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Messages - newfydog

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Gear Talk / Re: Camping Gas/stove
« on: May 02, 2013, 02:57:52 am »
The new super efficient JetBoil has brought me back to canisters.  The new canisters were tough to find in Montana, but not impossible.

Gear Talk / Re: rigid or not on the great divide?
« on: May 02, 2013, 02:52:47 am »
I use a suspension fork but find it they are not so effective on washboards. They are just too slow in responding.

One of the top Great Divide racers claims a springy ridged fork ( I know, oxymoron) is better.

I had a suspension stem back in the day which definitely did more to smooth washboards than the fork.

If you go with a fork get one which lets you set the dampening very light.

Gear Talk / Re: MTB tires
« on: May 02, 2013, 02:45:37 am »
I use schwalbe tires.

I also use a slime filled inner tube


a liner between the tube and the tire.

I also carry at least one extra inner tube and four or five patches.    Hate flats when I am riding.

Have you tried tubeless?  I have been through all those liners and such, but was finally sold on tubeless after and Arizona Trail trip without a flat.  None, in two years now.

Gear Talk / Re: do I have too much crap?
« on: May 02, 2013, 02:40:42 am »
We ride cook and camp on the great divide with rear panniers only.  Amazing how much weight is saved by cutting out the front racks and panniers.  Go through your " crap" and eliminated half of it.  Replace what is left with really lightweight stuff.  You'll enjoy being a rider, not a mule!

General Discussion / Re: Bears
« on: April 18, 2013, 11:58:26 am »
Don't worry about the bears.  You-tube search "moose tramplings".

Well, I have done several trips with trailer people, and they all came back next year with panniers. 

If you can go rather light, you can skip front panniers.  Trailers are often compared to a four pannier ride, and even then, they are  heavy.

Routes / Re: great divide road after Banff
« on: February 20, 2013, 10:00:39 am »
just look at what the top racers ride in the tour divide---mostly hardtails, with lots of rigid forks.

They all have tires in the 2.0 range.  I suppose a cyclocross bike would work, but it would be painfull.

Everytime a friend with a trailer rides a piece of that with me they return with panniers next year, but they all get the trailer through.

Gear Talk / Re: Bob Yak Trailer? XCountry tour, thoughts?
« on: February 16, 2013, 11:42:22 am »
I've had several friends join us for a section of the great divide who used a BOB.  It worked, but every one of them switched to panniers (usually just two) for their next tour.

Last March we stayed in Patagonia, Arizona, mountain biking locally and followed the Arizona trail to Tucson.  Weather and riding were great.  While we were in Patagonia, an Adventure Cycling tour came thrrough, and they seemed to be having a good trip.  It is full for this year but you might look at their itinerary:

GPS & Digital Data Discussion / Re: Computer GPS vs ACA maps
« on: January 17, 2013, 01:21:15 am »
Hey newfydog,

Where was the Dakota in Lockhart Basin?  I seem to remember we got "lost" twice on one trip!

I think it is a matter of personal preference.  I prefer the minimal technology approach, paper for me.

I discovered some very nice places while I have been lost.  It is best to have a little extra gas in the tank though for the unexpected.

Yeah, we would have never found that nice dead-end box canyon if the technology existed back then.  My gas tank doesn't have the extra miles anymore, so I like to avoid backtracking!

Where we mountain bike in France, half the roads are dead-ends, so without GPS we'd be wedded to the map, and still would end up riding in random motion!  With it we've connected up  a lot of loops

General Discussion / Re: Which cycling maps for U.S. and Canada?
« on: January 09, 2013, 12:17:51 pm »
Hi Martina,

The maps in the USA are pathetic compared to what is available in Europe.  The Gazeteer maps are by far the best for cycling.

A GPS such as a Garmin Dakota will mount right on your handlebar, and the Garmin City Navigator package has every little road on the continent. You will always know where you are. One can zoom way in or way out, but it is true that the small screen makes it very difficult to plan the big picture.  For a trip without a set route, I'd take both.

GPS & Digital Data Discussion / Re: Computer GPS vs ACA maps
« on: January 09, 2013, 12:10:36 pm »
I use a handlebar mounted (GPS Dakota 20) with a continuous tracklog that I either download from a source online, or that I make on Goggle Earth.

For a base map I use a Garmin city navigator map or a free topographic map from

I use these tracks for road and mountain biking all over the West and Europe and absolutely never get lost, plus I have a daily record of the ride.

I love maps.  I have them all over my walls at home, but they seldom come out on a bike ride anymore.

GPS & Digital Data Discussion / Re: GPS Data Wish List
« on: December 18, 2012, 08:33:00 am »
For the Great Divide, just go to bikepacker or topofusion and find the most recent tracklog.  No need to autoroute or way points when you have a really detailed tracklog.

For a base, go to GPSfiledopot and download the state topomaps.

You will know if you are off route by 100 feet. 

Send me a pm and I'll give you good links and stuff, I'm suffering on a beach in Mexico at the moment.

Gear Talk / Re: Cheap Breathable Rain Gear and Shelter
« on: December 16, 2012, 09:14:42 am »
Sounds like great stuff.  Are you really that cash strapped or just trying to make a reverse snob political statement?  There ARE people out there with gear which is not made of duct tape who actually did not have the slightest concern about status symbols, they just wanted something that works and are not as creative or skilled in fabricating things. 

Routes / Re: Paris to the South of France (Mediterranean), and beyond
« on: November 26, 2012, 06:24:20 pm »
I'll second the "D" road or "white road" suggestion.  You just can't go wrong in France riding roads which are white on a Michelin 1:200000 scale.

Here's a good zoomable France map:

Here's one to buy and tear out the sheets:

Myself, I'll be riding from the north coast of France to Switzerland this spring on a mountain bike, on the via Francigena, an old pilgrim trail

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