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Messages - staehpj1

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General Discussion / Re: Baton Rouge to Miami
« on: Today at 07:10:48 am »
I'd expect decent weather there that time of year, but it can vary. is a good resource for getting a loot at historic weather data for a given area.  Just pick a number of locations along the route to look at.

We are in Tallahassee.  If you need any assistance or a place to stay when you are there, email me at

Gear Talk / Re: Single pair of shoes, or bike AND walking shoes?
« on: May 22, 2015, 08:30:18 am »
I have done pretty much the full range of shoe options for SPD pedals.  I find that the best solution for me varies with the tour.
  • Just MTB shoes works fine for me if I will be hiking no more than a few miles at a time and the surface isn't bad.
  • MTB shoes and Crocs isn't bad either.  Crocs are pretty light and I find the bulk a non-issue since I just hang them on the outside of one of the panniers or bags.  I don't mind hiking longer distances with them if the difficulty of the terrain isn't too bad.
  • If I will be doing a lot of hiking including longer hikes and difficult terrain I really like to have a pair of trail runners along.  Like the Crocs I hang thme on the outside of the luggage so bulk isn't an issue.

Since I am pretty weight conscious I go with the lightest option that I think will work.  On a long tour I may switch up along the way.  For example I have bough some light trail runners when I stopped for a week of hiking in Yosemite and on another long tour bought a pair of cheap Crocs knock offs.  I also have sent shoes home by US Mail.

Gear Talk / Re: Touring without fenders - big mistake?
« on: May 19, 2015, 09:32:12 pm »
I have used them in the past but have done a number of long tours without and didn't miss them.   Even in the PNC on the coast I didn't miss them.

Gear Talk / Re: How heavy is your touring bike (unloaded)?
« on: May 19, 2015, 06:24:19 am »
I have used different bikes depending on tour.  For heavier touring the bike weighed about 30 pounds.  As I packed lighter and lighter I used lighter bikes.  My last road tour the bike was 24 pounds including blinkie light, tool kit, pump, rack, handlebar bag bracket, and bottles and cages.  I could see myself going lighter yet for an ultralight load (camping with 8-14 pounds of UL camping and cooking gear and clothing).

General Discussion / Re: Should I pack an Air Pillow
« on: May 14, 2015, 07:57:25 pm »
Even when I go really light I still carry a pillow.   At sub-10 pounds the pillow is still on the list.   I didn't find that the sea to summit one worked for me.   The Exped feels far more comfortable to me.

Gear Talk / Re: Tubeless?
« on: May 09, 2015, 11:17:08 am »
Basically, too much weight at too low of a pressure.  Higher pressure will blow the tire off the rim.
That doesn't make sense to me, but maybe I am missing something.  How much weight and how much pressure are you thinking of using with what sized tire?  I don't see wanting or needing to run enough pressure to "blow the tire off the rim".  At the lower pressure end of the scale I don't see going low enough for burping to be a problem.

Just trying to understand...

I have used a wide range of options including:
  • waterproof
  • non waterproof lined with a trash bag
  • non waterproof with covers
  • non waterproof with ziplock bags inside
  • dry sacks strapped in the rack instead of panniers (I have only done this with very minimal loads)

They all worked well.  My personal preference is for waterproof if using panniers, but these days I have been going ultralight with no panniers most trips.

BTW, part of what I like about the waterproofs is that I prefer one big compartment and no pockets.

BTW, I have found inexpensive Nashbar or Performance waterproofs plenty adequate for my usage.

Routes / Re: Tran-american bike tour
« on: May 05, 2015, 08:16:01 am »
For east bound I voted rear tire Pacific, front tire Atlantic, but personally I wouldn't bother with the ritual again.  We dragged our loaded bikes across 200 yards of sand and then spent a lot of time with the drive train crunching and grinding until we got to a place where we could rinse them off.  My first thought was that we should have taken the gear off and carried them to the water and back.  My second thought was that we shouldn't have bothered.  At the finish of the tour it was really easy so we did the dip, but I skipped the ritual on my next coast to coast tour.

Overnight costs.  Europe is 1/4 or 1/3 the cost of USA.  The US is unbelievably expensive for housing.

I have not toured in Europe, but have toured pretty extensively in the US.  Going coast to coast on the Trans America I averaged less than $5 a night that was almost all camping and more than half of it was free.  I did no stealth camping but did stay for free in plain sight a lot.

