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Messages - OHRider

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Routes / Re: Counsel on Southern Tier W to E starting mid March
« on: January 26, 2022, 09:25:01 am »
Your miles per day may be dictated more by where hotels are than the 80-100 mile plan, at least while you're in desert areas which realistically go almost to Austin Tx.  Best to look for the next hotel early in the day (same thing with water)- especially considering cell phone service is off and on.

General Discussion / Re: GPS navigation apps/info?
« on: January 22, 2022, 11:03:53 am »
I purchased the paper maps and then created RWGPS routes from those for my San Diego to El Paso trip last fall.  Creating the RWGPS routes really helped to understand the route- especially looking carefully at the distances between water and camp or hotel sites.  Generally I used my Garmin 830 for directions but there were so many long sections without turns that I often didn't even turn the routing option on.  I do find that the phone is very helpful when you have a lot of turns and want to see the route better.  I guess, to summarize, I use all options.

One thing that was a lot of work to create was a map table showing distances between campgrounds / cities / hotels. I was able to look at this on Google Sheets on my phone.  Just a nice to have and definitely overkill.  See attached screenshot.

Note that on RWGPS you need to download all the maps to the phone before leaving on the ride. This gives you access to the local roads if you don't have cell service.

Gear Talk / Re: The shoe dilemma
« on: January 14, 2022, 09:30:34 am »
I have SPD's with clips on both sides.  I use mountain bike shoes which to me aren't bad to walk in when needed.  My camp shoes are a pair of really beat up Merrell loafers that are very light. I'd buy some new ones if they still made them.  Recently got some Xero shoes which also are very light. Nice thing about the Merrell's is that they have at least a little bit of water resistance so when walking around a dewy camp or on a rain day my feet don't get immediately soaked.  The Xero's have a breathable mesh so they'd get wet pretty quick. We'll see what I take next time out!

Routes / Re: Sharpsburg-Gettysburg
« on: January 13, 2022, 12:13:06 pm »
Try the Civil War Century routes by the Baltimore Bicycle Club. There should be some routes that would work for you.  I've done this ride a few times and it is excellent.  Be prepared for lots of climbing!

Are special shoes for riding a road bike really that good?

I've been wearing cycling shoes or sandals for probably this entire century.  I also use SPD pedals so I'm "clipped in" while riding.  Most cycle shoes have a stiffer sole which helps to transmit force into the pedals better.  The best example I can give about cycle shoes is riding into Kalispell, MT on the last day of a Seattle to Glacier NP ride- I decided to use my regular (Non-cycling) sandals to ride a few miles into town.  One side of my pedals was just a regular clipless pedal.  Riding without the cycling shoes just wasn't nearly as well connected to the bike and felt very inefficient. It wasn't that many miles but it certainly cemented my view on bike shoes.  I never ride without them- my road, gravel/touring, and hybrid all have clipless pedals.

General Discussion / Re: Happy New Year!
« on: January 02, 2022, 10:18:45 am »
The second bucket list ride would again take a ferry- across Lake Michigan with a ride to the Oskosh Experimental Air Show.  Camp a couple of nights and see the airshow and experimental airplanes.
My suggestion is to book the campground/motel early (now) and then keep an eye on the skies for falling planes.

Good point on booking the campground early. I've checked into it before and they have camping available on the airport but I'm sure it fills up quickly. The optimal way is to fly in and camp under the wing of your airplane (if you have access to one).  Pretty cool you saw and airplane make a forced landing on the highway. I was able to make a day trip up there from Chicago a couple decades ago - it is a huge event and would be a perfect place to have a bike. 

I'm considering some knee surgery this year- can ride fine but walking any distance is not pleasant- so I'm not in a position to make any commitments quite yet.  I'll hopefully have a better view of the year by the end of the month.

