s own pocket (smaller than a nalgene), and a urethane coated nylon 8x10 tarp that weighs 14oz. I would suggest buying something with bug netting if you feel bugs will be a problem, and silcoated nylon to windproof it. This will add a few more ozs but using a silnylon tarp will bring the weight down more. Also, my tarp is huge for most needs (most people carry something a bit smaller), it is only really advantageous if you want more coverage and protection for storms or cold weather. With a superlight closed-cell foam mat (8-12 oz.) For added insulation I’ve used it down to about 20 degrees f with my zero deg. mummy bag and was amazingly comfy.
I often will sleep on my side, however I often move around a lot. You can acheive a flatter position by sleeping diagonally or using a bridge hammock. There are many hammocks and they each sleep a little differently. The best way to decide which setup works the best for you is to try it.

I’ve heard US highways are illegal to bike one, is this true? Maybe something you need to do it legally?

It depends on the highway and the location. Most US limited-access (on-ramp/off-ramp) highways are not legal for bikes or pedestrians, but there are exceptions, mostly in places where the highway is the only through route. Highways which are not limited-access, such as Highway 1 on the coast, generally are bike-legal, with the occasional exception of certain bridges and tunnels.


+1 for riding N to S. If for no other reason you’ll be getting closer to home each day! (You’re from LA area right?) Sure you’ll have to pass through your home town towards the end but that can be extra motivation to get you to the end. Just like I entertain thoughts to hiking/running the Appalachian trail one day. If I did I’d start in Maine and head South as my home is in Alabama so I’d be getting closer and closer to home each day. Just a thought… Good luck!

Just saw this thread now and thought I’d make some comments…
-I think N to S might be better due to winds not due to elevation because either spot you start you are nearly at sea level so just cause you go N to S doesn’t mean it’s more downhill…but apparantly the winds are better going N to S. Plus as you get closer to home you’ll probably have a ton of family and friends cheering you the last few days and maybe could get a bunch of them to meet you at the Mexico border!

-I definately recommend trying to use It’s a great website that I have used for years now to stay for free at places all around the world. I have never had any problems and you meet some of the nicest coolest people. And of course you don’t have to waste money on a hotel and/or sleep outside somewhere. My guess is you could couchsurf for most of your trip. And if there house is out of the way, ask if they can pick you up from where you are and then drop you off the next day so you don’t add extra miles to the trip, I’m sure most of them would do that.

-I might be interested in joining you for this so keep me updated. Sounds like a fun adventure. It all depends on when it is, what I’m doing, how much extra money I have, etc.

-I have a TA Tire you can buy if you want it. Personally I think the nightrider tire is a good one as I used it for RTL and it worked out great. But it seems like lots of people like the TA so if you want to try one out, let me know and I’ll give you a nice discount on it.

That’s all for now.

So, it was a loooooong few days, but I finally rode out. It was only one day, but I was carrying enough to ruin my balance.
It wasn’t a warm day, but the back mat and bag kept me toasty for my afternoon nap. I set up on the lee side of a hill, which lowered the wind speed.

I wasn’t going ultra light as I was only out for the day, so didn’t need much. Just my hammock, sleeping bag, cut down mat, spork, a couple of meals from a rat pack, small pocket knife, trusty string, hat, tissues, and poi. I’m sure I’m missing something, but that’s all I can remember.

I had the hammock on my back on the ride out, it only weighs 1,265g, but I made my bag start to wobble on my back. That’s mainly the bag’s fault, my day sack broke last year and I haven’t got a new one, so I’m using my laptop bag; It’s too short and wide.
After setting up camp [Pic 1] I got some munch, then I packed it all away again and went to a pub just down the road. After a couple of warming draughts, I walked back, set up again and went to sleep for a couple of hours.
A nosey dog caught me napping and made an excellent alarm clock. The route I took was pretty circular, so it was only an hour or so back to my start point.

