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Messages - Rep

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Routes / Minnesota Circle tour on the Northern Tier - traffic
« on: June 07, 2011, 08:52:23 am »
I am thinking of purchasing maps 5 & 6 from the Northern Tier and creating a circle tour of central & northern MN.  The description does indicate heavy traffic as you approach Grand Rapids.  How heavy is that, and, for how many miles?  And, how good is the shoulder?

BTW - I live just east of Osceola, WI and can jump on the NT at Osceola.  Anybody needing a stop for a day or so should contact me.

General Discussion / Re: High Visibility - Always Good or Not?
« on: May 31, 2011, 07:51:46 pm »
I run a PBS tail and a Fenix flashlight on strobe mode and high vis vest at all times when riding in the country.  That comes from surviving a hit from the rear by a car at 35 MPH.  Never enough options to be seen IMHO.

Routes / Re: Getting Across The Desert
« on: January 28, 2011, 09:40:15 am »
I have had great service from Wayne over at The Touring Store.  I have outfitted my LHT with Tubus and Ortlieb.

Routes / Re: On the Northern Tier - From Washinton heading east....
« on: January 15, 2011, 10:20:43 am »
Great ideas and thanks for them folks.

Fred - This would be my fifth time out.  I am a 61 year old former smoker, free for almost four years.  I can spend many hours in the saddle.  I plod at 12 MPH and can easily average 60 - 70 miles a day.  I have completed one century fully loaded, but that is the limit.  I would do centuries on the plains if needed, but no longer need to meet that goal in life.  Been there.

It is the slogging upwards in the mountains I have no experience with and would like to get a handle on that.  Your suggested 35 miles increasing to 60 is useful.  I will be in touring shape at the start.

commuter - I am about 60 miles east of you in west central Wisconsin.  Like you, there are no mountains near here for me to test my long climbing style.  (BTW- My daughter attends Hamline University in St. Paul.)  Your idea of jumping on the train is great.  I will be under some sort of timeline and already know that 3 to 3 and a half weeks for the total trip, out, a night or two with my brother, the ride and the return transport is allotted time.

indyfabz & johnsondasw - Your comments lead me to believe that the ACA maps suggested by Fred would round out many of my questions relating to overnights and supplies etc.  From there, figuring out when I could jump an Amtrak home should allow me to flesh out a trip itinerary.

Routes / On the Northern Tier - From Washinton heading east....
« on: January 11, 2011, 10:15:49 pm »
I am beginning to plan my tour beginning in Silverdale, WA heading back to Wisconsin riding a section of the Washington Parks, then the Northern Tier.  I am trying to get a handle on the time it will take.  I have some basic and preliminary questions and if you could assist me it would be greatly appreciated.

In General, how long does it take an average tourist to travel from the coast to Cut Bank, MT?  Are we talking three weeks, two weeks? 

Routes / Re: natchez trace parkway
« on: September 22, 2010, 12:14:57 am »
I am interested in a self contained tour of the Natchez Trace.  I would begin at the northern end and head south to the end.  I would travel in February.  Would that be a problem for camping at that time of the year?

Gear Talk / Re: Packing Thermarest
« on: July 18, 2010, 10:47:23 pm »
For my sleeping bag I use a waterproof compression sack.  I purchased mine at REI.

General Discussion / Re: General Question
« on: May 06, 2010, 11:23:57 pm »
Check with your states Dept of Transportation or ask at your LBS for bike maps for your state.  These maps may provide you color coded routes based on traffic volume and other factors.

I have a tan 20" Safari that is for sale.  I moved over to a Surly LHT as I am only interested in touring on roads.  I also could never get the fit dialed in for me.

Let me know if you are interested.

Gear Talk / Re: Front Rack for Novara Safari
« on: April 21, 2010, 09:36:25 pm »
Any other Safari riders out there have their bike fully racked? I have been using a bob and rear rack only but am now looking a front rack. I have tried the blackburn - which I had on two previous touring bikes, but it did not exactly fit very well.

Any other makes models you have found which work?

I have the Tubus Tara low rider.  It works very well with the BOB I pull.  Call Wayne over at The Touring Store for help.

Gear Talk / Re: Bob Trailer and Panniers?
« on: March 24, 2010, 06:37:38 pm »
I have used a bob trailer for my previous two tours, and I am planning on using it again this summer. In the past, i have wound up backpack containing a few additional items bungeed to the top of the bob. I am not maxing out the capacity of the bob bag or anything, there are just certain things I like being able to get to a little easier and they won't fit in my handlebar bag. ...

As far as the first part of the post, I have a partial solution.

I run with a BOB as well as front panniers.

Within both systems I use colored nylon bags for packing all gear and supplies.  I use a color coded system and it works very well.  Then, BOB and panniers are packed by general time of use.

Classifieds / Re: 2009 Surly Long Haul Trucker FOR SALE (Ridden 5 times)
« on: August 09, 2009, 10:16:55 pm »
The only reason I am having to sell it is due to some life changing circumstances.  It's a great bike.  My roommate and I did a lot of research on the "perfect" bike to go long distance.  Some facts for you!

Color: Olive Green
Factory Replacements/Additions:
Cinelli Gel Cork Road Bicycle Handlebar Tape- Real Cork compound; sweat resistant, shock absorbent, and non-slip
Replaced factory linear pull brakes with PAUL Neo-retro Brakes (a staple brake in bike touring)
Replaced factory seat with a BROOKS English Leather Saddle (B17) (another staple in bike touring)
Size: 60 cm (I'm 6'2'')
Wheel Size: 700c wheels
9- Speed, Shimano Shift Levers
Front Derailleur: Shimano Tiagra
Rear Derailleur: Shimano XT
Cassette: Shimano Deore

If you're interested, shoot me an

Where do you live?

Gear Talk / Re: Bicycle Head Light ?
« on: August 03, 2009, 11:30:33 pm »

What batteries does this take, and how long do you get out of them?

The batteries are an 18650.  I only use them on strobe, day or night and they last several hours.

My next purchase though would be a charger that charges at a faster rate.

The lights are great but you are adding weight with extra batteries.  To me, that is no problem though.

Gear Talk / Re: Bicycle Head Light ?
« on: July 16, 2009, 12:46:15 am »
With all due respect to our host, I hope it is not too rude to send one to another site for a specific purpose.

Examine the, "Electronics, Lighting, & Gadgets" forum over at:  Bike Forums,

You will gain much information.  I gravitated to a P7 flashlight and am very happy with the decision.   In fact, I just ordered a third set as my wife bought a new bike this afternoon and I want her set up.

I run a light whenever I leave my driveway.  Just like the car I drive turns its headlight on so the car is seen by others, I now do the same with my bike.

Routes / Sioux Falls, South Dakota - to West Central Wisconsin
« on: June 28, 2009, 11:47:39 pm »
I have a friend that has some business to attend to next week in the Rosebud area of South Dakota.  I may go along for the ride and get dropped off on the way back somewhere east of Sioux Falls.  This would give me an opportunity for a short tour.

I have only traveled from Eau Claire Wisconsin to Sioux Falls using the Interstate.  Anybody have comments on the availability of safe paved routes in the area?

I would like to reenter Wisconsin at Red Wing, MN or Wabasha, MN.


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