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Topics - Stevenp

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General Discussion / Great Music For My Tour? Suggestions?
« on: September 01, 2011, 12:37:18 pm »
Hey, I'm touring the U.S. and am looking for some great suggestions for music to help get me into a good cycling rhythm.

Could I get some suggestions? Something to get me pumped and inspired all at the same time.


"From Addiction to Ambition" ~CGOB

Hey to all,

I'm on day two of my tour across America and I have found it difficult to find good/cheap lodging. This is my second night in a hotel because of not finding a place to stay. I'm in Varnville, SC and I have found a couple of things to be true. First, I had planned on just arriving at each destination (town) and then I would call churches or find a park...etc. Problem I have found is that by the time I arrive at the end of the day's journey, I am FAR too tired to spend much energy at all finding something that works. I have tried calling churches but with no avail, no answered phones. Then I was told that churches aren't able to afford being all that hospitable with people looking for a place to stay for the night, although I don't know what that means because what is it costing them anyhow. Second, camping grounds are out of the way. I don't want to go 20 miles out of the way to go to a camp site.

How do you guys do it? I am not yet using the ACA maps, not until KY, and meanwhile I can't keep spending money on hotels. Could you help me with this?


I am wondering if it would be worth purchasing the City Navigator maps to have on my mac for looking at and planning my routes even without having the gps? I don't have intentions of purchasing a gps, besides my iphone, but maybe it would still be worth having the software on my computer for the information.

What do you think?

General Discussion / Panniers: locking them up...
« on: May 19, 2011, 07:08:33 pm »
I have purchased Ortleib panniers and lately have been wondering how I could lock up my bike and gear all up together for any particular reason of leaving them alone for a bit. I know that, ideally I will have my eyes on them at all times, but nevertheless, I am trying to figure out a way of locking the bike and equipment.

I have thought of having a sort of metal strap w/ loops that goes through the top section of the panniers and which i can then lock together so that they can not be opened, and then I would strap the panniers to the bike with a similar connection. Just thinking...

Any thoughts or ideas?

General Discussion / Planning Route - NO Shoulders...common?
« on: May 16, 2011, 02:51:12 pm »
I am in the process of planning my route from SC to KY where I will be picking up on the TA for the rest of the way. Now, I am using Google to map sections at a time with the bicycle route option. After google gave me the route, i have looked at the street view for sections of the road and am finding that there are long sections where there is no shoulder.

Is this something that is normal in planning routes and something I will have to deal with, or should i be looking for roads that always have a shoulder? Google seems to do a good job except for a few places where there are no shoulders and I just find it hard to imagine cycling for all that long on the edge of 1 of the 2 lanes for miles.

I would appreciate your input.

Also, any particular website good for locating camp sites along the way?

Thanks guys!

General Discussion / Surly LHT: Adjustments needed to fit me...
« on: May 14, 2011, 01:08:03 pm »
I am trying to save money by not paying to have the bike fitted to me. Initially I had the store where i bought the bike get the seat height set and the saddle set forward and all, so it's been adjusted somewhat. But I had never really ridden bikes so I don't know what it feels like to have a bike fit me just right.

Now that I have been riding for over a month I am beginning to notice things that don't seem right. For instance, I feel like I'm leaning over to much and it puts too much pressure on my hands. It makes me want to lock my elbows for support, which then causes my hands to go to sleep.

I feel like an adjustment that is needed is to bring the handlebars closer to my body. Like buying a new stem, although I don't know what the part would be that I need. Help?

When I purchased the Surly LHT, I was right inbetween a 54" and a 56", and I was advised to go with the 56". It does feel a tad big on me (I'm 5'll, 170lbs). My arms are a bit shorter than normal i think. So it causes me to reach more than usual.

I'm looking for some suggestions to help me. I do know of the option of deciding to have the bike fitted to me, but I am looking for alternatives to that.

Thanks for your help.

Gear Talk / Brooks Saddle - Some helpful tips before I purchase
« on: May 10, 2011, 09:59:35 am »
Hey guys,

I'm about to purchase the brooks saddle and wanted to make sure I get the right one. I know I've heard the B17 suggested many times but I want to make sure that it will fit my setup.

I have the Surly LHT with everything stock on it. I don't like the saddle it came with even after trying it for about a month so I want to get a saddle that will be comfortable for the ride across the country. Another consideration has been whether to change the handlebars on my bike. to something more comfortable. I can't imagine I will be leaning over all that much while riding across the U.S., but maybe I'm wrong.

So, Brooks saddle and what handlebars do you like.

Thanks again!

