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Messages - misterflask

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1
General Discussion / Re: Hillbilly dogs
« on: Today at 10:10:42 am »
I can recall 3 dog encounters on the TA
1. Somewhere in western Kansas a pack of 6-10 dogs surrounded me preventing changes in course and speed while a pair nipped at my heels.  They were having a grand time and apparently intended only limited malice.  It was concerning at the time but mainly annoying in retrospect.  I'm still plotting revenge.
2. A large dog in Missouri embarked on a spirited chase with apparent ill will in his heart.  As noted, TA dogs often respond to faked pepper spray and shouts of 'Bad Dog', which fortunately worked just well enough here.
3. A tiny dog in Virginia ran along for too long nipping at my heels.  Just annoying.

There's a nice gravel ride near my home ruined by a pack of aggressive dogs that will run you off the bike against a bramble hedge until their redneck owner calls them off.  He calls them home but doesn't exactly discourage them.
Another roadbike ride nearby is universally avoided because the owner will run after and intimidate bikers in his car if someone sprays his aggressive dogs with water.

2
General Discussion / Re: Finding accommodation
« on: Today at 09:13:37 am »
Further down the stray camping thread...
I just (yesterday) discovered the website and app Dyrt.  Google is miserable at finding campgrounds but Dyrt seems to have nigh all of them including the primitive campgrounds with no website or phone number.

3
I've never seen a trike that wasn't dawdling along, and never seen a bent that wasn't flying.  Sampling error?  Can't think of a reason trikes would be slow.  Seems like the aero-resistance of the extra mechanics would be cancelled out by the  super-reclined rider position.

They seem scary to me, occupying all that roadway, but at a logical level they're probably safer since most of the bad things that happen in accidents are likely from being thrown from the bike.

4
A guy down the street from me rode around the world in the 30's (maybe more accurately rode across eurasia).  His single speed frame held up, but he broke chains which he somehow held together with safety pins until he could get replacements.  Quite the read:
https://www.amazon.com/Around-World-Bicycle-Fred-Birchmore/dp/1887813128

After too much worrying I realized that on a stateside tour in our modern age, almost any mechanical calamity could be resolved by hanging around in a small town for a day and waiting for a part to be overnited.  I don't even carry a spare tire anymore.

5
General Discussion / Re: Deciphering AMTRAK
« on: July 24, 2021, 05:30:57 pm »
Quote
The box is huge
Quote
Bring your own tape
Two super useful factoids.  And the FAQ link was clarifying.
I'm currently befuddled though.  The Atlanta station sells bike boxes but they don't have checked baggage.  That doesn't make sense, does it?  Hopefully a typo or a temporary Covid or staffing thing.

6
General Discussion / Deciphering AMTRAK
« on: July 24, 2021, 11:21:29 am »
I'm in early planning of a C&O/GAP ride.  I see that the AMTRAK Crescent passes sort-of-nearby my home late enough (1a) to catch it after a day's ride and arrives in DC early enough (2p) to get the heck out of town.  But their bikes-as-baggage language has me befuddled.  Any comments on what to expect?  If they don't have walk-on service do they want you to box your bike? If the rack is full are you off the train?  In general, what is their organizational demeanor towards bikes; helpful or airline-hostile?

7
General Discussion / Re: Best Tips for Cooking on the Road
« on: July 24, 2021, 09:02:21 am »
Like many posters here, I've been trying to up my game on the cooking front.  To that end I picked up a copy of John Rakowski's 'Cooking on the Road'.  He's dialed in on the unique aspects of cycle-touring cooking: generally an ease of daily provisioning and a little more tolerance for weight than backpackers.  It's copyright 1980, so his discussion of stoves is a bit dated and you may have to pay Guttenberg-bible prices for a used copy.  Conceptually solid though; not that much has changed in human food in 40yrs.
https://www.amazon.com/Cooking-Road-John-Rakowski/dp/0024990906

8
Gear Talk / Re: Recommendations for thermometers?
« on: July 24, 2021, 08:30:46 am »
There are 'data people' and 'non-data people', and never the twain shall meet.

I get the temperature thrown in the mix on an altimeter wristwatch, which usually resides on the handlebars.  I rarely make particular note of the temperature (life-threatening events aside), but altitude is interesting to track.  Want to know how much climbing there is in each state on the TA?  If you find it desirable information, you'll know how far along you are on a 2000 ft climb.  And there's the occasional 'that's why I'm tired' revelation.

