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Messages - briwasson

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International / Re: Loire Cycling
« on: July 30, 2015, 06:54:38 pm »
There are a number of self-guided outfitters that offer trips in France. Usually they set you up with a rental bike, arrange each night's lodging, and transport your luggage each day. But during the day you are on your own. This is how many if not most Europeans that use services tour. There are a few big outfits out of Austria and Germany. Austria Radreisen is one. I can't recall the other. Search on "self guided tours" and the Loire and you should turn up some options.

General Discussion / Re: Tandem on the Northern Tier
« on: July 30, 2015, 06:38:21 pm »
BTW, my wife and I have been riding and touring on tandems (and now on a triplet with our 10 year old son) since 1994, so if you need any advice send me a PM.

General Discussion / Re: Tandem on the Northern Tier
« on: July 30, 2015, 06:37:06 pm »
There's a current journal on CrazyGuy by a couple riding from NJ to the west coast in a tandem. I think they are doing a modified N Tier route.

General Discussion / Re: Buying Used Question
« on: July 30, 2015, 06:35:15 pm »
A T800 for $300 is a pretty good deal. I had one for a while and liked it. Does it have a threaded (quill) stem or threadless? The nice thing with C'dale frames is that they are the same across all models of that year, so upgrades make sense if/when you want to make them.

A friend of a friend just had her bike stolen in Portland, Oregon, after riding cross-country from the East Coast. I don't know her, but here are the details from her posting asking for help. If you know of it, contact the Portland Police using the case number at the end.

Note, this is NOT MY BIKE. Just posting to maybe help her find it.


I just rode across country from Washington DC to Portland OR. My 2nd to last day visiting Portland, my touring bike, that I built myself, was stolen this morning sometime before 8am PST on west Burnside St (NW). I am absolutely heartbroken. I dont have many friends/connections here in Portland but posting this anyway to get the word out for those who are nearby. If you know people in Portland or surrounding area, please tag. Could be already in the marketplace or several weeks before the culprit sells it.

Surly - Long Haul Trucker
Black 46cm frame
26'' wheels (Continental Tour Ride)
Honey colored Brooks leather saddle (possibly under black seat cover) and matching tan handlebar tape
Teal cable housing
Headset has a unique spacer thats a lime green beer bottle opener
Shimano bar end shifters
Black front rack (old man mountain) and back rack **the front rack cannot be removed unless they find a new quick release for hub mounting**
Front and back Planet Bike fenders **with lots of bright yellow reflective stickers**
The right of the top tube only says "Trucker" on it (compared to all/most LHT bc I scratched it off).
27 speed. Large chain ring is black, middle and small are silver.
Pedals are MKS step-in **flat on one side, clips on the other**
I had a nameplate on the back fender that said "Megan" from Natural Bridge, VA but likely was removed.

Unfortunately I dont have many pics of the bike unloaded because I finished building just before the trip.

Portland police case #15-248109

Routes / Re: Getting to TransAm start point (Yorktown, VA)
« on: May 09, 2015, 09:08:33 pm »
FYI, Very soon, perhaps this summer even, Virginia will open its new Capital Bike Trail, running from Richmond to Williamsburg and through Jamestown. Yorktown isn't much farther from the end of the trail.

I'm not quite sure what you are asking here, other than about your wheelset's viability? If you have specific questions please detail them sand folks will be happy to help.

I'm 5'9" as well, and would never think to buy a large frame. But, I guess it all depends on your leg length, etc. you can adjust reach and all that with stems, longer steerer tube (or extender), etc.

Routes / Re: Maryland to Maine route? (Breast Cancer Awareness Ride)
« on: April 05, 2015, 08:34:02 pm »
Philly is a "necessary evil"? Hmpfffh.

Routes / Re: Anchorage to Dawson Creek- Gradients?
« on: March 23, 2015, 11:17:36 am »
I've driven the Alaska highway a few times, but haven't biked it. Hopefully some riders will jump in, but until then...

The Alcan doesn't really have any terrible grades, and especially nothing like the Alps (I've biked Galibier, Alpe d'Huez, etc.). I think the maximum grade is something like 10%, and not for a very long distance. The grades are basically when you are coming in and out of river valleys. If you've cycled a lot in the Alps and can deal with that, you'll be fine on the Alcan. I'd characterize the Alcan as undulating with the occasional steep climb.

Check out the "Alaska Highway Bible" at It's a big, printed book, but is well worth getting for planning any trip in the far north, as it has literally mile-by-mile guides to most all of the northern roads. Really helpful.

There are also quite a few trip reports on I'd start reading them to get an idea of the conditions.

There are a bunch if trip write ups for this on I'd suggest starting there for some narratives. I've biked that route three times Passau-Vienna and and other parts of it a few additional times. I've also done the Tauernradweg a few times. I'll post some ideas tomorrow when I'm at my computer and a real keyboard instead of an iPhone.

I've camped all my life in the NE region, and have seen a bear twice. Both were in remote areas while backpacking. I wouldn't worry much about running into a bear on the route you are taking.

Campgrounds aren't very plentiful in this corridor, and when they do occur are usually commercial campgrounds that aren't terribly cheap. If you are on a budget definitely look into Warmshowers, Couchsurfing, and even wild camping.

Gear Talk / Re: Surly LHT and fatties fit fine
« on: March 05, 2015, 07:16:43 pm »

Well if you take the cable off you should be able to get a much wider tire on.

No.  The quick release on the cantilever brakes is open.  The brake pads hit the seatstays.  There is no taking the cable off.  Cable travel or slack in the cable is not a factor.  The brake is as wide as it can be because the brake blocks are hitting the seatstays.  The only way to get the brakes wider is to take them out of the cantilever posts and release the cable from the brake.  I doubt many people would want to do that every time they remove the rear wheel.

When we run wider tires on our tandem we have to deflate them a bit to get them through the brake pads. A bit of a pain, but not too big of a deal, and a lot easier than removing brake pads!

The only really annoying thing is when you get a flat, remove the wheel easily, fix it and pump it back up, and then remember that the tire won't fit through inflated. So then you deflate, install, and repump. Sigh.

Gear Talk / Re: One link in the chain
« on: February 28, 2015, 08:50:59 pm »
Chains are cheap. Get a new one if you have any doubts.

Routes / Re: New York - Virgina Beach
« on: February 21, 2015, 10:45:31 am »
Saw today that the Cape May-Lewes Ferry is iced-in and not running due to the ice in the bay.

Bike Clubs / Re: Williamsburg, VA club?
« on: February 14, 2015, 08:23:36 am »
I think there is an active club in Williamsburg. Google it. There is also a cool bike path being built from Williamsburg to Richmond called the "Capital Trail" or something similar. Will be done later this year and be 50 miles each way. We rode part of it from Jamestown over Christmas break this year when we were down visiting. Should be pretty nice when it's done.

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