General Discussion / ACA Maps
« on: April 26, 2011, 09:16:45 am »
Hey guys/gals,

I'm looking for information on the ACA maps. I will be traveling across the country and will be following much of the TA and PC routes. One of my ideas is to simply look at the waypoints, copy them down, and do google maps step by step. I would simply buy them if they weren't so expensive but thought I'd get your feedback on a few questions:

First, would you say they are necessary?

Second, do you want to sell yours?

Third, are the gps waypoints all there for me to simply download and upload onto a gps device for free?

Fourth, anything else you have to say about them?


General Discussion / National Parks PASS - Other PASS for camping?
« on: April 21, 2011, 12:14:51 pm »
I am considering purchasing the America the Beautiful National Parks Pass with the idea of camping more in those parks. Now, I guess this particular pass does not cover camping.

Does anyone know of any pass that can be purchased that would help with the idea of camping in safe, nice campsites in parks? Is there any sort of pass like that?

Also, what are the general fee prices for national parks? Is it far more expensive or would it be worth it if I had the America the Beautiful Parks Pass?

Thanks guys!

I just fell in love with the Ipad2. I have been looking at different gadgets to take with me across the country including a handheld gps, an ereader and computer.

Well, the biggest question about the Ipad2 is whether I can transform it into a gps device for me to cross the country with.
I have found these apps that are available in this link:

I also know I can get a solar recharger for about 100 bucks to keep recharging, plus I imagine I will be coming across electricity quite often.

I am excited thinking the Ipad2 might be the answer to my gadget questions.

What's your take on it?

General Discussion / Cross Country Trip: Money, What To Do?
« on: March 20, 2011, 03:23:04 pm »
So, my trip is still months away but I am wondering about how to treat my finances. I am not sure whether to take personal travelers checks, or to simply have my debit card on me, or maybe two debit cards (one hidden). Or which bank to open an account with? Hopefully a bank I will have access to across the country. Should I have money mailed to me? What tips for money would you have for me?

Also, I am looking at the option of insuring my bike and all of the gear. Is there a way of doing that?

I appreciate your help as always!!


General Discussion / Rack, Fenders, and front pannier
« on: March 14, 2011, 09:54:29 pm »
I had a thread not long ago with some answers but can't find it.

I find that most often my biggest problem with picking equipment is TOO many options and it paralysis me.

Anyhow, I will be doing a 5 month+ tour across and around the US. That is what these items will be used for. I will tell you what I am thinking and get your thoughts on it.

Give me your thoughts on best options for: (in parenthesis are my thoughts)

1. front rack (Old Man Mountain Ultimate Lowrider ($99.95))
2. fenders (Planet Bike Freddy Fenders Hardcore ($31.49))
3. front panniers -smaller front ones (Ortlieb Front Roller Panniers ($143))

for rear panniers I am probably going with larger Ortliebs

Thanks for your input!

Gear Talk / Best compact camera for a Tour? Help me decide.
« on: March 02, 2011, 01:50:57 pm »
I am currently looking at a ton of cameras for my upcoming touring trip. I am looking for a smaller camera that has everything to it without large body and lenses.

I am looking for a small camera with great quality, at least 12MP. Ideally i have a few desires, but I know it may be hard to find all of them. They are:

  • 12MP+
  • waterproof
  • remote control
  • great zoom
  • video

So, I would be interested in hearing your feedback. Thanks!


I have been doing so much research that I am at the point now where the more reviews i read and the more I learn, the more confused I am becoming. Please help!

I just need a gps unit to get me all around the US on a bicycle. One that will help me find food, where to turn, and the slopes of the mountains ahead.

My confusion is about what is my need, as opposed to over-kill with a unit—in other words, a unit that does way more than i need it to do.

I just need everything a cyclist would want to zigzag across the country—something sharp and very usable.

What is THE answer? I'm tired of researching and the confusion that is coming with it.

Thanks much!!

Gear Talk / GEAR - It's adding up! Where can I compromise?
« on: February 26, 2011, 09:45:31 am »
So, I have purchased my Surly LHT, rear rack, pedals and shoes (clip-ins). About 1,300-1,400 total.

Now I have the rest of my list which I have taken a long time putting together based on journals, some list pdfs and lots of reading. I have never been into biking whatsoever, so I am starting from scratch. The goal being my trip across and around the U.S.A. for no less than 4 months and maybe longer.

Right now my equipment price for everything stands at just under $3000. The biggest parts of the list are the biking clothes, tent, panniers, camera, and some of the bad weather gear.

I would post my pricing list that I have put together, but it's a very long list.

My question is: does this price for equipment sound about right, or am I overdoing it?

Things I know I can't compromise on are:
Biking clothes (not sure)

Feedback on your experience?


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