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Messages - dancingcyclist

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Gear Talk / Re: Ultra light sleeping bag, tent and pad?
« on: January 25, 2017, 05:54:44 pm »
I've been following this post in hopes of hearing about a light, inexpensive sleeping bag to do summer tours with.

Has anybody heard/know anything of "Hyke & Byke" down bags? They have one rated at 32 degrees weighing at 2.2lb. for $99.00.

I'm replacing my current bag which is a down bag made by Feathered Friends rated at -10 degrees weighs in at 3.14 lb. Only reason i'm looking for a new bag is to cut weight.


Routes / Re: Looking for a multi-day wine/beer/bike trip in Pacific NW
« on: January 24, 2017, 09:57:16 pm »
South West Washington has some organized rides around the wineries, includes samples i believe. Not being a wine drinker I've never looked into to them but they are popular from what i've heard.

I'm currently using my old (1990) outdoor gear from my past climbing days, here's how they match to yours.
Sierra Designs 3-season 2-man tent 4lb 6oz. Includes tent, fly, ground cloth, poles, stakes. No longer available
Feathered Friends Down Bag rated-10 degrees. 3lb 4oz. Don't need that low of rating since I don't sleep at 10,000 ft anymore but it's what I got
Therm-o-rest self-inflating pad. 2lb 9oz. No special name as it was the only one made at the time. Full length maybe 1.5-2 inches when inflated

I'd say it's close to your total weight for the three.
I consider these as a bit overboard but it's what I've got for now. I'm 64 and I sleep great with these items.

I've looked into upgrading to save weight but the costs changes my mind real fast.
Tents are about 2-3 hundred plus, Down bags another 2-3 hundred, 3/4 length pad under a hundred

Routes / Re: Deception Pass State Park, Washington
« on: January 12, 2017, 12:09:46 am »
To find the actual grade log into the "Ride with GPS" website, you'll have to sign up but it's free. Use it to map your route through the area you're concerned about. I live in the area and no it is not that steep but it does have some pretty good hills heading south from Hwy20. The road has shoulders off and on and there is a lot of traffic from commuters and tourists. The bridge is used by cyclists and is legal but as mentioned by another posting it is barely wide enough for two trucks to go past each other which is why I have always avoided riding it, however since I'm planning to ride the PCH boarder to boarder I will have to. Maybe if you can time it early or late in the day.

As far as camping, yes, you will get bombarded by jets in that area, I gave up hiking the trails around there because of it. A better campground on the mainland is Bayview State Park next to Padilla Bay not sure of the mileage between the two, maybe 15-20 with only about 2 of them on Hwy20 which does have a good wide shoulder. Don't know if this helps with not knowing just what kind of tour you're doing.

If I can be of any more help, I ride this area all the time so I know the roads well.

Good luck & ride safe

General Discussion / Re: ?How easy are SPD pedals to get use too?
« on: January 10, 2017, 07:04:39 pm »
... the spds put a lot of pressure on the balls of you feet...

I have experienced this problem, but it was due to shoe problems.  In my case, the plate on the inside of the shoes had bent so that the edges stuck up.  This made a bump that pressed on my foot.  Note that there is an area in the middle of your foot where a lot of nerves go through a concentrated area, and pressure will give you numbness.

What I did:
1. Removed the cleats and plate, flattened the plate and reinstalled
2. Cut a hole in the insole so that there is no pressure on the middle of the foot (like a cutout in a saddle)
3. Check the shoe once or twice a year to make sure the plate hasn't bent again

Even if your shoes do not have a plate on the inside, you may want to cut the hole in the insoles to prevent problems.

I've had for many years and still do have numbness problems using SPD pedals. It's gotten so bad that the numbness now only goes away after being off the bike for a few days in a row. I couple years ago I came across an article about fixing this problem by moving the cleat so that the pressure would be more behind the ball of your foot. This has helped a lot but not completely.

Personally I think the problem comes from the softness of the sole of the shoe. Mt. bike shoes are not anywhere near as stiff as road bike shoes so the pressure from the pedal will always be there to an extent.

I use to use Look pedals and the rock hard soles of rode bike shoes and never had any problem with numbness. The reasons I switched was due to my foot slipping out from under me when starting out up hill at a street light among traffic causing me to swerve all over the place. Not to mentioned slamming my privates down on the top tube when this would happen. This happened to many times. SPD shoes and pedals just made life much easier except for the numbness. And being able to walk normal is a bonus.

Gear Talk / Re: Shifters-integrated vs bar-end
« on: January 10, 2017, 06:39:47 pm »
I went through this very same thing when I started looking into getting my tour bike. They all came with bar-end shifters and after road bike riding for years with STI's trying to adjust to bar-ends was not working. I like to tour on both paved roads and also unpaved Rail Trails and just couldn't get comfortable maintaining my line while shifting with bar-end. Even though my first road bike used down tube shifters. STI's are so much quicker and stable with two hands on the bar, when in gravel this is nice. I also like to have a mirror mounted on the end of my left bar end.

