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Messages - Bike Hermit

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definitely the saddle

I agree with the suggestions to stick with the double front chain rings. You know the shifters and  front derailleur will work. Get one of the mentioned MTB cranks or IRD also makes the so-called Wide Compact Road Double with 46-30 tooth rings. Then do the 36 tooth cassette (you may need a new rear derailleur.)   Fiddle around with the Sheldon Gear Calculator to get the gears you think you need.

Gear Talk / Re: Touring without fenders - big mistake?
« on: July 12, 2015, 06:25:16 pm »
Just got back from my 2-week west coast tour - it rained just once (lucky me), but the bike and panniers got covered in grime, and my pump ended up getting filled with water and some grit.  I think I may get some fenders for the next tour. :-)

- Tim
You just answered your own question! I agree by the way.

General Discussion / Re: What's an 'average' day?
« on: July 12, 2015, 06:17:46 pm »
It's really a question of why are you on the bike?
If it's to simply stay on the bike all day, enjoy the scenery but ultimately do little else then 75-80 miles a day
If however you want to meet the locals, enjoy a cafe and see what you are passing through then 45-50 miles a day.
I've led tours with both types of cyclists and I am definately in the 45-50 mile a day catagory.

The Lands End John O'Groats in the UK is a classic example.
It's a 1000 miles trip. For some a 3 week meandre is ideal. However for most it's a 10 day sprint and I personally think they are missing the point as if you talk to them they have nothing to say about the trip aside fatigue, but look on it more as an achievement.

I am not one to spend my days chatting away with strangers.  I do enjoy a good convo, but this trip is more about me and my need to go solo and get out on my own and explore.  I spend too much time around others currently, which is why this trip came up in the first place.  :)  It's going to be an opportunity for me to strike out on my own, not have to be on anyone else's schedule but my own, and spend some time reflecting.  I realize this is a bit different from what most others strive for (apparently) and this all may change after a few solo days on the road.

While it would be an achievement, it's more about the journey for me.  I enjoy long days in the saddle and get a sense of accomplishment out of it.  This trip would be about sight seeing and taking in the scenery, not so much about meeting people along the way.  I have that in my daily life as it is, thankfully!!
I'm with you on this. No better way to clear out the cobwebs than to get on the bike and go, without having to meet the schedule or demands of anybody else. Actually, that's what I enjoy most about bike touring. I do agree with the advice to plan a little more time than you think you need in case you have problems or if you just want to hang out in a nice spot.

Routes / Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
« on: August 20, 2014, 12:19:41 pm »
I'm thinking of doing half of the main route this September using the Lowman cutoff. I'd like to know if anyone has thoughts on which half would be better, northern or southern? Also, I'll be riding on a Salsa Fargo but not sure on choice between B.O.B. or panniers?

Sections of road on the southern half have been washed out this summer. Check Usually at this time of year there are closures from forest fires but so far we have been lucky. Just check before you go and be flexible.

We rode the Bear Pete trail/Burgdorf Hot Springs loop portion of the Secesh Option August 2 and it was clear of trees, thanks largely to moto riders, some of whom have chainsaw racks on the front of their bikes! I gotta get me one of those. The northern part of the trail has some really deep ruts from the motorbikes though.

General Discussion / Re: Road bike for touring??
« on: November 20, 2013, 03:28:42 pm »
Not a fan of trailers. The single wheel trailers put a lot of torque on the bike frame and when loaded can affect the handling of the bike...sometimes in a scary way. Two wheel trailers take a lot of room. Also, more mechanical liabilities with trailers. Why not look at frame bags like those from Revelate Designs, or racks from Old Man Mountain made for bikes without attachment points.   

General Discussion / Re: hydration options in desert
« on: September 16, 2013, 04:24:07 pm »
I have been trying to sort that conundrum myself. We are riding Highway 50 from Carson City, NV to Cedar City, UT next month and there are some long stretches without services and likely without surface water so we will need to carry enough for two or three days at a time. In Southern Utah however you should be able to find surface water so  you should take a filter and some bladders. Alternatively, or better yet in addition to the filter take a Camelbak All Clear and a solar charger to keep it topped off. I just did this blog post about those.

