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Messages - tsteven4

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Gear Talk / Re: Bicycles for off-road riding
« on: March 25, 2010, 06:05:48 pm »
It is amazing what you can do with a little skill and a 700c touring bike with larger (x35, x38) tires.  For example we did the Cinnamon pass 4WD road last summer on our Bruce Gordon BLTs with 700cx37 tires fully loaded.  You can always walk a little.

Lately I picked up a used BG RNR EX, the 26" tires should make this sort of thing easier and reduce the probability of taco-ing a wheel, but I have some concern about the highway sections with the 26" tires.  Time will tell.

General Discussion / Re: Bike Cover
« on: March 25, 2010, 05:53:44 pm »
A disposable hotel shower cap works great on the seat for keeping the rain off when the bike is parked.  We keep one readily available in a pannier pocket.  They are very light and very small.  Keeping the rain off helps keep your shorts dry, which helps keep your rear healthy.  I like getting out of the goretex as soon as possible, certainly before the seat would have a chance to dry.

I can't imagine carrying a bike cover.  The bike is going to get wet while you ride it anyway.  My bias is bike cover = brick, but to each his own.

Routes / Re: Going To The Sun Highway
« on: March 09, 2010, 07:53:15 am »
We went in the morning E to W.  Due to the conditions on the summit shown in the background of we rode to the top from the west on a rest day we took at Lake McDonald.  Again, we rode in the morning.  It is worth doing twice in a row!  You can see other photos here dated 2007-7-19 and 2007-7-20.  Nice hiker biker setup at Sprague Creek on Lake McDonald.


"Can I ride my bicycle on the Going-to-the Sun Road?
Yes, but there are some exceptions. From June 15 through Labor Day, the following sections of the Going-to-the-Sun Road are closed to bicycle use between 11a.m. and 4 p.m.:

    * From Apgar turnoff (at the south end of Lake McDonald) to Sprague Creek Campground
    * Eastbound from Logan Creek to Logan Pass.

Due to ongoing road rehabilitation on the Going-to-the-Sun Road, portions of the roadbed may not be paved. Bicyclists should use caution riding on gravel portions of the road."

Gear Talk / Re: loose spokes
« on: December 02, 2009, 07:42:21 pm »
I once had a new hand built wheel that did the same thing, and it is annoying!  I took it to the shop, and they put a small drop of low strength loctite on the threads of every spoke by the nipple and tensioned all the spokes.  The use of loctite on the spokes seems to be a bit controversial, but the wheel has worked fine for over ten years of loaded paved and unpaved touring with no further problems.

General Discussion / Re: elevation website?
« on: November 29, 2009, 08:12:44 pm »
Here is another method.

1) create driving directions in google maps (, Get Directions, ...)
2) click the link icon on the google map, copy the  contents of the  "Paste Link in email or IM" box (
3) paste the link into the page at in the box "Or provide the URL of data on the Web:"
4) select "From best available source" in the "Add DEM elevation data"
5) push the "Draw the Profile" button.

Routes / Re: camping on the pacific coast route
« on: August 28, 2009, 08:48:13 pm »
You are going to a place with some of the most beautiful and most economical camping for cyclists of any place I have visited in 30 years of cycle touring.  The hiker biker sites in Oregon and California are fantastic.  I believe the 2008 rates we paid were $4/person including showers in Oregon, and $3/person w/o showers in California for hiker bikes sites at state parks.  Another advantage is that no reservations are required, most of the sites are simply shared by the cyclists and hikers that show up.  This sites are often segregated from other campers which can result in a quieter experience.  The state parks in OR and CA along this route are quite plentiful, giving you considerable freedom to decide how far you want to ride most days.  The hiker/biker sites are a great place to meet other cyclists.  The WA state parks are not nearly as cheap.  I think it would be a shame to miss out on the exceptional camping experience offered by the hiker/biker sites at state parks.  I also think wild camping would be more difficult than other less populated places.

Gear Talk / Re: First trip - need tire advice
« on: August 26, 2009, 07:57:28 pm »
Our current favorite is the continental contact 700x37  We use these on and off road.  This summer we took them over Cinnamon Pass with loaded bikes, a 12,600ft 4wd road.  You can see some pics of the conditions at  My wife has used the travel contacts and prefers the standard contacts.  I have no knowledge of the HH Dike, but I believe the standard conti contact would work well.

