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Routes / Re: Timing and weather
« on: October 19, 2012, 11:06:19 pm »
1st of June is the earliest I can start, but my sister thinks E to W may fit her sked better, so it is starting to sound viable. So either direction may work.

Routes / Re: Timing and weather
« on: October 19, 2012, 09:24:15 am »
Thanks Jam.  I am starting to think E-> W is a better option - need to consult my riding partner (Sister). She wants to to the Pacific to Missoula, but is concerned that if I go the other way, timing the "meet" would be a challenge.

On the other hand, it sounds like going that way, the weather stays kind of constant - which is a good thing. I would then do Start June 8th; Finish ~ Aug 24.

decisions, decisions........

Routes / Re: az: show low to globe on rt. 60?
« on: October 19, 2012, 09:19:21 am »
Yes, Pason to Phoenix (Mesa) on hiway 87 is buzy.  On the other hand, the shoulders are wide.  Weekend trafic (friday/saturday AM up to Payson; sunday back) will be very heavy.

60 show low to globe is mostly down hill - curvey.  It is the Salt River Canyon. Never riden, but have driven. Great views though.

If you are planning to hit Phoenix after the weekend, I can provide a "warm shower" I am in Mesa, 3 miles south of the ST route.
PM if interested.

Gear Talk / Re: How much does a sleeping bag liner increase warmth?
« on: October 18, 2012, 12:01:15 am »
Thanks all.  I was about to pull the triger on a phantom 45 and decide how much help it needed.  I found one on line for 220 or so.  But, it sees I waited tooooo long. Now everyone is back up to full list.  Worse, many places show out of stock.  Hmmmmm does that mean that Mountain Hardware is about to release a new model?  Eventhe phantom 32s are scarce.  That was another option - only 4 oz more.

I guess its a good thing I'm starting early with my plans........


Routes / Re: Pacific Cycle Route tour suggestions for visiting Brits
« on: October 17, 2012, 11:56:33 pm »
I did Portland to SF 12 years ago mid - late summer (930 miles). The really pretty part is the Oregon coast to say 200 miles south of SF (Big Sur). There are some severe climbs, but lots of rolling. The pacific coast is far from flat, so there is little level riding.

One gotcha is weather. Depending on what you mean by spring, you could be rainy much of the time. The coast north from SF will be wet until sometime in June. South is beter.

Also, you say 500 miles - that is about what SF to LA is, so you might do that. Keep in mind that trains are not as good in the US as the UK, so you may be better off flying from LAX to SFO return. So, if you kind find a way to rent, ride from SF to LA, fly the bikes bake and return them. Then go on to Reno, which is straight east from SF.

I haven't riden that route, but I have driven it (a couple times).  The part closest to LA isn't as exciting (in my mind), but Big Sur is gorgeous.  I will note though - there are hills - This coastline is right along the San Andreas Fault.  Other attractions - Hearst San Simeon "castle". The huge mansion built by Randolf Hearst, the New Paper millionaire, Monterey... Not a bad ride by any means.

Does that help?

Gear Talk / Re: How much does a sleeping bag liner increase warmth?
« on: October 15, 2012, 04:03:21 pm »
the space blanket idea is interesting. I was planning to take one as a ground cloth anyway - to save the bottom of the tent. I have used these as ground cloths before - While it is imposible to get them back in the original package, with practice they will go in a sandwitch size zip lock bag.

Also, I did a bunch of googling this weekend - seems that on the backpacker side, most feel that silk liners are really only for keeping the bag clean - dont count on more than 2 or 3 degrees add.

Now the fleece liners seem to add more.

I am thinking I'll grab the phantom 45 and spends some nights on the balcony to see what additions I need.

Gear Talk / Re: How much does a sleeping bag liner increase warmth?
« on: October 13, 2012, 03:07:28 pm »
As winter is approaching you will have plenty of cool weather to experiment in your back yard
Good point. Though I live in a condo with just a small balcony - but doable. And here in the valley of the sun, mornings at or below freezing are infrequent  8)  None the less - a very good suggestion. And I can test how I do stuffed, vs. hungry. I know that makes a difference too.

