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Messages - Pat

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General Discussion / Re: Campsites and bike theives!
« on: February 22, 2013, 12:46:08 pm »
Great question zone,

If I may expand your concern a bit, think about what you do to protect you and your stuff on tour.  First, we try to maintain situational awareness, whether we are on the road, or in a campground.  Second, unless we have our bikes in plain site and complete control, we always lock the bikes to something (yes we lug around Kryptonite Locks and Cables).  Third, we keep our stuff out of sight much as possible (in panniers when stopped and zipped up in the tent in the camp ground).  Finally if it's valuable, we carry it with us (we use the little straps that come with the handlebar bags).  And, as best we can, we keep our eye on our stuff.

Is this a sure fire recipe for success?  I wish it were, but the best defense seems to be to attract as little attention as possible, and make it at least a little less easy than it might have otherwise been.

I think it is easier with two people, but it sometimes means you don't just leave your stuff on the spur of the moment and walk down to the beach.  You have to plan it out a little bit.

Having said all that, remember the first rule of touring -- have fun!!!!!!   Try not to get yourself into vulnerable positions, and take reasonable steps.  Don't let this fear spoil a wonderful opportunity.


I feel sorry for her.

Gear Talk / Re: Generator Hubs and USB Devices
« on: February 10, 2013, 11:17:15 am »
I appreciate you having the courage to experiment while on tour.  And I am grateful you took the time to share your experiences in such an informative and entertaining matter.  You hit on many of the points that I've been considering.



Gear Talk / Re: Generator Hubs and USB Devices
« on: February 08, 2013, 11:47:20 am »

I bought one of those at an REI used gear sale, complete with X on it.  I toured with it last summer, and was usually able to keep my old Garmin Edge charged with it, or the battery pack.  But I was always happy to see an unused outlet.  You can buy an insert which lets you charge AA or AAA batteries.

I also just bought an ORANGE JOOS, and it proudly sports another X on it.  I'm experimenting with charging and discharging it.  I need to find some better instrumentation if I'm going to do very much, though.

Thanks for the feedback,


Routes / Re: Seattle
« on: February 04, 2013, 07:35:52 pm »
Hi John,


You are in for a wonderful ride.  I envy you.  Make sure to take a camera, because you are going to get some spectacular shots.

I'm not sure how you are getting into Seattle.  We came into Seattle on AmTrak.  We were NOT impressed with the train station.  It was being remuddled, and the staff were unfriendly.  If we had been forced to assemble our bikes in Seattle rather than Portland the night before, I'm not sure how it would have gone.

I have no experience with SEATAC.  But riding to the ferries seems pretty straight forward.

The ACA maps for the Pacific Coast take you from Brimmerton, Washington, to North Bend, Oregon.  We took the ferry from Seattle to Brimmerton (about an hour), and then rode to the west side of town, where we spent the night in a pretty good ACA suggested motel.  We were able to duck under the highway, and catch the ACA route.  It takes you down, roughtly parallel to I-5 down to Longview, Washington, where it takes a right at the Columbia River, and on the Cathlamet ferry.  Once across the river on the ferry, US-30 takes you in to Astoria.  And, from there, it is down US-101 to North Bend.

We loved the Oregon coast, especially the Otter Crest Loop.  The Washington State route had very little coast line south of Seattle.  And, to our good fortune, last June was the wettest June in some time, with 200% of normal.

If I we have a do over, we will strike out for the coast from Portland, rather than starting in Seattle.  As it turns out, because my wife's rear hub starting making "funny noises", we took the train from Centralia Washington to Vancouver Washington, where the guys did their magic and charged us a pittance.  TO get back on track, we rode side roads from Vancouver to Kelso (the only strenuous part was Green Mountain Road which was a bear).  From there, we were able to rejoin the ACA route.

Happy Trails,


Gear Talk / Re: Generator Hubs and USB Devices
« on: January 21, 2013, 11:56:11 pm »
Thanks guys - I will check the stuff out - let you know what I decide - Pat

Routes / Re: Allegheny Gap
« on: January 20, 2013, 10:34:58 am »
Thank you - I'm sure I'll have more questions later - Pat

Routes / Allegheny Gap
« on: January 19, 2013, 05:30:55 pm »
Hi - My wife and I are preparing to do the Allegheny Gap, probably from Pittsburgh to DC in the late spring, or early fall.

We live in California, and are ramping up our research.  Any thoughts on books or websites beyond the obvious would be appreciated.

We would like to use our Truckers for the ride.  We are used to them, they have sturdy racks, and we can haul all of our camping stuff.

QUESTION:  What are the trail surfaces like.  Can we use 35C wide tires?  Or should we be thinking about using our mountain bikes?



