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Topics - SoNouveau

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Gear Talk / Bianchi? Trek? Bruce Gordon?
« on: October 22, 2005, 03:43:48 am »
Soooooooooooo, about two weeks ago I decided to ride from Seattle, WA to Bar Harbor, ME next summer. I'll ride alone most likely and camp out the vast majority of the time. That's was the EASY part--making those decisions.

I started researching bikes and...the more I look, the more I like, and...the more I like, the higher the price. Which is fine. I started with the Bianchi Volpe; nice looking bike; not too expensive. Then I graduated to the Trek 520 (and started salivating a little); nicer bike; well-respected, from what I gather. But then I got a LITTLE windfall (monetarily speaking), and so now I'm looking at Bruce Gordon bikes--which I like because they're integrated, so to speak. I like the idea of things fitting together WELL. And their gearing, say, seems more realistic when I look at the Adveture Cycling maps and see near vertial elevation gains to 5,500 ft.

Granted, I could swap parts 'til I'm blue in the face, and change everything in the world on any bike. In fact, I could buy a frame and start there, but...I'm just an ordinary guy (57); I've done the Seattle To Portland bike ride a few times (200 miles in a day), and a nice fund-raising ride in Montana over two mountain passes (150 miles in a day) but that's about it.

And...I just want to ride and enjoy myself, and the country, and the bike--with adequate gearing, minimal breakdowns, and stability on the bike. I plan to camp out quite a bit, too.

So, how much bike do I need?!?! Opinions? Suggestions? Warnings? Insights? The Trek 520 SEEMS adequate. The Bruce Gordon Rock n' Road Tour seems almost luxuriant. But above that magical $2,500 mark (or so), aren't we talking about aesthetics? Or simply the priviledge of owning the best of the best?!?


General Discussion / Safety/money/ATMs/Cash/Traveler's Checks/etc.
« on: November 03, 2005, 01:18:08 am »
Sooooooooooooo, this may seem like a lame question, but..I hope it isn't. When traveling 'cross country by bike, do you simply rely on ATMs and pay the fees everytime you withdraw cash?!? I mean, even over 8 weeks, say, and withdrawing money 3 times per week, that would only amount to paying fees on 24 transactions--not a huge outlay of cash, but bothersome (that's for sure). And I assume no one carries TOO MUCH money with them, do they? You don't carry $1000 in Travelers Checks, I'm assuming.

I was thinking of actually opening an account with a bank that appears to be nationwide, but even then Bank or America, say, or US Bank have holes in their coverage. That is, they may be great in the West, but not have ANY banks or ATMs in Minnesota or New Hampshire.

Any thoughts on safety/money/ATMs/Cash/Traveler's Checks/etc. that folks would like to share?!?!?!? (Odd as it sounds, I'm thinking I have to always keep my money with me--like carrying a passport with you at all times in Europe, say. Because I can see situations, like taking a simple shower at a campground, where you'd always want your money with you.)

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