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Messages - ray b

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General Discussion / Re: US dogs
« on: May 30, 2022, 08:28:16 pm »
Living in Missouri - I agree with Jeff.
I put in a ton of miles a year, and can't remember the last time I was chased by a dog. (Of course I'm old and the memory ain't great.)
Traffic is much more dangerous than 99.9% of the dogs, who sometimes run for fun and entertainment - watch their tails; many are wagging.
A little squirt of water from the water bottle is enough to keep most at bay. Cans of Halt require a place to put them and require a little more practice.
Have fun.

Your clothing shows a lot of thought.

As above. The post office is your friend.

Have you tried packing all this yet? Clothes take up a lot of room. Think about the extra mass of the bags and racks required to carry them. Think about redundancy of function; get your items of clothing to do as many jobs as possible.

E.g., agree with the above. My camp cargo shorts are a pair of lightweight, quick-drying board shorts (swim trunks) with a mesh liner and a few pockets. 

You'll find that even your thinnest wind-breaking jacket does the job with the proper amount of layers underneath. I'd lose all but your waterproof shell and maybe the down parka, which you can use to supplement the loft in your sleeping kit.

I see the R1 and the down sweater as redundant. I'm guessing the Uniglo packs smaller than the fleece-based R1.

I assume you'll spend most of your time in your cycling shorts. For hygiene, better to have two pair of cycling shorts (in case you don't get to wash and fully dry them nightly).

Too many pants:
Not sure what cycling pants are. If tights - then they are the equivalent of sweat pants. If pants, can they do double duty for the jeans?
Not clear what the sweat pants are for. If cold, you can wear the cycling pants under the jeans?
And think about the weight of jeans - especially when wet - and how long they take to dry. Unless this is a mandatory fashion statement, a compulsory part of the great American adventure, or an attempt to blend in with the Dakota cowboys, you might think about something a little more light weight, packable, and perhaps useable over cycling shorts, while you are on the bike. I rode in jeans and cut-off jeans in the 70s; I'm just sayin'.... (And besides, it's hard to blend in with the average cowboy wearing sandals.)

If your socks are wool, you can probably cut the number in half. Wear them out? Buy a new pair.

Think about a pair of lightweight rain shorts or cut-off el-cheapo rain pants to keep from completely soaking your shorts in a downpour.

Unless you like sunblock, think about UV protection extenders for your legs as well.

Have fun with this.

The bike is getting heavier and heavier... Will post my packing list soon for feedback.
The weight only matters if you're on a schedule.... That said, there are a lot of mechanical and esthetic advantages to a minimal load.

Unfortunately, if you leave it up to 100 people to tell you what they consider to be the most essential item they bring, you'll likely get 110 absolutely essential items.

As you read through the comments on your list, remember to (a) don't take offense and (b) heed only those recommendations that truly strike a chord for you.

Matthew Lee liked to point out that on 2 week races, he only took a few items in addition to his everyday carry of tools and parts. It's surprising how little it takes to sleep, eat, and keep moving.

For comparison, I ran into a fellow time-trialing the Great Divide Mountan Bike Route on a rig that weighed ~35 pounds fully loaded including mud and water. On the other hand I had a great time taking 4 times longer to complete the trip on a bike and racks that had a mass of 34 pounds and went ~80 pounds fully loaded..., including spare pedals, an electric shaver and computer, but on the other hand, without a stove.

Gear Talk / Re: Bar talk
« on: May 12, 2022, 08:51:09 pm »
Have fun - I've tried a bunch of options - Jones, Surly, etc.

This is my favorite, but involves a slightly longer steerer than you might have, an old unfashionably short and straight Easton handlebar, some Ergon bar ends, and a Fred Bar to mount the carbon aero bars. You'd need to mount thumb shifters. (This rig runs single speed or Rohloff.)

General Discussion / Re: Bear safe food storage
« on: May 11, 2022, 08:20:18 pm »
Right - important to remember, the unfortunate USFS officer has been the only casualty to a bear of someone actually riding a bicycle. Creaky cranks and other trail noise presumably keep the bears out of the way..., most of the time. The trick, as well noted above, is to not smell like something good to eat while you're trying to sleep.

I've bombed a few downhills with fresh grizzly scat in the middle of the trail. I assume my whoops and shouts helped keep the trail free.

As regards the cannister/bag debate..., lots in other threads. I've always been a bag guy - well except Alaska where they have no trees.

That said, a lot of the US national parks have started to require cannisters, and a whole market has developed with certification by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee. (To be certified, a food-filled canister needs to last in a grizzly bear enclosure and sustain at least 60 minutes of bear contact without failing.)

I saw an engineer last summer with a nice, lightweight cannister that fit well on his rack. See photo below. It takes the uncertainty out of where to store any food and toiletries in bear country. I looked into it further. Like everything else associated with our sport, I found a nice carbon fiber version I liked (at about 600 grams) for over $300....