Gear Talk / Generator Hubs and USB Devices
« on: January 19, 2013, 05:19:16 pm »
Hi - This is probably an old topic, but it is new to me.  I didn't quite see what I was looking for.

BASELINE CONFIGURATION:  I just bought a new wheel with a Sanyo Sport Generator NH - H27,  6 Volt, 3 watt.  The documentation isn't answering my questions.  Powering front and rear lights is straight forward

ACCESSORY QUESTION:  What is required to recharge iphones, gps units, batteries, etc?  (I am seeing a number of products with lots of $$$$)

Thanks for your patience if this is old ground,


Gear Talk / Re: LHT Fenders - specific
« on: December 03, 2012, 08:10:43 pm »
I had an odd thing happen with Planet Bike fender.  My son drove my wife and me from San Jose to Corvalis, around 800 miles I guess.  My bike was the inboard bike on the rack.  When I got there, I found my front fender had "torn".  Because we were starting the Oregon coast the next day, I borrowed duct tape from by brother in law and taped it together.  It held for the 400 miles of the trip.

Now, when I move the bikes using the car, I duct tape the leading edge of the fender down to the tire.  I pull it off before we start to ride, and everything works out.

Happy trails,


Routes / Re: Pacific Cycle Route tour suggestions for visiting Brits
« on: October 18, 2012, 11:59:24 am »
Hi - I applaud your endeavor.  It sounds like fun, and I envy you.  If you can get hold of the Pacific Coast ACA maps 2, 3, and 4, you will get a good look at Portland to San Francisco (2 & 3), and San Francisco to LA (Map 4 mostly).

I did a very, very rough cut of where the ACA route generally goes, using GPSIES.  The Oregon trip is about twice as long, and the LA trip has over twice as much climbing.  As you plan in more detail, these numbers will change:

(1)  Maps 2 & 3: 900 miles and 10,000 feet of climbing  -- I've done AMTRACK from San Jose- to - Portland -- it is about 20 hours, and you will have to box your bikes.  As long as you don't have same-day connections to another train or air, you should be fine.
(2)  Map 4:  500 miles and 25,000 feet of climbing -- I've not done AMTRACK from LA to San Jose, so you will have to check their schedules.  I would not schedule same-day train or air connections as your arrival.

The weather is getting ready to change.  I live in San Jose (south end of San Francisco Bay), and we have had rain already and a cool spell, with a heat wave about to roll through.  From now until the true rainy season hits, the weather will be unpredictable and the winds will soon begin to shift from northerly to southerly.

Happy Trails,


Gear Talk / Re: How much does a sleeping bag liner increase warmth?
« on: October 12, 2012, 11:04:34 pm »
Also,  it's easier to wash and dry a liner on the road than an entire bag.  Just sayin'


Gear Talk / Re: front platform racks: Surly Nice or Old Man Pioneer?
« on: October 03, 2012, 07:50:46 pm »
Hi Mike,

My wife and I opted for the Surly Racks when we started equipping for our first tour.  The rack is very heavy, and mounting with the shims makes it seem harder than it needs to be (the first one took me an hour to mount, the second one about 15 minutes).

However, once the rack is mounted and bolted down (bottom and half-way up), we saw absolutely no give to the rack.  And, we probably had in excess of 35 pounds hanging from or on top of the rack.

We discovered, the hard way, that the key to mounting the panniers is the Center of Gravity (CG).  We found the critical element is to get the overall weight as low as possible, and as far back as possible.  Making sure the panniers and cargo cannot shift or wobble will make your life much easier.  Balancing the load side-to-side does not seem to be especially important, if you can keep them within a few pounds of each other.

Happy Trails,


Gear Talk / Re: Tablets/IPad or laptops
« on: October 02, 2012, 12:38:08 pm »
I guess it depends on your needs.  When we went, we decided we needed a phone for voice comm and texting.  We used our Garmin annd ACA maps as well as road maps for navigation.  The camera has better performance than the iphone.  And I used the Kindle Fire for text blotting, net surfing, NETFLIX, etc.

That made for several challenges.  First, charging was a constant consideration for the Garmin (daily) and the ipphone and Kindle, based ln usage maybe every two or three days.  The camera was good for weeks.  Second, fusing pictures and text for the blog, requiring hotel or library computers (when they would permit external USB connection).  As another consideration, many tablets are not USB hosts, so direct hookup of cameras isn't workable.   Third, keyboards made for Santa's elves (I am using the Kindle at the moment until my new hard drive shows up from HP.  Typing is as much of a pain as I remember).  And lastly, there was soeme extra weight that the Weight Nazis would fret over, but made little differencento us.

Thanks,   Pat

Next year, I may try a netbook.

Sorry for the confusion - A segment is one map - as in Oregon has 27 maps, and each is 25-35 miles long.  Pat

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