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Messages - TCS

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General Discussion / Re: Is a TransAm Ride Coast-to-Coast
« on: December 04, 2021, 04:28:13 pm »
Oh - BTW - my largest dictionary requires a 'tour' to end where it started.  Not even the most pedantic cycletourists I've known make that a requirement for a bike ride to be called a 'tour'.   :D

General Discussion / Re: Florida coast to coast dedicated bike path. C2C.
« on: December 04, 2021, 04:07:21 pm »
Something for a gps or phone?

Hey, Walther!  You can go to and search on Florida coast to coast* or Florida C2C or some such search term.  Dozens of folks have mapped the route, and you can download GPS data in several formats from their files.  Hmm.  You might need to establish a (free) account to do this.

*Whoa, sorry, I know that offends some folks.

General Discussion / Re: Is a TransAm Ride Coast-to-Coast
« on: December 04, 2021, 04:03:35 pm »
I've offered here a couple of routes from the ST to the pier in Corpus Christi, and suggested the Underground Railroad route as an American coast-to-coast  (Lake Erie/Gulf of Mexico).  I had no idea how offensive that was to some here!

I semi seriously stretch to the call the Pacific to the Gulf as being a pathetic sort of a coast to coast.

Do you snort in disgust when someone says they've cycletoured this?:

I guess Tuktoyaktuk to Boca Chica would be unimpressive, too, Boca Chica being on the Gulf.   :P  Perhaps an Atlantic<->Pacific crossing of North America is a pathetic sort of coast to coast and only North Cape to Cape Town or Cabo da Roca to Cape Dezhnev is a "real" coast-to-coast to a "real" cycletourist.    ::)

OP - Hey, you're riding across the USA.  Great!  That's wonderful!  Wishing you much joy on your ride.  The only distinction I'd make is you're riding trans-America and not the TransAmerican Trail, the same way I've suggested to other posters they were riding across America on US90 and I-10 and not riding the Southern Tier.  The TransAmerican Trail and Southern Tier are defined routes on copyrighted maps by our host here on this forum, Adventure Cycling.

Gear Talk / Re: Availability stove fuel along GDMBR
« on: December 02, 2021, 01:05:13 pm »
As I am planning to cycle the GDMBR I am interested in the availability of stove fuel along the route. What is the best to take with me?

If you don't already own a GDMBR-quality stove, the MSR Whisperlite Universal*, Optimus Polaris Optifuel and Primus Omnifuel all can use white gas, gasoline, kerosine, canister isobutane and, with small adapters, aerosol butane and propane.  A feller on the Classic Camp Stoves website even said he'd custom drilled a jet for his MSR Whisperlite and fired it with alcohol ( <- but that's the total extent of my knowledge of that modification).  These would be overkill if all you want is a hot cup of coffee in the morning, but if you're going to fresh ingredient cook the length of the trail, they'd really have you cooking with gas be the cat's pajamas.

Another approach:  a BSR-3000 (canister isobutane) and a Toaks siphon alcohol stove together ->combined!<- weigh under 50 grams.  Take 'em both!

*made in USA, if you care about such things.

Gear Talk / Re: Availability stove fuel along GDMBR
« on: December 02, 2021, 12:24:03 pm »
Alcohol stove sooting is somewhat related to stove design, but is mostly down to what type of alcohol is burned in them.

Also, the HEET bottle says CAUTION - Vapors are Harmful.

Yeah, as noted in the link above, yellow Heet is methanol. 

Anyway, the label on the isobutane canister I have here says "Inhalation can cause central nervous system effects" and I'm guessing they don't mean in a good trip kind of way.  The smoke from campfires (campfires were recently promoted on the AC blog) is horrible to breathe.  Those little 'Esbit' tabs (hexamine) produce poisonous fumes - you can, under certain circumstances, actually poison your food cooking with them.

Neophites:  Get educated, be thoughtful, but for goodness sakes don't let any of this scare you.  We've been cooking outdoors for ~750,000 years.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Gear Talk / Re: Availability stove fuel along GDMBR
« on: December 01, 2021, 10:20:48 am »
Isn't most hand sanitizer pretty low in alcohol content, like 62-70%?  Do you have specific brands that you know of that are higher in alcohol content (80%)?

I just went to my local store and read the labels.

