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Messages - Lowly Swale

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16
Gear Talk / Re: Pannier that converts to knapsack?
« on: May 15, 2011, 01:00:57 pm »
Ortlieb Vario seems to be a very good choice to me. Haven't tested it out in over a long trip yet but it is going with me this summer on Great Divide.
I think you cab get converters for a few Ortlieb panniers but the Vario is made to be both.
I looked at a few other options which were cheaper but I feel the Ortlieb is better than most when used as a back pack.

17
Routes / Tour Divide
« on: May 05, 2011, 12:17:19 pm »
It appears that the route from Banff has been completed by quite a few riders every year since 2005 in the Tour Divide Race. Looking at the entry list for 2011, the North South entry is quite a bit more numerous than the South-North entry list.
Any insights into the reasons for this?
They'll be going lighter and faster than me, also a week or two earlier.
So hopefully there'll be some advance information available about conditions ahead.
Thanks for the advice on alternatives. I'll take note.

18
Routes / Re: Gt Divide Snow
« on: May 04, 2011, 02:38:01 am »
Hello Jamawami and C Majernik,
Thank you for your advice, you sound experienced and knowledgable. Unfortunately I made a decision about booking flights before I'd read J's last reply in February (to ground conditions/mudguards).
So I'm now committed to flying 15th June, hoping to start the route in Banff about 21st June and finish 1st week September.
Mind you, I'll be relaxed about whether I complete it or not. My goal is for an experience and escape from routine but I'm hoping for some good riding.
Is there a discussion North verses South somewhere?
I think I looked at that some years back and had decided N-S, that might have been before the Canada section was added.
Would be interested to know how the Tour Divide has fared over it's history. Have they succeeded starting 2nd week June from Banff.
I'll certainly be checking out their progress in June this year before I set out.
In fact I might just check out their history now and give myself more to worry about.

19
Routes / Gt Divide Snow
« on: May 03, 2011, 02:10:53 am »
I've just been watching Tour Divide film/DVD. There were some passes with quite a bit of snow in mid June. An interview with Matthew Lee gave an impression the snow levels were remarkable and he seemed to have much experience.
I was just wondering if there are forum readers who know what sort of a winter the Rockies has had this year. How are the snow levels comparing to previous years? Is the spring coming sooner/later/warmer/colder this time?

20
Gear Talk / Re: Why internal hubs?
« on: March 31, 2011, 12:37:23 pm »
One other thing not mentioned, having a hub gear can allow symetrical spoke dishing in the rear wheel giving greater strength and reliability.

21
Gear Talk / Wi Fi and charging points on GD
« on: March 11, 2011, 02:59:19 am »
I am planning GDMBR this summer and probably will have an I-phone as camera and communication device. Roaming charges for a European might mean the network connection will be switched off except in emergencies and what is the coverage like anyway? What I wanted to ask about is,
How common are Wi Fi sites and re-charging points for campers? It would be least stuff to carry if I could charge by USB port but should I carry a mains adaptor too? If I get an unlocked phone could you suggest which sim card and networks might be best to buy over there?

22
GPS Discussion / Is this the thread for choosing I/smartphones
« on: February 04, 2011, 11:39:41 am »
I am a Brit planning Gt Divide this summer. I was thinking an I-phone or equivalent for emergency communication with additional features like, camera, MP3 player, radio, GPS, e-mail, blogging, diary etc would be a gadget well worth having. I have never owned a cell phone before but enquired in uk recently.
It seemed that roaming charges would make taking a phone from home unafforable. It has been suggested I just get a phone over there when I go or get one here but make it compatible with north american networks and sim cards.
Does anyone have advice on models, features, costs, feasibility and experience using one? How long batteries last and anybody used a power monkey solar charger?

23
General Discussion / Jinga dancing shoes
« on: January 07, 2011, 03:01:16 pm »

Jinga dancing shoes do it for me,
http://www.jingashop.com
Light & fold flat but just enough to walk over wet or gritty sufaces, mind the sharp pebbles though!
Handy for a Salsa down Mexico way too.

