Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.


Messages - jrswenberger

Pages: 1 ... 5 6 [7] 8
Gear Talk / Re: Buying a Bicycle from Europe
« on: April 01, 2012, 04:29:56 pm »
There are number of bicycles originating in Europe that match the type of touring models mentioned by DaveB, Thorn, etc.

In response to inquiry to Koala Bike Store, UK,, which advertises Cannondale, Jamis, Novara, etc at discount prices, I received the following reply,

"We do not accept paypal due to the inability of PayPal to confirm that an address is verified in their payment system.

Western Union is what other customers in your country have been paying and their items has been delivered without any problem."

Another reported receiving the following reply to his inquiry,

"we are unable to process all credit cards due to the problem we are currently facing with our credit card processor, our credit card processor developed issues because of large volume of order we are having at the moment due to the ongoing promo we are currently running to all our new and existing customers."

Again, it was requested funds be sent by Western Union.

I do not know if firm is legitimate or not, but the requests payment be sent by Western Union suggests caution.

Danger Will Robinson...

General Discussion / Re: Pacing on a long distance ride
« on: March 27, 2012, 12:42:34 pm »
For us, touring is typically about the journey more than the destination. Over many years, my average daily mileage has decreased from the 70's to a average target of about 60 miles per day. This allows for plenty of riding, stopping and lazy mornings. We make a point to stop every 1-2 hours for a 5-10 minute recharge break as well.

If there is a need to ride 80 - 100 miles in a day, we get up early, have a quick breakfast and get moving. But to do this regularly defeats our view of touring.

Of course, YMMV.


It's an easy and scenic bike ride south along the coast from B'ham too Highway 20 and then Anacortes is just a few miles west of there.
The coastal part is known as Chuckanut Drive.  Locals can direct you there easily.

Famous last words???

Seriously, this is a lovely and easy ride.


Gear Talk / Re: For CC Touring:Trek 1.2 or Surly LHT?
« on: March 13, 2012, 11:53:06 am »
Yes Joe B, the LBS that I use now could order the bike, but I wanted to ride one first and they did not stock any.   The shop where I purchased the bike had several and since my height was a "tweener", I rode a 56" and 54" to see which was the better fit.  The guy that sold me the bike had ridden to work on a LHT and had been on several long trips with it.   I couldn't get that and the advice at my LBS.  I still want to patronize the local, and will every chance I get, but I think I made the right call in this case.
Took the maiden voyage on the LHT today and I really, really like how it rides.  Very smooth.  Only did 27 miles, and of course unloaded except for a small rack bag, but she's a lot gentler on my body than the Trek 1.2.  The Surly is heavier, but for some reason I rode about .5 to 1 mph above my normal pace.   Love the bike!

I was in the same position recently. The Trek 560 I've been riding for 26 years is a 56 c-c and the 56 LHT was easily too big. The 54 fits like a glove. I only found this out by driving to a shop that actually stocks Surlys. It is a comfortable and predictable ride. I've been putting some miles on it through my daily commute and some longer weekend rides and I'm very happy with the purchase. Racks and fenders have been installed and my new Ortleibs arrive later this week. Time to hit the road!!!

Enjoy the ride,

General Discussion / Re: Long distance trip alone?
« on: March 12, 2012, 08:26:54 pm »
I use MEDS. Various bicycle events give them away for free.

I understand that medical personnel are trained to look for them.

Not to get too far off the topic, a registered nurse and a first responder, I've never even heard of this.


Gear Talk / Re: Tire recommendations
« on: March 12, 2012, 12:23:05 pm »
If you decide to start with fresh rubber...I've been test riding the 26x2.0 Schwalbe Supremes for the past couple of weeks on my new LHT. Although they feel a bit heavy on my daily commute, the weight isn't really too bad, give me a ton of confidence in their handling and I'm sure they're flat resistant enough (none so far!).

Since they are fairly big, I'd actually recommend the 26x1.6 size if you don't plan on riding loaded on gravel or dirt roads at least 50% of the time. Unless my opinion changes dramatically, I'll be putting the 1.6 Supremes on both mine and my wife's LHTs before our upcoming tour.


Routes / Re: Route Mileages
« on: March 01, 2012, 08:11:55 pm »
I think the best way is to ride your route and let us know the actual mileage!!!


Gear Talk / Re: Cycling Shorts vs. Padded Liners?
« on: February 29, 2012, 04:32:28 pm »
For me, the padding is irrelevant. My comfort is dictated by the elimination of seams along the inner thigh. Lycra bike shorts are designed this way, with or without padding. There are also a number of manufactures these days making shorts with a gusseted crotch that also removes the seams.

As always, YMMV.


General Discussion / Re: ACA Leadership Training course
« on: February 26, 2012, 12:07:20 am »
Thanks for your time and insights. I look forward to seeing you in Denver.


