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Messages - sspeed

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Gear Talk / do I have too much crap?
« on: April 19, 2013, 10:58:12 pm »
I decided I'd start loading the bike up more on my ride to and from work to get ready for my 11 day tour in June.  I went about 3/4 loaded today.  I was missing just my tent (5 lbs), sleeping pad (2.5 lbs), sleeping bag (1.5 lbs) and food and miscellaneous toiletries.

I weighed my bike tonight, 63 pounds!  I'm guessing it will be more up around 80 pounds with food and tent and such.  For being 63 pounds it really didn't ride that bad or even that slow.  I think my hour commute only took a couple minutes more than usual.  I guess I'm ok with the weight, I just had no idea it would be that much.

Was anyone weighed their bike fully loaded for commuting?  Is there a sweet spot to shoot for?  Obviously I know carrying extra crap just for the sake of carrying extra crap is not a good idea and the lighter I go the happier I'll be to a certain extent.  That said I want to cook (stainless pots) and be comfortable (sleeping pad) and such as well.  I guess I could leave out stuff like the first aid kit, etc.

For the ride to work I'll probably just keep loading it up heavier and heavier to get ready, no harm in doing that, it's only 12 miles of moderate hills.  It will be nice to be "lighter" come tour time.

General Discussion / Re: touring without "eating out"
« on: April 13, 2013, 03:43:46 pm »
Thanks everyone, for all the replies.  Have definitely turned me on to real food vs the freeze dried stuff, and also convinced me to at least do a few stops in local diners.  I planned on making a lot of test meals, including some of the Mountain House ones just for fun.  I've made a lot of meals with the same items while car camping before, but then you have a big duffel bag full of camp gear with you and things like a bottle of dish soap and all utensils are no big deal.

I posted my route on another thread awhile back.  I have the route down and have also researched the towns.  Google Maps has a nice street view that you can read store names from in the towns.  Quite a few of these towns are near ghost towns and don't have much beyond a gas station and steakhouse.  Many grocery stores have gone out of business along the corridor as bigger towns are half an hour away by car.

Here's my route for fun...

General Discussion / Re: touring without "eating out"
« on: April 11, 2013, 10:32:18 am »
We were talking about it and, like a lot of you mentioned, eating at mom and pop diners is part of the fun.  Maybe a better option is to try and eat out only once a day and use the great ideas here to make camp meals the rest of the time.

General Discussion / Re: touring without "eating out"
« on: April 10, 2013, 05:23:16 pm »
Ahh, thank you.

For stove I do have an MSR DragonFly (can run on unleaded) and was planning on also making a soda can stove, so the two combined might be good for cooking and water.

I have a stainless steel pot set that I wasn't planning on taking, but you make a good point about real cooking.  It's been awhile since our mountain bike trips to Moab, but it's a real bummer to burn a hole in the bottom of an aluminum pan and be stuck with none.

General Discussion / Re: touring without "eating out"
« on: April 10, 2013, 04:49:48 pm »
These are all great suggestions and I appreciate them.  What is a foil pack of chicken?  Is that something you can buy at the grocery store or something that is made?  Apologies for the dumb question, I want to try some of these out ahead of time.

General Discussion / Re: Training: Schedule Critique Needed
« on: April 10, 2013, 12:26:13 pm »
As everyone said, just ride lots, get nutrition down.  Even just look at ways you can take the bike to the grocery store or whatever.  I remember being 22, my first "century" was 150 miles.  Even being young your knees can really complain if you haven't prepared coming up to the adventure.

General Discussion / touring without "eating out"
« on: April 10, 2013, 11:52:53 am »
A friend of mine and I are planning on 11 day tour from Denver to Iowa, going across Nebraska.  I have about everything tentatively planned, but a little lost on the food.

I did read this post:

It was a good start, but I didn't want to threadjack.

My friend has challenged me to do the trip without eating at restaurants.  I really don't care either way, so I'm up for the challenge.  I'm just concerned that we'll be getting enough calories and not getting completely bored with the food selection.

My friend is going to try the MountainHouse meals.

I looked and they are about 150-220 calories per packet.

I have no idea if this is right, but I ride fully loaded to work and back about 1-4 times a week, average twice a week over the course of a year.  I average about 145 bpm for a heart rate (my max is a silly 199).  The Garmin HR says I burn about 650 calories per hour when doing that, can that really be right?  It's consistent when I look back at the huge log of rides I have to work and back. 

