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Messages - staehpj1

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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.

Gear Talk / nashbar panniers
« on: December 25, 2008, 09:50:39 am »
Good luck with them.  We liked ours and they held up well.  A few tips...
  • The metal hooks on the bungees are easy to lose when the carried off the bike.  Be careful about that.
  • Some people complained about the rivets tearing out.  We never had a problem with ours, but if you do just use bolts and fender washers.
  • Thinking back the one issue we did have on one set was the little velcro straps coming loose.  They are easy to stitch back on and it isn't a problem to go without one until you do.
  • Things that you want to get to quick can be tucked under a flap.  Just be sure they are secure enough that they don't slide out.  Depending on the day we might have a warm shirt or a rain jacket there.  It saved digging.

This message was edited by staehpj1 on 12-25-08 @ 6:53 AM

Gear Talk / nashbar panniers
« on: December 24, 2008, 11:51:06 am »
Three of us used them for a coast to coast tour in 2007 (4244 miles 73 days).  One set of them has been used for daily commuting half of the time since then.  They have also been used to tote groceries a bit.  All are still like new and there have been zero problems with them.  I would definitely buy again if I didn't already have them.  As it is I expect them to last for many thousands of additional miles.

Clearance should not be a problem.

This message was edited by staehpj1 on 12-24-08 @ 8:52 AM

Gear Talk / Moutain bike Lights
« on: December 29, 2008, 09:53:12 am »
"however watts are watts"

Maybe with regard to battery life, but not with regard to light output.

FWIW: I mostly only use lights to be seen, especially when touring.  I used to use lights more to see when I did night time single tracking.  Even then I never used really bright lights. (at least partly because we probably weren't supposed to be there at night, but mostly because I am cheap).  It is fun to single track with minimal light or no lights if the moon is up.

Gear Talk / Rear bike rack
« on: November 30, 2008, 02:51:12 pm »
I like the Blackburn EX-1.  Reasonable price and pretty sturdy.

Gear Talk / Kamp Rite pop upcamper
« on: December 06, 2008, 06:11:14 pm »
I personally would pass, but I guess it depends on how and where you plan to tour.  If it is flat and you plan to poke along doing low mileage you might be able to make it work.

Remember that this rig is as heavy as a bike, racks, panniers, tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, stove, and all of the other gear you need for a cross country tour if you pack carefully.

Gear Talk / STI vs. Bar ends
« on: November 24, 2008, 07:00:19 am »
Yes true, but Tiagras are cheaper and work fine.  There are touring bikes on the market that are about the same price as an LHT or cheaper and come with STI.

Gear Talk / STI vs. Bar ends
« on: November 23, 2008, 10:18:34 am »
The wheelbase should have nothing to do with whether your knees clear barend shifters.  I may be your bars are too narrow or you stem too short.

I wouldn't choose stem length or bar width just to accommodate bar end shifters.  The suggestion of cutting off a bit of the bar is a good idea though if you really want to use bar ends.

Personally bar ends would be way down on my list of choices anyway.  Different strokes.

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