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Messages - DaveB

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1246
General Discussion / Hotel/motel vs camping
« on: March 18, 2007, 10:53:24 am »
It looks like I'm the odd man out; But I love credit card touring. I like eating out and sleeping in clean sheets after a hot shower. Also I like to ride with very little weight.

I agree with your take on credit-card touring.  I'd much rather have a clean dry bed and a hot shower followed by a good meal after a day of riding, particularly if the weather is less than ideal.  

If you stick to the plainer chain or mom-and-pop motels and away from major tourist areas the cost isn't much more than camping and the comfort is much better.

BTW, camping in tourist areas isn't cheap either and most of your "neighbors" will be in motor homes or trailers with generators and TV's.  It will be neither economical, quiet or restful.  

For meals, the same technique applies.  Avoid high priced restaurants and your daily meal costs can be very reasonable too.  

The final attraction is being able to ride a bicycle with minimal weight that retains most of it's agility and responsiveness.  Somehow riding a packmule loaded down with a twice its weight in luggage doesn't seem like plesant riding, it seems a lot more like work.

Oh, yes, credit card touring doesn't have to isolate you from other people or eliminate the possibility of being invited to stay or eat at someone's home.  


1247
General Discussion / Cycling on the Cheap . How low can you go?
« on: March 25, 2007, 11:29:43 am »
Quote
The point I am trying to make is even if you can't afford that much you can still go on a tour , it doesn't have to be a yuppie pass time.


Actually long distance, time consuming bike touring isn't a "yuppie" pass time at all.  The yuppies I know of are too consumed with their careers, cars, houses, social life, etc. to take the time and put forth the effort.  They may have the money but not the interest. If they bike at all it's weekend fitness rides on the most expensive racing bike they could find.  

Tourists tend to be people of modest means who have jobs that allow long absences and families that are either cooperative or non-existant.    


1248
General Discussion / Cycling on the Cheap . How low can you go?
« on: March 14, 2007, 11:08:57 am »
......all their clothes were cotton or wool . They were carrying 150 lbs on each bike . My favorite part about their gear was they said that their tent was not water proof and leaked . The bikes weighted a ton , but they made it.

"Making it" and enjoying it are two entirely different things.  I assume you want to do more than just survive the experience.

No, you certainly don't need the most leading edge, most expensive equipment available but not using modern technology and materials is foolish when it's available at modest cost.      


1249
General Discussion / Cycling on the Cheap . How low can you go?
« on: March 12, 2007, 11:37:43 am »
One way to get a lot of calories at fairly low cost is to hit a "Buffet Restaurant".  The prices are pretty low, typically less than $10, and "all you can eat" takes on real meaning for touring bike riders.

That could be your one restaurant meal of the day and would go a long way to keeping your calorie count up and your costs down.  Just choose what you eat with some care as the selections aren't all "health food".


1250
General Discussion / Cycling on the Cheap . How low can you go?
« on: March 11, 2007, 09:27:09 am »
DaveB it's nice that you have a keen grasp of the obvious...

Indeed, it's a talent I'm very proud of.   ;p

On a more useful note, one way to get good equipment at more reasonable cost is to check the closeouts.  I bought a Northface 20-degree rated light weight synthetic sleeping bag from Campmore for $60, or half it's normal price, because it was "last year's style".  Look for similar deals on camping gear and clothing.  

I would caution you to buy quality equipment since more than your comfort depends on it.  A cotton sleeping bag in a $20 X-Mart tent may be ok for a kid's sleep-over but can be a horror on a cold, rain soaked night.  You will be subject  a wide variety of conditions and must be adequetly equipped to tolerate them.  There is a "Traveler's Rule" worth remembering:

"It will be hotter than you think.  It will be colder than you think.  It will rain more than you think."

As to eating on $15/day.  I supose it can be done but it will be very difficult to sustain. As wandering wheels pointed out you will need a lot of calories and a reasonably balanced diet.  It's going to be very difficult to do both on that amount per day. You won't have the ability to buy in bulk to get the cost savings associated with that either.    


1251
General Discussion / Cycling on the Cheap . How low can you go?
« on: March 09, 2007, 10:26:02 am »
....stories about their low cost bike tour either on their own or sponsored by someone

There is no lower cost way to travel than to have someone else pay for it. :)


1252
General Discussion / Thorn Vs. Koga
« on: March 09, 2007, 10:35:38 am »
I'm sorry if this sounds cynical but why are you going to so much trouble to get a bike that seems poorly supported and has only one US dealer.  There can't be anything about it that's so unique that it's worth all that trouble.

