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Messages - pmac

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Routes / Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
« on: September 03, 2013, 09:18:57 am »
Any idea when the maps for this new route will be published?

Routes / Re: Cycling in Mississippi
« on: June 27, 2013, 10:21:23 am »
I live in Ridgeland, just north of Jackson on the Trace.  There is a whole lot of blues and bbq on Hwy 61 in the Delta.  Not so much on the Trace.  At the time, I think the Trace is much nicer to ride a bike on than Hwy 61.  No commercial trucks and some shade, but not many towns right on the Trace.  If you like cotton fields and sun, with the occasional juke joint, Hwy 61 may be for you.

I would pick either Oct/Nov or March/April to ride.  The summer can be brutal with high humidity.  The fall is great and generally dry so long as we don't have a hurricane coming through.  Spring is also very nice, but you have a higher chance of storms.   

Gear Talk / Re: SPAM: New 12mm thru-axle for BOB trailer...finally!
« on: June 10, 2013, 01:57:17 pm »
See the link below for all you would want to to know about 12mm thru-axles.  The product touted by the OP is intended to allow a bike with a 12mm to pull a BOB.

General Discussion / Re: Packing bike for transport
« on: April 22, 2013, 10:13:15 am »
I've used an air caddy a couple of times.  There are a couple of advantages and disadvantages.  On the plus side, you don't have to take off the pedals, derailleur, rear wheel off or the handlebar (unless you have straight bars).  While you probably would have to take the panniers off, there is alot of room in the triangular box to ship stuff with your bike.  You could certainly ship your panniers and other gear with your bike.  I put a mountain bike, farfarer trailer, helmet, shoes, handlebar bag and camping gear in the box last time I used it.   You lock in the front fork dropouts, which protects the fork.  The rear wheel is wedged into into the small angle on the box.  Never had a problem with in the times I used it.     

On the minus side, it is larger than a standard bike shipping case so it costs more to ship it.  The cardboard box is pretty sturdy but I'd say three out and back trips is max unless you duct tape the whole thing.  You also need a place to store it once you unload it.

Good luck!

General Discussion / Re: Inspire or Scare the Begeebees?
« on: April 18, 2013, 09:50:54 am »
I live in the deep South off the Natchez Trace, although I grew up in Chicago.  I've done a fair amount of biking in different parts of the country.  I guess I shouldn't be surprised when I read about cyclists worrying about biking in the South.  The fact is there are good people and bad people everywhere.  In my experience, the good people greatly outnumber the bad, wherever you're at, although on any long trip you will probably be exposed to some of each.   I just think you have to take people individually.  While we all need to take the appropriate precautions, I think you enjoy live, cycling and traveling more by assuming folks are generally pretty good until proven otherwise.

As far as the bears go, I spend some time in northern Montana grizzly/black bear territory and never saw a bear.  But lots of scat.  Take the appropriate precautions about hanging your food, no food in the tent, different cooking/sleeping locations, etc and you will be fine.  The fact is you are whole alot more likely to be hit by car or struck by lighting than mauled by a bear. 

Gear Talk / Re: rigid or not on the great divide?
« on: April 08, 2013, 01:49:59 pm »
I did a section of the GD last summer and will do some more this summer on a hardtail 29er.  My advice is to get a suspension fork that you can lock out.  I think you will appreciate having a little give on the washboard roads and rocks.  When things get smooth you can also lock out the suspension. 

General Discussion / Re: Touring Question
« on: March 18, 2013, 02:34:48 pm »
I think you missed my point, Russ.  Obviously, a 10 day tour and a 90 day tour are not comparable and I was not trying to compare them.  To me, a "significant deprivation" is not about a new car, a fancy house or an expensive hotel on a beach, although it might be to somebody else.  My guess is that person isn't checking out this message board.   It is about health insurance which generally involves long-term employment, a career which generally, but not always, involves fairly limited vacation time, taking the wants/needs of your family/significant other into consideration when they are not touring with you and providing as best you can for your family.  But as you noted one person's deprivation is another persons extravagance.  It is difficult to walk in someone's shoes and there are many ways to skin a cat or take a bike tour.  But that doesn't mean one way is better than another.  They are just different.  Have fun on your next ride, wherever it goes for however long it goes! 

General Discussion / Re: Touring Question
« on: March 15, 2013, 04:46:01 pm »
Great questions and answers.  My tours have all been of the short 7-10 variety for many of the reasons raised.  I'm in a small partnership and would not have partners or clients if I was gone for 3 months.  The spouse point is also well-taken.  Selling a 3 month bike trip to the wife would be very difficult.  Since I plan to retire in the next 3 years I'm working on getting her to take some short trips with me now to plant the seed for some longer tours in the not too distant future.  It is clear to me that for some folks taking extended bike tours are worth significant deprivations in other areas of their life.  While that is great for some people, it doesn't work for everybody.  But there are lots of ways to have fun on a bike tour and you don't have to be gone for 3 months to have a memorable trip.   