Gear Talk / Re: How much does a sleeping bag liner increase warmth?
« on: October 12, 2012, 04:53:19 pm »
@bogiesan - Down is a given.  while it does have to be kept dry, it is lighter for a given warmth, but perhaps more importantly, it has a much broader temperature comfort range than poly.
@ staehpj1 - yes, I hear lots good about the phantom 45. And I found a site with it for $220.  I'll likely bite at that price.
My tour collection is growing  ;D

Gear Talk / Re: Best touring tires
« on: October 12, 2012, 04:47:51 pm »
@dkoloko - Yes, tires loose air over time. But in the 2 1/2 weeks for that ride, they didn't lose enough to bother adding.  And yes, perhaps a bit of hyperbole, but I stand behind me recomendation to the OP.  I have tried a lot of tires over the years, and my experience has been nother but positive with Conti's. Also note that this is a general recomendation, not just based on puncture resistance.
As usual, YMMV...

Gear Talk / Re: How much does a sleeping bag liner increase warmth?
« on: October 12, 2012, 12:07:54 am »
Thanks guys.  Your experience seems to validate the claims.

Sounds like the liner + 40 or 45* bag is the answer.  Then in effect I'd have a 10* bag (my existing 20* bag + a liner), a 20* bag (existing bag alone), a 32* bag (new 45* bag + liner), a 45* bag (new bag), and a 60* bag (just the liner).  Lots of options :)

Gear Talk / How much does a sleeping bag liner increase warmth?
« on: October 11, 2012, 06:13:33 pm »
I'm looking to buy a lighter bag for summer use, and plan to use a liner for colder stretches.

The liner manufacturers claim upwards of 10* F added comfort range for the silk liners when using them.

Those of you who have used them, what have you found?

Reason is - I have a 20* bag now - too much for my TransAm plans for next summer, but a 45* bag while perfect for Kansas to Virginia may be marginal for the Cascades and Rockies. But if a silk liner really adds 10*, then a 45* bag will be perfect for these times.

Is this valid claims or are these modern $50 snake oil items?

Gear Talk / Re: Best touring tires
« on: October 11, 2012, 03:06:53 pm »
Your question holds part of it "Top 700c touring" or more specifically "Top Touring" which is what Continental used to call their touring tires.
Expensive to buy, but less $ / mile.  When I used them from Portland OR to SF I never even craked my pump in the 2 1/2 weeks, and continued to use them for another couple thousand miles of commuting.

Now they are called the Touring Plus (the plus is a reflective sizewall stripe).

I like pdlamb have tried the paselas, but found then to not last nearly as long, and to come apart. - cheaper to buy, more $ / mile.

I hear good things about the Schwalbe Marathons, but have never tried them.

Staehpj1 mentioned gatorskins - I use those on my road bike to protect against the goat head thorns here in Arizona and love them, but haven't tried them for extended or loaded usage.

When I do the TransAm next summer I intend to use Conti's

Gear Talk / Re: tent for transam
« on: October 11, 2012, 02:46:25 pm »
"OK, folks, we got another one on the hook.  Play him carefully! "

:)  Retirement is getting close enough that I can almost smell it!

General Discussion / Re: planning the Southern Tier for January?
« on: October 11, 2012, 12:00:22 am »
As someone living in Arizona, I will definitely say to avoid April - October unless heat doesn't bother you.
On the other hand, the higher terain will be chilly in January, so plan accordingly.
I live only 3 miles south of the route through Tempe/Mesa, so if your looking for lodging here, PM me.

Gear Talk / Re: tent for transam
« on: October 10, 2012, 11:51:54 pm »
Well folks, I decided on the Fly Creek UL2 - only 4 oz over the 1, and while tight, will suffice for the 2 weeks or so my sister joins me.  And still one of the lightest available. Mostly freestanding too.  Checking on line I saw that it seems that noone discounts Big Agnes, so I went to REI and used my 20% off one item, and dividend, and a couple $200 Visa points cards.  I now have my tent. 

Now for a new lighter sleeping bag (my 20* Marmot Sawtooth is way too much) and a new set of rear panniers to replace the pair I have been commuting to work with for 15 years (and which have holes big enough to stick my finger through).

I had figured this trip was a once in a lifetime dream, but by the time I have been geared up, I better plan on doing it again!

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