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Messages - John Nelson

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Gear Talk / Re: Compression sacks - do you use them?
« on: August 08, 2020, 08:27:14 pm »
I do not use them. I don't need one more thing to fuss with.

Gear Talk / Re: Tents Designed for Bike touring
« on: August 06, 2020, 12:29:24 pm »
Thanks BikeliciousBabe for the information. I really like the two doors and two vestibules. I store stuff in one vestibule, like my helmet, shoes, gloves and sunglasses, which remains easily accessible but doesn't get in my way as I go in and out the other vestibule. There is one downside, however, in storing stuff in the vestibule. On a particularly windy night in Arizona, the vestibule guy line broke and my gloves left home and never returned.

General Discussion / Re: The Truth about $8.00 Walmart Break Pads.
« on: August 02, 2020, 07:21:59 pm »
There are so many things we want out of our brake pads in addition to wear. They have to be smooth and not grab, they have to work wet and dry, they have to stop quickly, they have to not excessively wear out your rims, they need to be quiet, they have to shed grit, etc.

Gear Talk / Re: A must item
« on: July 28, 2020, 01:07:30 am »
If you can't live without it, it doesn't matter what it costs.

General Discussion / Re: maximum tire width for bikes on Amtrak
« on: July 27, 2020, 08:26:32 pm »
Check your pedals. On many bikes, the space to get a wrench in is very narrow, too narrow for an ordinary wrench.

Gear Talk / Re: Bag volume, weight, cost for touring/bike packing?
« on: July 27, 2020, 05:00:09 pm »
I don't get it either. I just try to answer the questions asked. Perhaps if and when the OP comes back, he'll fill us in a bit on his thinking.

California / Re: bike on Amtrak - California Zephyr
« on: July 27, 2020, 04:53:58 pm »
I just use a cardboard box.

General Discussion / Re: maximum tire width for bikes on Amtrak
« on: July 27, 2020, 04:48:04 pm »
Can your pedals be removed/installed with an allen wrench?

Gear Talk / Re: Bag volume, weight, cost for touring/bike packing?
« on: July 23, 2020, 11:40:50 pm »
John, you keep way too many stats  ;D .
It’s a curse.

Gear Talk / Re: Bag volume, weight, cost for touring/bike packing?
« on: July 23, 2020, 09:44:52 pm »
Bag volume: 40L (back) +25L (front) +7L (handlebar) = 72L

Bag weight: 67 oz (back) + 51 oz (front) + 21 oz (handlebar) = 139 oz
Rack weight: 23 oz (rear) + 18 oz (front) = 41 oz

Gear Weight (varies a lot, especially for food and water): 139 oz (bags) + 41 oz (racks) + 115 oz (food & water) + 70 oz (tools & parts) + 155 oz (camping) + 107 oz (clothes) + 133 oz (electronics, toiletries, other) = 760 oz

Current list prices of bags (25% off these prices is pretty easy): $190 (back) + $170 (front) + $90 (handlebar) = $450 ($6.25 per liter)

Gear Talk / Re: Tents Designed for Bike touring
« on: July 18, 2020, 05:03:06 pm »
I don't mind if my tent hangs off the back of the rack. I'm currently using an REI Quarter Dome 2. It's apparently no longer available, but it's 19 inches long, which hangs about 5 inches off the back of my Tubus Cargo rack. Yes, you do have to tuck the draw cord inside the bag. And how tough does the bag need to be anyway?

There are bicycle-specific tents, most of which use the frame and/or wheel to support the tent. I don't think they are too popular, however, in part because people might like to use the tent and bicycle independently.

FWIW, I don't trust bungee cords. I prefer nylon straps, which are easily available in almost any length you can imagine.

General Discussion / Re: Lube when long distance touring
« on: July 18, 2020, 04:43:21 pm »
I personally don’t bring chain lube on tour. I’m more than happy to swing into a bike shop and give them a few bucks to use whatever they have in the shop.

Personal preference but I’m picky about weight and it’s worth it for me.
I do take lube, but I certainly don't take any more than necessary. I know how many drops of lube it takes to lube my chain, I can compute how many times I'll need to lube based on the length of the tour, and I take a container that only holds that many drops. One issue that lube is smelly, so you want to wrap it very well so that your clothes don't all smell like lube.

General Discussion / Re: Lube when long distance touring
« on: July 14, 2020, 09:39:58 am »
If you apply lube at random intervals, does rotating the chain really spread the lube to the rest of the links?

Routes / Re: Bike Tour across America in june/july 2021
« on: July 11, 2020, 06:12:44 pm »
There are a number of guided tours, but you would be on a set route and schedule. It doesn’t sound like this is what you have in mind.

Your chances of finding someone (that you don’t know) to go with you on your schedule and route are small.

I would recommend that you join a local bike club where you can get to know other avid cyclists. And read as much as you can on this site. All of your questions are answered here somewhere.

GPS & Digital Data Discussion / Re: GPS query
« on: July 08, 2020, 01:33:29 am »
If you will have regular access to an outlet (i.e., stay overnight indoors), then you can get one of the rechargeable Garmin units. I can get at least 200 miles on a charge. If I carry a power bank, I can recharge it a couple of times, so I can go more than a week between needing an outlet.

As John said, the software is not bug free. Occasionally (not often), it does something weird. And as John also said, they are expensive. On the other hand, the Garmin competitors' software isn't bug free either.

I like a navigation unit separate from my phone, for many reasons.
  • The Garmin is completely weather safe, whereas my phone is not.
  • The Garmin will never, ever fall off my handlebars, even in a crash.
  • The Garmin never needs to download any maps--it already has them all, at least for my country, and I can buy and/or download free maps for other countries (I've done both--the ones you buy are better, but the free ones are pretty good).
  • I don't want to worry about running down my phone battery.
  • The Garmin battery lasts a lot longer than my phone battery.
  • The Garmin screen is easier to read in bright sunlight.
  • I don't want to unmount my navigation device every time I want to take a picture, look something up or make a phone call.

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