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Messages - RandomGuyOnABike

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General Discussion / Re: what bike/
« on: December 18, 2014, 06:08:43 am »
Welcome to the forum Tom!

I would probably suggest taking a look at the Surly line. It really comes down to personal preference, and what fits "you". As far as components, well, not for the GD route, but on my disc trucker, I got rid of the drop bars and went with Jones Loop H-bar (aluminium), I found that the "drop position" really had serious issues with back pain with the standard drop bars. I prefer a more up-right position.

I also upgraded my tires to some schwalbe marathons and seat, but other than that, really, not much else in the component area that would need to be upgraded.

I'm happy with the Blackburn Outpost racks. Extremely light and tough, and are meant to go on bikes with disc brakes. The one caveat is that I would highly recommend getting them installed at a bike shop, as it will need to be cut down to fit the bike.

Gear Talk / Packing a DSLR?
« on: July 15, 2014, 01:57:20 pm »
While I do have a nice "rugged" camera, the DSLR just naturally takes better pictures. Is there a decent way to pack it on the bike w/o having to worry about it?

Gear Talk / Re: From the road: least used gear, most appreciated gear
« on: July 15, 2014, 01:54:00 pm »
Most used (under-appreciated) gear: 550 cord (aka:paracord). Used it to lift/swing the bike over a fallen tree, used it to secure my tent, strap stuff on the bike, it is handy!!

Least used: First aid kit, Emergency kit (flint/firestarter, light anywhere matches, emergency fishing kit)

I tend to go through the "limited" backcountry here in Ohio, so if something should happen where my fun trip turns into an.. interesting.. trip, then at least I won't starve/freeze to death.

+1 on the headlamp; it makes doing bike repairs, setting up camp, finding the way to the urinal after dark much more tolerable! :D

General Discussion / Re: Fighting off boredom?
« on: June 24, 2014, 12:01:16 am »
I think perhaps "boredom" was the wrong term. Instead, I think I should have instead said, "what do you guys do during downtime / relaxation time"

General Discussion / Fighting off boredom?
« on: June 23, 2014, 11:09:10 pm »
So I am in the makings of planning my first cross country trip here "soon" (in the next year or 2, maybe 3 depending on the job). While at home, I can normally occupy my time with the great and almight internets; however, on the road, with little to no access to electronic equipment, how do you guys fight off the boredom?

I am a solo traveler, and during my weekend trips, its not a huge deal, as I can usually just "watch the fire" and listen to the sounds of nature; however, I have a feeling that 6+ months of camping out will get fairly boring at some point.

Now that I am typing this, I am thinking perhaps that taking a tablet with a metric !@#% ton of books might do the trick. What do you fine folks think, or what are your experiences with the psychology of riding cross country solo?

Gear Talk / Re: Best foot wear for touring?
« on: June 21, 2014, 07:17:37 pm »
I am a clipper myself, however, I wanted a solution for off the bike as well. For that, I went with Shimano MT33 shoes. They're made for touring and are quite comfortable off the bike.

When I am at the campsite or layover spot, I have a pair of cheapish flipflops/sandals.

General Discussion / Re: dogs and security
« on: June 17, 2014, 03:51:36 pm »
I have seen collapesable baton sticks that are electrified; however, they are pretty much illegal everywhere.

General Discussion / Re: dogs and security
« on: June 17, 2014, 12:20:43 pm »
I've never had an issue with animals, even a pack of wild dogs that decided to "try" me.. the trick with is to control your fear (not easy, adrenaline is a !@#$ to control), realize that YOU are higher in the food chain, and stand your ground. If they attack, then kill them, it's that simple.

I've never been around bear country, so not sure if that tactic would work on them, but it does work on dogs. The only thing is though is that it might not work if the dog has rabies, since rabies makes the animal "not right in the head".

Animals have the uncanny ability to sense fear in others, and also when they should be afraid.

edit: I should also add that I do NOT condone senseless killing of any animal and I truly abhor "sport hunting". However, if it comes down to either me or an animal, I will choose myself every time.

Gear Talk / Re: FYI: Axiom GrandTour Modular Bags (Warning?)
« on: June 12, 2014, 07:04:01 pm »
Ok, as promised, here is the update on the bags/tent bag issue:

It seems that the dealership that my bike store goes through got some "erroneous" bags. They (the dealership) offered to replace my 60L bags with 45L bags (umm.. no); so I instead opted to wait for the RMA process from Axiom. The bags came in today, I have them mounted, and the bags have the correct clips; so all is well on that end.


The issue still remains where the clips that the bag system uses is too small and prone to unsnapping. My current resolution to this issue is to loop a bungee cord from the rear of the (rear) rack, around the tent bag, through the pannier bottom loop (I may instead route through the top loop), and then to the front of the rear rack. It seems stable, though I'm going to test it out this weekend to confirm. Since bungee's are elastic, I may also end up going with my original quick-fix; which was to use a strap to secure it, we'll see.

General Discussion / Re: My First Tour (Need tips)
« on: May 30, 2014, 12:03:35 am »
My personal tips about this:

- Plan for a 2 week tour. Gives you plenty of riding time and time to enjoy stuff.
- Take the "path less travelled", even if it means adding some miles. Never know what you might find!
- Take some bivouac gear just in case you do need to camp out.
- Have fun!

Aerobar / Handlebar bag is definitely a tradeoff to be sure!

I went with the former due to issues with my back (spinal osteoporosis) - it allows me to stretch my back out when it starts to get painful to ride. The alternative I came up with due to the lack of a handlebar bag was the Revelate sweetroll (or harness) and a mountain feedbag.

Speaking of the feedbag, can I highly recommend one? Even if you have a handlebar bag, there are just waaaay too many uses for it :)  All of my bikes are outfitted with one, lol. Speedway coffee + Revelate Designs Feedbag = happy biker :)

In addition to bar ends, I would also add a set of aerobars. They give you additional attachment points as well as a different riding posture / position.

Gear Talk / Re: FYI: Axiom GrandTour Modular Bags (Warning?)
« on: May 27, 2014, 01:45:28 pm »
Reason why I went for this setup notwithstanding, that was my thought. Why advertise something that does not work? Now that I think about it, it may be that I have 2 different revisions of the bags.

At some point this week when I have the opportunity, going to head to the bike shop and demo the problem for them, at which point they'll take some pics and get in touch with Axiom.

I'll keep this post updated with what I find out.

Gear Talk / Re: FYI: Axiom GrandTour Modular Bags (Warning?)
« on: May 25, 2014, 04:49:53 pm »
So atm, I'm in the middle of a "bag shakedown". Small distance on a bike path. As the tent bag is top heavy, any bump on the path causes the top connector to unlock. Any heavy bump causes both of them to unlock. This leads to massive swaying on the bike.

Currently I cannot recommend the tent bag with the so called modular bags. In order to stabaluze it, I'm figuring a cargo strap "loop hole" sewed into th top part of the bag, so that I can then use a cargo strap tie-down to prevent it from swaying around when it unclips.

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