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Messages - geegee

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Routes / Re: Rt. 2 across North Dakota
« on: December 26, 2014, 11:32:48 pm »
Summer of 2013 I rode on US 2 between Church's Ferry ND (just west of Devil's Lake) to Grand Forks and onwards to Duluth and the Michigan border. The highway is good for the most part in ND, lacking shoulders in some sections that are four-lane divided but traffic was really light. I had come down from Manitoba via Rolla, so I can't speak on the western stretch towards Minot. I did not see that many trucks on the road, but I did get a strange warning from a local who said to watch out for drunk drivers on ND's rural roads during late afternoons/early evenings

Routes / Re: Crossing into Canada?
« on: December 25, 2014, 10:43:11 pm »
If you do go through Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, drop by the folks at Velorution bike shop. They have a really cool free campground at the back of the store for touring cyclists, with access to the store's bathroom and shower. They're also actively advocating an alternative route towards Sudbury that avoids the busy Trans-Canada (Highway 17):

Consider taking the Espanola-Manitoulin Island-Tobermory route as suggested above, as Southern Ontario has more parallel routes on quiet county roads compared to the rugged hilly north. Sudbury to the Ottawa Valley (into Petawawa) can be quite a challenge as the highway is narrow and steep at times with no alternative routes. Having said that, I've cycled across that expanse twice and I'm still in one piece :)

I rode through the south of Lake Superior last year and the roads in the UP are a mixed bag. Some stretches have no shoulder but traffic is generally light.

If you decide to ride along the shores of Lake Ontario and the St-Lawrence Valley, that route is documented here:

As already mentioned, the Route verte in Quebec makes getting around by bike in that province really easy.

General Discussion / Re: That go-to meal
« on: December 15, 2014, 09:45:47 am »
Filet Mignon; grilled on an open fire with a cracked pepper crust, covered with Sauteed Mushrooms & Caramelized Onion in a Wine Sauce

Serve that on a long piece of bread and I say that sub is good to go. Would you like a drink and a bag of chips to go with that? ;D

General Discussion / Re: That go-to meal
« on: November 22, 2014, 10:47:50 pm »
I call this more like "Gas Station Store Cuisine", when there's no other place to buy food

Ramen and egg; Halfway into cooking instant ramen I break an egg or two into the pot. I like stirring it without breaking the yolk so it gets custardy while the white gets stringy n he broth.

Smoked mussel/oyster mac and cheese: make KD with 6 creamers from the coffee counter and mix in a can of smoked mussels or oysters including the oil. A can of tuna or flaked chicken works, too.

Minute Rice + Cup-A-Soup. Cook the minute rice with 50% more water than required and then dump a packet or two of cup-a-soup. Longer version, regular rice + a can of Campbell Soup

Routes / Re: contemplating riding TransAm in many questions!
« on: September 29, 2014, 02:12:56 am »
On all my tours, I carry two water bottles and one of these MSR water bags bungied to the bundle on my rear rack. They're great because they're collapsable and can directly connect an MSR water filter or function as an outdoor shower hung from a tree. When I free camp I would fill it up at the nearest water source to have enough water for washing up. I have the 4-litre version which I find sufficient, but the 6-litre isn't much extra bulk or weight when empty.

General Discussion / Re: Sour clothing - after washing!
« on: August 18, 2014, 11:12:19 pm »
Try OxyClean or a similar laundry additive. I've also been seeing a lot of laundry scent boosters in the store but have never used them. Don't know if they remove or just cover up odours.

There is a product called MiraZyme Gear Deodorizer which I use on sandals and helmets when they get a funky smell. Works especially well for neoprene.

I tried doing a bit of work while I was on a six week tour last year and it wasn't easy. I had to take quite a bit of time off the bike to do the work, but luckily it was just one small project and had no critically urgent deadlines. If you are expecting to do a full job's worth of work and be responsive while touring, I think it would be a challenge to fit it in the daily routine of riding 50-60+ miles, setting up and taking down a tent, preparing meals and keeping up with the little things that living a nomadic lifestyle brings. I ended up spending a couple of days in a university residence to concentrate on finishing the job, and then went on the rest of my trip without having to think about work.

General Discussion / Re: trip from georgia to southern ontario
« on: July 13, 2014, 01:56:00 pm »
The folks at have recently added the Erie shore to their route. You can download free maps from site which should get you to Port Bruce from either the Niagara or Windsor end of the lake.

General Discussion / Re: Fighting off boredom?
« on: July 13, 2014, 01:42:00 pm »
I've rarely gotten bored on a tour either. One thing I find I have to make time for is bike maintenance, and I literally have to force some downtime to do it. There will always be something to do, and in many ways you'll feel like you don't have enough time.

Personally, I can't read a long novel while I'm on an adventure. Somehow, I find it hard to immerse myself in someone else's story in bits and pieces whenever I have time. Even the incidental things I read along the way (magazines, brochures, panels, etc.) already tend to color my experiences, and adding a non-conextual story just confuses my imagination :) .

