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Messages - indyfabz

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Gear Talk / Re: Sleeping Pad Recommendation
« on: July 22, 2016, 09:40:00 am »
Do the geometry in your head. Something full length and non-inflatable that is even a mere 1" thick is going to be bulky when folded or rolled. You are not going to find such a pad that packs down to a size comparable to an inflatable.
It folds to 20"X5"X5.5"

I consider that bulky, but maybe the OP won't.

Gear Talk / Re: Sleeping Pad Recommendation
« on: July 22, 2016, 08:02:15 am »
Do the geometry in your head. Something full length and non-inflatable that is even a mere 1" thick is going to be bulky when folded or rolled. You are not going to find such a pad that packs down to a size comparable to an inflatable.

Received a report from a local club member that the bridge on Sheaff Ln. just east of Stenton Ave. is gone, assumedly for reconstruction.

Here is a suggested detour:

Heading south from intersection of Sheaff Ln. and PA 73:

Left onto PA 73
Right at traffic light onto Joshua
Bear right onto Militia Hill Rd.
Left onto Stenton Ave.
Right onto Militia Hill Rd. to rejoin regular route

Heading north from Stenton Ave. and easterly portion of Militia Hill Rd.

Right onto Militia Hill Rd.
Bear left onto Joshua Rd.
Left at traffic light onto PA 73
Right onto Sheaff Ln. to rejoin regular route

Use caution on the short (.37 mile) section of PA 73. The easterly end near Joshua Rd. has a shoulder but it narrows and pretty much disappear as you approach Sheaff Ln., and there can be a good deal of traffic depending on the time and day of the week.

Also, if you want to view the working sheep farm, cross PA 73 from Sheaff Ln. when heading south. It's right there on the SW corner. Take a look, go back to PA 73 and follow the above detour.

General Discussion / Re: Bike Touring on Rainy day's
« on: July 19, 2016, 06:38:07 am »
That's not what you wrote repeatedly on Bikeforums before you got banned from that site.

The OP's primary goal is to make the bike as comfortable as possible for long climbs. Don't really see how getting rid of the bar ends would contribute significantly (or even at all) to the attainment of that goal.

OP: Ride it fully loaded to determine whether or not the gearing is low enough for you. If not, consider replacing the smallest chainring with something smaller. Don't know what the stock gearing was on the '09 model, but if the small ring is a 26t look into replacing it with a 24t or even a 22t.

General Discussion / Re: Bike Touring on Rainy day's
« on: July 17, 2016, 09:07:19 pm »
And what would you do (if you actually toured) if it began to pour or snow or hail in the middle of the day's ride?

General Discussion / Montana Trip Report
« on: July 14, 2016, 04:36:17 pm »
Photos from my eleven-day, 545 mile loop tour out of Missoula, MT starting June 15th:

(Click on the first one and advance manually.)

The route with campgrounds listed (started and ended at the Missoula KOA):

Much of the mileage I had ridden before during other tours out that way, including ones in 2011 and 2014, but some was new to me. I had planned to take the 5th day as a rest day but ended up doing a 23 mile out and back ride from the Bike Camp in Twin Bridges, where I spent two nights.

Nice weather except for 15 miles of light rain at the end of day 1 and rain (sometimes heavy) all night in camp, a couple of bouts of hail on day 2 and a thunderstorm on the penultimate day. One unplanned indoor stay in Jackson on day 2 because the hot springs lodge that allows camping was not yet open on Thursday and it was really cold and windy out by the evening. My motel stay in Butte was planned. Cooked most dinners.

The route incorporated over 70 miles of gravel/dirt roads, including 30 miles of beautiful Rock Creek Rd. and 23 miles of hilly, rough, deserted Melrose Rd., where all I could hear was the wind and other sounds of nature. Due to the heavy rain on day 1, on day 2 I ended up scrapping the additional 20 miles of gravel/dirt that is Gibbons Pass and instead rode Lost Trail and Chief Joseph Passes.

Critter sightings included two young, mule deer bucks, a beautiful fox, a common snipe, great blue and other herons, an American bald eagle, ospreys, various other raptors, sand hill cranes, hummingbirds, a beaver that crawled onto the bank of the…wait for it…Beaverhead River and even two examples of the one species of American white pelican that is native to the state. Much to my delight, the mosquitoes were not bad at all, even in Wisdom. I think I used my repellant maybe three or four times.

One shock was the development that has sprung up in the Ennis area. I camped at the fish access campground there on June 25, 2000 during a tour from Seattle to Mesa Verde N.P. There were only a few other occupied sites and no one using the boat ramp. This year I stayed there on June 20th. I got one of the last vacant sites, and there were a lot of people taking their float boats out of the Madison River. Across from the campground are new homes near the river bank.

