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Messages - freightbike

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Gear Talk / AMTRAK, V.S. BOB trailers
« on: March 14, 2008, 06:41:40 pm »
 Hi Guys. I have some questions about traveling on Amtrak with bob trailers and specifically the CELLO system. I've so far had good luck with shipping my BOB trailer on amtrak in a large cordura duffle bag. I take the wheel, fender, off and reverse the fork. I put a shipping block in the dropouts. The resulting package with some gear added fits under the 36 inch length and under 50 lbs, the bike goes in to one of their boxes. So far I've had pretty good luck with this except for the time amtrak lost my bike for two days. As well as the possibility that amtrak won't have a bike box at the station for me to use.(and won't reserve or obtain one for me). It seems that it's up to the baggage supervisor at the time whether or not it's okay to ship the trailer this way. When I tell them it's a bike trailer, they'll say it has to be in a case, ie. box, carton, etc. I point out to them that it fits under the criteria and has no sharp points or pokes and is easy to pick up move around, so far, they have accepted it. I fear some day I'll get a baggage guy with a "tude" and get screwed. On the Katy trail there is a train you can take out or back but they won't allow trailers.(they have reserved racks for 3 bikes) Does any one know of problems with amtrak baggage concerning the Cello system? Also with the cello system, will the use of the BOB 28 fork fit it?   Thanks  MORG

Gear Talk / Trailers and Mass Confusion
« on: March 14, 2008, 05:12:00 pm »
I've toured New Zealand and a bit of Australia. My Aussie touring was mostly urban but in NZ I tried to get off the main roads as much as possible on the north island because the trafic is crazy. Drivers of all types were fast and not very kind to me as far as moving over a bit. Watch out for the "Newmans" tour busses on the south island! The back roads are "metaled" which translates to gravel chunks about an inch and a half in diameter. I was riding a trek 850 antelope with front and back panniers and generally went over the "chunks" making for a bumpy ride. If you're planing to head of the main roads, I would recommend a sturdy trailer with good off road capabilities.
 They drive crazy but generally Kiwi's are the nicest people you're ever going to meet, second only to the Aussies!

Gear Talk / Comfort Gear
« on: March 29, 2008, 01:14:45 am »
My forum name pretty much spells out my preferences. Nuf said. Back in 83 in western Montana I ran into a guy cycling from Boston to Seatle with a irish setter in a bugger trailer! that poor dog!
May the wind at your back always smell like home.

This message was edited by freightbike on 3-28-08 @ 9:20 PM

Gear Talk / Anyone name their bike?
« on: March 14, 2008, 05:43:55 pm »
My first mountain bike, a green trek 850 antelope brought me back to the joys of my childhood. My first bike,at 6yrs, a hand me down, schwinn, 16 inch balloon tire coaster brake. Was an early instument of my emancipation. I went anywhere and everywhere on that bike. If my parents had only known! I got the trek 850 in my middle thirties after ensuing years off and on road bikes. I named the trek "Tomcat" because I was back to tom-cattin' around the neighborhoods again!

Routes / Minneapolis to Portland
« on: December 05, 2008, 12:45:22 am »
 I recently biked from St. Paul to Medora ND. Consider staying your first night in Dalbo, up near Cambridge MN. I took a different way out of the cities. I went through St. Cloud and took the Lake Woebegone and Lakes area trails system to Fergus Falls. I've transited ND twice on Hwy 200 to Garrison. Camping in most small town parks in north dakota is free to cyclists. The ACA maps are a good place to start but don't be afraid to venture out on you're own. People are more interested and impressed in you if they don't see bikes day after day.

May the wind at your back always smell like home.

Routes / Hwy 2 between Towner and Rugby west bound.
« on: August 22, 2008, 07:45:28 pm »
To all on the northern tier who are headed west bound, avoid US Hwy 2 in North Dakota, between Rugby and Towner. I was headed east on that hwy and the two foot shoulder was a nightmare as there was a row of pylons preventing cars and trucks from moving over for me. I was able to drop down to the gravel shoulder to let large vehicles pass, but there is about a three to four inch difference between the concrete and the gravel. The east bound side has no shoulder to escape to. They are re-doing the west bound lanes and both east and west are taking up the east bound side of the highway until further notice. It might be possible to travel west on parts of the west bound side using the remnants of the west bound shoulder but you'll be dodging heavy equipment and belly dumps. I dont know if there is more construction on that route. I went east from Granville to Rugby after spending the night at Velva, and continuing to Rollette.

May the wind at your back always smell like home.