Routes / Re: great divide road after Banff
« on: February 26, 2013, 05:01:21 pm »
I did Banff to Whitefish section last summer.  I used a 1-wheel farfarer trailer which is a little different from a BOB in that it attaches at the seatpost and it is a little lighter.  I second Mathieu's concerns about a 2-wheel trailer.  A tracking 1-wheel trailer like a BOB or farfarer works fine on single track and rough surfaces, but there are several sections between Banff and Whitefish where you would regret dragging a 2-wheel trailer behind you.  You would be alot better off with either a 1-wheel trailer or panniers.  John's comments about Mathieu's blogs are also spot on.  If you're going to ride the GD you can glean some really good information by reviewing Mathieu's blogs.

General Discussion / Re: Guide to Poor Woman's Cycling
« on: February 21, 2013, 10:03:28 am »
Jasmine, before you decide to set off on a cross-country tour with a 65 lb dog in a trailer, plus all of the other stuff you will need for your dog, camping, bike repairs, cooking, eating etc, you really need to do some fully loaded test rides to see if that is feasible for you.  Just ballparking it, my guess is that you would be towing 100+ lbs.  I think you are significantly underestimating the difficulty of towing the weight you are contemplating.  While touring I tow a farfarer trailer with about 40-45 lbs of gear and I consider that pretty heavy.  Maybe your dog can walk up the hills which would help you ALOT, although that make create a hazardous situation for you and/or your dog.  While  some people can carry/tow significant weight, a review of the many trip reports found on CGOAB indicates that most, but not all, people will do whatever they can to drop even 5 lbs from their carrying weight after just a couple of days on the road.  From the armchair, all bike tours take place on sunny days, going downhill with a tailwind.  While that sometimes happens, the general reality is bit different.  A few 2-3 day short tours with some hills and realistic mileage goals in the months leading up to your cross-country tour will go a long way to helping you understand what will actually work for you.     

You can plug the url below into your browser to access monthly NOAA maps of historic prevailing winds.  That will give you a good idea of which way the wind blows around the country for each month on a historic basis.  Obviously, which way the wind is blowing at your exact location, when you are there, depends on the current weather at that precise time which can vary alot.

I also agree with the general idea that lighter weight on the bike is a good idea, but I think many people tend to overly obsess about that issue.  I think the mental aspect of touring is alot more important than worrying about if you're toting 10lbs to much.   For the most part, you can always ship stuff home if you have too much or buy more stuff if you don't have enough.    As J. Nelson pointed out, scheduling 80 to 100 miles a day every day sounds like a job instead a fun trip, which I thought was the whole point.

Gear Talk / Re: Bike Rack Advice
« on: November 28, 2012, 10:27:52 am »
I recently purchased a kuat hitch mounted tray style rack.  While a bit pricey, you can get 2 bike rack and a 2 bike add-on if you need to be able to carry 4 bikes.  As noted in a prior post it is important to know if you have a 2" or a 1.25" hitch.  Kuat makes a 2 bike rack for either size, but it you want the 2 bike add on you need a 2" hitch.  The kuat also comes with a built-in lock and bike stand attachment which has been useful. Whether loaded or unload you can lower the rack to access the back of the vehicle.  While perhaps not as easy as a swing away rack, it has been functional for me.  My wife likes it since she can load her bike with minimal lifting.  Keep in mind that all the hitch mounted racks are pretty heavy in comparison to a trunk rack.  I used a saris bones 3-bike rack on my old vehicle for years that worked great as well.  The trunk racks are a whole lot cheaper.  I've never used a roof rack, but a friend destroy a bike driving into his garage.  While your policy would pay something, you still have to pay the deductible and you have a claim on your policy which would probably effect your future premiums.

Routes / Re: Great Divide Route Conditions
« on: September 11, 2012, 11:21:01 am »
I rode the Banff to Whitefish section this summer.  The road quality varied widely from paved to excellent gravel roads to lousy gravel roads to dirt double track to limited single track to small sections that had to walked, sometimes due to steepness, sometimes due to the road quality.  All in all I thought the road quality was pretty good for a mountain bike trip and the scenery was incredible.  Front suspension and a 29er worked for me.  My advice is don't worry too much about the conditions.  Wherever you're at on the route the road condition will change soon enough to something else.  The wild card, as always, is the weather.   

Gear Talk / Re: Maya Trailers
« on: August 07, 2012, 12:16:18 pm »
I recently did 8 days off road on the Great Divide with a group.  Nobody had a Maya.  Of 11 folks, there were 3 trailers, one Bob, one Yakima which is a Bob-like knockoff, and I used a Farfarer seatpost mounted trailer.  Six people used panniers and two used racing style frame,handlebar and seat bags.  They all seemed to do fine, with the exception of one rider who had a pretty cheap set of panniers.  I considered a Maya but rejected it since it seemed to be for on-road use only and used  a skewer which was incompatible with my bike.  If you're going to be on pavement a Maya might be fine.  I thought the cart handles on the Maya really didn't add much.  For what its worth, I really liked the Farfarer, in part since it only weighs 10lbs and it will break down to fit in a bike box with the bike. 

Cost-wise you can probably pick up a used Yakima on ebay for less than $200.  Good luck!

Gear Talk / Re: help choosing a bike
« on: August 07, 2012, 12:02:34 pm »
Not nearly as fast as silver with flames.

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