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Messages - staehpj1

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General Discussion / Re: general advice on making a tour happen
« on: June 27, 2014, 02:03:27 pm »
Reading too much will be likely to make you think you need a lot of stuff that is definitely not necessary.

For me, it was just the opposite. The more I read, the more I saw how much trouble people had early in their tours with overloaded bikes and how much stuff they mailed home. So all that reading convinced me of several things: (1) Don't send stuff home--leave it home in the first place, (2) Take stuff you will actually need, not stuff you think you might need, (3) Do at least some riding close to home with exactly the same gear you will be touring with.

You have a point.  My advice may be bad if it leads someone to not pare their list down.  What I was trying to help avoid was reading other folks lists and saying, "that's a good idea, I'll add that and that and that..."

General Discussion / Re: general advice on making a tour happen
« on: June 27, 2014, 06:37:33 am »
So my advice is: Don't read anymore and just hit the road.

There is definitely something to that.  On the other hand some reading will give you an idea what others are doing.  That reading might be reading here , on bike forums, and reading some journals.  Bear in mind that because others think something is the way to go doesn't mean it is the right answer for you.  This is especially true if you have some experience with packing for some other self supported form of travel like backpacking.

My advice is to pack light, taking only what you need, but don't get too wrapped up in the bike and gear choices.  Reading too much will be likely to make you think you need a lot of stuff that is definitely not necessary and get you too fixated on specific brands and models of stuff that may not even suit you and your touring style.  Read packing lists more with seeing what folks can do without in mind than with what added items they carry that you can do without. After you figure out what to carry, pick a bike and baggage system that suits your packing style, but don't get too wrapped up in that.  Packing the right stuff (and leaving stuff you don't need home) is a lot more important that building up the ultimate touring bike.

For learning what works for you as far as the actual touring...  The best way to learn that is to get out and tour.  Using an AC map for a well developed route like the TA, NT, or ST, especially in the beginning is a pretty good kick start.

Food Talk / Re: Food by Mail
« on: June 22, 2014, 07:44:45 am »
In short - I need more training :o
I have to wonder how it would have gone if you had taken an easier pace for the first 7-10 days and built the pace from there.  It might have allowed you to train as you go and possibly allowed a better average pace over the long run than you planned.  That approach can work well for a tour, so maybe it would for a race as well.

I am sure it was a learning experience and you will have a better idea of what to expect next time if it didn't kill you desire for this type of race.

Routes / Re: Yellowstone Camping
« on: June 17, 2014, 04:33:39 pm »
They did when we passed through, but it has been a few years ago.

If you are riding the TA talk to the riders going the other way.  They will have just been there.  That usually is the freshest and most reliable source of info on things like that.  Worst case call ahead and ask.

For the Oregon portion I highly recommend the map that ODOT gives away for the coast.  You can probably order it online.  A search should turn it up.  Barring that the bikes shops on the coast tended to have the free ODOT maps when I was there.

AC maps are great and I typically use them when I can, but for that portion of the route the ODOT map was better IMO.  For looking at while riding I definitely preferred it.  I did still use the AC map as a reference for services at times, but if I had to pick one this is a case where the AC map would lose out.

General Discussion / Re: Cardboard Box for Bike as Checked Baggage
« on: June 15, 2014, 06:36:06 pm »
Another thing which I hadn't considered is that a smaller box would be easier to fit in a hotel shuttle, while a bigger box would might be too big and force me into riding to the hotel straight from the airport.
Sounds like you got it covered.  I will say that I get a kick out of riding out of the airport and kind of consider it a plus.  Just me though.

General Discussion / Re: Cardboard Box for Bike as Checked Baggage
« on: June 15, 2014, 12:27:53 pm »
it is nice to not have to deal with getting a huge box to the airport

But if the airline box is indeed available at check in* (maybe, maybe not), you never have to lug it around. Your loaded bike serves as a luggage cart all the way to baggage check at which point the airline takes it off your hands.

Have you had good luck with that in recent years?  I pretty much gave up on airline supplied boxes after the last time I used one in 2007.   I guess it depends on the airline and the airport but I have not had an airline I was flying with have one available any of the times I checked until I gave up and quit asking.

