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Messages - vanick

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Gear Talk / Which camera???
« on: June 22, 2005, 01:39:15 am »
Anyone have input as to a digital camera of choice for bike touring in the US?  I have a Canon PowerShotA95 that seems to weigh a lot & uses 4 AA batteries, I'd like something lighter that uses 2 AA's for my impending cross-country venture.  I don't need more than 3 megapixels if that, the images will be going to my website; if anything gets printed, it won't be more than 5x7 or maybe 8x10 or so.

I also don't want to spend a whole lot of money on another camera.  I'm looking at the Bushnell outdoor 3.2MP, anyone had any experience with that?  Other suggestions?

The clock is running down, I need to get this together withing the next couple of weeks.

Thanks, Nick Evans

Gear Talk / Road Bike vs Mountain Bike
« on: June 03, 2005, 05:04:22 pm »
I'm getting ready to ride across the country on my hardtail MTB.  I've been riding it on some of the local club rides, I've no problem keping up with all the other folks on road bikes.  I'm running 1.5 x 26 Avocet CrossIIK tires with 85 PSI, they roll really nicely.  Top gear is 46 x 11, that spins out someplace on the long side of 25 mph, plenty fast for the folks I ride with.  The other end is 24 x 34, which enables me to pull a loaded BOB up just about anything.  I did swap out the suspension fork for a solid number.

I've posted some bike images at

Regards, Nick

Gear Talk / ?? about BOB trailer
« on: June 07, 2005, 12:32:42 pm »
Annie, I have aerobars on my touring rig, and have used them pulling BOB, no problemo.  I have not had any handling problems (but I haven't been running faster than about 30 with the loaded trailer).  

The aerobars are a "must" for me on long days in the saddle, not so much for the aero aspect, but because they let me stretch out & lean on my elbows, resting my hands.  Plus there's another upright position when I sit up and grip the elbow rests on climbs.  More riding positions = better as far as I'm concerned.

Regards, Nick

bike images at

Gear Talk / gear help
« on: April 28, 2005, 11:31:52 pm »
I've been setting up my hardtail MTB for transamerica this summer pulling a BOB.  I'm running 24-34-46 cranks and an 11-34 9speed cassette, this combination works great with or without the loaded trailer (which I've been pulling up and down the Blue Ridge on training rides).  This is similar to your gearing on the low end, mine is a bit taller in the high end, there've been a few times when I've actually spun out the 46-11 gear with the trailer.  


Gear Talk / BOB skewers--do they break?
« on: April 13, 2005, 09:40:21 pm »
Thanks for the input, the thing looks pretty beefy, I'm not going to bother carrying a spare (unless 10 other people chime in with tales of disaster)!


Gear Talk / BOB skewers--do they break?
« on: April 13, 2005, 12:02:51 pm »
Folks, Do I need to carry an extra BOB skewer on my transam trip?  Seems like this is about the only thing that could go wrong with BOB (other than tire issues), anyone every had one of these break?  I'll be keeping the load under 40#, mostly on paved roads.


Gear Talk / more panniers vs BOB, rider weight an issue???
« on: May 28, 2004, 12:37:25 am »
Thanks Anna, that's useful input.  At this point I'm planning on panniers and no BOB, seems like it would be more in tune with my riding style & psyche.

Regards, Nick

Gear Talk / more panniers vs BOB, rider weight an issue???
« on: May 10, 2004, 10:53:25 pm »
I'm new to this forum, long-time serious road rider looking at doing a solo trans-America ride, camping mainly plus plastic.  I've not carried gear on a bicycle since the late '60's when I used to ride home from boarding school to the tune of about 300 miles on a Schwinn Varsity.

I'm sorting out what bike to ride, and that leads to the panniers vs BOB (or other? single-wheel trailer) question....  Anybody have any input on handling characteristics of either setup for a rider who weighs in at 150 lbs after a couple of beers?  

Seems like the affects of, say 50 pounds of added weight on the bike, or on a trailer behind, would be different for a 150 pound rider versus a 200 pound rider.  I just don't know what those affects are.  Seems like added weight on the bike itself would be more noticeable from a handling standpoint for a lightweight rider than for a heavyweight.  And that a trailer with a given amount of stuff on it would tend to do its thing more noticably to a lighter-weight rider than someone with more mass.  

Anyone have any thoughts as to which is better for a rider my size?

