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Messages - mbattisti

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Gear Talk / Re: Tent - One Person and Freestanding?
« on: January 02, 2014, 08:49:31 pm »
another vote for the Hubba Hubba

The closure already happened THIS JULY (2013).  Bridge is fixed and open.

Gear Talk / Re: Why are most of the tires wire bead?
« on: December 01, 2013, 02:20:11 pm »
No need to limit yourself to folding tires on a tour.  There is a simple way to coil your favorite wire-bead tire into thirds, making it small enough to carry in a pannier.  Check out Sheldon Brown's how-to video at

Routes / Re: Planning route from Anchorage to San Fransico
« on: November 25, 2013, 10:15:12 pm »
for Alaska, the Yukon, BC, and the Northwest Territories, the Milepost, a publication updated yearly, could be your best bet for amenities up north.  Just a little big and heavy to carry the whole thing in your handlebar bag!

Gear Talk / Re: Durability of Dry Bags?
« on: November 25, 2013, 07:26:32 pm »
if you will be carrying a sleeping pad, how about rolling it around the dry bag before strapping it down?

Routes / Re: New York Bike Route 5
« on: November 13, 2013, 11:41:39 pm »
FANY (Five hundred [miles] Across NY) is an organized ride each year that goes from Niagara Falls to Saratoga.  Each year they take a different route.  You may wish to contact them (they have a website) and pick their brains about routes.  They've done it many ways!

Gear Talk / Re: Trek 520 poor brakes
« on: November 13, 2013, 11:32:43 pm »
Thanks everybody for your suggestions. The levers are the ones that came with the bike along with the SD-5 Vee brakes. The Ultimate does give better braking but is still not fantastic e.g. on an unloaded bike I couldn't launch myself over the bars if I tried. I'm using the Avid pads that came with the brake.
When you're applying the brakes, how far will the brake levers continue to move after the pads initially contact the wheel rim?
You may be on to something there. They do feel kind of squishy after the pad hits the rim, in fact it's hard to tell when the pads have hit the rim. With my Roubaix cantis there's a definite stop in lever movement when the pads meet the rim. Presumably I should be getting the same with the Trek's V brake? Perhaps after 40,000 miles the levers and outer cables are worn out. Recommendations for cables and levers please?

I don't think it's rim wear. The wheel has only 5k on it and the braking was pretty poor when the wheel was new with new pads.
sounds like the levers are not able to pull enough cable to make the brakes effective. I too would suggest Travel agents

Gear Talk / Re: Trek 520 poor brakes
« on: November 12, 2013, 11:47:16 pm »
When you're applying the brakes, how far will the brake levers continue to move after the pads initially contact the wheel rim?

Routes / Re: Sierra Cascades Question
« on: November 06, 2013, 10:18:36 pm »
My wife and I rode the TransAm east to west on a fully-loaded tandem, then veered off the route in Missoula to intercept the Northern Tier (coincides with the Sierra Cascade route from Twisp westward).  We found the relentless roller-coaster and steeper graded hills of KY to be tougher than Washington Pass.  Of course by the time we reached the Cascades, we were in the shape of our lives! The lower humidity made it more bearable too. Two other variables to try and factor in.

General Discussion / Re: Hosting - WarmShowers
« on: November 06, 2013, 09:50:07 pm »
Other than one visitor who we didn't think would ever leave, my wife and I have had excellent luck with Warmshowers.  We've met some very generous people on the road who made us feel right at home, but even more rewarding is hosting a weary traveler!  Another perk is all the wonderful evenings swapping tales of bicycle touring.  The hosting participant also has the say on just how much to offer;  from a campsite in the yard to a feather bed and full-course dinner.

General Discussion / Re: First Major Tour Advice
« on: October 31, 2013, 10:20:49 pm »
Are you planning to prepare all or some of your meals? 

The Bacon family hostel outside Colville, Washington is also high on my list.

When my wife and I arrived there after a long, hot day in the saddle, we discovered 3 half gallons of ice cream in the hostel's freezer.  Doesn't get much better than that!

I would highly recommend taking advantage of "warmshowers" hosts along the way.   I have had very good experiences for the most part.  check out their website to learn more about how it works.

Has anyone used the SPOT on the GDMBR?  I am doing it this summer and would like to have my family track me as I travel along

as stated earlier, it's what all the racers use.  And how they plot the progress of the race on the official web site.

Routes / Re: Western Adirondacks; Out of the loop, but inside the Blue Line.
« on: September 06, 2013, 10:06:08 pm »
rt 28 is the only road thru the area you describe, so it is very busy, especially between memorial and labor day with people vacationing on the multitude of private camps and state campgrounds that line the shores of the fulton chain of lakes.  The road can be curvy, with limited sight distances and poor shoulders in many places.  Speed limit is 55 except when passing thru the hamlets. Fall is a nice time to cycle, although it can get cool (we had a frost last night) and some of the services on the highway completely close down or go to reduced hours after the "summer people" leave. There is a bike path now covering some of the distance between Old Forge and Inlet.

Possibly in a few years, a world class rail trail may be build thru the adironadacks.  The Adirondack Recreational Trail Advocates have successfully petitioned the state to reopen the NYS master plan for the Lake Placid to Old forge railway corridor.  This is currently a very HOT topic in our area, as a scenic RR still uses the tracks on a limited basis, which has a very debatable economic impact on the adirondacks (a region very dependent on recreation and tourism).  To learn more and get involved (and help make the rail trail a reality!) visit

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