General Discussion / Re: how safe is it to ride in the US?
« on: February 22, 2012, 12:47:51 pm »
Many Europeans (I assume the OP is from Europe) view the US as still the "wild west" or as portrayed in gangster movies with bullet flying through the air at all times of the day and night and our population is all rednecks with oversize pickup trucks with gun racks.    It's a hard image to overcome until they actually come here.

sounds like my time in central Floriday...  ;)

Gear Talk / Re: thunder jug
« on: February 21, 2012, 05:27:41 pm »
I  used a foldable plastic Nalgene bottle for a tj in a liitle backyard campout a couple weeks ago.  It leaked a bit.  This is not a good thing.  Do you have a favorite? 100% reliable?  No joking around, now.

Sorry to say I had to Google "thunder jug"...  :o

General Discussion / Re: ACA Leadership Training course
« on: February 21, 2012, 04:00:51 pm »


Gear Talk / Re: Alcohol Stoves
« on: February 17, 2012, 05:09:00 pm »
You should have no difficulty finding Methylated Spirits in Wales. It's sold at hardware & DIY stores, larger supermarkets and some garages. Outdoor shops also sell it but usually at a premium.  Trangia's are very popular with Scout & youth groups due to the safety factor and their general rugged/foolproof nature.

On the same subject I'll be touring in Arizona & Utah later in the year, is stove alcohol easy to find there ?

During my last US trip I was burning Heet (yellow bottle) in Washington & Oregon, but it became hard to find in California. Is it readily available at gas stations in the south west ? If not, what alternatives are available ?

Heet is easy to find here in Oregon and many gas stations and hardware stores carry it. Liter sized bottles of denatured alcohol are also fairly easy to get in hardware and home improvement stores, even smaller, more general stores that carry a bit of everything will likely have alcohol if they sell paint.


Gear Talk / Re: Alcohol Stoves
« on: February 13, 2012, 01:46:57 pm »
re: alcohol stoves / tour of Wales
I am a seasoned long distance cyclist having used a number of varieties of heating apparati (including my long lost and missed Svea123).  What I have encountered number of times in North America is the challenge of finding the right fuel, esp if you are using a screw-on cannister.

In planning a three month tour of the back hills and Highlands of Scotland (where I rightly figured towns of any size would be as hard to find as towns of any size in southern Saskatchewan),  I did not want to run into troubles with lack of fuel, so decided to go as minimalist as possible and trust that methyl hydrate would be easy to find in the British Isles.  I hunch this may be true for Wales as well.

I took with me only a Turbo Cat 11 home made alcohol stove.  It was light, durable, incredibly adjustable in terms of boiling and simmering (up to 25 minutes of simmer on 1 oz fuel) and cost about 50c for a bit of JB weld.  The issue for the person wishing to .  I actually spent hundreds of hours making and testing about 25 different models on my days off from websites.  My kids thought I was nuts as supper was cooking on a different stove every other time they came home. 

Guess what?  It was hard to find methyl hydrate.  What they had instead was something called 'meths' which they often had hidden behind the counter because people were getting really sick from drinking it.  go figure.  Anyway, it is there, comes in handy 1ltr bottles, it is purple, it stinks and burns less cleanly than MHydrate, leaving a bit of a dark film on your pots.  But it works!

On the other hand, unlike a lot of places in rural Canada and US, you can always find disposable cannisters for portable stoves.  My issue with them is that they are non-recyclable, weighty and you need to carry two or more with you in case you run out.  The meths, while not perfect, is a better bet ecologically and in terms of weight and reliability.

I encourage you to make one, or test out a few, The granddaddy site for alcohol stoves is at... (you'll find the Turbo Cat 11 on there)

or buy one from a reliable maker such as

If you make one, be sure to add a simmer ring and a stand (you can find a model for stand online.  I made mine from three bike spokes) as well as a wind screen.  Good luck.  Happy cooking.

Thanks Jamhat,
In addition to the Trangia, I have a few Supercats, soda can penny designs and other homebrew alcohol stoves as well. I used to work with a woman who had 5 or 6 cats so I had a ready supply of raw stove making materials.  ;) 

During the next few months, I'll be toting one of these stoves and a small pot on my day rides and overnights to give them a thorough testing. It's good to know that meths are widely available in the UK, for the asking. I've never understood why the blackening of cook pots causes so much heartburn in people...I've backpacked and cycle camped for much of my life and cooked over every type of fire. Pots get sooty, you either clean them or not. Stuff sacks keep the soot off of everything else.

In the next few years, my wife and I intend to take a year off and cycle around the world. We plan to visit a number of remote locations so fuel choice will be even more of an issue. MSR has recently released a reengineered WhisperLite Universal that will burn not only most liquid fuels but also cannisters as well. Although it's a bit pricey, but having the ability to burn most anything available has a certain draw.

Good luck on future tours,

Gear Talk / Re: removing tabs on fork
« on: February 10, 2012, 01:12:24 am »
I still ride the same 3 bikes I bought in the mid-80's. They all came with cromoly forks and no lawyer lips. Together, they've probably logged 10-20k miles on the roof rack. I've used Thule, Yakima and Rocky Mounts fork mounts. I've never had a fork blade even work itself loose.

I wonder if the people having trouble with roof mounted fork mounts are the same ones having trouble mounting their wheels in the dropouts properly...leading to the over-abundance of lawyer lips.


Pages: 1 ... 5 6 [7] 8