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Gear Talk / Re: Tools / parts to carry on tour
« on: July 02, 2024, 10:35:55 pm »
I have Nitto Big racks fore and aft.  Nickel plated steel.  Not worried about them breaking.

I have the Tubus Cargo rear rack, it's also made of 25CrMo4 steel, it's supposed to hold 57 pounds, but I have about 45 on it. The odd thing with that rack I have is it has the tubes open and exposed to the elements on both ends, so rain runs down the tp and out the bottom, so I sprayed rust-proofing into it in hopes of preventing rust from occurring inside. I thought about closing off the holes with caps, but then I got to wonder why they left them open, so maybe they're supposed to be left open?

Gear Talk / Re: Tools / parts to carry on tour
« on: June 09, 2024, 12:08:23 am »



Good idea.  One time I hastily installed my racks under a bridge in Missoula in order to get back to camp before an approaching storm.  On the 5th day of the trip, which included some rough, unpaved, hilly roads, one of the bolts of my front rack got rattled loose and fell out.  Didn't notice it until we got to camp and I noticed the rack listing heavily to one side.  A rack into a front wheel on the unpaved road we had just finished would have likely been a disaster.

The odd thing about pannier rack problems, I've run into more people who have had welds break on aluminum racks than I have with bolts coming loose!  Apparently, as the load is bouncing up and down on the rack, which could be made to carry a 75-pound load for example, but that weight is measured as the weight just sitting on the rack, it isn't taking that 75 pounds and adding another say 35 pounds when the 75 pounds jumps and comes back down constantly like a slide hammer.  A slide hammer might have only a 10-pound hammer, but you slide that thing back and forth on just 23 inches of rod and that weight is multiplied.  Now of course a load on a bike isn't jumping 23 inches, but even if it's only jumping an inch it's causing more weight than what the rack was designed for to be hammering away at the welds.  I've been on roads that have ridges every 12 feet or so, you hit those damn things and the load is bouncing up and down for miles, aluminum can't take that for long unless your load is at least 25% lower than the max carrying weight of the rack.

Gear Talk / Re: Tools / parts to carry on tour
« on: June 04, 2024, 12:24:52 pm »
I do long-distance bike camping myself, but my tools are rather thin because I do a very extensive pre-ride inspection before I go, and do one every morning.  But this is a practice I've done for the last 50 years, about 40 before I started multi-day trips, and I've never had a mechanical breakdown on the road, not including flats of course.  Every morning, I go through my water bottle cages, fenders, and pannier racks to make sure the bolts are tight, those things seem to be the most likely to loosen, but so far they haven't.

Agreed the pre-ride inspection is super important!

On rack and fender bolts and keeping them tight, Loctite is your best friend.  I've noticed that some bolts are more likely to loosen up than others, so it might be a good idea to ride around home with your bike fully loaded for a few days and figure out which bolts those are.  But I'd recommend putting a threadlocker and all of the rack and fender and cage bolts.

You mentioned wheels and spokes... my experience has been that broken spokes under mostly normal use is usually a sign of a poor wheel build.  High-quality custom wheel builds with alloy hoops and an adequate number of spokes are not grossly expensive (on the order of $300 each) and you can abuse the heck out of them and they won't let you down.  Usually from a return on investment standpoint wheel upgrades are a very good deal.  If you do basic maintenance (checking your wheels to make sure they are still true) you aren't likely to have problems.

I'm curious though.  You didn't mention chain oil at all.  At least for me riding dusty and dirty I usually need to clean the chain and reapply chain lubricant every couple of days.

I forgot to mention about the chain lube, I do take chain lube.  Currently, I use Dumonde Tech Lite because it lasts between 400 to 500 miles between applications, and I wipe it down after each ride.  But I am thinking of switching to Effetto Mariposa  Flower Power lube, supposedly it lasts about the same amount of time as the Dumonde, but it runs a lot cleaner with less friction, hmmmmm, so I will probably try it and if it fails to impress me I'll go back to Dumonde.

My touring bike, as do almost all touring bikes, are now coming with a max of 32 spoke rims, some just have 28, and if one spoke fails those lesser spoke wheels could cause a taco effect of the wheel.  Bike manufacturers are excusing the low spoke count wheels as making up for it with a stronger rim, but it doesn't work that way.  I'm like you, I think a touring bike wheelset should have at least 36 spokes with 40 being ideal, or 40 on the rear and 36 on the front, but my newer touring bike is using 32 spoke wheels, and I don't care for them but I'll keep using them till a rim starts to develop a crack somewhere, usually at a spoke hole.

