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Messages - walks.in2.trees

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I met a guy at the bike shop who swears by fat bikes, said he'd never go back... But he also had some serious leg muscles, and I also recall that he spent about an hour trying to get his tire to stay on just so he could put air in it (tubeless), being so wide, he couldn't get it to seal to the rim well enough for the compressor to overtake the pressure loss and he was tying it with ropes and all kinds of other tricks. The trails here around Albany NY are also very sandy, and wider tires would be good for that, but I'm not sure where the balance is between tire width and weight for those conditions. I know my 40c can't go too far in loose sand, but I see tire tracks is the sand that don't look too much wider than mine

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I have a Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite Sleeping Pad and I've decided to go with a highly compressible, lightweight down quilt instead of a sleeping bag because I don't do any winter camping. In the mountains in the spring/fall, though, it can still get down to about 15 degree some nights. I need a liner that will "play well" with my sleep pad and quilt/comforter. Since no zipper, I am thinking maybe there is something lightweight and compressable out there that the pad can slip into or something? Anyone know of a freestanding product like that that isn't part of a whole system? Thanks.
You don't mention the temp rating of your quilt, but the Reactor will let you go about 15°F cooler, or can be used on its own if the quilt is too much for warmer temps.

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General Discussion / Re: Advice on tires
« on: May 01, 2017, 01:45:41 pm »
I've got 40c on mine, does fine for all but loose sand... Note that the larger widths may not be compatible with your frame as mentioned in another recent post about switching to wider tires

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Gear Talk / Re: Wider tires on same rims
« on: May 01, 2017, 11:53:29 am »
I'm probably going to go with 700C x 35, and the fenders still have a little bit of wiggle room.
You want to maintain that bit of wiggle room.  You want enough clearance between the tire and fender of allow some mud build up or a rock or stick to slip between them without locking up the wheel.
Yes, and remember that once you add your body and gear weight, there won't be as much clearance as it seems to be when it's up on a stand once you consider the flare of the tire as this weight compresses it, and the play in the bearings and frame that appears naturally with weight and the flexing of the wheel components.  My front tire on my road bike rubs the fender whenever it gets wet and dirt sticks to it, even though when I look at it, it looks as though there should be a ¼” of clearance. Similarly, when I bought my 32c rear tire, that also looked like there was plenty of clearance on the stand, but once I began riding, the very outer tips of the tread rubbed on the frame. It was barely touching, and didn't slow me down so I ignored it, figuring the tread would wear off. And it did, but it took a divot out of my frame along with it

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Hi! Thank you for your feedback...
I have heard about those RV's.... kinda scary...

Do you still think it is overall, worth giving this trip a go...
I will have 2 pannier bags on my bike which will make it slightly wider...

Here in Dublin, there has been an increase in the number of cyclist fatalities in recent months... unfortunately often, artic-truck vs cyclist....
I suppose this is why I am feeling a bit nervous about my trip to the West Coast...

Yes, do it!
People like to build up drama over minutia, just like with the lights and mirrors. I've ridden half of my life without either lights, mirrors, helmet, bright clothing, or even wheel reflectors and never even had any close calls. Since I've been riding WITH all of those things, I've had several close calls, partly because I do things that I wouldn't have done without them, but mostly its just chance. Se La Vie, YOLO, or whatever.

Most people driving that route will be doing what you'll be doing: enjoying the views.
Being cautious is one thing, but letting fear of what you can't possibly know ahead of time stop you from experiencing something amazing would be a shame.

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General Discussion / Re: Is touring the Pacific Coast in July safe?
« on: April 16, 2017, 08:42:03 am »
The Pacific Coast will be 100 times safer than commuting in Dublin. Just go. You'll have a great time!
Having never been to either I can't say one way or the other, but I can agree with the sentiment... If you keep worrying about it you'll build it up to be worse in your mind than it will ever be in real life, sometimes it's best to to just dive into that pool and get used to the water temperature all at once rather than dip your toe and convince yourself that the waters too cold.

