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Topics - rlovisa

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Gear Talk / Need Gear Advise for a Randonee
« on: May 22, 2008, 08:36:32 pm »
New to the forum.  Getting back into Loaded Touring after 25 years off.  Decided on a quick bike purchase of an REI Novara Randonee on sale to replace my 1977 Raleigh Super Course II.  Anyway, I was able to adapt my old front rack and front panniers (Kirtlands) to the new bike.  The rear rack (Blackburn), rear panniers, and handlebar bag  (all Kirtlands) were not compatible with the new bike.  I am considering the Arkel GT-54s and The Big Bar Bag handlebar bag - both sold through ACA.  But I am cautious in spending that amount of money without trying them on the Randonee first.  None of the bike shops in my area carry either item in stock.  I tried the hypothetical fit test Arkel recommends and all seems OK, but one bike shop was steering me away from the bags as being too big - especially The Big Bar Bag.  No mention of any other issue.

Anyone out there have any experience in outfitting a Randonee, and specifically outfitting it with GT-54s and The Big Bar Bag?  Thanks in advance for your comments and insight.

Routes / TransAm Fairplay, CO to Ness City, KS
« on: August 12, 2008, 08:21:42 pm »
Just found out that I'll be able to do part of the TransAm, EB from Fairplay, CO to Ness City.  Free drop off and pick up.  So, I am soliciting any suggestions about places to see, eat, rest and so on.  Will only be able to get in 6 days of riding between 8/27 and 9/5. Any suggestions would help.

Thanks in advance, and Lets Keep it Safe Out There...


Routes / Are ACA Routes Marked?
« on: July 25, 2008, 05:05:33 pm »
Live near DC, in MD.  Recently bought the Atlantic Coast Route maps and completed about 310 miles of the route via 2 single day trips and one 4 day trip between Reisterstown, MD (just NE of Baltimore) and Isle of Wight, in SE VA.  Several questions:

1. Are the ACA routes numbered and posted along the route?  I noticed in parts of VA, but not in MD or DC, that the Atlantic Coast Route is numbered 1. When intersecting and sharing the TransAmerica Trail, both route numbers were posted - 1 and 76.  76 is very appropriate by the way.

2. Assuming the routes, at least parts of the routes that are marked with route numbers, are the route signs provided by the local or federal governments, cycling clubs or ACA?

3. If the route signs are correct, Did the Atlantic Coast Route South of Richmond change?  I flawlessly followed the route one signs into Richmond from the north, but the route one signs led me across the James River and then in what seemed to be the opposite direction and off the ACA published maps. No addenda was provided to indicate a route change. After about 10 miles I abandoned the signs, back tracked and followed the ACA maps.  Never did see another route one sign again.


PS:  Wanted to attach a photo of the signs with this post but could not figure out how to do that.

General Discussion / Weather - we love to talk about it...
« on: July 03, 2008, 11:39:51 pm »
Weather - we love to talk about it, but we can't do anything about it - but is that a true statement and assumption?  We can forewarn ourselves on what is pending to some degree and act accordingly.  We can open the tent flap and see 'What's Up' and be self aware of our surrounding as we travel. So that is my question with respect to the weather and loaded touring.  Do most of us just properly prepare from an equipment point of view (rain gear, fenders, cool water, etc.) and then use the equipment as we tour?  Or, do we forewarn ourselves and simply avoid the worst of it (take a day off, duck indoors, sleep in late).  Basically, I am talking mostly in reference to rain, but I guess we could include cold and heat.  I do not know of many who tour in the snow/ice - but I know there are a few.  

I have been wondering if I can glean suggestions from the community on what riders think and act.  In the past, I personally carry appropriate gear for a level of slightly worse weather I would reasonable expect for the tour I am planning and then ask the locals (including internet surfing when available) as I travel to get daily updates.  At times I have found this to be tedious and simply look up at the sky every now and then.  In non really heavy rain and cold I ride. I avoid heat (above say 95) and cold below 32.  Does anyone carry a portable radio (portable -  :blush: duh! - or one with a really long extension cord - glad I proof read this first).  If yes, what are your recommendations for radios and what can one expect for reception, batteries are always an issue. Are the weather channel radios of value? Of course these options and actions are not mutually exclusive so all the above works too.  Other options? Suggestions.

PS:  Was wondering if I should ask this question on the forum, it seems like a no brainer and have been putting it off until I read Michael Deme's editorial "Bad Weather Blues" today, in the June 2008 issue (FYI - its not online yet).

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