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Routes / Re: Pacific Cycle Route tour suggestions for visiting Brits
« on: October 17, 2012, 11:56:33 pm »
I did Portland to SF 12 years ago mid - late summer (930 miles). The really pretty part is the Oregon coast to say 200 miles south of SF (Big Sur). There are some severe climbs, but lots of rolling. The pacific coast is far from flat, so there is little level riding.

One gotcha is weather. Depending on what you mean by spring, you could be rainy much of the time. The coast north from SF will be wet until sometime in June. South is beter.

Also, you say 500 miles - that is about what SF to LA is, so you might do that. Keep in mind that trains are not as good in the US as the UK, so you may be better off flying from LAX to SFO return. So, if you kind find a way to rent, ride from SF to LA, fly the bikes bake and return them. Then go on to Reno, which is straight east from SF.

I haven't riden that route, but I have driven it (a couple times).  The part closest to LA isn't as exciting (in my mind), but Big Sur is gorgeous.  I will note though - there are hills - This coastline is right along the San Andreas Fault.  Other attractions - Hearst San Simeon "castle". The huge mansion built by Randolf Hearst, the New Paper millionaire, Monterey... Not a bad ride by any means.

Does that help?

Gear Talk / Re: How much does a sleeping bag liner increase warmth?
« on: October 15, 2012, 04:03:21 pm »
the space blanket idea is interesting. I was planning to take one as a ground cloth anyway - to save the bottom of the tent. I have used these as ground cloths before - While it is imposible to get them back in the original package, with practice they will go in a sandwitch size zip lock bag.

Also, I did a bunch of googling this weekend - seems that on the backpacker side, most feel that silk liners are really only for keeping the bag clean - dont count on more than 2 or 3 degrees add.

Now the fleece liners seem to add more.

I am thinking I'll grab the phantom 45 and spends some nights on the balcony to see what additions I need.

Gear Talk / Re: How much does a sleeping bag liner increase warmth?
« on: October 13, 2012, 03:07:28 pm »
As winter is approaching you will have plenty of cool weather to experiment in your back yard
Good point. Though I live in a condo with just a small balcony - but doable. And here in the valley of the sun, mornings at or below freezing are infrequent  8)  None the less - a very good suggestion. And I can test how I do stuffed, vs. hungry. I know that makes a difference too.

Gear Talk / Re: How much does a sleeping bag liner increase warmth?
« on: October 12, 2012, 04:53:19 pm »
@bogiesan - Down is a given.  while it does have to be kept dry, it is lighter for a given warmth, but perhaps more importantly, it has a much broader temperature comfort range than poly.
@ staehpj1 - yes, I hear lots good about the phantom 45. And I found a site with it for $220.  I'll likely bite at that price.
My tour collection is growing  ;D

Gear Talk / Re: Best touring tires
« on: October 12, 2012, 04:47:51 pm »
@dkoloko - Yes, tires loose air over time. But in the 2 1/2 weeks for that ride, they didn't lose enough to bother adding.  And yes, perhaps a bit of hyperbole, but I stand behind me recomendation to the OP.  I have tried a lot of tires over the years, and my experience has been nother but positive with Conti's. Also note that this is a general recomendation, not just based on puncture resistance.
As usual, YMMV...

Gear Talk / Re: How much does a sleeping bag liner increase warmth?
« on: October 12, 2012, 12:07:54 am »
Thanks guys.  Your experience seems to validate the claims.

Sounds like the liner + 40 or 45* bag is the answer.  Then in effect I'd have a 10* bag (my existing 20* bag + a liner), a 20* bag (existing bag alone), a 32* bag (new 45* bag + liner), a 45* bag (new bag), and a 60* bag (just the liner).  Lots of options :)

Gear Talk / How much does a sleeping bag liner increase warmth?
« on: October 11, 2012, 06:13:33 pm »
I'm looking to buy a lighter bag for summer use, and plan to use a liner for colder stretches.

The liner manufacturers claim upwards of 10* F added comfort range for the silk liners when using them.

Those of you who have used them, what have you found?

Reason is - I have a 20* bag now - too much for my TransAm plans for next summer, but a 45* bag while perfect for Kansas to Virginia may be marginal for the Cascades and Rockies. But if a silk liner really adds 10*, then a 45* bag will be perfect for these times.

Is this valid claims or are these modern $50 snake oil items?

Gear Talk / Re: Best touring tires
« on: October 11, 2012, 03:06:53 pm »
Your question holds part of it "Top 700c touring" or more specifically "Top Touring" which is what Continental used to call their touring tires.
Expensive to buy, but less $ / mile.  When I used them from Portland OR to SF I never even craked my pump in the 2 1/2 weeks, and continued to use them for another couple thousand miles of commuting.

Now they are called the Touring Plus (the plus is a reflective sizewall stripe).

