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Messages - BrianW

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General Discussion / Re: Sometimes it Pays to Pick Make a Call
« on: August 28, 2016, 07:47:20 pm »
I used AMTRAK's bike car on the GAP last month. Super easy. Hopefully the Vermonter will be similar.  Looking forward to the report!

Gear Talk / Single pair of shoes, or bike AND walking shoes?
« on: August 28, 2016, 07:41:49 pm »
For touring I've used North Face Hedgehog Gore-Tex hiking shoes for years, with toe clips/straps. The soles are stiff enough for biking, they are great off-bike, and are waterproof. You can often find them on sale for $75 or so (list price is $110 +/-). I'm on my third pair now, and just got back from Europe where I wore them non-stop for three weeks, including a week or so of bike touring.

Energy bars are available in many grocery stores, WalMarts, and outdoor stores like REI. WalMart often has pretty good prices in common bars like ClifBars and the like.

I have occasional wondered why stem-mounted shifters haven't made a comeback for touring bikes. They used to be common on a lot of lower and medium quality bikes, but purists would only use downtube shifters because of the shorter cable run and "crisper" shifting. Bar ends were out there for (mostly) touring bikes. STI levers came on the scene and quickly dominated the market, mostly eliminating downtube and stem shifters. Bar ends only kept on because of the racing/TT crowd. Does anyone think Shimano would keep making them just for the touring bike market?

I have bar ends on my Co-Motion Pangea and STIs on all my other bikes. Without a doubt I greatly prefer the STIs. I've just been too cheap to change out the bar ends on the Pangea. I've spent plenty of time riding bikes with all of the shifter variants, and STI is by far the easiest. When I started using STI my old C'dale touring bike still had downtube shifters. Created a lot of mental confusion when I'd switch bikes!

To me a good set of stem mounted shifters have the best attributes of downtube (shorter cable run) and bar end (keep hands on or close to the bars) shifters.  Assuming you don't want to go STI, of course, and are willing to give up indexed shifting.

Gear Talk / Re: Handlebar Rearview Mirror
« on: July 26, 2016, 12:45:52 pm »
 How about the Otlieb mirror? Clamps on anyplace. I don't own one, but have seen them in my LBS and they look good.

General Discussion / Re: Rain Gear for Touring
« on: July 07, 2016, 05:10:27 pm »
I've had a Marmot Precip for a few years and don't think it's all that great. Definitely not breathable, but ok at being waterproof. I'm still a Goretex fan, especially the newer versions without liners.

I think fenders are hugely useful, especially the front one for keeping spray off my shoes. When touring usually the panniers and stuff on top of the rack can mostly serve the function of the rear fender, but then all that stuff gets soaked.

A belated thanks for the rack bag. Shipped promptly and arrived quickly, in exactly the conditions stated (new with tags). Thanks!!

Hi! I'm interested in your front Sport Packer Plus panniers. Are they still available and are you selling the rack with it by chance?
I'm preparing for a TransAmerica tour.


Meadowskipper appears to be selling the matching front/rear Tubus racks in a separate posting (at a very good price, BTW).

PM sent for rack-top bag.

PM replied! :-)

Just posted in your WTB ad. I do have another set of NOS modular Beckman panniers, and a smaller matching set.

Classifieds / Re: WTB Robert Beckman touring panniers
« on: June 10, 2016, 09:12:16 pm »
I have a set of NOS (never used) Beckman Modular Tandem panniers in red and a smaller set of matching red panniers used once (almost NOS). I also have a matching set of Bruce Gordon racks, recently powder-coated and in excellent shape. I've been hanging on to them to use touring on our triplet (where pannier space is at a premium) but maybe it's time to find them a home where they will actually be used.

Note that in the photos they appear somewhat orange, but they are really a true red, and both sets match. Interiors are yellow for ease of finding things. I have shoulder straps for the Modular panniers, and rain covers for both sets (rain covers are older and used from my previous set of Beckman bags, and are included as-is).

The Modular panniers appear to be similar, if not identical, to the "Modular Tandem/Expedition Hybrid Panniers" shown on this page:

I'm not sure what model the smaller panniers would equate with in Beckman's current line. They are similar in design and construction to the Modular panniers, but do not have the zip-off outside compartment. And, of course, they are a good bit smaller.

PM me for more details and to discuss pricing.

Classifieds / Re: FS: 2015 Co-Motion Divide Bike
« on: June 07, 2016, 04:40:10 pm »
Location, size, photos needed! Is the frame coupled?

Routes / Re: East Coast Greenway Complete Route Info
« on: May 12, 2016, 12:57:20 pm »
The East Coast Greenway is still fairly new, and not fully completed yet. You'll probably find more info on the ACA's Atlantic Coast Route, which has been around for a lot longer.

For ACA Atlantic Coast journals, see

You might find some other related journals in here:

General Discussion / Re: Michelin Maps or Google Maps for Europe?
« on: May 11, 2016, 09:56:45 am »
For touring in Europe, for many countries there are bike-specific maps that are available. These are really handy because they show all bike paths, good roads for biking, and usually even show where there are hills (marked with light or dark arrows to show severity). Germany and Austria are pretty well covered by these, and I've found them for the Czech Republic, too. The only issue is that they are detailed in scale (~1:75,000) and as such only cover a narrow area.

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