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Messages - staehpj1

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Routes / Re: Safety of Southern Tier near Border
« on: January 02, 2016, 01:16:46 pm »
I didn't consider it especially dangerous when I rode it.

General Discussion / Re: Down Tube Shifters
« on: January 02, 2016, 01:14:52 pm »
Pete Staehling is the only person I've seen advocating for downtube shifters.
Not sure I exactly advocate for them, but I do like them pretty well myself.  I also like brifters quite well, but have a dislike of bar end shifters.

On the original question.  I like that they are simple, work well, are very reliable, and are out of the way.

Gear Talk / Re: Lookin for rain poncho
« on: December 30, 2015, 06:51:21 am »
I really don't think I would want to ride in a poncho.  There is something called a rain cape that might suit you.  Google "rain cape cycling".  I never tried one though.  I just expect to get wet and wear a windproof jacket over clothing that is warm enough when wet.

Gear Talk / Re: Drivetrain HELP
« on: December 29, 2015, 10:21:09 am »
Your lbs has mislead you at best, outright lied to you at worst. Shimano square taper bb's are widely available and cheap, and remain the bb of choice for cycle tourists.
I agree that square taper is fine, but would question whether they are necessarily "the bb of choice for cycle tourists".  If I were building from scratch I would at least consider a more modern choice.  I wouldn't change cranks and BB to get away from a square taper though.

General Discussion / Re: Riding Amtrak from Washington DC to Cumberland MD
« on: December 26, 2015, 09:04:32 am »
I have not ridden that line with bike and gear, but have taken trains and other public transportation quite a bit before.  I have taken a few approaches.

One was to strap the pairs of bags together to make 4 panniers into two items.  The clerk said it was fine, but this was on a different line and I have heard of others being told that it wasn't.

A safer bet is to buy a cheap duffle bag and cram everything in it.  Walmart has the "Protege 32" Expandable Rolling Duffel Bag" for $14.  I have used them a number of times for a flight home and all my gear usually fit, but if you need more space they have a smaller model that you can put the overflow in and take as a carry on.  I typically buy them in the city where I finish my tour, but other options are possible.  You could ship it to yourself via general delivery; or arrange for a bike shop, warm showers host, or motel you plan to stay at to accept it and hold it for you.  Once the bags start to get pretty beat up I use them to get to the start of a tour and throw them away.

If you must carry it on the bike with you they make big light bags for backpackers to carry large backpacks in.

Another option would be to find a cardboard box or boxes a suitable size and pack them up.  I have flown this way with no issues.

General Discussion / Re: (Catastrophic) injury insurance while cycling?
« on: December 26, 2015, 08:47:43 am »
The only reason I can see for additional coverage is if your current coverage wouldn't cover you while on tour.  For example if you will be in a country that they won't cover you.  I really don't see a tour as increasing the likelihood of serious injury.  You could be just as easily be injured in your normal daily life.  I figure that I am more likely to suffer serious injury around town at home than when on tour.

Basically, my opinion boils down to this.  If you need additional coverage you need it all the time, going on a tour doesn't cause a need for additional coverage IMO.

General Discussion / Re: Cost of a cross country USA trip?
« on: December 24, 2015, 10:12:52 am »
I also run for a living so I'm fairly use to running 10-15 miles a day and only eating an apple before/after for example.

I congratulate you, sir, for the most excellent troll.  You kept us all going for two months!

For the rest of the group, is it better not to respond to a troll?  Or, knowing these threads get randomly pulled up years later, is it necessary to respond to mis-information that might get someone in trouble if not corrected?
Not sure that makes him a troll.  I don't run for a living, but I have been a very active trail runner on and off in the past and often went out to run 10-15 miles before breakfast.  I do find that on tour I prefer to nibble pretty much constantly, but I have no reason to doubt his comment.  As far as leading others astray, he didn't suggest that others could necessarily do likewise.

General Discussion / Re: Cost of a cross country USA trip?
« on: December 22, 2015, 04:37:29 pm »
There's no need to get a hotel even in the worst of the worst weather but to each their own.
Need? Maybe not, but a tour is a vacation not a test of how much you can suffer through.  So it isn't unreasonable to get a room now and then. I have weathered some pretty bad weather camping, but also have gotten a room when I felt like it.  Nothing wrong with either way.

General Discussion / Re: Cost of a cross country USA trip?
« on: December 22, 2015, 11:49:21 am »
Ummmm - 90 stops?
Don't overplan - it never turns out the way you plan it.
A rigid schedule can become a straight-jacket.
Yeah, I find that it works out best to just wing it and be flexible.  A rigid schedule would suck much of the joy out of the trip for me.

I do look ahead a few days in the west just because the wide spacing of towns might affect where I choose to stop today, so I can make a particular town tomorrow.  Otherwise you may unnecessarily wind up having to do a lot longer or shorter day than you want.  Big climbs may factor in as well.  In the heat I try to hit them in the AM when possible and may choose stops based on that.  I definitely never plan my stops more that three days ahead.

