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Messages - misterflask

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Gear Talk / Re: Alcohol Stoves
« on: January 24, 2012, 07:17:53 am »
My 2cents.  I use a homemade alcohol 'penny stove', for which you can find instructions on the internet.  I typically bring water to a very light boil; I think if it was really important to me I could get a roiling boil going, maybe with a fuel refill.  The methanol energy density is half that of gasoline, so you carry a little more fuel, but the stove weight is under an ounce.  You can pick up the fuel as the yellow HEET fuel line dryer at parts stores and big-box stores.  A 12oz bottle lasts me not quite three days, cooking/heating two meals and making a lot of coffee and hot chocolate.  I like the light weight of the stove, the dead quiet while it's cooking, and the odorless fuel.  I dislike the lower fuel availability and potentially higher fuel weight from stocking up.  Methanol is toxic, but so is gasoline, so that may be a wash. 

Gear Talk / Re: bike maintenance on tour
« on: January 22, 2012, 10:55:57 pm »
I'm about where John Nelson is with his 5day chain lube sked.  Every few day's when I find a nice mechanic's grease rag on the shoulder, I wipe down the bike, lube the chain, and wipe the excess off the chain. 
Ride the bike in the week before you leave to make sure everything is tweaked.

Gear Talk / Re: Cassette Life
« on: January 13, 2012, 07:00:15 am »
Thanks all for the useful information:  I'm feeling pretty comfortable now about gear life.  My anxiety is rooted in a trip where I think I established the low end when I completely wore out a SunRace freewheel in 800 miles (to be fair this included 20 miles on a trail through Florida sugar sand.) 
It seems I am the only person on the planet who likes White Lightening.  I was not aware of the Boeshield product, though, and it looks like a superior product. 

Gear Talk / Cassette Life
« on: January 11, 2012, 07:10:38 am »
To push down to that elusive 20inch gear, I want to put a 11-34 cassette on an 8spd bike for a TA trip.  I really don't like alpine gearing with its 26-34 jump, but it is available in nickel plated cassettes.  The spread gearing is only available on a HG31 low end mtb cassette.  Anybody have mileage numbers or anecdotal evidence of cassette life in the various Shimano lines?  The cassette really only needs to last for the one crossing.  FYI, I use white lightening wax lubes.

Gear Talk / Re: Which Schwalbe
« on: January 10, 2012, 07:14:33 am »
I have a pair of Marathon 700x35s (not the plus).  They can be wrestled on the rim by hand with a little bit of cleverness, and come off reasonably with tire irons.  I ran them 1500miles on a tour with no flats and there is barely any wear showing.  Here's the bad news though:  These two tires went on identical Sun CR18 rims.  One of the tires seats perfectly, but one never seats properly.  It's high in some places and low in others.  Several people have tried mounting this tire on multiple occasions, always with the same result.  I found it scary at first, but it eventually lured me into a sense of complacency.  On a smooth road where you'd like to really enjoy the ride, you can feel the tire's 'whumpy' spot.  Nevertheless, due to the extraordinary wear characteristics, I plan to buy more of these.  I'm going to mount them before I leave the shop, though.

General Discussion / Re: TramsAm: Rainy days?
« on: January 06, 2012, 05:37:49 am »
I rode for half a day on the C&O with booties but no rain pants in steadily increasing rain.  By nightfall my socks and shoes were soaked from water running down my legs.  I pull on rain pants now at the start of a shower. 
I have also taken the middle road on rain gear quality and the entire kit weighs in at a few ounces over 2lbs.  I don't mind carrying it for weeks without using it.
What I would really like to add to the kit are waterproof glove covers.  Does anyone use or know of any?  I find nothing on the market.

General Discussion / Re: TransAmerica 2012
« on: December 27, 2011, 09:44:39 pm »
I was planning to average 500miles per week, which would put me on the east coast at the end of october, which I'm pretty comfortable with.  That's pretty much all the time I have available.  I can generally make 500 miles/wk touring, but a major mechanical mishap or a long stretch of miserable weather could sure ball things up.  Anybody have tales of woe or encouragement on ambitious schedules?

General Discussion / Re: TransAmerica 2012
« on: December 27, 2011, 07:24:15 pm »
I was planning to ride the TA W-E starting around mid-august.  I planned to use lightweight gear that could sustain me down to about 30degF and my theory was that I should be over the Rockies before temperatures started to drop that far.  Then the edge should be off of temperatures across the plains and on the east coast.  Any flaws in my theory?


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