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Messages - Bike Hermit

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1
Routes / Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
« on: Today at 12:19:41 pm »
I'm thinking of doing half of the main route this September using the Lowman cutoff. I'd like to know if anyone has thoughts on which half would be better, northern or southern? Also, I'll be riding on a Salsa Fargo but not sure on choice between B.O.B. or panniers?

Sections of road on the southern half have been washed out this summer. Check http://www.bikepacking.net/forum/index.php?topic=5853.200 Usually at this time of year there are closures from forest fires but so far we have been lucky. Just check before you go and be flexible.

2
We rode the Bear Pete trail/Burgdorf Hot Springs loop portion of the Secesh Option August 2 and it was clear of trees, thanks largely to moto riders, some of whom have chainsaw racks on the front of their bikes! I gotta get me one of those. The northern part of the trail has some really deep ruts from the motorbikes though.

3
General Discussion / Re: Road bike for touring??
« on: November 20, 2013, 03:28:42 pm »
Not a fan of trailers. The single wheel trailers put a lot of torque on the bike frame and when loaded can affect the handling of the bike...sometimes in a scary way. Two wheel trailers take a lot of room. Also, more mechanical liabilities with trailers. Why not look at frame bags like those from Revelate Designs, or racks from Old Man Mountain made for bikes without attachment points.   

4
General Discussion / Re: hydration options in desert
« on: September 16, 2013, 04:24:07 pm »
I have been trying to sort that conundrum myself. We are riding Highway 50 from Carson City, NV to Cedar City, UT next month and there are some long stretches without services and likely without surface water so we will need to carry enough for two or three days at a time. In Southern Utah however you should be able to find surface water so  you should take a filter and some bladders. Alternatively, or better yet in addition to the filter take a Camelbak All Clear and a solar charger to keep it topped off. I just did this blog post about those.
http://biketouringnews.com/bike-touring-equipment/charging-electronics-on-bike-tours/

5
General Discussion / Re: 2 or 4 panniers
« on: September 12, 2013, 11:12:54 am »
I completely disagree that 4 panniers look better. I think having only rear bags looks more streamlined, and front panniers produce more drag against a headwind or sidewind. My view is less is better, each bag just adds weight so if your stuff fits in two and it feels right, go with that.  i also tour with mis-matched tires, 32 in the rear and 28 in the front.

aaargh. Say it isn't true. Rear panniers only AND mis-matched tires! Actually, that does make some sense since the rear wheel carries significantly more weight in this scenario.

6
General Discussion / Re: 2 or 4 panniers
« on: September 10, 2013, 12:42:41 pm »
Cat,

Sounds like a fun trip.  People must think we are crazy to talk about riding such distances.  I know I used to.

You are asking one of those "religious" questions where logic and reason will soon be swamped by dogma and faith.....

Pat

You forgot aesthetics. It doesn't look right to have panniers on the back and no load in front. IMHO. And there will be more weight and stress on the rear wheel. I say spread out the load. 

7
Gear Talk / Re: Looking for Rain Pants
« on: March 21, 2013, 09:54:25 am »
Waterproof, breathable.
oxymoron?

8
General Discussion / Re: Touring Question
« on: March 18, 2013, 12:04:45 pm »
I recently watched a movie on Netflix entitled 180 Degrees South. Our hero catches a ride on a boat to Chile on the way to Patagonia to  climb a mountain. He was retracing the path  two of his heroes took four decades ago and he was going to meet those two in Patagonia. On the way the boat broke and they spent a couple months on Easter Island where he met a girl who, once the boat was repaired, went with them. Once in Patagonia they got to hang out with Yvon Chouinard and Doug Tompkins and enjoy personal tours of the 2 million acre Concervacion Patagonica and go surfing. When it came time to climb the mountain the ice was melted and they were stopped within a few hundred feet of the summit because conditions were too dangerous. He moped about this for days maybe longer....as if the entire journey was a waste and a failure. Mr. Chouinard was fine with stopping even farther from the summit saying:
 "What's important is how you got there, not what you've accomplished". and
 "When everything goes wrong, that's when the adventure begins"
So my question is:
Why do you want to ride your bike across the country? Why set another, arbitrary goal like that which is already causing stress and frustration?  Raising decent kids is a goal. A career is a goal. Contributing something is a goal. Bike touring is bike touring. It's not a race or a contest and as Mr. Chouinard (who, apparently is my new hero too) also said;
"it's about the changes that happen inside you"
Go when you can...overnight, a week, three weeks or three months.
 


