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Messages - misterflask

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General Discussion / Re: Best Tips for Cooking on the Road
« on: July 24, 2021, 09:02:21 am »
Like many posters here, I've been trying to up my game on the cooking front.  To that end I picked up a copy of John Rakowski's 'Cooking on the Road'.  He's dialed in on the unique aspects of cycle-touring cooking: generally an ease of daily provisioning and a little more tolerance for weight than backpackers.  It's copyright 1980, so his discussion of stoves is a bit dated and you may have to pay Guttenberg-bible prices for a used copy.  Conceptually solid though; not that much has changed in human food in 40yrs.

Gear Talk / Re: Recommendations for thermometers?
« on: July 24, 2021, 08:30:46 am »
There are 'data people' and 'non-data people', and never the twain shall meet.

I get the temperature thrown in the mix on an altimeter wristwatch, which usually resides on the handlebars.  I rarely make particular note of the temperature (life-threatening events aside), but altitude is interesting to track.  Want to know how much climbing there is in each state on the TA?  If you find it desirable information, you'll know how far along you are on a 2000 ft climb.  And there's the occasional 'that's why I'm tired' revelation.

The original poster who just wanted a thermometer lives at one end of the techno curve.  I live in the middle.  The GPS- equipped are wondering why this guy is going on about his altimeter.

General Discussion / Re: In need of a few hints for NT route and food
« on: July 24, 2021, 08:05:51 am »
and a Pop Tart or two

I was kind of meh on Pop Tarts till I discovered toasting them over a stove.  Elevates them to a delicacy.  Like many things, I may be the last person to have figured this out.

First off, don't worry too much about steel frames cracking, it rarely happens, just because one guy broke 4 that is no where remotely typical of such a thing happening.

On further reflection, I retract my caution.  That was 4 cracked frames over 25years and 3 could be considered special cases as far as this discussion goes.

I'm in complete support of the original poster's concept.  By the time you cobble together the proposed bike the understanding and mechanical competence gained would far offset the stray risk from the frame's history.

Everybody rides a used bike.

General Discussion / Re: Northern Tier and which stove
« on: July 20, 2021, 07:24:14 am »
If I had to take a stove where my life absolutely depended on it working in any conditions, the 123 would be the one

True enough.  I would have every expectation that my 1975 model would start right up.  Of course it's emblematic of what drove me to alcohol stoves: 1. noise, 2. odors from spilled fuel
It's so peaceful cooking over alcohol.  And any spilled fuel is not just odorless, but totally gone in a few minutes. Canister stoves rate a close second, I suppose: fairly quiet, spills aren't even a thing.

General Discussion / Re: Northern Tier and which stove
« on: July 19, 2021, 01:44:29 pm »
Straying here-
<<charcoal lighter fluid was similar, but I have my doubts.  I think it is closer to kerosene>>
Oh gosh, this tickled some synapses.  We have a proton precession magnetometer at work for measuring the earth's magnetic field.  After flying somewhere with it, it has to be refilled with a liquid that has lots of hydrogen, either kerosene or lighter fluid.  So as far as that obscure application goes, they're similar.

I've cracked four steel frames now, and I'm not that heavy (200#+/-).  They don't last forever.  Of course, a cracked $20 steel frame on a tour could likely be resolved with the minor adventure of finding a local farmer to weld it.

The frame I cracked on a tour I went to the trouble and expense of replacing.  I didn't want to worry about it for the remaining 2500miles and since I planned to replace the broken dropout I didn't want the frame cobbled up with improvised welds.

I've been building my bikes, wheels, and frames for a while now.  I can't guarantee that it's always cheap, but it always seems like it since the expenses are all spread out.

General Discussion / Re: Northern Tier and which stove
« on: July 19, 2021, 07:35:58 am »
Down here in my little corner of the Southeast, yellow Heet was available ubiquitously in convenience stores, but disappeared all at once.  It was always kind of a mystery why it was there, given the rarity of hard freezes.  Still available at the bigW and autopart stores.  I shy away from using the alcohol stove for backpacking: alcohol fuel is pretty inefficient by weight and it seems more likely to find canisters than Heet along the AT.

Someone mentioned the fire risk of alcohol.  My Trangia seems pretty safe, but my alcohol penny stove blew apart a few times.  In waning dusk, those luminous blue pools of burning alcohol are really pretty, even when they're on you.

Having caught the stove bug (I have to own ALL the stoves) I recently picked up a MSR Whisperlite.  If there's any fuel you can find on the road it's gasoline.  I plan to carry gas in the third bottle holder on my LHT to keep odors out of my bags.  I cut out a piece of a cookie sheet to put under pots that seems to correct the MSR's inability to simmer.

General Discussion / Re: Rain Jacket? Yes. Rain pants?
« on: February 23, 2021, 07:12:17 am »
<<Frog Togs at Wal Mart, $20.00>>

Wow, thanks Westinghouse.  I own a lot of hiking and cycling raingear, but these are going to find their way to near the top of the stack.  Just bought a set on your recommendation and rode them for a rainy commute.  They're respectable by any standard and awesome for the price.

