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Messages - dombrosk

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91
Gear Talk / bike feel with 4 loaded panniers?
« on: August 21, 2004, 11:22:54 pm »
Your message brought back VIVID memories of my first solo loaded tour, just a few months ago.  My wife was watching as I road nervously down our street and wondered how on earth I'd make it to my campground that night.
FIRST, having ridden a thousand or so miles now with four loaded panniers, let me give the comforting news that it gets better, much better.  I actually prefer riding loaded now, the bike feels more stable, especially on fast descents.
SECOND, for me, at least, what I've found is that the load amplifies my movements on the bike, and that the shaking that I felt that first morning back in June was largely self-created.  Riding with loaded panniers requires a much lighter touch for me.  
THIRD, my bike gets much more stable above 6 or 7 mph, although, oddly, I can climb a hill, peddling at a steady cadence, right down to 4 mph.
FOURTH, congratulations on setting out on this adventure!  My journal for that first tour notes that for the first few miles I was sure my bike was about to fall apart, that after 5 miles I was starting to figure it out, and that after 20 miles the bike felt completely natural.
FINALLY, I find that I need to be more "intentional" with loaded panniers.  Mounting the bike, starting out from an intersection, shifting early before the hill gets steep, all these things require thought at first but will become second nature, just like "riding a bike."
Sometimes I think a loaded bike needs a new name, it handles and rides so differently.  And it's GREAT!
Happy trails!


92
Gear Talk / Pain in the butt and numbness in the hands
« on: July 11, 2004, 10:46:57 pm »
For your hands, you might want to try "bar-ends" on your mountain bike, if you don't already have them.  These are inexpensive (about $15) extenders that go up on either side of your handlebar to allow for more positions as you ride.  If you have "straight across" handlebars, you might be leaning forward too much and putting a lot of weight onto your wrists and hands.  For me, the key has always been to vary my position as I ride.
For your butt, about the only thing that seemed to work for me in the past was just time in the saddle, and even with a lot of miles on, after 60-70 miles the pain crept in.  "But" I've become a believer now in those split seat saddles.  I just got a Serfas at my local neighborhood bike shop, and was astounded to find myself having NO butt pain during or after a century ride last week.
Hope you find things that work for you, biking shouldn't have to be painful!  Good luck.


93
Gear Talk / Question on pedals and cleats.
« on: June 19, 2004, 02:54:53 am »
This is a bit off topic, but for those with more general pedal questions: I've been very happy with pedals that are "spd" on one side and "normal" on the other, it gives me flexibility to ride in any kind of shoe, like the other night when I went rolling around the campground with my (non-clip) sandals on.  My pedals are shimano, but I see that Nashbar has a version of them, also.
These style pedals are also a great way to introduce folks to clips who are a bit nervous about the concept.


94
Gear Talk / Rain clothing?
« on: May 30, 2004, 10:50:34 pm »
Thanks to the folks who've responded.  The Marmot Precip seems very comfortable, and has a hood which would be useful in camp.  More specialized bike gear like Pearl Izumi offers a butt flap, but never a hood.  
---If you've ridden with Precip or similar items with hoods, is the hood useful while riding, either under or over your helmet, or is it just something you'd put up when off the bike?
---If you've ridden with gear with a butt flap, how handy is that?  Will you ride longer in the rain before putting on rain pants because of it?
!!! Thanks for the generosity of all the riders who share their knowledge on this forum.  For a new-bie it's a fantastic resource!


95
Gear Talk / Rain clothing?
« on: May 12, 2004, 12:38:14 am »
I'd be curious to hear what folks have found works best for riding in the rain.  There are some lower priced options out there using a new 3M fabric, then there's the high-price Gore-Tex.  My hiking outfit just seems to channel water down my butt, so I'm looking for tips on biking-specific gear.
Thanks in advance!


96
Gear Talk / cell phone - northern tier
« on: April 30, 2004, 09:37:06 pm »
Based on the research I've done, it seemed that Verizon had the best shot of maintaining a signal.  I confess to being one of the few remaining Americans without a cell phone, so this is a new world to me.  When I stopped by the Verizon store and asked about this, they did recommend something called a "trimode" phone that could jump back and forth between digital and analog depending on what kind of service you were near.

I'd be curious to hear what folks who've ridden this have to say.  Having driven "the high-line" across North Dakota and Montana, I'm guessing there will be stretches of nothing but scenery.   :)


97
Gear Talk / Panniers
« on: April 09, 2004, 05:58:25 pm »
Thanks for the helpful responses!

I appreciate the votes for Jandd... that's the brand carried by my local bike shop and I'm in favor of supporting our local shops.

