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Messages - freightbike

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Gear Talk / Re: From the road: least used gear, most appreciated gear
« on: August 13, 2014, 05:50:23 pm »
I stuffed a couple wads of toilet paper in my ears. Helped muffle the sound somewhat. The other time I needed plugs was at the riverside town camp in Kamiah ID. There is a lumber mill right next door and they keep it up till late into the night though it seemed they shut down after midnight. I live very close to a BNSF main line through St Paul and I like the sound and rumble of trains passing by my open windows at night. It's the horns that drive you crazy.

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General Discussion / Re: dogs and security
« on: August 09, 2014, 06:08:44 pm »
I had a pair of large dogs chase me about five miles in the Kansas City area on my way to the Katy trail. They would tag team each other but finally quit the chase when I went down a hill and around a corner. I have used the, "get back in the house", yell with some success. Squirting with water worked well one time when a dachshund was chasing me from a lower elevation. When the water hit the little weiner dog, it was so startled that it did a somersault and rolled back down the hill it had just come charging up. Almost fell off the bike laughing. Had a rotweiler get its teeth into one of my panniers and shake it and me on the bike like a rag doll. It let go and gave up once I got past its territory.

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Gear Talk / Re: From the road: least used gear, most appreciated gear
« on: August 08, 2014, 10:46:57 pm »
I recently did a ride from Portland OR to Bismarck ND over a three and a half week time period. Among the items I wish I'd had would be ear plugs. I was at a town called Arlington OR camped out at the marina with a RR crossing a hundred feet away and interstate 84 fifty feet beyond that. One item I didn't use was a water filter pump system. I thought about using it when I got short on water but couldn't bring myself to imagine that I could actually drink the water that was presented in some scummy smelly ditch out on the range somewhere. I could have left my cell phone at home because I couldn't get it to work anywhere, even downtown Bismarck. My most appreciated stuff would be my Moss Starlet tent, REI Incamp insulated air pad and my medium weight sleeping bag. And also that lifetime of songs and ditties floating around in my head to keep me supplied with tunes throughout the day.

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Connecting ACA Routes / Musselshell River as alternative
« on: July 26, 2014, 10:42:24 pm »
I rode the musselshell river a couple weeks ago, from White Sulfur Springs to Forsyth. I wish to tell people to check out Ingomar if you go that way. Ingomar is about 40 miles up US Hwy 12 from Forsyth and I found it enchanting as a classic western town, out in the middle of nowhere. There are no services, other than a saloon called the "Jersey Lill' and an old school house with what the locals call a bunk and biscuit that rents for thirty dollars a night. You can also campout in the town park. Food is really good at the saloon but they are only open from ten am to ten pm so no breakfast served.
 There was a stretch of the road that was under construction just west of Harlowton. Roundup had a city park down by the county fair grounds but only one metal picnic table. Harlowton has a nice park called Chief Joseph park. The Conestoga RV in White Sulfur Springs was very nice also. All in all it was a very nice alternative to the interstate hwy along the Yellowstone river or hilly hwy 200 east of Great Falls.
 

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General Discussion / Re: how to keep my feet warm!
« on: January 23, 2014, 08:55:24 pm »
Putting something warmer on your head, (helmet liner) might help too.

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General Discussion / Re: A New Accessory (Looking for Feedback)
« on: October 21, 2013, 07:19:56 pm »
HA! I've got that one beat. On my trip to new Zealand, my front fender got torn off somehow. I was descending a very large hill just as a sheep rancher moved his flock out on to the road ahead of me. The sheep all decided to defecate on the road and I got a face full as I swooped down through them. LOL

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General Discussion / Re: A New Accessory (Looking for Feedback)
« on: October 20, 2013, 01:16:18 pm »
 My mind has a picture of what an umbrella on a bicycle would look like. To make such a thing possible or practical to the average cyclist, I think requires a redesign of the concept. When I'am out riding, and I encounter precipitation, the question I find myself asking is, "would putting something between me and the precipitation make me more or less comfortable". Often if the rainfall is light, I will put nothing additional on with the expectation that my exertion will negate and evaporate the wetness that occurs. If the weather is hot or very warm, putting nothing on is kind of a relief. The only problem one encounters is the shock to body of cool raindrops. Once you are wet, as in totally soaked, it just becomes your reality. Putting on raingear, in such a situation could make a person sweat so much that they need a shower anyway.
 It becomes a question of balance between protection from the rain and ventilation for the excess heat. I think an umbrella type system would need to be aerodynamic but not get in the way of forward vision and rider safety. I think the traditional umbrella shape, function and deploy ability would have to be entirely abandoned. That said, you do need a system that would be easily set up and taken down, all the while being flexible.
 The big hole in the currently available options is the space above the neck. One can get a helmet cover that repels rain. But the big problem as I experience it is the face. I have wondered if some kind of positive pressure face mask could work to keep rain out and yet not get all fogged up with respiratory vapors.

