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Messages - TwoWheeledExplorer

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Gear Talk / New Adventure Bike...from Trek!
« on: August 05, 2014, 10:41:10 am »
Stop the presses! Holy Hot Wheels, Batman! I may have to become a Trekkie again! Just introduced at the Trekworld Trek dealers gathering, the new 2015 Trek 920 Adventure Bike. Those of you who know me know until I got the Volcanic, all of my MTBs were from Trek, and I still ride one at work. Been thinking of upgrading the Volpe, and this may be the ticket! Looks very interesting, to say the least.

Ride safe,

Routes / Re: Lewis and Clark route: Traffic concerns?
« on: July 27, 2014, 11:02:06 pm »
ACA rerouted the L&C in ND to address those very concerns, It gets away from the Missouri River for a while, but also avoids the oil boom traffic in the Williston area. The problem is it also takes one away from Ft. Mandan and their beautiful new Visitor's Center.

Ride safe,

Gear Talk / Re: Saddle Suggestion other than Brooks
« on: May 09, 2014, 12:12:13 am »
My favorite saddle has always been the WTB SST. Very comfortable. I have an original leather version on my MTB, but I think they make it in naugahide now.

General Discussion / Re: Tour Divide Race 2014!
« on: May 09, 2014, 12:03:52 am »
All you need to do is run "tour divide" on Google (or Yahoo or whatever) and the first listing should come up as ""

Ride safe,

Gear Talk / Re: Wheel sizes
« on: April 12, 2014, 01:08:35 pm »
A couple of years ago, every MTB magazine was shouting from the rooftops that 26 was dead, get your 29ers now! Now in their market-driven madness they are the biggest advocates of the 27.5/650B. Even so, some of the big names, like Giant, are pushing the 650B as their primary entry. Will the 29er go the way of the 26? I hope to heck not, because I looked at a lot of different 29ers , including the Salsa Fargo and Co-Motion Divide before I bought my Volcanic Vx7. I like it. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Routes / Re: St Paul to Fargo via Bemidji
« on: December 01, 2013, 12:48:36 am »
Everybody rails about the bugs here in MN, but really, they are not any worse than Maine or the Adirondack Mountains, and definitely not as bad as in NW Russia, Alaska or the NWT. In May you'll be ahead of the worst pests (other than tourists) the deer flies.

I am from northern NYS, but have lived in MN 26 years. There is a lot of beauty in this state, and it is GREAT for cycling. If I hadn't moved here, I'd probably still be a backpacker instead of a bikepacker. Our state parks have an "open to bikes, always" policy. If you arrive by bicycle, even if the campgrounds are full, we'll find a place for you to set up. (Yes, I am a state park ranger; bike patrol as a matter of fact.) Knutson Dam Campground is federal (USFS), not state, but is really nice. (I used to be a Backcountry Ranger on the Chippewa National Forest.)

You will like it here!

Gear Talk / Re: Of Tires and Roads
« on: October 20, 2013, 12:37:33 am »
Thank you all for the input. I did it and it worked great; better than I expected. The campgrounds on the Chippewa were closed due to the federal shutdown, so I did the Rum River State Forest near Milaca, MN. and had a great time. From the looks I got from loggers, hunters, a fire crew and a state forester, you'd think they'd never seen a bicycle before. In fact they haven't, at least on the forest. Both a hunter and the forester told me they didn't get bicyclists there. Going to go back with my MTB before the snow flies and check out some of the side trails and fire lanes.

Picture is the Volpe, on the dirt, fully loaded. That's my Dr. Livingstone helmet. I wore it for my oldest grandson who thinks it's pretty cool; so do I!

Ride safe,

Gear Talk / Re: Of Tires and Roads
« on: September 16, 2013, 09:46:54 am »
Thanks; that was what I was thinking too. We have plenty of dirt roads around here I can test it on. As for the bike itself, the Volpe was first introduced as a cyclocross bike, so it can handle the abuse. Of course, my MTB, a Volcanic Vx7 APB (basically a heavy-duty hard-tail, built specifically for police/EMS use) can definitely do it with ease.  I just like the drops and the suspension seatpost on the Volpe for touring.

Thanks again!

Gear Talk / Of Tires and Roads
« on: September 16, 2013, 12:27:31 am »
Planning on crossing the Chippewa National Forest here in MN using almost completely dirt and gravel roads. Backroads in Minnesota are almost universally semi-sandy, but the area has had sufficient rain so it's not powdery, and terrain is fairly level. Carrying me (250 lbs.) and my gear in rear panniers (30-35 lbs.) Do you think the 35mm Schwalbe Marathon Plus on my Volpe would cut it, or should I take my mountain bike?

