Adventure Cycling Association Forum

Bicycle Travel => Gear Talk => Topic started by: Figaro on May 06, 2018, 07:22:36 pm

 
Title: My Bike Set-up for TransAm
Post by: Figaro on May 06, 2018, 07:22:36 pm
Made a video of my bike set-up for the TransAm. I'll be heading out on the 26th. I know I have stuff I don't need, but if you see anything you think I really do need and don't seem to have, please let me know. One thing I forgot to point out are the Marathon Supreme tires I put on it a few weeks ago. I debated whether to add those or just stay with the stock Bontranger tires--I'm glad I added these based on feedback in the forums here. Have a couple hundred miles on them and although I don't have scientific evidence, I do believe they roll easier than the stock tires. Made this for family and friends, so forgive me pointing out things that are obvious to the experienced biker.

https://youtu.be/0sRg3kWYeF8
Title: Re: My Bike Set-up for TransAm
Post by: jwrushman on May 06, 2018, 10:45:03 pm
I'd be curious to see your packing list.  I'm planning a self-supported cross country trip and need panniers front-and-back for my stuff.   After a 2-week trip last year, I decided to ditch the stove, cook kit and fuel.  Saved more space than weight and don't think I'll miss it.  I'm sure I couldn't get my gear in just my two Ortlieb rear panniers.  And I have my bulky stuff all in compression sacks.

I had the same pepper spray but opted for a smaller one that fits in my handlebar bag side pocket.  I bought mine more for pesty dogs than for bears.  Have you tried the spray?  Don't try it in a campsite or any place you intend to stay.  The pepper spray is VERY potent.  I think if you use it in a campsite, you'll likely need to abandon the site.  The spray is that noxious.

Good luck on your trip.  Only 20 days away!
Title: Re: My Bike Set-up for TransAm
Post by: Inge on May 07, 2018, 12:39:33 am
Neat film made for family - thouygh I am also very curious about your packing list for I also do not think I could pack everything in 2 rear carriers.

Am also curious about the bear holster you use - what brand + type is it?

Have fun in about 2 weeks time on the trans am - do you keep a blog or something be nice to follow you and your adventures.
Title: Re: My Bike Set-up for TransAm
Post by: Figaro on May 07, 2018, 09:00:21 pm
Neat film made for family - thouygh I am also very curious about your packing list for I also do not think I could pack everything in 2 rear carriers.

Am also curious about the bear holster you use - what brand + type is it?

Have fun in about 2 weeks time on the trans am - do you keep a blog or something be nice to follow you and your adventures.

I'll be making a video showing the contents of my bags either this weekend or next...I'll post a like to this thread.

Here is the Bear Repellant I bought

https://www.counterassault.com/
Title: Re: My Bike Set-up for TransAm
Post by: Figaro on May 07, 2018, 09:04:24 pm
I'd be curious to see your packing list. 

Have you tried the spray? 

I'll be posting a link to a video that shows the contents of my bags either this weekend or next weekend. I haven't tried the spray--watched someone demo it on youtube and it looks exactly like what I want. It sprays a huge cloud of repellant and that's what I want if I have a 800 lb grizzly charging me. I don't really care if it gets on me--I can get over the spray, but doubt I could get over a grizzly mauling. If you haven't already you should watch some grizzly charging videos on youtube--they will get your attention and I don't think that small can is going to do much in the unlikely event you need to use it on a bear.
Title: Re: My Bike Set-up for TransAm
Post by: jwrushman on May 07, 2018, 10:37:04 pm
I just suggest you try out your gear in a controlled test environment first. You don't want to be fumbling with the safety catch as the 800 lb grizzly is charging you. 

