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Messages - staehpj1

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Gear Talk / Re: Impressions on the Jamis Aurora Elite (2009 Model)
« on: April 30, 2009, 08:13:44 am »
Sounds interesting.  Keep us posted on the route choices.  Do you have a journal somewhere?

Gear Talk / Re: Impressions on the Jamis Aurora Elite (2009 Model)
« on: April 30, 2009, 07:48:25 am »
Good luck with whatever you choose.  It sounds like you are going with the Elite.  It wouldn't be my choice, but I am sure you can make it work for you.

Have a great tour this summer.  What route are you taking?

Gear Talk / Re: Impressions on the Jamis Aurora Elite (2009 Model)
« on: April 29, 2009, 04:36:55 pm »
Ok.....I just want to make sure that everybody is talking about he same bike....I have been asking about the Jamis Aurora 2009 model which is pretty seriously overhauled from last year.
Yep. That is the one I was looking at the specs for
Too bad they make such stupid component choices (for touring) on the Elite.

Gear Talk / Re: Impressions on the Jamis Aurora Elite (2009 Model)
« on: April 29, 2009, 01:57:01 pm »
I have a friend the rides a Cannondale T-2000 (now called the Touring-2).  It is in the same price range as the Aurora Elite, and has mostly sensible components on it.  The Cannondale touring bikes have that shorter wheelbase more nimble ride.  So far Cannodale has stayed true and not bastardized the bike with a cheap Chinese made carbon fiber fork.

So perhaps a Touring-2 would be a good alternative.
I agree with all of that about the Aurora and Aurora Elite.  I also agree that the Touring 2 is a nice touring bike.  Not to quibble too much but... The wheelbase is a bit longer on the Cannondale touring models than on either Aurora though.

General Discussion / Re: Violent Crime Alert Atlantic Coast Route
« on: April 29, 2009, 08:26:03 am »
This isn't anything I would get too excited about when touring.  I agree that much of the crime is drug related.  Also when on tour, most riders do not spend much time in urban areas, I know that I don't.

Gear Talk / Re: Impressions on the Jamis Aurora Elite (2009 Model)
« on: April 29, 2009, 07:39:21 am »
Everything about the frame would probably suit me fine for loaded touring.  I like my touring bike geometry a little on the roadie side.

I don't think the component choices on the elite make a lick of sense.  The Elite frame with the regular Aurora's components would be nice if they sold it that way, but I would stick with the regular Aurora if I had to choose between the two for loaded touring.

I don't think that you will find much in the way of 10 speed cassettes with the right range.

General Discussion / Re: Touring Wired, Wireless, Etc.
« on: April 28, 2009, 09:40:24 am »
Electronic stuff is neat to own, but how do you keep it from being stolen while you're in the market replenishing your food stuffs?  How do you keep it dry?
My handlebar bag goes with me everywhere regardless and is waterproof so neither of these are concerns.

I agree that less is more, but...  I am starting to shift more toward using some lightweight electronics in lieu of paper.  It is getting to the point where taking an ipod shuffle with audio books and something like a Nokia N800 can be less weight and bulk than a paper notebook, pencil, and a paperback to read.  I spec'ed out both ways and come up lighter with the ipod and N800 even including all the associated chargers and so on.  My thinking now favors using electronics over paper even more if your cell phone is email capable like for example a black berry.  Emails to home can easily serve as your notes and journal entries.  I prefer not to pay for data service on my cell though.

I don't want to carry even a mini laptop though.  Still, I can see how others might choose to given how small and light they are becoming.

Gear Talk / Re: Impressions on the Jamis Aurora Elite (2009 Model)
« on: April 25, 2009, 07:22:58 pm »
Personally I think a lot of the components on the regular Aurora actually more suitable for touring.  Nicer tube set and wheels are a plus on the elite, I don't think the 10 speed stuff is.

I consider STI to be a plus and the Tiagra stuff is fine.  STI is plenty reliable and much nicer IMO.  Some like bar end shifters and that is fine, but I think you will like the STI if you give it a chance.

On the size issue...  23" for 5'9" sounds big to me unless he is all legs, but I like small frames.  It depends more on inseam than height though.  If your dad indeed has a 23" frame it might be fine for you if you aren't into the big frame thing.  Some folks like the kind of fit Rivendell advises.  They are on the extreme large end of the scale though.  I use their chart as a reality check, but go 2 sizes (that is sizes not inches) smaller.

My point is that none of this is etched in stone.  While I am 5'9" and an 18 or 19" frame is ideal for the riding position I prefer someone else may be happy on a 23" frame even with the same height and inseam as me.

The Elite or the regular Aurora are both OK for a long tour except the gearing is pretty iffy especially on the Elite.  I would recommend at least a smaller inner ring.  Personally I think the regular Aurora is more suitable for a Trans America type tour especially if you fit a 24 or 26t inner ring.

General Discussion / Re: Safety issues for solo biking
« on: April 22, 2009, 07:41:07 pm »
I definately agree with the cell phone suggestion.  That is the most important thing I carry with me!
Not me.  It never has occurred to me that a cell phone was an essential safety item.  That may be because I grew up years before they existed.  A cell phone is handy for checking on available camp sites or for calling home once in a while.  I call the police or sheriffs office, but only to touch base on where we are staying.  I think it is a long shot that it would ever be used in an emergency except an accident, in which case everyone else on the road has a phone.  We did have one time when one of us was injured in a crash, but there was no signal any way.  I'd say that a very substantial portion of the time on the TransAmerica we had no signal.  We flagged down a car who gave her and her bike a lift back to the town we had passed that morning so she could get treatment there.

All that said, if I didn't need to call family once in a while I might not bother carrying one.

General Discussion / Re: Safety issues for solo biking
« on: April 20, 2009, 02:26:02 pm »
To me the risks are mostly traffic related and pretty much that same as when riding at home.

Gear Talk / Re: Inexpensive Touring Gear
« on: April 20, 2009, 02:23:59 pm »
If you could guarantee trees on your route, you should consider a camping hammock instead of a tent.  I think these are in the $130-$150 range.  This is a about the price of a low end solo tent, and no Thermarest is needed.  I might try to go this route, but I upgraded my tent and mat last season.  The hammocks are strung between trees, and you enter from the bottom.  They looked really nice.  I thought REI carried them at one point.  Googling camping hammock should get you close.
Since the OP said they were doing the TA I would advise against the hammock.  There were a lot of places on the TA where I didn't see trees for days.  I think it was for good reason that the cyclists I met on the TA pretty much all were using tents.  I don't have anything against hammocks and would consider one myself, but on a route like the TA I consider it a poor choice.

Gear Talk / Re: 4 Front (small) panniers?
« on: April 19, 2009, 06:57:05 pm »
Yes.  I have done exactly that on a 73 day tour.  It worked fine. 

General Discussion / Re: RI TO Key West tour
« on: April 19, 2009, 11:20:41 am »
Get a bike and panniers. Get maps. Go.
Seriously that is about it.  The Adventure Cycling Atlantic Coast route is what I would probably do.

Will you be camping? Cooking?  Have you toured before?  Are you an experienced camper?  Those would all affect my answers if you want more details.

Gear Talk / Re: I want to tour …cheeply
« on: April 16, 2009, 07:22:35 am »
Check the "Inexpensive Touring Gear" thread in the general discussion forum.

Gear Talk / Re: Does anybody bring a cooler on the tour?
« on: April 16, 2009, 07:19:27 am »
Nope, never done that and never seen anyone on the road with one.  For beer it would only keep it cold for a very short while unless you carried ice.  Drink your beer while it is still cold, drink it warm, or cool it in a mountain stream.

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