For this section I took inspiration from the idea of wrapping a spare tube around your hub. This is a little more effort and in all honesty took too long and has made me worry about snapping spokes. The idea is sound though; it made handling a little harder, but acceleration was still fine. Handling wise, it made me take corners I know well a little wide and forced me to dismount or face a thorny surprise. It was easily rideable if I concentrated. One off road section near home was rather wet, so my snake skins are now speckled with mud.

nice setup! are you prepping for a specific ride, or just trying to dial in on a setup for future trips? is that a hennessey? if so, i’m assuming that you have both the hammock and rainfly wrapped around the hub? i’m using an eno style hammock, and it only weighs 8oz., and it packs up super small the rainfly is on the heavy side, but by replacing it w/ a silnylon one, i’d have an incredibly light setup. i think with the correct pack, i’d probably prefer to keep most of the weight on my back. i have one that fits really well, but it’s a little larger than i’d want and heavier too. this spring i want to ride the horseshoe trail if i can find enough free/ legal camping spots. there are some very rough sections, some i’ll even have to walk. the entire trail is only 140 miles, and due to the load and the terrain i plan on using my 29er. i think i’ll probably try some 3-day trips to see how everything works. also, i got 125/150 dual-hole moments so i can change “gears” depending on the terrain. my pack and sleeping bag are still way too heavy, right now i’m sub 20 lbs with water and food (while hiking), but i could probably knock off some serious weight w/ a lighter bag and pack. i guess i could eliminate some “non-essentials” as well.
i really want to get an aarn pack even though it weighs a little more than a true ultralight pack because i feel that the load distribution will cut fatigue considerably, and will “outweigh” the extra lb or so

That’s pretty cool. Once we got the wide hubs (2003) we have talked about using that large space in the wheel for carrying stuff, but I don’t know anyone who’s really done it. Your stuff in there looks reasonably compact and probably weighs less than a Schlumpf hub.

That sounds like a really fun ride. The tube around the hub sounds like a great idea, since it would involve taking weight off my back. I’ll try that for the test ride I’ll be going on soon. Thanks for the write-up!

To keep everyone up-to-date on my plans, I’ve been working on getting a sponsor. I’ve been considering drug companies like Lipitor or Advair. Supposedly they do a bit of sponsoring.

@OneLessWheel: No, it’s not for anything specific, although I’d like to do something similar to this thread and ride for a few weeks.
Yes it’s a Hennessey and has both parts. The slings are around the tail end of my T7 as I thought I might need to use them to compress the rest. I didn’t need them in the end, so they’d have been better wrapped round the hub under the hammock.

The people at Aarn really seem to know their stuff. I’m now wondering about a front and back set up to keep the COG in a similar spot. It might be a little sweaty and bulky though. NZ has all the good kit retailers; I wanted to get a macpac, but I’m still deciding if it’s worth it right now. I want a Schlumpf too, so that might eat my next few piles of money.

@Nathan: I’m going to keep it there for a while and see what happens, if I get used to it, and if it breaks spokes. I’ve just got a full time job, so I won’t need it for a while. Actually, it might come off if I commute, we’ll have to see.
I think the cranks are 154s, so it’s not all that small, speaking of which I need to swap those cranks out for something a little shorter.

@CrazyJoe: It was a fun ride, I did it for my last day of freedom (I’m starting full time work tomorrow).
Good luck with the sponsoring.

Is that a psuedo tent ?

LOL, I don’t want to come off as being critical. I looks like you are having a lot of fun and are learning fast.

To avoid an unpleasant night, you might want to try sleeping under that tiny tarp overnight in the rain, in your yard. Pitched like you have it, any rain that comes with a bit of wind, and you will be soaked. It really should be pitched with the windward side on the ground.

I hope this helps you sleep dry.:wink:

If it were a tarp I’d agree with you, but it’s a hammock. Thanks for the input though, I appreciate helpful hints and tips.

Over at hammockforums we’ve been discussing these packs and where to purchase them. Most people are purchasing them from stony creek outfitters in new zealand. Also, we’ve discovered that the prices shown include nz tax which we don’t have to pay since we’re not in nz. It seems that the packs work out to cost around list price SHIPPED! (Oh, btw prices are NZD which are 50 some cents on the USD) for clarification, you can check the link I posted earlier