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Messages - BikePacker

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With full gratitude and full appreciation for our freedom of expression insured by our Constitution
for all USA citizens and organizations,
given the above article title,  "WT(bleep) BikeExplorers"
and the feature article prominence afforded by the "Adventure Cyclist" publication,
does Adventure Cyclist Association want one to think of it as a 'family-friendly' organization?
If yes, then
my request to ACA would be to please consider offering a little guidance to parents
on how to, in a 'family-friendly' manner, educate our young cyclists on the meaning of "WT(bleep)?"
If no, then no problem ... my personal perception of the organization up to this time has simply been erroneous.
Again, I emphasize, acknowledge and gladly respect the right that we all thankfully have in the USA ... freedom of expression.

My view, Rwin, would be to try to use REI if any way possible.
For me, they have proven so effective that their locations have been frequently influential in my route selection/planning.... particularly when I can ship REI to REI out to start and back to home.

Routes / Re: 65th birthday cross country trip
« on: April 15, 2019, 07:41:17 am »
May all your bears be black bears!
Nor 'cub' bears of any ilk.

General Discussion / Re: Walking your bike
« on: April 14, 2019, 08:24:28 am »
Walk my steed any time I feel moved to get a little slower and more appreciative 'look' at the Almighty's wonder-ous great outdoors.

Gear Talk / Re: Tire Width?
« on: April 12, 2019, 10:27:51 am »
Also keep in mind that road construction may force you to ride on unpaved surfaces. I hit stretches out west where the asphalt had been completely removed for road resurfacing.
Wow.  Excellent point.  Somehow had forgotten 'bout that ... must have repressed it :- ) as, yes, miles and miles of re-construction of roadways.

Routes / Re: 65th birthday cross country trip
« on: April 11, 2019, 04:32:52 pm »
Do bicyclists travel armed ?
In remote or other potentially troublesome venues I have always ridden with Bear Fogger (not spray) on my belt.
Throughout WA, MT, and the Dakotas ..... it being on my belt never even caused 'raised eyebrows' as far as I could ever tell.
For me, a firearm just creates the potential of too many 'complications.'

Routes / Re: 65th birthday cross country trip
« on: April 11, 2019, 09:28:00 am »
Your east to westward suggestion makes a lot of sense;  yes, biking in the Spring works better than leaving in mid-June for us....But I just looked at the Trans-AM trail and it looks like it is a torture test thru the backbone of the Rockies !!! I guess I need to take a closer look
I will go out on a limb :- ) and assume when you say it looks like a torture test that you are looking at the elevations graphically depicted on the ACA Maps (?).  The Maps have an elevation graphics emphasis in order to provide all the rich detail. 
1.  It is no where near as challenging as it looks on said maps.
2.  If I can do it ... most anyone can (did The Northern Tier about age 60).
3.  Keep in mind that one of the greatest advantages of solo or near solo (you + your son) is that you can stop and rest ANY time !
4.  Give some thought to having the lowest 'Gear/Chain Inches' you want in your lowest gears ... for me, it can hardly ever be low enough,
i.e., I ride with 'Gear/Chain Inches' as low as 17 < yes, I do occasionally get laughed at for this; however, simply offering full disclosure.
5.  The beauty of the creation in the North Cascades (Northern Tier - WA) will be well worth your elevation climbs.
6.  Remember that you are likely to encounter snow still on the ground in July in the North Cascades (related clothing alert :- ).
- Wishing you and your son a gaw-RATE adventure.

Gear Talk / Re: Tire Width?
« on: April 11, 2019, 09:03:05 am »
on some combination of the TransAmerica Trail, The Lewis and Clark Trail, and the Northern Tier.

What make and width of tire would you recommend for such a trek? My local bike shop recommended 45mm Specialized Armadillo tires, but my reading of "The Essential Touring Cyclist" recommended tires no wider than 32mm. What gives?
Full disclosure, Tony .... I have a personal preference for wider tires because I like the greater range of surface conditions* travel options such offer over which I can ride heavily loaded ... (+) my style is with an emphasis on heavily.
As you observed and reported, The Essential Touring Cyclist speaks positively about the 32mm (i.e., page 20: "On pavement, 700x32 is fine, ...."). 
Also, the author speaks of the advantages of the wider dimensions if one is traveling not on pavement.
When I rode the Lewis and Clark I was happy to be using your above referenced 45mm Specialized Armadillos.
Btw, regarding *range of surface conditions, for me, is to be able to quickly safely/uneventfully get off the road on to a shoulder of any condition any time I want to avoid traffic .... the skinnier the tire the less likely I am inclined to get off the pavement and onto whatever the shoulder conditions are (if any shoulder at all !!! :- )
- Wishing you great ride adventures.

General Discussion / Re: Warm Showers Reliability
« on: April 11, 2019, 07:34:41 am »
I’ve hosted many and been a guest at many. ......
What a wonderfully educational post Mucknort.
Your detail has enabled me to warm up to this whole warm showers 'concept.'
- With cheerful regards.

