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Messages - fargoman

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Routes / Re: california route 49 conditions?
« on: June 28, 2010, 12:53:22 pm »
Hi Geoff,

Several weeks ago I completed a tour, which included four days of riding on Hwy. 49.  I was heading southbound, and joined Hwy. 49 roughly 25 miles north of Nevada City, so I can't comment specifically on the section near Downieville, but my experiences on the more southern sections may give you some insights.

Many of the sections I rode did have narrow shoulders and limited sight lines, but that is typical of most of the roads in the Sierra foothills.  The biggest problem I encountered on Hwy. 49 was the high volume of traffic near the larger towns and cities, such as Nevada City, Grass Valley, and especially Auburn.  These towns have become bedroom communities for people working in the greater Sacramento area, and traffic is especially heavy during commute hours.  Maneuvering a loaded touring bike while slowly climbing in heavy traffic was very stressful, and I would not choose to ride Hwy. 49 in those areas again.  However, some parts of the highway were very scenic and enjoyable to ride, as were some side roads that roughly parallel Hwy. 49.  I have ridden east of Downieville, between Truckee and Chester, on Hwy. 89, and found that the riding conditions were quite good, despite relatively narrow shoulders in places, with relatively low traffic volumes except near Truckee.

Good luck with your trip!  Let us know how it turns out.

Gear Talk / Re: Salsa Fargo - Lemon of the year!
« on: May 03, 2010, 01:34:20 am »
As you might deduce from my login name, I also own a Fargo.  I had no prior experience with racks and panniers on my Fargo until today, when I did an 82 mile loaded test ride to check out my new Surly "Nice" front & rear racks and Ortlieb panniers prior to a trip next month.  Having read about your handling problems, I was somewhat wary as to what to expect on my ride, which had many fast downhills (40 mph) that would bring out any handling issues, but I didn't experience any problems at all.  It's unfortunate that you had such a bad experience with the Fargo, because it's a very versatile bike.  If I could only keep one bike in my garage, it would be the Fargo.

General Discussion / Re: Front Rack Help
« on: February 26, 2010, 12:37:06 pm »
I also have a Salsa Fargo, and have been trying to find a chromemoly non-lowrider style front rack (more ground clearance for off-road adventures) that doesn't interfere with the fork-mounted water bottle cages.  Most of the platform style front racks I've seen mount in such a way that part of the rack extends behind the fork blades, which interferes with fork-mounted bottle cages.  A custom made rack is one option if its within your budget.  Check out Sendero Cycles; the front rack on "Jack's Touring rig" ( mounts in front of the fork blades.  I have a Surly "Nice" rear rack that fits the Fargo very well and seems bombproof so far.  If you don't care about losing the ability to use your fork-mounted bottle cages, and want a front rack with a platform, then the Surly "Nice" front rack should work well.  Also, the Tubus lowrider rack would be a good choice if you aren't concerned with ground clearance for front panniers.  Enjoy exploring the world on your Fargo!

Gear Talk / Re: Are fenders useful on Great Divide?
« on: January 29, 2010, 11:57:59 pm »
Thanks for the insight.  My main concern was with sections where the trail was rendered unridable due to mud, as I have read in several accounts.  Mud build-up on the wheels, even when pushing the bike, could be an issue with full fenders.  My bike will accept full fenders, but I could use mountain bike type fenders as you mentioned, which might be a better alternative.

Gear Talk / Are fenders useful on Great Divide?
« on: January 27, 2010, 09:20:10 pm »
I would appreciate input from anyone who has ridden all or parts of the GDMBR regarding the use of fenders.  In the trip reports that I have read, few people seem to use them, even though they ride in the rain frequently.  It seems to me that fenders would keep a lot of trail/road crud off of the bike, rider, and gear and help keep everything in better working order on such a long, difficult ride.  What are the pros & cons?  Thanks.

Routes / Pros/cons of which direction to ride GDMBR
« on: January 21, 2010, 06:41:33 pm »
I'm researching various aspects of riding the GDMBR, and would love to hear from people who have ridden the entire route.  The trip reports I've read were mostly from people riding southbound, but a few were riding northbound.  Regardless of direction of travel, strong headwinds at different areas on the route seemed to be just a fact of life, and that there is no preferred direction to mitigate them.  Some people traveling northbound felt that the climbs seemed steeper than the descents in general.  Some people started in the south hoping to experience lower average desert temperatures and encounter less snow in the northern mountain passes later in the season.  Any comments based on your experiences would be appreciated.  Thanks.

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