Weight at less than a pound for the set is hard to beat.
Inside surface is less sticky than my fancy Marmot precip jacket.
No niceties like pit zips or leg zips for ventilation, though.
Unexpectedly nice zippers and snaps.
They need leg bands to stay out of the chain, but
I was able to pull these on over my size 14 clown shoes.
I have -really- long legs but M/L were plenty long.

tnx agn

Gear Talk / Re: Handlebar bag conundrum . . .
« on: February 22, 2021, 11:13:48 pm »
This might help:
I used one for a while; it was ok.  I replaced it with a piece of dowel mounted crosswise at the top of the steerer, but this wouldn't solve your Gopro height problem.

I've fabricated several brackets that fastened to the brake/fender bolt hole in the fork.  They are out of the way and pretty rigid.  A photo of a simple one for a light is attached.

General Discussion / Re: Preparation for climbing . . .
« on: February 22, 2021, 10:53:42 pm »
Getting all mathy here,

With a 20 gear at a 60 cadence, you'd travel a hair under 4mi/hr.  On a 6% grade, which seems to be a pretty standard steep hill, a mile is 317ft of climb. So at 4mi/hr you'd climb over 1200ft/hr which is pretty brisk.  I know a lot of climbs are done at around 900ft/hr which would be a sedate 3mi/hr.

Since there is negligible wind resistance at these speeds and rolling resistance is the least of our problems, the power required to climb a 6% grade is easy to approximate for various total bikeand rider weights:
             3mi/hr    4mi/hr
250#        90W      119W
300#      107W      143W

I imagine your trainer has a power readout.  Failing that, I have a somewhat fuzzier aero resistance model that estimates riding a road bike in still air at 16mph requires about 140W.  Or, since you live in Kansas, riding 11mph into a 10mph headwind requires the same 140W.

On a warmup ride for a TA trip, I crossed central Tennessee.  It's pretty much a plateau incised by 1200ft river valleys.  On the frequent climbs I started out stopping every 100ft of elevation for a break.  Eventually I got tired of stopping all the time, my strength built up, and I just started grinding them out.

General Discussion / Re: Rain Jacket? Yes. Rain pants?
« on: February 15, 2021, 09:52:02 pm »
J&G can be found at

They apparently need some Search Engine Optimization.

General Discussion / Re: Rain Jacket? Yes. Rain pants?
« on: February 15, 2021, 09:37:23 am »
A Marmot precip rain jacket - nice and light but single layer and icky on bare skin.
Rivendell rain pants (no longer made) - multi layer and not overly heavy. 
Vaude cycling gaiters - Love these for keeping shoes dry even without rain pants
J&G helmet cover - Doesn't weigh much but sort of belt and suspenders when wearing a jacket hood under your helmet
Waterproof mitten covers - For cold weather.  No use having gloves if you can't keep them dry.  Only weigh 4oz.

Some variations:
My J&G waterproof breathable jacket is my favorite rain jacket on and off the bike.  A little heavier than the precip but really comfy and warm with its multi-layer construction.  I think it's a great value if $300 Gore-tex makes you flinch.  Optional hood is kind of meh, but ok under a helmet.
Precip rain pants - single layer and fairly light.  Serviceable but a little billowy
J&G shoe covers - these needed additional waterproofing and tended to allow my pants to climb above them.
In warm weather I use a skirt made from a drawstring garbage bag instead of rain pants.

I have a pair of Showers Pass touring shoe covers but wouldn't tour with them as they are heavy and you can't clip through them.  They are super-waterproof though.  I use them to ford streams on gravel rides while keeping my shoes dry.

Don't forget a saddle cover if you ride leather.  I have mostly Brooks, but the Aardvark seems ok too.

Straying from rain gear here, but the J&G touring shorts are really nice.  You can look like a normal human on a ride while having a touch of padding. They dry pretty quickly and make passable swim trunks.

Gear Talk / Re: Tubeless Tour Experiences . . .
« on: February 13, 2021, 10:23:35 am »
<<Schwalbe. Guaranteed me success if I followed their instructions. Didn't work>>

Surprised you couldn't get more satisfaction from Schwalbe.  Several years ago I had a Schwalbe tubed tire that wouldn't seat properly.  The only symptoms were a vague bumpiness on super-smooth pavement and my anxiety.  They replaced the tire based on my description and some bad pictures.

Gear Talk / Re: I wrote a book/website about bike touring
« on: February 13, 2021, 10:08:45 am »
I was glad for this- a credit card tour is on my to-do list.

I had always looked on CC touring as the easy way out, but now I realize that carrying everything you could possibly need for any circumstance is the real crutch.

Seems this would be tricky in a lot of the US, especially if you're skeptical of seedy hotels (on the upside you're not carrying enough stuff to worry about bedbugs).

Surely somebody here has a tale of an epic US Credit Card tour?  Cross-country even?

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