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Messages - staehpj1

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Routes / Re: TransAm trail - how fit
« on: May 01, 2016, 03:10:55 pm »
Personally, I thought the mountains in western Virginia, eastern Kentucky, and central Missouri (Ozarks) were the toughest on the TransAm.  By comparison, the passes in Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana were easy grades.  Yes, they were long, but the grades were much easier. 
That was my observation as well.

Routes / Re: TransAm trail - how fit
« on: May 01, 2016, 07:25:22 am »
If you are in good general health, 10 days to 2 weeks in you will be doing fine and will have begun to hit yours stride.  Just take it a little easy in the beginning.  My approach is to never ride enough so you need rest days.

General Discussion / Re: Down Tube Shifters
« on: April 18, 2016, 10:38:14 am »
Down tube shifters are simple and weigh less than any other kind of shifter.
Not to get too far into "weight weeneism" here but, while the downtube lever themselves weigh less than other shifter types, you have to add the weight of the brake levers to get a fair comparison.  STI's, Ergo's and the Gevenalle shifters include the brake levers in their weight claims.
I am a pretty obsessive weight weenie when it comes to packing gear, but a bit less so on the bike.  That said brifters are typically heavier than the combined weight of brake levers and down tube shifters.  Additionally there is less cable and cable housing.  Those differences are kind of moot to me though since my preference on how they work is a bigger deal.

Gear Talk / Re: Un-Chain my bike!
« on: April 13, 2016, 08:13:13 am »
If I am picturing what happened correctly, your chain doubled over itself, creating a loop. My GF did that a few weeks ago, and it's happened to me before.. If that's what happened, next time take a deep breath and work through the problem visually. With the chain on one of the chainrings, you know which is the side is the "underside" (the side that comes in contact with the sprockets of the chainrings and cogs, and which side is the "outerside" (the side that does not come into contact with the sprockets). Use that orientation to address the tangle.
I agree.  The language here seems a little confusing, but it sounds correct and I can't improve upon it.  I think that the key point is to think through where the chain is, where it is supposed to be, and in what orientation and you can always get it back into place,  Since it might require some force understanding where it is and where it wants to be is key.  You don't want to force it is a direction that it doesn't want to go.

The snag is usually where the chain crosses itself to make the loop that hangs it up.

In some cases it may help to unbolt the FD from the frame if the chain is binding in the cage, but I don't actually recall ever having to do that.

Bottom line...  Think it through first and then work it out.

Gear Talk / Re: Anyone here use Rok Straps?
« on: April 05, 2016, 08:10:37 am »
I use and prefer inexpensive straps that don't stretch.  Typically anything I strap on the rack has enough give that I don't want or need stretch in the straps.  It is also light enough that a pretty light duty strap suffices.  I think the ones I use are poly (nylon gets loose when wet).

The cheap straps from Coghlan's work fine.  They don't last forever, but are cheap enough (about $3 for two) that it doesn't matter too much.  They are also much lighter than Rok straps.

Yeah, just a smartphone for me.  I leave it turned off most of the time and carry either a spare battery or a power wallet, so I can go a long way between charges.  I don't find that I read as much when on tour, but when I do it is usually audio books.  That way I don't need light to read, can read while riding if i want, and don't need to carry a separate device or paper books for reading.  I read on a Kindle at home, but it typically stays home when I tour.

It will vary pretty widely with jurisdictions.  I don't know if there is a site that aggregates the listings of bans in various jurisdictions.

Routes / Re: Century day along the TransAm route
« on: March 24, 2016, 09:39:51 am »
Another run would be the stretch between Lander and Rawlins, WY.  Nothing to stop for, although if the wind turns against you it'll make stopping at Jeffrey City a really good idea.
If I remember correctly we had a headwind going the other way in June of 2007 and typical weather patterns make a tail wind likely for you there.  So if you have not gotten your century in by then it may be a good time to do it.  You just never know about the winds though.


We did have trouble finding canisters from Pueblo to Virginia.  I know others claim Walmart has them everywhere but we did not find that to be the case. 

