What to pack and how much weight?

General talk. queries & comments about the Main Roads LifeCycle Great Western Australian Bike Ride.
Shell & John
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What to pack and how much weight?

Postby Shell & John » Mon 12 Dec 2005, 4:46 pm

As a newbie to long rides and having signed up with my wife for the GWABR I have been avidly reading the GVBR forum for tips. Terry Dovey was one of the contributors and he has sent me an excel spreadsheet with everything he took and what it weighed.

It is an excellent guide as a reference and packing checklist. (Thanks again Terry.) If anyone would like a copy please email me and I will send it to you.

I have tried to find a way to attach it as a link within the forum but so far have been unsuccessful. Anyone who knows how I can do that so it can be made more easily available please contact me.

For anyone who hasn't been to the GVBR forum site yet I would recommend it as a source of great information, particulalry for first timers like me, from people who have just finished a big ride. The information about ablution facilities was a particular revelation. :shock:

Keep those wheels spinning. John


Terry Dovey
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Packing List

Postby Terry Dovey » Mon 19 Dec 2005, 10:57 am

John & Others,

I've re-posted my packing list to the server at the address below. Type this address into your browser and click will give the option to download the small Excel file. As you would have seen already, John, I've added some suggestions for myself for list modification for the next ride. Something for riders to bear in mind when using this list is that it was for 9 nights away of which 7 only involved tenting. I stayed in a cabin for the two nights around the rest day. Managed to get the tent cleaned out, all the washing done and two good nights sleep. Another thing not mentioned on the list would be to take the mobile phone recharger or one can now buy a device that allows you to charge your phone off AA batteries. This would be a lot easier. The torches I took were the new LED variety. No worries about batteries expiring or globes blowing. It may not be evident from the list that I packed everything into resealable permanently labelled plastic bags of various sizes. My huge bag is on wheels - these bags seem to be available at many outlets now. Mark your bag prominently - they all look the same in a heap. And, spray waterproof your huge bag, your cycle shoes and your bke bag.

<a href="http://users.westconnect.com.au/~tdovey/GVBR Final Pack List 2005.xls">http://users.westconnect.com.au/~tdovey/GVBR Final Pack List 2005.xls</a>

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Ben Sturmfels
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Postby Ben Sturmfels » Mon 19 Dec 2005, 2:24 pm

I disagree with using disposable plates and cutlery (as mentioned on Terry's list). Imagine the amount of extra waste produced if everyone used these for every meal.

Excellent washing up facilities are provided and the food is rarely greasy. It's also much easier it is to eat with a real knife fork and plate. Those insulated plastic Thermos mugs are excellent too.

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Postby twowheels » Mon 19 Dec 2005, 2:32 pm

Kathmandu have a sale on at the mo, and I picked up yesterday a set of cutlery for around $8 that folds away.

You say Bike Bag? What and where did you get it Terry?
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Postby Melissa » Mon 19 Dec 2005, 5:15 pm

Its true about the extra rubbish. But its a lot easier in the morning bor breakfast to have disposable plates and stuff so you can pack up, eat and go.
Melly..... :P

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What to take and how to pack

Postby wacycle » Tue 20 Dec 2005, 12:15 am

On tour, take everything and you pack it like this :)


Except that I haven't got the rear panniers on for this particular trip, because with this rack, they hit the trailer arm.

Shell & John
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Postby Shell & John » Tue 20 Dec 2005, 1:13 pm

I really don't want this to turn into an environmental debate however my take on Terry's suggestion about disposable plates and cutlery is that I will be using recycled paper plates for breakfast to get a quick start in the morning and our camping plates, cups and cutlery for evening meals. I am presuming we don't need them for lunchtime. :D

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Postby twowheels » Tue 20 Dec 2005, 4:41 pm

No need to rush in the mornings, enjoy your breakfast, makes for more energy available for the days ride. There are washing facilities, and I as many others have done, have bought a tucker tray from BV. One plate and a cutlerly set with it's own little bag. Oh and my cricket holdall has a soft esky section with a drain, so even if there a little wet, can still put them in bag.
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Postby Lisa » Tue 20 Dec 2005, 10:26 pm

I've done lots of these great rides. If you'd like me to email you my packing list (you can laugh at it, if nothing else), email me on:

Terry Dovey
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Disposable Plates & Bike Bag

