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Messages - hikerjer

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General Discussion / Re: Must have spare parts/tools
« on: October 21, 2023, 06:55:51 pm »
I don't know if they really qualify as a tool, but I find a few plastic zip ties can come in extremely handy on occasion.  Ditto with some duct tape.  I also find a good pair of tweezers come in handy for picking out a piece of glass or thorn embedded in your tire if you get a flat. They can be tough to get out with your fingers.

General Discussion / Re: cost per day to tour
« on: August 19, 2023, 05:33:32 pm »
It depends entirely on where you are and your personal style of riding. No correct answer on this one.

General Discussion / Re: Seattle to Boulder Tour :)
« on: February 05, 2023, 05:33:47 pm »
Totally possible, but be sure to take cold weather gear, as lingering winter weather could set in anytime and morning and evenings are sure to be chilly.  Stick to the valley floors as much as possible and you should be fine. You may run into snow at higher elevations, but nothing too serious barring a freak storm.

Gear Talk / Re: New touring bike recommendations
« on: January 30, 2023, 11:52:49 pm »
Thanks for your response. By being dated I simply mean that it's not quite the same model as the newer Sutras which have made some changes and improvements i.e. better gearing, stock Brooks saddle, etc.  Trust me, in no way would I considering giving up my Sutra. It's a great bike in fine condition and I fully intend on riding it for many more years - hopefully on a cross-country tour this summer if things pan out.  I'm pretty sure the bike will out last me. I suspect one of my kinds will be riding it long after I'm gone.

General Discussion / Re: Trans America - Oregon to Virginia
« on: January 30, 2023, 07:21:00 pm »
There are tons of books and You tube videos on the subject. Google bicycle touring.  My favorite introduction is Raymond Bridge's, Bike Touring published by the Sierra Club books. Somewhat dated but still relevant and extremely informative. Probably more than you'll ever want to know.

Gear Talk / Re: New touring bike recommendations
« on: January 30, 2023, 05:57:12 pm »
I have a 2012 Kona Sutra, so my advice may be somewhat dated. However, after several long tours, I have nothing but good things to say about it.  I did have to upgrade the cassette to gain lower gearing, put a Books saddle (maybe not necessary but nice for me.) on it and adapt the stem (spacers) somewhat, but it was still a great investment. It came with a rear rack, so that was a plus.  Even with the upgrades, since I got it on a closeout sale at a local shop, it was still cheaper ($1200) than most of the other options I looked at. And, I really liked the color, and it's been an absolutely great bike.  Old as it may be, I have no reservations on taking it on a cross-country tour this summer if all goes well.

Trailer vs Panniers:  All I can say is that of all the tourers I've seen, and that's quite a few, including myself, I would say that over 90% of them have used panniers. I don't know if that says anything, but it might.

General Discussion / Re: Your best single piece of advice
« on: January 11, 2023, 08:43:48 pm »
The single best piece of advice is a tip I picked up on this forum: "Never quit on a bad day".

General Discussion / Re: Florida State Parks
« on: August 16, 2022, 09:02:38 pm »
This is an interesting question since I've long contemplated a trip through the Keys. It doesn't seem a particularly friendly bike touring area.  What strategies would you suggest for finding a camping site while biking from the mainland to Key West.


General Discussion / Re: Tents and panniers
« on: July 13, 2022, 11:34:08 pm »
Unless I'm in a really sketchy area, I generally leave my panniers on my bike, sometimes, but mostly not, secured by a small wire cable.  However, I always take my handlebar bag in the tent with me as it contains all my real valuables - passport, phone, wallet, etc.  In fact, I never leave my bike without my handlebar bag in my possession.

As far as tents go, I use a one-man tent and find it plenty adequate. It has a large enough vestibule that I can put anything in it that I might need immediately.

For a stove, I carry a MSR Pocket Rocket. I don't always cook dinner, but I like the ability to enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning before I start riding.

General Discussion / Re: Recent Vermont Trip
« on: June 24, 2022, 09:24:20 pm »
It's been my experience in traveling around his great country that regardless of where you travel, locals are convinced they have the worst drivers in the world. Seems like people take a sort of perverse pride int it.

General Discussion / Re: What's your strategy to stay dry?
« on: June 12, 2022, 08:59:42 pm »
It's been my experience from touring and backpacking over the years, that regardless of the gear you have and the measures you take, sometimes you're just going to get wet. In a days' long downpour, there is little you can do to say completely dry. The best strategy is to have a set of dry clothes in a dedicated bag to be used only when sleeping and when not in the elements. Take extraordinary steps to protect them. Just the way it is, and we have to accept it.

I had total knee replacement a few years back. In addition to my regular PT (can't emphasize enough how important that is), I found that riding my bike did as much as anything to speed my way to full recovery.  I have to say, the replacement was amazing, that is once you get past the first two or three weeks of rehab.  One of the best things I've done. I should have done it earlier rather than try and get by with the pain for as long as I could.  Good luck.  You won't regret it.

I suspect the greatest danger you'll encounter when camping is insufferable raccoons. Do not underestimate them. They are smart, persistent and nasty.  Ditto for any ravens that come across you

Good tips but I would add a few comments. City park camping is widely available but it's usually in smaller towns, especially in the Midwest. I've always found churchyards a good place to camp. Always ask permission first, but sometimes it's hard to find someone to ask.  Also, when looking for a place to camp, small town baseball dugouts can be ideal. They are pretty common and have a roof and are fairly private, so you often don't ever have to set up a tent. I usually try to sneak in after dark and leave early.

As far as bike safety, I carry a basic cable lock, which deters any thefts of opportunity.  Never had a problem, but you have to be aware of the area you're in. Large cities, maybe not such a good idea.

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