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Topics - TwoWheeledExplorer

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Gear Talk / New Adventure Bike...from Trek!
« on: August 05, 2014, 10:41:10 am »
Stop the presses! Holy Hot Wheels, Batman! I may have to become a Trekkie again! Just introduced at the Trekworld Trek dealers gathering, the new 2015 Trek 920 Adventure Bike. Those of you who know me know until I got the Volcanic, all of my MTBs were from Trek, and I still ride one at work. Been thinking of upgrading the Volpe, and this may be the ticket! Looks very interesting, to say the least.

Ride safe,

Gear Talk / Of Tires and Roads
« on: September 16, 2013, 12:27:31 am »
Planning on crossing the Chippewa National Forest here in MN using almost completely dirt and gravel roads. Backroads in Minnesota are almost universally semi-sandy, but the area has had sufficient rain so it's not powdery, and terrain is fairly level. Carrying me (250 lbs.) and my gear in rear panniers (30-35 lbs.) Do you think the 35mm Schwalbe Marathon Plus on my Volpe would cut it, or should I take my mountain bike?

Ride safe,

Routes / Western Adirondacks; Out of the loop, but inside the Blue Line.
« on: September 05, 2013, 11:35:23 am »
I had just this morning been wondering what NYS Rt. 28 was like for cycling between Thendara and Blue Mountain Lake, but the ACA, unfortunately, left this part of the Adirondacks out of their “Adirondack Park Loop”. I hope to come home from MN for a week or so next year (2014) with my road bike. I went to Adirondack Woodcraft Camps near Old Forge as a kid, almost 50 years ago, and I have felt very attached to the Old Forge-Inlet-Blue Mtn,-Long Lake region ever since. I was even licensed to guide in the Inlet-Moose Lake area. Back in 2005 I had done some mountain biking on the TOBIE trails, re-visiting some of my memories from Woodcraft, fishing in the Moose River, camping at Lake Durant. But I have grown to love bicycle travel and touring and need information on roads in the area. I found a very good article on the "Adirondack Explorer" website. Can anyone else out there give me more insight?
It's a beautiful area. I hope it's as beautiful a ride.

Ride safe,

GPS Discussion / New Garmin Edge Touring
« on: August 29, 2013, 11:42:52 am »
I like gizmos as much as anyone (except maybe my son-in-law), but it is rare I find one that is a "must have". I have a solid Delorme PN-20 GPS for my MTB, and a Garmin Edge 205 on my Bianchi, Discovery. Today, Garmin revealed something new. In the words of Will Smith at the con of the alien spaceship in ID4, "I gotta get me one of these!":

Looking forward to actually being able to check one out first hand.

Ride safe,

General Discussion / Inspire or Scare the Begeebees?
« on: April 17, 2013, 12:03:31 pm »
The Adventure Cycling Association's mission is to inspire and empower people to travel by bicycle. As a 14-year ACA member, who has been touring since 1996, and a 25-year park ranger, I am really surprised by posts, mostly from riders outside of North America, about fears of two things; bears and rural American residents. The real truth us, there is not a bear behind every tree bush and rock, and the rural countryside is NOT inhabited by people like those in "Deliverance". Moreover, the replies that reinforce those fears are very disappointing, and certainly not very "inspiring" to those whose only exposure to the United States has been from Hollywood or the network news.

Hopefully, those read this will take my suggestion to try an "inspire" bicycle travelers, rather than scare the begeebees (Whatever begeebees are?) out of them.

Ride safe,

Classifieds / SOLD 1/16/13: 2007 Novara Safari
« on: October 08, 2012, 11:44:25 am »
For Sale: 2007 Novara Safari "Trekking" bike. Very well maintained. Aluminum frame; Avid mechanical disc brakes; "butterfly" handlebars; SRAM Grip Shifters with Shimano Deore front, LX rear derailleurs; 26 inch wheels. 1068 actual lifetime miles. Many extras included: Old Man Mountain front rack, frame pump, 3 bottle cages, cyclometer, Pleischer dual (two leg) kickstand, 2 pair good tires; WTB All-Terrainasaurus on bike, Conti Town & Country not mounted. Selling to make room for Surly Pugsley. Asking $600.00, plus buyer pays shipping from central MN, USA. (Shipping is NOT negotiable.)

(Water bottles and rack pack NOT included.)

Thank you,
Hans Erdman

Gear Talk / Stem leaks
« on: August 13, 2012, 06:06:17 pm »
Ever since I put puncture resistant Schwalbe tires on my Bianchi Volpe, I have had an inordinate number of flats...from the other end. I have had to replace 5 tubes, 2 front, 3 rear because of the valve stem shearing off at the juncture with the tube. >:( The shop even put one of them in, and today it was flat again. Tubes from Kenda, Giant and WTB, so different manufacturers. Any thoughts, ideas, suggestions?