General Discussion / Re: Happy New Year!
« on: January 01, 2022, 05:42:19 pm »
Happy New Years John!  Sounds like the Camino will be a great adventure.  You'll have lots of time to explore while your wife is walking- we look forward to hearing about it.

For next year, I'm considering doing the West Virginia Adventure Cycling route with maybe some variations to add to the gravel.  My wife and I may repeat the GAP trail with some friends; I'd also like to complete the C&O Canal trip.

A couple of fantasy trips I would like to do- a tour of Lake Superior that starts with a ferry ride from Copper Harbor, MI to Isle Royale a couple days camping there, then another ferry ride to the western shore of Lake Superior.  From there, ride back along the shore to Copper Harbor.  I think this is about 600 miles and I've seen some similar routes that others have taken.

The second bucket list ride would again take a ferry- across Lake Michigan with a ride to the Oskosh Experimental Air Show.  Camp a couple of nights and see the airshow and experimental airplanes.

Gear Talk / Re: Sleeping pads
« on: December 19, 2021, 04:28:55 pm »

It's really a function of how hard you squeeze the Schnozzle.  Sometimes I have to let a little air out of it so I'd say its pretty dang firm.  The little hand pump that comes with it will get it a bit firmer- you can always put the bulk air in with the Schnozzle then then make it even harder with the hand pump- but I've never taken the hand pump on trips with me.

Gear Talk / Re: Rear rack on 29er MTB/Disc with no bottom dropout mounts?
« on: December 19, 2021, 07:22:29 am »
Another very old thread revived by a new user just to post the spam link in a follow up by Nemikon to a site that is not useful for any good reason.  If you are looking for p-clamps, no reason to go there.  How many of these trolls have we had so far?

They seem to work in pairs This time there are 3 and they seem more plausible in their lead up to posting their spam link.

Have to say I was quite surprised to be called a troll- when I was trying to provide a possible solution.  Thought about it and I decided that you were calling me a troll since I placed a link in the post. Considering I am very careful about ever clicking on links I guess I'll give you that one and not take it personally.

Re the P-clamp vs the Roberts Axle Project thru bolt solution- with the p-clamp I was considering that this sounds like a mountain bike and as such he might be hitting some pretty rough terrain- the thru bolt will structurally be much better than a p-clamp but also much more expensive.  I've heard the C&O is pretty rough for a towpath type trail.  Final word- I've seen some really low quality p-clamps- make sure you get a decent one.

Gear Talk / Re: Sleeping pads
« on: December 19, 2021, 07:15:08 am »
John Nettles- Yes, I have a Schnozzel and really like it. In most cases the air pad inflates with two "bags" of air.  Much easier and quicker than the little air pump that comes with the Exped.  One caveat- the little air pump would have been nice to have along the trip to add a bit of air as the pad leaked down overnight.  It may, however, only work with Exped mattresses but I can't say for sure.

STAEHPJ1- I found the source of the goatheads that caused my issue.  When I got up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom- some of them stuck to my shoes.  Since I was in scorpion country, I always kept the shoes in the tent along the side (1 person tent)- didn't take long for leaks to start.

Gear Talk / Re: Rear rack on 29er MTB/Disc with no bottom dropout mounts?
« on: December 18, 2021, 04:31:48 pm »
Here is another possible solution- Robert Axles makes axles that can be used with a bracket to support a rack.  You'll have to research it to see if it would work for you situation.

Gear Talk / Re: Sleeping pads
« on: December 18, 2021, 04:27:21 pm »
I have an Exped that is probably about 3-4 years old.  I'd highly recommend  it with one caveat- if you are in the desert southwest, goathead thorns have the ability to puncture anything and everything.  I doubt there is a sleeping pad that would not be punctured.  This, from first hand experience on a recent trip from San Diego to El Paso.

The bad part about the goatheads is that they leave a tiny puncture and there is virtually no way you'll find it without a tub to submerge it in.  The "good" thing is that it would stay inflated for about half the night and then I'd be on the ground so at least I could reinflate it during the night without too much problem.

