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Topics - misterflask

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General Discussion / coffee coffee
« on: October 30, 2021, 01:21:01 pm »
I used to travel with instant coffee which was a part of every morning and evening.  I recently took my Aeropress Go travel press on a car-camping trip, and oh gosh, I'm never going back to bad coffee.  But -12 ounces!- I won't be taking it backpacking and it gives one pause for bike touring. 

I once traveled with a cyclist who carried a Moka pot as his singular luxury, but that seems likely even heavier and cleanup looks a nuisance (the aeropress cleans up in moments with a dash from a water bottle). I have some light french presses, but just not a french press fan.  And again, cleanup.

It occurs to me that a Chemex style coffee maker might be a good compromise.  I don't make pourover at home because I'm far too important and busy (haha, no, but I do have a short attention span), but traveling I'm more in so-what-else-am-I-doing mode, or should be.

Recommendations, comments?

General Discussion / Deciphering AMTRAK
« on: July 24, 2021, 11:21:29 am »
I'm in early planning of a C&O/GAP ride.  I see that the AMTRAK Crescent passes sort-of-nearby my home late enough (1a) to catch it after a day's ride and arrives in DC early enough (2p) to get the heck out of town.  But their bikes-as-baggage language has me befuddled.  Any comments on what to expect?  If they don't have walk-on service do they want you to box your bike? If the rack is full are you off the train?  In general, what is their organizational demeanor towards bikes; helpful or airline-hostile?

Gear Talk / availability of stove fuel (esp. Trangia)
« on: January 04, 2020, 11:16:53 am »
I am a trangia fan, attracted to the simplicity, silence in use, and odorless spills.  On a TA in 2012, I was able to easily buy yellow HEET methanol fuel whenever needed.  But on a drive to a recent backpacking trip I discovered that the yellow HEET had disappeared from convenience store shelves in the southeast.  Any Trangia users care to comment on recent availability of fuel?

I also have a jetboil clone.  You can buy isobutane cans at any backpacking nexus, but I'm not sure about availability on the road. Again, any comments?

Gear Talk / Marathon Supremes...
« on: February 20, 2018, 11:27:55 pm »
I just discovered Marathon Supremes (apparently they've been around most of forever).  I put a set on my gravel bike and am awed by their speediness.  Close your eyes and you'll forget you're not on your road bike, something that never happens with my Marathon Pluses.  I so want to put a set on the tourer, but wanted to hear how the gang weighed in.  A forum search found two posts at the extremes (never flat/flat every ten miles).  So, surely somebody has been put some hard miles on these...

General Discussion / That go-to meal
« on: November 21, 2014, 12:32:18 pm »
Moderator - could you wait a while before moving thread to 'recipes'  The point is to get recipes from people who don't have recipes.

What I'm looking for is the meal you fall back on at the end of a long day when you want something satisfying but don't have the energy to do anything elaborate.  Ingredients would ideally be easy to find.  If I can assemble ten of these meals, I'll be set for life.

My go-to meal is:
Can of chili (ideally purchased in last ten miles of riding)
Boil in bag rice
Bag of Cheez-it crackers.
Obviously, I don't need to post directions.

For a temporary riding partner I rode with once it was:
Cous-cous cooked with bouillon
Foil-pak or can of Tuna
Again, obviously no directions required.  I did note later in the ride that there are large swaths of the US where cous-cous can not be found.

So, anyone, anyone...

Gear Talk / Parrafin heads only
« on: April 23, 2014, 06:43:49 pm »
No lube wars please.

I'm on a parrafin lubrication kick on all my bike's chains but haven't tried it touring yet.  Has anyone used parrafin on tour and what scheme did you use for re-application?  My two ideas are to carry a pan of parrafin to heat on the stove, or to use the stove to heat the chain in place and melt wax onto it.  FYI, my current formula is about a tablespoon of graphite in a bar of canning wax. 

Gear Talk / Pump Maintenance
« on: March 08, 2013, 08:10:11 am »
I have a recurring problem with pump maintenance on my 0-ring sealed pumps (currently w/ road morphG, but also w/ other pumps).  After a year or two of use (mainly being carried around), my pumps lose efficiency or quit working.  They've been thoroughly cleaned and inspected and I can see nothing wrong. After a good clean and lube they get better but never reclaim their new efficiency.  After a recent cleaning, I lubed the pump with some high quality turbine oil, which prevented it from working at all.  My conclusion was that the o-ring has to generate enough friction to seat itself.  I replaced the turbine oil with some sticky chainsaw bar-lube, which made the pump work, but not at its new efficiency. 

Does anyone have a secret for keeping pumps at top efficiency over the long term?

General Discussion / Tales of Calamity and Woe
« on: October 31, 2012, 06:00:11 am »
On recent TA I cracked a frame and broke a hub flange.  Both events happened at fortuitous locations and together resulted in only a day-and-a-half of downtime.  So I'm sure many or most could better my tale and I thought a thread to share tales of disastrous tour events might be enlightening.

General Discussion / Wind Rose Data for planning
« on: January 24, 2012, 07:31:46 am »
I stumbled on a site with wind rose data and thought I'd share.  You can download wind roses from .  An explanation of the data is at .  If you're not familiar with wind roses, they show a number of colored rays emanating from the center.  The length of the ray shows the likelihood that the wind will blow FROM that direction.  The colors  of the ray show the likely wind intensity when coming from said direction.  For my planned W-E transit of Kansas in September, I see that I'm fairly likely to face a moderate headwind, very likely to ride in stiff crosswinds, and will probably never see a tailwind.  From my initial perusal of data along the TA, I would reverse the direction of my trip to E-W were there not logistical considerations.  I can't change the wind, but I can at least get psyched for it.  After a tour or two I realized that if I didn't like headwinds and hills I would need to find another hobby. 

Gear Talk / Cassette Life
« on: January 11, 2012, 07:10:38 am »
To push down to that elusive 20inch gear, I want to put a 11-34 cassette on an 8spd bike for a TA trip.  I really don't like alpine gearing with its 26-34 jump, but it is available in nickel plated cassettes.  The spread gearing is only available on a HG31 low end mtb cassette.  Anybody have mileage numbers or anecdotal evidence of cassette life in the various Shimano lines?  The cassette really only needs to last for the one crossing.  FYI, I use white lightening wax lubes.

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