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Messages - walks.in2.trees

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General Discussion / Re: Trangia Stove / Meths
« on: November 13, 2016, 04:12:31 pm »

Hi all and apologies in advance - I coming from Scotland next year to America,  to cycle from Oregon to Maine ...
2.   Before I start asking questions about routes I wanted to make sure I am using the right terminology so that we are both speaking the same language - eg what I would call the road I think you call the pavement - and what I would call the pavement I think you call the sidewalk.   Can you confirm this please and are then any other helpful words that I should know.

2; Road would probably be the name we use for the path one takes to get somewhere, such as "Is this the road to Yorktown?" Pavement is the the word one would use to describe what substance the road was made of. Such as "The pavement on the road to Yorktown was asphalt." Sidewalk is the path adjacent to the road where pedestrians would walk found in cities and towns.

Some other terms:

Depending on where you go different things have different terminology, and many can be learned on YouTube. Youtuber EvanEvingerBritish VS American & More!: is good for this. (Linked is a "British Vs American" playlist, but I don't think he's put everything in it) He's a young American that has moved to the UK, and does many collaborative videos with UK YouTubers discussing the differences between life in the UK and life in America... Primarily regarding growing up, but also terminology. Just as there are differences between the US and the UK, there are regional differences of terminology across the US

Road, street, avenue, lane, ... All basically the same and replaceable with the generic term "road" unless you're receiving specific directions

Highway, freeway, parkway, turnpike: turnpike isn't used as much, but these are generally more reserved for the main arterials... generically "highway"

Roundabout, traffic circle, (there's another type that is a sort of "traffic triangle", but I forget what the name for it is...I encountered them in the Boston area, not sure if they're used further north as well): all methods of attempts to reduce traffic snarls. On a bike they're all pretty risky. Be very vigilant, and make definite eye contact. Even then, assume entering vehicles haven't seen you. I've had many close calls... People look, but they don't SEE (I'm sure this isn't too different anywhere else either).

Bike lanes: depending on where you go, they could be paved and in good condition, paved and in poor condition, separated from traffic, and separate from pedestrians, directly in traffic, on the shoulder beside traffic, beside the sidewalk.

Bike paths: usually paved when near cities, and usually shared with pedestrians, but in varying states of repair.

My area happens to have all of the above, some communities have "cyclists allowed full use of the lane" signs, but most don't designate a bike lane at all. Some bike paths are paved, others are dirt tracks, some are fine gravel, others are coarse gravel. Some places, the street is actually worse to ride on than the sidewalk is.

If you aren't a member of, check it out.

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Routes / Re: Adirondack Park Loop
« on: August 22, 2016, 05:01:14 pm »
I'm hoping to do an Adirondack trip too, not necessarily on the official routes, although I know there's limited options up there. There are places where CAMPFIRES outside of the provided fireplaces is prohibited, but that prohibition is only for wood fires, not campstoves. In the High Peaks there no wood fires allowed at all, not even  with a Biolite stove... Primarily to prevent people from destroying the trees for campfires

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General Discussion / Re: SPD Cleats-SH51 Versus SH56?
« on: August 06, 2016, 09:43:21 am »
I'd give the multi a go... Not sure of the price difference but worst case is you swap it for the other one. I'd evaluate it with a lot of stop and go to make sure it doesn't detach when you don't intend before taking it on a tour. So long as it only releases when you need it to, I don't see a reason for anyone to be all stubborn about it. That said, aside from the initial learning curve, I don't have any issues with the original version

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California / Re: PC BIKE ROUTE
« on: July 23, 2016, 01:09:49 pm »
I think Google routes bikes away from car traffic whenever possible. That might make sense sometimes but not here. Your right about Pigeon Point not to mention Hwy 1 Brewery!
Yeah Google does weird things like that, but usually there's a reason behind it...
If you have bike paths prioritized, for example.


Even in a car you should always fully preview the route, especially the destination, no matter what device or software you're using for GPS travel.

I use it for work so much that if there was a Google maps certification, I would be considered an expert.  There's times it wanted me to take side streets that run parallel to the main route for some reason... Possibly to avoid making the final left turn across traffic...I ignored it of course, because I had previewed my route first.

One of our drivers used a Garmin GPS and it took us in a loop past our destination and back around on itself... The sad part is, If I didn't say something, she would have just kept following it blindly around the loop.

Where possible, with Google maps use the BUSINESS NAME that's at, next to, or nearby the destination address rather than the address itself. for example use "SHERMAN DENTISTRY, Sydney, AU"... Not "42 Wallaby Way, Sydney, AU"

OR.  if your going to YANKEE CANDLE but YANKEE CANDLE isn't listed, but the sub shop next door is, use the sub shop next door as your destination.

