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Messages - indyfabz

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46
And if you get hooked on bike shops in old, red barns, this place is on the Old Dabry Rd. Alternative of the TransAm in Hamilton, MT, or you can get there via paved roads (MT 38 and Sleeping Child Rd.) off of U.S. 93 just south/east of the center of Hamilton:

http://redbarnbicycles.com/

Nice group of people.

47
Gear Talk / Re: Gear Inches for the Northern Tier
« on: April 04, 2016, 10:10:17 am »
Thanks BikePacker.  I'm so excited for this tour.  What do you consider more gear then most, weight wise?  I'm thinking of carrying no more than 50 lbs, likely less and I'm on the lighter side at 140 lbs.

While it was some time ago, I did the entire NT W to E and, the following year, the western portion to Glacier a second time. If you are a light, strong person with a lighter load, 19.3 should be o.k. During my rides, I was about 50 lbs. heavier than you are carried a lot of weight thanks to a lot of film camera equipment. Bike and gear placed on a truck stop scale was 90 lbs. Low gear was a 22x34. Worked out fine, though I struggled in some places, such as right out of blocks from Colonial Creek Campground on WA 20.

I highly recommend doing the mileage into AB. I was there again in '09 during a loop from/to Whitefish, MT. The towne campsite in Waterton Village is in a dramatic setting and is a good place for a day off. Just don't underestimate the ride there from St. Mary. I found it harder than Logan Pass in Glacier. Another harder-than-it-looks section is between Libby and Eureka. Lots of ups and downs along the lake that can wear you out. South from Eureka follow the ACA route proper. The detours off U.S. 93 are a nice break and pretty. If you need a break along that stretch, go off route the .25 miles to the mercantile in the center of Olney. (You will see a blue sign pointing towards the town center.) The place has a neat collection of old pop/soda bottles. Also follow the ACA route between Whitefish and W. Glacier. There is a section of U.S. 2 between Columbia Falls and Hungry Horse that has no shoulder. I stayed on U.S. 2 the second time. I made it alive, but I went very early in the morning. U.S. 2 can be much noisier whereas the ACA route through Blankenship is low traffic. After Blankenship Bridge, it is unpaved, but it's manageable.

What time of year are you planning on starting?

48
Routes / Re: El Nino impact on Sierra Cascade route this spring?
« on: March 30, 2016, 01:49:26 pm »
Here is a previous thread that mostly touches on Windigo:

http://forums.adventurecycling.org/index.php?topic=11935.0

49
Gear Talk / Re: Who makes decent rain gear....
« on: March 29, 2016, 10:17:17 am »
Just put my new Showers Pass 2.1 jacket to the test last weekend during two cold, windy and wet days. Loving it mucho, especially since my REI dividend covered the entire cost when using the 20% coupon. ;)

50
Gear Talk / Re: What did you forget to pack that you needed?
« on: March 29, 2016, 10:09:31 am »
The nice thing about bike touring is that it doesn't require all that much in the way of equipment or clothing.

+1.

Before my first tour, which was a cross country tour, I asked a friend with touring experience to suggest a few items that I might miss if I didn't have them. She told me: (1) a warm hat (I was doing the Northern Tier starting in May) and (2) a good flashlight. She was correct. Other than that, I figured the rest out by looking at the suggested items on ACA's web site and on my own.

51
Routes / Re: Question for those who have toured in Europe
« on: March 28, 2016, 03:58:12 pm »
I was in Andalucía touring 16 years ago today. For maps, I used Michelin's map of the territory. They make some very details maps. I think I got lost maybe once in seven weeks. The nice thing about a detailed map is that if your plans change you can plot a new route.

The map for Andalucia showed some campgrounds. For more thorough information I contacted the Spanish National Tourist Office in New York. They sent me lists of campgrounds by province. But now you can find much of that on line.

52
General Discussion / Re: Newbie
« on: March 28, 2016, 03:50:20 pm »
Having lived around and taught many "redneck" with their big trucks (I also drive a pickup, have for 30 years) I have found that most of them will treat you with as much respect as you have for them.

My biggest fear when I first crossed PA west to east was the "Pennsyltuckian" and his pickup truck. Having now crossed the state west to east two times via two different routes, they are the least of my concerns as they were quite courteous. PA has a 4' passing law. Some of them gave me far more than that. The biggest dangers were the hurried drivers in and around mid-sized towns and in the suburban sprawl outside of my home town of Philadelphia. And people should remember that pickup trucks can be your friend. I was touring in MT and stopped a place where you can pan for sapphires. As I was leaving, I was talking with a worker there about whether getting over an unpaved pass would be difficult due to recent rain. She said if I to come back if I couldn't make it and she would give me a ride back to town in her truck.

