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Messages - Some Guy Ridin

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I understand your confusion so let me explain...

A tablet is virtually the same thing as a smart phone yet there are some big differences. It's only $30/mo for 2G data transfer (more than enough), a month to month lease allows me to cancel service when not travelling, the screen is 10.5 inches and comes with a keyboard which enhances the ability to read and to communicate in long complete sentences vs. txt msg pckng on tny kybrd. Because of it's size, it functions better as a computer than a smartphone does and it's still light and somewhat compact.

I personally don't like trying to email, surf the web, skype, or play games on a smartphone - it's too small for my pork sausage sized fingers and makes it too hard to read with my much less than perfect vision.

During the ride, I'll have a small cheap phone (when I can get service), an old ipod for music and a camera that will take much better pictures than a smart phone.

Since I already owned everything but the tablet, this works out to be cheaper and better for me.

I hope that clears up your confusion.


Thanks for the input, ideas and comments.

Initially I thought that a high powered smart phone might do everything I wanted, covering all my bases - phone-internet-camera-music etc., but considering all things I learned here and through others I'm bringing all the clutter - it's cheaper and works out better for me.

I'm bringing: (all small and light weight)
a) a verizon connected 4G LTE tablet for off the bike internet, information, email - basically - a computer.
b) an ipod touch for on the bike music, books on tape & coffeeshop wifi, skype etc.
c) my Sprint phone for telephone and text. Coverage might be a big problem, but I have the Verizon internet link for skype, email, blogging, facebook etc., if need be.
d) my pocket camera.
e) my kindle for reading.

That's a lot of clutter, including the charging wires etc., but collectively, I think it beats the crap out of a smartphone - which is very expensive to buy and to have monthly service.

Thanks everyone for the replies - I've got it figured out now - I hope.

I looked at the coverage maps for Verizon and Sprint. Sprint claims to provide better coverage, per the maps. Does anyone have any experience with Sprint ?

I've read in some of the blogs that different telephone service providers are better for cross-country riding than others - that some have good coverage across the country and others have terrible coverage. I currently have Sprint. I believe I've read or heard that Verizon provides the best coverage but I've heard absolutely nothing about Sprint. Does anyone have any experience or knowledge with the different service providers that might help me choose the correct one?

Regarding that editorial, I'm guessing there is some explanation and reasoning in it that goes a little deeper than the title. Do you recall where you read the editorial?

I know a guy that took the Trans Am and asked his fellow riders to keep all news and current events to themselves. He said he was a news junkie but wanted to try to completely avoid it during the ride. His riding mates respected his request and his only contact with the rest of the world for the entire ride was his wife and an occasional comment here or there. Later he commented that after he'd returned and caught up with what was going on, that the world hadn't changed much. He recommended I try that.

I don't think I want to go to his extreme nor to try to do as you've suggested but I appreciate both suggestions.

With everyone's (forum) help, I've been able to define my needs down to telephone, camera, gps, weather updates, music, books on tape, books in print, email and access to the occasional library along the way. 

So I guess, technologically speaking, a smartphone & a Kindle-like pad should fit the bill nicely.

This kind of narrows me down to 1. type of smartphone 2. service plans and 3. type of e-reader.

I've read that, in the past, Verizon phone service is the best for cross country. I'm wondering if this is still true. I'm going to start a new blog question now: "What is the best telephone & telephone service for cross country touring.."

Thanks to everyone that responded/helped and I hope to see you at my next forum question (mentioned above).

Thanks for the response.

My first consideration is the laptop but with the miriad of equipment choices (laptop, smartphone, iPod, iPad, local libraries etc.) and connection choices (cell towers, satelite, telephone etc.) I'm not sure what works best, safest and is easiest to accomplish and carry.

Truth is, I'm not even sure what my choices are. I don't own anything that's not connected by wire except a wi-fi ipod and a non-smartphone that is limited to texting and voice. I'm pretty naive about being connected, particularly in the remote areas of the countryside.

I'm hoping people can respond with their experiences in this regard. What worked? What didn't work to well?

I'm planning to cross the country this year, supported, and am wondering what is the best/most efficient in size/cost/benefit technology to take in order to stay connected to current news, emails, blogs, books etc.? Is it possible to have satelite connections thus not worrying about towers? Suggestions and advice wanted.

Classifieds / Re: Front-Roller Classic Panniers
« on: November 17, 2012, 07:56:29 pm »
These have sold. I don't know how to delete this ad.

Classifieds / Front-Roller Classic Panniers
« on: November 02, 2012, 06:42:03 pm »
For Sale: Ortlieb Waterproof Front-Roller Classics, yellow, pair,
11.8x9.8x5.5 inches 1526
Never used.

$80 plus shipping (? $15 or less ? )

Respond to or call 636-926-8778.

Classifieds / Re: Surly Front Rack For Sale
« on: November 02, 2012, 05:10:32 pm »
This has been sold.

Routes / Re: Crossing Missouri - Use Katy Trial?
« on: September 15, 2012, 03:04:23 pm »
The Katy Trail is an awesome trail. I live next to it and have travelled close to 10,000 miles on it so I know a lot about it:

Any sized tire is fine. The type of tire is important though - racing tires will get used up pretty quick while cheap tires will roll forever. I've ridden with 23cc tires most of the time and recommend using a road bike if you have the choice. The trail is surprisingly flat and smooth.

Long distance on the trail is very hard due to the fact that you get no rest. Being flat, if you stop pedalling, you slow to a stop quickly. Muscles really don't get a break so be sure to limit your trip lengths.

Most of the trail is fine, even after a hard rain but there are some sections (near Columbia Mo) that flood and some sections (near Defiance Mo) that get soft. Both conditions require LOTS and LOTS of rain. All are doable 99% of the time.

Mondays are tough with regards to food and drink.

Getting off the trail can be interesting and add an element of change that is sometimes needed.

Plan to spend time in St. Charles - Main Street. Plenty of choices of food, drink and entertainment. I've counted at least 30 drinking establishments (most serve food and music).

It's well worth the trip - don't miss it.

Classifieds / Re: Surly Front Rack For Sale
« on: September 01, 2012, 05:43:17 pm »
Does that include shipping to StL and all mounting hardware? What type bike was it mounted to?

Gear Talk / Re: Saddle bags article from years ago
« on: September 01, 2012, 04:29:15 pm »
Excellent information and sources. Thank you very much.

I particularly appreciate the last comment regarding lowriders being too small.

I look forward to my first self contained ride - with or without the proper bags. We learn by doing..

Gear Talk / Saddle bags article from years ago
« on: August 31, 2012, 06:04:07 pm »
Does anyone know where I can get ahold of or read the article/study printed in Adventure Cycling Magazine (years ago) about the best way carry panniers? Front wheels high, front wheels low, back wheels, blah, blah ... etc.

It was a great article. I'm just now getting into self contained travel and would like to reread it.

Any other articles on panniers, where, how,why etc.. would be helpful too.


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