If you're going to a mall store, usually it's not finding the mall that's the problem, but what entrance to use...turn off the satellite view and Google will show you all of the individual mall stores, and let you toggle which floor you're looking at. Most of the time, businesses are pinned exactly, although, I wish they'd put the pin at the entrance, not in the middle of the building or at the entrance to the parking lot.

In Poughkeepsie, NY,  the address for Kohl's is blahblah South RD. But  Google maps places the pin for that address about 5 miles past the actual address... But if you use "KOHL'S Poughkeepsie NY"... It takes you right there

Also, for cycling, satellite view uses a LOT of data and battery. I only use it to help verify my destination while setting up my route because you can see parking lot layouts and recognize certain stores in satellite imagery. The other way I verify my destination is with street view, and there are times I'll spend half an hour or more going up and down a street in street view because Google blurs out all the house numbers and it placed my destination in the wrong spot.

By the way, as a further example, even though I've submitted an edit to fix my house address on Google maps, it still places you up the street at the corner if you search for my address as your destination. (Note too that when I submitted a correction to a business address that was not owned by me, it was adjusted the by the following day)

too, now you can add additional stops to your route, so you can use that to force it to create a route that goes the way you want to go by adding a stop at a mapped pin if it doesn't offer that way as an alternate route. so for example in your case, add the lighthouse or the brewery as an additional stop and it should adjust the route to cover that.

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General Discussion / Re: Reflections on First Rain Ride
« on: March 06, 2016, 11:53:07 am »
For sure, nothing will dry out overnight, so always have a spare set to put on. Silnylon drybags are the thing. I don't even use conventional paniers, just drybags in cheap mesh packs, but not everyone will want to do the mods to make that work. A rainsuit will condensate on the inside, but will still keep you warmer and help deflect rain around the outside of your waterproof shoes. I haven't found that pit zips make any significant reduction in condensation. My back, chest, and arms, are still always condensated after a ride even in the winter. This is important because if your sock tops are exposed they'll wick the water right into your shoes, and the shoes will probably be the thing that takes the longest to dry, and NOBODY wants a case of swamp-foot.

You don't want to put a hood OVER your helmet, you want it inside, tight to your skull, otherwise (if it even fits over the outside), it blocks your peripheral vision and acts like a scoop, directing the wind, rain, and road spray right into your face and down the back of your neck.

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Gear Talk / Touring with hammocks: any other Pros & cons?
« on: February 20, 2016, 08:30:46 pm »
I see surprising few hammocks mentioned on this forum.  In my experience, a hammock & hammock-tarp is the perfect ultra-light sleeping solution for cycling, so long as there are trees.  It's possible when no trees are available, or where using the trees is prohibited, to go to ground and use all the same gear, but it's not ideal, however as I consider this statement, I realize that it wouldn't be any different than a tent at that point. 

As reference for those that don't know, a proper hammock camping kit includes the following:
Hammock, Bug net, tarp, insulation, tree straps, tie-outs, stakes, Ridge-line of some sort

There is an ultralight hammock stand you can get in case there are no trees
Most hammockers who go the ultra-light route (weight weenies, affectionately) buy their gear from other hammockers who have started cottage industry businesses, or, they modify the stock equpment they buy to get the weight down to acceptable levels.
ultra-light tarps come in all shapes and sizes, hammock tarps are made FOR hammocks, but can be used for other uses too, some are fuly enclosed while others only offer enough coverage to keep you dry.
Hammock insulation can be a sleeping pad and a sleeping bag, or it can be an under quilt, with a top quilt, 850 down or synthetic or hybrid of the two.

Currently, I use a cottage-vendor-made top and bottom 850 down quiltset.  I have a 0 degree set for winter, and a 45 degree set for summer, a 12' Silnylon tarp with side-pulls that can be rigged wide-open and roomy in nice weather, or close-in and cozy with doors that close against the wind for winter weather.

I've been hammock camping for local overnights for several years now, but I havn't been able to do a cross country tour yet, nor have I had to test the ground-dwelling abilities of it yet. This winter was the first that I had proper gear for 4-season overnights.  but previous years I did 3-season camping down to 10 degrees with nested sleeping bags and heat reflective padding

heres the pros and cons as I know them so far:

light weight
pack small
best most restful sleep ever
no need for a pad
deploys quickly
never wake up in a puddle ever again
no rods

If not set up properly, you can get very wet from water running down your suspension system
lack of trees is no fun
I'm told many state parks prohibit tying things to trees for fear of damage
Winter wind can ruin your day if your tarp is too small to protect you from it

So, obviously, I'm a fan of hammock camping, so my question is, what percentage of ground sleeping could I expect on a cross country tour, I feel like finding places suitable for hanging might be rough in the desert and the plains. In the north east and down the east coast I'm pretty confident that I could find places to hang each night.

