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Messages - DarrenBnYYC

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Routes / Re: GDBMR - How to get to start?
« on: February 13, 2021, 09:56:43 pm »
If you fly into Calgary, you can arrange a one-way car rental with Avis (only company that I know to do this) from Calgary to Jasper. It is almost as cheap as the bus (cheaper if there are two of you) and much more convenient. And the drive between Banff and Jasper is spectacular (so much so, that it is almost a shame that the GDMBR takes you on Alberta Hwy 40 - personally, having done both multiple times, I would lean towards the highway route).

DarrenB in Calgary

Masks now required while cycling in/through National Parks, Monuments and Forests*?  I think so.  What's your take?

The key statement in that briefing is that mask use must follow CDC guidelines on federal lands. I don't think the CDC mandates mask use outdoors unless physical distancing is impossible.

General Discussion / Re: Bear safety on the GDMBR
« on: October 25, 2020, 05:29:32 pm »
Good advice above, and I'll add one of the most important things you should do. Be loud on the trail. Be especially loud, shouting "Hey bear!" or "Coming through!" whenever your sight lines are reduced, especially when moving fast. Your greatest risk of injury from bears on the GDMBR is not from a bear wandering into your camp - it is on the bike if you startle a bear, particularly a momma with cubs. Your loud voice is your best defence - bears recognize it, and wild bears are naturally weary of humans (habituated bears are a different story sometimes, however).

Forget bear bells or horns - research by people like Tom Smith or Stephen Herrero have shown that your voice is best. Use it often when riding. And keep your bear spray where you can reach it IMMEDIATELY - if you startle a bear because you were going fast and the bear did not hear you coming, it may come down to a few seconds before you need to use it.

General Discussion / Re: 2020 Tours Where and when?
« on: June 14, 2020, 11:07:38 pm »
No touring for me this year. I'll stick closer to home and do some multi-day, solo (or socially distanced, small-group) backcountry backpacking. The risk of spreading COVID around from community to community weighs too heavily on my mind, especially since I have some very vulnerable family members at home.

Routes / Re: GDMBR Jasper to Whitefish with support vehicle
« on: April 15, 2020, 12:23:53 am »
If you plan on taking the backcountry route through the Flathead Valley in British Columbia, that's another section where your support vehicle can't follow you through. But if you take the alternate route through Fernie, that's no problem at all.

Unfortunately, this is a limitation with the device. The eTrex 20x can only store names up to 30 characters and notes up to 50 characters. If you try to upload data that exceeds these limits, the gps unit will truncate the information in these fields.

Best advice is to use Basecamp to manually edit/abbreviate the info in the GPX file - less than ideal, I know, but if you want it in the gps unit, you have little choice.

Another option is to use an app on a iOS or Android phone to store a GPX file that you access only to obtain the truncated information - I recommend Gaia GPS or Backcountry Navigator.

General Discussion / Re: LED headlight power ??
« on: December 17, 2019, 11:32:22 am »
OP: All you need is a USB powerbank like this:

There are smaller and cheaper options out there, too, if you shop around. Perhaps you even have an old powerbank kicking around somewhere?

There is probably a way to run a 5V USB power feed off your main battery of your e-bike, either as a built-in feature of the power controller or as a DIY upgrade. You will have to consult with your e-bike manufacturer to find out. But I would suggest trying a USB powerbank to make sure you like the headlamp you purchased before you go upgrading the e-bike.

General Discussion / Re: Friend hit by cab. Seeking medical/legal advice
« on: October 14, 2019, 01:01:54 am »
Urgently, you need to visit any local businesses nearby the collision site to see if they have any video footage. Many video recording systems rollover on a 72-hour to one-week cycle. If you don't have witnesses, a video of the collision may be your only hope of identifying the driver. Good luck - my thoughts and prayers are with your friend.

General Discussion / Re: Tire pressure
« on: September 11, 2019, 10:13:23 pm »
My take is that while the experts quibble about which tire inflation pressure achieves the highest performance, the average commuter or touring cyclists probably can't even tell the difference because the differences are so small. However, a small drop in tire pressure often makes a very significant difference in comfort.

I don't race bikes, so I am more than happy to take an insignificant hit in performance to achieve greater comfort on the road.

Gear Talk / Re: Ulock mounting options
« on: June 07, 2019, 09:55:47 pm »
I have had good luck with plastic U-lock mounts by attaching it to the chain stay on the non-drive side. I set it up so it stands upright on the chain stay, with the round part of the U facing forward just touching the seat tube and secured with a velcro strap.

I think it comes down to personal preference. If you rely on auto-archive, the GPS will wait until the current tracklog fills before archiving the tracks to internal storage and clearing the memory, which usually means it will capture many days of tracks. If you set it to daily archives, it will create an archive GPX file for each days' activities. I prefer the latter so that I can easily keep track of what I did each day separately, but you will create many more GPX files this way and they become harder to manage if you ever want to stitch them all together into one big track.

No problem. There is one important tip I forgot to mention. Make sure that you set your record method for tracks as "Auto" rather than a fixed interval (go to Setup page --> Tracks --> Recording Method, which is explained on page 32 of the Users Manual:

While you are in the Track settings, you might also want to turn on the Auto-archive feature so that your Current tracklog is automatically archived (it is possible to fill the current tracklog, which has specific limits - probably 10,000 points on your device), even though you have lots of internal storage available. This option makes sure everything gets saved regularly.

I own the Garmin Etrex 20 (actually, I have 8 of them for work), and I have used them extensively on the bike, on the trail, and for field work.
I am guessing you have at least 1GB of free memory on your device. If so, it would take years of tracklogs to fill the device memory. You can't use it all up in days or months on the road. When Garmin handhelds autoarchive tracklogs, they reduce the size of the dataset and it is very efficient. You have nothing to worry about and you won't need an extra SD card unless you want to add a bunch of extra maps to the device.

GPS & Digital Data Discussion / Re: GPS Advice
« on: November 29, 2018, 11:03:46 pm »
I have both an eTrex 30 and the older version of the 64S (a 62s) that is basically the same size and shape.

I have used both on the bike, but I like the eTrex a lot better for touring and bikepacking. It is smaller, weighs much less, and consumes less space on my bars. And less weight and more compact size means the eTrex stays put on my bars, whereas the larger 62s has a habit of loosening up occassionally.

Also, I don't notice any issues with the eTrex being "slow". Besides, while on tour, what's the hurry? I wouldn't worry whether one is a split-second faster than the other unit.

Finally, the eTrex is a lot cheaper than the 64s - I would use that money to splurge on something else that you value, like a lighter tent or sleeping bag or something.

General Discussion / Re: e-bikes are motor vehicles
« on: November 17, 2018, 11:32:30 am »
John, such a solution already exists. There is federal legislation in USA and Canada (as well as other parts of the world) that distinguish low-speed e-bikes. Most e-bikes you would find in local bike shops would fall into this category. Many (most?) state and provincial governments have specific legislation that legally defines the types of powered bicycles, as you suggest, as well as the privileges and responsibilities that riders have depending on the type of powered cycle they ride.

This is a good resource:

I advocate for allowing legal pedal-assist electric bikes wherever human-powered bicycles are permitted, because e-bikes open up the activity to many groups of people who would otherwise find cycling inaccessible or impossible for them, and there really isn't a "cost" to adding them to our networks to existing cyclists. In particular, I don't think is a reasonable likelihood that this group would be pose any significant danger to other cyclists, as I think many of the naysayers in this thread might fear. (My feeling is that most of the naysayers fear change more than anything, which is often an unnecessary but significant barrier to progress for many types of social and technological change.)

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