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Messages - indyfabz

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631
General Discussion / Re: High Visibility - Always Good or Not?
« on: May 19, 2011, 09:27:22 am »
I think that if you are off the bike (or even on it) and a potential thief is close enough to see your bike, they are going to be close enough to see that you are carrying gear regardless of pannier, etc., color.

Darker colors hide dirt and grease stains better.  (I tend to get things dirty easily, which is why I opted for red Ortliebs rather than the bright yellow.)  From an aesthetic standpoint, they are less likely to stick out like a sore thumb from your frame.  The thought of, say, a "Blue Velvet" Surly LHT paired with bright yellow or day-glo green panniers and accented with with a blazing orange tent stuff sack makes me cringe.  At that point, you might as well go for broke and put on bubble gum pink bar tape.

I am with Staephj1.  Theft is not something I worry much about on tour.

632
General Discussion / Re: Spring Snow in the West
« on: May 18, 2011, 09:42:59 am »
The North Cascades Highway in WA is still not open due to massive snow pack, continuing snow and slides.  Crews have encountered boulders as large as cars.  The DOT web site says they are hoping to have the road open my Memorial Day, but they are not certain that will happen.  '98-'99 was a heavy snow winter.  This was taken near Wasington Pass right around the end of May:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/davez2007/5246696015/

You can't tell from the photo, but snow is falling.

Logan Pass in Glacier N.P. will probably not open until late June due to snow and reapir work caused by avalanches.

633
General Discussion / Re: Cross Country Trip: Money, What To Do?
« on: May 17, 2011, 12:39:44 pm »
I like the "game" of having things sent to me. Perfecting something like that goes with my personality and if I miss it, I'll be creative about it, just as you explain.

I had film mailed to me constantly for three months along with other treats from friends.  Other memebers of our group also got mail.  It was never a problem.

Try to choose a place where you will be taking a rest day during the week or maybe Saturday to help ensure the post office will be open when you are there.

Try to choose a smaller town.  General delivery mail goes to one post office, so if you have someone mail something to, say, Seattle, you may have to do some travelling to track it down.  Not the case in a smaller town that has only one post office.  My favorite mail story is from Browning, MN, which was a suggested mail stop.  A worker at the post office made a welcome sign for everyone in our group that had mail and hung it on the front door.

Contact the USPS to find out how long they hold general delivery mail.  Back in the day, it used to be two weeks.  That is a pretty big window schedule-wise.

634
General Discussion / Re: Planning Route - NO Shoulders...common?
« on: May 17, 2011, 12:00:17 pm »
I agree that 32s would probably be good for that type of surface.  Some unpaved road can be more rocky and gravel covered.  The worst is when they are washboardy.  We are going to have a 20+ mile section between Melrose, MT and Twin Bridges where that is a distinct possibility (not available on Street View, but research suggests so) so I am going to stick with the stock 37s my LHT came with.

http://www.montanapictures.net/twin_bridges_montana_storm_three.htm

635
Gear Talk / Re: clipless shoes
« on: May 17, 2011, 09:51:13 am »
I've had a pair of Shimano shoes with recessed SPD's for about 10 years. They are fine for just going into a convenience store, restaurant, market, etc. but I swap them out for walking shoes for any lengthy walking and as soon as I stop for the day.

Me, too.  Just got a new pair of Shimano shoes (MT33L I believe) to replace my old touring/commuter shoes, which were also a pair of Shimanos.  My off-bike shoes are usually some sort of sports sandal.  I also bring 5&10 cent store flip flops for nasty showers

636
General Discussion / Re: Planning Route - NO Shoulders...common?
« on: May 17, 2011, 09:38:23 am »
I am trusting google to show me the right path. I like the option of getting the sky view of the roads, that helps.

Depending on what you consider the "right" path, be careful with that, especially out west.  In more remote places, you won't always find Street View or the satelite images useful, and Google may send you over unpaved roads.  For example, pick Philipsburg, MT as a starting point and then ask for bike directions to Hamilton, MT.  Google will route you over the Skalkaho Highway (MT 38), which tops out at 7,300 ft.  You can see part of it on Street View.  What is hard to realize, however, is that the road turns to dirt for a long stretch, including the narrow, twisty, switchback-filled, guard rail lacking west slope.

http://www.videosurf.com/video/going-over-skalkaho-pass-anaconda-to-hamilton-montana-1205944563

(Watch once the descent starts.)


Personally, I am looking forward to that adeventure, but others might not consider it the right path.

