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Messages - staehpj1

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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

Gear Talk / Touring Stove
« on: October 02, 2008, 06:02:59 pm »
Check out:

One of the easier ones to find is sold at gas stations and general stores as gas-line antifreeze such as HEET brand (Yellow is Methanol, Red is Isopropyl. You want the Methanol).

Gear Talk / Touring Stove
« on: October 02, 2008, 03:00:18 pm »
I loved the Pocket Rocket we used on the Trans America, but it was impossible to find fuel for in the middle of the country.  I suggest two possible solutions.
  • Use a stove the burns alcohol, gasoline, or white gas.
  • Ship isobutane fuel to yourself or have someone at home do it for you via ground mail (domestic mail only). The package must have the following label attached on the address side of the package:

"Surface Mail Only
Consumer commodity
In any case getting stuff at post offices via general delivery is a great tool if you have someone at home to ship for you.

If I travel alone and don't plan any elaborate cooking, I am likely to just use a pepsi can stove.

This message was edited by staehpj1 on 10-2-08 @ 12:03 PM

Gear Talk / Sandals
« on: October 01, 2008, 08:03:26 am »
Some riders love sandals and some don't...

Another answer for wide feet are the Sidi Mega sized shoes.  They are available in variously priced models.   I like the lower priced Bullet 2's since I am not a fan of sandals for riding and prefer a well fitting shoe with a good bit of mesh.

Gear Talk / Carbon Road Bike pulling a BOB
« on: September 29, 2008, 09:21:38 am »
I wouldn't worry except for being sure you have adequately low gearing.  I wouldn't want to carry much weight with road bike gearing and the hills you will find on the PCH.

Gear Talk / Racks & Panniers
« on: October 10, 2008, 10:27:13 am »
Westinghouse's comments about gear are interesting and worth considering.  I agree that there is way too much emphasis on brands and the supposed need for the ultimate this or that.

The comment, "Inexperienced cyclists get over consumed with the question of what gear to bring, and with which brand names to have" struck me as a bit off though.  My observation is that this is often even more the case with experienced ones.  When it is a shame is when potential tourists think they need to have this and that expensive item and a custom build on their bike.  Then again I think that a lot of them are more into the tinkering and gear than riding or touring.  If they enjoy that I guess it is OK, but it seems kind of sad to me.

The bottom line is that once some reasonable threshold is reached, the experience of the trip isn't changed much by the gear.  Bike touring for me isn't as much about the stuff as it is about the people and the experience.

As far as improvising panniers goes... Nothing wrong with improvising, but I don't see the need when you can buy panniers designed as such for pretty cheaply.  Nashbar and Performance seem to always have their Waterproof models on sale and usually have a coupon code.  I found their Waterproof models to be very sturdy and functional while still being a lot lighter than their much more expensive competition.  Right now Performance has their large ones on sale for $69.99 and small ones for $54.99.  There is also a 15% off coupon in effect (check the coupon forum on bikeforums).  Also if they have a store in your area, the ship to store option gives free shipping.  If you watch the sales closely you can most likely get all 4 panniers for $100.  I am sure others like MEC in Canada offer similar good deals on decent quality equipment.

Gear Talk / Racks & Panniers
« on: September 25, 2008, 06:44:21 pm »
We used a cheap (like $80 or 90 new) Eureka Tetragon 8 tent.  It is supposed to sleep 4 and was 9 pounds.  It worked out OK for the three of us, but lighter would have been nice.  It looks like the fly on the new version of this tent is different than ours, not sure how good or bad that is.

Weather varies from year to year, but I thought that our June 11th start was on the early side.  We were fine and the weather wasn't bad, but take some warm clothes if starting that early.  You can mail them home later.  Also there is a real chance that McKenzie Pass will still be closed.  Don't miss it if it is open, but if it is closed you can take Santiam pass.

BTW: McKenzie is sometimes open to bikes before it is for cars.  If you catch it then it is cool to ride it with no traffic.

This message was edited by staehpj1 on 9-25-08 @ 3:46 PM

Gear Talk / Racks & Panniers
« on: September 25, 2008, 09:37:32 am »
FWIW: We found the Blackburn EX-1 rear rack to be a fine choice.  For front racks we liked the Nashbar (or Performance) clones of the Blackburn Lowrider.

Also if interested in a group of first timers doing the TA check out our journal and while there read lots of other folks journals.  There is a lot that can be learned that way.

