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Messages - LDiskin

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1
Gear Talk / Good Rainjacket?
« on: February 28, 2005, 07:49:35 pm »
I have to disagree with RusselSeaton a bit. He is correct that keeping warm is the most important thing. But staying dry is part of keeping warm in many cases.

I carry a lightweight raincoat that is waterproof and has a hood large enough to go over my helment. In cold rain, a hood will make an enourmous difference in your ability to keep warm. My favorite jacket also has pit zippers to help with the air flow.

Now, the dilemma that many people notice is that if you are warm enough inside your rain jacket,  people often become wet with their own sweat. I find that scenario to be more comfortable to being pelted directly with rain.

Also keep in mind the regional factors. In the mountain west, there are many places where you cannot simply call it a day early unless you plan to set up your tent in a ramdom place in the woods. There may be times when you are 50 miles from any kind of indoor facility to even hang out in for a while. You'd definitely need to be prepared to keep warm in that situation if you are travelling in the Rockies or Cascades. Also bear in mind that it can snow in these mountain at any time during the summer. It would not be unusuall to wake up to a beautiful August day, have the temperature get into the 90's and only hours later find your self in a very cold rainstorm.

My point being, I recommend that every long-didtance bicycle traveller has a decent rain coat with them at all times regardless of where you travel or what time of year it is.

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Larry Diskin
Adventure Cycling Association

2
Gear Talk / New Rider Advice on Purchasing a Road Bike
« on: February 23, 2005, 09:07:25 pm »
I agree with RusselSeaton's advice. Put some road oriented tires on your Trek and maybe a set of bar ends to add different hand positions and it will be a fine start.

If you are joining one of our Intro to Touring courses, you have the option to rent a set of panniers to use in the course. (They also rent tents and sleeping bags. Call and talk with the tour department for more details 800-755-2453)

Since part of the purpose of the course is to teach you how to select appropriate gear, I often reccommend to make do with your current bike and rented panniers during the course.(As far as the bike goes, you'll only need to show up with a rear reach on your bike)

Same goes for the tent and sleeping bag. If you don't currently have those, consider renting them for the course and then you'll have a good idea what features appeal to you when you go shopping for your own gear.

You'll learn the pro's and con's of different types of bicycles and gear and be able to purchase gear that appeals to you and meets you needs and desires.



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Larry Diskin
Adventure Cycling Association

3
Gear Talk / Dynamo lights on aircraft
« on: February 15, 2005, 09:15:48 pm »
I've never heard of anything other than an actual weapon, or something that can be used as a weapon, be "confiscated" by airport security.

If you take it as carry on, they certainly may open your bag and inpect it but they can tell the difference between a bomb and a light. The worst they will do is check it as baggage and not allow you to take it onboard the passenger section of the plane with you.

If you just leave it on your bike and check it that way, they may open your bike box to inspect things but they will not confiscate anything that is not actually dangerous.

Also, TSA's policies are changing on a nearly daily basis, there are certain items that they allow onboard today and not tomorrow and then they allow them again on the next day...There is no way to know what to expect, it is set up that way on purpose as a security measure.



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Larry Diskin
Adventure Cycling Association

4
Gear Talk / Surly Long Haul Trucker
« on: January 12, 2005, 03:54:48 pm »
The Surly Long-Haul Trucker seems like a great choice. I've seen a couple in person and would buy one myself. Their cross-check line has been incredibly popular. I wouldn't be surprise if part of the reason they started making the Long-haul trucker is because so many people have been using the cross-check for loaded touring that they figured they'd make a frame that would be even better for that purpose.

Handlebar and seat selection comes down to personal preference. But I can tell you from vast experience that there is no such thing as a "good cheap headset" There are a select few models that are inexpensive and anywhere near what I would call good. Some that are above average and not terribly expensive are the upper end of the Cane Creek line. Those have been consistently acceptable but if you truly want a good headset for a touring type bike, buy a Chris King, it's worth every penny in the long run! Nothing else even comes close.

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Larry Diskin
Adventure Cycling Association

5
Gear Talk / Looking for a bike
« on: January 04, 2005, 04:08:25 pm »

For somebody that is new to road cycling, or hasn't done it in a while, comfort is the absolute number one most important factor to consider. It is also important to have the triple front chainring for climbing hills unless you are an experienced cyclist and relatively highly trained. Fortunately, there is a new(ish) frame design that allows for more comfort while also being sufficiently light weight and performance oriented. These types of bikes are right up your alley and what I recommend.

Two examples that run between $900-1100 are the Specialized Sequoia and the Trek Alpha 1200C. Check out their web sites and note that the design allows for the seat and handlebars to be approximately level with each other naturally. This creates a significantly more comfortable riding position than a typical racing bike without sacraficing much performance for the average rider.

If you get seriously into it a couple of years down the road, and want to get on something a little more racey, you'll always have the option of doing so. But if you purchase a racing bike right off the bat, you will likely end up modifying it to be more like the bikes I describe above anyway.

