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Messages - BikeFreak

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Gear Talk / Re: Your Portable Repair Kit - What's Inside?!
« on: October 30, 2011, 05:30:55 pm »

  • Tiny chain tool (about 1/3 the size of a disposable lighter) works with an Allen key and the crescent wrench.

Could you please provide some more information on that tiny chain tool.

Thanks in advance,


General Discussion / Weather maps
« on: October 30, 2011, 04:50:44 pm »

As I will be doing Transamerica + Sierra Cascades summer 2012 I was shocked to see how hot it gets on the Sierra Cascades already in Northern CA. Hence, could somebody share a link to some nice US average weather maps (temperature, high/low for each month) to better understand the regions I will be passing.

Thanks in advance,


Gear Talk / Re: Tents
« on: October 29, 2011, 01:30:04 am »
My main worries are:


The rest is secondary.


Gear Talk / Re: Rear hubs - Phil Wood and Chris King
« on: October 26, 2011, 11:33:24 am »

Phil Woods hubs have an excellent reputation but repairs in the event of early failure require special tools just like your experience with CK hubs and not every Podunk shop will have them.

This is simply not true. You only need two 5 mm allen wrenches to disassemble the hub. This is even simpler than White Industries hubs. If you go to their webpage you will be able to download a document showing how easy it is to service the hubs.

I have Phil hubs myself. So far they have done approx 10000 mi on a loaded touring bike. They run like the 1st day and there is absolutely no reason to service them. They are absolutely bombproof. These hubs are extremely robust, but for comparison the rear hub weighs more than 1 pound.


Routes / Re: Southern Tier - Oct 2012 Questions about maps and route
« on: October 21, 2011, 12:56:58 am »
I would say that the Southern Tier is a pretty fast route coast to coast ... the route is fairly straight. The mapping department has done a great job in picking out the quiet routes. If you try to make short cuts you might run into heavy traffic especially because state maps don't show the small idyllic county roads. I would stick to the original route and pedal faster.


Routes / Re: Southern Tier favorite section? Advice needed!
« on: October 21, 2011, 12:47:17 am »
In ranking order:

1. New Mexico (especially the Gila Cliff Dwellings)
2. Texas Hill Country


Routes / Re: Weather: Transamerica E to W for fast cyclists
« on: October 11, 2011, 05:01:42 pm »
Thanks for your answers.

Summer 2000 I did the Northern Tier (E-W) + Pacific Coast (N-S). Actually I started in Halifax Nova Scotia and connected with the Northern Tier in Maine. Anyhow, I started in mid june and can report the following:

Absolutely perfect weather all the way to the Pacific Coast. I probably reached the Rockies around mid-july and everything was perfect. Maybe some chilly mornings but warm days. Even the passes were not cold and no snow at all. I know, the passes on the Northern Tier are not so high ...

Then the Pacific Coast was cold and misty almost all the way to Santa Barbara. That was really not enjoyable.

But comparing to my upcoming adventure, I will do the Rockies approx. 1 month earlier. That was just my concern.

One of the main reasons for my initial post was also the McKenzie Pass which has been discussed numerous times in this forum. Apparently it might be closed even in mid-july ....


Routes / Weather: Transamerica E to W for fast cyclists
« on: October 11, 2011, 12:53:15 pm »

I'm planning to do the Transamerica (E-W) and Sierra Cascades (N-S) in the summer of 2012. I will arrive in Washington Dulles Airport and pick up the Transamerica Trail somewhere south of. Thus, I will not backtrack to Yorktown. The thing is I am riding fast: On average I do 125 mi a day with no rest days at all. This is my riding style and I am happy with it. Thus, the entire trip will be approx 6300 mi/50 days.

I would like to avoid too much heat in the East and as a result start somewhere around late may. However, already 2200 mi/18 days later I should be in Pueblo, the beginnig of the Rockies I believe. That should be mid-june. 1100 mi/9 days later (end of June) I should arrive in Missoula. That should be end-june/start-july. In between I have the Hoosier Pass.

Can anyone comment on the weather conditions in the Rockies in June? Should I leave Washington DC 1 month later and accept more heat in the East?

I see that going E-W is perfect when riding at a slow pace  :)

Thanks in advance,


General Discussion / Rain gear on self contained long distance touring?
« on: September 21, 2011, 05:04:37 pm »

I would like to know if people touring in the US (for instance cross country etc) during  summer time are bringing along all their rain gear (jacket, pants etc). The reason I'm asking is:

I have toured quite a lot in US (approx 20000 kms) and have had only very few rainy days. Actually I have never experienced any full days of rain - only short periods. To save weight and space in the panniers I'm considering leaving all the rain gear at home and just seek shelter if it starts to rain. Maybe it rains for 2 hours and that would just be a nice break. Again, its not very joyful to ride in full rain gear. Has anyone had the same thoughts?


GPS & Digital Data Discussion / Problems with SPOT Messenger (GPS Tracker)
« on: September 20, 2011, 02:26:04 pm »
For my Transamerica trip I bought a Spot GPS Messenger (

I bought the unit for one single purpose: Giving family/friends the opportunity to see my progress online in real time. Thus, I'm only interested in the Track button on the unit. The SOS, Help and Message buttons are of no interest to me.