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General Discussion / Re: First cross country tour-Help a guy out
« on: February 20, 2016, 05:30:06 pm »
+1. And as John N notes, you have additional capacity for those situations where you might need to pack extra water and food. During a tour across PA last year I had to carry lunch, dinner and breakfast food as well as snacks because there was nothing on route to my destination and nothing for about 15 miles the next morning.
A lot of this depends on how much you are carrying.  I figure that 4 panniers start to make sense at somewhere above 30 pounds base gear weight (not counting food, water, or other consumables).

You do need to be able to carry enough to get by without resupply on some tours, so it is something to consider.  Still even with very minimal baggage I have always been able to jam everything I needed in even when my bags seemed pretty tightly packed already.  Worst case I have managed to carry 3 or 4 liters of water in jersey pockets.  That was a little bit much but you use water pretty quickly so it was only a hassle for a short while.  Taking along a little 2-1/2 ounce Sea2Summit backpack (or even a 12 ounce REI Flash 18) is a good solution for those rare days you need to go without services for a whole day and have some overflow.  I actually find I like to wear it most of the time on some tours to hold the items I want to carry with me when off the bike as well as the items I will want at rest stops.  I typically never have more than 2 pounds in it unless it is one of those all day and overnight without resupply days.  It is nice to have along for day hikes and grocery runs.

At 215 lbs. riding a 60cm LHT, the additional weight of a front rack and two Sport Packers panniers is a very small percentage increase. It's even smaller when you factor in the weight of everything else.
This line of thinking can be a bad idea IMO, at least if you want to pack light.  It is better too look at each decision based on the relative weights for that item only.  If you use percentage of total load as the measure of whether an items is too heavy it can yield huge weight increases.  There are many little choices and they add up even when each one is only a few ounces or even less.  The a major portion of cutting my base weight from 45 pounds to 15 or less was cutting an ounce or a few ounces here and there.  If you make 50 decisions that add only an ounce or two each you have added 5 or more pounds.

My advice is to carry what you need to be happy, but at the same time be diligent in weeding out unneeded items and heavier than necessary ones.  I think this is a good policy for everyone whether heavy, medium, light, or ultralight packers.
My advice is to Commute to work with all your gear, all the time, maybe even find a spot to camp and do that for a while too... All for the purpose of deciding what you really NEED, and to get used to the weight. Once you have that daily weight zeroed in, then you decide on extras. You don't have to be on a long trip to figure this stuff out.

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Gear Talk / Re: Thoughts on "fat-tired" touring bikes?
« on: January 26, 2016, 11:45:37 am »
Really... As if the time between participations has anything to do with anyone's knowledge or experience. A first time poster who just found the forum could be someone with 20 years of touring behind them.

The topic is about touring with fat tires. I gave a reason to consider it. Nobody wants to be miles from anywhere with a flat.

Actually it may not be reporting properly. I don't know if its a tapatalk problem, or a problem with the forum itself, but I posted asking for opinions on good winter SPD shoes, and while I can go find it and read the comments, and it definitely has my user name on it, it's not in my "participated", nor do I get notifications about replies, and there were a bunch.

As for trolling, I could understand someone questioning my statement if I hadn't backed it up with a statement saying that it's happened to me. I've had it happen enough times that I felt it was worth mentioning.

And I'll add to it now that a wider tire also won't sink as much in a bed of loose gravel... "stone", if you prefer... And control on a grade covered in loose stone would be better too, although, not much better for either, with a wide tire on a road rim rather than a wide MTB rim. ...unless the OP is actually referring to a FatBike, which I would NOT recommend for touring, but only because I've heard they're pretty heavy, not from personal experience, as I've never ridden one, though I did once watch a guy at a bikeshop spend an hour trying to get his bead to seat on the rim because it was a tubeless tire, which would be impossible without an air compressor. I would imagine a FatBike is great for sand or snow. That guy was certainly raving about his, saying he'd never go back to a regular bike again... But he obviously wasn't touring either

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Gear Talk / Re: Thoughts on "fat-tired" touring bikes?
« on: January 25, 2016, 06:13:58 pm »
Honestly it doesn't matter, pretty sure Russ is trolling, right? Arguing about minutia that really has nothing to do with the topic?

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Gear Talk / Re: Thoughts on "fat-tired" touring bikes?
« on: January 24, 2016, 07:56:07 am »
 I wouldnt lie to you lol photos later

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Gear Talk / Re: Thoughts on "fat-tired" touring bikes?
« on: January 24, 2016, 01:04:31 am »
Gravel IS a lot of big sharp edges. It definitely happened to me. Where it happened on rte 212, wasn't even as coarse as gravel, just rough road, and I ended up with 4 pinchflats at once (distributed around the tube)... Though I'm pretty sure it was because of a poor tire install because I've never had more than one at the same time before, and I had just had the tire replaced prior to that trip. I remember reading about the best set up for gravel, not sure if it was on here or a cycling webzine, but it definitely called for a fatter tire. Hard packed gravel is different from freshly poured too, right now the tracks I mentioned previously have a maintenance road going up each side. On the left side is a fresh bed of gravel because they're prepping to lay a second set of track. The right side is the old hard packed bed. Like I said, it's not like the fine white pebbles in your garden path this is big coarse gravel. It's hard to walk on. I wont even push my bike on the fresh side, I cross to the old side.

