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Messages - jrswenberger

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31
General Discussion / Re: Long distance trip alone?
« on: March 12, 2012, 05:26:54 pm »
I use MEDS. Various bicycle events give them away for free.

http://www.meds.org/bikehelmet.php

I understand that medical personnel are trained to look for them.

Not to get too far off the topic, but...as a registered nurse and a first responder, I've never even heard of this.

Jay

32
Gear Talk / Re: Tire recommendations
« on: March 12, 2012, 09:23:05 am »
Douglas,
If you decide to start with fresh rubber...I've been test riding the 26x2.0 Schwalbe Supremes for the past couple of weeks on my new LHT. Although they feel a bit heavy on my daily commute, the weight isn't really too bad, give me a ton of confidence in their handling and I'm sure they're flat resistant enough (none so far!).

Since they are fairly big, I'd actually recommend the 26x1.6 size if you don't plan on riding loaded on gravel or dirt roads at least 50% of the time. Unless my opinion changes dramatically, I'll be putting the 1.6 Supremes on both mine and my wife's LHTs before our upcoming tour.

Jay

33
Routes / Re: Route Mileages
« on: March 01, 2012, 06:11:55 pm »
I think the best way is to ride your route and let us know the actual mileage!!!

Jay

34
Gear Talk / Re: Cycling Shorts vs. Padded Liners?
« on: February 29, 2012, 02:32:28 pm »
For me, the padding is irrelevant. My comfort is dictated by the elimination of seams along the inner thigh. Lycra bike shorts are designed this way, with or without padding. There are also a number of manufactures these days making shorts with a gusseted crotch that also removes the seams.

As always, YMMV.

Jay

35
General Discussion / Re: ACA Leadership Training course
« on: February 25, 2012, 10:07:20 pm »
Arlen,
Thanks for your time and insights. I look forward to seeing you in Denver.

Jay

36
General Discussion / Re: how safe is it to ride in the US?
« on: February 22, 2012, 10:47:51 am »
Many Europeans (I assume the OP is from Europe) view the US as still the "wild west" or as portrayed in gangster movies with bullet flying through the air at all times of the day and night and our population is all rednecks with oversize pickup trucks with gun racks.    It's a hard image to overcome until they actually come here.

sounds like my time in central Floriday...  ;)

37
Gear Talk / Re: thunder jug
« on: February 21, 2012, 03:27:41 pm »
I  used a foldable plastic Nalgene bottle for a tj in a liitle backyard campout a couple weeks ago.  It leaked a bit.  This is not a good thing.  Do you have a favorite? 100% reliable?  No joking around, now.

Sorry to say I had to Google "thunder jug"...  :o

38
General Discussion / Re: ACA Leadership Training course
« on: February 21, 2012, 02:00:51 pm »
Anybody???

Beuhler?

39
Gear Talk / Re: Alcohol Stoves
« on: February 17, 2012, 03:09:00 pm »
You should have no difficulty finding Methylated Spirits in Wales. It's sold at hardware & DIY stores, larger supermarkets and some garages. Outdoor shops also sell it but usually at a premium.  Trangia's are very popular with Scout & youth groups due to the safety factor and their general rugged/foolproof nature.

On the same subject I'll be touring in Arizona & Utah later in the year, is stove alcohol easy to find there ?

During my last US trip I was burning Heet (yellow bottle) in Washington & Oregon, but it became hard to find in California. Is it readily available at gas stations in the south west ? If not, what alternatives are available ?

Heet is easy to find here in Oregon and many gas stations and hardware stores carry it. Liter sized bottles of denatured alcohol are also fairly easy to get in hardware and home improvement stores, even smaller, more general stores that carry a bit of everything will likely have alcohol if they sell paint.

Jay

40
Gear Talk / Re: Alcohol Stoves
« on: February 13, 2012, 11:46:57 am »
re: alcohol stoves / tour of Wales
I am a seasoned long distance cyclist having used a number of varieties of heating apparati (including my long lost and missed Svea123).  What I have encountered number of times in North America is the challenge of finding the right fuel, esp if you are using a screw-on cannister.

In planning a three month tour of the back hills and Highlands of Scotland (where I rightly figured towns of any size would be as hard to find as towns of any size in southern Saskatchewan),  I did not want to run into troubles with lack of fuel, so decided to go as minimalist as possible and trust that methyl hydrate would be easy to find in the British Isles.  I hunch this may be true for Wales as well.