I think the odds of being charged by a grizzly will bicycling and camping along the TransAm trail is negligible small. But if you're going to carry the spray, it might be a good idea to try it.
Title: Re: My Bike Set-up for TransAm
Post by: John Nelson on May 08, 2018, 12:19:21 am
It’s a waste of space and weight to take bear repellent on the TransAm.
Title: Re: My Bike Set-up for TransAm
Post by: BikeliciousBabe on May 08, 2018, 07:56:52 am
It’s a waste of space and weight to take bear repellent on the TransAm.
+1. And that's all I've got to say about that.
Title: Re: My Bike Set-up for TransAm
Post by: RussSeaton on May 08, 2018, 06:49:19 pm
I'm wondering how bear repellant works.  Bears are BIG.  500+ pounds?  I don't know how mean and aggressive they are.  But if one wanted to harm you, the only way to protect yourself would be a cage to get into, or a very high power gun.  Think about it for a moment.  This repellant probably sprays 10 feet at most.  Or less.  So you have a 500 pound bear charging at 20mph at you and its less than 10 feet from you when you hit it with this repellant.  Momentum will keep the 500 pound bear rushing towards you and crush you.  Even if it does not bite or claw you because the repellant suddenly made it afraid or gentle.  Your repellant sounds about like repellant for cape buffaloes or elephants in Africa.  Once they are coming at you and get close, you ain't gonna stop them unless you shoot them dead.
Title: Re: My Bike Set-up for TransAm
Post by: BikeliciousBabe on May 09, 2018, 06:50:38 am
Bear spray can work, and some brands have a range of up to 30'. My guide was equipped with a can during my week long backcountry backpack tour in Glacier N.P. I simply don't see it as warranted for the TransAm. GDMBR is a different animal. You are in the backcountry in grizzly and black bear areas. The simple fact is that a bear is almost always going to pay you no mind, assuming you even get the chance to see one.
Title: Re: My Bike Set-up for TransAm
Post by: DaveB on May 09, 2018, 07:08:35 am
I'm wondering how bear repellant works.
Oh, it works alright but is really needed only where Grizzly bears are common such as Alaska, Northern Canada, backcountry Montana and similar wilderness places.  The Trans-Am isn't one of them.
Title: Re: My Bike Set-up for TransAm
Post by: Figaro on May 09, 2018, 08:21:56 pm
On the question of whether bear repellant is needed or not, a waste of space or not, here is what I have to say about it.

I fully expect that I will end my TransAm trip and will not have ecountered a bear, thus will not have needed to touch the bear repellant. Therefore, I guess when I'm done I could jump on the bandwagon here and declare that Bear repellant is not needed and a wast of space. After all, I didn't need it, people told me I wouldn't need it, and I haven't heard of a TransAm bike rider being attacked by a bear before. Silly me for wasting my space carrying bear spray that was clearly not needed....

But, I also fully expect I will end my TransAm ride and will not have crashed and cracked open my helmet...I expect no big truck will pass me, throw up a rock, him me in the head and leave a large dent in my helmet....I expect I will not fall over/off my bike and crack my helmet against the ground. In fact, I fully expect I will end the TransAm and may think....A helmet? What a waste of space...those things are not needed. After all, I've been training for this trip since last September, wearing a helmet every ride and have never really needed it.

But then again, you don't really need something until you need it....right? So, for all you brave people who ride and camp in bear country and have never needed bear spray, by all means, feel free to not carry it--leave your helmet and anything else you've never really needed at home as well. Me...I'll waste the space and carry my bear spray ;-)

For anyone who may still be on the fence about bear spay, take a look at this....starting around 9 min. When I listen to him talk and then imagine myself camped at Jenny Lake in my tent at midnight, reflecting back on this thread, I think I'm not going to mind that extra weight of that useless bear spray at all.

https://youtu.be/a0a5aVRtaSE

ps...if you like good bike touring videos, I would recommend watching all of his videos--they are really good.
Title: Re: My Bike Set-up for TransAm
Post by: Inge on May 10, 2018, 01:32:58 am
Can't blame you for taking it along - rather safe than sorry
Title: Re: My Bike Set-up for TransAm
Post by: BikeliciousBabe on May 10, 2018, 07:30:18 am
 I camped at Jenny Lake. Bear came into camp after some cyclist left garbage out at his site. We chased it away with pots and pans.