Gear Talk / Re: Best tires for touring the US
« on: April 07, 2019, 08:43:05 am »
Quote from CorneK:
"Buying spares on route is usually a disappointing experience quality* wise."

I was surprised at how hard it can be sometimes to even find somewhere that sells any bike tires.
I suppose that common sense should have told me otherwise but then how much of that do I have - in order to stay on topic I will make that a different post at another time.
Back to Topic ... one time I went into a hardware dealer who said he had no just even good-ole-really-boring-basic 26xAnything>1.5.
Resultingly pondering my rather sobering options ....
I noticed he had a 'kid's' kinda bike hanging in his store street front shopping window that had 26xSomethings on it.
With that in mind, I inquired with him if I could compensate him an even unreasonable amount of money for just one of the tires on the show-window bike.
He said he'd wouldn't want to but he'd have to charge me at least $40 for the trouble. 
Replied that I would gladly pay the $40 (otherwise, the next closest town that might have the tire size [not even thinking *quality :- ) at this point] was 50+ miles).
As a result of being blessed with that show window tire ... the tour 'lived happily on for ever and ever.' 
I never want to have that close of a call due to a tire failure ever again .... it would have probably brought my tour to an end due to time constraints.

General Discussion / Re: Western Express Bicycle Touring Video
« on: April 03, 2019, 08:20:28 am »
Thanks for the vid Smudgy .... love it.  Saved it.  Will rewatch from time to time.  Thanks again.
Regarding your and others thoughts & comments on inverted handlebars.....
For the sake of handle grip position added options ....
I have for years ridden using what the bicycle industry used to call Rooster Tails
(& now calls Bar Ends)
which I have mounted in an inverted / forward postion on flat handle bars.
Take a look at this Walmart Link and zoom in on the pix in the collage in the lower right quadrant of the grouping entitled "Forward."
In forward position, I mount my Bar Ends not on the ends of the handlebars but on the inside of the handlebar grips.
As you can see in the above, these Bar Ends are bare metal .... for added comfort and grip (for added safety, as well)
I added handlebar grips over the Bar Ends to cover over the bare metal.
- Great Adventure Wishes.

General Discussion / Re: Iowa City, IA to Seattle
« on: March 31, 2019, 08:40:18 pm »
Eventually  8)   we hope you will update us Tony.

General Discussion / Re: Iowa City, IA to Seattle
« on: March 31, 2019, 08:32:25 am »
You are preparing for probably one of the best times of your life Tony.

And consistent with your request for information, "preparing" is the operative of where it is clear that you know that you are now in 'the process.'

1. With that in mind ... the most time efficient (as you noted you have merely 6 weeks) source of information from which I have ever benefited was the educational text The Essential Touring Cyclist
About every 5 years I thoroughly enjoy re-skimming it to see what I have maybe forgotten, etc. .... the point being is that the book has never been just a 'one & done' $ investment for me, anyways.   Here is the link ....
The next best source for solid preparation information is this Touring Forum. 
If you have not already accessed the "Crazy Guy on a Bike" Forum - ... you will probably want to take a look.

2. Beyond preparation.... and as relates to when you are executing .... be sure to get any and all of the Adventure Cyclist Maps that cover any parts of your trip....

Consistent with your posted inquiry .... it is about gaining efficient access to ACCURATE / reasonably proven data / methods so that during your ride you can concentrate more on the FUN and NOT the biggie unexpecteds  :- ) .... some unexpecteds make for fun and adventure !!!!  ... but calamitous ones, due to lack of preparation, can bring a great bike tour to a stop and send one home.
~ Best wishes for a phenomenal spin west.

General Discussion / Re: Motorists view cyclists as sub human.
« on: March 30, 2019, 04:17:14 pm »
The alleged 'study' is simply more of the daily dosage of 'news' evidence that the world seems to be inexorably trending away from
'I need to be to others (aka, all humans) as I want others to be to me.'

Got a chuckle out of this.  I thought your headline mean how fun would a ROMANTIC "rendezvous" be you and a local.

I recently started a somewhat rendezvous type in that I formed the free KAMO Bicycle Touring Group on Facebook for those bicycle tourists who live in Kansas, Arkansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma to encourage the cyclists to get together at least once a year to tour in the region together.  We have 100+ members join since November, have our first Annual Tour booked for May in the foothills of the Ozarks (only about 12 signed up so far), and hope to have the group members start to tour together.

But yes, a "sturgis" type event would be neat but I guess RAGBRAI is probably the closest to it.
A thought? ... KAMO could be built out into a national Rendezvous IF you might care for it to become such?
KAMO could well be the launch platform, John?
Btw ... "Rendezvous" in the historical sense of the great USA western expansion .... the annual Rendezvouses of the American Fur Trappers and Mountain Men ...

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