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Messages - BobOnABike

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I've mentioned the first two in other threads on this forum, so you may have already seen them.

Banks will put a $2 to $3 charge on ATM withdrawals.  That can eat into your budget.  An alternative is to get cash advances with your grocery store purchases.  Most grocery stores, Wal Marts, Targets will let you get a cash advance on your debit card at no charge.  They usually have a maximum amount that they'll let you get (usually in the $60 range).  If your debit card looks like a Visa or Mastercard, you should be able to get cash at no charge at grocery stores and the like.

In many states, purple paint is equivalent to a 'no trespassing' sign.  If you see fence posts, rocks, trees... painted purple it's the same as a 'no trespassing' sign.

This isn't specific to touring in the US, but you should know how to make most repairs and adjustments to your bike yourself.  There are great videos on youtube showing you how to adjust brakes and deraileurs if you don't know how.

Finally, I'm a huge fan of having your bike fitted properly.  There are also videos on youtube on how to fit your bike.  Watch a couple and make sure that your seat is the right height.  (I always start with it at 107% of your inseam.)  Then adjust your seat front and back.  Then get your handlebars dialed in. 

General Discussion / Re: Bike shipping / Lesson learned?
« on: May 15, 2012, 05:05:50 pm »
I just rec'd a bike from Nashbar that I ordered last week.  I assume that they know more about shipping bikes than we do.  This bike had free shipping, but a couple of years ago when I ordered a similar bike they charged about US $40 for S&H.

On the outside of the box that my bike came is written, " This carton qualifies for" in small print and in large print, "UPS OS-2 130 inch L & G Limits".

I don't know what "UPS OS-2 130 inch L & G" is, but I'm guessing that's the key to shipping the bike inexpensively via UPS.  You may want to check into it and get a box that qualifies for "UPS OS-2 130 inch L & G".

Gear Talk / Re: Mountain bike forks
« on: April 06, 2012, 01:03:18 am »
Thanks for the prompt replies.

pdlamb -  I assumed that it was something to do with efficiency.  Now I know.

Patrick - It's also good to know that you toured successfully with a front fork.


Gear Talk / Mountain bike forks
« on: April 05, 2012, 05:55:52 pm »

I have a question about mountain bike forks.  Specifically, are suspension forks bad for touring?  I ask because I've searched and read what I could about touring on a mountain bike.  All of the articles that I've found on touring on a mountain bike have some form of the line, "on some suspension forks, it's easy to lock the suspension so that it doesn't move, or if you can't lock your suspension, it's easy to swap out your suspension fork with a rigid fork."  I'm paraphrasing, but that's the gist of it.  The thing is that none of the articles I've found explain WHY a suspension fork is bad.  It's just assumed that everybody knows that suspension forks are bad for touring and they're doing you the service of telling you how to correct the problem.

I have no idea WHY a suspension fork is bad.  I'm sure it's something simple.

FWIW, I'm planning a week or two loaded tour through Kansas this summer.  We'll be riding on roads, although it's likely that many of them will be gravel or dirt.  I like the mountain bike option because a) we have them, b) I like the low gears, and c) I like the wide tires for dirt and gravel roads. 

There are two of us going on the trip.  We have one MTB with a suspension fork, one without.

I'm not sure if we'll need front panniers or not.

Thanks In Advance,

General Discussion / Re: Affordable/free camping idea
« on: March 15, 2012, 01:16:04 am »

I have biked several times in the US and never really done any wild camping, all because of the fear of meeting an angry redneck/farmer with a shotgun in the middle of the night with a couple of aggressive dogs. Everywhere you see the "No trespassing - Violators will be prosecuted" notes on tree trunks etc. Thus, I have been very cautious and reluctant in that matter. Maybe it is just an overreaction? Maybe I have seen too many movies?  :o.

If you're not from the US, I'll add that purple paint is equivalent to "no trespassing" signs in some states.  If they've painted fence posts, trees, rocks ...etc with purple paint, it will hold up in court the same as if they put 'no trespassing' signs up. 

Not trying to be a stick in the mud, but thought you might want to know.

Is started in Missouri

I did a quick google search.  It looks like they have it in Illinois, Texas, and Florida.  I can also tell you that it's customary in Kansas.

General Discussion / Re: 100 dollar bills too large?
« on: December 10, 2011, 11:05:19 am »
That said, I only had trouble locating an ATM once.  They are everywhere.  U.S. banks usually charge $2-3 for using an ATM from another bank's account; I don't know what charge the foreign bank would make.

When I'm travelling, I generally find that if you make purchases at a grocery store, or WalMart with a debit card, you can normally get cash back at no additional cost and avoid the ATM fees.  I think if your debit card looks like a Mastercard or Visa, you should be able to avoid ATM fees by getting cash advances on your purchases.  (A lot of grocery stores seem to have a $50 limit on cash advances, so plan ahead if you need more cash.)

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