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Messages - indyfabz

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Gear Talk / Re: See the gear on Velo Orange
« on: October 07, 2013, 01:44:17 pm »
Anyone know if "Casey" is Casey Greene?

General Discussion / Re: coast to coast touring 30 days?
« on: October 06, 2013, 10:14:44 am »
You are going to have to ride 30 centuries back-to-back with no rest days at all.

Sorry to be so negative but I don't think you have any idea what you are getting into and you better find out before committing to the trip.

+1. And I am inclined to think it would be more than 30. Per Google Maps, a direct Interstate route is nearly 2,800 miles.

General Discussion / Re: Saddle bags
« on: October 04, 2013, 10:24:34 am »
Here is another frame of reference that might be useful....

I have Ortlieb Sport Packers (front, 30L/pair) and Back Packers (rear, 50L/pair if you believe Wayne at The Touring Store, 42L/pair if you believe Ortlieb). My first tour with them was in an area and at a time that made carryi both warm weather and cold weather clothing prudent. From what I gather, I carry more clothing (both on and off bike) than the average person. I don't carry any electronics other than a cell phone. I am tall and broad shouldered so my clothes are larger than average, and I need a long sleeping bag and mattress. I had a companion but I carried virtually all of the cooking gear, which included a relatively bulky stove (MSR Dragonfly) and 22 oz. fuel bottle. Tent and sleeping bag went on the racks. Even with all that stuff I had plenty of room left over in by bags. Even when we had to carry food to camp I still had some room left.

General Discussion / Re: Motivation: why ride?
« on: September 30, 2013, 11:01:15 am »
+3 on what John said. I finished an 8-day, 475 mile, fully loaded ride earlier this month and felt/experienced every one of those things. At first I thought "smug superiority" was excluded, but then I remembered how smug and superior I felt when, on the last day, I met some friends, who were near the end of a 55 mile day ride, for coffee. My loaded bike next to their cabron fiber feathers made me feel supreior, if only a little.

General Discussion / Re: shipping bikes
« on: September 30, 2013, 10:22:41 am »
You'd better call ahead before you go down to be on the safe side.

+1. I think this issue came up a few years ago and it was determined that shipping service was not offered by all REI stores.

Routes / Re: across USA from NY to San Francisco: ROUTES HELP!
« on: September 23, 2013, 08:02:00 am »
Pennsylvania DOT has signed bike routesRoute S is nice riding.

Meh. Just did most of it from Bedford to Philly and the part that uses the GAP. Yes. The signage is excellent, and the route definitely has many wonderful moments. But there were some stretches where the traffic, which included trucks, was pretty heavy during the week. PA 234 from Bigglerville to E. Berlin was one of them. U.S. 30 from a little west of Chambersburg through the town itself and east to where it turns off on PA 234 was also busy on a weekday. PA 234 into York and then PA 452 out the other side of York was also very busy on a weekday. I even tried to beat rush hour by leaving before 7 a.m. but it didn't work. Getting through Lancaster was a bit of a trial on a Friday around lunch time. Route S also spends more time on PA 23 than you need to. I understand why they do it (The route uses state-maintained roads), but there are much quieter and scenic ways to get east of the New Holland area. Between PA 897 and Weaverland Road all the way to PA 23 via Smoketown School, Turkey Hill, Valley View and Red School Roads I encountered no cars and three Amish kids on bikes. I also encountered this menagerie apparently expecting some treats:

Up on the ridge you could see the cars rushing by on PA 23 on a late Friday afternoon.

East of Breezewood, the abandoned PA Turnpike route is a fantastic alternative to the climb on U.S. 30. You just need a good light as there are two unlit tunnels. One of them is a mile long. The roadway crown means that going east you cannot see the light at the other end of the mile-long second tunnel until you are most of the way through. My 140 lumen camping headlamp was sufficient. I simply followed the median striping. Once you leave the abandoned turnpike at Pump Station Road, it's a short climb north to rejoin the official Route S.