Postby Terry Dovey » Wed 21 Dec 2005, 7:21 pm

I agree with Ben's comment about the 'disposable' plates not being environmentally desirable. On a previous ride I used the BV tucker tray and a utensil set but because I loaded my bag onto the bag truck before breakfast this left me to carry the tucker tray all day on the bike! Hard enough carrying myself all day .... Also, in 2004 the washing detergent was very environmentally friendly - it would not remove the grease from the plates. I don't know if it was better this year. So, this year I calculated the exact number of disposable plates and cutlery (the cutlery was very effective) and took this number. In my defence, I used no washing up water or detergent, I didn't drive my car whilst I was on the ride and I left no imprint on the landscape (other than when I fell off on the gravel road section).
Two Wheels asked about the bike bag. Last year I used a soft sided Cool bag worth $10. This year I upgraded to a $109 RRP (can be got cheaper) Canondale which has hard sides and base, velcros onto the Giant pack rack and has an expandable top if desired. Pleased I bought it.

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What a great list

Postby WilloW » Tue 27 Dec 2005, 1:10 pm

Can I just say thanks for the great spreadsheet.. I am another complete newbie and didn't even know where to start. trying real hard to get the km's up...I am relatively new to cycling longer distances....what is a reasonable cadence to keep at...does it really matter ?? Hope your all having fun and are just as excited as me.

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Postby twowheels » Wed 28 Dec 2005, 2:25 am

To answer your question, no it does not really matter how fast your cadence, but I'll explain a little and then you can make your own choice.

You see the difference in cadence when you look at Jan Ulrich and Lance Armstrong in action. Jan is a more muscular guy with big slow powerful muscles, Lance on the other hand is leaner, and whilst having good definistion does not have the bulk. Jan pedals slower, Lance faster.
When you pedal faster you use more aerobic energy, slower more power. I'd suggest if you are starting out from scratch, try pedaling around about the 80 revolutions a minute, until your legs get used to the increase in cycling. Don't have to much resistance, and try to stay in your seat, even if the hill is steep.
Hills are the secret to improving, and help you get stronger, faster and fitter. So don't avoid them, try and find them and keep the cadence up.
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Postby senectus » Thu 29 Dec 2005, 1:48 pm

Twowheels wrote:Hills are the secret to improving, and help you get stronger, faster and fitter. So don't avoid them, try and find them and keep the cadence up.

Let me just reinforce this.. you _will_ be seeing a lot of hills.
I just got back from 4 days down there at Northcliffe, Pemberton Denmark and Warpole and the the place is almost completely hilly country.

Start the practice on the hills it's going to be hard work. :-D

Shell & John
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Postby Shell & John » Fri 06 Jan 2006, 12:54 pm

Michelle and I just drove the bike route and took GPS readings along the way. We haven't produced a topogrphical map but have written up some daily notes and route descriptions with elevations every 5km.

Anyone wanting a copy can get one by emailing us at the hotmail emil address in our profile.


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Postby raman » Wed 11 Jan 2006, 6:55 pm

Hi there

Weight is 20 kg per person so Plan on about 10kg of checked luggage and 6kg of hand luggage, and your bike.

Size of the bag i am not to sure .... there may be a restriction on this.. i assume it would be the same as the airlines but dont quote me on that.

things to take

Gear for riding

2 pairs of bike shorts (minimum);
2 riding tops or t-shirts (minimum);
Cycling shoes or cycling sandals for riding;
SPF30+ sunscreen cream;
Warm windproof jacket. Evenings and mornings at this time of year can be cool to cold and after pedaling you will need to keep warm for any time spent in town;
Long riding tights or tracksuit (just in case we get a cold morning);
Wallet and money to purchase morning and afternoon teas and local produce along the cycle route;


Street-wear (shorts, jeans/trousers, skirt, dress, shirts etc);
Shoes or runners for wearing off the bike;
Socks, handkerchiefs, underwear, etc;
Tracksuit (good to wear if it gets cool on or off the bike or to sleep in);
Rain jacket;
Hat or cap;
Bathroom kit with toiletries (soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, shampoo etc).

Camping equipment

Plate, bowl, cutlery and tea towel (pack these in a lightweight shoulder bag) i find Metalic ones are better as they dont break
Thermal cup or mug for morning and afternoon teas
Small fold-up tripod chair or groundsheet for comfortable meal times;
Waterproof tent;
Sleeping bag and self inflating sleeping mat;
Small torch (find the one that straps to your hear is better)
Ear plugs (if you have difficulty sleeping in a thin walled tent).
Optional extras

Camera and film to record your adventure;
Mobile phone and charger
Wallet and Spare cash. just incase... remember that most towns do not ha ATM's

Have fun and hope to see you there

Raman 8)

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