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Messages - bobbys beard

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General Discussion / Re: TransAmerica bike tour- travel East or West?
« on: July 26, 2015, 07:27:02 am »
But I believe you will hook up and share the experience with more riders going east-west. This is from reading several journals and my experience as well.
I didn't notice that, but I have only done it W-E.  Not sure why that would be the case.  I am curious, care to elaborate?

If you're riding in the opposite direction to the majority, you will meet more riders. When I biked the West coast S to N pretty much everyone was headed the other way, so I got to chat with many riders and when I stayed at camps, there were always fresh faces. A lot of riders were complaining that they kept meeting the same people.

Routes / Re: Summit to NYC via GW Bridge
« on: July 22, 2015, 05:16:00 am »
Nobody knows how to look in six directions at once and stats show that as a biker you're just as likely to be seriously injured by a collision with a motor vehicle in NYC as any other US city.....

If you're worried about the spokes, then change the wheels. but before you do, why not go out for a few rides fully loaded and see for yourself if they're up to the job?  I bet they're fine.

I ride my giant escape with as much load as my old surly LHT and it has never looked like breaking. And the same with a Claud butler urban hybrid, which was a really terrible bike, but never broke under weight.

My advice is go out and test people's theories and then you can base your decision on your own experience :)

Sounds to me that you've got everything you "need". A Trek fx will carry everything you need on just rear panniers. There is plenty of space between the panniers to tie a backpack etc. I always tour with rear loading only, simply because that's how I did my first tour and now I prefer it.

You don't need cooking equipment and you don't need a sleeping pad. I always tour without them and I'm still here to tell the tale.

the more money you have in your pocket, of course means you have more options available, but if you're prepared to lose a few comforts from your routine, you don't need much at all.

General Discussion / Re: Bicycle guidance
« on: July 20, 2015, 12:52:56 pm »

I've know some people for whom more of the pleasure comes from obtaining and having a lot of fancy gear than from making the pedals go round.  I don't know how common that is, but having the stuff is what makes them happy.  I guess that if it makes them happy there is nothing wrong with that, but it is a shame when folks who are not so inclined get sucked into that mindset.

yes, it's really great to see cycling so popular at the moment, but there are a lot of "emperors new clothes" on the roads around here at least. My local bike shop offers "power bike fitting" for €100. thats a third of the cost of my current bike just to adjust the seat and handlebars, (by means of cutting edge technology of course.....)

Routes / Re: Summit to NYC via GW Bridge
« on: July 20, 2015, 06:45:20 am »
I think it's quite possible to do safely enough. I wasn't brave enough to try it on my first trip to the states, but I would probably ride in or out of NYC if ever I go back as getting a train to Summit wasn't as easy at should have been.

I don't know New York to well, but wonder if option 3 in this article is of any help to you?

General Discussion / Re: Bicycle guidance
« on: July 19, 2015, 07:45:12 pm »
A hybrid bike is perfectly fine for touring and im sure nearly all hybrids have rack mount points. I'd recommend something with room for 700c wheels. 10mph isn't a bad at all average for a days riding and if you're riding a lot, you will naturally get quicker, so don't worry about it.

As someone mentioned, spending a lot of money isn't necessary. My partner toured for a month with me on a bike that cost £300 with no problems at all.  :)

Maybe start out with a few day trips to see how you feel about spending long periods on your bike.

Assuming you have some sort of camping gear and a way to fix it to your bike, I'd say you could make $60 last a few days. perhaps a long weekend is a good way to see if you'll enjoy a bigger tour. Try picking somewhere fairly local, depending on your fitness and preparedness. Make a good plan, decide on a route etc and just go for it.

