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Gear Talk / Re: How to pack my sleeping bag
« Last post by Nyimbo on February 03, 2016, 10:22:19 pm »
My bag is rated for 20degrees.  I did a forum search for recommendations on temp rating of bag for the transAm and that seemed to be the consensus so I ordered that rating, of course if I would have ordered a more expensive bag I could have gotten the size down.  I wasn't so worried about the extra pound or two as opposed to the extra $100 for the lighter bag but I didn't consider the difference is physical size.  It will fit fine in the pannier so perhaps packing with some heavier items is the best plan. 

Now that I have mostly all my gear at hand I guess I need to start packing it all in and see how it fits.  I have front and backs, so maybe I'm ok with space??? Maybe!
General Discussion / Re: Careful where you buy stuff
« Last post by DaveB on February 03, 2016, 10:18:57 pm »
It's a long walk from CA to TN and back to save a few $ on gas. I'm not sure it's an appropriate comparison to the OP's situation.
The comparison was apt.   When you need the item and don't have the time to shop around or access to a lower price you pay the going price.  The OP was away from his home LBS and needed the lock right then like I needed gas in CA. The fact it was available at as lower price elsewhere (like my TN gas) meant nothing at the time since it wasn't practical to get it at that price. 
Gear Talk / Re: How to pack my sleeping bag
« Last post by Pat Lamb on February 03, 2016, 09:29:50 pm »
I've packed a large poly fill bag in a pannier with some heavy stuff, such as tools and stove.  The bag can probably be compressed into a smaller space than your stuff sack, and if you put the heaviest and densest items in your load in the same pannier, it can end up balancing surprisingly well.

FWIW, I agree with Russ and John, especially if you got the 0 degree bag.  That might be appropriate for winter touring where it snows, or high altitude camping in the shoulder seasons of spring and fall.  But if you'll be touring in the summer like most people, it's going to be too warm to miserably hot 95% of the time.
Gear Talk / Re: How to pack my sleeping bag
« Last post by John Nelson on February 03, 2016, 08:23:07 pm »
My sleeping bag takes up less than half of my pannier, and I keep it there because I darn sure want a dry sleeping bag after riding all day in the rain. Use the lightest bag for the anticipated conditions. There are various ways to make the bag warmer on the occasional night in which it might be colder than the bag is designed for, including wearing extra clothes, using a liner and/or using a bivy over the bag.
Gear Talk / Re: How to pack my sleeping bag
« Last post by RussSeaton on February 03, 2016, 06:33:31 pm »
You may want to trade that bag for a smaller one.  I have a 800 down bag rated for 45 degrees and it packs into a size about 10 inches long and 5 inches diameter.  You could put 3 or 4 of them in one pannier.  Its perfect for summer.  It never gets near 45 degrees in the summer where I ride.  If you are camping on the top of a mountain at any time of the year, then its probably not the bag to use.  But why carry an arctic bag if you are riding in the tropics?  As for carrying it so it does not get wet, plastic garbage bags or grocery bags will keep the water away.  I'd suggest putting everything in a pannier inside plastic bags.  And then put those plastic bags inside a big plastic bag that goes inside the pannier.  I'm an advocate for using plastic bags when carrying stuff on a bike.  Keeps it dry and organized.
General Discussion / Re: Careful where you buy stuff
« Last post by jrswenberger on February 03, 2016, 05:57:35 pm »
You pay the going rate if you don't have the time or ability to shop competitively.  Last October we paid $4.00/gallon for regular gas in California while it was only $1.78/gallon in Tennessee.  However, since I needed to fill the car right then, I couldn't wait to take advantage of the potentially lower cost.

It's a long walk from CA to TN and back to save a few $ on gas. I'm not sure it's an appropriate comparison to the OP's situation.

EnjoyThe Ride,
Gear Talk / How to pack my sleeping bag
« Last post by Nyimbo on February 03, 2016, 05:55:02 pm »
I'm organizing my first tour that is not credit card style.  I ordered the North Face "Aleutian" sleeping bag and when it arrived I was really surprised at how big it is. (16" long and 10.5 across) Its big enough to take up a whole pannier.  I assume it doesn't need to go inside the bag, except what about rain protection?  So my question is how to carry/pack the sleeping bag on my bicycle? 
Routes / Options for crossing the plains from New Roads, LA to Taos, NM
« Last post by jeffreyv on February 03, 2016, 11:28:45 am »
Hi all,

Still planning this trip from Miami to San Fran in apr-may-june. Was wondering if there are recommendations on routes in the middle. The first and the third leg are pretty much taken care of - a combination of ACA routes, backroads and recommendations by John Egan and John Nettles. This leaves the second leg wide open.

As it seems most of the time would be spent in Texas, not necessarily the best state to tour in from what I've heard? Would you recommend following the Southern Tier all the way to El Paso and then head north or would Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma be more interesting? I also have to consider the weather in may. Or would a straight diagonal route past Dallas using Google maps and DOT info be the easiest? See attachment.

Would like to hear fro you guys, so far the ACA forums have been of great help.

a little bicycle tourist newbie from Amsterdam.
General Discussion / Re: Montana Road Cycling Routes?
« Last post by indyfabz on February 03, 2016, 10:43:12 am »
If you find yourself in MSO, we used this place when we did a loop tour from there:

They seemed very MTB oriented. They may be able to give you some hints.

BTW...For road rides...While not a loop, if you find yourself in Wise River I am partial to the Pioneer Mountains Scenic Byway. You could do the 25+ climb up to the top, which is a bit south of Crystal Park and then turn around and come back. There is a stunning alpine meadow section. ACA is using it again on its Cycle Montana tour. No services except in Wise River, but there are a couple of U.S.F.S. campgrounds, including the 4th of July picnic area and campground, that have water. Also, MT 43 east of Wise River to where it ends in Divide is a nice ride through a canyon. For more miles, take the I-15 frontage road from Melrose (another fly fishing-oriented town with a decent restaurant and a motel/campground) to MT 43, then head west to Wise River for the climb and then reverse.
General Discussion / Re: Montana Road Cycling Routes?
« Last post by Sparty11 on February 03, 2016, 10:21:51 am »
I've tried in with luck in the SW part of the state (Wisdom, Anaconda, Ennis, Twin Bridges, Dillon). I keep coming up with loops on paved roads that are in the 110 to 120 range. Hopefully someone with more intimate knowledge will chime in.

BTW...Are you planning to fish Rock Creek at all? I did Rock Creek Rd. (mostly unpaved) as part of Missoula loop tour in 2011 and really loved it.  Later that fall I discovered that a local guy I sometimes ride and hike with has fished it. Have plans to ride the road again this June.

Thanks for the feedback.  I have fished Rock Creek before, I may do it again.  I am looking to explore parts of Montana that are unfamiliar to me.  the newest issue of Bicycling Magazine has a section about cycling in Montana.  However, it is mostly targeted toward MTB.  I may end up bring out my MTB or fat bike as well as the road bike.

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