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Messages - Bicycle Rider

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Gear Talk / Re: sleeping bag
« on: August 26, 2011, 02:11:45 pm »
If you're more concerned about the product than the cost...

Pros: Compresses smaller and is a little lighter for the same weight/temperature range.
Cons: Requires special cleaning, does not insulate well when wet (if at all).

Pro: Easier to care for, doesn't lose as much of it's ability to insulate when wet.
Cons: Slightly heavier than down for the same weight/temperature range, doesn't compress as small as similar down bag.

Ask yourself:
"Are you camping outside or do you intend to use shelter (tent, bivouac, etc.)?"
"How important is weight and how much room do you have to pack it?"
"Will the bag require frequent cleaning (either from you or outside elements like dirt)?"

Another factor to consider is what kind of temperature range will you be encountering? A low temperature bag will be uncomfortable in warmer weather, but a warm weather bag could be dangerous if the temperature should drop too far below it's range. Some bags are designed so they can be used in different temperature ranges. Either they have more insulation on one side than the other or the down can be shifted from one side to the other to accommodate the expected temperatures. These are very useful if you expect a large change during your tour, either because of it's length (change of season) or terrain (elevation, climate zones and so on).

I hope this helps

Gear Talk / Re: DEET dissolves helmets
« on: August 26, 2011, 01:48:31 pm »
Neither does acetone or methylene chloride, but I wouldn't spread either of them on my skin either! :o

Routes / Bikable roads from Louisiana to Denton TX
« on: August 26, 2011, 01:38:04 pm »
Any recommendations for U.S. or State highways, roads or cities/towns I might use or should avoid, please post suggestions here. My journey will be a self contained combination of camping and motel (I prefer camping). I hope to enter Texas (ideally) somewhere in the area around the I-20 corridor.

From Denton I plan to connect to Historic Rt. 66. Is U.S. 287 an OK road to use?

Thanks :)

Routes / Crossing Mississippi (East to west)
« on: August 26, 2011, 01:19:34 pm »
I need advice on crossing the state of Mississippi from the east to west. Because of my ultimate plans I cannot wander too far south of Interstate 20. Any recommendations for U.S. or State highways, roads or cities/towns I might use or should avoid, please post suggestions here. My journey will be a self contained combination of camping and motel (I prefer camping).

Thank you for y'alls help :)

Routes / Bikable roads (westbound) from Anniston to Mississippi
« on: August 26, 2011, 01:16:29 pm »
I need recommendations for building an east to west route crossing Alabama from Anniston (west end of the Chief Ladiga Rail/Trail), to the Mississippi line. Because of my final destination, I cannot wander too far South than Interstate 20. Any recommendations for U.S. or State highways, roads or cities/towns I might use or should avoid, please post suggestions here. My journey will be a self contained combination of camping and motel (I preffer camping)

The A.C.A. Southern Tier is not an option, as it will add over 8 days to my journey.

Routes / Re: Need help planning route through "the land of cotton".
« on: August 26, 2011, 01:00:54 pm »
OK, here is what I have come up with so far. From the TWO recommendations I have received, I'm thinking that, because of the time of my leaving, using a southwestern route toward and around Atlanta and then taking the Silver Comet/Chief Ladiga rail/trail to Anniston, Alabama is my best choice. Although the Natchez trace will take me further west (half way across Mississippi as opposed to the eastern half of Alabama), the only way I could possibly reach it would be to cross the Blue Ridge Mountains. Undoubtedly a very beautiful route, but not very practical for late winter (I'm leaving the first week of March)! :o

I am also waiting for a map of state bicycle routes from the Louisiana DOT. These are actual roads, chosen for their "bikability" according to traffic volume, shoulders, and so on. And they are rated as such. That leaves me with western Alabama, Mississippi, and eastern Texas as far as Denton left to plan; and perhaps the 200 miles up to historic Route 66 which will take me the rest of the way to Los Angeles. Since this thread seems to have died in childbirth, I am going to start three new ones, one for each state.

And before you say it, the A.C.A. Southern Tier is NOT an option. Using it would add at least 8-10 days to my journey. I need to be in Paso Robles, CA by Thursday before Memorial Day weekend to be in time for the Great Western Bicycle Rally. This includes stops at my Daughter's house in Denton, my brother's in El Lay, and any layovers as required.

South / Re: Off southern tier in LA
« on: August 23, 2011, 02:30:12 pm »
Thanks for that link, Jenn, I downloaded it myself. I don't suppose you know of any more for Goergia, Mississippi, Alabama and/or Texas, do you? :)

Gear Talk / Re: Alcohol Stoves
« on: August 23, 2011, 01:31:36 pm »
They now have a new, lightweight alternative to carrying extra pounds opf water. It's called instant H20. All you have to do is add water and presto. There it is.
Yes, I've seen it advertised as "Dehydrated Water".  It's very light and packs in a small space.
I just pack the hydrogen. Incredible light, and when you burn it for the heat you can also collect the H2O for cooking!

Gear Talk / Re: Alcohol Stoves
« on: August 23, 2011, 01:28:08 pm »
I will never understand this fascination with boiling water. 