 

9
General Discussion / Re: Bike and Cars - share the road
« on: January 23, 2013, 11:16:30 am »
I agree with the comments about being visible and predictable. Also, know the laws and ordinances where you are riding and try to follow them. IMO, most of the anti cyclist sentiment is caused by team strip wearing middle of road riding "racers" or by tight pants wearing tattooed hipster messenger wannnabes. I think drivers are more courteous when they see a relatively normally dressed individual on a  bike with racks and bags. Maybe that's just my bike touring snobbery shining through  :D

10
Routes / Re: The Western Southern Tier in the Winter (January-Feb)
« on: January 06, 2013, 12:39:51 pm »
I rode through Death Valley in February a few years ago and the weather was fantastic. We rode from Midland, TX to Big Bend and up to Austin in February one year too and the weather was fine, even though a little cold at night and it snowed the day I got to Austin. If you have time a detour to Big Bend is worthwhile although there was snow on the ground in Terlingua Ghost Town a few days ago. https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151167308545946.448844.114093440945&type=1

I think AZ and NM might be the sketchiest for winter. If it was me I would get on Amtrack's Sunset Limited at Yuma or Phoenix, AZ  and ride it to Alpine, TX then ride down to Big Bend and back up to Marfa to continue to Austin. In fact that sounds really fun!

11
General Discussion / Re: Need advice - NJ
« on: January 06, 2013, 12:21:03 pm »
Hi cmtbiz,

Welcome to bicycle travel and Adventure Cycling!

I'm not sure where in NJ you are but you might want to take a peek at these two Bikeovernights in NJ for inspiration:

http://bikeovernights.org/archives/category/new-jersey

The only mapped routing we have in New Jersey is the Atlantic Coast Route, Section 2: http://www.adventurecycling.org/store/index.cfm/product/7_10/atlantic-coast-section-2.cfm

Hope this helps get you going.

Best,
.Jennifer.

ACA's Bike Overnight is a great site. An overnight trip can be good practice. You can learn how to pack, what to take and how the bike handles and get it all sorted before going on a longer trip. And overnight trips can be excellent escapes to recharge the mental batteries!

12
Routes / Re: Southern Tier in March of 2013
« on: November 06, 2012, 11:34:54 am »
Not sure why you would event think about not using full coverage fenders. They are light and cheap and make things much more pleasant when the roads are wet (which they will be at some point). Two things I can almost guarantee is that you will be caught out in the wet and that you will get caught out in the dark....use good lights too!

13
General Discussion / Re: Advice needed!!!
« on: November 06, 2012, 11:29:35 am »
If you have no previous bike touring experience I would highly recommend doing one or more short trips, even if just overnight, to work out the details of how to pack and how to do things. And basically, the same stuff you take on a week long trip will suffice to ride across the country imho.

14
General Discussion / Re: Tire Pressure
« on: November 06, 2012, 11:20:02 am »
Here is one expert's take on tire pressure: http://www.bikequarterly.com/images/BQTireDrop.pdf
hmmmm, I just re-read that article and realized that front tire pressure and rear tire pressure can/should be different. My linear way of thinking made me miss that. I've always been careful to have equal pressure in both tires. Must experiment.

15
Gear Talk / Re: Panniers - dry bag vs. traditional
« on: October 04, 2012, 10:20:46 am »
Racktime panniers are well made, use the Ortlieb attachment system, have integrated rain covers, have more exterior pockets than Ortlieb dry bags and are very reasonably priced. Racktime is a Tubus sister company  but they are made in China.

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