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Messages - briwasson

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Alaska/Hawaii / Re: Shipping bike home from Anchorage
« on: September 09, 2013, 04:38:02 pm »
I'm not sure if it's still the case, but it used to be that all freight common carriers (UPS, FedEx) charged air freight rates, even for big boxes like bikes. This makes it VERY expensive to ship this way. If you are flying home, it might be cheaper to pay to take it on the plane with you.

Also, in the past, if you did want to send via UPS they would let you send it via air to the lower 48 (Seattle) and then charge you the lesser ground rate to ship further on from there. But you had to ask.

Not sure if either of these two comments are still valid, since it's been a while since I lived in Alaska, but worth checking into just to be safe.

Mid-Atlantic / Re: C & O Canal-Great Allegheny Passage
« on: September 09, 2013, 04:33:06 pm »
Mostly flat, except that the GAP is ~25 miles uphill from Cumberland up to the Continental Divide past Frostburg. It's not too bad, though.

Definitely, wider tires are better. You can do it on road tires, but I'd say 32-35mm are ideal for these surfaces.

My two trip journals might help some with your planning:

Touring/hybrid/niner wheelset. Shimano Deore hubs laced 36x with DT spokes to Mavic T520 rims. Very low miles on this wheelset, was on my wife's touring bike for less than 50 miles. 135mm rear spacing. Nice wheelset! $149 + shipping. Photos on request.

Located in Philadelphia, Pa., area if you want to pick up.

Selling one set of modular rear panniers by Robert Beckman Designs (aka Sakkit). These are an extra-large set originally designed for tandem use, but also great for any kind of long (or short!) trip due to their modular design and flexibility. Front pockets easily zip off to make the set smaller or so you can take just a few necessities into wherever you are going.

Main pannier has two large compartments. Outside area has mesh for clothes drying or other quick access.

Beckman panniers are rock-solid when mounted due to their unique suspension system. The bags themselves are made to be bomb-proof, with Cordura nylon, heavy duty zippers, etc. They are handmade in the USA by Beckman.

Condition: no rips or tears, fabric and zippers in perfect condition. They could use a good cleaning, but that's about all they need.

Selling these hard to find panniers for $150 + shipping. Located in the Philadelphia, Pa., area. See photos on my bikeforums ad at

Classifieds / Re: UPDATED> FS: MTB/Touring Parts
« on: April 06, 2013, 08:36:55 am »
PM replied...

Classifieds / UPDATED> FS: MTB/Touring Parts
« on: March 29, 2013, 08:23:29 pm »

E-mail if you have questions or want additional photos. See below in additional postings for photos of most items.

All prices do not include shipping. Pick up in the Philadelphia, Pa., area welcomed, or I'm happy to ship.

Touring/hybrid/niner wheelset. Shimano Deore hubs laced 36x with DT spokes to Mavic T520 rims. Very low miles on this wheelset, was on my wife's touring bike for less than 50 miles. 135mm rear spacing. Nice wheelset! $149.

Front derailleur Shimano XT FD-M735. 28.6, bottom pull. These are actually pretty sought after due to their wide range capability. Retro-dudes like them for half-step setups. Nice shape, a little bit of wear to the black near the swingarm. $25

Front derailleur Shimano DX FD-MT62. 28.6, bottom pull. Again, a wide range front derailleur. Good shape, some wear to the finish on the inside of the cage. $20.

Blackburn Expedition rear rack. Black, for 700c wheels. In good shape with mounting struts. $20.

XTR rear derailleur. Shimano M953 8-9 speed compatible (Mega9). Rapid Rise. Bottom pulley has typical crack in it (it seems every XTR RD I have has this happen), but does not effect use. Some scratches, but otherwise good (was on my wife's bike). $40

XTR front derailleur. Shimano M950. 34.9mm clamp size (fits most aluminum frames), you can use on smaller frames with a shim (not included). Top swing (low clamp) leaves plenty of room on your seat tube for bottle cages or whatever. Some pitting of chrome finish, but functionally perfect. $10

>> Buy both XTR RD and FD for $45 + shipping and save $5.

8-speed cassettes. XT M737 11-28, VGC, $25; LX, 11-28, GC, $10.

