This is the beginning of something new and useful for long-haul bike touring: well designed products and an encouraging community.
Before, touring was a fringe or renegade sport. Family members scoff and close friends question our decision making skills. Bike tourers piece their touring rigs together, and only sturdiest parts last the journey. Not to mention only the sturdiest riders.
I've loved biking around my home, Vancouver BC since I was little. I looked forward my own long-haul trip by bike. Finally, at 31, I made the jump, and me and my girlfriend set out for a 6-month trip out the front door and south. Sailing down coastal mountains, with the ocean at our side, the road ahead and only our hunger to slow us, we were free.
My community grew through fellow riders and bike co-ops, then through Facebook, reddit. Soon I knew about online tools like warm showers, maps.me, and windy.ty and even strangers were offering me advice, help and meals. The hard ride ahead softened.
I tested my gear to the limits, in full sun and pouring rain, rattled by bumps, packed and unpacked repeatedly. At three weeks, my brooks was fully broken in, as was my butt. But one problem persisted, and I could only ignore it.
My problem: numb fingers and sore wrists. I was constantly changing hand positions, trying to keep the circulation. The problem persisted, and my numb fingers continued 2 weeks after our tour.
Persistent problem on bike tour
I had an acute and immediate problem. I thought "I don't want to tour as much if I continue to get number hands". But I love to tour and feel like continuing, so what do I do?
Thanks to community, I quickly found some workarounds. I leaned about double wrapping bars, one tape over another, as well as one or two other great tips.
It's awesome the bike community had my back. I'm so inspired that I want to make my own contribution. That's why I started Tasis Bikes.