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Messages - bobbys beard

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Gear Talk / Fixing a shimano shifter.....
« on: March 27, 2014, 08:49:56 am »
Hi, my shimano shifter stick has become very loose, which is affecting the gear shifting. There is a bolt that holds the unit together, but i can't tighten it fully with a wrench or pliers because it's housed with a partial cover. Has anyone had this problem or know how to fix it? 

General Discussion / Re: Free camping on southern tier
« on: December 16, 2013, 08:13:44 am »
if you're used to searching out stealth camps then i think you'll have no problem.

as @staephj1 said, it's certainly much easier west of austin and occassionally you might be forced to free camp.

i went across in the summer when a lot of the desert areas were empty. the rv parks would usually let me camp and have a shower for free or at least very cheap. always lots of people wanting to help along that route :)

Routes / Re: Southern Tier timing and direction
« on: July 12, 2013, 05:28:07 am »
i agree with MrBent, the sun at your back makes for a more comfortable ride. apart from that, i didn't think the weather was a factor in which direction to choose....

you need to consider that the mountains might be quite cold and also if you start from san diego, you hit them straight away, whereas from the west the hills don't really begin until midway through texas, giving you some time to warm the legs up a bit :)

Routes / Re: A Brit in New Mexico
« on: May 20, 2013, 08:18:26 pm »
from one brit to another, i recommend you take a compass. saved me a lot of time on junctions without signage.

and yes,  it will no doubt be hot so make sure you carry plenty of water. 

enjoy :)

agreed with most of the others, this is far more of a budget than you'll need.

tools: i always take an allen key and swiss army knife. that's it.  this is all you need to change cables, tighten nuts and bolts, service brakes and gears etc etc. 

spares: you don't need a whole chain. you can buy individual chain links that just clip on without any tools. these are great and probably cost about a dollar over there.

the rest is down to preference i guess, but you can easily cut down on most of your list without even thinking about compromising quality.

...... so you have more money to spend on champagne and caviar when you start your trip :P

General Discussion / Re: Cycling Pants...
« on: May 15, 2013, 02:42:01 pm »
in the summer, i just wear a comfy pair of shorts. endura mtb cargo style shorts are really good if you want the best of both worlds.  they can be used with a clip on pad or worn without.

pads are down to preference. i don't tend to wear one and your butt gets used to it after a while.

for cold weather though, the full length lycra comes out :)

General Discussion / Re: Do we need to do any training?
« on: May 14, 2013, 08:52:50 am »
my first tour, i got baaaad butt sores! mine was caused by getting straight on a brand new saddle. it's similar to blisters you can get  from new shoes i guess :) 

General Discussion / Re: Bears
« on: May 14, 2013, 07:49:19 am »
i only encountered one bear in the states while stealth camping. i was in woods, less than 50 yds from the road and in georgia of all places! never expected to find bears in the south.

it was just walking through and probably wouldn't have stopped if i hadn't started making noise and shouting. it came over to take a look at me for what felt like forever, then calmly sloped back off into the woods. i slept in the same spot and had no more encounters all night.

i had a far scarier encounter with a coyote on a proper campsite in california though. it ended up ripping my rucksack to pieces and carrying off a bag of food i had in there. that was terrifying as i was in my tent just by it.

but the biggest problem of all was raccoons. they NEVER give up!!! :)

always a matter of personal opinion this subject. there's a guy on another thread who intends to take a chair with him.

i took a camelbak last time. i didn't use it for water, but it made a good day pack for days off the bike. you would get used to riding with a pack on, but it does get sweaty in the summer....

personally i think an air mattress is very unnecessary. i tend to take a rug for cowboy camping (nothing like sleeping under the stars) and some bubble wrap for under my sleeping bag on colder nights. i doubt you will have too many cold nights on your trip though.

