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Messages - staehpj1

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Gear Talk / Re: What have you taken on tour and later wished you hadn't?
« on: January 26, 2024, 10:20:39 am »
How about first aid kits?  I know a lot of people don't carry them.  And it is a piece of gear that in all probability you won't need on your trip.  On the other hand, if you do need it you'll need it badly.

I carry one of these augmented with some more roller gauze:
By the time you need it badly you probably need outside assistance or more than any of the little kits contain.   The kits are really not going to be much help in a real life threatening situation with the exception someone having a need for an epi pen or needing bleeding stopped.  The kits don't contain an epi pen unless you add it and stopping bleeding can be done with stuff you have on hand and then you want outside assistance.  If we are talking about road touring that is typically pretty readily available.

I have carried an approximately 2 ounce kit that contains:
  • 12 ibuprofen
  • 12 benedryl
  • 4 large gauze pads
  • a few bandaids
  • several sheets of steri strips
  • some duct tape

I'd add an epi pen if someone had a particular need.  Splints, tourniquets, or major dressings can be improvised in an extreme case, but outside help is likely going to be critical.

I consider my little kit, mostly a comfort item more than a real get out of trouble item.  I really doubt it would be a lifesaving item other than  maybe the benedryl or possibly the duct tape.

Gear Talk / Re: What have you taken on tour and later wished you hadn't?
« on: January 24, 2024, 10:45:25 am »
All of this should be checked before you go, why run on a rotor or pads that's half worn out? Replace it before you go, or start a trip on a half or even just a quarter worn out chain? be safe and replace it before you go.  Same with cables, if the cables haven't been replaced in a while just replace them so their new at the start of the trip.  Eliminate things that can go wrong before you go, then once underway do a pre trip inspection before the start of every ride, checking for stuff, making sure bolts are tight, the chain has been wiped down and new lube applied if needed, etc.  A pre trip should only take 10 minutes at tops, most people do post trips and not pre trips, I do post trips because I'll arrive at a campsite before 2 in the afternoon, I have the time after I set up camp, but the morning I just want to pack and go and leave as early as I can and not fool around with checking stuff.
I at some point stopped treating a tour even a multi month one as a reasong to start with all new stuff.  I started just changing consumable stuff like tires, chains, and brake pads when they are due even if that is mid tour.  Why?  Because I never used the half worn stuff again.  Chains and tires are not that cheap to throw away when the have half of their life left and that is what I would be doing if I swapped them before a tour.  They'd wind up never getting used again.

I can see the logic in starting with fresh consumable type parts if that makes sense to you, but I quit that quite a while ago and have not regretted it.

I am thinking of the more "established" Farmers Markets, i.e. the one's that are held every saturday April thru Sept at X location.  Granted, these are usually in medium to larger towns (which I tend to avoid if possible).
I think I actually have managed to hit one of those because it was on the map, but it seems that I am likely to go by them the wrong days if at all.

That said, I LOVE the roadside stands but as you noted, hard to research of course. Again, where does one  draw the line.
They do range from big and well established to little and impromptu.  I recall one outside Riggins ID that I think mught have been on the AC map (not sure).  It was great!  lots of variety of fruits and stuff like venison and elk jerky.  In a way the location was unfortunate though.  We wound up buying and hauling extra produce over Whitebird Hill.  We wanted to have Idaho potatoes while we were there so we bought some.  I can't imagine a much stupider purchase than potatoes to haul over a tough climb like that in scorching heat.

Fresh produce was often scarce, but farmers markets and roadside produce stands being on the maps probably wouldn't be all that helpful so they didn't make my top 5.  It seems that they were few and far between and more often closed than not with limited hours.

Things like roadside barbecue stands and events with local food seemed to similarly be misses for us on tour.  They were places we'd like to stop, but seldom open at the right time.

Routes / Re: Trans Am Rockies Camping - Bears?
« on: December 10, 2023, 08:45:25 am »
I remember much better reviews years ago.  I wonder if the product has gone downhill?  From what I have read, I'd definitely use the scent proof bags (opsak) with it if I did buy one.

Routes / Re: Trans Am Rockies Camping - Bears?
« on: December 08, 2023, 04:29:39 pm »
My question is whether people bring canisters on the TransAm route.  Any thoughts?  Sounds like you hang food still as a tactic, where allowed by the park in question?
I did the route in 2007, but I would think my experience still applies.  I ran across only one guy that was carrying a canister.

We hung food and other scented stuff only where the risk seemed to require it.  So a lot of the time food wasn't hung.  You can tell a lot by the type and condition of the trash recepticles.  Also ask camp hosts or rangers if there are problems.  At times raccoons and other critters may be an issue so bears are not the only problem.

All in all we didn't have much trouble.  We were careless and lost some food to racoons in a spot where there were poles specifically designed for hanging food from.  Somehow we missed them and lost some food.  We had a crow get into a handlebar bag abd get some jerky and had mice run the line food was hung from and chew into some causing minor loss.  Overall we had very little trouble on that of any other tours.

Routes / Re: Trans Am Rockies Camping - Bears?
« on: December 08, 2023, 01:01:41 pm »
The parks that have canister requirements had bear lockers so no canister requirement.  We did manage without taking our canister, but we hung food in some places.

General Discussion / Re: Traditional Trans America group tour
« on: November 14, 2023, 06:29:25 am »
Jamawani presents and interesting thought of self-contained touring is a thing of the past; all the ACA tours in 2024 over 15 days are van-supported.
Maybe most of the folks going that far self contained are going unguided so there isn't enough demand for the ACA to schedule them.