It would seem as if 80% would be useable but not ideal.

Well, it's better (and cheaper!) than that other flyable fuel, 140 proof Jägermiester.   ;)

Gear Talk / Re: Availability stove fuel along GDMBR
« on: November 30, 2021, 10:13:24 am »
Fun Fact:  TSA lets you fly with 12oz of 'hand sanitizer'. 

My Trangia (alcohol stove) burns 80% alcohol hand sanitizer just dandy.  Yeah, switch to Heet or Klean Strip enroute, but the hand sanitizer can get the trip started.

General Discussion / Re: ACA Accident
« on: November 18, 2021, 12:29:08 am »
To clarify:  six cyclists on a training ride were hit by a sixteen year-old driver in Waller County, Texas on September 25th.  Four of the riders were taken to local hospitals.  The driver was allegedly harassing the cyclists and has been charged with six counts of felony aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Six cyclists on a cross country tour (Southern Tier???) were hit by a driver in Liberty County, Texas on October 30th.  Three, four or five cyclists were taken to area hospitals depending on which news report you read.  One of these cyclist died.  I read on a local blog that manslaughter charges have been filed on the driver, but I haven't been able to confirm that.

General Discussion / Re: Cooking on the Road
« on: November 12, 2021, 01:02:21 pm »
Occasionally you find yourself in camp with no other food, no food sources nearby, it's already dark, and you thought you were going to pass a store or restaurant in the last 20 miles of the day but you didn't.

"Be prepared." - Boy Scout motto
"Expect the unexpected." - Tao aphorism that keeps young Kwai Chang Cain from being dismissed from the Shaolin monastery after he is attacked and robbed

Some cycletourists carry an emergency dehydrated meal.  Others carry jerky, nut butters and/or boiled eggs.  Then there's Huel, Kachava, Sans1 bars and Soylent.  Being prepared with calories for an unexpected end-of-day is wise.

1.  Sans is a titanium level sponsor of Adventure Cycling!

Gear Talk / Re: cooking System
« on: November 12, 2021, 12:32:38 pm »
Plenty of folks have set off across country on their very first cycletour having never fired up their stove or erected their tent.  In fact, that even seems to be a requirement these days to get a publisher to print your travelog!  Yeah, okay, whatever, but...

I think learning to cook at home before you set out is critical...Go shop at a few gas station C-stores BEFORE your trip and go home and make a meal before you life depends on it.

...this is just really, really good advice.

Gear Talk / Re: cooking System
« on: November 11, 2021, 09:53:33 pm »
Was I being hopelessly old school recommending books?  Here are some recipes to practice before the big trip:

Watch out for exotic ingredients you can't find in small stores! 

Not all of these will appeal; but there's something here for nearly everyone.

Unlike the recipes in the suggested books, these are mostly 'backpacking' recipes.  When cycletouring, you're not out in the wilderness, you're out in the world.  Most of these will need to be adapted accordingly.

Recipe translations for cycletourist cooks:
dehydrated or powdered xxx = fresh xxx
7 oz package of fresh xxx = can of xxx
rice or pasta or potatoes or couscous = couscous or pasta or rice or potatoes, subject to preference and availability
spring harvested essence of pui-nui nectar from the eastern slopes of Fiji = which ever spice you have you think is closest
bread crumbs = you were at the store yesterday and the only bread they had was a gigantic loaf of white so you bought a box of crackers instead and haven't eaten them all yet
pre-prepare at home = prepare at the campsite shortly before you chow down
available from url = available at the last little store you pass before you camp
Dutch oven = skip this recipe no matter how yummy it sounds unless you want to get into the esoteric world of lightweight camp baking
couldn't buy ingredients in small quantities = "Anything you can eat for supper you can eat for breakfast." - Maureen

Gear Talk / Re: cooking System
« on: November 11, 2021, 04:51:00 pm »
That would be 1000 to 1200 kcal/20 miles for a 160 to 200 mile day. Heavily loaded, it would be more calories/mile than this calculation.

Wow.  160~200 miles per day, then make camp and cook dinner.  We are not worthy.   ;)

Gear Talk / Re: cooking System
« on: November 11, 2021, 04:48:47 pm »
Just a few points off the top of my head:

My main question is what do other cyclists use for a cooking system that travel like myself?