Nick in Virginia

This message was edited by vanick on 5-11-04 @ 7:56 AM

Well here's the deal.  I've ended up with City Select, thanks for the input.  The maps for my Oregon to Virginia route take up about 100 megs of the 76C's memory (the Roads & Rec data for the same route are about 25 megs).  There's obviously a whole lot more data there with City Select, also obvious when I compare the respective renderings of the local scene.

As for the waypoint issue, there are something over 1800 points in the ACA files that cover my whole route.  The 76C only holds 1000 points.  I'm sure I could toss out a bunch of points by selectively deleting route points marking curves in roads and the like.  But life's too short.  

What I've done is to build a file that has the full data set in more densely populated areas, where the route might be more of a challenge to navigate.  That's mostly in the midwest and east.  I've tossed out large chunks of navigational points in the west, and in Virginia where I've pretty much already been over the whole route at one time or another anyway.  Since I'm going to be mostly camping, I've kept all of the campground points for the whole route.  I'll also be carrying paper maps.

As for the 76C on the bike, I've built an aluminum carrying bracket that centers the thing in my aerobars, which is very nice in terms of viewing distance for my eyes.  I've purchased a set of 2500 mAh Energizer batteries; these seem to have staying power.  I did an 8 hour ride yesterday, and running the thing with the data screen up most of the time (which is black & white, gives speed, averages, time, elevation, and a whole bunch of other possible numbers), rather than having the color map screen on full time & watching myself crawl down a long highway without any intersections, the battery charge indicator never went below full. I've also purchased a Maha MH-C204W charger, with is very light weight as those things go.

So far, so good.  

I'll post an image of my mounting arrangement on my trip website in the next day or so.  Those out there who would prefer to ride without GPS & other techno-gadgetry, have at it!  Nobody's forcing this down your throat.

I'll let y'all know how it goes, the 76C (replacing my ancient GPSIII+) is in UPSland, has not arrived yet.  You've got me looking hard at City Select rather than USTopo.  I haven't ordered either yet, but I do need to get all of this together within the next couple of weeks.  As for the charger situation, I'm ordering a Maha MH-C204W.  Light weight, and it now looks like I'll be carrying at least three non-minimalist techy items that use AA batteries (GPS, PocketMail, camera).


Thanks Fred for the input, I guess I'll go for US Topo.  My tour is Oregon to Virginia via the Lewis & Clark to the trans am east of the Mississippi.  I'm going to attempt to cram a useful set of waypoints into the 76C, I know I'll need to toss out a bunch.

Regards, Nick

Does the MapSource topo product have the same level of detail on roads as the MapSource roads & recreation?  I'm embarking on a transam tour shortly, and will be riding mostly on paved roads, wondering which product to buy.  Topography would be nice, but I don't want to lose detail on where the paved roads go!  My GPS unit is a Garmin GPSMAP 76C.  I'd like to be able to use it for navigation in populated areas as well as in the boonies.

Thanks, Nick

GPS & Digital Data Discussion / which GPS for trans Am touring?
« on: December 17, 2004, 03:43:45 pm »
I've done a lot of cross-country adventure touring on my BMW R80G/S motorcycle, I have a Garmin GPSIII+ mounted on the bike and wired into the 12v electrical system.  I'm addicted, and I'd like to have GPS on my bicycle for next years trans am tour, but I'm wondering about batteries, battery life, and weight.  The GPSIII+ (admittedly old technology) feels like a pig in terms of weight when I stuff it full of batteries, and it will burn through a set in no time if I'm running it continuously on self-contained battery power.  

What are folks using on bicycles these days?  Is there anything out there that will run on solar power?


Routes / bicycles on the Coleman Bridge (Yorktown VA)
« on: May 19, 2005, 05:10:11 pm »
Does anyone know whether it's possible/permissable to ride a bike plus BOB across the Coleman Bridge from Yorktown (Virginia) north to Gloucester Point?  My in-laws live over there, and I'd like to ride to their place once I reach Yorktown on a little tour I'm doing next week (shake-down cruise before the big tour in July).


Routes / Trans Am: west to east or east to west?
« on: May 21, 2005, 12:02:23 pm »
Thanks Danny for the suggestions.  I'd been planning on heading south from Florence to spend a day or two in the dunes.  I've actually driven that route your talking about, from Eugene over to Reedsport.  Used to go to the coast a lot when I lived in Eugene.  You're right, it's a better cycling route than 126.

As for getting from the airport to Florence, I found an outfit called Omni Shuttle that will run me out there for $80.....seems a little steep, I'll check with the bus people.


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