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Messages - Cycnus

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General Discussion / Re: fitting tents into rear panniers
« on: July 27, 2012, 09:21:13 pm »
Here is another idea:

And for anyone wondering how you can use the hammock where there are no trees or poles handy take a look at all the pictures posted to see some unique configurations for setting a hammock up in other ways. 

I have a hammock and love it.  It's not a perfect solution to every camping challenge - you need to have cold weather protection (sleeping bag, bedroll, layered clothing); you need to have a liner of some sort (unless you buy the bug liner for the bottom of the hammock (I use a ThermaRest inflatable pad) to ward off mosquitoes biting from underneath; however, I find this such an easy unit to carry in my pannier. 

I bought the Explorer Deluxe Asym Classic, 3 lb 2 oz.  The heaviest piece is the rain fly, the hammock weighs very little.  Not everyone's cup of tea, I realize.  Just another option to consider.

General Discussion / Re: Bryan McDonald in Silver City
« on: September 18, 2009, 03:10:50 pm »
Dea -

My heartfelt condolences. I am so sorry to hear of this. 

General Discussion / Re: older riders
« on: June 21, 2009, 07:18:03 pm »
IceJan -

I am 53, female, and taking on the biking world as we speak.  I gave up everything I own but a bike, a trailer, and camping gear to start out living on the land and seeing as much of the world as I can.  My family thinks I am out of my mind... I just think I need to do more training rides.   :)  Drop a note if you would like to chat more. 

General Discussion / Re: Bike Related Skin Rashes -- Please Help!
« on: June 21, 2009, 07:02:22 pm »
You may also be allergic to Latex or a Latex derivative.  Latex and/or its derivatives are found in many clothing items so I would have your doctor run an allergy panel and see if Latex might be a part of your problem.  As someone with the allergy, and it is aggressive, I have to be very careful about what I wear in this regard.  Just a thought.

General Discussion / Re: Safety issues for solo biking
« on: May 28, 2009, 10:14:56 am »
Ikeman -

I personally would not recommend you carry a gun.  I carry something call Bear Spray which is a very potent form of pepper spray and a collapsible baton.  The laws on civilians carrying guns, knives and tazers vary significantly from state to state.  For instance, in New Mexico you can carry a concealed weapon at all times if you have the proper permits.  Most places I travel to make little (if any) fuss over the use of a tazer, mace, or pepper spray.  I generally plan my route then do some legal research regarding the carrying of weapons.  On the rare occasions I traveled with a gun I didn't hesitate to notify local law enforcement I had the weapon on me.  If I stayed at any location for more than a day the police would sometimes have me surrender the weapon to their care while in their area.  Most of the time I was just passing through and it wasn't an issue.

I too am planning a solo bike tour (May 2010) and aside from not knowing what bike to buy (my 10 year old Bianchi Lynx won't cut it) I am torn on weather or not to carry a weapon. Not a pistol but mace, a tazer, or a stick. I am a martial arts guy and would feel comfortable with a staff, but it seems like a big thing to carry.  Mace and tazers are smaller and more manageable, but I worry about effectiveness and how the cops would deal with me given that laws governing such things are different in different states.  Do any of you carry a weapon?  Is it not advised to carry one, given the cops might freak out if they found it?  Any advice on this front would be appreciated.


General Discussion / Re: Living on my bike
« on: May 15, 2009, 12:27:30 pm »
Ah no Robert, that is a MapQuest approximation of miles and distance.  I can average about 20 mph around my area because many of the surfaces are quite flat and once I get going the speed remains relatively constant.  I have managed a bit more speed, but I'm not comfortable with high speeds, my age, and hard surfaces.   :D

How is the trip plan going?

General Discussion / Re: Touring Wired, Wireless, Etc.
« on: April 27, 2009, 08:36:29 am »
No, the unit is not completely waterproof.  I have walked roughly 3 miles home in a violent rain storm with the unit attached to my belt and nothing happened.  However, this unit is my laptop so I try to exercise care in getting the unit wet.  I have a Rhino metal case for this unit and it is a tough case.  I dropped this unit twice, on cement sidewalks.  Other than a bit of bruising, (scuff marks, etc.) the unit works beautifully.  As for vibration - I wear this unit on my belt whenever I ride my bike and nothing has happened to it. 

These units are built to withstand quite a bit of roughness.  They do break, but do quite a bit of bending first.  No, I don't know if this is the case for everyone else.  I work for a university and in the college I am assigned to I am the only person using a PDA of any sort.  Have no comparison points for now.

I use an HP IPAQ handheld for everything...

Interesting! Is it waterproof? Or do you use a rain cover? Apparently vibration has not hurt your unit; have you heard of problems from other people?


General Discussion / Re: Touring Wired, Wireless, Etc.
« on: April 26, 2009, 12:53:01 pm »
Thought I would throw a few pennies worth of experience in here.

