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Messages - staehpj1

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Connecting ACA Routes / Re: Southern Tier to Trans Am via Santa Fe Trail
« on: November 05, 2009, 06:47:14 pm »

Thanks for the further route information. I will include it with our file.

If AC decides to do anything with that route I would be happy to share any other info I may have.  Jerry is planning to do some variation of the trip in the Spring and I may join him.  We could possibly collect info about the towns we pass through if that would be helpful.

Connecting ACA Routes / Re: Southern Tier to Trans Am via Santa Fe Trail
« on: November 05, 2009, 01:43:33 pm »
I have a journal of the trip at:

This is a link to his original planned route:

This is a link to my actual route:

FWIW I found I-25 to be delightful even though it is interstate, but for those who wish to avoid it there is a frontage road much of the way that is most often far enough from the highway to feel remote at least some of the time.  One minor issue with the frontage road... On the portion where I rode the frontage road it was on the opposite side of I-25 at the rest stops making it impossible to use them.  As a result potential rest stops were infrequent in that section.

The route Jerry planned for that section is fairly remote and not loaded with services  There was a place to get water at Mosquero, I think.

Gear Talk / Re: Tie down straps
« on: November 05, 2009, 06:52:17 am »
On tour there is pretty much zero chance for me to misplace them because they are always buckled to the rack.  At home between trips they do tend to get lost in the bottom of gear tubs, drawers, or bags.

Connecting ACA Routes / Re: Southern Tier to Trans Am via Santa Fe Trail
« on: November 04, 2009, 05:56:13 pm »
ACA should look at adding the Santa Fe Trail to it's list of routes. Lots of history. Good towns along the way.
I agree.  I rode the same route on the section between Santa Fe and Dodge City this spring, but I was going the opposite way.  It was very nice.   I started a bit west of Kansas City and finished in Santa Fe.  The route has the advantage of rail service between the two cities.  Actually the service was from Lamy, but there is a train from SF to Lamy.  I didn't use the train from SF to Lamy choosing to ride my bike, but the train ride from Lamy to KC was very pretty.

A good friend planned the route and wound up injured so I did the ride alone.  Actually he had a different route in mind for the part on I-25, but I chose to ride I-25.

Gear Talk / Re: Tie down straps
« on: November 02, 2009, 08:04:00 am »
Personally I like straps better than bungees.  I use the cheap (maybe 3 or 4 bucks a pair) 3/4" ones that you can find just about anywhere they sell camping stuff.  I do find that I break a buckle once in a while so I usually carry a spare.
Something like these:

Gear Talk / Re: Touring (Ageing?) Compromises
« on: November 01, 2009, 04:24:52 pm »
How old is aging?

At 58 I prefer to ride my road bike pretty much any time I am not on a loaded tour.  I would probably even use the road bike if I was doing self supported touring without cooking and camping.  I don't even bother to train on on the touring bike before a tour.

Routes / Re: TransAm Map Set Update Schedule?
« on: October 31, 2009, 09:15:27 am »
I'm not quite sure how you're going to "keep your eyes out for any updates." It's not easy to tell when updates are available, nor what version you'll get if you order.
That's easy.  He can email Jennifer or email/call the Adventure Cycling offices.  They are pretty accommodating.

Gear Talk / Re: Sleeping Pad Issue
« on: October 28, 2009, 07:23:35 am »
I think the reflective layer helps as well.

Gear Talk / Re: Tire Question
« on: October 28, 2009, 07:22:31 am »
If I understand your route correctly that would be the Pacific Coast Highway, right?  If so I personally would use a tire suited primarily to decent roads, like something nearly slick.  I am not especially a Schwalbe fan due primarily to having been soured on them by the Marathon Pluses that I recently took off after only a few hundred miles because they rode like anchors.  In fairness some of their other tires are probably very good, but I'd avoid the Pluses unless puncture resistance is your main and nearly only criteria.  Personally I prefer something with a lively ride and if I have to fix a flat once in a while so be it.

My tire of choice would be the 28 mm Continental Ultra Gatorskin.  It has a nice lively ride, is fast, durable, and pretty puncture resistant.  I used them on my spring tour carrying about 30 pounds and they were a joy.