Gear Talk / Re: 1984 Specialized Expedition
« on: June 30, 2009, 08:38:07 am »

I thought of one more thing you should watch out for on your bike.  I had a sudden and total failure of the front brake cable stop on my 84 specialized expedition while descending the Cime de la Bonette.  The cable stop consisted of two parts.  The first is a bracket that is clamped under the headset nut.  It has a hole at the other end slightly larger than the diameter of the brake cable housing.  The second part was a small round piece that the brake cable ran through.  It was seated in the small hole of the first part and prevented (for a number of years) the cable housing from going through the hole.  On this descent the small round part disintegrated causing a total failure of the front brake.  There was no indication this small part was about to fail.  I would recommend replacing the cable stop immediately if you still have the original.

Gear Talk / Re: 1984 Specialized Expedition
« on: June 28, 2009, 08:55:09 am »
Nice bike.  I rode a 1984 specialized expedition for many miles, and I still take it out for the occasional retro ride.  But the parts issue eventually motivated me to buy another bicycle for touring.  By the way, the list price in 1984 was $699.  The only problem I had was that the bosses in the forks for mounting a blackburn low rider front rack were in the wrong place!  Specialized eventually came up with some brackets so I could mount the rack.

For advice on cold setting see  My preference would be to find a local frame builder to do the work as opposed to a bike shop.  They are used to setting the spacing and alignment.

You might want to consider using a road hub with 130mm spacing and a mountain cogset.

With a new cogset I would certainly recommend a new chain.  You may also need some new chainrings, perhaps just the smallest.  Scary story about the front wheel.  You have to wonder about the back wheel after that!

We pack a bit in the boxes as shown in the pictures including the front panniers, and carry on the back panniers with the sleeping bags, tent, and other stuff inside.  We snap the back panniers together to pretend they are one object, but it is necessary to separate them to get them in the overhead bins.  We usually have a small box inside the bike box with stuff that you are not allowed to carry on (knife, clean stove, NO fuel).  In the photos you can see a wooden spreader we make to help prevent the front wheel from being crushed.  The plywood pieces on the end prevent it from punching through the box.  The front fender is tied on top of the front wheel.  The rear rack is upside down over the rear wheel.  There is a wooden spreader to prevent the rear rack from being crushed as well.  Also get a front fork spreader from a bike shop to prevent the front fork from being bent or poking through the bottom of the box.  We also remove the rear derailleur and tie it behind the rear rack to prevent the derailleur hanger from being bent.  You need to be careful when you reattach it not to strip the threads in the derailleur hanger.  It is best to remove the chain so the chain doesn't try to twist the derailleur as you are threading or unthreading the bolt into the derailleur hanger.  Chain removal/installation is easier these days with a master link, e.g. sram powerlink.  Also shown is a trick to open a master link on a dirty chain.

Colorado / Re: Introduce Yourself
« on: April 16, 2009, 09:36:18 pm »

I am Steve, and my wife Lin & in I live in Boulder.  I have managed to spend about 3% of my life on tour, starting with a Athens to London ride 30 years ago.  We have a set of local rides we like to do every spring to train for our summer tour.  You can see some of these at  If you would like to join us for some of these warm ups login and click the email link by my user name at the left margin.

Happy Cycling,

General Discussion / Re: HELP!
« on: April 08, 2009, 08:40:12 am »

I have online versions of the ac routes at
I think they are much more useful for route planning that actually riding, but in a desperate situation maybe you can get enough information from them to continue until the next section.


Routes / Re: Google Earth files of Adventure Cycling Routes
« on: March 26, 2009, 05:01:11 pm »
I have update the maps and kmz files of all the routes with the latest Adventure Cycling gps data.  The Washington Parks route was added.  These following routes were updated: Atlantic Coast, Florida, Great Divide, Great Parks, Lake Erie, North Lakes, Northern Tier, Pacific Coast, Southern Tier, Tidewater Potomac, Transamerica, Underground Railroad and Western Express.  I will be excited to see the Sierra Cascades Route when it becomes available!

You can find all the route maps at:

Happy Cycling,

Routes / Google Earth files of Adventure Cycling Routes
« on: December 21, 2007, 06:19:19 pm »
I am enhancing the geographic browser kml files.  The new versions will use appropriate icons for the waypoints based on the data included by adventure cycling in the gpx files.  For example a campground will be shown using a green tent icon.  I have also changed the process for generating the kmz files.  As a result the new files are using the kml 2.1 schema instead of 2.0.  The 2.0 appears impossible to validate because the schema is no longer available.

For a sample of the new format check out

I will update the remaining routes as I re-convert them.

Routes / Google Earth files of Adventure Cycling Routes
« on: November 27, 2007, 09:14:06 pm »

I am sorry to hear you are having difficulties with the google earth files.  It sounds to me like this is issue with your installation of google earth.  I would refer you to the threads below.  I believe you need to uninstall and reinstall google earth.  Furthermore you may encounter a bug that can make this difficult, but a solution is provided in the threads.

Thanks for reporting the problem.

Good Luck,

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