There are a lot of highly reliable touring bikes from Trek, Cannondale, Specialized, Fuji, etc., etc......  All of which have numerous dealers, good warranty support and are serviceable by any dealer.  


1253
General Discussion / helpExtended touring in Europe
« on: March 02, 2007, 07:03:04 pm »
The State Department can tell you what the current travel requirements are for any European country. I'm sure thay have a web site with loads of info.  

As  Russell noted, I've never needed anything but my US passport for anywhere in Western Europe or the UK.

I expect the regulations for any EEOC country will be the same and, these days that includes a fair part of formerly Eastern Europe too.  


1254
General Discussion / Help find serial number
« on: February 26, 2007, 10:29:21 pm »
The serial number is sometimes hidden by the plastic cable guide fastened under the bottom bracket shell.  You can remove the small fixing screw and push the guide aside to see if there is anything under it.  That's where the s/n was on my early 80's Trek.


1255
General Discussion / First timer -tough decision
« on: February 20, 2007, 08:17:14 am »
I agree that you've set a much too ambitious schedule unless the riding is the only thing you want to accomplish and the scenery, etc. is of little interest.  You have left yourself no slack at all and no time to see anything or make any local contacts.  How many 150 mile days can you do to free up some sight-seeing days?

A planned 75 miles/day isn't too bad on an unladen bike but I've done enough credit card touring with a load of only 20 pounds or so to realize the added weigh really cuts into your average, particularly if it's at all hilly.  

If you are going self-contained, you will be carying a minimum of 35 and possibly 40 or more pounds and you are riding a less than high-performance bike.  Those factors will have a big effect on what you can comfortably handle as a daily average.  

Also, I've been to Glacier and Yellowstone and had a bike with me.  Trust me, you do NOT want to blaze through these parks at your 75 mile/day average.  You want to tour them slowly and allow a minimum of two or three days each to see them properly.  

Bottom line:  Either reduce your trip's length or allow significantly more time.  


1256
General Discussion / Family Rides
« on: February 12, 2007, 12:36:55 pm »
Most of the Cross-State and similar rides have provisions for non-cycling family members.  You probably need your own vehicle to accompany you or they should be willing to drive another organization's or bike club's van or bus (which will make them in great demand).  RAGBRAI and GOBA are two week-long rides I'm familiar with and they both have a fair number of non-riding participants.


1257
General Discussion / Renting a bike for touring
« on: February 06, 2007, 10:35:28 pm »
One other possibility is to review Craig's List for the city you are going to start in and see if there is a suitable bike listed.  Call the seller and explain what you want to do.  You might save a lot of money this way and possibly pick up useful local knowledge in the process.  


1258
General Discussion / I'm new here...
« on: January 13, 2007, 10:17:14 am »
The Surly is a very good choice at it's price point and can be set up exactly as you wish. The Trek 520 and Cannondale T1000 and T2000 are also well thought of but come pretty much as fixed packages with only minor customizing by the bike shop possible.

I'm also in Pittsburgh so I can give you a couple of bike shop recommendations if you wish to discuss them.

This message was edited by DaveB on 1-13-07 @ 6:17 AM

1259
General Discussion / Bicycle Friendly States
« on: January 09, 2007, 11:13:40 am »
I would guess that West Virginia and Pennsylvania might be bad states unless you plan your route well. They are mountainous and the traffic is probably funnelled into the valleys. The population density is relatively high.

As a PA resident I guess I have to defend my state's honor. ;)

Actually western PA is a very good bicycling area as there are a lot of rural, low-traffic roads and scenic roads.  I'm 20 minutes from downtown Pittsburgh by car but 30 minutes from my house on a bike and I ride by farms with cows and horses.  The best of all worlds.  

I'm a bit familiar with WV too and there are wonderful biking areas there too.  

Both states share one trait; they are not easy riding.  There are hills, hills and more hills.  Bring low gears and a willingness to work and you can have a lot of good riding time here.

This message was edited by DaveB on 1-9-07 @ 7:14 AM

1260
General Discussion / Searching the web
« on: December 31, 2006, 07:00:15 pm »
Try Bike Forums (www.bikeforums.net).  There are both a "Bike Mechanics" and a "Collectible and Vintage" forums with tons of help.  Another terrific site for repair and parts, particularly for older bikes, is Sheldon Brown's web site at Harris Cyclery. (www.sheldonbrown.com/harris/) This is a treasure.  





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