The original poster who just wanted a thermometer lives at one end of the techno curve.  I live in the middle.  The GPS- equipped are wondering why this guy is going on about his altimeter.
https://dilbert.com/strip/1992-12-30

9
General Discussion / Re: In need of a few hints for NT route and food
« on: July 24, 2021, 08:05:51 am »
Quote
and a Pop Tart or two

I was kind of meh on Pop Tarts till I discovered toasting them over a stove.  Elevates them to a delicacy.  Like many things, I may be the last person to have figured this out.

10
Quote
First off, don't worry too much about steel frames cracking, it rarely happens, just because one guy broke 4 that is no where remotely typical of such a thing happening.

On further reflection, I retract my caution.  That was 4 cracked frames over 25years and 3 could be considered special cases as far as this discussion goes.

I'm in complete support of the original poster's concept.  By the time you cobble together the proposed bike the understanding and mechanical competence gained would far offset the stray risk from the frame's history.

Everybody rides a used bike.

11
General Discussion / Re: Northern Tier and which stove
« on: July 20, 2021, 07:24:14 am »
Quote
If I had to take a stove where my life absolutely depended on it working in any conditions, the 123 would be the one

True enough.  I would have every expectation that my 1975 model would start right up.  Of course it's emblematic of what drove me to alcohol stoves: 1. noise, 2. odors from spilled fuel
It's so peaceful cooking over alcohol.  And any spilled fuel is not just odorless, but totally gone in a few minutes. Canister stoves rate a close second, I suppose: fairly quiet, spills aren't even a thing.


12
General Discussion / Re: Northern Tier and which stove
« on: July 19, 2021, 01:44:29 pm »
Straying here-
<<charcoal lighter fluid was similar, but I have my doubts.  I think it is closer to kerosene>>
Oh gosh, this tickled some synapses.  We have a proton precession magnetometer at work for measuring the earth's magnetic field.  After flying somewhere with it, it has to be refilled with a liquid that has lots of hydrogen, either kerosene or lighter fluid.  So as far as that obscure application goes, they're similar.

13
I've cracked four steel frames now, and I'm not that heavy (200#+/-).  They don't last forever.  Of course, a cracked $20 steel frame on a tour could likely be resolved with the minor adventure of finding a local farmer to weld it.

The frame I cracked on a tour I went to the trouble and expense of replacing.  I didn't want to worry about it for the remaining 2500miles and since I planned to replace the broken dropout I didn't want the frame cobbled up with improvised welds.

I've been building my bikes, wheels, and frames for a while now.  I can't guarantee that it's always cheap, but it always seems like it since the expenses are all spread out.

14
General Discussion / Re: Northern Tier and which stove
« on: July 19, 2021, 07:35:58 am »
Down here in my little corner of the Southeast, yellow Heet was available ubiquitously in convenience stores, but disappeared all at once.  It was always kind of a mystery why it was there, given the rarity of hard freezes.  Still available at the bigW and autopart stores.  I shy away from using the alcohol stove for backpacking: alcohol fuel is pretty inefficient by weight and it seems more likely to find canisters than Heet along the AT.

Someone mentioned the fire risk of alcohol.  My Trangia seems pretty safe, but my alcohol penny stove blew apart a few times.  In waning dusk, those luminous blue pools of burning alcohol are really pretty, even when they're on you.

Having caught the stove bug (I have to own ALL the stoves) I recently picked up a MSR Whisperlite.  If there's any fuel you can find on the road it's gasoline.  I plan to carry gas in the third bottle holder on my LHT to keep odors out of my bags.  I cut out a piece of a cookie sheet to put under pots that seems to correct the MSR's inability to simmer.

15
General Discussion / Re: Rain Jacket? Yes. Rain pants?
« on: February 23, 2021, 07:12:17 am »
<<Frog Togs at Wal Mart, $20.00>>

Wow, thanks Westinghouse.  I own a lot of hiking and cycling raingear, but these are going to find their way to near the top of the stack.  Just bought a set on your recommendation and rode them for a rainy commute.  They're respectable by any standard and awesome for the price.

Weight at less than a pound for the set is hard to beat.
Inside surface is less sticky than my fancy Marmot precip jacket.
No niceties like pit zips or leg zips for ventilation, though.
Unexpectedly nice zippers and snaps.
They need leg bands to stay out of the chain, but
I was able to pull these on over my size 14 clown shoes.
I have -really- long legs but M/L were plenty long.

tnx agn
bcs



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