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Messages - ZiZohn

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Routes / Re: St. Louis to Des Moines
« on: July 17, 2020, 10:25:08 pm »
I agree with Agee. I would take the Mississippi River Trail north to Keokuk or Fort Madison. Then jump onto one of the old RAGBRAI routes west that takes you to Des Moines. I live in Iowa also, between Keokuk and Fort Madison. On a side note, I will be up in the Des Moines area next week for a few days, riding out of Jester Park . Love the bike trails in Des Moines area.

Gear Talk / Re: Lightweight stoves
« on: March 18, 2018, 11:19:38 am »
I agree, the propane cylinders are a tad heavy, even for the smaller ones. But we chose to cook and eat together each day. So we divided all the cooking stuff up, as evenly as  possible, spreading the weight among the 3 of us. I wouldn't even consider them if I was backpacking, as I like ultralight when doing that. But they were the only ones we could find without going lots out of our way to get to an REI or such that carried the small canisters. We also decided we could make do with 1 stove among the three of us on our next trip next year. I easily was able to carry a total of 54 pounds on my Surly during the trip. Food for our group and my water weren't figured into that total, as that varied daily. But like everyone else, we are always looking at ways to cut weight during our trips. If we weren't eating as a group, I definitely would be carrying a lighter cookset. Probably would go with my alcohol stove, as the fuel is easier to find. And the weight is pretty much nil.  But we like throwing together a nice group meal whenever possible in the evenings when camping.

Gear Talk / Re: Overshoes or Goretex Socks?
« on: March 17, 2018, 10:10:36 pm »
I like to wear sandals when I ride. 2 years ago, my son and I were doing a portion of the Southern Tier out of San Diego. We left Pine Valley on a chilly 37 degree morning with a pretty good rain shower thrown in. I wore my cycling sandals, with sock liners , Neoprene socks over those, all covered by my Gore Bike Wear overshoes (I call them my "Bozo" shoes, as in the clown). My feet stayed dry and warm with this set-up through nearly 35 miles of these terrible conditions before the weather started to clear. That day the temps never got over 41 degrees until we came down into the desert later in the afternoon.

Gear Talk / Re: Lightweight stoves
« on: March 17, 2018, 09:59:52 pm »
We 've had 2 or 3 of us do a couple plus weeks of touring on portions of the Southern Tier between San Diego and Phoenix in each of the last 2 years, and carried Kovea Spider Stoves for cooking. The Kovea uses a canister for fuel. I found it tough to find the canisters while touring these areas. But there is an adapter available from Kovea to allow connection to a propane fuel bottle, such as are used on larger Coleman stoves or a propane torch. We were able to easily find these fuel bottles in hardware stores. They worked great. We usually picked up 2 bottles for cooking, as we carried 2 stoves, one for a skillet to brown meat, and one for a pot for cooking pasta and such. Never ran out in the 2+ weeks we rode. I also own a MSR Pocket Rocket and a couple MSR Whisper Light Multi-Fuel stoves. I tried the adapter on the MSR's and they do not work with them. Only on the Kovea.

Routes / Re: Southern Tier 2017 Thread
« on: January 15, 2017, 01:51:17 pm »
I know that going from Ajax to St. Augustine there are people that advertise shuttle service. You can probably Google one for the opposite way. But one of our guys rode it. Took one day. There is a bike shop close to the end that broke our bikes down and shipped them home. We stayed at the Pirate Hostel and only had to walk about a mile back from the bike shop. But don't remember the name. Sorry.

