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Messages - tsteven4

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General Discussion / Re: elevation website?
« on: November 29, 2009, 08:12:44 pm »
Here is another method.

1) create driving directions in google maps (, Get Directions, ...)
2) click the link icon on the google map, copy the  contents of the  "Paste Link in email or IM" box (
3) paste the link into the page at in the box "Or provide the URL of data on the Web:"
4) select "From best available source" in the "Add DEM elevation data"
5) push the "Draw the Profile" button.

Routes / Re: camping on the pacific coast route
« on: August 28, 2009, 08:48:13 pm »
You are going to a place with some of the most beautiful and most economical camping for cyclists of any place I have visited in 30 years of cycle touring.  The hiker biker sites in Oregon and California are fantastic.  I believe the 2008 rates we paid were $4/person including showers in Oregon, and $3/person w/o showers in California for hiker bikes sites at state parks.  Another advantage is that no reservations are required, most of the sites are simply shared by the cyclists and hikers that show up.  This sites are often segregated from other campers which can result in a quieter experience.  The state parks in OR and CA along this route are quite plentiful, giving you considerable freedom to decide how far you want to ride most days.  The hiker/biker sites are a great place to meet other cyclists.  The WA state parks are not nearly as cheap.  I think it would be a shame to miss out on the exceptional camping experience offered by the hiker/biker sites at state parks.  I also think wild camping would be more difficult than other less populated places.

Gear Talk / Re: First trip - need tire advice
« on: August 26, 2009, 07:57:28 pm »
Our current favorite is the continental contact 700x37  We use these on and off road.  This summer we took them over Cinnamon Pass with loaded bikes, a 12,600ft 4wd road.  You can see some pics of the conditions at  My wife has used the travel contacts and prefers the standard contacts.  I have no knowledge of the HH Dike, but I believe the standard conti contact would work well.

Gear Talk / Re: 1984 Specialized Expedition
« on: June 30, 2009, 08:38:07 am »

I thought of one more thing you should watch out for on your bike.  I had a sudden and total failure of the front brake cable stop on my 84 specialized expedition while descending the Cime de la Bonette.  The cable stop consisted of two parts.  The first is a bracket that is clamped under the headset nut.  It has a hole at the other end slightly larger than the diameter of the brake cable housing.  The second part was a small round piece that the brake cable ran through.  It was seated in the small hole of the first part and prevented (for a number of years) the cable housing from going through the hole.  On this descent the small round part disintegrated causing a total failure of the front brake.  There was no indication this small part was about to fail.  I would recommend replacing the cable stop immediately if you still have the original.

Gear Talk / Re: 1984 Specialized Expedition
« on: June 28, 2009, 08:55:09 am »
Nice bike.  I rode a 1984 specialized expedition for many miles, and I still take it out for the occasional retro ride.  But the parts issue eventually motivated me to buy another bicycle for touring.  By the way, the list price in 1984 was $699.  The only problem I had was that the bosses in the forks for mounting a blackburn low rider front rack were in the wrong place!  Specialized eventually came up with some brackets so I could mount the rack.

For advice on cold setting see  My preference would be to find a local frame builder to do the work as opposed to a bike shop.  They are used to setting the spacing and alignment.

You might want to consider using a road hub with 130mm spacing and a mountain cogset.

With a new cogset I would certainly recommend a new chain.  You may also need some new chainrings, perhaps just the smallest.  Scary story about the front wheel.  You have to wonder about the back wheel after that!

We pack a bit in the boxes as shown in the pictures including the front panniers, and carry on the back panniers with the sleeping bags, tent, and other stuff inside.  We snap the back panniers together to pretend they are one object, but it is necessary to separate them to get them in the overhead bins.  We usually have a small box inside the bike box with stuff that you are not allowed to carry on (knife, clean stove, NO fuel).  In the photos you can see a wooden spreader we make to help prevent the front wheel from being crushed.  The plywood pieces on the end prevent it from punching through the box.  The front fender is tied on top of the front wheel.  The rear rack is upside down over the rear wheel.  There is a wooden spreader to prevent the rear rack from being crushed as well.  Also get a front fork spreader from a bike shop to prevent the front fork from being bent or poking through the bottom of the box.  We also remove the rear derailleur and tie it behind the rear rack to prevent the derailleur hanger from being bent.  You need to be careful when you reattach it not to strip the threads in the derailleur hanger.  It is best to remove the chain so the chain doesn't try to twist the derailleur as you are threading or unthreading the bolt into the derailleur hanger.  Chain removal/installation is easier these days with a master link, e.g. sram powerlink.  Also shown is a trick to open a master link on a dirty chain.