Routes / Going To The Sun Road
« on: June 14, 2008, 09:36:05 pm »
I'm sorry, I don't know the exact mileages. But for some help the climb from St Mary lake to the summit is a piece of cake compared to the climb up from the west side. There is about 10 miles of flat to rolling between the bottom of the grade and Apgar Village. The climb from the west is 14 miles at 8% grade. Had to get on it early in the morning but it wasn't that bad. Made it in plenty of time. After camping a night or two, the ride back up from St Mary's and down to Lake Mc Donald was a harrowing but fun downhill!

May the wind at your back always smell like home.

This message was edited by freightbike on 6-14-08 @ 5:41 PM

Routes / Route choice for May 08
« on: April 09, 2008, 09:46:18 pm »
The Katy trail is nice but may be a bit rough for thin road tires. A 38mm or larger would be preferable.

May the wind at your back always smell like home.

Routes / S. Dakota to Wisconsin
« on: March 15, 2008, 02:58:30 am »
From Pepin WI go south along the river to route 25 to Durand. I'd take the chippewa valley trail from durand wi to eau claire and chippewa falls and cornell. Then there are good county road routes to tomahawk or to merril or wausaw then to Rhinelander

This message was edited by freightbike on 3-15-08 @ 1:25 PM

General Discussion / Where to camp
« on: August 22, 2008, 07:58:11 pm »
 I use a couple of paper back books called "Don Wright's Guide to FREE Campgrounds". Put out by Cottage Publications,Inc. PO Box 2832. Elkhart IN 46515-2832. Ph. 1-800-272-5518. They have eastern and western editions. Not complete by any means but a sure help to me

May the wind at your back always smell like home.

General Discussion / Shipping bikes to Canada
« on: June 12, 2008, 11:54:11 pm »
The big question is why would Canada worry about the bike staying in Canada? Since the Loon is worth more than the green back. Some silly things die hard!

May the wind at your back always smell like home.

General Discussion / Traveling with a dog
« on: May 26, 2008, 12:18:17 am »
Reminds me of the guy who I met in Montana back in 83. He was riding from Boston to Seatle with an Irish setter in a trailer. He didn't want to risk the dog getting hit by cars, so my suggestion that he put a harness on it and help him over the hills didn't sit too well with him. I suppose it's like dogs in cars, they have to just sit there for hours and not get spooked or excited into doing something inapropriate.
 I guess it depends on the type of dog and what its temperment is. And what is the probable reaction of people you encounter along the way.

May the wind at your back always smell like home.

General Discussion / Then came "Johnson"?
« on: April 24, 2008, 01:01:47 pm »
For some time now I've been wondering if it would ever be cool to have a TV series based loosely on the "then came bronson" series. With the upsurge of babyboomers out riding across the country, would there be interesting stories and situations that would hold an audience. One episode could be running into the ragbrai ride and the absolute crazy, zany, whacked out experience of that.

May the wind at your back always smell like home.

General Discussion / White gas on the GDMBR?
« on: April 24, 2008, 12:33:12 pm »
Whenever I travel and stay at campgrounds, I walk about and look for other campers who appear to be using white gas stoves, lanterns, etc. It's even easier just at late dusk, look for the blare of coleman lanterns. I walk up and ask if I might buy a quart for, say, five bucks. Nine times out of ten they'll just give it to me. You might have to talk to them and tell part of your story but most folks are glad to be rid of the stuff so they don't have to worry about storing the fuel at home.

May the wind at your back always smell like home.

This message was edited by freightbike on 4-24-08 @ 8:46 AM

General Discussion / Looking Backward
« on: April 05, 2008, 01:44:21 am »
I use a helmet mounted mirror. Keeps me wearing a helmet. Helmet makers should do a better job of locating a mounting spot for them. The flip down mirror on the bell metro is a joke. Mirrors on helmets can get in the way though, like when using a helmet cover. Or the way they hang off and get mangled by stuff. To me it's very instinctual to use my mirror. Part of that may be because I'am often one of those big trucks that pass by. I can do a sweep behind me to check on trafic merging in on an on or off ramp. I think mirrors should be mandatory on group rides so one can see other bikers coming up behind you when you are changing lanes, stopping, etc. Helmet mirrors are also better at keeping rain and snow from obscuring the view. One big problem I have with them is when it's necessary to change positions say from my upright bars to my aero bars so I mount a mirracycle mirror to the end of my bars so I can glance down with out craining my neck. But the helmet mount is always usefull if I feel a need for a better look just the same.
 I suppose one advantage to not having a mirror is that you would be really loose and relaxed when the car hits you! These days with folks yakking away on cell phones, texting and my favorite, driving on the shoulder with a laptop computer on the seat going through ones E-mails. I can't imagine not being aware and involved with what's happening with the flow of passing traffic.

May the wind at your back always smell like home.

This message was edited by freightbike on 4-9-08 @ 5:41 PM

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