I forgot to mention too, that I check my tires at night for holes and cuts, if any are found I fill them in with Super Glue, I do that at night because it takes a while for that glue to get real hard when it's not being used to put two things together.

I've been doing bike camping for about 12 years, on two different bikes, and so far none of my bolts have ever loosened, so Loctite has not been necessary, but just because they haven't loosened in all that time doesn't mean I don't check them because one day I could get a nasty surprise if I don't.  You can't take anything for granted when riding long distances for days on end.

I do a post-trip on my regular bikes after each ride, not as involved as a touring bike but it still needs to be done.

I even do a pre-trip when I'm in the RV as well, blowing an engine due to low oil, low antifreeze, a worn belt, a tire that has low air blowing out causing the potential for an accident, and other assorted checks I do every morning before leaving a campsite, having an issue on the road can be very expensive, an engine alone can run you around $8,000 these days, plus installation which is about 12 hours of labor, not to mention the time you have to wait for a part to come in, thus motel and food expenses.  So you want to make sure you do your due diligence to ensure the vehicle is up on all of its fluids and air pressure.

Some people probably think I'm anal, but if you read my list of tools you would allow me to come back to Earth!

Gear Talk / Re: What's your rain riding plan?
« on: June 02, 2024, 09:32:06 pm »
You can't always wait out the rain, I've had rain last all day, and I had to get moving on.

The real problem is there is no true waterproof gear that doesn't trap in all your sweating making you wet, so why spend a lot of money on stuff that doesn't work?  I have a Showers Pass Syncline CC Jacket, Showers Pass Transit pants, a Louis Garneau waterproof helmet cover, and some brand of waterproof gloves, and Bontrager waterproof half booties.  And of course, I bought all my crap on sale.

Gear Talk / Re: Tools / parts to carry on tour
« on: June 02, 2024, 09:02:27 pm »
Don't carry more tools and parts than you are comfortable doing.  Even then one can overdo it.

I do long-distance bike camping myself, but my tools are rather thin because I do a very extensive pre-ride inspection before I go, and do one every morning.  But this is a practice I've done for the last 50 years, about 40 before I started multi-day trips, and I've never had a mechanical breakdown on the road, not including flats of course.  Every morning, I go through my water bottle cages, fenders, and pannier racks to make sure the bolts are tight, those things seem to be the most likely to loosen, but so far they haven't.

What I carry is a Park MTB3 multi-tool, a small pair of folding pliers, zip ties, duct tape, and 2 FiberFix spokes, that's it besides the typical flat repair stuff.

The only spare parts I carry is a bolt in case a fender, pannier, or bottle cage bolt comes off I can replace it, and the FiberFix spokes.  I do carry a spare tube, but just one.

The FiberFix spokes mean I can replace a spoke or two without removing the cassette, so no tool is needed. However, with low spoke count modern wheels the concern is if I break a spoke the wheel will probably taco and I don't carry an extra rim!

Flat stuff is typical with most riders.  I carry a long 11-inch Lezyne Road Drive pump with a hose that has a built-in gauge, so no separate gauge is needed.  The longer pump makes it a lot easier to pump with.  I rarely get a flat and haven't had a flat on my touring rig yet, but I use higher-end Schwalbe Amotion tires that have the lowest rolling resistance of any touring tire, but they now come out with a tire with even lower rolling resistance called the Marathon Efficiency, so when mine wear out I'm going with those. I do cheat though, I use Clear Motion Armadillo flat liners, they are tougher than Mr. Tuffy and lighter in weight.  Of course, I carry patches for the tube and boot patches for the tire, and two spare tubes.  I also carry 3 tire irons, two of them are Lezyne XL power levers, and the other is a Kool Stop Tire Bead Jack that I cut off about a 1/2 an inch off the handle so I could fit it into the seat bag. The Schwalbe tires are very tough to put on and the Kool Stop makes it possible to put on the last couple of inches of tire.  I use 2 reusable wide Zip ties when putting on those tires to lock one end of the bead to the rim so it won't slide out of the rim while putting the other side on. I have a Presta to Schrader converter.

I decided to go with mechanic disk brakes so there is no fluid to carry or worry about leaks.  I'm another person who is not sold on tubeless tires, though the tires on my touring bike are tubeless I use tubes.  But I can also fix most flats on any tubed tire without removing the wheel off the bike!  It's simple to do if you can find the hole, simply leave the wheel on the bike, then remove half the bead with the hole in the middle, and then pull out about a fourth of the tube with the hole in the middle of the tube, patch like normal.