I do not eat boiled water.  I eat food--lots of rice and pasta, and I like it with chicken or salmon.  I like alcohol stoves as the heat output is just about perfect for cooking food.  While a Trangia is on the heavy side of alcohol stoves, it solidly built and will last forever.  There is also a simmer ring that will drop the heat output even more and is just right for warming sauces.  A Trangia will still be lighter than any white gas or isobutane stove.

A Swedish brass Trangia holds 3 ounces of fuel.  A Tatonka is German nock-off made of stainless steel witha 4 ounce fuel reservoir.  I hear that Tatonka are slower to heat up, because of the larger fuel reservoir and the inferior thermal properties of stainless steel.  Evernew also makes a titanium nock-off that holds 2 ounces of fuel, but does not come with a simmer ring.

I switched over to a Trangia from an MSR Whisperlite International.  After seeing my set up, a buddy also switched to a Trangia from an MSR Dragonfly.

Just out of curiosity, how do you eat your pasta and rice? Raw? Or have you found a way to prepare it without boiling water? ;D :D

Bike Clubs / any NON-racing clubs/groups in South Carolina?
« on: August 23, 2011, 01:07:08 pm »
the only ones I have found seem to be incapable of riding slower than 17 miles an hour! >:( :'(

I live in the Piedmont region about 40 miles north of Columbia.

South Atlantic / Re: Best [bicycling] roads from Asheville to Nashville
« on: August 23, 2011, 12:58:42 pm »
Thanks. I printed that out, and I will check the link as well. The Natchez Trace is a very tempting route as it's scenic, bike friendly, mapped, and will take me 400+ miles all the way into the center of Mississippi. The problem with the Southern Tier route is it goes way too far out of me way. I need to get to Denton TX (a suburb north of Dallas) and L.A., not Houston and San Diego! Now the suggestion of the SilverComet/Ladiga trail route is nice too, but it only takes me from Atlanta GA. to Anniston AL. Do you know of a good route to bike from Alabama to Dallas? Or better yet, a way to catch the Trace further south? If you do, please let me know. I understand your recommendations; I don't exactly relish the thought of having to cross the Blue Ridge Mountains in early March myself.

Routes / Re: Shelf life of A.C.A. maps
« on: August 23, 2011, 12:50:00 pm »
I would say that maps up to five or six years old are probably quite usable. Just mark them up with changes from the addenda. If your maps are older than that, you probably want to get newer ones. I did the TransAm with a couple using 1984 maps. We often found ourselves doing different routes, and they usually had to consult my maps for services. But they got across anyway.

great. Then i can get the sections I want and use them for initial planning. Can they be uploaded to a PC or are they just available for GPS and "analog" (paper maps)?

Gear Talk / Re: Your Portable Repair Kit - What's Inside?!
« on: August 23, 2011, 12:36:19 pm »
On all rides I carry:

On the bike:
  • A pump (full size, works great on dogs as well as tires ::) )
  • Spare spoke (one size fits both the front and rear wheel, both sides (a little "Macgyverism" of mine  ;D )!

In a small wedge shaped pack nestled in the rear triangle:
  • Spare tube
  • Patch kit
  • Wide jaw 6" crescent wrench
  • "Swiss Biker's Knife" which has an Allen set (2-6mm) Phillips and slotted screwdriver
  • Tiny chain tool (about 1/3 the size of a disposable lighter) works with an Allen key and the crescent wrench.
  • Spare chain link and a few "quick release" links.

The latter two fit inside the patch kit box, and with these tools I can repair 85%-90% of the bike. For longer tours (over a week), I also carry;

  • Spanners for headset and BB.
  • Cone wrenches.
  • Misc spare parts (folding tire, bearing cones, balls, more than just one spare chain link, cables.)
  • Small containers of lubricants (White Lightning and waterproof grease)

With these additions I can repair the entire bicycle.

This is why I stubbornly hang on to older technology; it is user serviceable. I even use the old style UniGlide cog sets, These let me remove the cogs without any tools to get at a broken spoke on the chain side. Also, if a cog wears I can also reverse it and get a few thousand more miles of use out of it. I dare any of you to try either of those with the newer one piece cog sets with their "handicap ramps".

IMO, the newer "no need for maintainance" s**t has only one purpose: Not to make thing easier for us, but to make more money for the manufacturers. With simple maintainance the old stuff will last longer (because it is getting maintainance. The new stuff forces you to use it until it wears out. Then pray the more expen$ive replacement will still be compatable with the thirteen other things it is supposed to work with. Otherwise you will have to replace them a$$$$ well.  >:(

~End of rant~ ;D

That's what it is made for. I would like to add that in addition to the necessary pre ride checks mentioned above, you may wish to carry a few replacement parts, like bearing balls and cups for hubs, for example. This is actually an advantage your bike has over newer machines: It's user servicable. Blow a bearing on one of the newer hubs and you are [fornicated] unless you happen to be near a bike shop that carries replacements. :o

South Atlantic / Best [bicycling] roads from Asheville to Nashville
« on: August 21, 2011, 10:47:25 pm »
Asheville area, actually.

I know how to get as far as Hendersonville, if Asheville itself is an area to be avoided.  I will also be riding self contained, Camping is an option as I will be equipped for it. My goal is the Natchez Trace parkway.

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