Happy shopping,
Larry Diskin - Adventure Cycling Association

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Larry Diskin
Adventure Cycling Association

6
Gear Talk / s & s bike coupling
« on: September 15, 2004, 09:10:40 pm »
Burley's number is 866-248-5634

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Larry Diskin
Adventure Cycling Association

7
Gear Talk / s & s bike coupling
« on: September 15, 2004, 09:08:57 pm »
Can't get 'r done here in Missoula. I would contact Burley directly and ask for a referral. There are other frame manufactures in Eugene, Burley's hometown, that make frames with those couplings and maybe one of them can retrofit your tandem...

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Larry Diskin
Adventure Cycling Association

8
Gear Talk / Burley vs Bob on road tour
« on: July 22, 2004, 03:18:30 pm »
Hello Dan and Linda,
I don't mean to imply that the BOB doesn't add a load to your rear wheel, but switching to a Nomad is not likely to make a significant different in that respect. The load will be ditributed between the two trailer wheels, rather than one, but it will not affect the load on the tandem's rear wheel much, if any. Tandems traditionally have trouble with rear wheels. Your best best it to get a stronger rear wheel on your tandem. If you already got a new wheel, and havn't had any trouble with the Nomad, it it likely due to having a stronger wheel rather than switching to a Nomad. The Nomads right wheel may occasionally drop over the edge of the pavement, but it is not likely to cause much a problem except possibly in extreme cases, especially considering the momentum of a tandem -- Hope that helps --Larry Diskin

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Larry Diskin
Adventure Cycling Association

9
Gear Talk / real (old-fashioned) touring shoes
« on: June 25, 2004, 09:56:17 pm »
Ebay is worth a look for things like that

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Larry Diskin
Adventure Cycling Association

10
Gear Talk / Panniers
« on: July 01, 2004, 06:40:05 pm »
Here is something to consider. Rent a set of panniers from us for the Intro Course. Then, during the course, you we learn about and see many options and be able to decide which are the most appealing to you.

I prefer the waterproff drybag style panniers like those made by Ortlieb.



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Larry Diskin
Adventure Cycling Association

11
Gear Talk / Touring Bikes ($1000 Range)
« on: March 12, 2004, 10:04:54 pm »
The TREK 520 is one of the most popular main stream touring bikes in modern history. It is always a solid and durable choice. Trek has been producing this model for many, many years. You could buy a Trek, Cannondale, Jamis, or Specialized and you'll get similar value from each. --Larry


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Larry Diskin
Adventure Cycling Association

12
Gear Talk / Bike + Trailer advice for Great Divide
« on: March 12, 2004, 09:50:44 pm »
I have toured on lots of the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route. I have tested the Burley Nomad for this purpose and do not recommend it for rugged terrain. When you are going 15-20mph and one wheel hits a bump, it has tendancy to tip over onto it's side. A BOB is a much better choice for the Great Divide route. --Larry

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Larry Diskin
Adventure Cycling Association

13
Routes / Which way to Oregon
« on: June 25, 2004, 09:53:55 pm »
If you decide to come through Missoula, your best bet is to go to Whitefish, MT then head south along Hwy 83 and west on hwy 200 into Missoula. Do not use Hwy 93 in hopes of cutting mileage, it is a very bad road for cycling. See you if you come here. Let me know if you need any more assistance --Larry Diskin

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Larry Diskin
Adventure Cycling Association

14
General Discussion / Camping or Cheap Moteling?
« on: March 01, 2005, 05:25:01 pm »
Max,
In some cases motels will be a bit more expensive and in some cases campgrounds will be a bit less expensive the the rates you listed.

If money is not a major concern, the real question is what would you prefer. Motel to motel (affectionately also know as credit card touring) is very popular these days. It might cost around $1000 or more to do it that way but it provides a great deal of extra comfort for many folks. (actually, it might not be too big of a financial difference if you are not having to purchase all of the gear required for self-contained camping)

A lot of people have a much easier time toughing out bad weather and other undesirable conditions if they know they have a motel room at the end of the day. And clearly, not carrying all of that gear makes the riding less challenging physically.  

There would be some phenomenal camping experiences along your way but there would also be many that some people consider to be horrid.

So, I have found that unless a person is either very much looking forward to the camping, or already has the gear and needs to conserve money, they usually have a better experience staying in motels.

The number of times I've heard of people ditching the gear in the middle of the trip to opt for motels is quite large. To be blunt and from my experience, your comment "I'm not so young and tough as I used to be" is a good sign that this might apply to you...



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Larry Diskin
Adventure Cycling Association

15
General Discussion / Trailer Preferences
« on: February 24, 2005, 07:28:13 pm »
Those are all good points. I have used both extensivelly.

One additional thing I would add is that that BOB is the hands down winner for off pavement touring. The Nomad generally feels better than the BOB behind the bike (it has far less affect on the bike), but I have had my Nomad tip over onto it's side if one of it's wheels hits a rock or bump at any kind of speed and that is a rather icky thing to have happen.

You can go as fast as you want with the BOB on bumpy terain. It might bounce around but it can't tip over like the Nomad.

The BOB is the trailer of choice on our Great Divide Mountain Bike trips. But many people prefer the feel of the Nomad on pavement.

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Larry Diskin
Adventure Cycling Association

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