As for fixing the bike, there are a heap of YouTube videos. At the very least, you'll want to be able to fix a flat, clean/lube the chain and tighten brakes,  but it's also a good idea to learn how to index gears. The more you know how to fix, the safer you are if you get stuck somewhere remote and of course you save a load of cash not having to pay someone to fix your bike :)

Routes / Re: Pacific Coast Highway on a road bike?
« on: July 04, 2015, 03:01:25 pm »
my meal of choice is pretty much always.... A loaf of bread (because it literally squashes into any space and still springs back into its original shape!), and a tin of mackerel. I usually bike until sunset if I'm cowboy camping and if I'm not, I'll stop somewhere early to make the most of the amenities and get some supplies in.

Routes / Re: Pacific Coast Highway on a road bike?
« on: July 01, 2015, 04:09:06 pm »
So that covers the sleeping arrangements. Then you need to add stove, cookware, fuel, food, water and sundry other camping items.
Weight (and volume) can escalate rapidly.

a stove isn't at all necessary if you're trying to pack light. Personally, the last thing I want to do at camp is spend an hour warming a can of beans, then have to clean up etc, although I've seen plenty of tourers that do it.

The PCH isn't remote at all and a decent refuel stop is never far away. snacks and a couple of bottles of water is usually plenty to get you to the next one.

Routes / Re: Pacific Coast Highway on a road bike?
« on: July 01, 2015, 03:47:04 am »
Once you bring camping into the mix, packing light is not really feasible.

Not necessarily. My tent and sleeping bag combined come to around 10 lb's. There are even lighter options, but lightweight camping equipment generally isn't cheap.

General Discussion / Re: Bicycle tools for a cross country ride
« on: June 29, 2015, 05:16:36 am »
Yes, a master link :)  I had no idea what they were called!  I never had a broken chain on tour, but did once when I borrowed a rusty old bike for a day. Resulted in a 9 mile walk back.  Master links are very cheap and take no space at all. Well worth having just in case!

Routes / Re: Pacific Coast Highway on a road bike?
« on: June 28, 2015, 05:25:15 am »
As far as the roads are concerned, there's nothing I remember that a road bike couldn't cope with.

I find it better to think of touring as lots of rides, rather than one big ride. If you're a keen biker, you will be no stranger to riding on a daily basis. How long do you plan to ride versus your usual distances?

On the PCH, you can easily plan to ride between accommodation each day, so if you didn't want to take too much gear, it would easily be done on a credit card. If you plan on camping a lot (it's a beautiful route to camp on), there are several incredibly lightweight tents and sleeping bags, but they're not cheap.

Personally, I think a touring bike is better, just because it's better designed for long trips and the weight of luggage and water, however people also do these trips on unicycles, so a road bike shouldn't be any problem at all!

General Discussion / Re: Bicycle tools for a cross country ride
« on: June 27, 2015, 05:46:39 pm »
I always carry

Allen Keys,
spare tubes,
puncture repair kit,
bike pump,
spare cables (1 brake, 1 gear),
spare clip on chain link,
Swiss army knife,
spare screws for your pannier attachments etc  (they easily work loose and riding with one pannier banging into your wheel at every corner is no fun at all) 
Chain lube.
Bit of old rag......

and one item that no one ever mentions, but I really do recommend..... a tyre boot. when my tyre got ripped on tour, the tyre boot lasted the rest of the life of the tyre, not to mention enabled me to repair a blow out and be back on the road in 15 minutes. If it ever happens, you can bet it will be in the worst possible location and  you'll be very glad you took this advice! :)

Routes / Re: Southern tier in the summer time
« on: June 20, 2015, 05:18:30 am »
Ricks right about the water. You need to carry a lot of it and you will drink more than you thought was even possible. There's a section of desert between Brawley and (I forget) that takes you through Glamis where I got through around 2 gallons in 80 miles, even more incredible is I didn't have to pee even once and my face was always bone dry.

There were plenty of trucks on the road, so you won't be too far from help if all goes wrong and I checked in with the local sheriff before I set off on that section. He was very nice, pointed out some useful spots on the map and said he would be drivng past a few times during the day.

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