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Messages - ray b

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General Discussion / Re: Tents and panniers
« on: August 05, 2022, 11:42:18 am »
I'm amazed you stayed with the thread this long.

If you have unlimited funds, you buy the best and lightest stuff you can find. That give you the opportunity to fall in love all over again with different equipment.

If you are like most of us, however, there is a trade-off between buying the best equipment and having enough money to enjoy the trip. There's an old saw in 2 wheel-travel - take half as much stuff and twice as much money.

(Not clear the Trangia is that heavy - especially compared to the weight of fuel and cook pots.)

That said, if you love the Trangia - take it and save the money you'd spend for something lighter for things, like a nice afternoon lunch at the South Park Saloon about 6 miles shy of the top of Hoosier pass, to replace those extra calories you expend getting that extra pound or so up the hill.

And as noted, if you decide after the first big hill that you don't really need it or love it as much as you thought, you can always send it home via the post office.

General Discussion / Re: What to do with a bike box?
« on: August 05, 2022, 11:20:46 am »
Great advice - especially if your cycling trip does not end at your point of arrival.

If I'm using train or plane, I usually go with the cardboard option. If in doubt about how to pack to avoid damage, take a look at how your local bike shop receives their bikes. They might also have some plastic bits and pieces in addition to advice to make you feel more comfortable with this option.

If you are riding roundtrip out of a big airport like DC or New York, you might be able to leave an expensive box with an airport hotel.
Check in advance, but usually if you book nights to stay at an airport hotel at the beginning and end of your trip, they will store your expensive box or bag for you until you return. The hotel - which usually has a shuttle from the airport - also gives you a base where you can unbox and assemble your bike.

Gear Talk / Re: Chair
« on: July 31, 2022, 10:08:58 am »
Does anyone else carry a chair with them while on tour? ... I purchased a Helinox Chair Zero ...
And ... that is the one.
As I sit back in the Zero the thought typically emerges
that 'I am touring cause I enjoy the touring ...

P.S. Btw, regarding relaxing / enjoying touring ...
only prob ever encountered with the Zero
was the feet easily sinking into some types of soft ground.
Over came that by fabricating 2 pvc pipes to act as
'sled like' supports. 
I place them under the feet
on right and left sides/back to front.   
When I pack my fabricated pipe 'sled like' supports
they slide compactly right over two to the legs ...
all fitting in same bag that came with the Zero.
I use the Zero base "ground sheet" sold as an accessory by the company. They also sell bigger ball feet to prevent sinking. (Photo attached from Helinox website.

I also use the accessory anchor, a tent stake tied off to the chair to keep it in camp on windy days.

General Discussion / Re: Tents and panniers
« on: July 25, 2022, 12:41:28 pm »
Weight is the enemy of speed, not distance. 
(Agree wholeheartedly with your comments, but I'll add the reminder that weight is also a mechanical stress that should be factored into frame and component choice to avoid failure. Many a trip has been shortened because someone does not know when to stop adding luggage to their lightweight racer or commuter.)

General Discussion / Re: Tents and panniers
« on: July 05, 2022, 06:16:43 pm »
...Some won't even wear clothing they have cooked or eaten in the tent at night.  I keep food and scented products out of the tent, but don't worry about my clothing having pocked up food odors.  I know that is a risk, but figure you draw tie line somewhere. 
I'm probably more of a slob than you, when throwing down the calories after a long day.... :)

(Everyone's different.)

(Parenthetical note: All depends on estimated risk. If I'm in the middle of large brown bear/grizzly country, I'll often not only throw my shirt into the bear bag/container, but also use the extra daylight of summer to put in a few more miles before I  wash up and hit the hay. When solo camping in remote areas that seem high risk, the bike - and panniers - are usually a good 50 meters distant. The food bag (bait?) goes 100 meters or more. Not too many areas of the country warrant that kind of caution.)

General Discussion / Re: Tents and panniers
« on: July 04, 2022, 10:30:13 am »
Plenty of other threads also address your questions. Lots of opinions.

 New materials for tents can give you a self- supporting, 2-man,  with short poles appropriate for bike packing at under 2 pounds. Big Agnes makes some popular stuff.. I have an old Mountain Hardware ultralight - 2 that's held up to more use than older heavier moutaineering gear. To further save weight, I don't use a footprint; I'm careful where I set up.

