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Messages - bikeflu

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General Discussion / Re: Nightly Accomodations & Bicycle Traffic
« on: June 14, 2011, 06:37:42 pm »
All good advice so far. Also, a lot will depend on what kind of mileage you are able/willing to do in a day. I did the TA last year, and would always have a loose plan for the next 2-4 days in my head, and for every day, I would have 3 destinations in mind: Wimpy Day, Decent Day, and Awesome Day. Additionally, unless there was a compelling reason to stay in a certain place, I'd prefer to do a 100 mile day with a warm shower at the end rather than call it quits after 60 miles and do without. Sometimes weather, or various other factors my shorten your days, though.

All of that being said, you'd be surprised how clean you can get with just a sink or water spigot and some camp soap. I stayed remarkably fresh for nearly week in western Kansas/eastern Colorado with nothing but sink showers.

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Underground Railroad / Re: Day Tours Ripley (Be aware of mean dogs)
« on: July 18, 2010, 12:04:23 am »


My constant companion while touring in the south. This stuff has worked for me every time.

3
Routes / Re: Portland to SF, along HWY 101/1, NO camping??
« on: July 07, 2010, 05:01:08 pm »
I have not done done that route on a bike, but I have driven it. As far as I remember, every town on 101 and 1 between Portland and San Francisco has at least one hotel/motel/b&b.The whole area is geared towards tourism, so you should have no trouble finding decent indoor accommodations. Being summer and everything, reservations might  be smart if you know where you will be winding up each day.

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Connecting ACA Routes / Re: Portland, OR to Pacific Coast Trail
« on: July 07, 2010, 04:48:57 pm »
You can take highway 30 from Portland to Astoria. It has a wide shoulder and is signed as a bike route. It's not a very scenic route for the most part and when I rode it there was a lot of traffic, but it's a nice ride. It's pretty flat and fast until you get to Rainier where it gets a bit hilly. It's easily doable in a day, but there are several towns along the way, most of which have places to camp and/or hotels if you want to break it up.

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Gear Talk / Re: Pannier Attachment Question
« on: April 17, 2010, 06:33:49 pm »
I wound up cutting a small piece of rubber from an old tube, wrapping it once around the rack, and then wrapping it with electrical tape. This seems to be working pretty well, though it may feet a bit too securely now. I used a piece of rubber on both clips and the dial fastener on the bottom. I may reduce the amount of tape by a little to make it easier to take them on and off.
I wish Ortlieb had a wider selection of clips, and the clips were lined with rubber to prevent sliding. I guess it was a little unrealistic to expect a perfect, but that is what I was expecting. Their handle bar bag attachment worked like a champ!

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Gear Talk / Re: stove or no?
« on: April 15, 2010, 03:04:54 pm »
It really is one of those "it's up to you" kind of things. It depends how much you think you will use it, and what your budget is. Eating out for every meal can get expensive. Not to mention, there might not always be restaurants near where you're camping, but I suppose you could plan around that.

I took an MSR Whisperlite with me last summer when i did the Underground Rail Road route and I used it almost every day. I even used it some days when i stayed in a hotel. I would not do a long tour without a stove, but it is a matter of personal preference.

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Gear Talk / Pannier Attachment Question
« on: April 15, 2010, 02:54:07 pm »
I have a Jannd Low Front Rack and Ortlieb Front Roller Classics. Attaching the racks was fairly simple, but my question is, how tightly should the panniers attach to the rack? I used the specified plastic inserts on the locking hooks, but they do not feet snugly. The hooks freely slide around on the rack. The dial locking mechanism on the bottom also does not fit snugly. It seems like there must be a way to make them fit more securely. I can't imagine listening them rattle around for thousands of miles.

Do i need to add pieces of rubber to the rack to fill the space, or does it sound like I have done something wrong? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!

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Gear Talk / Re: Bob Trailer and Panniers?
« on: March 24, 2010, 04:07:31 pm »
Thanks for all of the feedback! I think I am going to go with some sort of front panniers. The The Arkel GT-18 Backpack panniers look really nice, but they are kind of pricey. They are still in consideration, but I am also considering the Ortlieb Front Roller Classics. They seem like a steal at $119 a pair vs. the Arkel GT-18 Backpacks which go for $159 each.

I was also briefly considering this http://www.biketrailershop.com/catalog/300-greenspeed-rack-for-bob-trailer-p-160.html but figured it wouldn't do me much good when I don't want to pull the bob. The Ortlieb panniers come with a shoulder strap, so I  could take just one off and strap it around my shoulder, but with a front rack, I can easily, and more comfortably have two.

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Gear Talk / Bob Trailer and Panniers?
« on: March 19, 2010, 12:00:24 am »
I have used a bob trailer for my previous two tours, and I am planning on using it again this summer. In the past, i have wound up backpack containing a few additional items bungeed to the top of the bob. I am not maxing out the capacity of the bob bag or anything, there are just certain things I like being able to get to a little easier and they won't fit in my handlebar bag. It is also nice having the backpack for going into town once I've set up camp. It works great for laundry and food runs when I don't want to pull the trailer. The downside is, I just don't really like having it bungeed on top of the bag. It moves around some, and the backpack isn't water proof so I have to put it in a trash bag.

I am thinking I would like to use rear panniers in addition to the bob. Does anyone have experience with a set up like this? If so how did it work out? Would front panniers be better? Any advice would be appreciated!

10
Underground Railroad / UGRR Slide Show
« on: March 05, 2010, 01:07:59 am »
Here is a link to a little slide show I put together consisting of pictures I took on the UGRR route last summer. I started in Georgia and picked up the route in Aliceville, Alabama. Enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDREXuzxzUc

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Underground Railroad / Road Conditions in Ohio
« on: March 05, 2010, 01:03:19 am »
I did the UGRR route last summer and i loved it! The route was great and the maps are great, but I did find one minor issue with some of the information on the maps. Under the "Riding Conditions" Section on section 4 (Milford, Ohio to Erie, Pennsylvania) The first sentence reads as follows:

"The majority of the roads on this section in Ohio are rural in nature and tend to be excellent for bike touring, with smooth, high quality blacktop."

They were definitely rural in nature, and they were very scenic, but they are in no way smooth and i don't recall anything that I would classify as "high quality blacktop". The roads in Ohio were without a doubt the worst on the entire route. Full of holes and cracks, and many times resembling hard packed gravel more so than asphalt. I hope that phrase will be removed from subsequent printings of these maps. It isn't a huge deal I suppose, but it is more than a little misleading!

Does anyone else who has ridden this route have any thoughts?


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General Discussion / Re: Best Cell phone coverage across US???
« on: January 29, 2010, 02:06:38 pm »
I'm wondering why you need a BlackBerry or an iPhone for your tour. Prepaid cellphone companies have contracts with the major carriers to use their networks, so you might be okay sticking with what you have. I did the Underground Rail Road route this summer with a cheap Net10 phone and had decent coverage the whole time (it didn't work in canada though). I have since upgraded to Verizon, but thats another story.

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