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General Discussion / Re: Is touring the Pacific Coast in July safe?
« on: April 16, 2017, 08:35:57 am »
One quick tip: on Google Maps, do a search for 24hr places that serve coffee, food, or gas along your route... Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks, truck stops, etc...  Choose one and scroll down through the business description until you see "popular times" while they don't give you any numbers to work with, the graph gives you a pretty good indication of how busy the store is at different times of day and from this you can infer how busy traffic will be. Note that you can change the day of week that you're viewing.  You can get a feel for it by checking places you're personally familiar with.  It's not perfect, but it will give you an idea

For instance the first screen shot is my local Dunkin Donuts that has a 24hr drive-thru... You can clearly see when church let's out on Sunday, the second screen shot is a Denny's, a 24hr restaurant, on the 101 in McKinnleyville, in northern California.  looking around town at different venues like the grocery store, some restaurants, gas stations, etc, almost nothing is open 24 hrs except the grocery store and the Dennys, not even the gas station is open from this I would infer that the amount of traffic coming through town isn't typically enough to stay open through the night for. However, compared to my home Dunkin Donuts you can see that during the day it gets pretty busy, and pretty early.

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General Discussion / Ultimate cycling device?
« on: April 15, 2017, 06:23:11 pm »
I've seen a lot of questions since I joined about what devices would be good to bring on a tour... Laptop, tablet, cellphone... This laptop might be the answer if you want the power of a laptop but want to save on weight and space. The only downside I see is that it doesn't have built in 4G, and the keyboard is really compact but you can bring a keyboard, mouse, and 4G transmitter separately, which most people already do anyway (I do)

Laptops are usually way too big and heavy to bring on a tour, and tablets are trending larger and larger as well. But many of us still want to use desktop software on the daily... But you can't use the desktop version of Windows 10 on a tablet... You have to use the mobile version... But THIS is a 7" Windows 10 laptop... when most everyone else wants the next best and biggest, hikers and cyclist want to go the other way.

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It always puzzled me that folks suddenly start talking about mirrors for a tour.  Whether you do or don't use one at home I really don't get why a tour would be different.  Personally I rely more on my ears to monitor traffic from behind.  The majority of my riding on tour is on the open road with very few in town miles.  On the open road it is easy to hear approaching traffic.  So I figure that if anything I am less likely to use a mirror on tour.

Oh and before someone mentions how quiet electric cars are, I say that it is the tire noise that you hear not the engine so gasoline, electric or hybrid make little difference on the open road.  In a parking lot or other low speed situations that can be different, but those are not typically overtaking situations.
I have really great hearing and there are definitely times... Wind can mask overtaking car noises, or if you're riding through a construction zone

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"And you need to do it without turning your head, because looking over your shoulder will cause you to drift the way you're looking"

Over the years I've gotten a number of people into cycling by going out with them after they buy a bike and taking several rides w them until they feel safe(r) and confident on the road. I try to do this by emphasizing the fundamentals. Those are things like riding in a predictable manner in a straight line, where to place yourself on the road etc.

One skill I always hammer home is to be able to look over your shoulder and to maintain a straight line while your head is turned. Primarily whats required is to not twist your
shoulders when you turn your head. I don't happen to use a mirror but I think this should be part of the skill set of every rider, even those that use a mirror, and worth practicing on a empty piece of road until it become second nature.
As a child I grew up riding horses, I was taught early on that the horse follows you're head. Turning your head translates throughout your entire posture, the change in which the horse also feels, and the same is true in everything we do. Maybe you have the flexibility in your neck to do it without turning your shoulders, but I can't see enough behind me without turning my shoulders, DEFINITELY can't in winter gear. Maybe I can get some flexibility back with some stretching, head rolls and such.

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I say yes to all lights.

I think a mirror is essential as long as it stays put... For instance I tried a helmet mounted mirror, and it kept getting knocked out of alignment, especially on rough road, it's pointless to have it if it points the wrong way and you have to keep adjusting it. A mirror you have to adjust every five minutes is probably more dangerous than no mirror at all... I wouldn't say it's essential all the time, only for the same reasons as in a car... Situational awareness... When you notice that giant wheel eating pothole coming up in your line of travel, you want to know there's a gap in traffic to swerve around it or if you have to brake to wait for one... When you need to prep for that left hand turn, you you want to know when there's a break in traffic to cross traffic from the shoulder to the center... And you need to do it without turning your head, because looking over your shoulder will cause you to drift the way you're looking, not to mention takes your eyes away from your line of travel, which might mean that you don't notice that pothole that your approaching, and won't know to steer around, because your watching behind (been there, done that: ripped the bars right out of my hand and put me on my back with my bike on top of me in the middle of a busy highway... Fortunately during a large gap in traffic)

As for looking cool, some people like to be fashionable for the coroner, but I personal prefer to avoid all coroners for as long as I can

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Walks.in2.trees, what hammock/tarp/bug screen setup do you use? My Hennessy Hammock is a fair bit bigger than that...