Yes, I posted this info a few years ago. Walmart did stock Coleman branded "MSR" style isobutane cartridges on the shelves for a few years but apparently no longer. Now they only sell Primus/Optimus cannisters through Walmart dotcom. That means you'd have to order in advance to have one waiting for you. Alternatively, find one at an outdoors store which may be scarce on some sections of the route.
Also beware that stores do not stock the same merchandise in all locations.  So if xyz mart has item x up and down the west coast it doesn't necessarily mean they will have it in Kansas.  I know that we found the canisters at various chain stores in some parts of the country and not others.

I'm planning an E-W trip this summer.  I'd love to take my Trangia 27 alcohol stove and leave the cartridge gas conversion burner at home, but I worry about bans on alcohol stoves in the West.  Anybody know where along the TA alcohol stoves have really been problematic? 

As an alternative I could leave the spirit burner home and use gas cartridges for the whole trip, but I don't much like worrying about where I'll be able to find 'em en route.
Some of this depends on where you camp.  I know that on the TA we stayed in places where a ban was likely seldom enough that we could just have just eaten cold food on those relatively rare occasions.  You could also cook somewhere earlier before you get to camp where that is an option.  Most of the time we stayed in places like small town parks, church yards, and the occasional private campground.  If you do that and want to go alcohol it might be doable.

We did have trouble finding canisters from Pueblo to Virginia.  I know others claim Walmart has them everywhere but we did not find that to be the case.  Things may have gotten better since then though (our TA was in 2007), but on more recent trips I have still not found cartridges to be readily available everywhere while I have typically found alcohol to be.

I think you probably can manage with alcohol, but it might be a hassle if you camp in National and state forests a lot.  If you do take a canister stove, maybe carrying a pop can burner as a back up might be a good way to go.  My pop can burner is 0.4 ounces, the stand is 0.7 ounces, and the windscreen is 0.3 ounces.  You may be able to use the same windscreen as your canister stove.  So the backup would only add either 1.1 ounces or 1.4 ounces depending on whether the windscreen fit both or not.  Fuel would add weight only when you couldn't find cartridges and I don't carry a fuel bottle because I just use the containers it (yellow bottle Heet) comes in.

Routes / Re: Century day along the TransAm route
« on: March 18, 2016, 10:51:13 am »
My plans are just there to give me a framework to play in.
A good way to look at it.

Routes / Re: Century day along the TransAm route
« on: March 18, 2016, 08:23:02 am »
I agree. Kansas, specifically western Kansas. You will have a few tailwind days that will make 100 miles easy. Start early in the day.
Or eastern Colorado.  We did a 115 mile day between Murphysboro IL and Sebree KY (we were east bound and took an alternate route using a bridge rather than the ferry).  It was a fairly flat day some of it on the levee.  I forget the route details, but I think we crossed the Mississippi quite a way north of the ferry on a bridge that required we take the lane.  Google maps bike directions first choice look like they take you the way we went.

Also why try to plan the place ahead of time?  Do you plan to be on a rigid schedule?  Much more fun to just take it as it comes.

Routes / Re: Biking in Texas
« on: March 16, 2016, 07:12:47 am »
You can cycle on I-10 from as far east as Junction, TX, and possible farther east than Junction.
I rode I-10 a good bit in east Texas as well with no problems.

Routes / Re: Biking in Texas
« on: March 15, 2016, 05:54:01 pm »
I will be riding east to west across Texas this fall.  Parts of my route would be on 380 which runs almost completely across Texas.  Looking at Google Maps, much of the road is two lane with a wide shoulder on both sides.  Other parts look like a freeway.  Does anyone know of any restrictions for riding on 380?
I rode on interstate highways a good bit in Texas.  Lots of cops drove by, none seemed to give me a second look.

General Discussion / Re: Bike shops near Seatac airport
« on: March 08, 2016, 09:18:04 am »
I prefer to fly with my bike and usually ride right out of the airport.  That works well if you fly a fairly bike friendly airline like Southwest.

That said, yes the light rail is a very handy way to get to downtown Seattle from Seatac.  There was a very friendly bike coop not too far from the hostel I stayed in in Seattle (Seattle City Hostel 2327 2nd Ave).  Not sure if they provide that service, but they were very nice to me when I stopped there.  If I remember correctly it was Bike Works at 3709 S Ferdinand St.

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