What you cook with is really driven by what you want to cook...and vice-versa.

Starting to plan my Trans-Am trip next May East to West in 2022.

Oooo!  Lots of time to experiment and practice, then, developing favorite recipes, menus and your cookcraft.

Cookbooks:  In another thread I praised the old classic Cooking on the Road by John Rakowski, sometimes available used on Amazon or at your local used book store.  In current print, Bike.Camp.Cook. by Tara Alan is good.  Don Jacobson's The One Pan Gourmet pursues the interesting idea of minimizing your kitchen tackle by optimizing your recipes.

Stoves:  For 30+ years I relied on my Coleman 400A white gas stove.  Huge power but with a finely controlled, gentle simmer.  It had a very broad, wind resistant burner that was neither prone to causing hot spots in the pan nor scorching the food.  It burned pump gasoline - the world's most common fuel - just fine.  Loved that stove.  Back in the day my buddies with Svea 123s were in awe of the Coleman.  Alas, much like some cycletourists, it got cantankerous in its later years.  I took it apart to clean it and it hasn't worked since.  It's been decades since Coleman made the 400A, and years and years since they offered repair parts.  Yeah, yeah, you can still get parts for Svea 123s.  Whatever.   ;)

As HBC mentioned, in some forest/campgrounds alcohol and wood stoves are banned by regulation.  Conversely, the only stove you can count on flying with is an alcohol burner like the Trangia - and at present you can fly with the fuel, too!  Ha, take that, TSA!  I used my Trangia exclusively for several years.  I loved its silence, dead simple operation and stone-cold reliability.  You're not really carbon neutral if you use bio-alcohol, but you can pretend you are.  You can spill a little fuel without extinguishing all life in the soil.  Plus, the Trangia has a screw top lid and, well, something of a simmer ring.  I've never had any trouble being flush with alcohol fuel.  Downsides?  Well, it's not terribly powerful and the simmer is pretty primitive.

I've taken my Expedition Research solid fuel (hexamethylenetetramine) stove along for 'backup'; never had to use it but played with it some.  What can I say about it?  Hmm.  Well, it makes heat after a fashion and it's extraordinarily lightweight.

I agree with cycle cookbook authors Rakowski and Alan: if you want to cook-cook, use a gas (liquid or gaseous) stove; one with a good simmer and preferably a broad burner head.  Not owning any equipment and feeling haute bourgeoisie, today I'd probably get an all singing, all dancing Optimus Polaris Optifuel.  With a, ahem, modest budget and a box full of old equipment, these days I mostly camp-cook with a plebeian Coleman Peak 1 single burner isobutane stove.  I guess if I mis-planned/under budgeted/was unlucky with the isobutane canister supply, I could get by for a meal or two with the hexamethylenetetramine.

If one goes in for the 'skillet' school of One Pan Gourmet, I like the GSI Pinnacle.  For the 'pot' school, the MSR Alpine Stowaways are nice.  On tour about 40 years ago, I found an Opinel carbon steel #8 and I've carried it on tour ever since.  I like how easy it is to keep razor sharp, its locking blade and the chunky, easy to grip handle.  Buying new, though, I'd get the smaller #6.

I love the thermodynamic excellence of our OP's MSR Windburner.  However, comparative tests suggest the Windburner does not simmer well, and its system-integrated pot is relatively tall and slender.  Recipes will need to be chosen/developed accordingly.

BTW, our hosts here on this forum, Adventure Cycling, featured a blog post last month on the joys of wood fires.  I guess I camped in too many sites that had been absolutely denuded by earlier guests, subscribe too much to 'leave no trace' and breathed too much wood smoke from poorly built fires in the next campsite over to really be a fan.  The Trump Administration's EPA declared burning wood was carbon neutral, so it's got that going for it, but others have countered that depends on many assumptions that are seldom met.

General Discussion / Re: Florida coast to coast dedicated bike path. C2C.
« on: November 04, 2021, 11:36:09 am »
Yep, looks like a nice shoulder season and even wintertime ride.

Latest on development of the C2C:

Routes / Re: Interstate Alternatives
« on: November 02, 2021, 01:37:54 pm »
Here you can take I - 10 all the way...

Some cycle tourists' idea of heaven.  Some cycle tourists' idea of hell.

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