Ride safe,

General Discussion / Re: 2 or 4 panniers
« on: September 15, 2013, 11:14:41 pm »
Back before the Tour Divide ever happened, and frame packs were invented (or "re-invented, if you look at the photos of the old Buffalo Soldiers), "bikepacking" was done with two rear panniers  or a Bob trailer. My friends in Russia still travel primarily with rear "U" packs or panniers. (See image, in Karelia this summer:) Bikepacking by MTB, I load the rear. Loaded touring, rears for 1-2 nighters, all four for longer.

Just my 2 cents.
Ride safe,

GPS & Digital Data Discussion / Re: New Garmin Edge Touring
« on: September 09, 2013, 08:28:03 pm »
Supposedly, you will be able to update the maps though Garmin Connect or Base Camp. If the battery is like in the rest of the Edge line-up, it's internal and you recharge it through your USB port, a USB plug for the car, or a USB adapter for a wall plug.

Ride safe,

We've been using the SPOT Tracker each summer on the Lewis & Clark Trail in South Dakota for the past 4 years. although it has gotten much better since our first fundraising "Ride Across the Rez" in 2009, there are still many places on the reservations and along the Missouri River bottoms with no cell signal. The first and second generation SPOTs have a set ping rate for tracking, the Gen 3, as they call it, has an adjustable rate. I'm in a quandary as to whether I want a Garmin Edge Touring NAV GPS, or a SPOT Gen 3. :-\ Since I have a old style SPOT that works fine, I will probably stick with that for now, because I really want that new Garmin, and my birthday is only a couple weeks away!
Ride safe,

Routes / Western Adirondacks; Out of the loop, but inside the Blue Line.
« on: September 05, 2013, 11:35:23 am »
I had just this morning been wondering what NYS Rt. 28 was like for cycling between Thendara and Blue Mountain Lake, but the ACA, unfortunately, left this part of the Adirondacks out of their “Adirondack Park Loop”. I hope to come home from MN for a week or so next year (2014) with my road bike. I went to Adirondack Woodcraft Camps near Old Forge as a kid, almost 50 years ago, and I have felt very attached to the Old Forge-Inlet-Blue Mtn,-Long Lake region ever since. I was even licensed to guide in the Inlet-Moose Lake area. Back in 2005 I had done some mountain biking on the TOBIE trails, re-visiting some of my memories from Woodcraft, fishing in the Moose River, camping at Lake Durant. But I have grown to love bicycle travel and touring and need information on roads in the area. I found a very good article on the "Adirondack Explorer" website. Can anyone else out there give me more insight?
It's a beautiful area. I hope it's as beautiful a ride.

Ride safe,

Gear Talk / Re: Recommended Long-Sleeve Touring Shirts?
« on: September 01, 2013, 10:15:18 pm »
Riding the TransAm I met a fellow who swore by Cabela's or Brass Pro "fishing shirts" made for being on the water and in the sun all day. My observation was they had great airflow while riding.

Agreed, 110%! I have a bunch of jerseys, mostly from ACA and other clubs I am part of, but when I am riding any real distance, I wear "fishing" or "expedition" shirts. They have an SPF of 40-50 (depending on the brand), are loose fitting and breath very well, and they have pockets! You can get them in long sleeves, which can be rolled up, and the better shirts have straps to hold the sleeves up. If I am riding on the road, I wear yellow (It has become something of a trademark.) and on trails, light green or tan. I also wear baggy shorts, so if I decide to eat at a restaurant, I look like a guy in shorts and a fishing shirt, rather than an over-stuffed sausage in spandex.

Ride safe,

Willard Munger/Hinckley Fire State Trail, Moose Lake, MN

GPS & Digital Data Discussion / New Garmin Edge Touring
« on: August 29, 2013, 11:42:52 am »
I like gizmos as much as anyone (except maybe my son-in-law), but it is rare I find one that is a "must have". I have a solid Delorme PN-20 GPS for my MTB, and a Garmin Edge 205 on my Bianchi, Discovery. Today, Garmin revealed something new. In the words of Will Smith at the con of the alien spaceship in ID4, "I gotta get me one of these!":

Looking forward to actually being able to check one out first hand.

Ride safe,

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