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Messages - bobbys beard

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Routes / Re: Virginia
« on: May 25, 2014, 09:53:04 am »
haha, evey tourer has a story or two involving a hungry dog ;)

i tried many things, but the most frequently effective for me is to slow right down and sometimes even get off and walk for a bit (if it's an ankle nibbler), ignoring the barking maniac until it loses interest or more often than not, tries to become your best friend.

most blogs i've read tell you that pepper spray is the best solution. they're probably correct, but i'm not into causing animals pain and what if it's crazy gunslinging owner sees you spraying his hairy security guard?

General Discussion / Re: My First Tour (Need tips)
« on: May 25, 2014, 07:51:23 am »
which route do you plan on taking? i've ridden 180+ mile days on the atlantic coast where the roads can be flat and straight. but wouldn't relish attempting it on the pch, where the roads are often hilly and winding. if you go inland, it looks like you may have some very big climbs to get to LA which will slow you down and eat into precious daylight hours.

i don't mean to sound quite so negative and i'm sure it can be done if you have the stamina and a good  attitude, but i don't think even at my fittest i could do that in 2-3 days!

good luck :)

Gear Talk / Re: Fixing a shimano shifter.....
« on: April 05, 2014, 06:07:35 am »
thanks bogiesan, i had no idea they were getting rare!  well, the bike only needs to last another month doing 12 miles a day to work, so i don't want to buy anything if i don't have to.....

the shifter actually came off on the road a few days ago, and i had to ride home in the top gear!! so i took the plunge and broke the metal housing and was able to fix it kind of.  only problem i have now is the bolt often comes loose (i take a spanner with me to work) and the shifter doesn't spring back to position, meaning fast changes on hills are difficult, but hey it's still working!

Gear Talk / Re: Disc Trucker + Schwalbe Marathon Deluxe.. rim?
« on: April 05, 2014, 05:59:59 am »
as everyone has said... use the ones that came with the bike. they're decent tyres. i find it useful to swap over the front and back after a while to get more even wear out of them.

i found puncture resistant (very thick)  innertubes worked the best in texas. i got very few flats once i put those in. i'd recommend not getting self fixing inners in hot places as the heat seems to thin the glue so all it does is spit liquid out making it near impossible to fix even with a patch.

the width makes very little differnce to a tourer, as by the time you've got a bit of weight on the back they will be squashed much wider anyhow.

Gear Talk / Re: solo bike security
« on: April 05, 2014, 05:43:35 am »
i used to go into macdonalds for breakfast a lot to use the internet. almost all of them have a railing right next to the entrance which i locked the bike to and then sat near the window.

i kept a small shoulder bag at the top of my panniers with my most valuable items in which could easily be removed and taken with me, but as most people mentioned, there is very small risk in rural areas. even in the cities i left it unlocked at gas stations when i went inside.

never once had a problem in 5 months of touring in the states. i found that people i met on short tours tended to be quite paranoid about theft and safety, but you tend to chill out as you relax into life on the road. :)

and yes those pesky raccoons!! there's a reason they are dressed like cartoon bank robbers!! ;)

Gear Talk / Re: Fixing a shimano shifter.....
« on: March 27, 2014, 09:15:35 am »
it's a "st ef51 8r"  just a standard (cheap plastic) shimano thumb shifter. their is a bolt all the way through, but the ends of the bolts are housed by metal covers. if they weren't there, it would be easy to fix! wonder if i can just prise them off.....  can't put pics up right now.

Gear Talk / Fixing a shimano shifter.....
« on: March 27, 2014, 08:49:56 am »
Hi, my shimano shifter stick has become very loose, which is affecting the gear shifting. There is a bolt that holds the unit together, but i can't tighten it fully with a wrench or pliers because it's housed with a partial cover. Has anyone had this problem or know how to fix it? 

General Discussion / Re: Free camping on southern tier
« on: December 16, 2013, 08:13:44 am »
if you're used to searching out stealth camps then i think you'll have no problem.

as @staephj1 said, it's certainly much easier west of austin and occassionally you might be forced to free camp.

i went across in the summer when a lot of the desert areas were empty. the rv parks would usually let me camp and have a shower for free or at least very cheap. always lots of people wanting to help along that route :)

Routes / Re: Southern Tier timing and direction
« on: July 12, 2013, 05:28:07 am »
i agree with MrBent, the sun at your back makes for a more comfortable ride. apart from that, i didn't think the weather was a factor in which direction to choose....

you need to consider that the mountains might be quite cold and also if you start from san diego, you hit them straight away, whereas from the west the hills don't really begin until midway through texas, giving you some time to warm the legs up a bit :)

Routes / Re: A Brit in New Mexico
« on: May 20, 2013, 08:18:26 pm »
from one brit to another, i recommend you take a compass. saved me a lot of time on junctions without signage.

and yes,  it will no doubt be hot so make sure you carry plenty of water. 

enjoy :)

agreed with most of the others, this is far more of a budget than you'll need.

tools: i always take an allen key and swiss army knife. that's it.  this is all you need to change cables, tighten nuts and bolts, service brakes and gears etc etc. 

spares: you don't need a whole chain. you can buy individual chain links that just clip on without any tools. these are great and probably cost about a dollar over there.

the rest is down to preference i guess, but you can easily cut down on most of your list without even thinking about compromising quality.

...... so you have more money to spend on champagne and caviar when you start your trip :P

General Discussion / Re: Cycling Pants...
« on: May 15, 2013, 02:42:01 pm »
in the summer, i just wear a comfy pair of shorts. endura mtb cargo style shorts are really good if you want the best of both worlds.  they can be used with a clip on pad or worn without.

pads are down to preference. i don't tend to wear one and your butt gets used to it after a while.

for cold weather though, the full length lycra comes out :)

General Discussion / Re: Do we need to do any training?
« on: May 14, 2013, 08:52:50 am »
my first tour, i got baaaad butt sores! mine was caused by getting straight on a brand new saddle. it's similar to blisters you can get  from new shoes i guess :) 

General Discussion / Re: Bears
« on: May 14, 2013, 07:49:19 am »
i only encountered one bear in the states while stealth camping. i was in woods, less than 50 yds from the road and in georgia of all places! never expected to find bears in the south.

it was just walking through and probably wouldn't have stopped if i hadn't started making noise and shouting. it came over to take a look at me for what felt like forever, then calmly sloped back off into the woods. i slept in the same spot and had no more encounters all night.

i had a far scarier encounter with a coyote on a proper campsite in california though. it ended up ripping my rucksack to pieces and carrying off a bag of food i had in there. that was terrifying as i was in my tent just by it.

but the biggest problem of all was raccoons. they NEVER give up!!! :)

always a matter of personal opinion this subject. there's a guy on another thread who intends to take a chair with him.

i took a camelbak last time. i didn't use it for water, but it made a good day pack for days off the bike. you would get used to riding with a pack on, but it does get sweaty in the summer....

personally i think an air mattress is very unnecessary. i tend to take a rug for cowboy camping (nothing like sleeping under the stars) and some bubble wrap for under my sleeping bag on colder nights. i doubt you will have too many cold nights on your trip though.

water depends on services and heat. for one desert section of the southern tier in august, i took about 3 gallons. i like to have at least 3 quart bottles on me all the time. going thirsty can be dangerous and at the very least uncomfortable.

i do take a bike lock for urban areas. never bothered with bag locks though. noones ever stolen anything from me, but i hear it does happen. actually a raccoon once managed to open my ortliebs and steal some cookies.

to charge electronics, i checked into a motel or "proper" campsite every few days. it's a nice treat to look forward to a shower and some comfort too :)

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