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Messages - Greg in MO

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Routes / Re: Kansas City to ACA Lewis and Clark Route?
« on: June 01, 2015, 02:40:00 pm »
I live in KC.  Where on the L&C are you trying to go?  Platte City?

Gear Talk / Re: Best foot wear for touring?
« on: July 07, 2014, 03:30:35 pm »
Wife and I prefer sandals.  Currently using Shimano's, but would really prefer Keens if they would just make them as wide as their regular sandals.

I typically use them as my only footwear on tour.  I've never had any issues, although I did wear socks with them when it was below freezing.

General Discussion / Re: "Protection" necessary?
« on: February 18, 2014, 03:37:14 pm »
I carry a firearm pretty much everywhere I go, and on the bike is no exception.  Is it necessary?  Probably not.  But then again I've never needed my smoke detectors or fire extinguishers either, and only very rarely needed my seat belts.  I'm still glad I have them all. 

However, if you are planning on riding in CA and OR, neither of those states are particularly gun friendly, and neither honor any other state's CCW permits.  Therefore, it is likely illegal in those states for you to carry a firearm, and it is also illegal to carry a taser apparently in CA.  Pepper spray/mace seems to be legal.

No matter what option you choose, the best defense of your person is situational awareness and not being oblivious to what is around you.

Enjoy your ride!


I highly recommend the Katy since you are in IA already.  It's crushed limestone but easy to ride with wider touring tires, and as a previous poster mentioned the towns along the trail cater to cyclists.  It's also almost completely flat, which should be easier on both of you.  I would think you could ride the Mississippi River trail to the Katy pretty easily.  You should probably look into the RAGBRAI routes, as they tend to focus on lower traffic routes across IA.  The tricky point will be getting from Clinton, MO back north to IA.

Good luck!

Routes / Re: Kansas City to Austin Texas
« on: December 07, 2013, 10:43:51 pm »
Check your PM's.  Fellow KC dweller here.


Gear Talk / Re: Bike advises for C&O
« on: September 06, 2013, 12:10:40 pm »
You might be able to get away with 700 x 28, but you will be better off with a wider tire, especially if it is wet at all.


General Discussion / Re: Complete newb, TA in 2014
« on: August 13, 2013, 01:58:00 pm »
The Trek 420 as I remember was a sport tourer/commuter bike.  I don't remember what level of components were on it (probably depended on the year).  I probably wouldn't pay $200 unless it was in really good shape or had upgrades to the components.  Does it come with a rack, pump, etc?  If you have some mechanic skills, you can tune/repair on your own, but if not you want to be sure you don't have to take it to the shop right away to get it working.

Take a good test ride, make sure everything works, and that it fits you size-wise.  Then haggle.  If you can get them down to $150 and is in good shape that would probably be a fine deal to get you started, and a bike like that could easily be used for short tours to test out your skills/equipment.


General Discussion / Re: Complete newb, TA in 2014
« on: August 12, 2013, 04:35:33 pm »
Since cost is obviously an issue, I recommend you hit Craigslist.  Go to the bikes section and then search for "touring" and see what comes up.  Often you can get a great deal on an older touring bike that will do a great job for you.  I see Trek 520's fairly often around here on CL for $400-$600.  They usually already have racks and everything.  Try to figure out what size you need to narrow things down.

Best of luck!


Gear Talk / Re: Fenders and tires for a Surly Disc Trucker with 26" rims
« on: August 05, 2013, 04:03:57 pm »
Your stock tires will work just fine on the towpath.  I seem to recall that it is very slightly downhill if you go north to south, but it really isn't enough to matter.  If you aren't doing the Allegheny Passage as well then it should be a pretty straightforward trip.  Are you planning on camping?  If so that may affect you decision based on distances to campsites and how long you want your days to be.  Otherwise, that leaves which end is easier for you to get to/get picked up from, basically. 

Best of luck!


Gear Talk / Re: Fenders and tires for a Surly Disc Trucker with 26" rims
« on: August 05, 2013, 01:05:22 pm »

I'm sure the Schwalbes would work fine for the C&O.  I used to ride it all the time when I lived in MD, but I never rode the whole trail.  It can be a mess when wet.  Back then I rode a MTN bike with 2.1" tires, but that was before my touring days.

I rode Conti Travel Contacts in 26 x 1.75 for my Katy Trail trip and they were fantastic.  The trails are similar but the Katy is probably better maintained.  Of course, I haven't ridden the C&O in 10 years so my info may be dated.  I don't think I would have a big problem on the Katy riding my "road" touring bike which has 38mm tires on it, and when I ride it again I will probably take that bike.  You would probably be fine with the 1.5" tires too, but the 1.75"s will definitely work.

You will want fenders if you have to ride that trail in the wet or damp, and previous posters have given you good advice there.


Gear Talk / Re: Uncoventional bike conversions?
« on: July 25, 2013, 11:19:11 pm »
Canondale used to make some nice touring bikes.  I built one up for my father.  If you can find one of those it may suit you since you are used to Canondales.  Not sure why they stopped making them.

Jamis makes the Aurora, which my wife rides and LOVES.  It is a nice bike, but I did have to add some upgrades to it.  The geometry was perfect for her though.

There are lots of options, and the LHT is not the end all of tourers.  Bruce Gordon has some very nice offerings, and I would say that custom would be the best.  All depends on your price range though.

By all means try things out with your current bike.  If you decide you hate touring, you aren't stuck with a new bike gathering dust.  If you catch the bug, you will have a better idea of what you want.

Have fun!


General Discussion / Re: touring without "eating out"
« on: July 19, 2013, 03:38:02 pm »
I agree that hitting local diners is one of the best parts of touring, but if you are looking for good recipes developed by cyclists (albeit competitive ones), check out:

The Feed Zone Portables book has excellent ideas for portable foods to essentially replace pre-packaged energy bars and the like with real food.  Might be tough to keep some of them going for 11 days, but you may be able to make some on the way.


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