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Messages - trout

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Gear Talk / Re: Big Agnes vs Theramrest
« on: January 27, 2010, 09:07:44 pm »
It's a personal preference, but I thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2008 and spent 5  months sleeping on my Big Agnes and I loved every minute of it. It's the most comfortable sleeping pad I ever used.

There's even a picture circulating somewhere of me dancing with Big Agnes.... hmmmm.... Maybe I did get a little too attached.

I love that girl!

General Discussion / Re: A couple of touring questions
« on: January 26, 2010, 10:26:09 am »
All good advice above.

Before I roll up a wet tent I will shake it out and wipe it up with my pack towel. As mentioned above, whenever I pack a wet tent, I try to stop and dry it during the day if the sun comes out. I'll do this at lunch or even during a break. They usually dry in a matter of minutes if there is a breeze.

Once in a while I will have to set up a damp tent, not too often. (I did ride through three days of a tropical storm one year, it got so ridiculous that I just laughed.) If worse comes to worse you may be damp in the tent, but it will eventually dry.

Same thing with the clothes. I thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail and went through a six week period of almost daily rain while in New England. I told people that the hardest part was waking up every morning and putting wet, cold clothes on and walking in the rain. My only consolation was that I knew I had dry clothes in my pack that I could put on to sleep in. ;D

I frequently will dry my clothes out, bungied to my rack, while I ride. Believe me, a damp Jersey is no problem to wear, but damp shorts should be avoided if possible.

I learned a valuable lesson before my first bicycle trip in 1976, when as an 18 year-old, my best friend bailed on the trip the night before we were to leave. He never really gave a good explanation, but I took off the next morning by myself and never looked back. The trip was a 1200 mile ride and I had the time of my life. I still can remember the people I met along the way who extended hospitality and friendship to me.

The lesson I learned was to never have my plans contingent on someone else's calendar or availibility. Since then I have traveled as I wanted, I make plans, I may or may not invite a friend. If they can go, fine, but if not I never plan on them. Over the years I have completed numerous solo bicycle trips and a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. I have been lucky (luck does indeed play a role) and have suffered occasional injuries and illnesses along the way, but never any trip-ending events.

I also use "street-smarts" or "trail-smarts" with safety issues but have never been harassed, or victimized by other people, but like I say, I keep an awareness about me. This has worked for 34 years of bike trips, backpacking, stealth camping, hitch-hiking, and general vagabonding. People almost always have been kind to me. I cannot even begin to tell you about all the people who have opened their home to me. I have repaid the hospitality by doing the same for cyclist and hikers over the years and have raised my children with that tradition. BTW, we are warmshower hosts, but have opened our home for years before that concept.

As far as pacing, you'll settle into a groove. Go and enjoy, and let us know about you trip.

Gear Talk / Re: Will my bike hold up?
« on: January 15, 2010, 08:33:00 am »
All good advise above. I think the bike will be fine, keep your load light, and have a great time!

General Discussion / Re: Overnight parking for Skyline Drive-BRP tour
« on: January 14, 2010, 09:13:21 pm »
Hey grog,
I live near the southern terminous of the BRP, about 45 minutes from Cherokee. I don't see why you couldn't leave your vehicle at the Oconoluftee Visitor's Center very near the start of the BRP. Check with them, see what they say. If not, I've got friends in Cherokee, send me a PM, I'll see what I can come up with.

General Discussion / Re: Training
« on: January 14, 2010, 09:06:16 pm »
I always say that nothing beats time in the saddle. You don't want to be miserable!
I never obsess about it. It works for me to be in regular riding shape, I don't really do anything special, just my routine 75 - 90 miles per week.

General Discussion / Re: On the Southern Tier
« on: January 09, 2010, 04:37:33 pm »
Looking good, Westinghouse. Stay warm and dry and keep her between the ditches!~

Gear Talk / Re: Touring (Ageing?) Compromises
« on: January 04, 2010, 06:11:25 pm »
Interesting topic, and I've enjoyed reading the responses.
I am soon to be 52. I still pull the light-weight, fast and sleek road bike out for my regular thing and as always I just love the thrill of the ride. I routinely ride with someone who is 20 years older than me and can still kick ass. We live in the mountains of W. North Carolina, so this is no easy ride. My group ride usually consists of folks around my age, but anyone may show up.
I don't try to keep up with the 30 year olds, hell sometimes I don't try to keep up with the 60 year olds, I just enjoy riding.
BTW, I also mountain bike and do fully loaded touring. The only thing I don't do is commute by bike, but only because it's too far 25 miles one way, and I work 12 hr shifts.

Classifieds / Re: Advice on selling Trek 720
« on: January 03, 2010, 06:55:13 pm »
I have an older, but decent condition Trek 720. Awesome touring bike, but I switched long ago to riding recumbents. Looking for advice on what to charge, how much upgrade to do to sell (tires, cables, brakes, etc.)

So, what year 720 and what frame size?

General Discussion / Re: Your first long distance tour...
« on: January 01, 2010, 09:58:26 pm »
What was going through your mind upon commencing your very first long distance tour?
What was going through your mind as you finished, or were about to finish your first long distance tour?

Interesting questions that I attempted to answer 28 years after my first long distance tour, in this short journal on crazyguyonabike:

Gear Talk / Re: Trekking Bars?
« on: December 28, 2009, 06:46:46 pm »
I've been using the Nashbar Trekking Bar on my touring bike for several years and I do love them. They are a keeper for me.

Gear Talk / Surly LHT with 26" wheels
« on: November 23, 2008, 08:16:39 pm »

Gear Talk / Surly LHT with 26" wheels
« on: November 23, 2008, 07:26:57 pm »
I'm interested in building up a Long Haul Trucker, but for my size frame, I would have to go with the 26" wheels. I really don't know if this would cause me any noticeable difference over the 700s that I'm used to, but I'm somewhat reluctant to make the switch down to a smaller wheel size. Does anyone have any experience touring on 26" wheels or have any input on this subject?

Gear Talk / Xtracycle
« on: September 26, 2008, 10:37:56 am »
Has anyone toured with the Xtracycle Free radical?

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