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Messages - staehpj1

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General Discussion / Re: Cycling and camping in bear country ? !
« on: June 29, 2009, 05:02:18 pm »
Hey, folks! Let's put the bear risk in perspective.

Good points Fred.

Bears  are a small enough risk to not lose sleep over them, as long as you take reasonable precautions.

General Discussion / Re: Cycling in TN
« on: June 29, 2009, 04:56:31 pm »
If going to Cherokee sounds right, consider heading west from there to Tennessee via the Cherohala Skyway, the less-known cousin of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Just as beautiful and just as challenging.
That sounds interesting.  I will have to check it out.  Have you ridden it?

General Discussion / Re: Cycling in TN
« on: June 28, 2009, 02:29:46 pm »
The Tennessee roads are nice as is the scenery.  There isn't anything attraction-wise that I personally would detour off of the TA for, but if you have plenty of time the Blue Ridge Parkway is nice as are the Tennessee roads in general.  Services and places to stay on the parkway are scarce though and if you leave the Parkway, you have massive climbs to get back to it.  Plan you stops carefully if you do the Parkway.

I generally avoid larger cities when on tour so places like Nashville don't especially appeal to me.  If seeing Nashville is a big plus for you, and you have the time, go for it.

General Discussion / Re: Bike Related Skin Rashes -- Please Help!
« on: June 21, 2009, 04:30:55 pm »
Bike tour related rashes I have had responded instantly to a night with Balmex or other zinc oxide based diaper cream.

Gear Talk / Re: Lightweight Wrench for the cassette lock ring
« on: June 16, 2009, 07:57:05 pm »

At the top of the first page above they have two tools designed to undo the lockring on a cassette using the chainstays and turning the cranks/wheels backwards.  I have the original Pamir Hypercracker mentioned on the page and it works perfectly well.
The other one (the Unior) works fine too

Routes / Re: Great things to do on TransAm trail
« on: June 12, 2009, 04:34:13 pm »
The rafting in Idaho...what river out of what town?  Also, was it a one day raft trip?
In our case a day trip on the Salmon river while we were in Riggins ID.  It would have been better with higher water levels, but was still fun.  I think there are multiday options depending on the time of year and the water levels.  A local said to use a particular company, but I forget the name.  It was out of town a few miles to the east.  They were very accommodating and had a place to lock up our stuff.

Routes / Re: Great things to do on TransAm trail
« on: June 12, 2009, 01:33:43 pm »
Make sure to swing through the Adventure Cycling office in Missoula! 
Yeah, I forgot that one!  It is worth a stop.  I assume there is still free ice cream, cold drinks, and a floor pump.  That makes it pretty close to heaven :)

Gear Talk / Re: Selle SMP saddle?
« on: June 12, 2009, 07:01:29 am »
My bike is set up a little sportier than most tour bikes
Good choice.  That makes for a more comfortable ride in my opinion.  I like the same aggressive position I have on my road bike.  I really think that the more upright posture is a handicap on a long tour.  It is less efficient in a headwind and puts more weight on the butt, and stresses the lower back.  To me is just generally less comfortable.

Gear Talk / Re: 4 Front (small) panniers?
« on: June 12, 2009, 06:55:03 am »
Glad it is working out.  Have a great tour.

Routes / Re: Great things to do on TransAm trail
« on: June 12, 2009, 06:48:25 am »
We are biking the TransAmerican trail in 2010 from first of June to ? going from Oregon to VA.  We want to also enjoy the country on the way and can take 3-4 months to do the distance.  There are 4 of us, and two are going to switch off driving a small RV, so we can go slightly off route for side trips.  I'm looking for things that some of you who have done this route either did or wish they did that we can add to our plans.  A raft trip?  Great side trips in Yellowstone?  Particularly great hikes?  Unusual places to eat, visit or see?  What were some of your best memories?  Thanks! 
We went rafting in Idaho and that was fun.  If time were less tight we would like to have seen Glacier NP, Rocky Mountain NP, and more of the Tetons.

FWIW: On our TA we had sag support for a few days in Virginia and it was nice, but I was glad we did most of the trip without.  It was a way different experience and the lack of sag support generally made for a better tour.  We got less of a feel for what the area and people were really like on the portion where we were sagged.  It was great for those few days and we really appreciated the assistance from relatives of one of us.  Visiting with them made it worthwhile.

Carrying our own stuff and being more dependent on the kindness and hospitality of the folks in whatever small town we wound up in each day greatly enhanced the tour.  Many of our best memories are of folks who helped us out with a place to camp, a bed, a spot on their floor, a meal, or even just by stopping and offering us a cold drink of water.

We were a little jealous of the folks who rode the passes without all their gear, but agreed that we would not be willing to trade our experience for theirs.

Just something to consider.

Gear Talk / Re: Wind noise in ears
« on: June 10, 2009, 02:33:36 pm »
Don't know how well they work, but maybe something like shown in this picture?

She wore them on the TA and while I never asked her about them, I assume she liked them.  You could probably get her to weigh in if you click the "Contact" link on her page.

Gear Talk / Re: 10 speed triple Cranksets compatible with 9 speed?
« on: June 09, 2009, 03:05:43 pm »
unless you can no longer buy a 9 speed STI style shifter ??  Does anyone have an idea if these will still be sold in 15 years?
No but it seems likely since you can still buy 7 speed STI shifters from Harris Cyclery or at least could last time I checked.

FWIW: I am happy with 9 speed, but may move to 10 speed when/if reasonably priced cassettes and deraileurs that allow low enough gearing and work with STI become available.  I would only do it if replacing the bike or if I had to redo the whole drivetrain for some reason though.  I am not that worried about chain life since my chain is still going strong at close to 10,000 miles on my 9 speed.  I can't imagine that a ten speed would be enough worse to disqualify it.  Even if it was twice as bad it would still be OK.

Gear Talk / Re: Touring Tires
« on: June 08, 2009, 07:19:29 am »
How wide is the state?  I agree that any reasonably suitable tire should be fine for most cross state rides, since most states are only a few hundred miles across.  I would assume that the Fortes should be fine.

FWIW: I don't find a trunk bag particularly useful for touring.  That space is better used for the tent, assuming you are camping.

As I said "different strokes".  It is a judgment call and if you feel you need to, by all means do, but I think there are other things more likely to fail that I don't carry.  In 50 years of riding I have had only a very few sidewall failures (none while touring) but was always able to boot, stitch, or tape them up well enough to ride until a replacement could be found.  Where the OP will be touring isn't a remote area where it would be tough to get a tire.  My guess is that it would be much less likely to be a problem there than on a ride like the TA where in my experience a small minority seem to carry a spare.

Traveling in remote places I probably would carry one.

Different strokes, but a spare tire is probably overkill. 

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