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Messages - Susan

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Hey Westinghouse,
thanks for your encouragement!  I've ridden the ST twice on an upright, east to west both times - the headwinds in West Texas and NM were really bad - I hope that in that respect the trike will be an improvement.
Cheers!  Susan

I'm in the same position as you are - I ride an upright touring bike as well as an ICE Adventure trike.  I've never ridden the Atlantic Coast route but have completed 4 other ACA cross-country routes and my experience thus far echoes Pat Lamb's comments - there were always sections that I thought I wouldn't feel comfortable riding the 3-wheeler. Most of the time, the problem was a narrow shoulder separated from the lane by a stupid rumble strip - hate those things! 
Until now I've always toured on the upright but would really like to try the trike, in spite of some of the disadvantages. 

In January I'm going to ride a modified Southern Tier starting in Florida and am finally going to take the trike, after the motto, "You won't know until you try it".  I want to stealth camp alot and would be so much more comfortable on my rolling lawn chair.
I have a high tolerance for traffic, and have often, even on the upright, felt better on a heavily travelled Interstate with a wide shoulder, than on some country roads with none - it depends.  In addition to the ACA maps, I always have my Garmin GPS and my tablet PC with GoogleMaps to help me check out alternatives.  Also, it's really helpful if you meet up with other riders going in the opposite direction and can share infos.

There are lots of trike journals on CrazyGuy and posts on BentRiderOnline where riders confirm that when on a trike, cars tend to give them more space when passing due to the "handicap" look.

It's been done, but I just wouldn't choose to do alot of offroad touring on a trike.
However you decide - happy trails!

General Discussion / Re: Woman Cycling Alone
« on: April 13, 2012, 07:23:28 am »

I'm a 63 year old woman from Germany and have ridden the Southern Tier twice, half of the Northern Tier and the Sierra Cascade Route as documented here:

Since I want to go at my own pace,  I have always toured solo and felt very comfortable doing so, including in the area where you plan to ride.  You actually meet more folks when you are riding alone and it's heartwarming to experience how kind, generous and helpful people are. 

Have a wonderful trip!

General Discussion / Re: overseas travel
« on: March 26, 2012, 02:07:04 am »
I have flown within Europe, the US and Canada with a normal sized touring bike every year for the past 8 years or so.  I've always used a cardboard box that I just dispose of at the airport or at a motel upon arrival.  When departing, any city with an airport has also had a bike shop where I could obtain a box.  Sometimes I've used two boxes telescoped and taped together so I only had to remove the front wheel, take off the pedals and adjust the handlebars and seat.   I've often packed alot of the rest of my gear into the box as well.  The rest I either pack in a disposable cardbord box or a super cheapo duffle bag purchased at some discounter.   Many airlines limit the weight of the boxed bike to 30kg. 

It's wise to check the websites of the airlines BEFORE booking the flight - the bike transport fees could influence your choice of airlines.   My favorite is British Airways with US$50 per bike, no dimension restrictions (as of summer 2011).  The worst has been Delta Airlines - returning home to Germany from Fargo ND last year I paid almost US$200! 

With all due respect to the posters who suggest a Bike Friday:
I think I would consider one if I wanted the option of using alot of public transportation (bus) but I don't think the airline transport is a big enough issue to let THAT determine which type of bike you use. 

Good luck with your tour!

General Discussion / Re: Campgrounds and bear boxes
« on: March 16, 2012, 02:57:22 am »
Hey everybody,
 - thanks for all the useful input.  I now have a much better idea as to what to expect.

Frankly, I'm not that worried about losing my food when travelling on a bike, as opposed to when backpacking in the wilderness.  My worst horror scenario is waking up and not having any coffee! 
In bear country I normally store my stove, pot, body care and first aid articles together with my food, and I'd hate to lose that stuff.  I guess the solution would be to hang them separately, provided no other overnight storage option is available. 

Thanks again and happy trails,

Edit:  Of course I want to feel safe and sleep well, but my main concern is that I don't want a bear to get my food, become a nuisance and have to be put down due to my carelessness.

General Discussion / Campgrounds and bear boxes
« on: March 15, 2012, 02:59:06 am »
Hi all,
This summer I'm planning to ride solo from Jasper to Phoenix along ACA's Great Parks Route, Western Express, GC Connector. 
Can anyone tell me if all of the campgrounds in bear areas have bear boxes/lockers?

I'm asking because I own a lightweight bear canister (Bearikade Weekender, 2 lbs.) and am debating whether to pack it or not.  Two pounds it too much, if you don't use it.  In the past I have found it pretty difficult to find decent branches for hanging the food.

Thanks in advance for any input here.

Gear Talk / Re: Essentials
« on: March 05, 2012, 01:13:13 am »
In case you haven't heard this, a word about US post offices: 
Fortunately, every little town still has one (as opposed to my home in Germany, where many have been closed down).

