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Messages - indyfabz

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General Discussion / Re: What can towns offer cyclists?
« on: July 03, 2015, 09:28:14 am »
I would suggest having a store in town that sells supplies that a touring cyclist might need, mainly I have in mind stove fuel. The stores in a RV park or the hardware and grocery stores generally don't have the type of stove fuel a touring cyclist needs, often only selling the 1 lb Coleman propane bottles or the 1 gallon cans of Coleman fuel. It can be difficult to find the correct stove fuel in rural America and carrying more than about a weeks worth of fuel can be difficult.

Touring cyclists often use the 8 oz butane/propane thread on canister fuel containers or would like to buy Coleman fuel to fill their 20 oz fuel bottles. Having the canister fuel or selling Coleman fuel out of the gallon can by the ounce would be wonderful I think.
What Dan said! Buying white gas (camping fuel) by the ounce would be amazing!

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk

+2 on being able to buy smaller amounts of White Gas/Coleman Fuel. I wouldn't even mind paying a markup on it. Beats having to buy a gallon when you only need 15 oz. and leaving the rest behind, which is something I had to do on one occasion.

Routes / Re: Pacific Coast Highway on a road bike?
« on: July 02, 2015, 03:40:42 pm »
So that covers the sleeping arrangements. Then you need to add stove, cookware, fuel, food, water and sundry other camping items.
Weight (and volume) can escalate rapidly.

a stove isn't at all necessary if you're trying to pack light. Personally, the last thing I want to do at camp is spend an hour warming a can of beans, then have to clean up etc, although I've seen plenty of tourers that do it.

I can whip up something like this, munch it down and do clean up in about an hour:

Just got back from a non-cooking tour of the Black Hills. It was my first trip of more than three days without cooking gear. I will never do that again unless I know I will be in an area where dine out options can regularly provide broad sources of nutrition as opposed to simply calories.

General Discussion / Re: What's an 'average' day?
« on: July 01, 2015, 02:05:42 pm »
Long days the saddle can be great in theory until you hit days of rain and cold and wind and rough roads, etc. Also, you will see the same scenery between points A and B whether you spend 3 days going from A to B or 5 days. Some would say you will see more if you take 5 days. Since you will only have to answer to your own schedule I wouldn't worry about an average day. My second and third tours were nearly two month solo trips. Only one of the two had a firm deadline, but it was far enough off that I didn't have to worry about it much. I had daily plans for both trips, but they changed drastically depending on external and internal conditions. For example, while touring in Andalucía I planned to spend two nights in Cordoba but spent four because it was dry and warm and convenient, unlike many of the places I had just come from.

I just got back from touring the Black Hills. Winding up not doing as many miles as I had planned, in part because, on the advice of a Nebraskan I trusted, I decided to scrub the planned Nebraska portion of the trip. While I did fewer miles than expected, the flip side was that I had plenty of time to visit the mammoth site in Hot Springs and wasn't so worn out or rushed to take a cave tour at Wind Cave National Park.

Routes / Re: Hamilton to Butte via Skalkaho Pass
« on: June 29, 2015, 04:09:41 pm »
Somewhere on this forum there is a relatively recent thread about the pass. I rode it last year in the opposite direction. Heading from Hamilton, once you cross the pass the descent was mostly soft dirt. Then there is a random paved stretch before it turns to dirt again. Once you reach Gem Mountain, the pavement picks up again. There was a washout on the Hamilton side of pass so a portion of the rode was oficially closed to traffic, but I was able to make it through. It is a fun ride. I was riding an LHT with 37c Conti Top Touring tires.

When do you plan on trying it? I rode it in late June. There had been a lot of rain so the dirt portion was a bit spongy. Just as I started the descent towards Hamilton I got caught in a torrent of cold rain. I would consider having a good rain jacket and war, gloves if you could hit some cold weather.

Note that the only thing in the way of food and drink is at Gem Mountain. They have bottled water (no potable tap water), sodas and snacks/nuke-able sandwiches. I stopped there, bought a bucket of dirt and walked away with 16.25 karats of small sapphires. Continuing on to Butte, there will be a still climb once you turn on to MT 1 from MT 38. At the top, next to Georgetown Lake, there is a marina with a small store. Never been in, but the sign suggests they sell beer and thus probably soda and snacks. For a while you cruise pretty flatly along the lake. A little after Silver Lake it's all down hill through Anaconda to the junction of MT 1 and I-90, where there is a highway rest area with water and bathrooms.

This photo to the last three of the album set were taken on MT 38, going in the opposite direction that you will be:

Note that you can make it from Anaconda to Butte without riding I-90 if you don't mind some more gravel. There is a trail which takes you up the hill into the old section of town. The camping in Butte is not so nice. I recommend treating yourself to a room at the Hotel Finlen. The motor lodge portion of the establishment is basic but well kept, and it's right in the old section of town. Throwback to an earlier era. The first year I stayed there my bathroom had a bright lemon yellow toilet, sink and bathtub/shower. Get a room on the first floor and you can roll your bike right in. The place also has a retro bar/lounge that is neat. Let me know if you want the exact route and I will map it for you.

General Discussion / Re: Has anyone biked the east coast?
« on: June 14, 2015, 10:43:41 am »
New Jersey bears are athletic:

Seriously...We just missed seeing one in the Gap during an organized century.  Alas, all we saw were his muddy  prints in the road. The year before a couple of them walked out of the woods while the official photographer was photographing cyclists.