Colorado / Re: Introduce Yourself
« on: April 16, 2009, 09:36:18 pm »

I am Steve, and my wife Lin & in I live in Boulder.  I have managed to spend about 3% of my life on tour, starting with a Athens to London ride 30 years ago.  We have a set of local rides we like to do every spring to train for our summer tour.  You can see some of these at  If you would like to join us for some of these warm ups login and click the email link by my user name at the left margin.

Happy Cycling,

General Discussion / Re: HELP!
« on: April 08, 2009, 08:40:12 am »

I have online versions of the ac routes at
I think they are much more useful for route planning that actually riding, but in a desperate situation maybe you can get enough information from them to continue until the next section.


Routes / Re: Google Earth files of Adventure Cycling Routes
« on: March 26, 2009, 05:01:11 pm »
I have update the maps and kmz files of all the routes with the latest Adventure Cycling gps data.  The Washington Parks route was added.  These following routes were updated: Atlantic Coast, Florida, Great Divide, Great Parks, Lake Erie, North Lakes, Northern Tier, Pacific Coast, Southern Tier, Tidewater Potomac, Transamerica, Underground Railroad and Western Express.  I will be excited to see the Sierra Cascades Route when it becomes available!

You can find all the route maps at:

Happy Cycling,

Routes / Google Earth files of Adventure Cycling Routes
« on: December 21, 2007, 06:19:19 pm »
I am enhancing the geographic browser kml files.  The new versions will use appropriate icons for the waypoints based on the data included by adventure cycling in the gpx files.  For example a campground will be shown using a green tent icon.  I have also changed the process for generating the kmz files.  As a result the new files are using the kml 2.1 schema instead of 2.0.  The 2.0 appears impossible to validate because the schema is no longer available.

For a sample of the new format check out

I will update the remaining routes as I re-convert them.

Routes / Google Earth files of Adventure Cycling Routes
« on: November 27, 2007, 09:14:06 pm »

I am sorry to hear you are having difficulties with the google earth files.  It sounds to me like this is issue with your installation of google earth.  I would refer you to the threads below.  I believe you need to uninstall and reinstall google earth.  Furthermore you may encounter a bug that can make this difficult, but a solution is provided in the threads.

Thanks for reporting the problem.

Good Luck,

Routes / Google Earth files of Adventure Cycling Routes
« on: November 24, 2007, 04:14:38 pm »
I have also added online interactive maps of the routes that you can view with your web browser if you are a little patient.


Routes / Google Earth files of Adventure Cycling Routes
« on: November 22, 2007, 10:57:22 pm »
I have placed KML (actually KMZ) files of the adventure cycling routes on my website.  You can view these in a geographic browser such as Google Earth.  These files were generated from the Adventure Cycling Association National Bicycle Route Network GPS Data.  I find these useful for planning next years trip, or for remembering last years trip.  Perhaps someday they will be hosted on the adventurecycling website.


General Discussion / Desert travel
« on: December 22, 2007, 09:14:25 am »
The western express is a great route!  We did it in July a few years ago.  It was hottest in Utah, peaking in Hite at 115 degrees.  Most cyclist we ran into had experienced difficulty with water, despite their previous considerable experience.  I agree with most of roadrunner's suggestions, but we definitely found it advantageous to ride at night.  We would start riding between 3am and 5am when we had a long day and heat was expected, with head and tail lights.  With this strategy we could finish around 11am to 1pm.  Even so, it could be getting quite hot by then.  The traffic in Utah and Nevada is very low before sunrise.  I remember about 1 truck per hour on highway 50, and no cars.  Unfortunately this condition generally does not last after sunrise.  However, on the Milford to Baker section that was about the peak traffic in the morning.  I would also reiterate rr's recommendation to be self sufficient.  Other cyclist told us of needing help and  not being able to get any motorist to stop.  If you can hit a full moon as we did there is a lot of natural light.  On long days when heat was expected we carried between 1.5 to 2.0 GALLONS of water EACH, we never ran out.  This amount of water might not have been sufficient if we didn't get so much of our riding done in the early am.  While we prefer to camp, in Nevada we mostly got rooms.  We found zero water between towns most of the way from Milford, UT across most of Nevada.  So you are pretty much forced to stay in town, rooms are often quite cheap, and AC is nice!  Of course if you are not constrained to ride in July or August you should have an easier time with the heat.  One last warning, rattlesnakes!  We saw a few on the road in Utah, some alive. One buzzed at my wife as she rode by.  Keep your eyes open.  Certainly be careful when you step off the road if there is brush obscuring your view of the ground, or wait for a lonely moment and stay on the road.  We saw one scorpion on the road, dead.
Despite all that, for those that are prepared, this is a beautiful and enjoyable route.  It is one of my favorites.

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