One cool sight was the cowboy driving the cattle along the side of the road a bit east of Wise River. He was quite pleasant and asked me about my trip as he passed. When I told him, he tipped his hat and said "Sounds like a plan!"

Nice people stories: I stupidly used my one dollar bills to pay for something in Virginia City so I didn't have exact change for the $12 campground fee at Ennis. I asked around and a woman who was having a picnic there with her friend gave me two ones when it turned out she didn't have change for a five. I met a local rider while leaving Butte. He showed me a new trail that took me towards Anaconda. The trail eliminated some I-90 frontage road riding. The trail is so new it's not on RWGPS so I couldn't include it in my map. The goal is eventually have a system of trails stretching between Butte and Anaconda for, as the local joked, all eight people in Butte who ride bikes.

One disappointment was not getting to tour the caverns at Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park, where I camped. What I failed to realize when I reserved a site is that, while the campground is easy to reach from the road, the caverns are 3.2 miles up a steep hill with grades that reach 9%, and the wind was gusting over 30 mph all day and into the evening. The photo showing me clocked at 6 m.p.h. was taken as I rode towards the park.

It’s a small world. The penultimate night on the road I camped in Philipsburg  at the same location as Adventure Cycling’s supported Cycle Montana trip. The leader of that trip, along with three participants, had all been participants on AC’s 2010 Cycle Vermont Trip which I was also on.

Starting to plot next year’s western trip and am thinking of again starting in Missoula and heading northwest into Idaho.

Gear Talk / Re: Bike - Light Duty Touring Aluminum vs. Steel
« on: July 14, 2016, 07:36:41 am »

What was your girlfriends longest tour and was it self-supported?

Thanks again!

Two longest were a week+ plus in Montana and Canada and 10 days in Montana. Several other three-day trips. All self contained. She towed a trailer. She never really took to unsupported touring.

Gear Talk / Re: Bike - Light Duty Touring Aluminum vs. Steel
« on: July 13, 2016, 02:16:30 pm »
Back in 2011 I looked for a touring bike for my then GF who is 5' even. Only thing I could find off the shelf for someone her size was the smallest size (42 cm) Surly Long Haul Trucker with 26" wheels. She likes it a lot. Their Cross-Check, which they bill as a light touring bike, also comes in a 42 cm size but with 700c wheels. Both, of course, are steel.

Gear Talk / Re: Front Panniers or Rear Duffel??
« on: July 12, 2016, 07:24:29 am »
Personal preference, but I like four panniers. Good weight balance, solid bike handling, extra space when needed, and no concern about a light front wheel causing imprecise steering. There are some downsides, however, like the extra weight of a front rack and two more panniers.


Routes / Re: Trans America question: Distance between pit stops
« on: July 05, 2016, 07:35:41 am »
There are other areas where reservations might be wise. For example, I was recently on the TransAm for a few days. Everything in Ennis, MT looked pretty booked up as I headed to the fish access campground and then took a spin around town. That was on a Monday during popular fishing time.

Routes / Re: Cycling from Portland, Or to Logan's Pass
« on: June 30, 2016, 03:45:01 pm »
Many moons ago I did some of what Carla mentions, only in reverse. I started in Seattle, went up to the Northern Tier near Mt. Vernon, WA, rode to Glacier N.P. for a few days and then doubled back to the Columbia Falls/Whitefish area and took the Great Parks North to Missoula, staying at a state park campground in Big Fork and then the U.S.F.S. campground at Lake Alva.

Routes / Re: Great Sand Dunes CO
« on: June 29, 2016, 11:25:53 am »
You can see the road using Google Maps Street View. Appears to be little to no shoulder most of the way south from U.S. 285, with a wide shoulder starting a bit outside Alamosa.

Gear Talk / Re: Continental Touring Plus
« on: June 28, 2016, 09:57:06 am »
I bought a new LHT fitted with Continental Sport Contact tires.

Got a puncture first ride, and another the second ride - both from stone chips which penetrated the tire. Coincidence maybe - but this really shook my confidence in Continental touring tires.

All Conti tires are not created equal. The Top Contact/Contact II is what you need for great puncture resistance. Just got back from MT where I rode at least 75 miles of unpaved surfaces, much of which were very rough and rock-strewn.

General Discussion / Re: Pannier Discussion
« on: June 27, 2016, 07:27:27 am »
The only panniers I have ever seen with aluminum stiffeners are my Robert Beckman panniers I bought in '99. I understand he's back in business, but I don't know what he's using these days, and you may need a second mortgage on your home to afford his stuff. I am pretty hard on stuff and my current Ortlieb Packer (Sport and Back) panniers have performed well over the last five years.

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