I was able to fix the leaks when I got home- they were very difficult to see even in the hot tub I was using but now its fixed.  Other than this trip, I've been very happy with it.

Exped has a guide to selection- here is their site:

They also offer an air bag inflator that is extremely light weight- called the Schnozzel:

Gear Talk / Re: Rear rack on 29er MTB/Disc with no bottom dropout mounts?
« on: December 16, 2021, 08:07:46 am »
You might want to check out Axiom racks.  The 29er one might have an option to work with a thru axle- I see it says they have a kit to adapt to "bolted axles" which could be another term for a thru axle?  Give them a call- they've been very helpful and I've used them for all 4 racks that I have on the bike in my family. 
See the sentence in the mounting system description that says "Optional (171356-17) ‘Nutted Axle Kit’ can be used to fit bikes with bolted axles.".

I've also seen that someone makes a thru axle adapter for racks if you do a search for that.

re Axiom- I broke a bracket on my rack on a recent trip- I was able to repair it during the trip but when I returned I emailed them and asked for replacement brackets- they actually shipped an entire new rack to - no questions asked.

GPS & Digital Data Discussion / Re: GPS and phone's battery
« on: December 14, 2021, 12:12:08 pm »
I put the phone in airplane mode after loading the ride (I use RideWithGPS).  If there aren't many turns I will turn navigation off to save the battery.  You can also download queue sheets and just view them and turn GPS on when needed.  By taking those steps the phone will usually last all day. 

My default is using my Garmin 830 for ride recording and directions with the phone as a backup. 

I also carry a battery backup supply when touring.  It will recharge all my devices once then takes a long time to charge it back up.

Gear Talk / Re: Using a gravel bike for C2C ride - what am I missing?
« on: December 14, 2021, 10:51:52 am »
I bought a used 2016 Niner RLT9 aluminum gravel bike in October of 2020 with the view of using it for both gravel and touring.  In the past year I rode over 2000 miles on it including two fully loaded tours and one overnight gravel ride.

For touring I am using a rear rack and panniers.  On my old Nashbar touring bike I was set up for rear and front panniers.  I also switched the rear cassette to an 11x36 to go with the front 46-30 to give me a 26" climbing gear.  For roads I use a 700x32c smooth tire and a 700x42c gravel tire.

Ohio to Erie Trail- ~330 miles over 6 days. Fairly flat with a mix of cinder and paved trail plus some roads. I'd guess the load was about 25 lbs.

San Diego to El Paso via Southern Tier route- ~850 miles over 15 days. 99% road with 10% really crappy roads.  My load was about 35 lbs, sometimes heavier when I added a gallon of water.

Millersburg to Coshocton OH- ~ 85 miles over 2 days. Lightly loaded for hotel stay- 60% with lots of short steep climbs- used gravel tires on this one.

I was very pleased with the gravel bike as a touring bike.  I did not have front panniers as I didn't need the space- I have a carbon front fork and it has two attachments which are probably suitable for the medium size racks that can hold a small bag or large water bottle. 

I did have too many flats on the San Diego ride- I will likely switch the tires over to tubeless as they would have prevented most of the flats I had (two were due to rim tape moving- likely due to the heat).  As far as comfort- I need a shorter stem as I did have some neck pain which is normal for me.

I haven't tried the bikepacking setup with it- with a large seat pack, a back slung under the top tube, and a large handlebar bag.  It looks limited in size and I tend to overpack (maybe I should switch to this so I don't overpack!).

To me the gravel setup makes for a tough bike that can handle touring- the rims are usually going to be robust due to their intended use.  Like another commenter said- try a couple of week longs before you go.

Oh, I used to have a BoB trailer- liked it very much except it was a pain to park and harder to transport. I never had issues with it while going down hills- didn't even know it was there.  Its really a matter of personal preference.

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