And I agree that RV drivers can be much more of a threat. I nearly got tagged last June in Custer, SD by someone in a big motor home. I was .25 miles from camp. The road was straight and there was no oncoming traffic. After the incident I was so hoping the driver was going to turn into the campground where I was staying. He did. I rolled up to his rig and politely but sternly let him know what I thought of his actions. He was unapologetic.

53
Dumb phone and a bike computer. I will probably add an e-reader as I like to read at night and I am tired of blowing through headlamp batteries.

54
General Discussion / Re: Flying with bike racks...?
« on: March 22, 2016, 04:31:24 pm »
Yeah. I would try to "weave" the racks around the frame. That's what I do when I ship my bike to the start of tours, albeit the bike isn't coupled so the box is larger than what you are probably using.

If you are worried about them being bent, maybe devise some braces akin to the plastic pieces that are often used to span dropouts so the fork and rear triangle don' get crushed.

55
General Discussion / Re: How many bags do you carry on your bike?
« on: March 22, 2016, 04:24:54 pm »
What front rack are you using? I'm looking for a rack just like the one in your photo for my new Mazama.

It's the Nitto Big Front Rack from Rivendell. It's not cheap (understatement of the day), but it's incredibly strong and good looking, with a nickel plated finish. The panniers will ride a little higher than with low riders, which provides more ground clearance. I don't have any handling problems with the weight a little higher, but I cannot compare the ride to low riders since I have always used a front rack that puts the panniers higher than they would be with a low rider rack. One time I was able to duct tape a freshly baked pie from a roadside stand to the front rack on way home from a long weekend tour. I like the versatility it offers.

If you want something with a front platform that is more affordable, I think Jandd still makes its Extreme front rack.

56
General Discussion / Re: Asking too Much?
« on: March 22, 2016, 04:17:57 pm »
I think a lot of what the OP wants hinges on what "local rides" mean. Now if it means roadie style club rides as others speculate, then yeah, a traditional touring bike probably wouldn't be appropriate. But when I heard "local ride", I thought more commuting, or non-competitive recreational rides. For those, a touring bike would be fine. For many years my Long Haul Trucker was my good bike, so I used it for touring, commuting, and other recreational rides. And it worked fine for my needs. Sure, a lighter road bike would have been better for some of the long rides, but I didn't feel that hindered by my choice of the bike.

Yep. In addition to using my LHT for self-contained touring, I use it for general transportation. In these parts, I am B road rider. I wouldn't take my LHT on a B club ride, but I have used it for C rides when "slumming it." ;)

Another thing that has been left out is the type of touring. Credit card? Camping? Cooking? If going credit card style, you could go with something less than a full-bore touring bike.

57
Routes / Re: Great Divide Route - NFS Maps
« on: March 22, 2016, 08:39:42 am »
Doesn't the route also pass through Beaverhead-Deer Lodge NF south of Wise River, MT.

58
General Discussion / Re: How many bags do you carry on your bike?
« on: March 22, 2016, 08:33:32 am »
I am a four-bagger who now puts his tent in one pannier;

https://www.flickr.com/photos/105349603@N05/21974111708/in/album-72157659421384310/

rather than on the front rack platform like I used to:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/davez2007/8693744863/in/album-72157633368316419/

I still have the front platform for the bag if I need extra capacity for food. Plus, it makes a great firewood carrier.

Some people carry more than others and need more capacity. Some people like a bar bag because it offers easy access to oft used items like sun block and cameras, and you can easily remove it and take it and your valuables with you when you leave the bike. Some bar bags have clear map cases on the their tops. It's all good as long as your having a good time.

59
Routes / Re: My route for cross country 2016, ideas?
« on: March 19, 2016, 12:25:25 pm »
Here is to hoping I-10 didn't suffer damage that will cause long-term closures affecting LA 82:

http://www.kplctv.com/story/31489268/i-10-closure-brings-heavy-traffic-to-cameron-la-27

60
General Discussion / Re: So I bought a bike now which panniers?
« on: March 19, 2016, 12:17:26 pm »
Don't overlook the Ortlieb Packers. Easier to get into if you need something on the road.

My first set of bags were made by Robert Beckman. They were compartmentalized. When I switched to Ortliebs, I thought I might find the one large pocket aspect less than ideal, but that turned out not to be the case. I went with the Sport and Back Packers. The Backs have a small outside pocket. The Sports and the Backs have insides small mesh "pockets" and a divided space that will hold thin items like books, maps and even plates.

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