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Messages - knolltop

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Routes / Re: Austin to San Diego in April
« on: January 05, 2011, 05:57:47 am »
Good luck, have fun, & make lotsa memories!

General Discussion / Re: Wear eye glasses/sun glasses while riding
« on: January 05, 2011, 05:51:56 am »
Sunglasses are a fashion item.
With fashion items there's a "what goes around, comes around" cycle.
So, when aviator style glasses once again begin to come into vogue you'll be viewed as an "early adopter" .... which is good thing!

General Discussion / Re: Bike boxes
« on: January 02, 2011, 06:16:26 pm »
A nearby bike shop?

Gear Talk / Re: How accessible is propane on the TA Trail/good stove?
« on: December 29, 2010, 12:26:53 pm »
And Wal-Marts have the SLX denatured alcohol in Paint Dept.
.... am curious about the size containers you typically find the SLX denatured alcohol in.
In my experience you're correct re denatured alcohol container size.  I have carried 2 bottled water containers for fuel.  So can get most of a quart can stored onboard.

In past had preference for denatured alcohol cause thought it burned hotter than the HEET stuff.  Recently saw post on one of the backpacking sites where did test and result was no significant diff in boil time.

So now may start tours w/ 2 bottles HEET and, when bottle1 is emptied will start looking to buy another.

General Discussion / Re: Ground Cloths
« on: December 29, 2010, 11:14:10 am »
I simply go to Lowes or Home Depot and buy a box of the painter plastic.  The plastic rolls come in varying thickness, so you can choose the level of protection that is right for your needs.  ... these things last forever.
Hmmmmmm ... always assumed these things would puncture very easily.

I use Tyvek as ground cloth.

Gear Talk / Re: How accessible is propane on the TA Trail/good stove?
« on: December 29, 2010, 11:04:20 am »
Yes, alcohol stoves do take longer than the other type stoves to bring water to boil.  But I'm usually busy doing sumpin else during this time, so it really doesn't matter.

Between convenience stores and the ubiquitous Wal-Mart, I've not found fuel for alcohol stove to be issue.  At least half of convenience stores seem to have the YELLOW bottles of Heet ... even in summer.  And Wal-Marts have the SLX denatured alcohol in Paint Dept.

General Discussion / Re: DIY Tips
« on: December 28, 2010, 07:20:55 pm »
Awesome list, thanks for all the replies.  I hope this list helps out everyone getting ready to head out on the trail.  Happy New Years to all!!


General Discussion / Re: Yellowstone for up to 4 days
« on: December 28, 2010, 07:16:54 pm »
Current plan is to enter Yellowstone by coming down from Missoula and enter park via West Yellowstone.  To avoid crowds as much as possible, am planning to arrive on a Sunday. I'd like to spend 1st night at the hostel in West Yellowstone.

Then spend 2-3 days in park to see some of sights.

Thanks for heads up re "Campground Full" signs.

Planning to exit park via Grand Loop Rd and then US212 to Cooke City, over Beartooth and on to Red Lodge.  Then plan to use 78 out of Red Lodge to get up to Billings area so can get back on ACA routes across MT and on to ND.

Gear Talk / Re: Fenders for touring
« on: December 26, 2010, 11:36:08 am »
Anybody have experience with these Planet Bike fenders?

General Discussion / Re: Yellowstone for up to 4 days
« on: December 20, 2010, 10:31:45 pm »
Valygrl ... did consider riding to Cody & on to Red Lodge.  Ultimately decided to do Beartooth from w-->e after leaving Yellowstone, then up 78 to Columbus to continue on L&C and NT.

staehpj1 ... will try to get there early week.

Wayne Estes posted journal on CGOAB focused on a short tour in YS & Tetons.  That's also been help on planning my stay there.

General Discussion / Eating ... not IF, but HOW
« on: December 15, 2010, 06:07:28 pm »
Guess there's no getting around the need to eat on my x-c tour.
So that much is settled.

My culinary skills are limited and am happy to keep it that way.  And my tour budget is also limited. 
Told the wife eating/sleeping would avg $25/day.  So NOW I'm trying to figure out how to keep that promise.  Typical decision-making process for me ... shoot then aim.

Obviously, tent will be typical abode.

OK, on the eating front, here's where I'm at now:
>> Breakfst - Need at least 1 carbo-loading meal per day and I love breakfast.  So will plan on breakfast being left to the "pros" at restaurants/cafes/convenience stores.
>> Lunch - will do the multi sandwich thingy using fixin's from groceries/convenience store/etc.  Will need to find space in the bags for these goodies.
>> Dinner - similar to lunch but, whenever possible, purchase before arriving at cg and limit volume to what can mostly be consumed that eve.

So, am I on a doable strategy so far?

Cooking ... like I said, skills are limited & so is interest.
So if I haul any cooking equip it will be very basic:
>> pot
>> alcohol stove
>> necessary tag alongs
So now gotta find room for basic cooking equip and a bit of food.

Any of you been successful with this strategy?  I'm all ears as to how-to's and details!

General Discussion / Re: photography and cycling
« on: December 15, 2010, 05:43:00 pm »
Thanks to all for the thoughtful posts. 
You've provided lots to think about ... feel headache comin' on.

Gear Talk / Re: Biking Shorts/Pants
« on: December 15, 2010, 05:36:59 pm »
I normally wore some kind of high-visibility jersey on tour -- that eye-searing green, yellow, or orange attracts the eyes of the clerks and other customers.
+1   ;D :o ;D

Routes / Re: A Monkey Wrench...
« on: December 15, 2010, 05:32:31 pm »
Yes.  Go counterclockwise.  In the southwest, the winds will be against you, but all the more going up the Pacific coast.  The wind will keep trying to blow you south.  I've been out there climbing at 28mph going down the coast, because of the wind.  I'd hate to have to be trying to go the other direction in it for weeks.  The departments of transportation know that cyclists normally ride south on the Pacific coast, have have made the southbound side of the road more accommodating too.
+1000!  PCH s-->n is suicide ... wind & road condition.  Souther Tier in summer sounds like suicide.

Gear Talk / Re: Panniers
« on: December 15, 2010, 05:25:02 pm »
In attempt to avoid confusion, panniers Russ detailed are not same as staehpj1 uses.  Russ' are not made from waterproof mat'l but do have several pockets.  staehpj1's are made from waterproof mat'l and have 1 compartment.

Arkel high-end bags are super well-made and have multi pockets and are heavy.  Jandd also makes very well-made multi-pocket bags.  The larger bags from bothe these sources will swallow up ALOT of gear!  You'll likely want to invest in rain covers as these bags aren't waterproof.

Ortlieb's (& likely the Nashbar/Performance knockoffs) hold alot of gear even though there's just 1 compartment.  And you don't need to buy/pack/put-on rain covers.

I like pockets, but found the Jandd bags to be more capacity than needed.  And, since I'm poorly disciplined, I found myself determined to fill them to capacity ...................  ;D  I'm also "value-oriented", aka cheap.  I have been satisfied with the largest of the Lone Peak rear & front bags.  Bought them from Wayne at, and he also carries Ortlieb bags & Tubus racks.  He has some kinda sale going on now.

Based on postings at CGOAB, Ortlieb-type 1 compartment waterproof bags are the hands down favorite.

Hope this helps and does not further confuse.
Have fun on your tour!

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