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Messages - briwasson

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Gear Talk / Re: Packing a DSLR?
« on: July 15, 2014, 02:06:31 pm »
I have an Ortlieb handlebar bag with their padded camera insert. Works great. You can't put a long lens on the body. , though.

New England / Re: trailhead for adirondack loop?
« on: June 12, 2014, 07:15:00 pm »
Speculator is a nice little town that is on the route (I believe). There are a few town parking lots there. You could probably let the police know you are parking there and all would be good.

It's a beautiful bike, but I think the price is very, very optimistic. A brand-new Co-Motion Cascadia S&S runs about the same price.

Youth Bicyle Travel / Re: Day tours with 2yo in bike trailer
« on: March 29, 2014, 02:18:55 pm »
Your best bet is to search for rail-trails in the areas you are traveling in. Your question is so broad with regard to location that it's kind of hard to answer.

A good resource to search out trails is the Rails to Trails Conservancy's "Traillink" website:

We've done day biking and even overnight tours with our son since he's been a bit over a year old (he's nine now). Lots of fun and a great way to explore. Hiking is good, too, of course, but you'll see a lot more on the bike. You just have to decide whether you will use the bikes enough to warrant bringing them. We did a cross-country tour with our campervan last summer and debated whether to bring the bikes. In the end we did, and I'm glad. We did rides in every national park we went to, and lots of other places, too. In a way it forced us to ride more, because had this idea that if we were lugging them around the country with us we better use them! So for us it was great.

We biked the closed part of the road in Grand Canyon South Rim to Hermit's Rest, an old stagecoach road in Yellowstone, the nice paved bike path in Grand Teton NP, around the campground and Lake McDonald area in Glacier NP, a rail-trail in Missoula, Mt., etc. One of our favorite memories of the entire 30-day trip is getting up early and biking the canyon road in Zion NP. Simply amazing, and totally uncrowded (we saw maybe 10 people max in an area that gets inundated during the main part of the day). And, of course, bikes are great at the campground and it's nice to be able to leave the vehicle parked and ride to the ice cream stand or whatever. You just need to look: you'll find plenty of places to do bike rides, even in parks or areas that might not seem too conducive to biking at first glance (like Grand Canyon).

Regarding transporting the trailer, that can be a bit of a pain, but I have seen waterproof bags that allow you to pack the trailer in them and then attach to an arm-type bike rack (hitch rack or similar). Space is always at a premium when RVing.

General Discussion / Re: Packing for Air Travel -- Tandems
« on: March 13, 2014, 09:30:53 am »
Don't plan on hauling the S&S backpack cases along with you on your tour! They are fairly heavy and don't pack down that small if you include the plastic side stiffeners. I wouldn't be too keen on lugging around two of them on a long tour. Plan on finding bike boxes at your destination and just cutting them down to size. I've made up disposable S&S-sized cardboard boxes (26x26x10) and just threw them away at my destination, making a new one at the end.

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)

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