water depends on services and heat. for one desert section of the southern tier in august, i took about 3 gallons. i like to have at least 3 quart bottles on me all the time. going thirsty can be dangerous and at the very least uncomfortable.

i do take a bike lock for urban areas. never bothered with bag locks though. noones ever stolen anything from me, but i hear it does happen. actually a raccoon once managed to open my ortliebs and steal some cookies.

to charge electronics, i checked into a motel or "proper" campsite every few days. it's a nice treat to look forward to a shower and some comfort too :)

General Discussion / Re: Do we need to do any training?
« on: May 13, 2013, 05:05:21 pm »
as a few have metioned, no matter how enthusiastic, young and fit you are, your backsides will indeed benefit from a bit of extended saddle time prior to your trip.   anyone who has ever had to cycle long distances with saddle sores will never forget the experience!

in august it will be hot and that makes a big difference too. a bit of training (though not essential) would be sensible and just make your trip a whole lot more enjoyable.

General Discussion / Re: first big bike tour
« on: May 08, 2013, 06:44:28 pm »
i've been sitting on my ortliebs for 3 years. they make a great seat and the mud washes off.

a half body length of bubble wrap is still half your body length regardless of how tall you might be ;) you don't need it for your legs. i've camped many times in minus freezing and stormy conditions and i find bubble wrap is amazing under a down bag. plus it weighs nothing, packs very small and costs very little.

i guess i camp differently to some. i wouldn't consider taking most of those things, but as i said it's a matter of preference :)

General Discussion / Re: first big bike tour
« on: May 08, 2013, 08:14:49 am »
@cycleone-  a matter of preference of course, but that's a LOT of unnecessary equipment. i wouldn't be so concerned with the weight, but the space you have is the big issue. you need space for water, which doesn't squash down.

plus, you have to pack and unpack every day, which is a chore and sometimes you just need to set off quickly and early.  there are many easy, cheaper and efficient ways to find the comfort you're looking for.

your panniers make for a comfy dry place to sit if you really need one. and a half body length of bubble wrap makes a great sleeping pad, while taking less valuable space.

you're absolutely right that comfort makes for a better trip, but all that excess gear will prove annoying once you toughen up a bit to life outdoors.

Routes / Re: Route through or around Los Angeles.
« on: April 30, 2013, 07:56:04 am »
i went through camp pendleton after a local bike shop told me the only alternative was back into the desert (i was headed north) if i'd have known i could bike on the interstate, i would have done that instead, because i got lost on the camp and clocked up about 8 bonus miles, aswell as getting cross examined by a marine. i always feel quite safe on the interstates.

you must have a cycle helmet to go on the base too.

i didn't take a map for the pacific coast and opted to follow route 1 as closely as i could, which took me past LAX and some pretty stressful situations for a few hours. i'm sure the coastal route is much nicer though.   south of malibu, heading out of LA, i thought the road was very narrow in parts, with heavy traffic, but there were a lot of local bikers, so it probably isn't as bad as it seemed.... and i'm here to tell the tale :)

between there and san diego is fairly straightforward. it takes you through some nice beach towns.  san clemente being the highlight for me. nowhere near as nice as route 1 north of san fran though.

Routes / Re: Route Suggestions
« on: April 24, 2013, 07:32:07 am »
i encountered a few aggressive drivers in south oregon, but i don't have any memories of bad traffic in california, aside from LA and San Diego, but cities are always a bit stressful.

 the coastal route is sometimes narrow and steep with blind corners, but it's also peaceful and you can usually hear an oncoming vehicle a long way off.

go for it. the northern cali coast is one of my favourite rides :)

Routes / Re: Southern Tier
« on: April 13, 2013, 02:02:15 am »
you'll get used to the camping. i took a rug and slept under the stars most nights (when it wasn't raining)  it was too hot to be in a tent.

actually amenities aren't as far between as you might think, but it's a good idea to carry extra rations and water at all times. don't rely on the aca maps for service locations, as many are closed.

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