The problem I ran into with STI's with a triple crank and low cassette gearing is that the newer Shimano parts won't work, as per bike shop. Apparently Shimano changed things around so STI's would no longer work with Mt. bike gearing/derailleurs which is what is used on touring bikes. After some research and convincing the bike mechanic I was able to change out the small chainring and front derailleur to get my gearing lower, though still not as low as I need or want.

So your decision comes down to what you need for gearing to suit you're riding needs. If you want STI's you won't get as low of gearing then if you go with bar-end. There is always the possibility of finding some used older shifting components and a good mechanic.

Hope this helps, good luck

Gear Talk / Re: Lightweight touring bike?
« on: January 10, 2017, 06:11:08 pm »
A friend of mine has an aluminum frame w/carbon fork and pulls a BOB trailer fully loaded along with a handle bar bag. He's runs a triple crank and had the bike shop put on an extra low (lg. cog) gear on his cassette. He uses a Mt. bike rear derailleur and can still use his STI shifters. Tires are 700X25. His bike with two bottle cages, small seat bag, rear fender weighs about the same as my Specialize Allez Comp at about 21lbs. He rode the length of the PCH a couple years ago with no trouble. I think his bike is about 10 years old and has high milage as he rides about 3000-4000 miles/year if not more now that he's retired.

I was going to try this combination myself but after weighing a loaded trailer along with my own weight of 185lbs. I thought it might be pushing the bikes limit a bit so I changed my mind. After breaking the right chain stay at the drop out while on an everyday ride on my Allez I'm glad I didn't go that route. I also prefer panniers over the trailer and most aluminum road bikes don't come with braze ons.

You might think about heavier built wheels with more spokes also as most road bikes go with light weight and aren't designed to carry much more then just the rider.

General Discussion / Re: Connecting with other members to ride trans am
« on: January 08, 2017, 05:57:32 pm »
I'm not planning to ride the Trans Am right away but I to am looking for 1 or 2 companions to do some self-contained touring around the West Coast area including the Pacific Coast Hwy.
I'm on a limited income so I can't afford the guided tours plus I'm not real comfortable around a large group of strangers. I've tried to place an ad in the "companions wanted" section a couple times but it does not seem to work as I can't locate my own ad.

I could go solo but after backpacking/day hiking mostly solo the last 25+ years and a couple bike overnights the last two years I would like some company on my bike tours. I have found that when traveling solo I get into a mind set of getting to my set goal and don't stop to enjoy the traveling like I should and really want to. A companion slows me down "stop and smell the roses" so to speak. I also find I enjoy the input/suggestions of others and not having to make all the decisions.

Lastly as my age creeps up (65) and the body slows down I feel company does add a little extra safety just in case.

Gear Talk / Re: Camp Stove
« on: January 07, 2017, 09:35:40 pm »
Thanks for all the input guys.
Most my cooking is boiling for fixing dry food for dinner and clean water. Plus I have no intention of traveling out of the country at this time.

Looked into the Trangia as mentioned by some of you but I'm a bit leery about using alcohol as it burns so clean you can't always see the flame and it sounds like the bottom of the burner gets hot enough to burn any surface (picnic tables) it sits on. I don't know what you're referring to with "meths", methanol maybe, don't know where to buy it. The only meth I know is the drug which I want nothing to do with.

Having to but a gallon of fuel is the biggest problem with my Whisperlite, I'd light to only have to carry one large fuel bottle due to weight if possible. I always carry two full water bottles and I want to keep the weight down as best I can. I'm not as young nor in as good of shape as I use to be, those hills are worse then ever. As far as leakage goes I guess it more about vibrations while riding the ruff roads/rail trails. Plus theres always gas spillage when disconnecting and releasing pressure.

This is why I had hoped to do some riding with experienced tourers while getting started but have had no luck so its trial by error.

Still have to look into the pocket rocket

Thanks again

By the way, is there anyway to respond to people individually on these posts.


Gear Talk / Re: Recommendation for front light?
« on: January 07, 2017, 01:03:40 am »
After reading the suggestions regarding your front light questions here's what I'm doing.

As an old time backpacker/climber turned bike rider/new bike tourer. I've been on a few local overnight trips to work out some bugs while using a lot of my mountaineering gear, lights included.

I use to commute by bike so I had a couple of handlebar mounted lights that worked ok for around town but like you could not mount them when using my handlebar bag. However the newer headlamps using LEDs worked great when wrapped around the bag as mentioned by another person answering your post. Nice thing about these headlamps is that they come in a number of options to site your needs. I have two of the cheaper ones I bought when they first came out that run on 2-3 AAA batteries and have multiple settings (brightness and flashing combos). This is great for touring/camping as I can reach down and turn the light on/off and angled as needed while riding (tunnels) and then wear it on my head while in camp and they weigh next to nothing.

