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Messages - BobG

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Walmart did stock Coleman branded "MSR" style isobutane cartridges on the shelves for a few years but apparently no longer.

Bumping this thread for an update. I found Coleman branded isobutane canisters back on the shelves at my local Walmart. I searched a few random Walmart locations on the TransAm. Many stores list them in stock.

« on: May 16, 2016, 07:10:04 pm »
Google Maps comes up with this 2010 photo of the Skagit General Store in Newhalem. Possibly the one that indyfabz refers to. You may want to try finding a phone number to learn if it still is in business.

General Discussion / Re: Michelin Maps or Google Maps for Europe?
« on: April 16, 2016, 06:22:54 pm »
I purchased the 1:400,000 map for Italy. I want to ride the Green routes, which are scenic, and less traveled (I think)?...

My goal is to ride on mostly quiet, scenic roads. I don't see any street names for the GREEN ROUTE of this map. For example, the map shows the Green Route going along a freeway, but it doesn't give any detail on the name of the street. Do you think this map will give enough detail to help me stay off the main roads? Or should I purchase the 1:200,000???

The 1/400,000 details look pretty good in the online samples. They are a bit smaller in physical size so that would be an advantage. 48"x39" vs 61"x39" for the 1/200,000 scale. They are both fairly large to deal with on a windy day. Possibly cut it in half to be more manageable. The old style 1/200,000 was 18"x42", much more convenient.

Maybe use the 1/400,000 and go online to the Viamichelin or Google sites to zoom in for more detail when needed? Or if it's inadequate replace with the larger scale when you're on the road. In France you'll find them in every town newspaper shop/book store. Not sure about Italy.

I've only travelled in France and I avoid the red roads and freeways even when they're designated "scenic" with the green highlight. I link up the little, squiggly white and yellow roads using a red road only for short connectors.

General Discussion / Re: Michelin Maps or Google Maps for Europe?
« on: April 16, 2016, 09:27:43 am »
I find the 1/200,000 scale to be the best for cycling. It will show the smaller (white and yellow) roads in more detail. Also in France it will display a triangular symbol at towns with municipal campgrounds. The above (reply 4) Michelin screenshot is about at that scale. You will ride off the map quickly if you're traveling in the short dimension of the rectangle, but at least in France you will find the local maps at any Tabac or Presse shop in the next town. I also carried a 1/1,000,000 scale map to have an overview of the entire trip.

You can view the paper map graphics of Michelin maps online by clicking on the Michelin Man face icon in lower right corner at my black arrow. If you zoom in closer than 1/200,000 it will return to the more electronic graphics.

edit: I just looked at current versions of Michelin paper maps. The 1/200,000 maps are a lot larger than when I used them. They used to be fairly small quadrangles, now they each cover a wider region. The good news with that is you will buy fewer maps and ride off them less often. Bad news is they will be more cumbersome to unfold on the road.

General Discussion / Re: Michelin Maps or Google Maps for Europe?
« on: April 15, 2016, 06:55:48 pm »
By all means use Google Maps as a supplement but pick up the paper Michelin Maps as you travel to see the big picture as suggested above. Also available online. There is no comparison when it comes to the artistic detail of the Michelins.



Click to enlarge

Routes / Re: Century day along the TransAm route
« on: March 29, 2016, 01:21:59 pm »
On a 1993 ACA TransAm tour our entire group of ten rode 104 miles from Scott City KS to Eads CO. We started out with a slight head wind with Tribune KS as our planned stop 46 miles away. As we approached Tribune the wind started swinging around towards our backs. We all arrived by lunch time and agreed to push on another 30 miles to Sheridan Lake CO. At Sheridan Lake we re-grouped and at this point the wind was howling right at our backs. We took a vote and said "Lets go for it!" and rode the final 28 miles to Eads and rewarded ourselves with a motel stay that night!


We did have trouble finding canisters from Pueblo to Virginia.  I know others claim Walmart has them everywhere but we did not find that to be the case. 

Yes, I posted this info a few years ago. Walmart did stock Coleman branded "MSR" style isobutane cartridges on the shelves for a few years but apparently no longer. Now they only sell Primus/Optimus cannisters through Walmart dotcom. That means you'd have to order in advance to have one waiting for you. Alternatively, find one at an outdoors store which may be scarce on some sections of the route.

