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Messages - hikerjer

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General Discussion / Re: Your best single piece of advice
« on: January 11, 2023, 08:43:48 pm »
The single best piece of advice is a tip I picked up on this forum: "Never quit on a bad day".

General Discussion / Re: Florida State Parks
« on: August 16, 2022, 09:02:38 pm »
This is an interesting question since I've long contemplated a trip through the Keys. It doesn't seem a particularly friendly bike touring area.  What strategies would you suggest for finding a camping site while biking from the mainland to Key West.


General Discussion / Re: Tents and panniers
« on: July 13, 2022, 11:34:08 pm »
Unless I'm in a really sketchy area, I generally leave my panniers on my bike, sometimes, but mostly not, secured by a small wire cable.  However, I always take my handlebar bag in the tent with me as it contains all my real valuables - passport, phone, wallet, etc.  In fact, I never leave my bike without my handlebar bag in my possession.

As far as tents go, I use a one-man tent and find it plenty adequate. It has a large enough vestibule that I can put anything in it that I might need immediately.

For a stove, I carry a MSR Pocket Rocket. I don't always cook dinner, but I like the ability to enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning before I start riding.

General Discussion / Re: Recent Vermont Trip
« on: June 24, 2022, 09:24:20 pm »
It's been my experience in traveling around his great country that regardless of where you travel, locals are convinced they have the worst drivers in the world. Seems like people take a sort of perverse pride int it.

General Discussion / Re: What's your strategy to stay dry?
« on: June 12, 2022, 08:59:42 pm »
It's been my experience from touring and backpacking over the years, that regardless of the gear you have and the measures you take, sometimes you're just going to get wet. In a days' long downpour, there is little you can do to say completely dry. The best strategy is to have a set of dry clothes in a dedicated bag to be used only when sleeping and when not in the elements. Take extraordinary steps to protect them. Just the way it is, and we have to accept it.

I had total knee replacement a few years back. In addition to my regular PT (can't emphasize enough how important that is), I found that riding my bike did as much as anything to speed my way to full recovery.  I have to say, the replacement was amazing, that is once you get past the first two or three weeks of rehab.  One of the best things I've done. I should have done it earlier rather than try and get by with the pain for as long as I could.  Good luck.  You won't regret it.

I suspect the greatest danger you'll encounter when camping is insufferable raccoons. Do not underestimate them. They are smart, persistent and nasty.  Ditto for any ravens that come across you

Good tips but I would add a few comments. City park camping is widely available but it's usually in smaller towns, especially in the Midwest. I've always found churchyards a good place to camp. Always ask permission first, but sometimes it's hard to find someone to ask.  Also, when looking for a place to camp, small town baseball dugouts can be ideal. They are pretty common and have a roof and are fairly private, so you often don't ever have to set up a tent. I usually try to sneak in after dark and leave early.

As far as bike safety, I carry a basic cable lock, which deters any thefts of opportunity.  Never had a problem, but you have to be aware of the area you're in. Large cities, maybe not such a good idea.

Classifieds / Re: STOLEN Co-Motion Americano
« on: April 08, 2022, 11:31:14 pm »
Really sorry to hear that. It's real bummer. I live in a pretty low crime area, but it's close to downtown, where there are a lot of transients who pass through the neighborhood. I've never had a problem. Still, because of the off chance of something like this happening to me, I've installed a steel ring in my garage that I lock my commuter bike to.  With my commuter locked in the garage, it lessens the chance that someone just passing by sees it and makes off with it as they did in John's case.

Hope it shows up for you John.

General Discussion / Re: Grizzlies in Yellowstone and Glacier
« on: April 07, 2022, 10:44:54 pm »
Interesting comments and opinions on this. Regardless, if you ever even get to see a grizzly in the wild, consider it a privileged experience.  They are truly a magnificent animal.

General Discussion / Re: Grizzlies in Yellowstone and Glacier
« on: March 31, 2022, 09:02:15 pm »
"As I recall, only one cyclist has been killed while riding" - Well, there was that woman riding the GDT that was mauled and killed in her tent in Ovando, MT last July.

General Discussion / Re: Grizzlies in Yellowstone and Glacier
« on: March 28, 2022, 05:09:07 pm »
Excellent comments from jamawani.  I've hiked and biked in Yellowstone and Glacier for four decades and never had a "negative" encounter with any bear, although I have come across them, or they've come across me, on numerous occasions. Bear attacks are so rare that they are blown entirely of proportion by the press and the public. I mean, who doesn't love a horrifying bear story?. Of course, they happen, but the chances are slim.  That's not to say that you shouldn't be aware, but if you follow the advice above, you should be fine. Of course, a freak accident could happen, but then it could with lighting and a tornado as well. Actually, it's probably more likely.  While cycling in Yellowstone or Glacier, I'm much more concerned with RV rearview mirrors than I am with bears.

Gear Talk / Re: Handlebar Light and Ortlieb Handlebar Bag
« on: March 14, 2022, 09:02:38 pm »
I experienced the same frustration but found a pretty simple solution, for me, at least.  I have a Tubus Tara front mounted pannier rack which has a stablizaton bar over the front wheel. I went to a rubber hose shop and purchased a small piece of thick hose with an approximate (slightly smaller) inside diameter of the stabilzaton bar to fit over top of the bar itself and an outside diameter that fits with my front light bike clamp.  I had to cut a slit in the hose to slip it over the bar.  It still fits very tightly and one could always glue it secure but I didn't find that necessary.. The added diameter added by the thick hose alows me to clamp my front light very securly onto the stabizing bar on the front rack. Works great.  Cost about $3.00.

Gear Talk / Re: Sleeping pads
« on: March 03, 2022, 09:59:40 pm »
I'm looking for a DURABLE, lightweight and packable pad. I'm looking for a DURABLE, lightweight and packable pad." ----

Honestly, IMO, I don't think such a product exists.  Today's lightweight inflated air sleeping pads just don't seem to hold air for long before they get a leak somewhere. I've tried Big Agnes, Thermarest Neoair, etc. and sooner or later they all get some sort of leak. Granted, the companies generally stand by their product and will take care of the problem, but that can take weeks.  I still use the lightweight type pad for backpacking but for touring I've reverted to an old school,- 20 yrs, maybe - Thermarest. It's heavier and maybe not as comfortable but I've never had a leak with it and that's comforting when you're on the road for a month or longer. It's a trade off between weight and durability. On a long tour, I"ll take the weight penalty over sleeping on a deflated mat for who knows how long.

Gear Talk / Re: Breaking in Brooks B17 Imperial
« on: February 20, 2022, 08:11:00 pm »
I've had two Brooks B-17s and each one was good from the get go for me. I know break in time varies with the indvidual but mine couldn't have been easier. Still feels great after years of use.

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