Good luck with your tour, look me up if you make it to Burlington, WA

Gear Talk / Camp Stove
« on: January 05, 2017, 07:32:56 pm »
What works best for a camp stove for self contained touring with mostly camping? I currently have an old Wisperlite (gas only) purchased '92 that still works and have used on local overnight trips. My concern is finding small quantities of fuel while on longer trips (cross-country).

I'm was thinking a Wisperlite International as it can burn just about anything but I'm always worried about leaks.
With all these canister type stoves out now I'm wondering if they might be better as I wouldn't have to worry about packing liquid fuel.

I also don't want to pack any more weight then necessary and gas is heavy. Nor do I want to spend a lot of time and energy riding around an unknown city looking for fuel.

Any suggestions / recommendations?

Gear Talk / Solar Charger
« on: January 05, 2017, 07:08:37 pm »
I want to be able to use my phone during the day while riding for music and mapping and then recharge the phones battery at night using the solar chargers battery that has been fully charged during the day. Is this possible? Do they make such a setup? I'm new to this technology and have always had access to a 110 outlet this past year but that may be changing this summer with luck.

I have an iPhone 6 if that makes a difference.

Pacific Northwest / Overnight Parking for Iron Horse Trail
« on: August 02, 2016, 10:53:49 pm »
I'm planning a ride from Rattlesnake Lake (North Bend) to Ellensburg and back mid Sept. this year and I'm trying to find a safe place to park my car for a few days/nights. Originally I was going to start in Duvall and also ride the Snoqualmie Valley Trail but have been told flat out there is no overnight parking in Duvall. I figured I could park at the Cedar Falls Trailhead but Wa. State Parks is saying no, day use parking only.

Does anyone know where I can safely park? What do other cyclists do? I live near Bellingham and it's more trouble then it's worth to box up the bike and take a bus. I'm hoping to ride the Olympic Discovery Trail next year, will I run into the same parking problems? 

It's hard to believe we have all these Rail Trails to ride but can't park overnight.

General Discussion / Re: Loaded Tour Bike Handling
« on: June 08, 2015, 09:26:21 pm »
Update on bike loading and gearing:
Talked with a couple of shops about the gearing and decided to go with a 26 tooth small chainring as mentioned in earlier postings with a large ring of 44. I'm thinking with my 32 cog I should be ok. It sounds like there could be some shifting alignment due to combining road & Mt. bike parts but I guess that's what I get for wanting STI shifters. But with riding both paved and unpaved roads/trails I like having both hands on the bar for control and still quick gear changing. I'll find out the end of the week when I get everything installed.

While I'm on the subject can anyone explain why touring bikes allies bar-end shifters. It seems to me that safety and convenience would have gotten the public and industry to change long ago. When I think back to the days of down-tube shifters and then my first STI shifters it's like night and day. Even with my first two day trip I just did having my shifters right there made it so nice and easy to shift for better peddling consistency.

I repositioned the front rack for better load positioning so I will be loading and road testing the bike this week to see how handing works with more weight up front. Still seems strange to me with wanting more weight up front but rear panniers are larger.

Thanks for all the advice, info and help

General Discussion / Re: Loaded Tour Bike Handling
« on: June 05, 2015, 09:52:10 pm »
Chainrings I figured I could change as well as Cogs even though my bike shop said no. I think I need to find a different shop. Unfortunately where I live in the PNW I only have one shop in town which creates a problem. The next closest is 30 miles.

I was concerned about the angel of the front panniers as a shimmy problem and can do some rework with shims to make them more upright but I would have to use a 1 inch shim between the fork and rack which I think is to much. More shimming create a weakness for weight bearing. The shifting of more weight to the front seems counterintuitive as from what I've research most weight should be on the rear, plus what about those that only use rear panniers only? However I'm up for any and all ideas and will do some more testing closer to home for handling conditions

I'm not going to be happy if I have to spend even more for gearing since my shop knew what I was trying to do when I bought the bike and made the changes from them. Which by the way, will lead to crossing Washington into northern Idaho and back this summer. Hopefully cross-country next year. I have to be able to climb the passes.

I don't know how I can drop weight much as I packed the bike with weight considerations as I did back in the climbing/backpacking days. In fact I'm using the same down sleeping bag and single person 3-season tent, both weigh only about 3-3.5 each.

Wish I had someone local that knows bike touring to work with. I've been talking about it for years to my friends with no luck on companions or knowledge. They all think I'm crazy.

Thanks again for all the input, I'm still open for more.

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