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Topics - Rixtoy

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GPS & Digital Data Discussion / ACA GPX data and turn by turn . . .
« on: May 31, 2021, 06:43:20 pm »
I have the Pacific Coast ACA hard maps for an upcoming tour and felt like it made sense to get the GPX files for my Garmin Edge Explore.
So, I did.
THEN I got looking at all the caveats on routes versus tracks versus too many waypoints for Garmin versus blah, blah, blah.
Ice cream headache #1.

Saw this caveat from ACA and wonder if it is just to cover their a** if someone has a problem:
"Do not rely on turn-by-turn instructions. While they work most of the time, they give false confidence of their reliability. There are many areas where the device does not calculate the route correctly. This will vary depending on device, base map and apps. We highly recommend you simply follow the track line on your screen to avoid incorrect turn prompts."

Simple question -
What have people found to be the useful extent of the ACA GPX files on tour?
 - Reference back up to hard maps?
 - Primary navigation tool with hard maps as back-ups?
 - Turn by turn DOES work well with Edge Explore device?
 - Don't risk turn by turn usage?

I am sure I will be able to navigate fine - just wondering about the usefulness of the gPX files.



Routes / California Campgrounds open?
« on: May 11, 2021, 02:57:39 pm »
I am rough mapping daily segments on the ACA Pacific Coast Tour to get an idea of daily mileages, climbs and lodging options.
Planning on riding 7 days and then taking a day off - campgrounds on riding days - motels on off days.
It has gone pretty well through Oregon, but I am finding many of the hiker/biker sites in California North of San Francisco for a few hundred miles appear to be closed (COVID).

Does anyone know, in general, if the California campgrounds might be open later this summer into fall? The dates I have been looking at are starting in Vancouver last of august and into the last half of September in NoCal and finishing in SanDiego the 2nd week of October. Maybe I am just starting too late.

Thoughts? Can't do it with $200+ coastline motels every night.

General Discussion / NEWBIE Cooking question . . .
« on: February 24, 2021, 09:10:01 pm »
I have been impressed with the functionality and creativity I have seen on videos from bike campers cooking with the typical jet torch pocket stove configurations.

Here is a question, though -
If it is raining, can you safely use a jet boil to heat water for boiling or fry food in a pan within the covered area of a tent?
Either in the tent itself or, more likely, within an area covered outside the tent by a small vestibule?

Envisioning a day of riding in the rain, pitching the tent and really wanting something hot to eat and/or drink.

Thanks for any input.


Gear Talk / Handlebar bag conundrum . . .
« on: February 22, 2021, 10:28:36 pm »
I am guessing this has been discussed, but my search provided no joy . . .
I am interested in the Ortleib handlebar bag, but am not seeing how to integrate a clean bracket attachment for Garmin GPs and GoPro with the bag there.
My Trek 520 has a nice duo mount in the center of the stem for GPs on top and GoPro (or light) below, but the bag will block the GoPro.

I guess a handle bar GoPro mount fixed to the side of the Ortleib bag might work?

I do have a front rack and could forego the Handlebar bag for a trunk bag on the front rack which sits lower than the GoPro.
That might be an optimal solution.

Thoughts or implemented solutions?


Gear Talk / Marathon supreme width for full pack touring . . .
« on: February 18, 2021, 05:08:12 pm »
I have recently purchased a new Trek 520 and it comes with 700c X 38mm Bontrager tires.

In considering a self-contained tour of potentially the Pacific Coast route this fall and/or Southern Tier a year from now, I have decided after extensive research to go with Schwalbe Marathon Supreme tires for a number of reasons - some technical, some practical.

My question is this - they only come in 35mm and 40mm at the high end of widths.
My routes should be 99% paved. Can anyone speak from experience or anecdotally which tire might be preferable?
Or, is there really enough of a difference to be meaningful?

I may be over-thinking all of this, but sometimes little differences can have big penalties or big dividends.

Thanks for any input.

General Discussion / Preparation for climbing . . .
« on: February 18, 2021, 11:38:35 am »
There may be sufficient posts on this from past discussions, but I am not skilled enough at using the Search function yet to adequately scrub the information to what I need.

I am 71 and new to riding in the last three years, but love it and have done the Bike Across Kansas (supported/500+ miles over 8 days) successfully. While Kansas is not really "flat" ( Eastern Kansas has some pretty good rollers and hills), it is nothing like I will encounter on my planned solo Pacific Coast and possible Southern Tier routes within the next 12 months. Pacific Coast target is August/September of this year, so that is 6 months from right now.