General Discussion / Re: US dogs
« on: May 08, 2024, 12:08:26 pm »
When we cycled highway 90 in the winter of 1984 in north Florida going west, free-ranging dogs were all over the place. We had several loud snarling barking run-ins with them. Frequently they lay dead in the road, smashed by motor vehicles. Several years later I cycled that same highway in winter. Not one single dog did I see anywhere along the length of that highway 90 in north Florida. Generally  speaking, there is nothing to worry about in the US. In other parts of the world there are dogs that would rip a man to shreds and devour him. I encountered two of them.  All I can say is thank God for that chain link fence. I would say dogs have chased and slowed me to a halt 100 times.

While what you said is true, it's only true most of the time, not all the time.  So for that once-in-a-blue-moon dog that lives in America and wants to eat you for breakfast and will chase you however far it takes to get a leg steak, you need to take precautions.  The weight of a small plastic pepper spray canister is nearly nothing, so you're total touring weight will not even notice the canister.  And when loaded for touring you are not going to be able to outrun a small terrier, not alone a larger dog who will be on top of you so fast you'll wonder what happened.  And pepper spray can help you in case you should encounter an unwanted superpredator, also rare, but anything is always possible at any time.

Gear Talk / Re: How warm should your sleepingbag be?
« on: April 20, 2024, 08:38:51 pm »
The OP reads like it was generated by AI.  We are seeing a lot of that over on

"Some might shiver the night away under a fluffy down comforter in a room that is a smidgen below 70F, while others will wrap themselves in an old horse blanket and snore all night on an ice floe."

Seriously?  Doesn't sound like anything a real person would write in this context.  I am willing to bet the the thread title is what the program was asked.

That is possible, Quora has been doing that for quite some time, the questions are mostly stupid, but they're designed to get readers, and now forums are taking a page from Quora to get readers and members.

General Discussion / Re: How much water to carry?
« on: April 16, 2024, 07:50:50 pm »
Sounds like you've done a lot, but I wasn't asking for an autobiography, all I asked for was some sort of website discussing the benefits of drinking the last bottle all at once instead of sipping as you go so that myself, and others, could read it.

General Discussion / Re: Neck injury
« on: April 15, 2024, 11:18:34 pm »
You can also get a stem riser as well; a good bike fitter should be able to do that without having you buy something more expensive.

If the jarring of the handlebar bothers your neck, KINEKT makes a stem that you might not need a stem riser after installation, they have a Suspension Stem that also has a Rise Adjustment to it, it's called KINEKT Suspension Stem - Rise Adjustable!  It's sort of expensive but could be a neck saver, but it could kill two birds with one stone, removing some of the jarring while raising your head up so your neck doesn't have to tilt up all the time just to see.

General Discussion / Re: Health Insurance
« on: April 15, 2024, 11:10:49 pm »
Wow, what an adventure, you are very fortunate that BOTH you and your wife can physically do such a trip, my wife cannot.

My question is, do you plan on returning to your hometown in Idaho when the trip ends?  You can't stay out there the rest of your lives, so at some point you have to go and live someplace.

As far as the state in which you came from and have your driver's license in, they don't know you're gone, and there is no reason to tell them.  If by chance your license comes up for renewal while you're gone, then renew it online. 

If you have family or a very close friend in Idaho, simply use their address as your home address. Of course, you need to ask permission from them, but typically that shouldn't be a problem, you're not doing anything illegal, just using their address as your home address.  Then when you go back to Idaho establish a new address once you've found a place to live and get everything transferred.

Mail wise you can get a mail scanning service, RV'rs do this, the postal service scans your mail and you can view the mail online.  If you need a particular piece of mail you can get professional RV Mail Forwarding Services, Organizations like Escapees RV Club offer mail forwarding services specifically designed for full-time and part-time RVers. They handle your mail and forward it to your current location.  Even though you're on a bike just treat it as if you were in an RV.

Your biggest issue could be filing taxes, but if you do your taxes online, and then use a family members address you'll be ok.

I assume you set up all your bills, if you have any, for paperless filing.

General Discussion / Re: GDMBR cell phone company ?
« on: April 15, 2024, 10:52:23 pm »
Wise River MT is still the same, with zero Verizon coverage. Last I knew most of the Salmon-Challis National Forest is a dead zone as well, but AT&T has spotty 4G coverage through there but has better coverage over a much larger area than Verizon including Whitefish, if you're going into that area you could buy an AT&T prepaid.

Walmart sells an AT&T Vista Smartphone for $33, or save $3 if you don't need a smartphone and get an AT&T Cingular Flex 2 flip job.

Then you would have 3 sources of comms, but Verizon will be virtually useless in that area, but take it anyway.

