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Messages - staehpj1

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I forget exactly which stores there were in Frisco and nearby by Silverthorne and Breckenridge, but you should have no trouble finding fuel there.  I think there are 3 or 4 hardware stores and a Walmart.  I am pretty sure that one of the bike shops had it was well.  Sorry I don't have addresses, but it should be easy to find some.

Gear Talk / Re: front rack with shelf
« on: January 20, 2009, 07:39:21 am »
although the weight is a bit high, I suspect that more weight on the front would be better to counter balance any weight from a trailer. i now own two trailers one is a burley nomad, which im not concerned with, and the other is a bob yak which ive read in other forums that it takes weight off the front of the bike when fully loaded and makes it more difficult to steer on soft ground so instead of taking weight off I actually want to add as much weight as possible to the front of the bike so the surly rack should work well.
It is high in two ways.  First it is double the weight of most lowriders and second the weight is up high.  I can see wanting a rack top for light bulky items, but you are using a trailer so you should have an abundance of space for bulky stuff.

It isn't hard to get some weight on the front wheel by just using smallish panniers on lowrider racks and putting small dense items in them.  The advantage of the weight being low is significant, especially in the front.

Think about this...  A BoB Yak weighs 13.5 pounds and a Surly Nice Rack weighs 2.95 pounds (slightly more or less depending on which hardware your bike needs) add an extra inner tube for the trailer and you are up close to 17 pounds.  There are people who manage to tour carrying less than what just the trailer and rack add to your load!

If there is one thing that I learned while riding the Trans America and other shorter tours it is that weight carried matters.  A pound or two are a big deal and a few ounces here and there quickly add up to pounds.  If you take too much "stuff" you can always mail things home, which many tourists wind up doing even after they are pretty experienced.  If the weight is in racks and trailers it isn't that easy to reduce the load.

I don't know your experience level, if you have logged tens of thousands of miles happily hauling hundreds of pounds of stuff, ignore me.  If you have not yet done a multiweek tour, please at least consider my suggestions one more time.

Gear Talk / Re: front rack with shelf
« on: January 19, 2009, 01:42:46 pm »
im going with the surly rack, thanks again for the help tourista :)
If you are at all weight conscious, check the weight of the Surly before buying.  I think it is something like 2-1/2 pounds.  If that doesn't bother you disregard this.

Routes / Re: cross country polio fund raiser for newbies
« on: January 17, 2009, 02:58:43 pm »
We are in the planning stages of doing an across the US - West 2 East ride to raise money for polio for the Rotary.  Being new to riding we want to avoid hills :-)
One of the three Adventure Cycling routes is what I would recommend.  The Trans America is great.  The climbs in the west are long but not very steep.  My two companions had almost no miles under their belts and just started off with shorter days in the first couple weeks.  They did fine.

The Northern Tier is supposed to be nice too.  The Southern tier is shorter and flatter, but you don't want to do it in the Summer.

The hard climbs are the short steep ones in the east and if you are going W - E you will be in shape by the time you get to them, Just be sure to pack light and have low gears.

Routes / Re: Dedicated Across America Bicycle Path
« on: January 12, 2009, 02:48:06 pm »
Different strokes, but I would just as soon ride the roads.  When on the TA we generally found that when we had the option of riding bike paths we usually preferred to avoid them.  The way cool one between Dillon/Frisco/Breckenridge Colorado was an exception.  It was awesome.

You might look into the American Discovery Trail it is sort of what you propose.  It doesn't really appeal to me, but it might to you.

Connecting ACA Routes / Pueblo, CO to Delaware Water Gap, PA
« on: October 03, 2008, 07:06:53 am »
The TA uses the Blue Ridge Parkway up to the start of Skyline Drive.  You can just continue up Skyline Drive to  Front Royal.  From there I am not sure what is best.  There are some decent roads for cycling, but I am not knowledgeable enough to make a good recommendation.

I am told that if you want to go via Washington DC you can take W&OD Bike Trail into Arlington VA. Then follow the Custis Bike Trail to DC, but have never ridden on either.  Another option might be to look at where the AC Atlantic Coast Route goes, not sure if it is useful for you or not.

If you need a place to stay in Baltimore let me know.

