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Messages - brad

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General Discussion / Re: Touring Question
« on: March 16, 2013, 03:40:20 am »
The biggest issue facing most Americans wanting to do longer tours are the absurdly limited vacations we are allowed. As the poster above points out it is all about prioritization of expenses. As a career Army officer I have been able to tour in some amazing places where I have lived for extended periods, Europe, Africa, and in the US. However, I am still unable to get the time for a "grand tour." It has nothing to do with money, or time away from family. My little crew is so used to be me being gone that a three month tour is nothing. When I retire long bike and wilderness trips will be required, because otherwise I am not sure how my wife could cope with me at home all the time! I'm lucky, at 30 days of paid leave per year, I frequently carry almost three months of vacation at a time. However, being able to take it is another story. I jokingly tell all of my international friends that the national sport of America is working...we as a culture could go a long way to learning a bit more about a healthier work-life balance.

Gear Talk / Novara Safari to LHT 2013 project
« on: March 10, 2013, 10:42:41 pm »
I had an '07 Safari that was stolen, replaced with an '08. I hate the '08 frame. I am now moving back from Africa to Europe and am planning to replace the Safari with the disk trucker. I have not put many miles on in the last two years due to where I am living and am just going to swap all the components over to the LHT. My summer project...

International / Re: European Bicycling Resource
« on: February 03, 2012, 11:33:37 pm »
If anyone wants recommendations on books, maps, or websites to use for touring in Germany please email me at I lived in Germany four years, speak/read/write German/French and toured extensively throughout Central Europe by bike. Cheers, Brad

Gear Talk / Re: How to clean a hydration system (tube)???
« on: February 03, 2012, 11:10:09 pm »
As an ultra-marathon runner I use a bladder system for all my long runs and when backpacking,bike touring. Even with using sweetened drinks like Gatorade, etc as long as you rinse and dry the tube you will not have any issues with mold or bad taste. I suggest on your rest days rinsing it with water and allowing it to air dry completely. You should be fine doing this...

General Discussion / Re: Fishing across the continental US
« on: April 23, 2011, 01:39:11 pm »
I am very interested in making a long cycling trip and taking my time to fly-fish through the NW...

Gear Talk / Re: all weight in the rear ?
« on: May 24, 2010, 05:09:13 pm »
I have toured many miles with just back panniers on, I think you will more than be ok!

General Discussion / Re: mountain v. road clipless shoes/pedals
« on: May 24, 2010, 05:08:00 pm »
I would never think of anything but clipless for true road bikes or mountain biking, i favor look and egg beaters respectively, however i have found that for me, in touring europe and africa, the ability to cut my load to one pair of shoes that i can bike, hike, and run in makes a world of difference.

International / Re: Biking in Umbria, Italy
« on: May 22, 2010, 02:26:40 pm »
Never toured or biked there but have been there as a normal tourist to Perugia, I don't think climbing or long rides with good food will pose much of a problem to find!

General Discussion / Re: mountain v. road clipless shoes/pedals
« on: May 22, 2010, 02:23:20 pm »
@DaveB - I fully agree with your points and would add that I pretty much tour and commute solely in regular trail running shoes with toe cages and platform pedals as a way to eliminate having to carry redundant sets of footwear. It is not as efficient pedaling but allows for frequent dismounts and sightseeing and I still don't have any issues putting in similar high mileage days when required.

Routes / Re: cross-country WITHOUT ACA Maps
« on: May 22, 2010, 09:43:19 am »
Maybe I am old fashioned but using the ACA maps is a great resource that should be taken advantage of if it matches your desires for a given tour but also, there is something to be said about pedaling off with an unknown route and building the airplane while you are flying.

I am an ultramarathoner and I find that cycling is a nice break for the legs, but I run on average about 40-50 miles per week. In running there is no substitute for running but it can help maintain overall fitness and add variety to your workout. I commute about 15 miles daily on my bike and have pretty much quit training for competitive cycling and instead just focus on touring/commuting when it comes to bikes. However, remember that many iron-distance triathletes spend the majority of their time in the saddle while training but still turn pretty good marathon times. If you have some specific questions email me at Cheers!

Gear Talk / Re: How to remove keyed steering tube sleeves?
« on: May 18, 2010, 11:21:25 am »
Dave, Whittierider,

The the bike doesn't have a normal threadless steering tube it has a keyed sleeve over the steering tube. It is an NVO parts component (REI house brand perhaps) If it was a normal head.

I know the sleeve should slide off by hand but I am having a hell of a time making it happen.


Gear Talk / How to remove keyed steering tube sleeves?
« on: May 17, 2010, 07:13:01 pm »
Replacing the too low handlebars and non-adjustable stem on my new bike, which unfortunately for me, has a keyed steering tube and stem.

Anyone have any ideas on how to remove the sleeve over the steering tube without damaging the steerer?

Bike is a 2010 Novara Safari, replacing the keyed stem with a threadless riser and adjustable stem.


here is the website for the mainradweg, in German but if you have any questions I will gladly translate. the Mainradweg is a completely separate bike path for the vast majority of its length that parallels the river. it also connects with some other bike trails.

Joan and Darren, I lived in Germany four years and not too far from Frankfurt for two of those years. The Main Radweg is very easily accessible. My suggestion would be to assemble your bikes at the airport and then board the S-bahn to the Hauptbahnhof (main train station, about 10 mins). There are several hotels very near the train station and they would probably be accommodating. From the main trainstation you head due north about three blocks to the Main River, walk your bike down the stairs (ramp for that purpose!) mount up and pedal east (hang a right) and enjoy a very good bike trip. I have ridden the Mainradweg in its entirety so please feel free to email me at with any questions. I have some good materials in German as well that I would be willing to share.

Highly recommend Aschaffenburg's Schloss Johannisburg, downtown Wurzburg, and Miltenburg (a very charming little semi-walled town in a huge bend in the Main). I also recommend Dionysius, perhaps the best Greek food in Germany right beside the Main River in Aschaffenburg.

Have a great time on your trip!


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