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Topics - FlashWrogan

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Gear Talk / Front Rack Decisions
« on: June 07, 2015, 12:08:06 am »
I find myself agonizing over one of my gear choices. I'm sure I am overthinking it, but I am having trouble settling on a low rider front rack. I am going on a 9 month tour next year around the U.S. with my 10 lb dog on my back rack (See my post in general for more info). I'm planning on a lot of camping and living from grocery stores. I am debating between the cheaper Blackburn rack that is rated for 25 lbs and some of the more expensive racks that are more like 40 or 50 lbs (or 60). I have been reading that you want to put more weight in the front panniers to reduce stress on the back tires, improve steering, and prevent you from tipping back on hills, but i don't know how important that is. If I really should be weighing down my front end, a heavier duty rack would be valuable. I was also thinking of doing a rack with a top shelf and a low rider option for a handy storage spot (I don't know where I am putting my sleeping bag yet, and that might be a good option).

I'm probably overthinking it, but getting some direct advice from someone who's been on the road would be very helpful. How do you normally balance the weight in your panniers? How much weight do I really need to plan for? I will probably be packing a bit heavy to start with (first major tour), but I will try to lighten up as much as I can as I go.

General Discussion / Lengthy bike tour next year with dog
« on: May 28, 2015, 12:01:07 am »
I am planning on doing a 9-12 month tour next year with my 10 lb dog on the back of my bike. I am starting in the Portland, OR area and have destinations in CA, AZ, TX, NY, and KY (and possibly WA). I have a tentative route and departure date, but I would love some input on revisions or alternate routes.

I plan to leave from Portland  in January (this is flexible, I am trying to time things based on weather overall) and heading south on the Pacific coast route to San Diego. I had considered taking the Sierra Cascade route, but the mountain passes would be a problem in the winter, whereas on the coast I would only have rains and flooding.

I would plan to leave on the southern tier March and probably go all the way to the Atlantic in March and April. From there I would head north on the Atlantic coast route to NY. I would either go back down the coast or take an alternate route to connect to the transam by the beginning of July, with the plan to hit the west coast by the end of September.

I am essentially planning two months for each coast, two months for the southern tier, and three months for the transam. I planned much of my timing around the ST, as I figured avoiding that heat would be priority. In trade I will hit crappy weather on the west coast and a lot of heat on the TA.

Any suggested revisions or alternative routes or times?

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