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Messages - staehpj1

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46
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.

47
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.

48
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.

49
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.

50
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.

Thanks

51
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?

52
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. 

53
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.

54
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.

55
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.

56
But overall this is an interesting thread.

For years I have toured with rear panniers alone and an aero bar. It worked really well, however:

1. I could sometimes miss a handlebar bag for my camera, money and other valuable stuff. The main purpose of that bag would be convenience of just clicking it on-off when going to a shop for doing groceries. Also I would carry some of the "heavy" stuff in the handle bar bag so I could shift my weight ratio more properly. I have really missed that.

2. Oftentimes, maybe my rear panniers struggled with the volume so I was missing a bit of space. But it worked. Having my valuable stuff in my rear panniers in a waist belt kind of bag was always annoying because I felt I had to empty a pannier each time when going to a grocery store.

I have bought an Arkel handle bar bag and it is beautiful and I have made some small tours with it, but I feel I miss the aero bar. Then I see the Revelate bags which enable me to combine both an aero bag wih a handlebar bag. But due to their strapping system and that it basically is a roll only, I will miss the convenience of rapid "in and out" combined with multiple pocket for optimum organization.

I would be happy to hear about some solutions :-) (without hijacking this thread).

Lucas

I have successfully tried a number of different configurations.

Everyone usually advises against it, but I have used a small light backpack on a couple long tours.  I found it to work well and be very convenient.  I keep to two or three pounds most of the time and have the things I want to always keep with me in it.  I started out using it for extra food and water on a long stretch with no services and found that as long as it was light enough it didn't bother me.

As far as weight balance fore and aft...  On one tour I actually went with front panniers and no rear ones.  I did have the tent on the rear rack on that trip though.  I found that it really worked pretty well and would do it again.

If you want to just get a little weight forward, that could be done by just strapping your tent, sleeping bag, or a bar roll under your aero bars.

57
The one real problem with MTBs is their straight handlebars which give only one hand position.  This can be a problem and cause numbness (aka "handlebar palsy") on successive long days of riding.
I like drop bars better for touring, but find that I can manage flat bars by spending some of the time with the heels of my hands resting on the bars and my hands loosely draped forward above or on the brake levers.

58
General Discussion / Re: Southern Tier November through to Feb
« on: June 03, 2014, 06:26:19 am »
I think your timeframe would be OK.  The one drawback I see to your proposed time is that the shortest day of the year (Dec. 21st?) is in that period.  Late winter the days are a good bit longer.  I went Feb-March for that route and thought the timing ideal.

It sounds like you plan a pretty laid back pace.  I found the route to lend itself more to longish days in the saddle.  With relatively widely spaced stops and dull scenery (to me at least) I found that I wanted to do 80-110 mile days a lot of the time.  I think I averaged 80 mile days despite being and old fart, not training for the trip, and nursing a knee injury part of the way.  I stopped in Pensacola and took 31 days.  So I personally wouldn't want to take much more than a month to a month and a half.

As mentioned above I found the scenery pretty uninspiring.  Still, I liked the trip for the people and the food.  I met a lot of interesting people and there was lots of good barbecue, seafood, Mexican food, and Cajun food.

59
Routes / Re: Idaho Hot Springs Bike Route GPS
« on: June 02, 2014, 05:14:22 pm »
We are planning to have the waypoints available by June 1st.
Any progress to report?  I am planning to go as soon as the snow is out enough.  That day is rapidly approaching.

60
General Discussion / Re: General Advice- TransAm Route
« on: June 02, 2014, 04:51:15 pm »
With that in mind, i've been looking at the Surley Disc Trucker- http://surlybikes.com/bikes/disc_trucker/bike_info

Two questions about this bike- What're the views on disc brakes on a tourer? They are cables, not hydraulics and from what i've been told, very good cable-pulls. More expensive initially, but it seems like an investment in the future as no wear on the rims etc.

Also- 26" wheels Vs 700c.

I hesitated to answer, because my preferred choices in bikes to tour on go more toward something closer to a road bike.  That is partly because I travel pretty light, but I think there is a little more truck in the LHT than I want even for heavy touring.  That said it is exactly what some folks want, so don't assume my preference should be your's on that.

I always thought that disc brakes were unnecessary, overkill, and unnecessary weight.  After living with them on my mountain bike for a while they have grown on me.  I still don't think they are necessary and unless I was doing off/dirt roads a lot I probably wouldn't go out of my way to buy them for touring myself.  I can understand why folks like them though and the more you go toward expedition touring or heavy loads the more they probably make sense.

On the 26 vs 700 choice, I prefer 700 for touring where and how I tour, but either work fine.  If travelling somewhere one or the other is more available basing the choice on that is not unreasonable.

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