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Messages - staehpj1

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Gear Talk / Re: Best rear panniers for a size 13 shoe
« on: April 20, 2010, 07:40:58 am »
As has been said a lot of this is how and where they are mounted on the rack.  You don't necessarily need especially large panniers, maybe consider using smallish ones.  Are you planning to use front and rear panniers?  If so I find that I can get by fine with smallish panniers regardless of trip length.  On the Trans America the rear panniers I used were actually supposed to be front panniers and I had way more than enough space.

Remember that you can always carry lighter, but bulky items like sleeping bag or sleeping pad on the top of the rear rack if you need to.  Also I always carry the tent there, since I see no point in putting a damp tent in a pannier with dry stuff.  I roll the tent with the waterproof bottom on the outside and it doesn't seem to get any wetter inside sitting on the rear rack even in an all day rain.

General Discussion / Re: bike security while sleeping
« on: April 19, 2010, 07:02:13 am »
Suggest you carry a combination lock; too easy to lose a key.
Putting a lock through the rear mech will not stop anyone from carrying off the bike.

david boise ID
I agree on both points.  Of the very few bikes that I know of that were stolen from touring cyclists none were thought to have been ridden off.   Generally they are thrown in the back of a truck.  A lock that only prevents riding the bike is pretty useless.

Gear Talk / Re: What's your favorite 100 mile unweighted bike?
« on: April 18, 2010, 06:16:40 pm »
A go fast road bike would be my choice.  I almost never ride my touring bike unless loaded touring.

General Discussion / Re: (Ireland to...) Vancouver to San Francisco
« on: April 17, 2010, 07:27:19 pm »
Sounds like fun...  The Pacific coast is beautiful and there are hiker/biker sites pretty frequently.  There will be traffic, but it will be manageable.

Be sure to enjoy the seafood, there are some nice little "fish shacks" along the way.  I still remember the oysters I had for lunch in 2007 at the Waldport Seafood Company.

It is a great place to tour and the end of June should provide decent weather.

General Discussion / Re: bike security while sleeping
« on: April 16, 2010, 06:53:51 pm »
Out of curiousity, how many of you pull your bag/panniers into your tent when you sleep?

This is something I plan on doing.

Not me.

Gear Talk / Re: stove or no?
« on: April 15, 2010, 06:16:04 pm »
We are planning to ride the transam.  Many of the journals indicate that people end up sending their stoves home, and eating most meals in cafes, etc.  I am thinking of just my pocket rocket and a kettle to boil h2o.  Or should I be prepared with something to make real dinners with?  We plan on camping 2/3 of the time.
Thanks, Keith
We camped most of the time and generally cooked at least one meal a day.  We took only one pot and still managed some fairly elaborate meals even if one part of the meal may have gotten cool while the other cooked.  Sometimes we did one pot meals and sometimes we just cooked three different courses separately and hoped they didn't get too cold.  When we had a fire we sometimes heated one thing in a can, cooked another in a pot, and roasted a third on sticks over the fire.

I'll warn you that you will not find fuel for the pocket rocket very much between Pueblo and Virginia.  We tried sporting goods stores, walmarts, and just about everywhere with no luck.  That was 2007, but I doubt it has changed much.  If you are going to use the pocket rocket you might arrange to have someone mail fuel to you care of general delivery.  You can mail isobutane fuel via ground mail (domestic mail only and a limit of three cartridges). The package must have the following label attached on the address side of the package:
"Surface Mail Only
Consumer commodity

General delivery is so handy as long as someone at home is willing to mail you stuff.  We also when given a lot of dried food split it into lots and mailed them to ourselves down the road.  If we went through the town before we needed it or when the post office was closed we just stopped at some other post office and arranged for it to be forwarded further down the road (no extra charge).  Sometimes we forwarded stuff several times.

General Discussion / Re: where do we sleep on the TransAm
« on: April 15, 2010, 10:25:17 am »
hey guys, i am going to be riding the TransAm starting this May. there are 4 riders and two drivers. the biggest question we all have is where we will sleep. i am also purchasing the maps for this rout. please any tips or hints would be amazing! thank you all for your wisdom!
I missed the part about 2 drivers.  I think that having a car or van involved will really limit your options some places.  It will eliminate hiker/biker sites as an option for one thing and that means you will need reservations in some places.  At least the car can go ahead and scope things out reserving a site early where needed though.

I think we would not have had the same invites to stay with hosts if we had a car along.  I also would have felt awkward asking to stay at churches and so on.  I am not sure if it is likely to be a problem when staying in town parks.

Personally, I consider a motor vehicle for support as a major detractor from the total experience.  We did have vehicle support for a few days in Virginia and it was nice, but I definitely think we would have missed out on a ton of great experiences if we had that same support for the rest of the country.  In Virginia we didn't get the same feel for the area as we did the rest of the country.  It was worth it because we had great experiences with the friends and family that helped us, but I definitely would not have wanted it for the whole tour.

