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Topics - MNRider

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Gear Talk / Bushwhacker bags and panniers
« on: October 27, 2012, 08:16:09 pm »
Has anyone here used Bushwhacker trunk bags or panniers? I'm an avid day cyclist but am interested in getting into some weekend tours. Unfortunately the budget is very tight so I'm looking for a basic but durable set of bags for the rear rack to get started. I don't mind utilitarian but I don't want "cheap" bags that don't do the job or don't hold up.

Here is an example of what I am looking at:

I'm open to other suggestions for a set in the under $150 range if possible.

Urban Cycling / Expanding cycle touring in agricultural areas
« on: October 14, 2012, 10:17:50 am »
I live in the Red River Valley, a rural area of western MN and am lucky to have access to a huge network of well paved rural farm to market roads. These roads are designed for heavy farm equipment and loaded produce trucks, primarily sugar beets in this area. Because of this most are wide, heavily paved and well maintained. Outside of a few weeks in the spring and off and on again in the fall, the roads are very lightly used by traffic and almost not at all by cyclists. I find this unfortunate as this is beautiful country, flat to gently rolling, with lots of small rural communities filled with local restaurants, stores, and seasonal shops and stands. I often ride 75-100 miles seeing a vehicle only every 5 to 10 minutes and stopping in a small town every 15-20 miles. During 3/4 of the warm months it is ideal recreational cycling. There are college cities with active cycling communities within an hour or so in every direction, and the nearby lakes region is teaming with cyclists during the summer, but few people seem to have discovered this untapped region.

Any idea how to get the ball rolling on promoting this area as a cycling destination or at least a stop along the way for tours from the plains to the Great Lakes?

Gear Talk / Am I on the right track?
« on: July 09, 2012, 08:02:15 am »
I originally built my bike as a heavy duty fitness/hybrid but after reading some of the AC articles and lurking on the forum, it appears that it might work adequately as a touring bike. Please let me know if I'm on the right track and if there is anything else I need to get started on day and weekend trips.

Current specs:

  • Frame - 1990 Trek 700 MultiTrack, chrome-moly main triangle with hi-ten stays and fork
  • Drivetrain - Alivio 48/36/26 crankset, Shimano HG 12-25 9sp cassette, Deore FD and Deore LX RD
  • Wheels - Handbuilt 36-spoke, Deore LX hubs, Salsa Delgado doublewall eyeleted rims, DT Swiss butted spokes, Specialized All Condition Armadillo 700c x 25 tires
  • Controls - Flatbar with Deore v-brake levers and Deore LX trigger shifters
  • Brakes - Deore v-brakes
  • Cyclist Interface - Ergon GC2 grips with built-in bar ends, Specialized Avatar saddle, Shimano M530 double sided pedals SPD/Flat
  • Add ons - Bontrager rear rack, underseat bag (tubes and tools), small triangle bag (rain jacket and/or walk-off cable and lock), 144 lumen headlight, three mode LED taillight

Outside of panniers, what else would I need to outfit this bike for short duration trips? Thanks for any tips.


General Discussion / New here and just getting into touring
« on: July 08, 2012, 09:36:40 pm »

Just wanted to say Hi and introduce myself.

I'm 46 years old and was an on again, off again casual cyclist in my late teens and early 20s. After about two decades away from the sport, I got back into it seriously last year as part of my comeback from allowing myself to become quite obese (300 lbs) and suffering some heart problems and weight related injuries. Happy to say I'm 70+ pounds lighter and off all medications with my doctor's blessing.

I've ridden a few centuries (both organized and solo) and participate in organized B group rides from an area bike shop, as well as enjoy a lot of recreational/fitness cycling on the rural highways and paved county roads in my area. While I enjoy the B-level "noncompetitive" group rides, it didn't take long to realize that my interests are more in the line of longer distance riding rather than short and fast. I've got an old aluminum Trek 1400 that is my "road" bike, but even that is equipped with a triple and a more touring height and angle on the stem. My touring bike is a flatbar 1990s Trek 700 Multitrack that I built from the frame up. Between the bikes, I have ridden 2,200 miles so far this year and feel I'm ready for some new challenges. 

I'm very interested in getting into touring and am contemplating some 2-3 day trips around MN. A friend gave me a copy of the Adventure Cycling magazine and the touring community seems to be just what I am looking for.


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