637
General Discussion / Re: Surly LHT: Adjustments needed to fit me...
« on: May 16, 2011, 04:26:36 pm »
Ufortunately, the Surly LHT's have seat tube angles that are too steep and top tubes that are too long for touring.

So the 1000 or so comfortable, stable, fully-loaded miles I have put on both of mine were all in my mind?  Guess I had better a new bike before I head off to Montana in 7 weeks.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/davez2007/3676632284/in/set-72157620763740044

http://www.flickr.com/photos/davez2007/5727333189/

638
General Discussion / Re: Planning Route - NO Shoulders...common?
« on: May 16, 2011, 04:12:59 pm »
Perhaps useful:

http://www.sctrails.net/Trails/ALLTRAILS/Bikeguide/biking.html

Although I love the massive disclaimer that calling these touring routes does not imply that they are safe for cycling.

639
Gear Talk / Re: new OFF product
« on: May 12, 2011, 10:06:03 am »
Good info.  We will be riding in some mosquito infested areas of Montana in late June/early July.  I will pick some up and put them to the test.  But I will still bring my 100% DEET as backup.

640
Routes / Re: Portland to Boise
« on: May 12, 2011, 09:59:53 am »
While it's been a while (2002), I rode from Nyssa, OR to Sisters via Ironside, John Day Mitchell and Pinneville during Cycle Oregon using U.S. 26 off and on.  I don't remember any shoulder issues. You can always use Google Maps Street View function to see if there are shoulders.

Heading east, at Mitchell there is a relatively short climb of a few miles. Then there is a long (over 20 miles), elevation loss to the junction with SR 19.  The rest of the way to John Day isn't bad.  Wish I could remember more.

Bring lots of water.  It was very warm during the second week of September, and there was little or no shade much of the time.

Finally, if you are planning to ride McKenzie Pass into Sisters (worth the effort), check with ODOT first.  I saw some news stories reporting that its considering not plowing this year because of the estimated cost.  Apparently, there are drifts up to 30'.

641
I did AC's Cycle Vermont last August.  Some people did the Quebec alternative.  They crossed at Richford and came back in at N. Troy.

The climb on the "regular" route is not that bad, although I wasn't riding loaded.  And it's good training for Rochester and Middlebury Gaps, which are noticeably more difficult.

642
Gear Talk / Re: Brooks Saddle - Some helpful tips before I purchase
« on: May 10, 2011, 11:35:34 am »
You questions re:  Brooks seems to be based on the assumtpion that you will find one confortable.  How do you know that to be the case?  Saddles are highly personal, and I know several people for whom Brooks do not work.

When are you starting your trip?  Brooks has a break in period.

FWIW, I use the Terry Men's Liberator and love it.  But again, it's a very personal thing.


643
General Discussion / Re: Need advice from you! (the pros)
« on: May 10, 2011, 09:09:21 am »
What's your route again?

644
General Discussion / Re: Gotta eat, but don't want to cook/boil
« on: May 06, 2011, 09:09:25 am »
Are you going west to east on AC's Northern Tier?  If so, be advised that after Newhalem, WA, where there is a small store, there ain't nothing in the way of food until Mazama, which is 60 miles away, and most of that is up hill.  About 7 miles east of Newhalem is Colonial Creek Camprgound.  You can get water there, but that's it.

What happens when your pefect plan does not take shape?  You get socked in my weather no where near an eating establishment.  The restaurant you were expecting to encounter is closed or went up in flames a few weeks before.  Being dependent on fixed places for dinner could limit your choices of overnight locales and/or require you to eat dinner before the day's riding is done.  Unless I am doing something short and familiar, I always carry some emergency pasta, and olive oil is part of my normal kitchen. so I am set in a pinch.

If you go without cooking equipment, make sure you tip your server well.

645
Routes / Re: Niagra Falls...
« on: May 02, 2011, 01:43:43 pm »
@ Tourista:  I dont plan to go to Canada. Although it would be nice. And I'm sure I'll have a great time! Thanks!

@Indy:  Rainbow Hostel. I'll have to look that up. Thanks for the tip. 20 minutes is not bad, considering that thats ALL I'll be doing once I'm at NF! LOL.

Heading west, the AC route goes into Niagara Falls, Ontario just south of Lewiston, NY and takes you right by the falls.  The Rainbow Hostel is in Niagara Falls, Canada. It re-enters the U.S. via the Peace Bridge from Fort Erie, ONT to Buffalo.  It's my understanding that the Canadian side has better views than the NY side, and there is a recreation trail along the river for much of the way.

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