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Messages - briwasson

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Where and when are you checking for your car rental? I just did a quick search on Hertz for a one-way rental from IAD/Dulles to Williamsburg (April 4-5), and it was $200 total for a 24-hour rental, one-way. And that's without any "coupons" or discount codes applied. That's not too bad.

Were you looking from Dulles or another airport?

General Discussion / Re: Packing for Air Travel -- Tandems
« on: March 01, 2014, 08:10:54 pm »
Coupled bikes going in S&S cases or regular tandems going in fills size cases? In either event it shouldn't be a problem.

We always fit our front and rear racks in our S&S cases. For a front rack, consider the Tubus Duo that is basically an "S" shape without a hoop and is very easy to pack. You need a fork with low rider mounts that go through the fork, though.

Classifieds / Re: For Sale: Trek 520 + Bicycle Touring Equipment $1,200
« on: February 20, 2014, 07:47:43 am »
Great turn-key (turn-pedal?) deal for a touring newbie! Shame you can't ship it though, as I'm sure you'd get lots more interest.

International / Re: Flying into Paris
« on: February 17, 2014, 10:06:39 pm »
Rick Steves' France or Paris guides have good general info about getting into the city. Both the RER and the Airport bus are pretty easy. I've used both. The bus is a bit easier IMO. I haven't done either with a bike though. I believe you can take bikes on RER train off peak. The bus is a nice city type articulated bus, and getting a boxed bike on might be difficult. There is no underfloor storage like on a motor coach.

Are you staying in Paris for jus one night or more? You could always stay the night at one of the several airport hotels and take the train in for the day. 

General Discussion / Re: "Protection" necessary?
« on: February 17, 2014, 09:59:50 pm »
Didn't you already ask this in your other thread? Why repost?

Routes / Re: Northern Tier - bike shops in Bangor or Bar Harbor
« on: February 17, 2014, 09:26:33 am »
Bike "shops"in Bar Harbor are really mainly just rental outfits -that's where they make their money an put their effort. That being said, May should be a quiet time of year for them so they may have time to focus on you. If you can work on your bike yourself, I'd ship it to a hotel care of yourself and ask them to hold it until you arrive.

Routes / Re: Erie Canal Bike Trail - Stone Dust trails
« on: February 17, 2014, 09:22:03 am »
Stone dust trails can be anywhere from hard packed like Tarmac to quasi-quicksand if fresh, unpacked, and water saturated. Usually it's fine, unless you have a lot of prolonged rain that doesn't have time to drain.

General Discussion / Re: Vermont - Independent Support Companies
« on: February 17, 2014, 09:18:07 am »
Why not use a trailer? That's what most folks who want to tour on "racing" bikes do. If you are worried about stressing the dropouts too much, use a two-wheeled trailer like a Burley, which puts less weight in the trailer tongue.

Gear Talk / Re: Neo-Retro / Tour Canti Combo
« on: February 17, 2014, 09:11:41 am »
Why not just use Travel Agents with regular V-brakes and STI? They work fine IMO. I've also used Avid Shorty cantis with STI levers and they work well (I'm running this setup in my tandem and it has plenty of stopping power).

Gear Talk / Re: STI Triple 9 Speed with canti brakes
« on: February 10, 2014, 03:07:25 pm »
I have STI lever 9-speed setups on three bikes that I use for touring. All have Ultegra STI levers. Two (my tandem and triplet) have Ultegra triple FDs, one (my single) has a Dura-Ace triple FD. All have older XTR RDs. The Ultegra FDs work fine with my 48-38-24 chainrings, and the Dura-Ace does well on the 50-36-24 on my single bike.

For road FDs (which you basically have to use if you are using STI levers), I wouldn't go much below a 46t large chainring, otherwise you'll run into some issues. Alpina makes a FD that works with STI levers and more compact chainrings, but they aren't as commonly available. I have one in my parts box somewhere, but never installed it as the regular FDs were working fine.

For 9 speed STI levers, the Tiagras are just fine (had them on my previous C'dale touring bike) and have more trim options for the FD. The Ultegras work well, too, and any 9-speed Ultegra lever will work for both a double and triple setup. If you want to go Dura-Ace, you'll have to get the 7703 triple-specific model (as you know). For a while I was determined to find a Dura-Ace 7703 set of levers for my single bike, but gave up due to price and availability. The Ultegras I have on it now work just fine, but don't  have as much snob appeal.  8)

Routes / Re: Fairbanks -> Anchorage or Anchorage -> Fairbanks?
« on: February 09, 2014, 04:17:57 pm »
If you have some time in Fairbanks, check out the museum at the Univ of Alaska. Worth a visit.

Classifieds / Re: Looking for S and S bike 57-60cm.
« on: February 08, 2014, 08:45:15 am »
$500 for any usable S&S frame is a great deal. Would cost more than that just to add the couplers to a frame (Bilenky charges $600).

Routes / Re: Fairbanks -> Anchorage or Anchorage -> Fairbanks?
« on: February 07, 2014, 02:32:31 pm »
Topography-wise, it's pretty much the same either way. See an elevation chart of the Parks Hwy at (not to be confused with the Denali Park Road, which is a different thing altogether). Check out a copy of The Milepost, too, to get good, current info on the road (it's published yearly).

You'll have a LOT more traffic on the Anchorage-Denali section than from Fairbanks, not only en route to Denali, but also to some of the recreational lakes north of Wasilla. That being said, assuming you are flying into Anchorage, I'd probably say to start from there just to acclimate yourself slowly from urban to wilderness. I find it's usually more relaxing to start riding at your entry point rather than have to travel another day to start. (Well, you could fly into Fairbanks, but most folks don't.)

If the weather is clear, you'll also have the view of Denali pulling you on. Try to time your transit between Anchorage and north of Wasilla to non-weekend days to avoid extra traffic. Also, riding early or after 4:00 will let you avoid the bulk of the RV traffic. There are tons of rental RVs in Alaska and the drivers should be watched with extreme wariness.

North of Denali park the hwy has much more of a wilderness feel and less services. It's also only about 1/2 the distance from Denali to Fairbanks as it is from Anchorage to Denali. If you get to Denali and decide you want to stay longer for whatever reason, you'll have better options for getting back to Anchorage (train, shuttles, hitchhiking, etc.).

While Denali is understandably a strong pull, also consider riding the Glenn Hwy east from Anchorage. In my mind this is the prettiest highway in Alaska and goes through a lot of unspoiled areas. It has a lot of ups and downs, though, so beware of that. A great ride would be Anchorage to Glennallen on the Glenn, then the Richardson south to Valdez (another beautiful road, especially from Thompson Pass to Valdez). Then ferry, fly or shuttle back to Anchorage.

Gear Talk / Re: payment for gear
« on: February 07, 2014, 02:01:59 pm »
PayPal for anything sold online. Sure, they take a cut, but it's worth it.

Occasionally I've taken a check if it's someone who has a long-established presence on an online forum and I feel like I "know" him or her. Search archives and/or Google to get a feel for a person and do "due diligence" on the buyer.

The same has happened in reverse: I just bought a BOB trailer from someone out of state and he shipped it concurrent with me sending a check.

Classifieds / Re: Wanted: Moss Tent and/or Wing Tarp
« on: January 19, 2014, 08:15:09 pm »
I don't think all Moss tents were made in USA. Toward the end of the brand I believe they were made overseas, not in Camden, Maine, like earlier in the 90s and 80s. Great tents, but they are heavy for cycle touring. I used to have a Stardome II and managed an outdoor store that sold Moss.

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