I have tested the unit and it works really well (it is extremely precise), however something worries me:

I will be doing the trip in 2 months and I will be carrying batteries with me. In the night I will switch it off and that way a set of batteries should last 2 weeks. I will not be searching for any internet cafees on the trip, the unit should just be working fully on its own.

Then, when reading the small letters (something which cannot be read when just browsing their webpage) it turns out there are some #¤%& time limits on the messaging capabilities: Something about 7 days or 30 days, something about exporting to Spot Adventure etc. However this exporting does not work automatically.

The reason I'm asking for this, is because I want to be able to show the ENTIRE trip from start to finish (2 months of biking).

Has anyone dealt with the same problems and how were they solved?


Routes / Re: How to reach Yorktown (Transcontinental) by airplane??
« on: September 20, 2011, 01:58:21 pm »
I researched my options a bit and would like some comments on the following route:

I have realized that arriving in Washington Dulles cannot be avoided and all domestic flights or trains/busses are out of the question (it simply makes things too complicated).

Instead of biking straight towards Williamsburg/Yorktown I will skip that part and do the following:

From Washington Dulles go straight West towards Front Royal and hook up with the Blue Ridge Parkway (Skyline). Then follow the Parkway to Waynesboro where the Parkway connects with the Transamerica. The route should look something like this:,+Sterling,+VA,+United+States&daddr=38.96036,-77.49641+to:38.9656,-77.61337+to:38.9525147,-77.9951245+to:Front+Royal,+VA,+United+States+to:38.74755,-78.30595+to:38.5169988,-78.437619+to:38.25129,-78.68669+to:Waynesboro,+VA,+United+States&hl=da&ll=38.535276,-78.19519&spn=1.018358,2.801514&sll=38.846125,-77.509918&sspn=0.506973,0.877533&geocode=FQJfUgIddD1i-yFUkDGRJ71SzA%3BFeh8UgIdpn9h-yllNJXRlUC2iTGKB604HoQdKw%3BFWCRUgIdxrZf-ykROKaQHmu2iTF_XGi_kAZDNg%3BFUJeUgIdjONZ-ynPInc5yd61iTHtRoUTT98kdw%3BFRfYUQId89hW-ynDiLgttMW1iTF4Tul0g-os2g%3BFZ49TwIdYiVV-yn76CnzW7W1iTEvF_XiGa-5Zw%3BFQa5SwIdDSNT-ykV2-ZU80S0iTG4pt6qfAyDsQ%3BFRqrRwIdHlZP-ymvkO5Nx4e0iTHjZV7z_DM4qw%3BFfXgRAIdBD5M-ymFVLVwoWOziTHgqyrwKSIyRQ&vpsrc=6&dirflg=h&mra=ls&via=1,2,3,5,6,7&t=m&z=9

I believe that the Parkway is extremely beautiful. On the other hand I have read that there should be a lot of traffic. Does anyone have comments on that? How is it biking the Parkway? And also very importantly, what is the best way to get from Dulles to Front Royal? Google Maps suggests HWY 50, but how is that for biking?

Thanks in advance,


PS: You can actually change my proposed route by dragging and dropping the blue line and then resend the new route as a link (upper right corner).

Routes / Re: How to reach Yorktown (Transcontinental) by airplane??
« on: July 17, 2011, 05:23:11 am »
Thanks, your answer has helped a lot. From quickly browsing the links I really like the Old Ox Road version.


Routes / How to reach Yorktown (Transcontinental) by airplane??
« on: July 16, 2011, 07:29:33 am »

I'm strongly considering doing the Transcontinental from Yorktown to Astoria (westbound). I'm from Denmark and need to touch down in an international airport close by. Of course the easiest thing would be Washington Dulles but I really hate heavy congested traffic and would avoid it at all costs. Of course Washington Dulles requires plenty of cycling along non mapped routes (some of it along the atlantic coast route also). Is there an easy way of getting on an Amtrak train from Washington to Yorktown?

An interesting option would be arrival in Salisbury/Ocean city and take the ferry across the Chesapeake bay.

To those of you who have started at Yorktown, how did you get there? And were you satisfied with the way of doing it. Could it be done better?


Routes / Bicycle maps Australia
« on: September 04, 2006, 07:25:26 am »

I really like the maps made by adventure cycling association. Are there any similar bicycle maps for Australia? Or do I need a regular road map? If I need a road map - could you please mention the best one for bicycling?.

Regards, L. Jensen

General Discussion / Anyone tried both Phil Wood and Chris King hubs??
« on: December 03, 2004, 09:59:30 pm »
I'm interested in buying the best hubs ever. It seems that Chris King and Phil Wood are the best ones. But has anyone really tried both hubs, felt their drags etc etc? What's your opinion?

I have to use the hub for road touring and not hard core freeride, downhill etc which means that I need a hub with smallest drag possible (= does this mean I'll have to look for Shimano XTR??)

Somewhere I read that Chris King hubs have a large drag when you turn them by hand, but it vanishes when riding, ie they are designed in a way that the drag disappears when riding. Is that true?


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