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Messages - staehpj1

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Gear Talk / Raleigh Sojourn
« on: October 30, 2008, 07:53:17 am »
I would question their description.  It does not look like it is well designed for loaded touring.  There appears to be no provision for a front rack.  It has 32 spoke wheels.  With a road crank, it has gearing a bit too high for loaded touring anywhere hilly.

Some may consider them a plus, but I wouldn't pick that saddle, bar tape, or the disk brakes.

It is very pretty and I think it might be OK if you travel light.  If you are a lightweight and credit card tour it might be great.  If you weight 200 and will camp and cook I would definitely look elsewhere.

Gear Talk / B.O.B. trailers
« on: October 22, 2008, 06:20:40 pm »
First let me say either can work.

Next let me add that this has been discussed to death on many forums.  A search on Bike Forums or the Crazy Guy on a Bike forums will turn up a ton of conflicting opinions.

My personal opinion is that weight makes panniers the preferred choice, but if you pick really heavy racks and panniers you can negate the advantage.  On the other hand if you want to use a road bike, the trailer allows that and also helps make the weight more equal between the two choices.

On the Trans America we saw more panniers than trailers, but there were plenty of both.

Gear Talk / A unique situation (SouthernTier).
« on: October 24, 2008, 02:24:15 pm »
Yeah I agree to some extent.  Warm showers and stealth camping are good tools to have in the bag, but neither is very good as the primary strategy, IMO.  I found that we could find free places to camp most of the time without the need to stealth camp.  I also observed that warmshowers hosts are few and far between in the less populated parts of the country and the ST sounds like it is pretty sparsely populated most of the way.

Some acquaintances of mine used warmshowers on the TA, but it was pretty infrequent that they found a host that way.  I think they stayed with a warmshowers host 2 or 3 times the whole trip.  They got invites from chance encounters at least 3 times as often and stayed in city parks with showers at the community pool quite a bit too (as did we).

Gear Talk / A unique situation (SouthernTier).
« on: October 22, 2008, 06:24:07 pm »
I doubt you will find all that many Warmshowers hosts on the route.  There were only a handful on the TA and I would bet there are less on the ST.

It is nice to stay with a host once in a while, but don't expect it to be a frequent opportunity.

Gear Talk / TransAm Cold Days Gear
« on: October 14, 2008, 12:36:44 pm »
How early in May?  We started June 11th and didn't have much cold weather, but I think we picked a particularly warm year.  May can be kind of early, places like the McKenzie pass may still be snowed in (you can take Santiam Pass if it is).

The coldest days I was OK in tights and a jersey, sweater, and shell on top.  Some kind of a cap that will fit under your helmet is a good idea.  As is a pair of gloves with long fingers.  We did freeze on the top of one pass, but rode to lower warmer altitude to camp.

I wore lightweight zip off leg pants over tights on cooler evenings in camp.

We didn't need real heavy clothes.  Just layer up the lighter clothes you take and as was already said forget the cotton.

We didn't bother with booties, and I never wore rain pants on the bike (I did in camp).  I took a very lightweight stuffable rain jacket (no hood) and pants, cheap coated nylon ones.  They worked out fine.

I have a list of what we carried in my journal at:

This message was edited by staehpj1 on 10-14-08 @ 9:46 AM

Gear Talk / Dry Feet
« on: October 11, 2008, 09:27:38 am »
The other comments so far are good, but I will add...
Shoes and socks a widely variable in their comfort when wet and their speed of drying.

First shoes...

I have found that my Lorica and mesh Sidi Bullet 2's absorb very little moisture and feel dry as long as your socks are dry.  When the socks are wet the shoes don't seem to contribute and the mesh allows some drying.  As long as it isn't too cold they work great.  If you expect real cold and wet at the same time take shoe covers.  Wet suit type neoprene ones are pretty warm.  I didn't take or miss them on the TA.

Some shoes that I have tried stayed very wet and even after a sock change the socks were instantly soaked from the shoes.

Other shoes may work for you, but try to find ones that don't absorb much moisture.

OK, now socks...

I have has fairly good luck with both synthetics and with Smartwool.  I really like the fairly inexpensive Under Armor low cut athletic socks better than bike specific socks that I have tried.  I have had good luck with others like Ultimax and Thorlo, but don't find them any better at several times the cost.   The UA ones come 4 pairs in a bag for about $12 if I remember correctly.

I carried three pairs of the UA and one of the Smartwool. I sometimes wore the Smartwool socks when it was cold, but not often.  Bothe were pretty comfortable when wet.  I think I might leave the Smartwool home next time since they really weren't used much.

Do get out of wet shoes and socks when in camp and let feet air and dry out.  I carried a pair of Crocs as camp footwear.

On the sandal issue...

I personally find that I get blisters from most sandals when wet for walking and the idea of riding in sandals does not appeal to me.  Others apparently love them.

Gear Talk / Trip form Airzona to Alaska
« on: October 15, 2008, 07:23:59 am »
You asked about the Windsor...  We did the TA on three of them.  Check out our journal at:
The "What worked and what didn't" section has some relevant comments.