General Discussion / Re: 2 or 4 panniers
« on: September 12, 2013, 11:12:54 am »
I completely disagree that 4 panniers look better. I think having only rear bags looks more streamlined, and front panniers produce more drag against a headwind or sidewind. My view is less is better, each bag just adds weight so if your stuff fits in two and it feels right, go with that.  i also tour with mis-matched tires, 32 in the rear and 28 in the front.

aaargh. Say it isn't true. Rear panniers only AND mis-matched tires! Actually, that does make some sense since the rear wheel carries significantly more weight in this scenario.

General Discussion / Re: 2 or 4 panniers
« on: September 10, 2013, 12:42:41 pm »

Sounds like a fun trip.  People must think we are crazy to talk about riding such distances.  I know I used to.

You are asking one of those "religious" questions where logic and reason will soon be swamped by dogma and faith.....


You forgot aesthetics. It doesn't look right to have panniers on the back and no load in front. IMHO. And there will be more weight and stress on the rear wheel. I say spread out the load. 

Gear Talk / Re: Looking for Rain Pants
« on: March 21, 2013, 09:54:25 am »
Waterproof, breathable.

General Discussion / Re: Touring Question
« on: March 18, 2013, 12:04:45 pm »
I recently watched a movie on Netflix entitled 180 Degrees South. Our hero catches a ride on a boat to Chile on the way to Patagonia to  climb a mountain. He was retracing the path  two of his heroes took four decades ago and he was going to meet those two in Patagonia. On the way the boat broke and they spent a couple months on Easter Island where he met a girl who, once the boat was repaired, went with them. Once in Patagonia they got to hang out with Yvon Chouinard and Doug Tompkins and enjoy personal tours of the 2 million acre Concervacion Patagonica and go surfing. When it came time to climb the mountain the ice was melted and they were stopped within a few hundred feet of the summit because conditions were too dangerous. He moped about this for days maybe if the entire journey was a waste and a failure. Mr. Chouinard was fine with stopping even farther from the summit saying:
 "What's important is how you got there, not what you've accomplished". and
 "When everything goes wrong, that's when the adventure begins"
So my question is:
Why do you want to ride your bike across the country? Why set another, arbitrary goal like that which is already causing stress and frustration?  Raising decent kids is a goal. A career is a goal. Contributing something is a goal. Bike touring is bike touring. It's not a race or a contest and as Mr. Chouinard (who, apparently is my new hero too) also said;
"it's about the changes that happen inside you"
Go when you can...overnight, a week, three weeks or three months.


General Discussion / Re: Bike and Cars - share the road
« on: January 23, 2013, 11:16:30 am »
I agree with the comments about being visible and predictable. Also, know the laws and ordinances where you are riding and try to follow them. IMO, most of the anti cyclist sentiment is caused by team strip wearing middle of road riding "racers" or by tight pants wearing tattooed hipster messenger wannnabes. I think drivers are more courteous when they see a relatively normally dressed individual on a  bike with racks and bags. Maybe that's just my bike touring snobbery shining through  :D

Routes / Re: The Western Southern Tier in the Winter (January-Feb)
« on: January 06, 2013, 12:39:51 pm »
I rode through Death Valley in February a few years ago and the weather was fantastic. We rode from Midland, TX to Big Bend and up to Austin in February one year too and the weather was fine, even though a little cold at night and it snowed the day I got to Austin. If you have time a detour to Big Bend is worthwhile although there was snow on the ground in Terlingua Ghost Town a few days ago.

I think AZ and NM might be the sketchiest for winter. If it was me I would get on Amtrack's Sunset Limited at Yuma or Phoenix, AZ  and ride it to Alpine, TX then ride down to Big Bend and back up to Marfa to continue to Austin. In fact that sounds really fun!

General Discussion / Re: Need advice - NJ
« on: January 06, 2013, 12:21:03 pm »
Hi cmtbiz,

Welcome to bicycle travel and Adventure Cycling!

I'm not sure where in NJ you are but you might want to take a peek at these two Bikeovernights in NJ for inspiration:

The only mapped routing we have in New Jersey is the Atlantic Coast Route, Section 2:

Hope this helps get you going.


ACA's Bike Overnight is a great site. An overnight trip can be good practice. You can learn how to pack, what to take and how the bike handles and get it all sorted before going on a longer trip. And overnight trips can be excellent escapes to recharge the mental batteries!

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