I'm also curious about the inexpensive waterproof Nashbar panniers, because staying dry is a good thing.

Here's my question: I've read some pretty strong complaints about those roll-top bags from people who had bad experiences trying to find things in them... needing to pull everything out to find one item.

I'd love to hear from anybody with experience with that type of pannier.

Thanks again for helping out a new tour-er!


98
Gear Talk / Panniers
« on: April 04, 2004, 05:44:06 pm »
After several years of supported touring, I'm moving into self-contained touring at age 50.  I've signed up for the Intro to Road Touring class, but realized that I'll need panniers before then.

I'd greatly appreciate any experiences/opinions on these panniers (or others you think I should look into)

1. Madden ($208 from Adventure Cycling)
2. Cyclite ($186 from Adventure Cycling)
3. REI Keystone ($130)

My future plans are to ride the Northern Tier, splitting the trip between two summers, and I'd like to get panniers that will serve for a trip of that scale.  

Thanks in advance for all comments!


99
Gear Talk / Saddle Advice
« on: April 12, 2004, 04:31:49 pm »
Does anybody have experience, good or bad, with saddles like the Terry Liberator that provide a gap for that delicate bundle of nerves?


100
Gear Talk / Shoes!?!?!?!
« on: April 09, 2004, 05:54:32 pm »
I've been very happy with a pair of inexpensive Shimano MTB shoes that look like lace-up low-rise sneakers.  Those and a pair of teva sandals to change into at the end of the day's ride have been a good combination.


101
Routes / Plotting my own course
« on: February 28, 2007, 01:17:14 pm »
One resource that hasn't come up yet in this thread is state supplied bicycling maps.  Not all states offer them, but those that do often include specific figures on width of shoulder and traffic flow.  Some states even give specific traffic numbers for trucks.  Check out state tourism web sites to see which states along your route offer these maps.


102
Routes / Northern Tier Lodging
« on: February 24, 2007, 02:25:08 pm »
I'd second the caution about carrying lots of water.  When I did this section 2 years ago I camped at Colonial Creek and still went through a lot of water over the two passes.  This section comes early in a west-to-east Northern Tier ride so the hills can seem taller.  
The toughest part of the day for me was dealing with the down-and-up between the two passes... it was sad to lose so much altitude and need to regain it.
But, on the brighter side, once you crest Washington Pass, its just about one long coast down to Mazama, where you can get an elegant meal at the inn.
The next day's ride starts off with a beautiful stretch where I came upon a moose crossing the road, and experienced a fantastic apple fritter at a coffee shop with outdoor seating in Winthrop.
Have a great ride!  You will see some very beautiful country on this trip.


103
Routes / Norther Tier-Libby to Whitefish MT
« on: January 13, 2007, 11:38:08 am »
In case others planning a Northern Tier tour look into this thread to consider detouring on their rides, I wanted to put in my two cents.  The ride from Libby up to Eureka is spectacular.  On my Seattle to East Glacier ride this segment was just about my favorite stretch.
Although you are on a paved highway, the traffic is so light you might think you're on a bike path.  There is a beautiful (artificial) lake on one side, an interesting dam and bridge to visit, good camping, and a real sense of isolation.
The hills do look daunting on the elevation profiles, but unless you are starting your ride here, they won't feel any worse than other stretches to the east and the west.  I found them to have an enjoyable roller-coaster effect, but then I enjoy riding in the rain too, so I may have some crossed wires.  :)


104
Routes / Northern Tier - Curlew Alternate
« on: April 04, 2005, 10:11:45 pm »
Does anyone has experience regarding staying on WA-20 vs. the Curlew alternate for the Northern Tier in central Washington?  
The Adventure Cycling addenda page for the alternate gives good riding information, and the alternate loop looks pleasant on my Rand McNally, but it would be nice to hear from anybody who's ridden either course.
Thanks!


105
Routes / Seattle - Anacortes
« on: March 18, 2005, 01:11:42 am »
I want to pass along to the forum that I've received some very helpful advice on this trip from the Cascade Cycling Club,  www.cascade.org

That site has a pdf file of a mapped inland route direct from Seattle up to the Northern Tier near Sedro-Wooley.

Also, generous cyclists have posted multiple favorite routes around both east and west shores of Puget Sound up to Anacortes.  To check out these responses,
go to the  www.cascade.org  web site, click on community, message boards, then go to the "buddy board".

My thread is entitled "Seattle to Anacortes"

Or if you'd like, just e-mail me at dombrosk@visi.com and I'll forward the whole thread and the pdf file to you!


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