In case you start out very basic and see that you need something, you can oder online or by phone (provided you have a credit card) and have the goods mailed to yourself c/o General Delivery at a post office that you expect to hit along your route.  Many towns have public libraries where you can get free internet access.  This has saved me hauling alot of stuff that I would have taken "just in case".   

The best investment I've made when touring has been for the Adventure Cycling Maps, which you can often get used via this website.   Even though I have GPS and paper road maps, the ACA map information about services along the way is invaluable.
Good luck!  Cheers!  Susan

Gear Talk / Re: MSR Carbon Reflex 3
« on: September 16, 2011, 02:27:34 am »
Byron,  I use a CR1 as well as a Hubba and am pleased with both, although the CR1 is NOT freestanding like the Hubba is.  Sometimes I have missed this feature - for example when being able to camp under a pavillion on the floor, in a parking lot, or on a slab of rock in the wilds. 
If you feel that the gain in space is important to you, then I wouldn't hesitate to buy the CR3. I justify my tent expenditures by figuring what I can "theoretically" save on motel costs if I'm comfortable and happy in my tent.

Routes / Re: Maps for Backpacking
« on: June 25, 2011, 12:00:55 am »
My favorite backpacking forum:
Happy trails, 

Routes / Re: tecate?
« on: May 08, 2011, 12:43:52 am »
Hi mbooks,
Last year I rode from Vancouver to Tecate to Phoenix - here's a journal page of the day that I rode into Tecate:

There's not much to the town on the US side, except for a few shops and snack bar at the gas station - no lodging.   I only hung out there for about 2 hours.  I wasn't interested in crossing the border and continued on to Jacumba.  I enjoyed the countryside that day immensly. 

Touring solo, I don't think I'd want to leave my bike and gear alone on the mexican side.
I have no concrete information for you, but at least I had no bad vibes and wouldn't hesitate to ride there again.
Good luck!   

Gear Talk / Re: Gear Chainring
« on: April 27, 2011, 02:34:05 pm »
The road bike I tour with had a 26T chainring, with a 32 rear cog - OK for the flatlands where I live. 
But on last year's very mountainous SC tour I wished I would have had one or two smaller gears.  My bike shop installed a 22T chainring and it's great - wish I would have had this from the beginning!
I'm preparing to ride most of the NT this year, and my loaded bike weighs about the same as yours, Blackbear,  I'm 62 and never had much chance to train uphill. 
Like Pete says, it doesn't hurt to walk a stretch now and then, but I personally think it's still good to have a couple small gears in reserve.  My knees are so happy!
Good luck!

General Discussion / Re: Camelbak / Water Bladder
« on: April 26, 2011, 01:25:11 am »
When cycling, I've always been accustomed to wearing a very light and comfortable small backpack with a 2L. Deuter Bladder and room for my valuables.  The weight never really bothered me.  I prefer this as opposed to bottles because I like to take little sips real often.

But I live in Germany where it's usually cool.  Last year on my Sierra Cascade tour it was HOT!  I only had the opportunity to shower every 3 to 5 days and I developed sores on my back from the salty sweat under the little backpack. 

For this year's NT tour I have a Source Convertube with different adapter caps that fit onto various bottles (PET, Nalgene, etc.)

I use this with a 1L. PET bottle.  It seems to me that I have to suck a little harder than when using the same company's valve out of the backpack/bladder, but I'm still very happy with this solution.  I still carry the little backpack with an (empty) 2L. bladder inside a pannier, just in case I need to haul large amounts of water.  That way the weight (of the water) is positioned low (near the axle). 
It's off the subject, but I like being able to easily grab the backpack containing my valuables when I go inside somewhere or for a walk around town and still have my hands free.  I personally don't like handlebar bags and carrying any weight up that high.
Happy trails!

Before assuming that your solar charger can load an Ipad, check the voltage.  I have a 5 V solar charger that charges AA/AAA batteries for my Garmin GPS and headlight, camera-specific batteries and smartphone.  My netbook accu has 7,3 V that can't be charged with this.  There are outdoor solar chargers with larger capacity, but I personally wouldn't be willing to carry anything that bulky.  As Valygirl said, you quickly become a slave to your gadgets and this really detracts from touring pleasure.

Gear Talk / Re: Front rack on a carbon fork?
« on: March 16, 2011, 02:22:51 am »
Do you really need a front rack and front panniers for a 4-5 day trip?

If I'm camping, I carry just about the same load on a multi-week cross country tour as I do when I'm out for 4-5 days.
I find that distributing part of the weight onto the front wheel gives me better traction and a smoother ride, particularly when it's raining.   

Gear Talk / Re: Front rack on a carbon fork?
« on: March 14, 2011, 01:42:25 am »
Hi Peter,
Tubus Smarti is the solution, mounted on brake mounts and front axle:

Happy trails!  Susan

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