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Gear Talk / Good winter SPD shoes?
« on: January 23, 2016, 12:55:52 pm »
Ideally I'd like shoes that can also wear at work so I don't have to bring a set to change into. The ones I have for summer riding are a little constricting but now that they're broken in I'm OK wearing them for 4 hours off the bike, but they're also extremely breathable, so not good for subzero temps with breeze. I just bought a $260 pair of Shimano SPD which are very comfortable on the bike, and warmer, but walking in them is really weird in dry conditions and even treacherous because they're very slippery in wet conditions. The thought of needing to walk any serious distance in them because of a mechanical issue is prohibitive.

P.S. this was also the most I've ever spent on any pair of shoes... Ever
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Gear Talk / Re: Front rack that will work without eyelets
« on: January 23, 2016, 12:37:15 pm »
As far as a trailer goes I bought the BOB trailer for my trip on the GAP/C&O.  The trailer is built very well and is quality, expensive but it is very nice.  It held up very well on the trip and it was loaded down.

After my trip I sold the trailer, glad I tried it and learned for myself.  Pulling a trailer is not for me, maybe you but not me.  I was an idiot and overloaded it, the BOB will take it so I just kept loading.  I had enough gear to stay out there for three months.  My fault there, if you get it don't over load it.  It was a royal pain having something attached to my bike.  From parking it to just moving around when you stop for a minute....  A royal pain.  I am sure they have their place but I did not like the trailer.

I know there are some people here that love them, I'm not one of them.  Good luck.

Thanks! I did get it. Worst case scenario is I hate it and ditch it along the way for bigger panniers. Always a solution to every problem :)
I've been considering a BOB, let me know what you think, particularly in regards to stop and go city use. One concern I have is locking up It's contents, I had my paniers stolen once, and had just bought the damn things too

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Gear Talk / Re: Touring without fenders - big mistake?
« on: January 23, 2016, 12:24:30 pm »
Being able to navigate long descents without a water fountain constantly spaying into your eyes? Priceless.

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Gear Talk / Re: Thoughts on "fat-tired" touring bikes?
« on: January 23, 2016, 12:12:39 pm »
I wouldnt ride gravel with high pressure road tires... You'll pinch flat in no time. I doubt they'd spend money on fine grade landscaping gravel for a trail, and I know railroad gravel is very very coarse . Bontrajer makes a low pressure 700x32c tire with some low profile tread on it that I finally found at a bike shop in Saugerties, NY after walking my bike all night down RTE 212 from Woodstock and stealth camping the night in the woods by the Speedway gas station, still some 60 miles from home. I couldn't get my tire to seat properly and had burned through all of my patches on pinch flats on that one crappy road.

I'd been looking for this tire for years... Tried many kinds, and after a lot of commuting  I knew I  needed a hybrid mt-bike-like tire that fit a road bike. 32 pushes the limit of my frame, and I can only fit a 28 on the front. Part of my daily commute is on a stretch of railroad, another part is on sand trails, the rest is on pavement, though some of that is pretty brutal for broken pavement and rim bending potholes in places, and dangerous because it's also everyone's shortcut which means they drive it faster than they should, and they're also impatient about pesky bicyclists (theres three different trail-heads on this same road)

For anyone that hasnt been, aside from RTE 212 itself (the last leg) the ride from Albany to Woodstock is beautiful, and the roads are enjoyable. RTE 212 has almost no shoulder, and is broken pavement every one does 65mph or is a tour bus from NYC. I had breakfast at the Bread-alone Bakery, which was amazing. On my way out of town a tour bus rolled up and puked out a load of rude nyc denizens, cars were honking their displeasure at being inconvenienced by other cars, buses, and families with small children hoping to survive crossing the street. I couldn't wait to get the hell away from the place. and then got my first set of pinch flats from the broken pavement 2 miles out of town, discovered I had lost my tube of patch adhesive and had to walk back to that offensive place.

You'd think that a town like that would be bike friendly. There's bike rentals all over it, a decent bike shop, its basically the Hippy Capital of NY... But no bike lockups, no bike lanes, the road is in ruins, not even a shoulder to ride on... And if you do get a flat, lock it all up of take it with you, because you'll be lucky if it's still there when you get back

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