Personally I think I might find it hard to be on someone else's schedule day in and day out for a trip much more than 2 weeks.  It can be a little challenging to keep 2 or 3 people together and on good terms day in and day out.  I'd think a larger group would be harder.  I've never done a guided tour though so I don't speak from experience on that.

General Discussion / Re: Traditional Trans America group tour
« on: November 11, 2023, 09:04:47 am »
On the other hand, it is a beautiful route with great diversity.  I respect the tradition.  And it was the last self-supported epic tour.  I’m glad I did it, but I wouldn’t do it again.
I still consider it the premier route, but I am an old fogey.

Routes / Re: 3-4 month USA 2024
« on: September 15, 2023, 09:23:26 am »
First comment: Switching from roads (say, Kentucky or Ohio to Colorado) to the Great Divide means you're either overbiked (mountain bike with twice the drag) on the roads, or underbiked on the Great Divide (hope you brought good walking shoes).  Although if you start out on the C&O in April, that might be a good thing.
Swapping tires or even wheels could manage that fairly well, but switching bikes wouldn't be out of the question.  Having one shipped to you and another shipped home would be doable.  I could see a gravel or even mountain bike managing it all pretty well especially with a tire or wheel swap, but even without a gravel bike could straight up be okay.

OTOH, I was surprised how little I minded full knobbies on the road when I did a mixed surface tour and ran tires with lots of low small knobs.  In that case it was 26"X2.1" Kenda Slant Six tires.

Routes / Re: Dogs on the Southern Tier Route
« on: August 21, 2023, 05:46:30 pm »
What areas on the Southern Tier are known for having a lot of dogs? I keep hearing all these stories and wondering if they are mostly true. Is it really that bad?

Southern Tier?  No not bad.  I don't recall being chased much.

Gear Talk / Re: Endurance bike advice
« on: August 21, 2023, 09:11:04 am »
I read that the average lifespan of a road bike is 5-10 years. Is that true? And are there ways to increase the lifespan?
I have a couple 30 year old bikes that I still ride and like.  One is a road bike and it has at least 100K miles on it.  Most of the original components are still okay other than some wear items.  Obviously it has been through lots of tires, some chains, and several sets of brake pads.  A front deraileur broke and was replaced.  Cables were replaced as needed.  It has also worn out rims and jockey wheels, but most of the other stuff is okay.  Even the original rings and cogs are in good shape, but to be fair there have been different clusters and rings on the bike so they do not have all of that mileage on any one set.  The fork isn't original, but that was due to a crash.

Take care of it and it will last a long time.

General Discussion / Re: Boxed Bike on Delta Airlines
« on: July 11, 2023, 04:03:03 pm »
I question why you would even want to pack anything extra in the bike box. If touring, I can’t seem to avoid a checked bag anyway, and that checked bag doesn’t get close to 50 pounds. I don’t even put the saddle and pedals in the bike box.

The TSA has never failed to open my bike box, and it’s never been when I was present.
I mostly agree.  I never put gear or clothing in the box when packing the bike in a cardboard box.  I did pack everything in a soft case only when travelling light enough that the all my gear fit in with the bike.  It was quite nice having only one piece of luggage to lug around.

General Discussion / Re: Boxed Bike on Delta Airlines
« on: July 11, 2023, 09:36:13 am »
The issue is that calling might yield one answer thar could differ from what you experience "on the ground."
So true.  Results can differ depending on the gate agent, but I have never had them refuse my bike.  The biggest thing I'd say is be sure it meets weight and dimensional limits.

For a long time I tried to just have the bike and little seat wedge with some tools and repair stuff in the box.  In one case the TSA opened the seat wedge dumped out the contents.  They then ripped out the stiffener of the bag, I guess to see if amything was hidden there, or maybe just to be jerks.  All the stuff from the bag was loose in the box.

I have more recently (since I started packing really light) packed all of my gear in the bike bag camping gear and all.  That was with a soft case and UL gear made keeping it all under 50# possible.  There was no sign they even opened it on either leg of the trips (two trips packed that way definitely were with delta).   It was really nice to have just one checked bag with a shoulder strap.  I did also have a little personal item sized backpack but could have gone without it.

I have generally attached pedals and so on with cable ties so they didn't get separated from the bike.

The majority of the time I don't think my box has been opened.

None of that was recent.  Also any problems were I had TSA related and happened after the bike was checked and out of my sight and really had nothing to do with the airline.  The gate agent just asked if it was a bike and weighed it.  Usually they didn't measure it, but I wouldn't count on that.

Gear Talk / Re: removing tubeless tire used with a tube
« on: June 22, 2023, 07:06:49 am »
<<convert it to tubeless>>
Here's a vote for- DO NOT DO THIS

I ran road tubeless for a while and I would still be doing it if I were a pro racer and someone else were maintaining my wheels.  The balance of screwing around with it versus probable gains just sagged towards the 'screwing around with it' side.

On a tour, I find flats to be a minor nuisance.  With tubeless, they would be an opportunity to polish your profanity.

My experience was also that the air pressure leaked down about twice as fast in the tubeless vs tubed wheels.

This being the ACA forum, others' experience will differ.
For what it is worth, touring in the west in goat head thorn country I got a lot of flats with tubes.  So did the folks I rode with.

My experience with tubeless is with my mountain bike, but I went from weekly flats on my daily ride to no flats when I went tubeless.  My next new wheel buy or build for touring will definitely be tubeless.

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