Here's an example ride to work...

I'm concerned about getting enough quality food if we do grocery stores and gas stations only.  What are some suggestions for success in this case?

Connecting ACA Routes / Re: Denver, CO to NW Iowa, two alternatives?
« on: February 14, 2013, 09:57:09 pm »
Great advice, well noted.  I planned out some of the end towns based on services, or lack thereof.

Not having a plan of some sort makes me anxious... I joined a friend for a few days of his trans am ride.  One night up by Conifer we were both shelled and could not find a single place to camp.  We ended up sneaking behind a church and camping there.  I want to avoid the stress of not knowing as much as possible.  That said, I know plans will change and I'm ok with that.

Connecting ACA Routes / Re: Denver, CO to NW Iowa, two alternatives?
« on: February 14, 2013, 03:31:53 pm »
jamawani, how is 138 from Fort Morgan to Julesburg?

I initially thought about going from Fort Morgan to Julesburg reservoir (83 miles) on day 3, but now that I look at the elevation profile (or lack of it), it's 104 miles from Fort Morgan to Julesburg on 138.  It would only be 373 ft of climbing for the entire day!

Given the ghost towns along the route that day it may be nice just to get in to Julesburg that night instead.  Possible wind and lack of places to eat or get food to cook along the way make me cautious though...

I've done 150 miles in a day before, and I've done 115 miles over 3 mountain passes in the Triple Bypass, neither of those were fully loaded or self-supported though...

If I adjust day 3 to get to Julesburg, then day 4 only has 32 miles and I could do the additional 48 up to Arthur.  Or I could leave day 4 as is to sort of rest for day 5, which is a big one as it stands.

I could also skip Lewellen and stay in Lake McConaughy....

Gear Talk / Re: 2 people, 6 panniers for a cross country tour. Bad idea?
« on: February 13, 2013, 11:07:00 pm »
Thanks for that link.  If that review is correct it looks like REI still has the old bags.

Gear Talk / Re: 2 people, 6 panniers for a cross country tour. Bad idea?
« on: February 13, 2013, 11:00:43 am »
Thanks staehpj1, I had never heard of the Sawyer Squeeze.  REI reviews point to a lot of bag ruptures, have you had any problems with that?

Gear Talk / Re: 2 people, 6 panniers for a cross country tour. Bad idea?
« on: February 12, 2013, 05:42:04 pm »
Is a steripen a useable idea when doing long shots between water?

My route I'm planning for June hits a lot of "interstate ghost towns" on the first couple days and it looks like I might be 60-80 miles between water and food at some point.

Connecting ACA Routes / Re: Denver, CO to NW Iowa, two alternatives?
« on: February 10, 2013, 11:31:42 pm »
jamawani and others,

Going through the towns now looking at grocery stores, gas stations, and restaurants.  I'm looking at several of the towns from Julesburg to Sargent and many are either ghost towns or around 100 people.  Google Street View is nice because you can pick out business names and look them up to see if they are still around.

What do you do about food and water on a route like this?  In many cases I'm not seeing cafes or even grocery stores or gas stations in most of these towns.  I guess I need to figure out how much water to bring and how to carry a bunch of extra food in case I can't find a place for food or water for days.

I've done weeklong 500+ mile trips before, but they were across Iowa where each town has a gas station, cafe and other things.  I'm not used to the near ghost town experience.  I think it will be neat to see, but I want to be prepared.

Connecting ACA Routes / Re: Denver, CO to NW Iowa, two alternatives?
« on: February 05, 2013, 10:47:02 pm »
any thoughts? :)

Connecting ACA Routes / Re: Denver, CO to NW Iowa, two alternatives?
« on: February 03, 2013, 11:51:32 pm »
Thanks for everyone's help so far.  Since last post I ordered all paper bicycle maps from Colorado, Nebraska and Iowa.  I then went through the paper maps, with suggestions from everyone, and loaded my tentative map based on traffic volumes and shoulders up in to the Tyre software, which I then pushed the GPX to Google Maps.

My resulting route is here:

It encompasses most of the suggestions given in this post, however I'm unsure about some sections.  Please take a look and give me feedback if you have a moment or two.

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