DOH! I need new glasses.

General Discussion / Re: Has anyone biked the east coast?
« on: June 12, 2015, 09:38:36 am »
Assume you are referring to ACA'S Atlantic Coast route. Today's predicted heat index here in Philly is 99. July can bring horrible riding weather in these parts. Hot and very humid. I imagine it only gets worse the father south you go. Or it could be o.k., but I wouldn't bank on that.

As for the route, the section between Port Jervis, NY and Lambertville, NJ uses some of my favorite roads in that part of the world. I ride the subsection of that between Belvedere and Frenchtown, NJ as part of some day rides. Another nice thing about that stretch is that there are numerous places where you can wade/swim in streams and the Delaware River to cool off. Worthington State Forest has a campground right along the river, and there is a developed swimming beach a few miles north of it. Also, there is a good amount of shade in the summer, and you might have the pleasure of seeing a bear riding through the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.

Twin Bridges, Jackson and Wisdom, MT are small places that might have them. Dillon, MT surely will. There is at least one gift shop or something similar in Twin Bridges. Since I just know you will spend a night at the Bike Camp there :) you might as well explore the town. There ain't much in Jackson except a lodge/campground that has a hot springs pool, a bar and a restaurant, and a café across the street, but I think I remember some post cards at the front desk when I was there last year. Check the grocery store in Wisdom. Maybe 10 miles or so west of Wisdom you will pass the historic battlefield site. Might be a gift shop there. Maybe the Country Store/campground on your right in Sula as you are descending from Lost Trail Pass. IIRC, just before you get there you will pass the local post office.

Oh. Western-themed Virginia City, MT will certainly have them, and you will need a rest after the tough climb out of Ennis. ;)

Gear Talk / Re: Front Rack Decisions
« on: June 10, 2015, 07:13:25 am »
That was quick. If you haven't purchased yet, take a look at the Nitto Big front rack from Rivendell. The front platform is perfect for a sleeping bag or even a smallish tent. The panniers sit between high mount and lowrider level. Pricey but incredibly sturdy and pretty.

General Discussion / Re: Loaded Tour Bike Handling
« on: June 09, 2015, 09:13:07 am »
"Retroshift" (now called Gevenalle) shifters are brackets mounted on standard Tektro brake levers (both caliper/canti and V-brake versions are offered) and use downtube shift levers.  The levers are right under your hands just like brifters, can be swept across the entire cassette in one motion.  Front shift is friction allowing infinite trim and indifference to crank and front derailleur choices.   They are available with 9,10 and 11-speed Shimano compatible shifters or use your own if you want 7 or 8-speeds.

Hmmm....Too late for my upcoming tour that starts next week, but I will definitely look into them when I get back. I did a tour across PA last year. There were a couple of days with constant, severe rollers on roads with less than pristine shoulders. There were several times when I wanted to down shift to help maintain momentum through the next rise but was hesitant to take my right hand off the hood at high speed to reach the bar end shifter. Instead, I ended up coasting until my speed dropped to match the gear I was in.

General Discussion / Re: Loaded Tour Bike Handling
« on: June 08, 2015, 08:00:56 am »
I never stand when riding loaded. You can always lift your butt off the seat while coasting. Think of a jockey holding back a horse on the back stretch during a race.

You sure picked a tough place to start. I hit 48 mph heading east into Ticonderoga.

Stay at the community center or whatever it is in Monroeville. You will probably be thankful for the A.C. And if it's still open, have a beer at Staggers.

The barn in Boonville, NY was an interesting place to stay. Fire Lake in Bowling Green, OH, not so much. Right next to the highway.

Routes / Re: Connecticut connect to Northern Tier
« on: June 02, 2015, 01:57:20 pm »
Good to know about the signs. Route V was generally signed well, but there were some places where it was not. At the same time, there were some places where the signage seems overkill. One place that comes to mind is east of Raymond Winter S.P. There is a relatively long stretch through forest land where there are no places to turn off the highway, yet there seemed to be a sign every two miles. A few days earlier in the trip there were some places where additional signage would have been helpful. Route S also could have used some additional signs in places. I always take the individual page maps. You can toss them or use them to start campfires as you go along.

General Discussion / Re: United Airline Policy on Bikes
« on: June 01, 2015, 10:16:36 am »
For all domestic trips involving air travel, we now ship our bikes fedex ground or ups in advance in Trico Iron cases.

Have you looked into I will be using them again for the second time next week. They are essentially a FedEx discount service. You buy on line and they email you the prepaid shipping labels. Their web site even has a drop down menu with the dimensions of popular bike cases.

Shipping 65 lbs. estimated weight of box, bike and rack round trip between Philly and Rapid City, SD. Total with $1,500 of insurance and $5 surcharge for pick up at a LBS in Rapid City is $115 round trip for 4-day shipping. I will be flying Delta, which charges $150 each way.

Routes / Re: Foreigner needs assistance with epic solo bike trip.
« on: May 28, 2015, 02:06:18 pm »
Here is an older thread on this forum with some notes from someone who did the loop:

Where does the time go? I have the map for years and keep saying I am going to do it. Problem now is that we are a one car household right now. Heading to South Dakota next month for a trip through the Black Hills and NW Nebraska instead.

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