Gear Talk / Racks & Panniers
« on: September 25, 2008, 09:32:07 am »
I forgot to answer about panniers.  We used Nashbar waterproof and Transit Pros (non waterproof), so I can't speak specifically to you panniers.  In the non waterproof bags just pack everything in plastic bags. It helps organize stuff any way.  Sip locks for some stuff and kitchen sized or trash compactor bags for larger stuff.  We did something like one ziplock for clean clothes, one for worn but not filthy, and one for sweaty and disgusting not to be worn without laundering.  Same for other stuff that needs to be dry.  I tend to do the plastic bag thing just to organize stuff even in waterproof panniers.

Gear Talk / Racks & Panniers
« on: September 25, 2008, 09:25:19 am »
It depends on when you leave, whether you start in the East or West. and your luck with the weather. The following worked OK for me with a June 11th start in Florence OR:
Cycling shorts (2 pair)
Cycling tights
Cycling jersey short sleeved (2)
Cycling gloves
Cycling shoes
Socks (2pr coolmax 1 pr wool)
Warm shirt (Immersion Research)
Tee shirt (2 Under Armor Heat Gear)
Underwear (1 pr Under Armor short boxer briefs)
Regular boxers (sleepwear where modesty was a concern)
Bike hat
Long pants with zip off legs (lightweight)
Cap (thin skull cap)
Rain gear (cheap non-breathable REI)
Sandals (Crocs)
Swim suit

This list could be trimmed a bit if desired.  For example depending on the choices the windbreaker and rain jacket could possibly be one item.  Maybe the same for the boxers and swim trunks.

Also remember that it isn't hard to sent stuff to and from home as the climate or needs change.  The post office and general delivery are your friends.

Gear Talk / BRP Bike Help
« on: September 24, 2008, 10:11:58 am »
You will want lower gearing.  The climbs on the Parkway are fairly steep and if you need to stay off the parkway you will be likely to have a VERY steep climb to get back on.  I would not find a 39-25 to be low enough.  A 26-32 is a good idea and a 24-34 even better.

Especially if you go fairly light, rear rack and panniers only should suffice.  This will depend on what you and your gear weigh.

This message was edited by staehpj1 on 9-24-08 @ 7:13 AM

Gear Talk / Ortlieb Dry Bag
« on: September 22, 2008, 08:26:10 am »
Valygrl is on target here, but I will add some comments about what has worked for me.

You can roll a tent in a way that it is a pretty waterproof package.  The floors are quite waterproof so with that on the outside I have never felt the need to protect the packed tent from the rain.  My tent is always packed on top of the rack and never in a pannier.  I never bother to cover it or put in in anything other than the sack that came with it (I'm not even sure if that is waterproof, but I think not).  It does not seem to ever get any wetter while rolled up even in the rain all day.

My sleeping bag always gets stowed in a waterproof pannier or in a plastic bag in a non waterproof pannier.

My sleeping pad travels usually travels in it's non waterproof stuff sack on the rack too, but gets a plastic bag over it when it rains.  I have also carried it in a pannier though.

It isn't the end of the world if my sleeping pad gets wet.  It can be toweled off pretty quickly and well, so of the three items the only one that is a huge deal about keeping dry is the sleeping bag.

Gear Talk / mtb shoes
« on: September 23, 2008, 09:51:39 am »
I hear that Egg Beaters are less prone to problems when packed with mud than most, but I prefer a pedal that offers minimal float.  I have always used spd on the mtb and touring bike and been happy.  I want my feet to automatically be in the same position.  I see no reason for more that 4 degrees of float unless you are unable to adjust your cleats properly or have some weird orthopedic problems.

Gear Talk / touring seat
« on: September 30, 2008, 02:00:01 pm »
Yeah that sounds like the one I was thinking of.  I had forgotten that they had the vertical springs in the back.  I am sure there are still lots of them sitting dust covered on the shelf of some shop.  I hadn't though about it, but there might still be one in my Dad's garage if so it would be used and at least 25 years old.  If I run across one here I will let you know.

I am not terribly fussy about saddles, but I agree that "fashion" or "high end" are pretty irrelevant.  I tend to like low end racing style saddles just fine, even very low priced ones.  For me this is lucky since the saddles that come on most bikes suit me fine even for long distance touring.

I am convinced that a lot of folks like stuff not in spite of the fact that is expensive, but because of it.

Everyone is different though.  If a very expensive saddle or a $12 vinyl covered one is what someone finds works for them it is all good.

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