Just make sure you are not downwind if you spray.
Title: Re: My Bike Set-up for TransAm
Post by: John Nelson on May 10, 2018, 11:53:34 am
It's just a question of risk. It's 10,000 times more likely you'll need your helmet than you'll need your bear spray. But everybody gets to choose for themselves the risk level that they are comfortable with.
Title: Re: My Bike Set-up for TransAm
Post by: Ryld on May 10, 2018, 03:06:26 pm
I have been bit in rural areas of Kentucky and Illinois by dogs. If I had had bear spray it would have come in handy. But, by the time I saw and heard the dogs and the time it took to get bit was short so I would advise you to have a mail man style diagonal chest strap pouch for quick deployment which also might frighten people if you walked into a gas station with it. Also, the rule for mace and sprays like that is to buy two cans- test one in mock spray defense scenarios and then carry the other one. But, bear cans are so big and expensive maybe you should but 1 and just test it once.
Title: Re: My Bike Set-up for TransAm
Post by: RustyCrank on May 10, 2018, 11:36:56 pm
I'm looking forward to your tunes! See you May 25th in Virginia!
Title: Re: My Bike Set-up for TransAm
Post by: hikerjer on May 21, 2018, 11:37:52 pm
I'm wondering how bear repellant works.  Bears are BIG.  500+ pounds?  I don't know how mean and aggressive they are.  But if one wanted to harm you, the only way to protect yourself would be a cage to get into, or a very high power gun.  Think about it for a moment.  This repellant probably sprays 10 feet at most.  Or less.  So you have a 500 pound bear charging at 20mph at you and its less than 10 feet from you when you hit it with this repellant.  Momentum will keep the 500 pound bear rushing towards you and crush you.  Even if it does not bite or claw you because the repellant suddenly made it afraid or gentle.  Your repellant sounds about like repellant for cape buffaloes or elephants in Africa.  Once they are coming at you and get close, you ain't gonna stop them unless you shoot them dead.

The debate  between using a gun or bear spray has been going on for decades now and probably will never be resolved. However, the vast majority of experts in the field from Fish and Game Departments to the National Wildlife Service to the forest service to the national parks to bear behavior experts overwhelmingly recommend relying on bear spray. I'd suggest Stephen Herrero's excellent book, "Bear Attacks - their Cause and Avoidance",  if you're really interested.  But really, the likelihood of being attacked by a bear on while riding a  bicycle is so remote that it barely bears (no pun intended) discussion. i suppose that the exception might be in the  far reaches of  Canada or Alaska.  But even there, bear spray would be more effective than a gun and a heck of a lot lighter to carry.
Title: Re: My Bike Set-up for TransAm
Post by: Ryld on May 22, 2018, 12:01:57 am
To avoid any sort of complex law issues (unless you do an exclusive Alaska trip or other unrestricted gun state full of bears) I would argue to go with bear spray. As to the effects of teargas and pepper spray both work great against humans- I am qualified by tears with both. I also would say an open carry bear spray holster like you had in your youtube demo right next to your stem is a great easy quick draw attack against a cougar or bear ( a cougar just slew a bikepacker). On the other hand if the law was NOT an issue, and if I was thinking I may well meet an animal attack; I would always opt for a firearm over bearspray-  but of course I fired countless rounds in the Marines so safety and effecriveness is high when I shoot. But I would worry more about racoons stealing your food and tearing your pack or dogs chasing you than bears.

To avoid bears just camp at a place with a bear box and put the food in it without sncking in your camp or tent- or string it up.
Title: Re: My Bike Set-up for TransAm
Post by: canalligators on July 02, 2018, 09:18:43 pm
Yup, risk tolerance.  But most people are lousy at assessing risk.
Title: Re: My Bike Set-up for TransAm
Post by: BikeliciousBabe on July 04, 2018, 09:51:25 am

To avoid bears just camp at a place with a bear box and put the food in it without sncking in your camp or tent- or string it up.

And hopefully, if it's  private campground, the owners will invest in a bear-resistant dumpster. Last September I stayed at a place in heavy bear country that did not. Bear raided the dumpsters. I assumed it had left the area but kept my head on a swivel while making breakfast and packing up in the dark. Came around to the front of the campground, leaned my bike against a bench to put on my helmet and turn on my lights. Heard the clinking of cans and bottles. Huge black bear walked out from between the dumpsters about 20' away. I believe he was in the 500 lb. range. We started at each other for a few second. I backed away sideways and he went off into a wooded area. I had stored all my stuff in the bathroom, but there was a pile of scat about 50' from my tent.

During seven days in the backcountry of Glacier N.P., a place know to have a bear or two, bear spray, not a gun, was the method of defense. No bear sightings, but we did see 5 moose.