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Gear Talk / Re: Solar Panel - Yea or Nay?
« on: June 29, 2013, 08:58:04 pm »
The solar panel is a bit iffy. I recently attempted to start a tour on the west coast in WA and OR using a very large solar panel that was to charge up a battery pack to power a C-PAP device. The panel was flexible enough to drape over my BOB trailer but because of cloudy, rainy and heavy woods, I was not able to get more than two or three hours run time on my C-PAP. The panel measured 21"x 30". Maybe it would have worked better east of the coastal mountains.

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General Discussion / Re: Realistic time requirements
« on: June 25, 2013, 10:43:39 pm »
As an epilogue to this post I flew into Seattle on the 15th of june and rode out to the pacific coast between Grayland and Cape Disapointment then to Astoria and Portland. At Portland, I came to the realization that my level of fitness and hill climbing ability was not sufficient to continue in the time allotted. I was improving a bit day to day but as the saying goes, "I saw the elephant", and took the train home from Portland on the 23rd of june. Now I know what I must do to be successful as I've not been this time. If I want to do this I must lose much more weight and be much stronger. I cannot rely on trying to achieve that strength while on the hilly side of the ride. Next year to Portland then off to the passes and the plains.

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General Discussion / Re: To Go Home or Not...That is the Question?
« on: June 25, 2013, 10:28:00 pm »
Some friends I met a few years ago while out biking on the gateway trail one afternoon, were on their way from Syracuse NY to the west coast on the northern tier. The retired couple had a sister of one of them who lived a few blocks from my house in St. Paul MN. The sister decided to buy a convertible sedan and join and them as a support vehicle. They had already made it half way across the country with out the interference of the sister but how do you say no to family. I kind of feel the sister spoiled the adventure of it, took away the possibilities of adversity when things would get tough the sister could swoop in and off they'd go to a motel. Or carry the baggage up the hills or whatever. They made it all the way to Anacortes. So I guess all's well that ends well.

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General Discussion / Re: Doin' it well
« on: May 25, 2013, 12:54:01 pm »
It has been a pretty crummy spring here in the northstar state hasn't it. I've been planning a rather long tour this june that I thought for sure I was going to have all this time to get ready for. I was supposed to have a thousand miles of training by now and I'll be lucky if I get to 500. I'll turn 58 halfway through my trip and have to consider a plan B, C, or D. The wind can be cruel, it blows against your body and gets inside your head. I would feel lucky to have had a friend to come pick me up if things went sour. It's about having fun, give yourself a break.

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General Discussion / Re: In low gear and can't ride up hill!
« on: May 25, 2013, 12:27:55 pm »
If you are pushing a bike up a hill, it might be prudent to switch off sides now and again. I pulled a hamstring pushing a loaded touring bike up a steep hill in S.E. Minnesota.

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General Discussion / Re: Bears
« on: May 22, 2013, 05:59:21 pm »
I wonder if anyone has experience with Cougars. You know, the four legged kind. :)

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This is not related to cog size but to the manufacturers driving choices. The basic bike computer really only needs to tell me what my total mileage and days mileage and time of day are. Not all the splits, cadences and heart rate etc. I found my Planet Bike computer going blank while on a rainy day ride the other day. I just want something rugged, reliable and simple. Any suggestions?

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General Discussion / Re: Bears
« on: April 16, 2013, 10:17:43 pm »
I definitely agree about the other animals being more of a problem than bears. I once had to hit a large raccoon with a stick to get it away from my dinner. It jumped up on the table as I was eating and tried to growl and snarl me away from my food. Some people I had met while camping on the lower saddle of the Grand Teton, had a marmot chew a hole through their pack, through their bag of granola and out the other side. Squirels, rats and chipmunks, (minibears) Ravens in the san juan islands pecking through the sealed thick plastic wrapper of packaged cheese. A New Zealand kea bird eating part of my bike seat. Farm dogs. I had a pair farm dogs chase me for about ten miles in western Missouri.

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