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Messages - valygrl

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391
General Discussion / smaller ring for touring?
« on: May 10, 2005, 12:01:08 pm »
Agree - I switched my gearing to 50/38/26 and 11-34, and I'm pretty happy with that.


392
General Discussion / Rivendell Atlantis owners...share your thoughts
« on: April 29, 2005, 12:30:21 pm »
My sister has the 47cm Atlantis, and has handling problems with it.

Here's her description:
======================================
The bike is generally over-responsive to input.  Any small changes in pressure to the bars result in surprisingly large turning deflection, to the point where it is very difficult to ride with just one hand on the bars (to attempt to drink from a water bottle, for instance).  At very low speed, the bike tends to wander, while at higher speed, it holds a line well as long as both hands are on the bars.
======================================

She has tried different bar heights and tires, no luck yet sorting out the problem.  I'd be interested to see how you like the bike, if you get it.  

Hopefully you can test ride it before you buy, and see if you have these problems.  

Good luck!
Anna


393
General Discussion / Pannier comparisons?
« on: April 07, 2005, 05:38:53 pm »
Look here for more discussion on this topic...  I really think that waterproofness is not the most important feature of a pannier.  

Ortlieb and Arkel both have great reputations, but are really functionally different - pockets/side load vs. no pockets/top load.  

For me, accessibility to contents, a good attachment system and durability are the most important.  I like exterior pockets and a side-loader, since I keep my tent & sleeping bag on top of the rear rack - that way I can get into the rear bags w/o unloading the top stuff.  

There are lots of ways to keep your stuff dry, the most important thing seems to always be to be ready for rain, do not plan on stopping to fix things up if it starts to rain, when it's too late.  I use non-waterproof panniers with dry bags inside (some cheap goretex bags, some trash compactor bags).

There are as many ways to pack as there are tourists - tent & other stuff on top of the rack depends on your carrying capacity.  Drying the dew (and rain) off your tent will be different day by day - do you have time to wait or do you need to get on the road?  Is is sunny enough to bother to wait?   Sometimes you might unpack your wet tent some time during the day to dry it out - only takes a few minutes in the sun, but will never happen in the fog.

Don't sweat it - you will figure all this stuff out in a week or two on tour.  Just keep your eyes and mind open.  

One of the absolutely coolest things about touring (especially solo) is that *you* both *have* to and *get* to figure out everything yourself.  There are no rules - just keep it rubber-side down -  don't worry about what anyone else thinks you should be doing, try stuff, make mistakes, learn... and have fun!

As Lance said, it's not about the bike (or the panniers, the tent, the stove).... it's about the experience.  

Have a blast...

Anna


394
General Discussion / Adirondack Cycling
« on: March 10, 2005, 12:34:14 pm »
Fred and Brad - just want to say "hi" from another cyclist/climber....  my first time climbing at the gunks was this last October, after finishing my XC tour.... nice place!  Looking forward to cycling around there some time.  

Anyone ever ride with their climbing gear?

Sorry for the thread hijack...

anna


395
General Discussion / Solo Touring?
« on: March 04, 2005, 01:18:41 pm »
Solo touring is fantastic.  You do what *you* want at that very moment, no matter what other people might think you should do - no negotiating, no waiting, no making someone else wait.  You can ride as much or as little as you want, eat when and where you want, stop to add or remove layers when it's comfortable to you, w/o asking someone else to wait.  Stop and see/do the things that interest *you*, not someone else.  

Do you like museums?  Skate parks?  Antique shops?  Wall mart?  Roller coasters?  Dive bars?  Upscale espresso?  Gas station coffee?  KFC?  All-organic live raw vegan food?  Forests?  Beaches?  Sun?  Shade?  What about your friend, what does s/he like... is it the same?  

Also...  there is nothing like touring alone to increase your self-reliance.  This carries over into the rest of your life.  Touring solo is a great life teacher.  There are huge psychological rewards.

EVERYONE wants to talk to you.  You don't have to be lonely if you are even a little bit friendly.  The bike is a great conversation starter.

That said, it's great to tour with a real friend, especially if you like the same sorts of stuff, ride around the same milages per day, and get along well.  But there are a lot of compromises.  Touring is a strenous physical activity, and you and your friend will learn more about each other than you may wish.  Whatever a person's core qualities are, they will appear on tour.   So if you go with a friend, you should know them well.  If you go with a stranger, you should be prepared to compromise, keep your mouth shut if you are unhappy, and go off on your own if needed.

Pacific Coast is a great tour, have a blast!

Anna


396
General Discussion / NZ - A Gr8 place to tour!
« on: January 21, 2005, 04:06:24 am »
Hi Heather, good on ya for your tour!  I rode in NZ last February-March, and did a cross country trip here in the USA this past summer.   I wish I had known about the great facilities at the Holiday Parks and Backpackers there, I wouldn't have bothered with a stove... although i used the heck out of my tent.

