Suggestions for a VERY long distance ride?

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

You got me :smiley: I have never tried the hammocks, or seen one.

I like how it keeps you off the ground. Away from crawling bugs and snakes. Creepy ground stuff is kinda regional. A lot of places you can sleep on the ground ok. Florida, and most of the south is kinda creepy.

I like snakes, fine critters as they come. Most are very timid and will avoid you. Rattle snakes can be different. I was sitting in the woods back against a tree eating a sandwich a few years back, when a large rattle snake came right towards me, so I got up and moved and it went on past, over where I was sitting. Fine animals they are, but not polite, nor timid like most snakes.

There is a lot of places in the USA I wouldn’t want to sleep on the ground without an enclosed tent, because there is to much creepies crawling around.

Since fair trade talks have been postponed indefinitely between US and NZ, surely there is some tax you must pay at your end- cos any form of trade with foreigners should be discouraged according to some dim witted economists. Bring on fair trade for the world!

Sounds good. I think I might have too many choices when my next pay check arrives. I’m going to be too confused to spend it.

I really like my hammock. It’s got good points and bad points, but I prefer it to a tent. Mine is fully enclosed, so I should wake up critterless. There’s not much room for kit inside, so my bag usually gets hung from a tree or wrapped in waterproofs.

unless the weather is really bad, or i’m set up in a swamp i’ll usually just put my bag underneath me on the ground out of the weather. i have a dry bag for food that gets hung away from camp.
it’s not hard to make a ‘gear hammock’ or rig something else up that allows your gear to parallel you underneath your tarp. w/ the stock hennessey tarp you don’t have much room for gear and you have to clamp it down really tight in a storm to stay dry, and i prefer a much more “open” feeling shelter w/ lots of headroom. black cat tarps are usually a good compromise for hennessey users who like the stock setup, but want a little more protection and gear stowage

(btw, pseudonym i don’t have any problem whatsoever w/ your setup, i just wanted to share other options in the discussion)

May I ask what hamock that is? It looks like the Hennessy Expedition Asym, but I just wanted to make sure. Would you recommend it for a 1,700 mile ride?

I’m considering either that one or the ultralight version of it. The ultralight is almost a pound lighter, but it’s more expensive.

usually ebay is a good source of hennesseys due to their popularity. also, the hammockforum guys usually have hammocks they’re willing to part with.

the ul is best for summer only use, and obviously is a little less durable due to the much lighter fabrics used (also, it’s a bit tighter quarters inside as well). also, most people that i know who have used them for thru-hiking the pct or at have opted to use a larger tarp for better weathersheilding. my friend dutch (friend of a friend really) used the exped for thru-hiking the at, but he now prefers the ul for all seasons due to how much lighter it is. however he has made larger tarps that he uses instead of the very minimal one that comes with the hammock.

It is indeed the exped asym. I wouldn’t like to say one way or the other as I haven’t had it long and have only used it a few times.
I’m hoping to do a super massive long ride like yours at some point and I’m aiming to use it, but that will be after a lot more testing.

I think Onewheelless might be on to a good thing with the idea of the ultra light with a larger tarp. I know hennessey are very good at customer service, so you should be able to get a larger one from them with the ultra light. Send them an email about it, tell them about the ride, ask any questions and for advice. I don’t think they are the kind of people to just try to sell you the most expensive one either. You never know, they might give you a discount/upgrade as it’s a very unusual ride.
I was going to send them ^that pic^ for their gallery, but I’ll hold back in case you want to be the “first” unicyclist to use their hammock.

I’ve been doing some research on bike safe routes through the US and found Adventure cycling, for $82 you can get a cycle safe map of a route shipped to you that shows a route from Imperial Beach, Ca to Vancouver BC. Just thought that might help a little with route planning.