 During the summer, my cook kit starts at 0. I build from there depending on my mood. Last summer I was out for 8 weeks without a stove. Tuna from foil packets, beans from the can, and a few spices make for pretty good meals. And no cooking required for peanut butter and honey sandwiches...If it helps I have 3 stoves to choose from depending on what fuel I plan to use.. Going without a stove also means going without fuel which solves a lot of logistical issues. If taking a stove on the trans-am, i'd take butane if not cooking daily; I'd take a gas stove if I was packing  coffee beans and a grinder for daily use.., a whole other thread.

Lots of great panniers out.there. I'll simplify and note, I zip tie my waterproof panners to the rack. I carry plenty of extra ties for episodic repairs, maintenance, and cleaning. My gear stays with the bike (and out of the tent).

John always manages to pack the critical info into a readable post.

In thinking further about what makes me comfortable at over 60 mph, I'd have to add the motorcycle.

John mentions hypervigilance and where your eyes need to be. Riding a motorcycle at speed certainly helps get the brain reved up for speed.

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk

    Everyone has a different terminal speed at which they are comfortable.

    Those speeds depend on talent, hard earned skill, and experience.

    • Confidence in mechanical skills and equipment.
    • Confidence in bike handling skills.

General Discussion / Re: Best Trike
« on: July 02, 2022, 10:45:28 am »
What trike do you think is the best for a cross country tour?

I have a Terratrike Gran Tourismo but the wheels need to be replaced.  I was told that we wouldn't get the replacements until October.

I definitely want to ride this summer.  Next summer I want to do the Transam.

I'd appreciate any suggestions.
Nice investment.
Unless there's a proprietary hub part involved, not clear why the wheels can't be rebuilt with new rims and spokes and bearing replacements at your local bike shop or by your favorite wheel builder.

General Discussion / Re: The road is flat. It's what?
« on: June 25, 2022, 04:45:11 pm »
I often ask directions from locals, and then double, or triple, check them with other locals.
Bike touring has been a powerful spur to learn my local geography so I don't appear as gormless as some I have met.
It's the Adventure Cycling Association.

As anyone who can use gormless in a sentence will understand, the definition of adventure implies an element of the unknown.

I always feel it's best to simply push on and ride. As social as it is, all the banter in the world is not going to change the lay of the land or how much weight I'm hauling.... Sometimes best not to know.

I like @Galloper 's view of our chosen task.

General Discussion / Re: Recent Vermont Trip
« on: June 24, 2022, 03:34:08 pm »
I lost some respect for Vermont drivers during this trip.
Even when the plates are not NY or Mass. - the area you are riding has been over-run with narcissistic urbanites, who always wonder why they are not accepted by the natives....

For what it's worth, he's been on the road for a week and has made it to Rochester.

General Discussion / Re: Ride for a day on the Great Divide?
« on: June 16, 2022, 12:16:37 pm »
One observation - you have an aggressive schedule for someone who is concerned about riding solo.  Racers do it all the time, and I can think of a dozen spots off the top of my head, where a mechanical issue or wrong line could cause a nasty spill.

Remember to keep a little flexibility in your schedule to allow time for your body to adapt, unexpected delays/long slogs, and a chance to smell the roses.

You need to be strong and smiling at the end of the trip.

Have fun.

General Discussion / Re: Northern tier crossing end of June!!
« on: June 15, 2022, 12:52:07 pm »
... yes, I'm definitely starting end of June....
And then people mention bears.. What? Which kind?....
So I am hoping to get some help and solutions once i start.
Great approach. Get on the road - that will alleviate a lot of anxiety about the unknown.

Relish the freedom of solo travel. You'll find lots of fellow solo travellers along the way. Enjoy the opportunity to set your own pace without need to prove your fitness to anyone else. Too many trips end early when excited, overloaded groups push too hard and don't allow for recovery of everyone in the group. That also leads to bad group dynamics with frustrated, physically endowed riders feeling like they are held back, and frustrated, less aerobically inclined riders hating every hill.

Even when hoteling it, I usually carry a small bivuoac sack - just in case I need to sleep outside, and need an extra 10 deg. F of comfort and/or to keep the bugs off.

If you're not sleeping outside at night and not doing a lot of riding after dark, - no worries about bears and other critters on this route. They are not as silly as we, and usually are not overactive during the day. (Only mad dogs and Englishmen....) As you might have noted from other threads, if you do sleep outside in bear country, don't sleep with your food.

Have fun. Sounds like a great trip.

Always sorry to hear of a trip to the American west that starts on a bad foot.

How certain is the airline that it is permanently lost or stolen?
Sometimes, and especially with international and budget flights, bicycles travel "standby," and eventually show up....

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