I have a system similar to that which you describe for treeless hanging, but a lot of stakes are required. Out west that could be a tough thing to use, given how hard the ground can be.

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There's ways... The person who makes them lives out west, and that's why she made them, wanting to hammock in treeless places, she has video where she had to get creative about placement, wedging one or two in boulders, etc

I presently use an ENO Double-Nest with a DIY bottomhentry bug-net (AKA "Fronkey Net") with Wilderness Logics OldManWinter tarp, WildernessLogics Summer Series DownQuilt-set, and Underground Quilts 0° +5oz Zepplin & Renegade for winter.

This year though, I'm planning to get a wide Chameleon from Dutchware Gear once it goes live on his site.

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Sounds like you might want to try a camping hammock.
I don't like hammock tents! and I live in Southern California and Stealth Bicycle Camping/Bicycle Touring in Southern California and very little trees to no trees
Sounds like you might want to try NoGround Poles with a hammock!

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Like I have said "I don't like hammock tents!"
I wasnt trying to be a jerk... I know you said that, but the thing is, you may not like them now, but your pain may disappear if you get off the ground.

Using the No-Grounds poles, which are trecking poles that have extension pieces that allow them to support your weight in a hammock and string up a tarp, I can hammock-camp on sand (though it takes a lot of prep, and the correct stakes, for success) with no trees. Heavy compared to an Ultalight ground system (I think a 2 pole system weighs about 3lbs) , but if you're mainly staying in one spot for long periods of time and only change locations occasionally, the weight only comes into play occasionally, and not needing trees more than makes up for the weight and cost.

I won't lie, there's pain issues you can run into in a hammock, too, if it's not set up properly. When I first started hammocking I slept great, but as that first summer went on, I started noticing that I was getting a pain on one side of my back and neck. At first, I attributed it to my job, because I carry equipment all day that hangs from my belt on that same side. But then in the autumn I changed locations so I wouldn't be discovered by hunters during hunting season and the pain went away. Over time I noticed that it depended on how the hammock was hung wether I would start experiencing pain after a few weeks. If it's hung too tight you get shoulder squeeze; a little looser and you can sleep at an angle but if it's still too tight, it causes a shelf to form in the side fabric. I would use this as a pillow, and I think this was causing my pain over time; now I hang even looser, and I know by feel what is the optimum tightness of hang.

For you, it could be a similar thing: maybe you need a pillow, or maybe the pillow you have is too thick, or maybe it's the location you've chosen... Maybe there's a slight depression or crest in the ground that you can't see that is just enough that your pad can't compensate for it... Or as someone else pointed out, maybe it's an actual medical condition and nothing will fix it without surgery or therapy.

I guess it comes down to: do you want solve your problem or don't you?
If you come over to the hammock forums, you see all kinds of posts from people that just can't sleep on the ground anymore due to medical issues, and many even put up hammocks in their bedrooms and got rid of their frame beds all together because they're comfortable in a hammock but experience discomfort or even pain in a bed. It goes the other way too, some love to sleep in hammocks but can't anymore due to pain

I have been stealth-camping full-time, 4-season, in a hammock for three years now, and ¾ of the time, 3-season for two years prior to that. Granted, I'm also in Upstate NY where there's more trees, but that's what No-Ground Poles are good for. They break down into two trecking poles that I mount on my front racks, and a stuff-sack that doesn't need to be protected from rain, so it can be strapped on anywhere.

Sure, hammock vs ground there's a little more effort required to find a good location where your setup won't be noticed, and you won't be bothered, and where you can get in and out without someone taking notice and wanting to investigate. But all of that's already an issue if you're sleeping on the ground anyway. And you can still sleep on the ground with a hammock kit, use the same pad in the hammock, the only difference between the two systems is the hammock itself and the taller height of the final setup.

If I remember right, you said your in So. Cal., so a pad is all you need for under insulation, and you can use the same top insulation on the ground or in the hammock
If you DIY, Ripstop-by-the-roll now offers custom design printing... So you can literally take a photo from each approach to your camp and have it printed on a tarp... Best cammo ever if you're like me and staying in relatively the same location, but other people have come up with some interesting cammo designs for different environments too.