Gear Talk / Touring Stove
« on: October 27, 2008, 10:02:25 am »
I have always used the bottles that bottled water came in for alcohol.  I have done this for years backpacking, on my sailboat, and bike touring.  I have never had a moments problem.  Even if the alcohol would spill (it never has) it would not be a big deal like gasoline, white gas, or kerosene.  The bottles have been used for long term storage year round on the sailboat for years and the temperature have run the gamut from < 0F to 100F.

I use a different shaped bottle than any that I drink out of and mark them well.

Gear Talk / Touring Stove
« on: October 22, 2008, 08:39:58 am »
I gotta ask...  Where do you tour.

You say you carry "my 10 liter MSR water bag and my 120 0unces of water bottles".  That would seem to suggest travel in arid and remote areas.  Then you say "I admit that the majority of my meals are purchased."  Which seems to suggest services are readily available.

Gear Talk / Touring Stove
« on: October 21, 2008, 08:49:03 am »
Different strokes, but 24 ounces isn't pretty light in my book.  It is about the heaviest solution I would consider and then only if I already had it and nothing lighter.

Gear Talk / Touring Stove
« on: October 21, 2008, 08:19:25 am »
I typically carry either an iso-butane stove or an alcohol stove, but have used a gasoline stove when backpacking.

A lot depends on the gas pump.  Some are tougher than others.  I have managed to pump gas into a Sigg bottle with some difficulty.  It isn't impossible, but some spillage is likely.

I have read of others who just went from pump to pump and dribbled the gas that left was in the hoses into their fuel bottle (when the gas station was closed).

Gear Talk / Touring Stove
« on: October 07, 2008, 07:09:28 am »
Robo, I find this more than a little puzzling...

"As an added bonus, the stoves weigh less than less than nothing and are fun to make."
True but the fuel doesn't weigh so little.  Carrying an extra Pepsi can stove can add less than half an ounce, but an extra liter of methanol weighs 1.75 pounds or so.  With the weight of the container it must be about 2 pounds when full.  An extra 2 pounds is a huge deal to me, especially since it only duplicates the function of the other stove.

So any perceived advantage just doesn't compute with me.  It seems like you are carrying at least an extra 2 pounds to do the same thing that the other stove can do just as well or better.

One possible advantage that I could see would be if you really wanted to have two burners at the same time.  Even then it looks to me as if another Whisperlite or XGK with a fuel bottle and a half liter of fuel would weigh the same as a pepsi can stove and a full liter of fuel.

The only other advantage I can come up with is that if you can't find one fuel you can maybe find the other, but the XGK is multi-fuel and has a lot of options for fuels.

Obviously, you can do as you please, but I can't conceive of any way this makes sense unless carrying an extra 2 pounds means nothing to you.  Am I missing some advantage?

Gear Talk / Touring Stove
« on: October 06, 2008, 12:35:05 pm »
"I would like to hear what other do with their stoves."

We most often do something simple like red beans and rice with some kind of veggie thrown in, or pasta and red sauce, again with some veggies added.  Other times we get more elaborate, but when doing multiple courses we wind up having some of it cool off a bit so we lean more towards one pot type stuff.

A bag of salad tops off a simple meal nicely.

Fresh local veggies are great and we have done just about whatever we found fresh and local.  Some of it is boiled stuff like corn on the cob, cabbage, potatoes, etc.  If we can get fresh green beans, squash, zucchini, tomatoes, cucumbers, or lettuce we grab it up.

Stir fry type stuff works well too, either from scratch or from a bag.

We found chili that we liked in a box (I forget the brand) and also ate some canned stuff like baked beans.

We tend to do more elaborate multiple dish meals when we have a fire to cook some stuff on and keep things warm.

We have done things like eggs (fried, hard boiled, soft boiled), fried potatoes, or pancakes, but usually just eat a granola bar or oatmeal in camp and eat second breakfast on the road.

This message was edited by staehpj1 on 10-6-08 @ 9:36 AM

Gear Talk / Touring Stove
« on: October 04, 2008, 10:05:15 am »
Three of us were traveling together and a gallon is still way too much to carry IMO.  Even with a group of three I don't think I would want to have more than a quart.  A gallon of white gas is a lot of cooking and a lot of weight.

If I were only going to cook one meal I would do without, but on a long tour I prefer to cook a good portion of the time.  I do like to eat in a restaurant about once per day on average though and often eat cold breakfast and lunch.

Gear Talk / Touring Stove
« on: October 03, 2008, 12:18:56 pm »
The reason I don't like white gas (Coleman fuel) is that it is often available only in gallons.  If you stay in campgrounds, you might be able to buy smaller quantities from other campers.  I have seen it in what I think were quart sized containers, but the gallon can still seems to be what is most often available.  I sure don't want to carry a gallon of fuel.

If you want a similar type stove, one of the multi-fuel models will burn gasoline which is always available on the road.

This message was edited by staehpj1 on 10-3-08 @ 9:19 AM

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