I am told the typical high winds I ride in here in Central Kansas do, indeed, help with leg training and simulate hilly terrain to some level.
And, I do embrace facing those winds as a challenge to overcome.

I am not concerned about gearing as I am ready to take delivery of a 2021 Trek 520 with its wide range of gears.
But, I am a bit apprehensive about being ready to tackle the coming climbs on both the PC and ST routes.

What suggestions do you have if you have faced the same challenge?
I do have an Elite Suito smart trainer I can use with my Cannondale Synapse as they have matching Shimano 11-spd cassettes.
Will using the trainer on selected "climbing" routes within the Rouvy app give me a reasonable base to prepare?

I can also find some pretty nice hills in Kansas city and can drive there to ride them for training, as well as around Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park as my son lives about 40 miles from Estes Park in Colorado.

Any practical anecdotes, training experiences and/or actual "riding the route" experiences on Pacific Coast route that can help me keep this in perspective? I am not a "mph" guy and can just keep pedaling, but not if it does not allow me to achieve the goal of finishing the tour.

I will be riding fully packed for camping with front and rear panniers . . .


I am new to this site, but have been lurking and researching for several months the aspects of a cross country tour - for me, I believe it will be the Southern Tier.

Regardless of the route, having just retired from a manufacturing company I am acutely aware of the impact of COVID-19 on all worldwide supply chains - from guitars to bleu cheese. But, I had not really put the supply chain issues in perspective with respect to new bicycles.

I was at one LBS in my hometown and they are having their worst year, albeit with the highest consumer demand in history, due to the supply chain issues from China. Lead time on new bikes is extending now into 2022.

So, as I had come down to a Surly Disc Trucker or Trek 520 as my bike of choice I was still surprised the Surly is looking at 2022 for any new deliveries and the Trek lead-time is also quite extended - but, the dealer in my town is a large volume dealer and they did put an order in last July (2020) for a Trek 520 in 57cm - my need. It will be delivered in October of this year, but the novel situation has also dictated new purchase rules: No deposits taken - the first buyer to purchase the bike and pay in full + sales tax will take delivery of the bike when it comes in (October or later). And, No cancellations. If you are injured, have cancer, whatever - you have to take the bike or sacrifice all your money.

I get it. Supply and demand.
My interest in the Southern Tier would need to depart San Diego next March, so if I want to be ASSURED of a new 520 I feel I will need to purchase it in the next couple of months. if something would happen that I cannot make the tour I think I would have no problem finding a buyer of the bike for all the reasons mentioned above - but, still a risk.

I have called a few other trek dealers and they are all in the same boat - if you order a 520 now it may not be delivered until the summer of 2022 or later.

Now, my question - is anyone else seeing this phenomenon? I believe it is real, but wanted any supporting or contrary thoughts.

I have looked extensively at used bike sites, but most of the 520's are 10 years or older. I turned 71 yesterday and don't want any additional risk to a journey in bike break down or old parts (my old parts are risk enough . . .).

Please let me know if anyone else is seeing this or knows of a shop with a new 520 in 57cm in stock.

Gear Talk / Tubeless Tour Experiences . . .
« on: February 02, 2021, 08:34:02 pm »
I have crossed over to the dark side and love my tubeless Schwalbe's on my carbon Endurance bike (Cannondale Synapse) for normal local riding (up to 100 miles)..

Anyone have experience using tubeless configurations on a tour like the Southern Tier? Interested in how many flats you had ( I have a fair idea of nominal tubed flats on that tour) and if you had to insert a tube to get you to the next stopover?

What tire/rim combinations and what sizes?

Many Thanks.


Routes / Too old to solo the Southern Tier? . . .
« on: February 02, 2021, 07:57:06 pm »
A serious question . . .
I started riding two years ago at 69 and did the Bike Across Kansas (508 miles) in 2019 . . . and, Kansas is NOT flat. Longest day was 85 miles - very windy here.
I did ground camp on that tour although it was well supported with SAG stops.

I want to do the Southern Tier solo next March, West to East to celebrate 30 years of sobriety.
At 72 am I beyond the normal cycle tour crazy?
I believe if you just keep pedaling and forget about speed you can make it. There were people who rode the BAK I swear you would think could not walk across the street, but they just kept pedaling and finished every day.
i will be buying a touring bike with appropriate gearing for the climbs.

This tour has just captured my imagination and think it would be a daily challenge and daily accomplishment.
Just riding anywhere is a risk so I don't consider this trek as exceptional from  risk standpoint.

Know of any old dudes who have solo'd the Southern Tier? Or, maybe you are one?

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