If you are in the US, Mexico and Canada, but you will need to contact your carrier to find out what restrictions you might have with your insurance in those two countries, otherwise here in the states all you need is your current health insurance, it will pay for everything minus your deductible, and co-pay.

What you do need to find out is whether or not your current insurance covers hiking and biking in excluded areas of the US, or will they cover you if you are at altitudes greater than 2,000m.  Find out if your insurance will cover emergency evac in remote places.

I agree with another poster that said it very simply, if you don't need additional insurance now, you're not going to need it on the Trans Am. 

Keep in mind, if you buy any other coverages you cannot collect twice, both insurance companies will find out you have two policies, and they'll decide who will pay, while the other may not have to pay out a dime!   

It is best not to listen to me or anyone else about your questions, you need to contact your health provider and get a detailed explanation as to what to expect and if there is any extra coverage they can recommend.

What will, or could be more important than insurance if you're worried about a catastrophic injury is having satellite backup emergency communication radio in case you can't get cell service and you need to call for help, and hopefully, someone can get to you fast before you die from injury, thirst, or exposure.  Even if you're going with a group, someone should have a sat radio, but ask to find out, if not get one, because even if you're in a group they're not going to be able to get you out or send someone up ahead fast enough to maybe save your life.

I will add this, if you're not racing the TransAm, then the chance of a catastrophic injury is pretty slim.

General Discussion / Re: How much water to carry?
« on: April 15, 2024, 06:34:34 pm »
I think davidbonn and Google AI can both be correct. Camel up when you're at a water source and then use your saved water at regular intervals and as needed.

That's not what other websites say to do, and the reason for that is because all that will do is make you pee like crazy losing what that way as well as through sweating, whereas taking in small amounts of water as you travel stays in the system better, and you will lose a lot less water through peeing, but the sweating loss will be the same.  Not only that but a belly full of water while hiking or biking could give you stomach pain. Just think about this more.  If you can find me a website that says to chug the entire bottle instead of sipping it as you go, I would love to read it, but I searched like crazy and everything I found said not to do that.

General Discussion / Re: How much water to carry?
« on: April 13, 2024, 11:54:26 pm »
The most efficient place to carry water is in your body.  So if you know you have a long waterless stretch ahead of you drink until you almost pop before leaving the last water source.

Also, caffeinated drinks like coffee or tea are diuretic and you should go easy on them in very dry conditions.  To a lesser extent sugary drinks are diuretic too and even though sweet tea is delicious on a hot day I wouldn’t recommend drinking four or five glasses of it when riding a big day.

Electrolyte replacements are also a good idea in dry conditions when you are drinking lots of water.

I'm sorry but I have to disagree with gulping all the water down till you pop idea.  At first I thought maybe something new came out I didn't know about, so I had to research it, and everything I read all agreed with this I got off of AI google:

When hiking and far from any water source, it’s more effective to drink water gradually rather than consuming an entire bottle all at once. Here’s why:

Hydration Frequency: Aim to drink water at regular intervals rather than gulping it down all at once. Even if you don’t feel thirsty, remember that you’re losing fluids through hiking, so staying hydrated is crucial.

Recommended Amount: While individual water needs vary based on body weight, a general guideline is to drink approximately 1 liter (about 1 quart) for every two hours of hiking1. Splitting this into smaller portions throughout the hike is more beneficial.

So that was in agreement with other websites I went on which agrees with the old school thought as well.

Coffee is a diuretic as you said, but it isn't as bad as they once thought. Again AI:

A review of studies by Lawrence Armstrong from the University of Connecticut found that caffeine is a mild diuretic at most. Interestingly, in 12 out of 15 comparisons, people urinated the same amount regardless of whether their water contained added caffeine or not.  So why do some folks feel the urge to visit the restroom more frequently after sipping their coffee? Most studies use pure caffeine added to water, not the actual tea or coffee you’d drink at home. Perhaps there’s something about the combination of substances in coffee and tea that makes a difference.

So when scientists did their research they used pure caffeine instead of coffee and added it to water and what they got was a heavily out-of-balance study.  Now of course, if you drink 5 large cups of coffee you will pee a lot, but guess what? drink 5 large cups of water and you will pee a lot!  If you knew you were going to be without water for a long time, and only had one bottle, plus a packet of instant coffee, I probably would not use the coffee even though the effect would be very small, but any effect in that situation is too much.

I recall hearing a wolf howl while stealth camping near Smithers, BC.  Of course I howled back.
That's a cool sound. I camped next to a wolf preserve in NJ, near the Atlantic Coast route.  The wolves started howling at dawn, while I was still in my tent.

What if they huff and puff and blow your tent down?

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