I like pdlamb have tried the paselas, but found then to not last nearly as long, and to come apart. - cheaper to buy, more $ / mile.

I hear good things about the Schwalbe Marathons, but have never tried them.

Staehpj1 mentioned gatorskins - I use those on my road bike to protect against the goat head thorns here in Arizona and love them, but haven't tried them for extended or loaded usage.

When I do the TransAm next summer I intend to use Conti's

Gear Talk / Re: tent for transam
« on: October 11, 2012, 02:46:25 pm »
"OK, folks, we got another one on the hook.  Play him carefully! "

:)  Retirement is getting close enough that I can almost smell it!

General Discussion / Re: planning the Southern Tier for January?
« on: October 11, 2012, 12:00:22 am »
As someone living in Arizona, I will definitely say to avoid April - October unless heat doesn't bother you.
On the other hand, the higher terain will be chilly in January, so plan accordingly.
I live only 3 miles south of the route through Tempe/Mesa, so if your looking for lodging here, PM me.

Gear Talk / Re: tent for transam
« on: October 10, 2012, 11:51:54 pm »
Well folks, I decided on the Fly Creek UL2 - only 4 oz over the 1, and while tight, will suffice for the 2 weeks or so my sister joins me.  And still one of the lightest available. Mostly freestanding too.  Checking on line I saw that it seems that noone discounts Big Agnes, so I went to REI and used my 20% off one item, and dividend, and a couple $200 Visa points cards.  I now have my tent. 

Now for a new lighter sleeping bag (my 20* Marmot Sawtooth is way too much) and a new set of rear panniers to replace the pair I have been commuting to work with for 15 years (and which have holes big enough to stick my finger through).

I had figured this trip was a once in a lifetime dream, but by the time I have been geared up, I better plan on doing it again!

Routes / Re: Timing and weather
« on: October 10, 2012, 01:18:11 am »
Well, looks like I have killed this horse...

Sounds like I should shoot/plan for a start 1st weekend of July - the 6th, and 11 weeks going to mid September. That does mean the days are getting shorter (I had forgotten about that as it isn't as dramatic hear as it was when I lived in Oregon), but any earlier and I risk McKenzie being closed.

I have a brother in law in Eugene - He should be able to get info for me on the pass too.

Thanks all for the input.


Gear Talk / Re: tent for transam
« on: October 10, 2012, 01:13:07 am »
Thanks all for all the input. Sounds like I now have enough into to compare options. From this I think it's go as light as possible within cost constraints. I need a new set of rear panniers, likely should get a lighter, not as warm sleeping bag, and a tent. Plus air fare, plus, plus...

So I'll be looking at the total package for cost vs. weight.

That said, at the economy end it looks like the spitfire is the winner;  at the weight weenie end, the Big Agnes Fly creek.
That is, just over 2 # for just over $300, or just over 3 # for just over $100 - that's about $13 / oz...

Routes / Re: Timing and weather
« on: October 08, 2012, 11:18:38 pm »
@John -- Yes, I do mean the TransAmerica Trail. I should have been more clear.

Your input is very helpful.  So how late of a start can I make, and what are the impacts of waiting?
I can start my Sabbatical any time from june 26 on, so there is no constraints as to starting later.

As to how cold I sleep - I have used the bag at 20* in winter, with extra clothing. I wont say I was supper comfy, but I survived. So with a jacket on, I can use a manufacturers comfort ratings as acceptable for me.  You noted the Phantom, the 32* version of which just happens to be on close out at REI now for ~ $250 - Or were you refering to the Phantom 45?  I could likely use that to 40* in a pinch, with a jacket, but wouldn't sleep much below that.

@Indy -- "Are you familiar with/acclimated to riding in extreme heat and humidity" extreme heat definitely; humidity, some, but less so.  I live in Phoenix AZ and commute by bike, and do club rides on Saturday AM. Your note of "topping out at 107 in IN, with a low the night before of 85" sounds like an average July/August day here. Extreme would be a low of 95 and a high of 115.

I have ridden home at temps up to 120. But, the humidity, as high as it gets during our Monsoon season, isn't as bad as the midwest, though the "feels like" temps are similar. But, that is why I asked John (in this responce) about impacts of waiting.

So - Your thoughts?


Gear Talk / Re: tent for transam
« on: October 08, 2012, 11:10:51 pm »
@rifleman - Thanks for the input - The fly creek is on the lightest / smallest side of what I would consider. How long was your tour?  Would you consider it a TransAm route worthy tent? - Note, I am 5' 9" tall, and dont care if my bags are inside with me. The UL2 isn't much heavier, and my sister may join me for a week or two, so that might mater (she is 4' 11 9/10" tall :) )

@dbbcpa - what do YOU find the weight to be?  Did you ever use it where you couldn't put stakes in the ground (concrete)?

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