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Topics - jwrushman

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General Discussion / Advice on purchasing a fat bike
« on: April 21, 2021, 07:09:55 pm »
ACA's Bike Bits had a paragraph about a group in Browning Montana looking for fat bikes.  I'd like to help, but know nothing about fat bikes.  I see that Amazon has several by Mongoose for less than $500.  For example "Mongoose Dolomite Mens Fat Tire Mountain Bike, 26-Inch Wheels, 4-Inch Wide Knobby Tires, 7-Speed, Steel Frame, Front and Rear Brakes, Multiple Colors" and "Mongoose Aztec Mens and Womens Fat Tire Bike, 18-Inch Steel Frame, 26-Inch Wheels, 4-Inch knobby tires".   Would these just become a pain-in-the-a** or are they a reasonably priced bike?  Would they be difficult to service?   Nice if Amazon provides free shipping and they're pretty good with returns.  Or are there other options to consider?  I was thinking about getting something in Browning, but they don't have a bike shop. 

General Discussion / Route map with elevation profile
« on: December 14, 2020, 07:45:33 pm »
I'd like advice on a little project I'm working on...

I recently purchased a map of the U.S., had it mounted, and put map tacks along my 2019 modified-Northern Tier route (Attachment 1).  What I'd like to do is export the RideWithGPS elevation profile (Attachment 2),maybe into Excel, where I can adjust the X and Y scales, and mount it as a strip along the bottom of the map showing my route's elevation across the U.S.  Can the elevation info be exported?  I'll also try the staff at RideWithGPS for their assistance.


General Discussion / Maximum/minimum speeds
« on: October 11, 2020, 09:29:34 pm »
canalligators wrote in a post "...One of my keenest memories of my Northern Tier was coming down passes in the Cascades at 40+ mi/hr..."

Not touring this year, I've got lots of time on my hands.  I started looking at last year's New Jersey to Northern Tier ride.

Fastest speed 40.0 mph - heading west from Diablo Lake viewpoint to Colonial Creek Campground in North Cascades.

Day with the slowest average speed - 6.8 mph from Medora to Beach ND.  Was planning to ride 65 miles to Glendive but gave up after 25 miles!  But it worked out okay.  The next morning, shortly after leaving Beach, I met up with two other cyclists heading my way, Parke from Denver and Doug from Virginia.

I don't think I'm obsessive.  I'm guessing others track many more stats. 

Routes / Route around the Great Lakes
« on: July 08, 2020, 05:45:15 pm »
I was looking at the ACA overview map, thinking about loops I'd like to take, and wondered if people have done routes around Lake Huron and Lake Superior.  I did a car trip with my family (50-ish years ago) around Lake Superior.  Roads were a little rough then.  I wonder if ACA is considering venturing north.  Except for the short stretches near Lake Erie and Glacier, it seems to me that ACA's focus is US only.  I think I'll check out CGOAB...

Gear Talk / Touring capable road bike
« on: June 23, 2020, 02:09:00 pm »
Just starting research on a new bicycle for my wife and would like recommendations and suggestions of considerations when buying. 

My wife is now 70 and has had road bikes rather than touring bikes.  Her last one has to be, I'm guessing, over 25 years old.  It is a Cannondale SR400.  She's no longer doing triathlons and would like a sporty bike that's capable of being used for touring.  I did the Northern Tier last year, but I suspect future tours for the two of us will be shorter - 7 to 10 days timeframe.  She's done weekends in New England with me, but is willing to try something longer.

My thoughts.  I have a Surly Disc Trucker that I love, but it's heavy, not sporty.  I think her Cannondale is in the 22 lb range.  I don't think she'd like a steel frame bike, so I'm thinking an aluminum frame bike suitable for touring.  That is, with lower gears and capable of carrying panniers.   The Cannondale has downtube shifters.  Will likely change to brifters with indexed shifting.  The Cannondale has rim brakes.  Will want to change to disc brakes, probably mechanical.  Will need a wide range of gears.  The Cannondale has a 42/52 chainring and 12-32 cassette.  Her lowest gear is 34 gear inches.  Would like something closer to 20.  Budget <= $2k. 


General Discussion / Use for old maps
« on: July 22, 2019, 08:21:38 am »
I've just completed my modified Northern Tier trip - New Jersey to Anacortes.  I'm looking for ideas on what to do with the maps I've used.  I was considering something like a mural, piecing the map panels together, end-to-end, but I think this will be WAY too long.  Perhaps a collage. 

Does someone with artistic ability have thoughts?  What have others done?

