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Messages - John Nelson

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31
General Discussion / Re: Paniers vs. Trailer
« on: April 07, 2016, 04:19:45 pm »
The ACA has a number of articles on this subject. They sum it up this way:

Panniers excel on paved-road riding and single-wheel trailers are at their best on rough, unpaved terrain, but both can work well for nearly all types of touring. Personal preference is the ultimate arbiter.

Here are a few articles to get you thinking:

http://www.adventurecycling.org/default/assets/resources/panniersversustrailer_03.pdf
http://tomsbiketrip.com/the-trailer-versus-panniers-debate-continued/
http://travellingtwo.com/resources/biketouringbasics/chapter-13-loading-up-the-bicycle/trailers-or-panniers-which-is-best
https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/page/?page_id=8360
http://www.bikeroute.com/TrailervsPannier.php
http://www.bikeforums.net/touring/25268-bob-trailer-vs-panniers.html
https://backpackinglight.com/forums/topic/30815/

If you trip includes travel by air or bus or train, a trailer may involve extra effort and/or expense.

Obviously, if your bike won't take panniers well (full carbon, short chainstays, no fittings, etc.), you will probably use a trailer.

The ultralight people will say the answer is "neither".

For me, I go with the wisdom of crowds.

This is more religion than science.

32
And which airport?

Call the airline you plan to use at the airport you plan to use. Ask them about box availability and box size. It's going to vary.

And be sure to have a backup plan and time to execute it if they happen to be out of boxes that day.

There's too much uncertainty in all of this for my taste. I'd be a nervous wreck. I prefer to get a bike from a bike shop ahead of time, and then find a method of transportation to the airport that can handle the box.

33
Routes / Re: TransAm question
« on: April 01, 2016, 10:40:08 am »
The Western Express is the standard way to cut miles off the TransAm. It cuts off 476 miles, or about a week. On the Western Express, you'll see a somewhat more scenic part of Colorado, and the wonderful canyon country of Utah. But you'll miss Wyoming (not much of a loss), Grand Teton and Yellowstone (a huge loss), the Lochsa River Valley of Idaho (stunning) and the southern Cascades.

Do what you gotta do. We all have constraints, and tradeoffs to make. It'll be a great trip either way.

34
Consider flying to Bellingham instead of Seattle. It may even be cheaper (it was for me—twice). It's an easy ride from Bellingham down to Anacortes along the Pacific Coast Route. You don't have to go all the way to Anacortes if you don't want to. You can join the Northern Tier at Bay View.

35
Gear Talk / Re: What did you forget to pack that you needed?
« on: March 25, 2016, 03:24:17 pm »
I propose we exclude things that we intended to take and accidentally left behind.

Bicycle Route 66 involves quite a bit of riding on the interstates. Interstate shoulders have quite a few exploded truck tires. Exploded truck tires have a lot of tiny wires that get embedded in your tires. Some of these wires are very hard to pull out. I failed to appreciate this problem and did not bring tweezers. Easily solved as almost ever drug store and many grocery stores sell tweezers.

Other than that, nothing really.

36
Gear Talk / Re: Mirrors
« on: March 24, 2016, 05:27:23 pm »
Love it. Helmet mirror. Visor mounted. Taped on (valuable tip I got from Friedel of the Travelling Two). Helmet mount allows me to aim it where I want. Allows me to see if the road is clear enough to swerve around that pothole while at the same time allowing me to keep my eyes on the pothole. I wish I had a mirror while walking.

And I love the visor. In addition to providing a good place to mount the mirror, it's great for rain and when cycling into the sun or a dust storm, and helps keep your nose from getting sunburned. Some people say it has a downside of forcing you to hold your head up a bit more, but that's not been a problem for me.

37
General Discussion / Re: How many bags do you carry on your bike?
« on: March 24, 2016, 05:19:57 pm »
I like a tidy appearance too. I have four panniers, a handlebar bag and my tent on the rear rack. I occasionally have stuff on the outside of my panniers, but only if I have wet stuff to dry or need to keep my raincoat handy when rain is threatening. I never use bungee cords. The handlebar bag is essential for me, because that's where I keep food that I can access on the move.

A tide appearance improves safety too, as there's less chance of stuff getting caught in your wheels.

38
General Discussion / Re: Flying with bike racks...?
« on: March 23, 2016, 08:55:12 am »
When packed with your clothes, I find that racks take up very little room in your luggage.

39
General Discussion / Re: Asking too Much?
« on: March 20, 2016, 01:53:35 pm »
We are wondering if our bike expectations are unrealistic. 
...
Is long distance touring AND local riding too much to ask of one bike?
In general, yes.

But it depends on what you mean by "local riding." If local riding means going to the grocery store or farmers market, then your touring bike will be great. If local riding means a 50-mile club ride, then the touring bike won't do.

It also depends on your standards. If you want a bike that will be "sufficient," then almost any bike can do anything. But if you want a bike that is well-suited to the task, then you need two bikes.

It also depends on how much gear you take on longer tours. The more gear, the more you need a real touring bike.

Besides, two bikes is always better than one.

40
General Discussion / Re: Passports?
« on: March 20, 2016, 01:45:54 pm »
Having a passport is invaluable. Taking it on the TransAm is useless.

41
Routes / Re: My route for cross country 2016, ideas?
« on: March 18, 2016, 03:21:45 pm »
Nice route. Well planned. You'll have a blast.

42
General Discussion / Re: So I bought a bike now which panniers?
« on: March 18, 2016, 03:18:30 pm »
Like one big pocket and complete waterproofing without added raincovers? Choose Ortileb.

Like lots of pockets to organize your stuff? Choose Arkel.

On a budget? Choose anything else.

43
Routes / Re: Century day along the TransAm route
« on: March 18, 2016, 03:16:33 pm »
I had a strong tailwind almost every day westbound across Kansas in June. The eastbound cyclists were bitterly complaining. YMMV.

44
Routes / Re: Century day along the TransAm route
« on: March 17, 2016, 11:35:59 pm »
I agree. Kansas, specifically western Kansas. You will have a few tailwind days that will make 100 miles easy. Start early in the day.

45
General Discussion / Re: Locks for a solo Trans-Am camping tour?
« on: March 12, 2016, 05:25:02 pm »
For those folks who already do this, what length of cable do you recommend (incl. enough length to run through both wheels)?
I carry a four-foot cable with an integrated lock, and a six-foot extension cable. That's enough to get through both wheels, the frame, all four panniers and around an immovable object (except a large tree).

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