I use an HP IPAQ handheld for everything; and I do mean everything.  It is actually a very small laptop - word processing, spreadsheets, project planning, wireless, Internet, etc.  My system has GPS capability which I used extensively when I actually owned a car.  I can purchase a GPS unit that fits on the bottom of my system if I want the portability and use of GPS as I travel on my bike.  Either a handheld or a mini-computer are great tools for travel or even business use.  I started using a handheld a number of years ago and haven't owned a laptop since.  I have no difficulty finding free wireless access in most places I travel to; although, the free wireless isn't always the strongest link when you need it to be.  I even have Skype loaded on my system and it does work well. 

The only drawback is the size of the screen and the fact that some Web sites still do not have alternate sites for mobile units.  Otherwise, this isn't a bad way to go, it lets you keep up with all things Internet, listen to music,  Here is a site that even sells handle bar mounts for systems like mine and many others -

Just a thought.

General Discussion / Re: Living on my bike
« on: April 25, 2009, 02:32:27 pm »
Hi Westinghouse -

Thanks so much for the offer!  I will check in with you from time to time.  I plan to stealth camp if I am away from areas with campgrounds.  Otherwise, I will try to stay in designated camping areas.  No motels for now.  With the privacy tent, shower bag and portable facilities I should be able to maintain without parking at a motel. 

It sounds like the way to go. You should have a great time. If you need any particular advice on the touring on the road and camping parts, I might be able to give you some tips. Are you going to stealth camp, use campgrounds, stay in motels, all three?

General Discussion / Re: Living on my bike
« on: April 25, 2009, 02:29:49 pm »
Robert -

An email is on the way.  If our paths cross, be sure to drop by.  Congratulations on making the decision to make a go of it.  I wish you well and equally look forward to hearing of your adventures.

Dont mind you popping in at all, im thinking of living this very life and would love to hear about your experiences. I was wondering if I could check out your blog, if so email me at unitedwarior24 at yahoo dot com. im thinking of setting off on my journey around august or september, when i do ill do my best to keep a journal on CGOAB and  ill post here to as much as I can. I already have all the gear ill need and am anticipating taking off even sooner, call it itchy feet :) but anyway I think its great you are going to do this and I wish you the best of luck. Hope I meet you along the trail one day. May the wind  always be at your back, and happy trails, and welcome to adventure cycling.

General Discussion / Re: Living on my bike
« on: April 25, 2009, 10:21:30 am »
Hi Westinghouse -

The table folds flat and weighs 1 lb, 8oz total.  The chair weighs just over a pound.  MREs are no longer packed in cans, pouches now and they are very light weight.  I also bought some Datrex food bars that have about 3,600 calories and are something I've used for hiking and so on.  Very handy and they do the trick for a quick pick-me-up.  However, most of my things wiill be with my sister and I will have her ship them as I need them or pick them up as I will use her place as a staging area from time to time.  The MREs are one way of exploring the weight issue as you say, but I'm not carrying 6 months with me for now.  This is all a new experience for me (well, the biking around the country is) so I am trying to find a means of having a safe haven I can carry on my back, so to speak.  Most of the time I will pick up a few fresh fruits and vegetables and things I need as I camp. 

Since the great outdoors will become my new home I will figure things out by trail and error and eventually find a balance that works for me.  At least that's the plan.  :)  Then again, we all know the best laid plans of mice and men....

It looks like you are preparing for an expedition, and for having a great time. A table and chair are more than I would carry, but I was looking at a journal on, and one guy was hauling 100 lbs. in gear, much more than I ever would. How will you carry six months worth of MREs. If you are talking about the military style meals, they weigh quite a bit. I have read stories about people hiking the Appalachian Trail who hid MREs along their path ahead of time, and dug them up as they came to them.

General Discussion / Re: Living on my bike
« on: April 24, 2009, 08:17:45 pm »
Hi all -

New here and fully intrigued by this discussion as it dovetails into what is going to become a lifestyle for me very soon.  For the past year I considered the possibility of living on my own, riding a bicyle, criss-crossing the country.  I made the decision to begin my journey this year; hopefully by August at the latest.  Here's what I've done to prepare:

1.  Bought a Croozer cargo trailer, changed the tubes out to the "puncture proof" series.  Bought two extra tubes and the "sealant" to with.

2.  Purchased 2 additional tires and puncture-proof tubes for my bike, with sealant.

3.  Took a bicycle repair class, bought a good, but basic tool kit, extra brake and shifting cables, etc.  Bought extra brake pads.  Some things I can repair, some things I cannot; just have to be careful.

4.  Bought a tent, sleeping bag (below zero rated), small table, camp chair, privacy tent, portable toilet, shower bag, two small fuel tab stoves, lantern, med kit, etc.  ALL of this fits into the trailer, with room to spare and about 65 lbs total weight.

5.  Set up a bank account that I can access via the Internet (have a handheld PC) with full wireless.  Bought MREs to last for about 6 months, will buy a bit of food as I need it along the way.  Also bought a collapsible fishing rod and small reel to fish if necessary.

I am preparing to leave and not work unless I have to do so.  I've been working at buying all of this material for the past year - total cost for trailer and gear, just under $800.00.  Not taxing my income too dramatically, but buying as I can afford to do so.  I'm almost where I need to be to take off.  I have a blog, but for now I'm leaving it private - until I'm really on the road and living the life full time.

Hope you doin't mind me dropping by and sharing a bit.

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