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Messages - ClayH

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General Discussion / Re: Headwinds
« on: June 05, 2010, 01:31:19 pm »
I'd like to thank all of you for your words of encouragement.  I am travelling with a blackberry phone linked to my email, and I was out on the road when I read a few of your responses (I stopped, got off the road, and then pulled out my phone, of course.)  Your comments made a difference in my attitude, and I really appreciate the support.  I'm in Havre, MT now, resting a waiting out a couple of very, very windy days and watching trains. 

Much love


Gear Talk / Front racks on a bike with no fork braze-ons
« on: May 25, 2010, 04:18:33 pm »
I'm in the middle of the NT going west, and I've got all kinds of weight on my rear rack (Ortleib back roller classic panniers, tubus rack) and I've been having consistent problems indicating an overloaded back axle (broken spokes, chuckles from bike shop mechanics, etc.)  Unfortunately, the bike I'm riding, a Trek 370, has no braze ons on the fork for a front rack.  I put as much heavy food as I can in my handlebar bag in order to balance the weight, but there's only so much I can put in it. 

I've seen front racks improvised with hose-clamps around the fork, but with the amount of abuse my bike takes, I am concerned that anything short of a real mounting system will simply not hold up.  Does anyone have experience with custom-mounting front racks to their ride?  I would love to do it in order to increase the longevity of my rear wheel/axle/rack, to make my ride more stable, and to make the whole thing look a little less haphazard. 

Thanks in advance for your wisdom. 

General Discussion / Headwinds
« on: May 25, 2010, 01:03:41 pm »
Hi there, I'm riding westbound on the Northern Tier, and I made it all the way from Minneapolis to Western North Dakota before I encountered what everyone has been warning me about: 30-50mph headwind.  The first day I tried pedaling into it, I made it about three quarters of a mile before I decided that it was too risky to continue.  I was being blown from side to side, and I was picturing myself plastered against the novelty grill of a semi truck after being blown off the shoulder onto the road. 

My question is this, am I making the right decision in hunkering down for these windy days?  Or is it just going to be like this until I get to the mountains (where I'll meet another impediment to my progress, gravity.)  I am nearing the point where I could possibly detour onto the Louis and Clark Trail, would the riding conditions be more amenable to westbound travel on the L&C?  I feel like I am wasting my money, my time, and my summer by hiding from the weather in tiny little oil-towns, but the thought of safely navigating HWY 2 with gale force headwinds just seems reckless.  If anyone has experience riding westbound on the NT, I would love to hear your thoughts, insights, words of encouragement, or even admonishments.  I've been losing enthusiasm for this journey over the last few days, and I feel like something has to change.  I love cycling, and I love the solitude of solo travel, but when you combine those with what feels like riding in a wind tunnel, spirits tend to plummet quickly.

Thank you in advance for your wisdom, this forum has already served as an amazing resource while planning my journey. 
Oh, and I'm in Tioga, ND, at the moment, in case anyone was curious.

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