Ride safe,

There are two closures on the L&C in Yankton; From the east, the first is on the Audlt-Brokow Trail, about a mile west of the Travel Information Center trailhead, behind the city shop/garage. Looks like a big sink-hole on the trail. There are signs warning that the trail is closed about a half-mile before, but you can walk around it (or ride if the conditions are dry) and get back on the paved trail. The second is under the Broadway Ave./Hwy. 81 bridge to Nebraska, and the trail is completely blocked by equipment, so you have to go back to the street and cross at the next intersection. Unfortunately, neither detour is marked at all, so you kind of have to figure it out yourself, or follow the marked L&C National Historic Trail signs on SD Hwy. 52.

Gear Talk / Tires vs. Tyres
« on: April 19, 2012, 08:47:38 am »
I am thinking of replacing the (original. so 5 years old) Conti 26x1.95 tires on my 2007 Novara Safari expedition bike with  Schwalbe Marathon Plus Tour HS 404 26x2.0 tyres. Any input, thoughts, considerations you all might have?

I have Schwalbe Marathon Plus 348s on my Bianchi Volpe, and I really like the ride, handling and durability.

Ride safe,

Gear Talk / 26" v. 700...again
« on: June 28, 2011, 09:07:35 pm »
Very simple question: Is it actually harder to pedal a bike with 26" (Conti T&Cs) than 700s, or is it just me? I have been riding my Safari for the past week and it just seems like a whole lot more work than the Volpe. (w/Schwalbe Marathon HRs) ??? I know I am not back in shape yet, due to my TBI recovery that took 9 weeks out of my ride schedule, but... Both sets of tires are inflated to optimal pressure, riding both on long stretches of new "road candy" asphalt.

Or am I just getting wimpy?  ::)

Ride safe,

Gear Talk / High Compression Sleeping Bag in XL?
« on: June 20, 2011, 11:42:21 am »
I'm about 6'3", and 255 pounds. (Down from 280 and still loosing!) and a year or so ago bought a Eureka Summit Large for a summer sleeping bag. So far it has tried to kill me twice by suffocation, :o and otherwise does not allow a good night's sleep. It is just too tight across the chest for me to zip all the way shut, and if I leave it open, as I did last Saturday, I can breathe and get cold all at the same time! Plus side; I love it's compressibility. In a compression sack, it squeezes down to just larger than a (American) football. That was why I bought it.

Can anyone suggest a +20F (or warmer) Primaloft (preferably) sleeping bag that will fit a broad-shouldered, big chested, not-as-fat-as-I-used-to-be,  ;D  guy like me, that will compress into a small bundle?

Thanks in advance for your suggestions!

Ride safe,

Due to record snowfall, followed by equally high rainfall amounts, many communities along the Missouri River from eastern Montana all the way to Yankton, SD, are currently at or above flood stage, under water and in many cases being evacuated. Communities affected include Yankton, Springfield, Greenwood, Pierre in SD and Bismark and Mandan in ND. Flooding is expected to move to Sioux Falls, Sioux City, and on down the Missouri over the next few days and weeks. Check with local weather sources and highway/travel agencies for current conditions along the L&C in all low lying areas.

According to Pierre news sources, the US Army Corps of Engineers will be opening spillways to relieve pressure on the dams during the next week, which will add significant flow to the already high waters downstream from the dams.

Ride safe,

Gear Talk / Marin Four Corners
« on: February 13, 2011, 06:29:07 pm »
Anybody had any experience with the Marin Four Corners. Looks like a full-on touring bike from Marin; chromoly frame, rack and fender bosses, three bottle cage mounts, long (435) chainstay. Just wonder if anyone has had a chance to ride one and/or tour on one yet?

Ride safe...the snow is melting in MN!

Gear Talk / Expedition Bike Build-up
« on: December 31, 2010, 12:40:31 am »
If you are interested in how I took a bike designed for cyclocross and turned it into an expedition-grade touring bike, you can read all about it on my blogsite;

Ride safe,

General Discussion / ACA Spring Trip?
« on: October 28, 2010, 11:39:08 pm »
Seriously thinking of joining the Adventure Cycling KATY Trail-Relaxed trip this coming spring. I have done a fair amount of solo "bikepacking", usually just a night or two, plus a 3 week, self-supported MTB trip through Karelia (NW Russia, next to Finland) with local guides, 13 years ago. The KATY Trail is part of the Lewis and Clark Bicycle Trail, which is one of my life goal rides. (I did a short section of the KATY last spring, and have been working on the South Dakota section for two years.) I have been riding about 750 miles per year, trying to get that back up to 1000 or more.

I think this would be a good, early-season trip. I am particularly interested in how the trip is run, as we are planning a major L&C journey from Sioux City, IA or Yankton, SD, to Kamiah, ID in 2012. Any thoughts, opinions, ideas? Let me know.

Ride safe,

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