Thanks! Interestingly, I went with the stem shifters specifically for the aesthetic. I think it adds a bit of "steampunk" style along with the other vintage parts  :D .  I tried putting on brifters but they really don't work well with bullhorns which are my preferred style for handlebars over drops — the positioning of the brake levers give me so much more confidence since I control them with my stronger index and middle fingers instead of relying more on the weaker ring and pinky fingers that are more prone to cramping. Brifter cabling gets a bit messy on bullhorns, as on my Trek 520:

Another huge plus for me with bullhorns is the superior unobscured positioning of a mirror. Much of the highways in my area do not have shoulders, and being able to easily spot transport trucks behind when another is coming ahead greatly improves my personal feeling of security. After two decades of using drop bars, I havent come across a mirror that worked satisfactorily.

I will be using this bike for lighter tours, as canalligators correctly deduced!

Thanks for the advice, thought I'd post some pictures of what I've done to the bike and some of the decisions I made.

I still need new wheels but the old ones still look OK after 20 years. The paint is nice and bright now and I've cleaned and overhauled a few of the old components.

I decided to keep the obsolete 8 speed Campy derailleur because I like its sculpted looks:

Since I might get Shimano-based hubs when I buy new wheels, I went with Silver friction shifters mounted on the quill stem which I got through Rivendell. This will give me a wider choice of cassettes, over the 3 expensive and hard to get 8-speed Campy cassettes available.

I like the way this has simplified the cabling! I also kept the old center-pull cantilever brakes:

I bought a new Brooks saddle which I will have to ride a lot to break-in :

Routes / Re: Trans Canada
« on: May 13, 2014, 09:08:45 am »
You can easily pick through the Route Verte maps to get from the border to Montreal and into Ottawa.

Highway 17 between Ottawa and North Bay is terrible (especially Petawawa to Mattawa), it's some of the worst stretches in the entire Trans-Canada Highway. it is hilly and narrow with no shoulders. Having said that, I've cycled it twice, and you will need a very good rearview mirror to spot trucks coming up behind you and exercise good judgement on when to get off the road.

You might find portions of this route useful to get towards Sault Set-Marie. some of the gravel portions can be really annoying though.

My blogs aren't technical, but you might get an idea for what parts of your route are like from my ride last year. If you find yourself in Ottawa and need a place to stay, let me know.

General Discussion / Re: Cycling in Alaska
« on: May 12, 2014, 02:46:46 pm »
The Klondike, Top-of-the-World, and Taylor highway route has been one of my most memorable rides, filled with rugged beauty.

That's a pretty sparsely populated area to be doing a trash awareness ride though. You'll also find Yukoners already a pretty environmentally conscious bunch — the recycling program in Whitehorse is even admirably run by the community as a non-profit business.

One option you could consider if you want more relevant communities to hit is to take the Klondike Highway to its southern terminus at Skagway where you catch a ferry and even stop at Alaska's state capital Juneau before heading to Prince Rupert. The Yellowhead Highway heads inland from there towards Jasper where you can take the Icefields Parkway towards Banff.

Canada / Re: St John's to Bar Harbor
« on: May 04, 2014, 11:08:02 am »
There aren't that many back roads in Newfoundland, the ones shown on most roadmaps are pretty well what you can take. If you have time and want to see some Newfoundland coastline, take the Southern Shore Highway (#10) — you can connect to this after going out to Cape Spear which the easternmost point of North America. Hugging the south shore of the Avalon Peninsula (10-90-91-92-100) instead of doing a beeline from St. John's to Placentia is well worth it if you're spending money and effort to fly out to Newfoundland only to take the ferry back to the mainland. Cape St Mary's is a good detour. Newfoundland can be very hilly and windy, so make give yourself some time and patience.

You can cycle on the 100-series highways in Nova Scotia (with the exception of the ones in Metro Halifax). They have shoulders but are high speed and skip much of the scenic shoreline. The trunk roads have no shoulders but have mostly low traffic. I personally would recommend taking NS 7 to Halifax then the 3/103 to Yarmouth where you can take a ferry to Maine. It is much more scenic than heading into New Brunswick, unless you are thinking of making a detour into PEI. You can also go farther around and take the ferry at Digby and ride to Maine from Saint John NB. The south shore of Nova Scotia probably has the some of the prettiest coastal roads in eastern North America.

Routes / Re: Erie Canal Bike Trail - Stone Dust trails
« on: April 14, 2014, 06:00:20 am »
I got separated from the trail several times, onto weedy, narrow single track; maybe my error.

I don't think it was your error. East of Canastota, it looked like this in 2010:

There should be no problem doing it with 700x32c tires, though. I rode it on a folding bike with 20 inch wheels towing a kayak  :)

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