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Messages - BikingBrian

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Routes / Re: Tenting on the Pacific Coast Route
« on: April 08, 2014, 07:11:27 am »
I noticed your route only goes as far south as San Luis Obispo. The issues with hiker/biker sites are when you get further south of Santa Barbara. However, these are more populated areas where you shouldn't have a problem finding a Warm Showers or a Couchsurfing host.

On another note, I see you are going through Sheridan and Buffalo, Wyoming - I took another route in that area which you might find interesting, check out Day 29 here:

Classifieds / Sold: Sierra Designs Lookout CD Tent, $175 plus shipping
« on: March 09, 2014, 09:58:20 pm »
Sierra Designs Lookout CD 3 person, 4 season tent.

Dimensions are width 48"/69"/58", length 90", and total packed weight is about 7 pounds.

Photos here:

$175 plus shipping Sold

Classifieds / Sold: Kelty Zen Tent, $75 plus shipping
« on: March 09, 2014, 09:54:42 pm »
Kelty Zen 2 person, 3 season tent. This served me well when riding across the US about ten years ago. It got used a few more times after that on shorter tours, but then it went into hibernation. It's not freestanding and need to be staked.

Dimensions are width 35"/58"/39", length 90", and total packed weight is about 5 pounds.

I have two rainflys, it's been so long I don't know why. The original white one with the orange trim is a little sticky on the inside. I think that's why I got the gray one, and that one has a much bigger vestibule too.

Photos here:

$75 plus shipping Sold

Gear Talk / Re: Tent - One Person and Freestanding?
« on: March 06, 2014, 08:35:21 pm »
I already pulled the trigger on that tent, but thanks for the tip, since I needed to get another tent for family camping too.....  ;D

Gear Talk / Re: Tent - One Person and Freestanding?
« on: March 03, 2014, 08:07:11 am »
Since my latest tour plans include the Olympic Peninsula of Washington, my thoughts have swung towards a bigger tent, in case I'm in there for a while due to rain. I'm considering the Sierra Designs Vapor Light series, last year's models are on closeout at REI Outlet. They meet my desire to be freestanding, yet the weight isn't too bad. Since I'm 6'2", the 2 XL seems attractive for tall people. Any experience with these series of tents?

Gear Talk / Re: Racks
« on: February 05, 2014, 07:01:29 am »
FWIW.  The fact that it has hollow tubing rather than solid rod is a good thing in my opinion.  Assuming the same alloy, tubing has most of the stiffness at a reduced weight  Solid rod is actually a sign of a lesser made rack.
I would agree only if the tubing is larger diameter to compensate. How much larger it would need to be, I don't know. Maybe that's why the struts are now 11mm, though the website says 9mm. Perhaps the 9mm on the website is dated.

Now if it has worse welds or a lesser alloy that is another matter.
The weld in the back doesn't go as far across on the new rack. Can't speak to the quality of the welds or the alloy.

In any event, last night I found an "old" style EX-1 on Ebay that was used only once at a really good price, so I scooped that up.

Gear Talk / Re: Racks
« on: February 05, 2014, 12:00:54 am »
For another bike, I received a Blackburn EX-1 rear rack via mail order yesterday. The design is the same as my old rack, but the construction is a little different. The old one was made in the USA and has solid 9mm aluminum tubing. The new one was made in China and has hollow (!) aluminum tubing. They quote 9mm for the tubing, though some of the struts measure about 11mm. I'm sure it will hold up fine to its 40 pound rated weight limit, but to say I am disappointed would be an understatement.

Routes / Re: Sierra Cascades or Pacific Coast?
« on: January 19, 2014, 09:35:30 am »
A little off topic... Is southern portion of SC passable in mid March? I am looking at, say from where it intersects Southern Tier, to where it gets close to LA, near San Bernadino or Burbank.


There is little to no chance of snow accumulation on the part of the route you describe.  But I wouldn't characterize the scenery as particularly great either.

Agreed, with one exception: a 10 mile section of Highway 2 about 10 miles west of Wrightwood (in the mountains north of LA) is closed after the first major snowfall, as it is not plowed. That section of road usually does not reopen until around Memorial Day weekend in May, although it is often passable by cyclists well before then. Though this has been an extremely dry winter and it may still be open now.

Routes / Re: Sierra Cascades or Pacific Coast?
« on: January 19, 2014, 12:42:53 am »
Well, I would agree with Cyclesafe is saying: that the Pacific Coast south to north in the summer even with the consistent headwinds would still be an easier ride compared to all the climbing on the Sierra Cascades in either direction. Though if it were me, I would rearrange my plans in order to be able to ride the coast north to south, but we don't know if that is possible for the original poster.

Routes / Re: Riding on Interstates
« on: January 16, 2014, 02:49:34 pm »
If you ride Route 66 in California, the stretch between Newberry Springs and Ludlow (66 is a kind of frontage road to I40 along here), you'll find the worst pavement on 66.  This is pavement from hell.  It's the anti-pavement.  I rode it once and vowed never again.  Twice, once going east and once west, I've scoffed at the no-bikes on I40 in this area and jumped on the interstate--aaaah! Smooth, wide, fast shoulders, moderate to light traffic.  Very pleasant.  No cops bothered me, but you only need to get on I40 for about 25 miles to dodge the worst of the 66 junk surface.  After that, in either direction, the riding is pretty good.  The stretch from Ludlow down into the sink around Amboy is grade-A classic desert riding. 
Ah, now that this thread is alive again, I just noticed this. Once I tried to ride 66 west out of Ludlow and noticed the same thing. I ended up entering I-40 at the next onramp and it all the way to Newberry Springs.

Routes / Re: Sierra Cascades or Pacific Coast?
« on: January 16, 2014, 02:44:00 pm »
All good observations above, though it has been a very low snowfall winter so far. That said, winter is not over yet...

Although it's been a few years since the original post, I agree that two routes south of Devore would be desirable. There is some discussion of these two routes in the 66 Corridor Implementation threads. The Santa Ana River Trail could even be part of a new corridor from Los Angeles to Phoenix. Many tourists traveling internationally fly to LAX and want to head eastbound from the Los Angeles area rather than going to San Diego first.

Gear Talk / Re: Tent - One Person and Freestanding?
« on: January 02, 2014, 11:24:37 am »
In addition to a bivy sack, my current tents are the Sierra Designs Lookout CD (which I've used for 2 people) and a Kelty Zen (which I've used solo, but it's not freestanding). Looking back at the specs, their advertised capacities are really N+1. So I'll expand my search to 2 person tents. BTW, I'm also tall at 6'2", so that may play into tent selection. It also needs to be able to fit my long version of the NeoAir XLite sleeping pad, which is 77" in length.

Gear Talk / Re: Tent - One Person and Freestanding?
« on: January 01, 2014, 10:13:57 pm »
I went to REI this afternoon and I was intrigued by their Quarter Dome T1. It's called "semi-freestanding" which from what I can tell means that the tent is freestanding, but the fly would have to be staked. That's OK by me because if I need to be freestanding, it's probably on a concrete pad with a canopy above it. Or if I had to put the fly up, I could tie it to something rather than stake it. It was too close to closing time for me to ask someone at REI to set it up in the store, I may do so later.

Gear Talk / Tent - One Person and Freestanding?
« on: December 31, 2013, 10:45:36 pm »
I'm in the market for a new tent. The primary consideration is that it's for one person (I don't want it too big/heavy) and freestanding (for camping opportunities which would preclude stakes). Most other considerations are secondary. Any suggestions?

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