That said, the majority of the time I don't know for sure where I will be stopping until I am there.  With that approach we still managed to spend on average less than $5 per day for camping/lodging on the TA.

General Discussion / Re: Cost of a cross country USA trip?
« on: December 22, 2015, 09:23:37 am »
Slight change of subject on this thread but i am actually interested in the wheres and hows for camping on the TA route.
Two points that may help...
1. The ACA does a pretty good job of documenting places to stay along the route including free ones.
2. Using the ACA recommended places will help you get a feel for what is and isn't OK, which will vary some depending on where you are.  Impromptu camping gets stickier near either coast, and is usually pretty well accepted in the middle of the country especially in small towns.

General Discussion / Re: bike vs. bike
« on: December 19, 2015, 07:26:30 pm »
My style leans toward a heavier load and a touring bike to carry the load and me, while Pete is one of the main proponents of ultra-light loading and normal road bikes.
That is true enough, but even when I was doing heavy touring I still didn't like the more truck like touring bikes.  So I don't think they are a slam dunk for everyone, even fairly heavily loaded tourists.  It is tough for someone new to touring to know what they will prefer until they have at least a few hundred touring miles under their belt.  For someone who doesn't know, I do think erring on the truck side is a safer bet, since some folks don't find the twitchier bikes as safe.

General Discussion / Re: bike vs. bike
« on: December 19, 2015, 04:51:47 pm »
I think it is personal preference. I like my bikes a bit more nimble than dedicated touring bikes tend to be.  Some people feel the opposite. 

Routes / Re: Southern Tier with no camping?
« on: December 18, 2015, 05:53:24 pm »
I wasn't really paying that much attention to whether it would be possible to motel it when I was riding the ST, but my impression is that there would be some pretty long days.  Maybe going off route in places might help, but I am not sure you could do it without doing some 80-100+ mile days.  Even then it would involve a lot of planning and length of riding days would be dictated by available lodging so you would likely have some very long and some very short days.  I recall there being a lot of empty space.

General Discussion / Re: First cross country tour-Help a guy out
« on: December 18, 2015, 10:46:00 am »
+1. And as John N notes, you have additional capacity for those situations where you might need to pack extra water and food. During a tour across PA last year I had to carry lunch, dinner and breakfast food as well as snacks because there was nothing on route to my destination and nothing for about 15 miles the next morning.
A lot of this depends on how much you are carrying.  I figure that 4 panniers start to make sense at somewhere above 30 pounds base gear weight (not counting food, water, or other consumables).

You do need to be able to carry enough to get by without resupply on some tours, so it is something to consider.  Still even with very minimal baggage I have always been able to jam everything I needed in even when my bags seemed pretty tightly packed already.  Worst case I have managed to carry 3 or 4 liters of water in jersey pockets.  That was a little bit much but you use water pretty quickly so it was only a hassle for a short while.  Taking along a little 2-1/2 ounce Sea2Summit backpack (or even a 12 ounce REI Flash 18) is a good solution for those rare days you need to go without services for a whole day and have some overflow.  I actually find I like to wear it most of the time on some tours to hold the items I want to carry with me when off the bike as well as the items I will want at rest stops.  I typically never have more than 2 pounds in it unless it is one of those all day and overnight without resupply days.  It is nice to have along for day hikes and grocery runs.

At 215 lbs. riding a 60cm LHT, the additional weight of a front rack and two Sport Packers panniers is a very small percentage increase. It's even smaller when you factor in the weight of everything else.
This line of thinking can be a bad idea IMO, at least if you want to pack light.  It is better too look at each decision based on the relative weights for that item only.  If you use percentage of total load as the measure of whether an items is too heavy it can yield huge weight increases.  There are many little choices and they add up even when each one is only a few ounces or even less.  The a major portion of cutting my base weight from 45 pounds to 15 or less was cutting an ounce or a few ounces here and there.  If you make 50 decisions that add only an ounce or two each you have added 5 or more pounds.

My advice is to carry what you need to be happy, but at the same time be diligent in weeding out unneeded items and heavier than necessary ones.  I think this is a good policy for everyone whether heavy, medium, light, or ultralight packers.

General Discussion / Re: First cross country tour-Help a guy out
« on: December 16, 2015, 06:37:49 am »
1. Sure, but it depends on your packing style.  I am not a fan of trunk bags, but some like them.  My suggestion is to worry about what you will carry first, what you will put it in next, and what bike to hang it on last.  Once you have your gear assembled you can better choose bags and bike.
2. I stopped carrying a dedicated GPS for on road touring.  I just didn't find it necessary.  Now that my phone has a GPS, I use it once in a while to reality check where I am or to find some needed service.

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