Gear Talk / Re: Sleeping Pad Issue
« on: October 26, 2009, 08:30:59 am »
I strongly prefer blow-up pads to self-inflating ones. You can get more than double the thickness (which is infinitely more comfortable for old bones) for less cost and no more weight.
The advantage to self-inflating pads isn't just ease of use but insulation.  The foam inside is a very effective insulator and, if you camp in cold weather, this is a big plus.  Plain, unfilled air matresses are very poor insulators.
Very true, but there are various schemes to insulate the non-self-inflating ones. For the Thermarest models the R values are as follows:
  • Neoair R2.5
  • Prolite R2.2
  • Prolite Plus R3.8
So the NeoAir is not as good at insulating as the Prolite Plus, but it is better than the regular Prolite.  In really cold weather you can double up the NeoAir with a Z-lite and the two together weigh the same as a Prolite Plus while insulating slightly better.

I am not sure how the Big Agnes Air Core insulated models compare, since they do not list R values.

General Discussion / Re: Seat Problem
« on: October 24, 2009, 03:57:21 pm »
and find chairs, sofa's and recumbent seats to hurt after a while.
and even car seats, some more than others.  We rented a Toyota Corolla a few months ago and its driver's seat was starting to get pretty painful even in the first hour.  Hours 2 and 3 were really bad, and I kept shifting around, looking for relief.  I don't have that problem on my upright bike's narrow saddle.
Glad to hear that I am not the only one.  :)

General Discussion / Re: Seat Problem
« on: October 24, 2009, 10:24:03 am »
Not knocking Brooks saddles or recumbents, but I am not a fan of either.  I guess I am weird, but I am comfortable on an upright bike's saddle and find chairs, sofa's and recumbent seats to hurt after a while.  The Brooks models, for me, are just "OK" but nothing special comfort wise and not worth the extra weight.  We all use what works for us.

My point is that any style of bike or saddle has a different set of advantages and disadvantages and every human is different as well.  There are no universal best answers.

Gear Talk / Re: Sleeping Pad Issue
« on: October 23, 2009, 07:52:53 pm »
I have a ProLite Plus.  I don't think I could do a NeoAir.  All that work just to save 10 ounces. 
I love my NeoAir.  It is one of my favorite pieces of gear.  It packs to the size of a waterbottle, weighs 10 ounces less than the Prolite Plus, and is much more comfortable.

I really don't get the fuss over inflating it and have a hard time thinking of 15 breaths as "All that work".  It takes all of 30 seconds to inflate.

So far my only complaint is that it was expensive, but It is so much nicer than my regular Thermarest that I think it was well worth it.  That says a lot because I am a bit of a cheapskate and usually lean toward fairly inexpensive gear.

Gear Talk / Re: Sleeping Pad Issue
« on: October 23, 2009, 07:34:32 am »
A bike pump will take thousands of strokes to inflate an air mattress.  It takes me 15 breaths (about 30 seconds if I don't take any breaks) to fully inflate my medium size (72"x20") NeoAir.  I have a hard time imagining it being a big deal to inflate, unless you either have a problem with how you are inflating it or a respiratory problem.

If it isn't a respiratory problem, are you maybe are letting air escape between breaths? or maybe not opening the valve all the way when inflating?  Watching others inflate air mattresses I see that a lot of folks let air escape between breaths, that makes it a lot slower and wastes effort.  Keep a seal around the valve with your lips and when ready to close the valve, either close off the valve with your tongue or a finger tip.  If you get winded easily try giving it one breath, breathing normally for a moment, then give it another, and so on.

There are high volume pumps designed for inflating air mattresses, rafts, or exercise balls.  The ones that come with exercise balls are fairly small and light and could be adapted.  They would still take quite a few strokes, but much fewer than a bike pump.

Routes / Re: Suggestions For Our Next Trip
« on: October 22, 2009, 06:57:52 am »
If you like lots of company RAGGBRAI, a yearly ride across Iowa, might be good for you. It's an organized ride done by several thousand people. Iowa is not flat, on-road, and I believe they camp.
There are a lot of other similar cross state rides, if that sort of ride appeals to you.  Personally I don't think they are much like the typical tour and are not the best way to get you feet wet if more typical touring is the goal.  They are really a very different type of experience and it is likely a rider may like one and hate the other.  They are often more party than tour.  If that sounds appealing then they may be a good choice.

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