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Messages - jrswenberger

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General Discussion / Re: Inspire or Scare the Begeebees?
« on: April 17, 2013, 01:33:44 pm »
The Adventure Cycling Association's mission is to inspire and empower people to travel by bicycle. As a 14-year ACA member, who has been touring since 1996, and a 25-year park ranger, I am really surprised by posts, mostly from riders outside of North America, about fears of two things; bears and rural American residents. The real truth us, there is not a bear behind every tree bush and rock, and the rural countryside is NOT inhabited by people like those in "Deliverance". Moreover, the replies that reinforce those fears are very disappointing, and certainly not very "inspiring" to those whose only exposure to the United States has been from Hollywood or the network news.

This message will likely be removed before many folks can see it, but hopefully, those that do will take my suggestion to try an "inspire" bicycle travelers, rather than scare the begeebees (Whatever begeebees are?) out of them.

Ride safe,

I completely agree with you. This seems to be the case of either a very small number of negative experiences that people feel necessary to warn the entire world about or media stereotypes just being regurgitated by those with little actual experience. These internet based communication systems are able to spread both good and bad information so much quicker and broader than any other means in our history.

Unfortunately when people generally have good experiences on tours, they seem to make less of a big deal of all the wonderful things that happened compared to even a single negative experience that sours an entire trip. EVERY trip I've taken has had negative things occur but nothing that couldn't be overcome and incorporated into the overall experience. That's just life whether on the road or at home.

Of course there are bears out there as well as people that have only their own gain in mind. In fact, there are MANY other things that could ruin a trip as well.

In my many touring experiences in the US and abroad over the past 3+ decades, I have only had wonderful interactions with others and it seems most wildlife is more wary of us than we need to worry about them...other than raccoons around developed campsites!

Having a reasonable understanding of where a tour may be taking you and taking reasonable precautions to mitigate risk are, well, reasonable. Unfortunately our society, these days, is not largely based in reason since that approach doesn't make headlines in this day and age of 30 second attention spans.

I doubt your post will be removed as it is not inflammatory in any way. You just point out what I've noticed for quite some time. I do believe the ACA continues to inspire myself and many others.

Enjoy the ride,

Peterberger Bike Adventures

Gear Talk / Re: No Stove
« on: March 30, 2013, 02:11:03 am »
Personally, I enjoy cooking on the road as part of the experience so I wouldn't even think of travelling without a stove.

That said, if the only reason you will take a stove is to boil water for coffee and you'll be buying all of your meals, it makes no sense to me to take the stove, fuel and pot.

You could play the "what if" game all day, but if you've already decided to only boil water for coffee and not use the stove for anything else, it isn't really needed.

Good luck and enjoy the ride,

General Discussion / Re: Re-entry rider
« on: February 27, 2013, 04:21:57 pm »
Very nice pump!  Oh yeah, the bike is a sweet rider as well...  ;D 


Routes / Re: Emergencies on paved rail-trails??
« on: January 24, 2013, 04:21:37 am »
Speaking as a park ranger and an EMT (and also a National Mountain Bike Patroller), all trails, paved or unpaved, should allow exceptions for emergency situations. Our community recently built a corridor trail linking the two largest cities in the county, and although it is specifically designed to keep ATVs and snowmobiles (as well as cars and trucks) off the trail, the barriers are removable in an emergency. The local fire departments and sheriff's rescue squad have ATVs set up for patient transport. The biggest issue with modern ambulances is their width. (No pun intended.) Most paved and gravel trails are 8 to 10 feet wide. So are most modular (box-style) ambulances.

A few years back, we had a rider thrown from a horse deep inside our park, with had a possible broken back. Our trails are all 8-foot wide gravel/natural surface. The duty ranger and the local fire department used ATVs to access her and transport her out to the waiting ambulance. I think most, if not all communities have plans for this kind of occurance when trails are built. There would probably be major liability issues if they did not do so.

Ride safe,

Backboarded on an ATV???

Gear Talk / Re: Help me accesorize my Surly LHT
« on: December 20, 2012, 03:18:27 am »
Fenders installed - easy once you've screwed it up once :)  Here is what my bike looks now, fully loaded.  Thanks everyone for their advice.  Now I will start bike touring Florida for the next 15 months and then do my Souther Tier route end of March, 2014.

love that color

Gear Talk / Re: shifters
« on: December 02, 2012, 03:27:38 am »
Hehehe...this sounds like the marketing KoolAid pushed by the bike component companies to replace perfectly functioning components to the non-racing majority of cyclists.

I'm not drinking...

You are absolutely right.  All modern bike components are nothing but an evil conspiracy by rapacious manufacturers to fool gullible riders into spending large amounts of money on things of no value.  You obviously see through their nefarious intent.

My response was to the "relative inaccessibility" remark. Do most people using down tube shifters put a box around them to reduce their access? It seems that many generations got along just fine with their relatively inaccessible down tube shifters.

I never said that other shifters have no value. Please try not to change my words to make a ridiculous point.

Gear Talk / Re: shifters
« on: December 01, 2012, 04:16:29 am »
I will say that I rather enjoyed using down tube shifters on my Southern Tier ride.  The simpler approach just seemed to fit with the minimalist approach I took for the trip in general.
OK, but isn't the Southern Tier about the flattest cross country route available?  The relative inaccessibility of downtube shifters isn't a handicap under those riding conditions.