Routes / Re: Southern Tier 2017 Thread
« on: December 11, 2016, 02:35:45 am »
In 2014, I signed up for the ACA Southern Tier Self-contained ride, along with 14 others. Second day out, 3 of us had issues with the heat. I actually passed out when I stopped to cool off under an yawning at a 7-11, coming to with my bike lying on top of me. Locals said it was because of the hurricane that went through Mexico a week earlier that messed with the weather patterns. They said it wasn't usually that humid when it was that hot.  I wasn't able to recuperate fast enough to continue the ride with the group, so flew back home. The other 2 did the same. Actually took me close to a week before I felt 100% again.  I did rejoin the ride, catching the group in Austin, and went the rest of the way to St. Augustine. Really had a good time. But I said at the time, I was going to come back out here and do it again. Worked out that February was a good time for me to do it this time. So shouldn't have the nasty heat like the last trip.

Routes / Re: Southern Tier 2017 Thread
« on: December 11, 2016, 01:31:07 am »
We're trying to be realistic the first week or so since we'll be coming out from Iowa to start. Not usually many biking chances during December and January. But going to try and hit the gym and do some core workouts and stationary bike work. With that in mind, probably 40-50 miles is realistic, especially since we start climbing pretty quickly. But after that, we'll try to up the mileage to about 60-75 per day. The hope is to take a day off about every 7-10 days. But we're really in no big rush. If someone needs a little more time off, or wants a shorter day, we can do it. I am the "old guy of our little group at 63 years old. My son is 31, and our other buddy is mid-twenties. So I will probably be the one to need a shorter day here and there.

Routes / Re: Southern Tier 2017 Thread
« on: December 03, 2016, 07:51:16 pm »
I'll be heading out from San Diego with 2 others on February 24th.

Sent from my SM-S765C using Tapatalk

Gear Talk / Re: Front pannier racks
« on: July 12, 2016, 10:05:49 pm »
My son just got an Axiom front rack that fit his 2004 Giant touring bike. It has disc brakes. It was new and I think he spent $29 on Ebay for it. Put it on his bike and seems to work OK.

GPS & Digital Data Discussion / Re: Best GPS for touring
« on: March 22, 2015, 11:37:35 pm »
I downloaded my Etrex 30 with the Southern Tier waypoints for my trip last year. I found that I as I got into the last 2 weeks of the ride, I was missing the waypoints. I did have the City Navigator Map installed. I believe the waypoint limit on the Etrex 30 is 2000 waypoints, and the Southern Tier must have exceeded that limit. But while I had them, it was nice to use to match up with the paper ACA maps. Kept us on course a couple of times. I didn't have it set to to give me turn-by-turn directions. But as I came on a waypoint marked on the Etrex, I new to look down at the map to get my bearings for which direction to go. Also, The batteries lasted about 3-4 days of riding and then needed changed. But that depended on if I remembered to shut it off during rest stops or not.

General Discussion / Re: Cardboard Box for Bike as Checked Baggage
« on: July 10, 2014, 12:36:57 am »
Just curious! How much did your bike and box weigh. My surly is pushing 50# and will be getting ready to head to San Diego to start Southern Tier in September. Looking for options to get it and my gear to there from Iowa.

Gear Talk / Re: Retiring, getting into self contained touring
« on: February 22, 2014, 09:24:10 pm »
I have a couple recumbent, bikes, as well as Carbon Fiber diamond frames. I will be doing the Southern Tier with Adventure Cycling self-contained later this year. I was worried about the climbs I'd encounter during the ride, plus the difficulty with shipping a 'bent, so decided not to use my recumbent and instead had a Surly Disc Trucker built. Yes, the recumbent is very comfortable. But I don't climb as well on the recumbent and also ride a couple MPH slower overall average speed. I realize speed doesn't matter much when fully loaded, but the climbing is an issue. Also, even though the Surly and my recumbent both weigh about the same, I find it is harder to push my recumbent uphill than it is my uprights. But that is just me, maybe someone else doesn't have the same issues on a recumbent.

Classifieds / Re: Complete TransAm Map Set
« on: March 23, 2013, 05:32:45 pm »
Private email sent.

I'll take them. Send me a private email to let me know how you want me to pay.

Jim Vincent

 ZiZohn71 at

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