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Topics - whittierider

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I had forgotten I was on this forum, so I hadn't visited in many years!  What reminded me is that my wife and I just drove up the California coast for our 35th wedding anniversary, and seeing all that road and the beautiful coastline, and feeling the ocean air, made me want to try again to ride down the coast.  Ten years ago, I was all set to ride from Monterey to L.A., had my train ticket to get up there to start the ride, and the night before I was to leave, the weather forecast suddenly changed to significant chance of rain every day of the window I had planned; so I canceled.  Every year that I tried, something came up that kept me from doing it.   :(

I have a 2005 Trek 5000 (made back when the 5000 was made of OCLV carbon and was closely related to the Madones and still made in Wisconsin, before Trek cheapened it and took its manufacturing to China).  I'm totally happy with the bike the way I have it set up, except that it does not have eyelets to mount a rack.  (It's a road-racing bike, after all.)  I have a Jandd Mountaineering Mountain Wedge III large seat bag which, with the expansion open, provides nearly two gallons' space to put a few clothes and toiletries in to go hotel-hopping on a multi-day light tour.  The idea is to travel light, with low wind resistance, and be able to go fast and burn up the road and have fun, rather than carrying camping equipment.  The Mountain Wedge III was still almost not big enough though.

I have a rack pack on our tandem; and that might be better, if there were a normal-size rack that clamps on the seat post and has rods that go down to something that the rear skewer clamps onto.  (I do have a seat-clamp rack for a single bike, but it's smaller than full size, and standard rack packs won't mount on it.)  My Trek has a monostay, further preventing any of the common methods to mount a rack to a frame without eyelets.

I did find this one about the Seatpacker Bikepacking seat bags From Arkel which is not only huge but would also give minimum wind resistance if positioned more or less horizontally (as opposed to being like the tail pipes we see sticking up from certain motorcycles).  I think that ideally it would need to go a lot lower to handle well at speed, and the way my saddle is mounted, the angle will probably get worse than shown, not better.  Revelate Designs' Terrapin System 14L seems to be similar.

Although I have been actively riding, I have not paid much attention to the market in many years.  I have a gazillion old bookmarks, but many of the web pages they go to are now gone.  I can do a web search like anyone else; but it does take a lot of time, and I could still miss some of the best products out there.  Does anyone have a list of favorite bike-luggage suppliers?  I'm mainly looking for large but aerodynamic seat bags now, not panniers, handlebar bags, frame bags, etc..

California / Pacific Coast route from Pismo to Gaviota
« on: July 23, 2009, 04:23:02 pm »
I had been wanting to do a 2-day ride from Monterey to L.A. before now but various things partly beyond my control have delayed it.  However for our 25th wedding anniversary this week we did drive up to Morro Bay and San Simeon.  I've never been on a bike that far north, but I can definitely confirm what everyone says about the wind.  It was a very strong wind out of the north (obvious when we went for walks), and at one point I stopped the car at the side of the road to make a call, and watched the shaddows of the clouds absolutely zooming by us going south with incredible speed.  Instead of driving back on 101, we took Hwy 1 and followed ACA's route to get familiar with it for the bike ride.

This is where I'm puzzled.  Why would ACA specify Hwy 1 from Pismo Beach to Gaviota pass?  101 is a freeway with two lanes each direction, and a center median so oposing traffic will never cross into your lane to pass.  It is far more attractive than Hwy 1, safer, shorter, and has very wide shoulders in excellent condition.  The ACA route through that portion often has no shoulder at all, and has a lot of bumps from dirt blobs mashed down by farm equipment.  Parts of it are just plain ugly.  Even though it's closer to the ocean, it's still too far inland to see the ocean through that portion.  Is it that the wind is better on 1 since it's closer to the ocean?  Or did a lot of people just assume that it must be better because it's not a freeway and they wouldn't even try the freeway?  I think 101 would be far better, and I have ridden it from a little north of Buellton to Ventura (then Hwy 1 the rest of the way to San Diego).  So what's the scoop?

Gear Talk / bags for light touring
« on: October 28, 2007, 05:33:00 am »
First-timer here, but I did my search homework well enough to be pretty sure I'm not asking a question that was already answered elsewhere on this forum.

I want to start doing multi-day rides using hotels and not camping.  We would not ride in rain or cold weather.  Paniers and even the largest seat bags (the ones that are like a small duffel bag) would be overkill, but I'm not sure if something like the Jandd Mountain Wedge III (see ) with its 456 cubic inches would be enough.  Can you share your light-touring packing lists and how many litres or cubic inches of volume you recommend for carrying it.

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