By the time one get's south of Pinedale, Wyoming, the threat of big brown bears (grizzlies) gives way to the hassles of smaller brown bears (black bears) - and the bags don't need to be hung near as high (though the smaller bears do climb better). I've heard that javelina (native pigs) can wreck food-ridden camps in New Mexico, but I have never seen any sign of them. (But, I don't bait them, either.)

I'll note that, if staying in USFS campgrounds, the hosts often have bear-proof boxes for use by tenters - if boxes are not provided in the sites.

Have fun thinking about this, and realize that just by thinking about it, you've probably prevented any significant interaction with our Ursus arctos horribilis.

Now, let's talk about mountain lions....

New England / Re: Green Mountain Loop Vermont
« on: May 04, 2022, 03:34:20 pm »

(My opinion)

If the knee is not a problem riding, I would make sure I had a second opinion. If you haven't seen a sports medicine-oriented academic guy who focuses only on knees, it might be worth a trip.

Right - only 2 gears needed in the Netherlands. (With the wind and against the wind.)

As an old guy, without the power I used to have when I raced, I'll admit to running more than recommended ratios on my Rohloff. This summer past, I ran 32/13 (chain) (ratio 2.4) on a fully loaded back country tour without problem. 

That said, I have a great respect for the kind of damage one can cause with that kind of power advantage to gears, frames, and wheels; I did my share of walking. (Or, to paraphrase Matthew Lee, "You'll know when to get off and walk."

On the other hand, it was nice to have that super-low ratio toward the end of a long day with camp still waiting over the pass.

Try to have fun with this. With an eccentric bottom bracket, you can probably have 3 or 4 usable combinations of chainrings and sprockets to use for different geography and logistics.

Take care.

And there you have it - folks usually have to pay for that kind of customized information.

I also run Rohloff's with a much lower ratio - especially if I am running 80 pounds of water, food, gear, and bicycle. (For me, the incline does not have to be much to require much lower gearing.)

I agree - your next stop for information might be the experts at Koga. I'm sure they've played with this issue in the shop, if not on the road. If you haven't put any miles on the bike, they might even trade out your gearing and belt as an even exchange.

GPS & Digital Data Discussion / Re: GPS or ACA app, or both?
« on: April 24, 2022, 07:47:56 pm »
I have downloaded the entire map set onto my phone and I'm very impressed, and it's already useful.
I don't ever use a GPS here in the UK when touring, I just use OSmaps, Google or my nose lol.
I'd rather not add to the pile of expensive things I've already bought, so my question is, would it be advised to use something else as well as/to back up my phone and the ACA maps?
Everyone's different. Every ride has different demands. If you're on a budget and if you don't wear a belt and suspenders at the same time, you'll likely find the phone sufficient for the TAT.

I lean toward belt and suspenders, and can somehow justify the expense of a Garmin eTrex, the ACA phone app route, and paper maps.

If you like to look at maps, you might find the paper maps informative, fun to look at, and a reassuring backup to digital technology.

General Discussion / Re: Skinny tires on gravel?
« on: April 22, 2022, 01:37:41 pm »
It's not the geometry that allows or disallows 28mm tires, it's the fork and the width of the rear stay, but mostly the fork, that will allow or disallow wider tires. 
I was specifically thinking of my old crit and track bikes - the short wheel base put anything more than a ~25 mm tire into the seat tube. Width on my old Bob Jackson Messina was fine, and I dropped from 700C tubulars down to 27X1.25 (32 mm) tires for my first transcontinental ride in the late 70s.

General Discussion / Re: Skinny tires on gravel?
« on: April 21, 2022, 11:09:59 pm »
As above. Usually once these pros reply, not more needs to be said.

If not said, I'd note that if your bike's geometry is so tight you cannot slip in some 28 mm tires, then your frame might be a little stiff for a comfortable tide.

I'll also note that a popular mtn bike set up sports a bigger tire on front then back.

If you can successfully take your creative notions on the road, you'll have some inexpensive fun.

And as I'm fond of saying, it's good to keep the adventure in adventure cycling.

Classifieds / Re: STOLEN Co-Motion Americano
« on: April 01, 2022, 08:42:16 pm »
Good news.

Thanks for setting the good example at several levels. Many of us would still be whining and grieving.

So - perhaps not the right thread - but how did you search for your replacement bike?

General Discussion / Re: Grizzlies in Yellowstone and Glacier
« on: April 01, 2022, 08:37:46 pm »
I said, while riding.

I came through Ovando a short time after that incident. The unfortunate adventurer was in her tent with her food. After the bear visited the tent the first time, she moved the food to the "jail," where folks can sleep (hard shelter), but underestimating the danger, she stayed in her tent.

General Discussion / Re: Grizzlies in Yellowstone and Glacier
« on: March 30, 2022, 07:34:37 pm »
Excellent refresher as the bears start a new year.
As I recall, only one cyclist has been killed while riding - that was a ranger out fishing, who literally ran into a grizzly.

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