Hehehe...this sounds like the marketing KoolAid pushed by the bike component companies to replace perfectly functioning components to the non-racing majority of cyclists.

I'm not drinking...


Routes / Re: Cycling in the U.K.
« on: November 22, 2012, 03:58:19 pm »
We spent a few weeks in Wales and England and used the Sustrans routes as  a guide. They strive for low to traffic-free routes but this means that you are often on tiny B roads that are more sheep habitat than roads. These are often easily bypassed by a slightly bigger road with light traffic.

If paper Sustrans maps aren't your thing and you will be using a Garmin GPS, Open Cycle Map sells the same routes preloaded on a microSD chip. If your GPS is compatible, you just need to plug the chip in and everything is available to you. Their prices and delivery are top notch. When I ordered mine, I was already in southern England at a B&B. Andy was delayed in mailing  it out so he took it to the post office and mailed it overnight, no extra charge. If you know anything about Royal Mail, you know that they aren't the most customer service oriented organization. I was able to pick up the package at the post office on the way to the train station the next morning as we headed out on day 1.


Gear Talk / Re: Brooks Saddle help
« on: November 22, 2012, 03:48:06 pm »
I agree that good quality shorts make a huge difference. That said, however, I spent a month touring Wales this past summer wearing a pair of merino wool boxer briefs and nylon shorts. My Brooks saddle was ridiculously comfortable with this setup.

As it was previously said, you have to find what works for you. On tours I prefer non-bike specific clothing since there is so much more to do than just ride. On daily rides,  I'll usually wear good cycling shorts as I tend to push harder on those rides and a little bit of padding is never a bad thing.

Of course, YMMV...


Gear Talk / Re: Help me accesorize my Surly LHT
« on: August 18, 2012, 02:13:17 am »
Mirror - it'll save your life.
Very low gearing ratios
Good luck I love my Surly LHT - just about to take into the hills of Wales  ;D

My wife and I just returned from a month touring those hills and more on our new LHTs!!!

To the OP...
If you get the medium sized Ortleib handlebar bag, just get the map case that goes with it. If you are carrying camping gear and riding solo, plan for front and rear bags. It's always nice to have room for groceries when camping is miles beyond the last store.

We chose the SKS thermoplastic? fenders and Tubus Cargo and Duo racks. The Duo is nice if you are packing and shipping your bike since they are small and independent.

Good call on checking with LBS on sizing. I've ridden 56 cm c-c road and touring bikes for over 30 years and ended up buying a 54 cm LHT with 26" wheels. The 56 was too stretched out to be comfortable very long.

Personally, I think the 700 vs 26 arguments are mostly blowing smoke, equivalent to mental masturbation. For most of us, touring will happen within easy reach of UPS/DHL/FedEx, not east of Ulan Bator, so replacement parts will be reasonably available in a short time. I'm using 2.0 Marathon Supremes and my wife still has the stock 1.6 Conti's on them.

Of course, YMMV.


Peterberger Bike Adventures

Gear Talk / Re: Tour Bike Gearing
« on: July 03, 2012, 12:28:19 pm »
My personal preferences and experiences lead me to recommend:

1. Your gearing cannot be too low. Even if you rarely use the lowest gears, your knees will thank you.  The high end tends to be ridiculously high in a touring set up. If I'm going that fast, it's time to coast!!!

2. 28 mm tires would be my absolute minimum size for touring and that would be only on a credit card tour. If you are self-supported, think 38+. Think tortoise, not hare when loaded down.

I ride slick 28s on my regular road bike on all sorts of roads, paved and unpaved, graded and double track trails. They handle all conditions well. For me to enjoy myself on a long tour however, comfort is paramount above all else. This has led me to put 50 mm tires on my current touring bike. They are plenty fast enough for a loaded bike that will likely see less than ideal conditions on tour.

Of course, YMMV.

Good luck and maybe we'll see you down the road,

Routes / Re: Help - Is there a safe route from Portland to the sea?
« on: June 26, 2012, 08:23:09 pm »
Pat, a thing to consider when deciding what route to "The Coast" to take is where on the coast do you want to start (or does it matter)? Each route out to the coast ends in a different place. If you really want to do the whole Oregon coast (a worthy endeavor), then you should choose one of the two routes that go to Astoria, either US 30 or 202/47/Banks-Vernonia (which I heartily recommend.) Astoria is a cool little town worth a visit.

If you are more pressed for time and/or don't mind skipping sections of the northern Oregon coast, then you should use 6/8 or another southerly route like Nestucca River Road.

If you go via the Nestucca, give me a shout. You'll go right by as you head through wine country.


Routes / Re: Help - Is there a safe route from Portland to the sea?
« on: June 26, 2012, 01:20:56 pm »
If you are still in the Portland area this Saturday, I'd be happy to drive you out to the coast.


I am sorry if this is an old topic - I am on tour, and only have a Kindle, and topic searches are torture.

Is there a reasonably safe bike route from Portland to the sea?  We were on the PCH tour.  The hub on my wife's bike required a real bikeshop, so we took AMTRAK from Centralia to Vancouver.  We are in the "now what mode ".  We really don't want to go back ul to Centralia (getting really bad vibes from there and just want to movenon.


General Discussion / Re: New Reality Show About Racing
« on: May 03, 2012, 01:29:02 pm »
First posts are always interesting... :-X

Routes / Re: Mexican Border to San Diego AMTRAK
« on: April 14, 2012, 06:01:10 pm »
+1 for the trolley.


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