General Discussion / Lodging listings on paper maps
« on: July 15, 2019, 10:12:20 pm »
What determines the order in which lodging establishments are listed on the paper maps? It doesn't seem to be alphabetical. Is it based upon user feedback?

Routes / Westbound Northern Tier, east of Glacier
« on: June 29, 2019, 04:45:02 pm »
I looking to modify the Northern Tier route going from Cut Bank to Browning before heading up to St. Mary's, thus avoiding the loop up to Cardston.  It looks like Starr School Road is paved the entire length from North Browning to its western terminus at Hwy 89.  Can someone confirm this?  I'm guessing there's a website that lets one know the condition of a road, e.g. paved versus dirt versus....   I don't trust Google Maps.  In Wisconsin, I started down a paved road that turned into a sandy ATV trail!

I know this topic has been discussed before but I can't find the answer I'm looking for. It seems that there are several options for getting from cutbank to Saint Mary's. The Northern Tier route has one going into Cardston Alberta. Is this route more scenic than the more direct routes that stay in Montana? Or does it have less traffic? I was just curious why that route was selected.

The bike shop in Sauk Centre Minnesota is closed. I stopped by today to have some work done on my bike. A neighbor told me that the owner passed away this past spring. This shows up on Northern Tier section 5, map E, Trails alternate and also on the electronic version.

I'm assuming he ACA cartographers watch this forum for updates, but should I email them too?

Route G near Cumberland Wisconsin is torn up and is to be resurfaced within the next week per construction personnel I spoke with today.   4 miles of Route G from 22 and a half Avenue is dirt gravel and sand and is a challenge to bicycle on. An additional mile has been milled and I imagine we'll be torn up later today. The construction ends at Polk Barron Road at the County Line.

I don't see a good way to detour around the section of Road. It's passable, but we'll just take you longer and rattle your bones and bicycle!

General Discussion / Combination sunscreen and bug repellent
« on: June 07, 2019, 10:23:13 pm »
While riding in the hot Wisconsin sun today (85F in Clam Lake) and being attacked by deer flies, I came up with the idea of a product containing sunscreen and bug repellent. But alas, someone else had the same idea. On Amazon I see a product called Sunsect. Has anyone used this? Is it reasonable for a sweaty bicyclist, or will it get into your eyes and sting? Any other products like this?

Gear Talk / Jandd Low Front Rack on Surly Disc Trucker
« on: May 09, 2019, 08:46:03 pm »
I need advice on how to install a Jandd Low Front Rack on a Surly Disc Trucker.

For the past two years, I've had the rack installed on the mounting points on the front fork - see attachment one.  This works, but the rack and center of gravity is high, making steering more challenging.

I'm trying to lower the rack to the position that was probably intended for a traditional Surly LHT - see attachment two.  The problem with this is that the vertical strut on the rack interferes with the disc brake mechanism.

I can probably rotate the rack backward and modify the upper mounting point, but this would cause the rack to slope backward.

What I'd prefer doing is to insert a 1/2" to 3/4" spacer between the rack and the frame - see attachment 3. This would give me the clearance I need for the brake mechanism.  I could probably use stacked washers (or maybe the nuts at valve stem) to get the required thickness.

John R

Routes / Northern Tier route question - Fergus Falls to Fargo
« on: May 06, 2019, 08:58:52 am »
Riding Green Bay WI to Anacortes starting on June 1.

I had my route planned using the ACA Northern Tier Section 5 map from 2014.  From Fergus Falls, the route goes north toward Cormorant and then west on Route 10 to Sabin (outside of Fargo).

The 2108 edition of this map leaves Fergus Falls on Routes 88 and 52, kind of "paralleling" Highway 94.  This shortens the ride to Fargo by about 24 miles, but looking at the maps, I'm thinking the area around Comorant MN might be more picturesque. 

Would someone familiar with this area care to comment?  Was a safety concern the reason for the route change?''

"Wrong-way" Rushman

Routes / Northern Tier route question - Bowlus to Fargo
« on: May 06, 2019, 02:28:57 am »
This summer I'll be biking from Green Bay to Anacortes.  On the Northern Tier, in western Minnesota, three routes options can get me from Bolwus to Fargo ND. 

     1. Trails Alternate - the shortest.  Kind of a direct line from Bowlus to Osakis to Dalton to Pelican Rapids to Fargo
     2, Bowlus to Walker to Fargo via Heartland Alternate
     3, Bowlus to Walker to Fargo via Bemidji and Lake Itasca. The longest route.

And comments on pros/cons of these alteranatives?

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