As to advantages of hammocks:

★ I'll sleep dry no matter what: I can sleep over an upland bog if I want... due to mosquitos that would be a last resort for me, but I could do it, I could sleep over standing water and still keep all of my gear dry. This is not to say that I haven't made setup mistakes I'm my early days and gotten wet, I did, but I won't ever be wet again.

★ I will never experience waking up to find that my air mattress has deflated in the night and there's a rock or root poking at me uncomfortably

★ a hammock is also a chair: I will always have a dry comfortable place to sit.

★ my hammock packs up to the size of a softball, my winter tarp the size of a small Nerf football, as do each of my 0° Down quilts. My Summer Series Down Quilt-set includes a top and bottom, together packs down to what just one of my winter quilts will.

In the end, it doesn't matter to me what you do, what you like, or don't like... You asked a question, and you got answers. What you do with them is up to you ;)

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General Discussion / Re: Canada: Bug seasons
« on: April 07, 2017, 11:27:58 am »
LOL, I live in upstate NY, and pretty much deal with all of those same bugs. Usually horse and deer flies aren't an issue for me on the bike unless I stop or slow down, and then that's only if I happen to stop or slow down in their territory. It may be that they get more aggressive the further north you go because of the shorter season, and bigger due to the size of their usual prey... Moose, Deer, Coyotes, and Bears being big animals that can't reach them where they land, meaning they get to feed more and for longer

Black flies to me are the most annoying by far, because they get into every open crevice they can find, but again usually that's only an issue at slower speeds, at faster speeds the issue is getting them in an eye as you fly through a cloud of them. Glasses that fit tight to your face help with that, though even then air currents still can push one up inside the glasses. Make sure you carry a small magnifying mirror to and you in removing them from your eye....A smartphone camera doesn't really cut it you can also get a Bug-net for your head from Dicks, REI, EMS, Gander Mt., etc, I've never tried one myself because I know how they restrict the airflow in a tent, and when I'm really cranking out a climb, the last thing I want is restricted air flow... But they aren't expensive, weigh very little, and you can take it off any time you want, so I see no harm in giving it a shot.  I'd probably wear it right over my helmet.

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Gear Talk / Re: GPS bike device for the Trans Am
« on: March 12, 2017, 07:49:31 pm »
I'll jump in on your topic once again.  I'm having a different thought with the previous writer in this specific case.  I agree with using my phone for so many things.  I left my iPod, my mini recorder, my portable radio my compact camera, my penlight, and so on all at home and use my phone.  However, for the bike computer I like to use it on the handlebar on its garmin mount, where I can see the mileage and speed and hours traveled at all times as I go.  I did one week trip with my son a couple years ago and I let him borrow my computer the first day so he could get the sense of how far we travelled and how far left to go.  (He wasn't in touring shape) anyway he wouldn't give it back and it drove me crazy to not have my little computer on front and center I was so used to it.
I did use the ride with GPS app on my phone and it worked great in the background but still seemed to use more battery with the GPS on and I couldn't see the screen as I rode and to force the screen to always stay on  isn't battery friendly at all and it isn't particularly safe to constantly turn on while riding.

So, on the TA last year I used the most basic Garmin the Edge 200. all the screen display shows is miles/k's ridden, time ridden and speed. But when home and plug into computer it gives you the GPS mapping you want inc route mapping and elevation etc.   I don't think they still sell it. I think the basic model is now the Garmin edge 20.  (About $100) As you mentioned there are many models and offer many great features if you want to invest in and use them but the edge 20 will do as much as you require according to the original post.
Yes some people feel as you do— but the OP indicated that they only wanted it as a trip route diary. I'm guessing they're comfortable traveling without GPS generally, or primarily will be using cycling maps.

And everyone is different. I know some people that couldn't find their way out of a paper bag if a GPS wasn't there to tell them where to go. In fact, if the GPS told them to drive around in circles (not even kidding, I've had to stop this once), they would follow it blindly.

Me personally, it depends on my goal.
When I'm driving for work, or I'm trying to meet some at and I'm shooting for a specific arrival time, or if I'm benchmarking my cycling abilities (which I do randomly a few times a year) I like to see my progress... But if I'm on a trip, relaxing, exploring, taking my time, smelling the roses, the last thing I want is a constant reminder to rush.

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