The entire set from Pittsburgh to Philly via the GAP to Cumberland, MD and then U.S. 220 to Bedford (Camped down the street from Cannondale) to pick up Route S:

Mid-Atlantic / Re: C & O Canal-Great Allegheny Passage
« on: September 17, 2013, 03:49:56 pm »
I was o.k. at Connellsville. The problem with Rockwood is that there are two grade crossings smack in the middle of town. By law, the trains have to blow the horns unless what are called "quiet zones" have been established by the municipality. To do that, the municiipality often has to jump through a lot of regulatory hoops, and it can be expensive. Compounding matters was the fact that there appeared to be some industry in town that does its own rail switching in the middle of the night, probably because main line rail traffic is less frequent during that time. I could here what sounds like rail cars being banged aorund. Being in the rail biz, I should have anticipated all this, but it never occurred to me.

The following two nights I camped near the PA Turnpike. Jake Brakes all night. Made me long for the train horns.

Mid-Atlantic / Re: C & O Canal-Great Allegheny Passage
« on: September 17, 2013, 02:59:59 pm »
Just rode the entire GAP from PGH to CUM. There is at least one extended stretch (south/east of Confluence heading to Rockwood) that is much more packed dirt than crushed limestone.

Agreee with Bri that 32-35 is ideal. I ran 32c Conti Contacts. No problemo.

Here are some photos of the entire trip from PGH to PHL:

The image showing the signle railroad track was the last one taken on the GAP.

Do not camp at Husky Haven in Rockwood without ear plugs unless you like train horns in the middle of the night and early morning.

Routes / Re: Sierra Cascades-Oregon section: Windigo Pass question
« on: September 16, 2013, 10:59:12 am »
Did you circumnavigate the lake? I have done it twice but sans gear. Amazing ride. I cannot imagine do it loaded.

Routes / Re: Northern & Eastern Maine
« on: September 04, 2013, 09:30:26 am »
Simple Internet searches will produce answers to your question about trail surfaces.

General Discussion / Re: Self inflating pad / Neo air reliability
« on: August 28, 2013, 04:01:47 pm »
I'll gladly exert the extra effort to blow up the NeoAir.

I don't mind blowing things up. In fact, I bought a BA Air Core for a trip in OR last year after I broke my collar bone. I wanted the extra 1.5". 20 deep breaths inflates it nearly full. But the second time I inflated it--the first day of Cycle Oregon--I watched a small hole open right before my eyes. Nothing I did damaged the mattrerss. The only other time it had been opened and inflated was in my house. I am glad I had the patch kit as there was no source to replace it and temps got below freezing the first four nights. Eventually brought it back to REI for replacements. I used it on a 3-day this spring, but I don't fully trust it.

I have had my ProLite for years. No problems. Next week I am heading out for 6 days. I am going back to the tried and true.

I wouldn't dream of using my light weight  road bike for hauling/pulling anything. There is a good chance that over a bad bump that you could break something.

Somewhat related is the fact that you might not always know what road conditions you are going to encounter. When I did the portion of the Trans Am between Missoula and Fairplay, Big Hole Pass was being repaved. The sfurface was entirely dirt, and it was soft in many places. I was glad for my 37c tires, especially on the descent. A few days later I encountered a pretty long stretch of dug up road east of Ennis that was difficult to ride even with those tires.

Gear Talk / Re: donkey boxx feasible for cross country tour??
« on: August 27, 2013, 02:36:35 pm »
So I'd give these a try.

Also note that the price is for a pair. A Donkey Boxx appears to be $28 for one.

General Discussion / Re: Self inflating pad / Neo air reliability
« on: August 27, 2013, 02:16:02 pm »
Does Therma Rest no longer maek the ProLite 3? It's self-inflating and has been very reliable for me.

Routes / Re: Adirondack Park Route - Need advice
« on: August 22, 2013, 03:33:36 pm »
I did ACA's Cycle Vermont (supported) in 2010, which used a good portion of the Green Mountains Loop including the East Alternative. Yes. There are some hard climbs. Rochester Gap west to east was very difficult even without gear. Middlebury Gap west to east was easier, except for the last segment. Jay Peak was also a good climb, although you can avoid it by going into Canada if you bring your passport. On the flip side, Burlington to Lake Carmi (nice place to camp) was relatively easy, as was Middlebury to Button Bay State Park. Brighton State Park, outside of Island Pond, is also a nice place to camp. Heard and saw some loons there.

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