DX tandem or single-speed crankset. Shimano MT60, 175mm length. NOS in perfect condition. This is a tandem "captain's" crankset with pedal holes tapped in reverse from a regular crank (arm with chainring is designed to go on the left side of the bike), but works great as a single speed crank if you retap the threads or put some Helicoils in the pedal holes. Includes NOS Shimano 38 tooth 110 BCD chainring. Really nice old school cranks! $30

Looking for something else? E-mail me, I might have it. My wife says "clean out the garage" so I'm paring down many years worth of parts packratting.

Gear Talk / Re: Aevon Trailer now available in US
« on: February 20, 2013, 01:55:12 pm »
If you own that website, you might want to consider getting rid of the audio track that autoplays for visitors. Very annoying!

Rental car would be my first choice, one-way from New York to Bar Harbor. I know Hertz has a location at the Bar Harbor Airport, which is on the mainland between Ellsworth and Bar Harbor. It's a long drive, though, figure a full, long day.

There is regularly scheduled commercial air service to Bar Harbor airport (BHB), but it is small commuter planes and I'm not sure if they have room for bikes or not. They code share with US Airways out of Boston. Jet service is to Bangor airport (BGR) and I believe there are regular shuttles from there to Bar Harbor. I'm not a huge US Airways fan, but they do have some convenient connections to Maine via Philadelphia. You could fly AMS-PHL-BGR and then bike to Bar Harbor/Mt. Desert Island from Bangor, as DaveB suggested. Ride to NYC, spend a few days there, then take the train (AMTRAK) back to Philadelphia and fly home.

Routes / Re: Allegheny Gap
« on: January 20, 2013, 04:14:12 pm »
I wrote up my tours on the GAP and the C&O on CrazyGuyonaBike site if you are interested. See

I used the equivalent of 35mm tires and had no problems. (26x1.25).

General Discussion / Re: network provider for cell phone
« on: January 10, 2013, 11:17:43 am »
If you want to buy an iPhone here for smartphone capabilities, Verizon did offer the iPhone 4S in a "global" variety that also has a slot for a GSM SIM chip for while traveling. I work for a German company and have one so that I can use my Verizon phone when traveling in Europe. Maybe you could find one used either in Europe or when arriving in the US, so at least it wouldn't be a total waste when you get back to Germany.

Verizon is not terribly good price-wise here in the US, though.

Gear Talk / Re: Bike Rack Advice
« on: November 26, 2012, 07:48:28 pm »
I've had two types of hitch racks. One had a "fold down" feature, which allows you to access the rear of the vehicle. This works OK when there aren't any bikes on the rack, but is very difficult when bikes are loaded as the weight makes it challenging to fold up and down. I replaced it with a Thule swing-away rack, which kind of cantilevers out to the side very easily, even when bikes are on it.

If you generally will only be accessing your rear door/hatch when there aren't any bikes on the hitch, then the fold-down type would be fine for you, and will save you some $$ to boot. If you think you be accessing the rear door when you have bikes on the rack, seriously consider spending the extra money for the swing-away type.

If you are able to get a 2" receiver hitch for your vehicle, I suggest going that route over the 1.25" hitches, as the larger box cross-section makes for a more sturdy interface between the hitch and your vehicle.

General Discussion / Re: guiding services
« on: November 20, 2012, 03:42:04 pm »
Sounds like a possible trolling post, with OP thinking of offering said "guide service" perhaps?

Sorry, the book is SOLD. But, I'm happy to help with any questions or trip planning. Just send me a note directly.

Routes / Re: GAP/C&O Canal - Alternative Roadway Routes
« on: October 08, 2012, 11:13:45 am »
RangerTom, as an FYI, the main C&O route out of Williamsport is now fully open and no detour is necessary. However, I still think the on-road route to Antietam is worth taking, as it's a pretty ride and offers some nice variety from the towpath.

You should have some nice foliage this time of year. Enjoy the ride!

Gear Talk / Re: Chain Maintenance on Tour
« on: October 01, 2012, 11:53:07 am »
As far as chains go, the gravel of the GAP is worse than the mud of the C&O, in my opinion (I've ridden both end-end on my single bike). The mud washes off more easily and doesn't grit-up the chain to the extent that the GAP's gravel does.

For 10 days, I wouldn't worry too much about relubing, but would rather just wipe the chains clean at the end of each day. If you have access to a hose at the end of the day I would also occasionally rinse them off.

Last year we also rode about 100 miles of the GAP on our triplet. Talk about trying to keep chains clean! On the triplet we have four chains, including the child stoker kit. We had a bit of rain on the GAP ride and the chains got gritty pretty quickly. Rinsing them off with a hose helped a lot.

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