24
I just read in addenda that alternative route Gros Ventre River Road, Darwin Ranch, and Kinky Creek is not viable. Is there further information about this anywhere? Can "not viable" be defined more accurately. It sounded like quite a challenging adventure.

25
General Discussion / Re: The Bike Song
« on: December 17, 2010, 07:14:10 am »
Just tried the first link but it was blocked for copyright reasons in Britain.
Wonder if the second link works in N.America?
Will just have to imagine what the bikes n babes were like.

26
General Discussion / Grave Architect's, The Bike Song
« on: December 17, 2010, 07:10:21 am »

Whilst thinking of Bike Songs try this one
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MAO95Q5IiYY

27
Gear Talk / Re: ToUrIng SHoEs
« on: December 01, 2010, 07:05:47 am »
I've had Shimano Goretex spd boots for about 5 years now.
When I first saw them I thought at last here is a cycling shoe/boot that can be good for riding, good for hiking and reasonably looking with non-cycling clothes for wearing out for an evening at the pub. The only footwear needed for a cycle tour.
So I immediately got a pair and although they are a vast improvement on previous footwear they are not perfect.
I found them amazingly comfortable as a shoe to wear, quick and easy to get on and off and plenty stiff enough for the cycling. I haven't tried them out in a really hot climate, they are breathable but I think they would get a bit steamy on long hot days.
They are waterproof up to the ankle (as far as they go) but in anything more than light rain they fill up with water run off from legs. I have tried gators which help but are a bit tricky to keep clear of chain line and are bulky to pack (I'm looking for some light & compact gators for cycling).
In cold dry weather they are also plenty warm enough but if it is cold and wet, even when I keep water out with gators, I do get cold feet. They are nubuck type leather which gets wet but the goretex stops it ingressing. I have thought about waxing them but thought that might negate the breathability in hot weather. As I try to be in good weather more than bad I've decided to risk the cold foot days and jog a bit if it gets really bad. The main disappointment was the hiking, they are good for grip and fine on easy ground but if anything is steep I find I develop blisters on the heel. I think it is the stiffness(needed for cycling) which causes the heel to rub when hiking up steep ground.
I note there is a newer design and I'm now considering a new pair. Does anyone out there have experience of the newer type or another manufacturer?
Is there a mountain biking/hiking shoe that is great in all conditions?

28
Routes / Whiz kids
« on: November 22, 2010, 12:12:19 pm »
I think I might like it better long and slow, especially at my age. This is a trip I promised myself before I pass a certain milestone and July next year will be the start of that 50th year. There was a time when I would have been up for a race and just endured the discomforts.
But I have gone softer or maybe wiser, my bike is getting heavier with the Rohloff 14 speedhub and the mud guards/fenders and my schedule is looking like 11 weeks from about 15th June. I'm betting the time I lose to weight might be saved from washing my kit and maintaining the drive train.
Any remaining deficit might be made up in comfort rating.
Don't you racers feel a need to go back and do it again to see the bits you didn't have time for?
Why is the race start so early in the season? It would have been interesting so see the field as it passed me by, also looks like I'll be too early in Colorado to catch any of that pro road tour.
still can't wait for next June.

29
Gear Talk / Re: Shaking on the downhills
« on: November 13, 2010, 05:59:31 am »
I had such a problem with a BOB trailer on a suspension mountain bike, Marin/Whyte quad link back end. No problem with light loads but really un-nerving. The shimmy was so severe as to steer me across the road, luckily no oncoming traffic.
It occurred at about 20mph.
Dilemma, I used Bob trailer to allow a more comfortable full suspension bike.
Changing back to rigid cures the problem but then I could just have used panniers.
Lightening the load helps but then there might be times when I want to carry heavy stuff like water on dry sections of GDMBR.
Any advice/ observations?

30
Routes / Re: GD south of Cuba
« on: November 08, 2010, 02:58:53 am »
Thanks for that info,
I checked the links and there is a closure. There is some discussion about shorter alternatives to the big alternative - Chaco road. I'll keep looking there for developments.

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