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Messages - helix_aspersa

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Classifieds / Wanted: Front and rear panniers
« on: June 01, 2013, 02:16:24 am »
Hey there! I'm searching for some panniers for a friend who'll be touring with me this summer. All brands and conditions considered, so long as they're reasonably waterproof and/or come with good raincovers.

Many thanks!

Gear Talk / Re: No Stove
« on: April 07, 2013, 12:37:41 am »
There is a heck of a lot of food between granola bars and restaurant meals, and much of it requires no cooking. Any halfway decent grocery store will offer hundreds of options, whether you're a vegetarian or omnivore. Because you have panniers or a trailer, you can carry food from where it is available to where you eat it. You don't always have to eat what's available where you are right now.

I'm really not sure about 'hundreds of options whether you're a vegetarian or omnivore' - after all, almost all tinned soups are out. Instant noodles are, for the most part, out. Canned beans in this country usually seem to contain ground beef or tiny little sausages. All the stuff you find in those little warmer ovens in gas stations is verboten. Fruit and vegetables are vanishingly scarce once you get away from the coast. That doesn't leave much besides cereal, confectionary, crackers and cheese. Believe me, I had some hungry nights, and it wasn't for lack of searching.

Gear Talk / Re: No Stove
« on: April 07, 2013, 12:26:20 am »
Correct me if I'm wrong, if you are riding across the country without a stove, then you will be eating every supper at a restaurant or buying food from a store to eat that night.  Granola bars and peanut butter sandwiches are OK I guess while riding and you have no good place to stop for food.  But never ever supper.  When you set up camp for the night you are in town or close to town or you just went through a town.  There should always be a place to get real food close to your camp spot.  Or get food before getting to your camp spot.  I would never tolerate granola bars and peanut butter sandwiches for supper ever.

As an extraordinarily slow rider (one of the slowest I've yet encountered), I found I was often rolling into town after the stores had closed for the night. And I also have to say that even on the TransAm there were many, many instances where I wasn't camping anywhere near a restaurant or grocery store. Also, as I was traveling alone for the most part, and didn't always feel comfortable leaving my panniers and camping equipment behind in order to ride into town once I'd staked out a camping spot.

And yes, as someone else pointed out, it's harder to find vegetarian options out in the sticks than most omnivores probably appreciate. Not the most sensible dietary choice, I'll admit, but what can I say, I've stuck to it for 17 years now and I'm too old to change :)

Gear Talk / Re: No Stove
« on: April 06, 2013, 12:24:16 pm »
I did the TransAm without a stove last summer, and I have to admit that subsisting for days at a stretch on nothing but granola bars and peanut butter sandwiches did get me down a little. Then again, I'm a vegetarian, so finding food out in the strip-mall wilds of smalltown America is pretty tricky for me. I rode for a while with some folks who had stoves, and it was a particularly miserable experience to be the only person gnawing on trail mix while everyone else was eating hot soup.

I'll definitely be taking a stove on my next cross-country jaunt this summer. Apart from anything else, I think it'll save me some money. I love eating in diners and hobnobbing with the locals, but the costs add up quick (especially as all the waitstaff are so friendly that I can't keep myself from tipping rather extravagantly). But if budget isn't an issue, and you have a high tolerance for peanut butter, you definitely don't need a stove on the TA.

Routes / Great Rivers route or Mississippi River Trail?
« on: April 06, 2013, 11:44:58 am »
A friend and I are planning to set off from my home in New Orleans and head north towards Minnesota this summer, and we're wondering whether to take the ACA Great Rivers route or the Mississippi River Trail. I'm just in the initial planning stages and still don't know a great deal about either route. Anyone have any thoughts?

Many thanks!

Classifieds / Re: WANTED: Bike for shorter rider + touring accessories
« on: April 04, 2013, 05:27:41 pm »
Many thanks for the suggestion, that's exactly what I have -- a tiny little 42cm one. Pedaled it along the TransAm last summer and I just adore it. My friend's on a bit of a budget, regrettably, so we're trying to find something second hand if we possibly can.

Classifieds / WANTED: Bike for shorter rider + touring accessories
« on: April 04, 2013, 02:52:08 pm »
Hey there!

My friend and I are hoping to set off on a cross-country bike jaunt this summer, and she's looking for a suitable steed. She's about 5'1, so frame sizes 50cm and under would be ideal.

I'm also trying to round up some fenders, racks, panniers, mirrors and lights for her, so if anyone has these to sell please drop me a line!

Also looking to buy Great Rivers and Northern Tier map sets.

Thanks in advance!

Gear Talk / Touring novice seeking bike advice
« on: March 24, 2012, 01:03:24 am »
Evening all. I'm a touring novice looking for some advice -- although I've ridden a bike almost daily for many years now, I know woefully little about the technical aspects of cycling. I've pretty much always just gone for the cheapest thing I could find -- for over two years I commuted to and from work very happily on a kids' mountain bike I found abandoned in a drainage ditch (and it only had functioning brakes for one of those years…).
I currently ride an old Trek 720 Multitrack hybrid, which looks to be late '90s or early '00s. It performed surprisingly well when I loaded it up with panniers and camping gear for a few overnight jaunts a little while back. I guess my question is -- would it be completely daft to even consider taking this bike on a long-haul trip? I mean, it can't have been top-of-the-range even when new, and it's had a lot of owners since then. I've been looking around at purpose-built touring bikes, but the sheer number of options available for every little component (not to mention the prices) makes me feel a little out of my depth.

Any advice much appreciated -- thanks in advance!

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