Connecting ACA Routes / Pueblo, CO to Delaware Water Gap, PA
« on: October 02, 2008, 09:15:42 am »
I'd be inclined to take the TA until it joins the Blue Ridge Parkway, then continue north onto Skyline Drive to Front Royal and pick a route from there.  Where in PA are you headed?

Connecting ACA Routes / Grand Canyon Connector Bike Route
« on: September 29, 2007, 11:47:24 am »
I really enjoyed that link!  It makes me want to start planning a trip there soon, but alas it will be a while until I have enough leave saved up again since I used it all on this summer's tour


Underground Railroad / Looking for a Guide
« on: January 11, 2008, 08:27:11 pm »
Do you have any camping experience?  If you have backpacked, canoe or kayak camped, or even car camped, it should be pretty easy.

If you have no camping experience at all, practice using the gear at home.  Pitch the tent in the yard.  Cook some meals on your camp stove at home, etc.

Half of the battle is taking the right stuff with you.  Study the packing list of others who have made successful trips if you don't know what you need.

Classifieds / cross country riding buddy needed
« on: May 01, 2008, 08:38:00 am »
Since you seem open to suggestions, I will make a couple...

I think that starting at an easy pace the first few days and easing in to longer miles as you go is a good idea.

Budgeting more time than you need is a great idea if it is possible.  That way you can just take each day as it comes and get there when you get there.  Nothing spoils a trip like being on a must make schedule.  You will likely get there just as fast and be less stressed if you don't have a demanding schedule.

Classifieds / cross country riding buddy needed
« on: April 29, 2008, 01:54:00 pm »
Yes that is reasonable if it is 2300 miles.  I still wouldn't call it leisurely by loaded touring standards, but it is reasonable.

I didn't realize you were starting so far inland (I just looked at the map and found Greenville).  The TA from the east coast to Missoula is more like 3300 miles.

Anyway, best of luck and have a great time.

Classifieds / cross country riding buddy needed
« on: April 28, 2008, 10:25:38 am »
Do you really consider 3300 miles in a month a "leisurely pace"?  Are you being sagged?  If not that is far from a leisurely pace by most tourists standards.

60 miles per day is a fairly average pace for loaded touring and that works out to close to two months unless starting in SC cuts miles off of the route as compared to starting in Yorktown.

Edit: I forgot to mention... if all else fails you will meet other riders along the way on the TA.  It is quite possible to meet folks along the way to ride or camp with at least part of the time.

This message was edited by staehpj1 on 4-28-08 @ 7:00 AM

Gear Talk / southern tier check list?
« on: January 05, 2009, 02:53:35 pm »
There are a lot of packing lists on  Use the search feature, but you can start with mine at:
Just scroll down to "Pete's Packing List" and click it.  You might also try the "What Worked and What Didn't" section.  It isn't perfect and could probably be trimmed a bit, but is a starting point.  Remember that less is more :)

Also it help to remember that you can use the Postal Service both directions.  If you find you aren't using stuff send it home and if you miss something have it sent to you via general delivery.  I recommend going over everything once every week or two and sending stuff that you don't need home.

This message was edited by staehpj1 on 1-5-09 @ 11:55 AM

Gear Talk / Front Racks
« on: January 02, 2009, 03:56:07 pm »
I will offer a dissenting opinion.  I don't think aluminum racks are any more likely to break and certainly find then good enough.  Personally I like the Nashbar and Performance clones of the classic Blackburn Lowrider.

Nashbar often on sale for $20:

Two of us used the Nashbar rack for the TransAmerica and one used the Performance version.  They are very sturdy and held up well.

The steel racks can be more easily repaired in a third world country by anyone with a brazing torch, but for me that just isn't a big deal.  In the very unlikely event something does break on my aluminum rack I will cobble it together with sticks and tywraps if necessary.

Gear Talk / BOB Ibex trailer
« on: December 15, 2008, 07:40:10 am »
I haven't used the Ibex, but I have used a similar one wheeled trailer.  It always seemed to just kind of disappear while riding other than the weight was noticeable going up hills.  It sounds like something is wrong if the handling is that altered.  Could it be how you loaded the trailer?

I did decide that I liked panniers better, but handling problems with the trailer were a non issue for me.

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