In the US, there is never a kitchen in a campground or RV park - if you want to cook, you must bring your own stove and everything else.  Motels are generally at least $30, and more often $40+.  Backpackers (we call them hostels) are very rare, and usually are just in larger urban areas.  Camping here is generally charged per site, not per person, so it's possible to share to save money.  RV Parks (most like Holiday Parks) are $15-25 and have coin-op laundry (about $3-4 for wash and dry).  They usally are pretty ugly and noisy.  National park/forest service campgrounds are $5-10, and usually just have water, pit toilet and picnic table.  These were my favorite - they are usually in a beatiful natural setting, often with a river or lake to jump in.   Some local parks (city, county) allow you to camp for free, I checked at town hall or the police station to see if that was ok.  Stealth camping is possible, but I didn't do much, so I have nothing to recommend.  

If you are going to camp, you will need your own sleeping gear and rain protection.  Campgrounds don't provide anything.

Not all small towns have motels.  I didn't do the TA route, so I can't speak for what it would be like to do that using only motels, but the route I took wouldn't have worked without camping.

I found camping and cycling gear to be a whole lot cheaper here than there, so you could try going light and then buy stuff here if you need it.  Try REI.com and REI-outlet.com for good stuff, good deals, and overnight shipping.

Have a great trip!

Cheers,
Anna


397
General Discussion / Money and Banks
« on: October 14, 2004, 04:36:32 pm »
Hi Heather,

I should think that $40/person/day is more than enough - camping should be $8-$25 per day per site.  I found the food to be a bit more expensive in NZ, but the lodging a bit less, as compared to the US.  Also, we pretty much don't have backpackers/hostels the way you do.

Major difference between camping in NZ and in the US, is that in the US they charge per site not per person, and the camp grounds do not have a kitchen, like your lovely holiday parks do.  If you are planning to cook, you will need to bring a stove.  

You will need to carry some cash, if only because the campgrounds in national/state forests and parks are often self-registration - no one on site, you put cash in an envelope.

Random info...
Not every small town has an ATM (cash machine).  Many gas stations do have ATMs.  Most bigger supermarkets will do "cash back" with purchase, this is a good way to avoid out-of-network ATM surcharges.  Big chain supermarkets have "club cards" that give you a discount on selected on-sale items - you can just tell the cashier that you are travelling through and can you borrow their card, to get the savings.

If you are a AA member in NZ, the AAA here should give you free maps (I did it the other way around, so check to make sure it goes both ways).  The AAA maps are a really useful supplement to the A.C. maps, especially if you want to wander off-route in a city.  THey also have tour books and hotel books that give you locations and rate info about lodging.

I toured NZ for 7 weeks last austral summer, it was fabulous.  Hope you folks have a great time here.

Oh the thing that really sucks about the USA:  There is no Hokey Pokey.

Anna


398
General Discussion / State DOT links for bike routes
« on: September 17, 2007, 06:13:32 pm »

399
General Discussion / Anyone for San Fran to Vancouver in late June?
« on: May 04, 2004, 09:47:38 pm »
I did Vancouver to Crescent City and Legget to San Rafael last year, and Santa Barbara to Monterey a few weeks ago, so I've done a bit of both directions.  Since you are going to be taking a bus anyway, I would advise N->S.  

There's a great tour book "Cycling the Pacific Coast" by Kirkendahl and Spring.  I have two copies, and I'm sorta local to you (East Bay) so if you want to buy a lightly used copy, lemme know.

I'd love to join, but I've done too much of that route already.

Have a good ride!

Anna


400
General Discussion / Touring food query: Wine w/o the bottle
« on: April 29, 2004, 09:13:34 pm »
Finish the bottle.  Or share.  Either way, you will feel great!

:D


401
General Discussion / Shipping Bike
« on: April 13, 2004, 10:00:18 pm »
Or you could box it yourself, and pay (usually) $80 to the airline to take it as baggage.  Takes a little while to get it into the box, depending on your bike, the box, how much you have to disassemble, how many times you have done it.  Took me about 2 1/2 hours the first time, one hour the second time.  Requires allen wrenches and a pedal wrench, plus whatever additional tools you might need to take racks and fenders off.  There's a picture and description in the LP Cycling New Zealand.  Don't forget tape and zip ties.  Also, put all loose parts you take off the bike in a bag and tape or ziptie it to the bike, in case the airline opens or damages the box, so you won't loose your parts.  

I have heard you can get a bike box for like $20 at some airports, but haven't tried it myself.

You should be able to get a box from a bike shop for free or cheap, if you can find a shop that has been building bikes.  Also try Walmart, Kmart, etc that sell bikes.  

Some hotels near airports provide courtesy shuttle vans, you could try to find a hotel/bike shop/airport that are pretty close together and box your bike up in the hotel room the night before.  Less stressful that way.  I just did the reverse of this in L.A. (of course, i didn't have to source a box).  

good luck.

anna


402
General Discussion / Climbing and Cycling
« on: April 13, 2004, 10:08:07 pm »
I'm into both, too.  Been climbing for 10 years, cycling for a little more, touring for the last year.  Hey MrBent, I'm in California too, but Bay Area based right now.  

I just got back from NZ, and it was heartbreaking to not climb there... but the idea of hauling all that gear around was just unappealing - my bike was heavy enough already.  I'm more into trad and aid climbing, and I don't really boulder, so the gear comittment would be big.  I guess I would need to haul a partner around too? ;>  

Kropp's da man.  RIP

Anna

This message was edited by valygrl on 4-13-04 @ 9:09 PM

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