General Discussion / Re: Down Tube Shifters
« on: January 03, 2016, 11:16:02 am »
I have a 17 year old Litespeed Classic road bike for around town rides. It came with an early edition of Campagnolo Ergo brifters. I replaced them with down tube "Silver" shifters from Rivendell.


A- Easier on the wrists if you have arthritis. The sideways rear down shift/front upshift on Campy Ergos was awkward and  I found it to aggravate arthritic wrists.
B- Tidier appearance. No dangling cable housings that comes with many of the Shimano levers and bar ends. No big, clunky brake levers to accommodate shifters.
C- No indexing. Continuum friction shifting allows one to fine tune the position of FD to avoid chain rub.
D- lightweight


A- Slightly less convenient location.

General Discussion / Re: How to get from Washington DC to Yorktown, VA?
« on: December 14, 2015, 08:39:44 am »
I've Googled a bit and it looks like the nearest station to Yorktown is Newport News...

Williamsburg is closer, 13 miles vs 20 with less traffic to deal with. It appears that the morning train does still have checked baggage service. You may want to call around 11AM when the station is manned to confirm. (757) 229-8750. Just show up and check your bike like any other piece of luggage at DC. There's plenty of room in trains with baggage cars for bikes. I would imagine that a big station like Union in DC would keep a good stock of boxes, although your bike may already be boxed from the flight from UK.

I've always just zip tied my rear panniers together to make them one piece and carried on front panniers and HB bag if you have one. A suitcase is somewhat redundant.

General Discussion / Re: Getting out of Dulles Airport.
« on: November 16, 2015, 07:31:03 am »
If you take the W&OD all the way to Purcellville here are some secondary country roads to continue on to Front Royal. Just short stretches on the busier VA 7 and US 50. I've driven the stretch from Route 50 to Front Royal along the Shenandoah River, I've not traveled from Route 7 to Route 50 but it looks nice on Street View. Probably lots of hills but that is to be expected in the Blue Ridge Mountains!

General Discussion / Re: Getting out of Dulles Airport.
« on: November 15, 2015, 07:30:16 pm »
When I arrived at Dulles a few years back with my bike: Went straight north on Autopilot Dr, then Materials, then Ariane, crossing Dulles Greenway and then turn left onto Old Ox Road=HWY 606.

I second BikeFreak's suggestion to look for Old Ox Road, VA 606. I haven't cycled it but I've driven in that way with my brother who used to drive a taxi in the area and knew the back roads. Something like this...

The further west you go towards Route 50 the more rural it gets...

You're on your own from there! Avoid Route 28 at all cost.

edit: if you're headed for the W&OD just follow this map far enough to get you out of the airport.

General Discussion / Re: Flying with a bike . Help!
« on: November 11, 2015, 08:08:20 am »
My experience with Alaska Airlines was back in 2009. I boarded Alaska at Eugene OR and checked the box for $75 + a small fee for their large cardboard box sold at the baggage counter. That was just a short connection flight to Portland where I was transferred to Delta for the trip back to VA. The $75 Alaska bike fee took the bike all the way. Had I boarded with Delta in Portland I would have been required to pay the Delta bike fee of $150 or so. Not sure if this fee policy still applies. Hopefully for you it does. Back then a "a soft or hard sided case designed specifically for the sporting equipment piece" included the cardboard box provided by the airline. I am guessing that a "clear plastic" bag would not qualify.

To clarify John's post, The LAST mileage printed on map A will be repeated on map B. If a map segment says 8 miles at it's boundary, that 8 miles terminates at a dot on the next segment and the same 8 miles is printed repeatedly on the next map. I'm referring to the mileage printed on the actual maps, not the directional cues printed on the left.

Routes / Re: MAPS/ GUIDES WANTED: Netherlands, Belgium, France
« on: March 12, 2015, 04:07:45 pm »
For planning purposes you can look at Michelin maps online and scroll up to any level of detail you need. In France you can buy the local paper versions when you get there at any bookstore, "presse" or "tabac" shop. Not sure about the Netherlands and Belgium. If you use the bike routes option you need to limit your route to 200K per search for that function to work.

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