I usually fly Southwest and I don't think they offer boxes anymore if they ever did.

I generally prefer to have time to carefully pack a bike at home before a tour.  For the trip home I am happy to just have a bike shop box it and ship it for me.  Shipping and packing are usually about $100 combined and I am generally happy to be shed of the bike at the end of the tour and not have to deal with it again until a few days later at home.

I guess there are quite a few different reasonable approaches.

General Discussion / Re: Cardboard Box for Bike as Checked Baggage
« on: June 15, 2014, 07:53:18 am »
It probably depends on the airline, but for some of the airlines I have seen language that says they don't carry anything over 80" and somewhere else on the same site say that bikes were excluded from that 80" restriction.

I have never had a problem or had them measure the box, but I do try to keep the box as small as I reasonably can.  I figure "why ask for trouble" by using a really big box like the Amtrak box.  I typically use a box like the bike came in.  The exception would be an airline supplied box; they can hardly complain about a box they supplied.

An extra 15-20 minutes at the airport putting the wheels and racks back on really isn't a big hardship and it is nice to not have to deal with getting a huge box to the airport.

Also I wonder if a larger harder to handle box might get rougher treatment.

One other thing to think about would be shipping to and flying to Bellingham or Seattle.  It is not all that far from Vancouver.  Bellingham to Vancouver would be a fairly easy one day ride.  Seattle would probably be two longer days.

Food Talk / Re: Food by Mail
« on: June 15, 2014, 06:39:57 am »
First, let me apologize for posting a real name for Percy and thank the mods for removing it.

It looks like Percy scratched after a few days at the proposed pace.  Hundred mile days are pretty tough to maintain especially in the early days of a trip.  I hope Percy is OK and will report back.  It would be interesting to know more about the experience and what went right or wrong on the trip.

Routes / Re: Idaho Hot Springs Bike Route GPS
« on: June 12, 2014, 08:14:43 pm »
I did a rough map out for GPS.  If you're still interested I can send a .gpx file
Send me one.


Routes / Idaho Hot Springs Route
« on: June 11, 2014, 10:24:47 am »
A few questions...

I plan to go as soon as the snow pack permits.  It is looking like that will be pretty soon.  Given that, how likely are fire restrictions while I am there?  Is taking my alcohol stove likely to be a problem?  Will I need to get a permit to use a stove?  I prefer my alcohol stove, but do have a canister stove I could take if necessary.

How much traffic will there be on the main loop?  Will I go for days without seeing a motor vehicle, or with I see a jeep or raft company vehicle most days?

Food Talk / Re: Food by Mail
« on: June 10, 2014, 04:34:04 pm »
Anyone know who Percy Kittens is IRL?  I was curious how she (he?) is doing in the race.  Percy is a 47 YO female if I read her post correctly.  There is a 47 YO female on her proposed pace so I am guessing that might be Percy Kittens. 

I would be happy to receive suggestions on a proper multicompartment bag for this mini rack :-)

I used a similar sized but cheaper rack and used a modified handlebar bag with it.  I took the Nashbar Elite Handlebar bag, removed the stiffeners to save weight.  I used the shoulder strap to keep it on the rack.  I kind of wrap the strap around the stem in a way that the bag can't shift enough to come off of the rack.   I thought it worked pretty well.

Gear Talk / Re: Why not use my [insert bike here] on GDMBR?
« on: June 09, 2014, 09:32:46 am »
You'd probably have heel strike with panniers, unless they were mountain style
I agree if assuming big full sized panniers, but most smaller front panniers would likely be fine on the back and be big enough if you pack fairly light and compactly.  Some of the smaller regular rear panniers may also be fine depending on how far back they are mounted, the riders foot size, and how they set up their cleats.

Wheels would fail first, IMHO.
Probably, but I would expect them to make it if given a little TLC before and maybe during the ride if needed.  I'd carry some spare spokes in any case.

I will say that I have not ridden the route in question though so take my opinion for what it is worth.

Gear Talk / Re: Why not use my [insert bike here] on GDMBT?
« on: June 08, 2014, 03:47:43 pm »
My guess is that it would be fine.  It is a nice bike as lower end mountain bikes go.

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