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Messages - staehpj1

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General Discussion / Re: Difference on maps?
« on: August 03, 2014, 06:13:09 am »
We are just finishing the Lewis & Clark. The map panels have a elevation profile along with mileage chart. Also on the map it would show mileage between point byway of black dots. These features are not on the Subject maps.
Maybe a bit off topic, but the ODOT bicycle map of the coast is free and IMO easier to use while riding than the AC maps.   The mileage and countour are laid out in a very intuitive way that works great for this route. The AC maps have additional info that I liked having as reference material, but for on the bike I found the ODOT map much nicer.  So for the Oregon section I highly recommend picking one up.  Bike shops there generally have them.  If you re still in Astoria or about to go there I know that the bike shop there usually has them.

Gear Talk / Re: Best foot wear for touring?
« on: August 01, 2014, 04:53:04 pm »
YMMV, but with a decent set of hybrid pedals, you get used to clipping in very quickly. People often imagine they are hard if they haven't used them before (or perhaps if they use cheap pedals), but I have been using different hybrids for years and they work very, very well for me. I would never substitute for one or the other again, from my very positive experience.

Yes I admit that it is a very minor annoyance and I would consider hybrid pedals myself if I didn't find being clipped in more secure regardless of the surface conditions.  That may be at least in part because I spent quite a few years riding and racing on technical single track with clipless pedals.  I know that many riders do not share my preference.  So I am not knocking hybrid pedals like the ones that you recommended, they are certainly a plus for a lot of riders.  Anyone who wants the option of riding clipped out is likely to find them to be a good choice.

Gear Talk / Re: Best foot wear for touring?
« on: August 01, 2014, 04:15:58 pm »
there are definitely times for many of us when we prefer not to be clipped in (such as this example, on a sketchy road surface, like gravel or ice, etc.). It is also nice sometimes to have the comfort and freedom of a plain-old platform pedal.

Different strokes, but...   Those are the times when I most want a secure connection to my pedals.

There is one reason why I might want "a plain-old platform pedal", that is times and places where I might want to not bother with bike shoes.  For me that is usually only around town at home for short errands.

Not knocking it if others find platforms comforting, but all of us do not.

Why not have both? I love hybrid pedals like these ones below -- why not have the best of both worlds?

Not the same pedals, but my daughter used a pair of "campus pedals" on the Trans America.  I asked her if she would make the same choice again for a long tour.  Her response was "probably not".  She said that it was more trouble clipping in, which she did very nearly every time she got on the bike on the TA.  The only exceptions were when she hopped on the bike with her Crocs to go a few hundred yards max to the shower or someplace else very close to camp.  For that short of a distance we found we could manage the Crocs with two sided SPD pedals. (or walk)

She did say she really liked the campus pedals for around the campus at college or around town at home.

I like them for my folding bike, but I never use it for more than a few miles at a time and often with running shoes.  So they are great for that.

Gear Talk / Re: A folding bike for touring?
« on: July 26, 2014, 08:14:44 am »
and then those silly little wheels.

It depends on how little for me.  I wouldn't mind 20" wheels.  In fact I kind of lust after a little mini velo like this one:
It would pack fairly small, but it doesn't fold.

the seat post supposedly working as a stand-up pump! That's inovative -if it works.

That has been done before.
In my view, it is less convenient and doesn't necessarily even save weight.  With small wheels some of the very light mini pumps work well and weigh under 3 ounces.  If really worried about weight I bet you could find a separate pump and seat post that actually weigh less than the seat post pump combos currently available.

I am too cheap to buy one, but the Bike Friday looks the closest to being ideal for the kind of touring you describe.

Gear Talk / Re: Panniers vs. BOB?
« on: July 25, 2014, 01:38:04 pm »
But my personal observation is that if wind is going to be a factor in your touring I believe a BOB trailer would prove to be advantageous over a front and rear pannier set up. Especially in a quartering headwind where the panniers will tend to act act as speed brakes. This was the effect I experienced coming across Kansas riding with a mix of panniers and BOBs TransAm riders.

That reminds me...  I found that when riding with a couple companions on the TA we found it very useful to draft each riding pace line.  This can be a big deal in windy places like Wyoming, Kansas, etc.

It is harder to draft behind a trailer.  To get the most benefit you need to be closer to the bike than you can get behind one with a trailer.  That won't be a big deal for most tourists, but if riding with others in open windy country it might be worth considering.

It won't be a factor if riding alone though.

General Discussion / Re: brooks saddle break-in how long
« on: July 25, 2014, 12:05:27 pm »
My only Brooks experience was with a B17.  I found it just OK when new and once really broken in I hated it.  I am probably the exception though.

Gear Talk / Re: Panniers vs. BOB?
« on: July 25, 2014, 09:49:49 am »
It will depend on a lot of factors including how much you are carrying and what bike you will be riding.

I like to pack like an ultralight backpacker and as a result won't consider a trailer.  I figure I can get my minimalist gear on even a race bike.  I have found it a good way to go.  I have even forgone the panniers in favor of waterproof stuff sacks.

Before I started packing so light I rode a touring bike with panniers.  That worked out well for me and I preferred it to a trailer with the touring bike.

Where a trailer might make sense is if you want to ride a sportier road bike rather than a touring bike and want to carry more than you can manage on the road bike.