On the Southern Tier I got rooms a bit more often, but they were usually pretty reasonable and I camped for free a large percentage of the time, again no stealth required.

On the Pacific Coast I averaged under $10 per night mostly camping.

Other places were similarly inexpensive.

I think camping may be more expensive in the east though, but I don't tend to tour there other than as the end of a coast to coast tour.

When it comes to rooms, cost can vary really widely, but there are lots of inexpensive places to stay.  Just avoid staying in the expensive ones.  When I do get a room I shoot for the $30-60 ones and especially ones that have a free hot breakfast.  I like the ones that have a waffle iron :)

I found that to work OK.

I will add that a good middle ground between free standing tents and those that require several anchor points are are tents that can be staked out with only two points anchored.  I found that my Eureka Spitfire 1 works well in that regard.  I also have an MSR Fling and leave the ridgepole home in favor of using it in a similar manner.  There are probably lots of other two hoop tents with pointy ends that only require two tie out points.

Routes / Re: Tips for a Rollerblader going coast-to-coast
« on: May 02, 2015, 07:00:17 am »
And that's a great idea about mailing, does that just work by getting a friend to Fedex a package to one of their offices in a town I know I'll be in?
I'd skip FedEx and UPS in favor of the US Postal Service for that.  They are available in most towns, even small ones and it is easy to have a package forwarded along if you happen to be in town when the PO is closed.  Using General Delivery they will hold packages for 30 days.

The addressing goes something like:
Joe Blow
C/O General delivery
Smalltown, USA 12345

A search will turn of numerous discussions of it on this forum.

Routes / Re: Tips for a Rollerblader going coast-to-coast
« on: May 01, 2015, 07:44:29 pm »
The paniers on the legs for instance sound like they'll take about three minutes for you to figure out they won't work cross-country

Agreed.  I'd be happy to be proven wrong, but I think that has very little chance of working.

A shakedown trip is a good idea and highly recommended, but learning on a long tour is also possible, especially on a multi month trip.  It helps if you have someone who can mail you things and that you can send things that are not working back to.  Receiving things via general delivery is great in this regard.

Carrying gear will likely be one of the most difficult issues.  I know that when looking into a possible coast to coast run I found a number of coast to coast runners who found even a very light backpack to be problematic and had to adjust.  The two most likely solutions are to pack extremely light or to pack merely very light and use a baby jogger.

If you pack light enough you might be able to get by with one of the larger Mountainsmith fanny packs.  If you go with the baby jogger you might want to trick it out a bit with nicer wheels, better brakes, and also by removing everything unnecessary.  You may find the brakes on the baby jogger are actually helpful on some of the very long descents.

General Discussion / Re: Which shops stock ACA maps?
« on: May 01, 2015, 03:10:26 pm »
Yes, the postmistress at Lolo, MT pulled that on me, and waited until the forwarding request came back through channels before she would send it on.  I missed the package, and it was returned to sender about 6 weeks later.  :(

That stinks!  I hope it isn't a common occurrence.

General Discussion / Re: Which shops stock ACA maps?
« on: May 01, 2015, 05:59:13 am »
True, but if you do it from a different post office you may run into a stickler who'll route it through someplace in Missouri (St. Louis, maybe?).  It can take a week to ten days before the receiving post office will get the notice and forward the package.

I have probably only done this a dozen or so times, but I forwarded those packages that way with no issue.    Sometimes we decided that we weren't ready for a package and just bumped it down the road, sometimes more than once for the same package.  I always felt more comfortable talking to a live person face to face rather than leaving a note.  It seemed a safer bet to me at the time.  Besides, I don't get how a note would make them less likely to just forward it directly than a face to face request from another post office would.  They always seem to require seeing a picture ID so the note would have seemed less safe to me.

That said, they have always been super helpful at small to medium town post offices, so my guess is that problems are unlikely either way.

I never heard of forwarded packages being routed through Missouri is that official USPS policy?  Have you actually had that happen to your package?

Edit:  I just realized that you were saying that the request was forwarded through Missouri not the actual package.  Is that correct?

General Discussion / Re: Which shops stock ACA maps?
« on: April 30, 2015, 03:09:01 pm »
If you miss it (package not there yet, or post office closed when you come through), leave a signed, written request at the post office for them to forward the package to West of Nowhere, KY, 32109. 

For what it is worth...  You can make these arrangements to forward them at any post office, not just the one the item was mailed to.  Personally I'd just buy the maps all up front unless your plans are likely to change.

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