Just something to consider.

General Discussion / Re: where do we sleep on the TransAm
« on: April 14, 2010, 12:37:09 pm »
Don't miss the J.C. Motel (or whatever it's called these days) in Jerrfrey City, WY.  Real swanky.  ;D
Was that a joke?

Any way in Jeffrey City the old abandoned Lions Club pavilion is not bad to camp under.  It is across the road from the diner.  Just use the bathroom and fill water bottles at the diner before they close.

On the TA we camped in town parks and stayed in churches when we could.  Both were free.  We stayed in inexpensive camp sites when possible and only stayed in KOA type places a few times.  The TA maps usually list the options, but we just improvised when off of the route or places where nothing was listed.  In the middle of the country you can generally camp in the town parks for free with no hassle.  When in doubt ask the local police if the town is big enough to have police.

Ask around if in doubt; librarians, store clerks, wait staff, police, clergy, and folks you meet are all good sources.  We never hit a town where we couldn't find a place to stay, usually for free or cheap.

If you get a room always tell them you are bicycling coast to coast and ask for a "cyclists discount"  you will usually get one if you ask.  Try it at campgrounds as well.

Oh, also stop and compare notes with cyclists going the other way.  We got some great leads on places to stay or visit that way.

All that said, I didn't get much experience in eastern Virginia because we stayed with family and friends.

Insect repellent spray and coils. Fold as fold may. No problem. Cold winter, mosquitoes retreat. I've tarped many many nights. Insects? Easy to defeat their purpose.
Different strokes, but I don't consider sprays and coils as an adequate solution.  I tend to be a bug magnet though and also would prefer to keep the amount of DEET or other repellents on my skin at a minimum.

On the other hand we met one guy who was doing fine and was about 70% of the way toward completing the TA with no tent, no tarp, and no bivy.  He was traveling really light and said he slept in the open, under picnic pavilions, and even in doorways of public buildings.

Sorry, I read it too fast.  I rode with a guy once who used a floorless tent, pyramid shaped, and put a tarp on the ground.  Bugs can get in that setup.  I misread the previous posts and thought they were about a tent that did not come all the way down, like my partner's.  You're right.  The fly need not reach the ground, as the tent provides the seal.  Mea culpa.
No problem...  I thought maybe you misunderstood.


And I would agree with it.  A couple of times, I've used a tent with even a small hole in it.  This has led to the sleepless nights of bug hell.

The bugs will find a way in if there are any breaks in the seal.  I deal with the hot, muggy problem with a tent with mest ceiling.

Not sure I follow.  What does the fly have to do with bugs getting in or not?  The inner tent's job is to keep the bugs out, the fly is to keep rain out.  You can leave the fly off entirely and remain bug free, having a gap at the bottom of the fly in no way that I can see causes bugs to get in.

I have camped a lot of nights in some of the most bug infested country with the fly left off entirely with no bug problems.

you need a fly that goes all the way to the ground.
have fun-janet
I would disagree with that one at least for most of the times and places I have toured.  I found that for us on the Trans America and other shorter trips the bigger problem we had was lack of sufficient ventilation, not lack of coverage.  Even with a tent with fairly minimal overhangs on the ends and sides that were above the ground by design we needed to use sticks to prop the sides of the fly up to allow more air to circulate under.  That was a record hot summer for much of our route that year though, so in cooler wetter weather maybe I would have felt differently, but...  While we did tough out a few storms, we spend MANY hot dry nights wishing for more movement of air.

On the TA we tended to spent a lot of nights under town park pavilion roofs so we could leave the fly off.  I miss that now that I have a single wall tent.

Routes / Re: When to Start?
« on: April 06, 2010, 07:32:38 am »
It usually makes sense to start later or start in the East.  I am not sure what conditions are this year though.

In any case have a great trip.

Routes / Re: Katy Trail and Trans Am
« on: April 02, 2010, 05:53:56 pm »
If you go to the crazy guy on a bike site and search for "TransAmerica Katy" you will get a bunch of hits for journals.

Routes / Re: Katy Trail and Trans Am
« on: April 02, 2010, 01:51:25 pm »
Different strokes, but I thought the roads AC picked were really nice and wouldn't go out of my way to hit they Katy.  That said, I should qualify by saying that I am just generally averse to bike trails in general and have not ridden the Katy Trail.

Looking at the map, it shouldn't be hard to reroute to the Katy if you choose to.  I wouldn't though.

On the eastern end it should be easy to connect to the TA at Murphysboro.  On the western end it is pretty easy to just pick secondary roads in western Missouri and Eastern Kansas.

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