Gear Talk / Re: A folding bike for touring?
« on: July 25, 2014, 06:08:20 am »
I have not ridden the Tern, but other folders I have ridden with a tall "mast" for the bars, were a terrible ride for any thing more easy riding for short errands.  The problems I found were that the mast flexed badly and it was impossible to get a proper fit adjustment on them.

Most folders come in only one frame size and do not lend themselves to much adjustment other than raising and lowering the saddle.  The bars also can adjust up and down, but I was generally not able to get them as low as I wanted them and definitely couldn't get them as far forward.  When I modified one with different bars to get my hand farther forward there was a lot more mast flexing because there was yet more leverage.

Adding a load would only make things worse.

Some folders may address at least some of these issues.  I suspect that a Bike Friday may address my concerns at least to some extent, but I really don't see any sign that the Terns do.  They do not look like a bike I would want to tour on.

The downside is, of course, the cost-differential of staying at campgrounds or motels etc.  This is the sweet spot I'm trying to find ... literally might even be worth what I mentioned before about literally going into "The woods" and pitching a tent.
The locale you choose to be in will have a large effect on all of this.  There are areas where the motels are generally dirt cheap.  There are areas where camping for free in plain sight is easy.  There are areas that offer very cheap camping in great state parks.

In the middle of the country in the great plains I have many times stayed overnight in town parks often sleeping under the shelter of a picnic pavilion.  I have never been run off despite having done this many times.  I suspect that staying multiple nights would be likely to get you run off.  If the town is large enough to have a library or fast food establishment there is probably WiFi.

In Oregon, California and some other places cheap camping is generally available to cyclists.  In many cases long stays will not be allowed.  You might have to go into town to do any connected work unless you can manage with 3G or 4G assuming there is a signal, and there often will not be.

On my Southern Tier tour, I met a guy who said he was walking across the country carrying his gear in a double baby jogger.  He had been doing so for quite a few years and apparently was not planning to get there any time soon.  He stopped for weeks or months at a time where ever he felt like it.  When I camped next to him he had been staying for quite a few weeks at a $10 a night campsite at the Apache Gold Casino.  The price was cheap, the food in the casino was both good and cheap, and they probably had WiFi.

Personally I prefer to go home at the end of a tour.  A few weeks or a few month on the road is nice, but doing it full time all year long would get old for me.  I suggest doing a long tour with a planned end, maybe do something like the Trans America, Southern Tier, or Northern Tier routes.  It is an easier way to break into life on the road because others have already blazed the trail for you.  By the end of a trip of that length you will know whether life on the road full time is for you.  You will also have learned the ropes and know what does and does not work for you.

Gear Talk / Re: Best foot wear for touring?
« on: July 22, 2014, 01:23:29 pm »
I gave up cycling shoes when they got wet and stayed wet. Switched to bicycling sandals with clipless cleats. Only footwear.

That is a point that many people miss.  My solution isn't sandals though.  Unlike most other bike shoes I have owned, I find that my sidis soak up almost no water.  They soak little enough water that if I change socks I have dry feet, but I usually do not bother because I wear socks that aren't too bad when wet and dry quickly as long as the shoes have a lot of mesh.  So it has become an non issue for me, but I do remember having shoes that seemed to never dry.

General Discussion / Re: dogs and security
« on: July 22, 2014, 09:05:55 am »
Good, but I think by the time you start yelling and whistling, the angry dog will have already done his job (biting).
The risk of bites is grossly over rated IMO.  I have ridden hundreds of thousands of miles, many of them back in the 60's when dogs mostly roamed free where I lived.  I was chased on pretty much every ride.  In well over 50 years of riding I have never been bitten by any of the hundreds of dogs that have chased me.  Since I have been touring I can recall very few dogs that I thought wanted anything more than a good chase.

General Discussion / Re: Bike / Hike Campsites on southern PCR
« on: July 20, 2014, 08:12:02 am »
Glad to help.  Enjoy the ride, it is a beautiful coast.

General Discussion / Re: Bike / Hike Campsites on southern PCR
« on: July 19, 2014, 10:49:44 am »
In September I'll be riding the PCR from San Francisco, south to the border, and have found that many of the campgrounds marked on the Adventure Cycling maps don't have bike/hike sites (I just presumed if they were marked they would).

As I recall, the maps specifically say hiker/biker where that is the case.  Do you mean that ones that are marked hiker/biker actually are not?  In that case the AC addenda should say so.  If concerned, calling ahead each day would be an option.

When I did the PCH I was usually camping with other cyclists and someone else usually called ahead to verify what the situation was.  I never needed to bother, but calling ahead each day wouldn't be to big of a deal.  That said, when alone I typically don't bother.  I start early enough each day that I get to camp early, so if I find a place full I have time to press on to the next one.

Gear Talk / Re: Packing a DSLR?
« on: July 17, 2014, 10:25:47 am »
A handlebar bag with a bit of cushioning under the camera.  An article of clothing does the trick for the padding.  My DSLR did fine that way on the Trans America.

I decided it was just too much camera to carry and went to a 4:3 Olympus Pen EPL1.  It is much lighter, the lens selection is fine, and it takes great pictures.

That said my phone takes such good pictures that it is all I usually take camera wise.  I find that other than missing longer lenses once in a while the phone is fine.

Routes / Re: TransAmerica Trail: Headed East, looking for Partners
« on: July 11, 2014, 06:18:31 pm »
I think you are about ten days behind where we were on this date the year we did the TA.  We met people going the same direction fairly often at the camp sites, less so on the road.  I think we met more folks a bit further on than where you are now, so there may be hope it will pick up.

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