I took with me only a Turbo Cat 11 home made alcohol stove.  It was light, durable, incredibly adjustable in terms of boiling and simmering (up to 25 minutes of simmer on 1 oz fuel) and cost about 50c for a bit of JB weld.  The issue for the person wishing to .  I actually spent hundreds of hours making and testing about 25 different models on my days off from websites.  My kids thought I was nuts as supper was cooking on a different stove every other time they came home. 

Guess what?  It was hard to find methyl hydrate.  What they had instead was something called 'meths' which they often had hidden behind the counter because people were getting really sick from drinking it.  go figure.  Anyway, it is there, comes in handy 1ltr bottles, it is purple, it stinks and burns less cleanly than MHydrate, leaving a bit of a dark film on your pots.  But it works!

On the other hand, unlike a lot of places in rural Canada and US, you can always find disposable cannisters for portable stoves.  My issue with them is that they are non-recyclable, weighty and you need to carry two or more with you in case you run out.  The meths, while not perfect, is a better bet ecologically and in terms of weight and reliability.

I encourage you to make one, or test out a few, The granddaddy site for alcohol stoves is at... http://zenstoves.net/ (you'll find the Turbo Cat 11 on there)

or buy one from a reliable maker such as https://www.minibulldesign.com/productcart/pc/home.asp

If you make one, be sure to add a simmer ring and a stand (you can find a model for stand online.  I made mine from three bike spokes) as well as a wind screen.  Good luck.  Happy cooking.

Thanks Jamhat,
In addition to the Trangia, I have a few Supercats, soda can penny designs and other homebrew alcohol stoves as well. I used to work with a woman who had 5 or 6 cats so I had a ready supply of raw stove making materials.  ;) 

During the next few months, I'll be toting one of these stoves and a small pot on my day rides and overnights to give them a thorough testing. It's good to know that meths are widely available in the UK, for the asking. I've never understood why the blackening of cook pots causes so much heartburn in people...I've backpacked and cycle camped for much of my life and cooked over every type of fire. Pots get sooty, you either clean them or not. Stuff sacks keep the soot off of everything else.

In the next few years, my wife and I intend to take a year off and cycle around the world. We plan to visit a number of remote locations so fuel choice will be even more of an issue. MSR has recently released a reengineered WhisperLite Universal that will burn not only most liquid fuels but also cannisters as well. Although it's a bit pricey, but having the ability to burn most anything available has a certain draw.

Good luck on future tours,
Jay

41
Gear Talk / Re: removing tabs on fork
« on: February 09, 2012, 11:12:24 pm »
I still ride the same 3 bikes I bought in the mid-80's. They all came with cromoly forks and no lawyer lips. Together, they've probably logged 10-20k miles on the roof rack. I've used Thule, Yakima and Rocky Mounts fork mounts. I've never had a fork blade even work itself loose.

I wonder if the people having trouble with roof mounted fork mounts are the same ones having trouble mounting their wheels in the dropouts properly...leading to the over-abundance of lawyer lips.

Jay

42
General Discussion / ACA Leadership Training course
« on: February 05, 2012, 12:02:27 pm »
Hello All,
Anyone been through the Leadership Training course recently? I'll be in the May class in Denver and would love to hear your thoughts and opinions. I've taken a 3 week mountaineering-based outdoor educator course from NOLS and led multiple backpacking and snow camping trip for a local college. I've also bike toured solo and with my wife in the US and internationally.

I'm expecting the course info to be delivered sometime in March so I'm just looking to hear from some of you that have previously been through the class.

Thanks,
Jay

43
General Discussion / Re: Weather Extremes
« on: February 05, 2012, 11:54:34 am »
The more people I talk to and "chat" with online the more confused I am on which direction to go. Seems there are good and bad to both.
From a logistics point of view it would be easier to start from the West coast because I am in Idaho and it would be easy to begin from Oregon or Washington.

What to do  :-\

I think you've just answered the question...

44
Gear Talk / Re: removing tabs on fork
« on: January 29, 2012, 08:20:15 pm »
They are nicknamed "lawyer tabs" for a reason.  If you inow how to mount a tire, you don't need em.

I perfer "lawyer lips" myself....  ;)

45
Gear Talk / Re: Alcohol Stoves
« on: January 24, 2012, 09:03:25 pm »
We'll be touring Wales for 2+ weeks this summer and I'd like to use my Trangia for the two of us. Is alcohol fuel readily available? What about in more remote locations? I've used Whisperlites since they first came out and would love to quiet meal times down.  ;)

Thanks,
Jay

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