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Messages - ray b

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General Discussion / Re: carrying a firearm on a tour
« on: February 28, 2021, 12:31:50 pm »
Traveling alone on a recumbent, my character leaves town in a depressed state of mind.

The open road, fresh air and physical activity will do your character a world of good!...
Well put. It will be tough to keep the protagonist in a depressed state on the road. A lot of data out there to show that exercise is our best antidepressant, even when compared with electroconvulsive therapy and modern pharmacology .

From a practical perspective I like to point out that breathing is important, and when we are fighting for every breath up a hill at altitude, not much else seems important. Problems of daily life become minuscule.

I just came across an article from Matias Corea in the December BMW Motorcycle Owners News. On returning from a 6-month trip from Brooklyn to Ushuaia along many back roads, he noted the following on returning to Red Hook:

Around me I see everyone preoccupied with the small routines that bind their lives. Going to the grocery store, being late for work, plans for Saturday night… just the old regular life I'd lived for so long. None of this seems important now. I still carry the reflex of the simpler road life.

Does this mean that the popular sequel, your hero realizes his life is simpler, more meaningful and happier on the road, meeting people and just helping out where he can? James Grant (Lee Child) is in semi- retirement. Once your character finds what makes him happy, maybe your he/she can be the modern Jack Reacher. Think about the film rights. Brad Cooper? Denzel Washington? (Always good to have someone in mind.)

General Discussion / Re: carrying a firearm on a tour
« on: February 27, 2021, 09:34:49 pm »
...and you alreadi know the game. Be specific about brands and get the placement fees in the contract.... Oh, and gun guys love the rare stuff. Maybe its a piece left by his dead father who was a collector. I temember a story from a colleague that involved looking up the process for unloading a unusual gun the nursing home personel found under his father's pillow when he died.

Have fun. One meets some interestng people along the path of background research for a novel..., kinda like bike touring.

General Discussion / Re: NEWBIE Cooking question . . .
« on: February 25, 2021, 10:50:30 pm »


When cycletouring, packing along a stash of energy-dense, non-cook food is a good idea for a number of reasons!

Lengthy chat by our British counterparts:
Right. Although I always have at least a tiny stove and metal cup when in the backcountry, not everyone does. Some of you might know YouTube hound and personality Ryan van Duzer of Boulder, who famously does multiday backcountry trips without  benefit of a stove..., or coffee!

General Discussion / Re: carrying a firearm on a tour
« on: February 25, 2021, 10:36:28 pm »
I know nothing about guns other than what I learn from the Internet. And I ask this question merely as an author working on a novel.
....but you are right to ask and sample opinion. I've heard from one of the crime noir authors I know, that a sure way to draw critiicism to your work is to make a mistake about guns or gun fights.

If you've been writing for a while, you probably have some expert consultants you can use. If not,  you might hit up a trainer in your region and perhaps a well-trained cyclist who carries a weapon.  Most of these folks will usually consult for the cost of a dinner and proof your fight scenes for you.

It strikes me that John's buddy sounds like a thoughtful expert and a colorful character from a novel just waiting to be written..... The only problem with these guys in real life is that they don't exude a lot of emtional energy in confrontation.  If you're going to write the scene with Sly Stallone in mind as the aging cyclist, the entire pack of dogs will have to go down in a hail of bullets (except for the little one that finds a new home and security in his handlebar bag).  :)

Have fun with this. Never enough novels with cyclists as the protagonists. Good luck and keep us posted.

General Discussion / Re: carrying a firearm on a tour
« on: February 25, 2021, 03:05:48 pm »
A question many have wrestled with. In the end, it's probably not worth the weight, as risks usually outweigh any theoretical benefit. I know some police officers who wear lycra and pistols while riding, but like a lot of good police officers, they've made enough enemies that they believe they need to carry as much deterrence as possible.

Non-lethal force for animals is discouraged. (See posts on how to handle dogs.) If pepper spray can stop a run at you by a grizzly bear better than a hand gun - well - 'nuf said.

As regards your reference to complex, 2-legged animals, I approach the question in terms of use of a firearm as extension of other martial arts. It is always a last resort. You might find the presence of your gun hampers de-escalation of a situation through your other skills.

I'll note, I did have a hunting rifle pointed at me by a drunk while sitting out a rainstorm at night in Oklahoma during a cross-country trip in 1979. A little talking to eliminate his view of me as a threat went a long way to de-escalate the situation. If I had tried to utilize a weapon, I would have been shot.

Any time you use the word gun, you'll generate a lot of discussion. My premises follow:

1. Guns are not always effective. Training, training, and more training can make them more effective, but limitations of "stopping" power of handguns are obvious.
2. One would need to wear his or her weapon - heavy and sweaty. I've used a TDI fanny pack in the past for a G19, but it leaves a big wet spot.
3. Guns can be taken away. Weapons retention training will teach you how to take someone else's weapon and why your weapon might not be secure.
4. Chances of a situation progressing to use of deadly force increases if you are obviously armed.
5. If someone in a vehicle wants to do you bodily harm, a weapon will not help.
6. If you shoot someone, you will be arrested and even if not guilty of a crime, you will likely be sued in a jurisdiction a long way from home.

In the end, I added up all the miles cyclists have travelled unarmed and without incident in the context of almost non-existent stories of intentional bodily harm outside of injuries caused by motor vehicles, and realized that risk of deadly harm in an altercation while touring on a bicycle is miniscule.

I guess, touring cyclists do not appear threatening, haughty, rich, or even good to eat....

Gear Talk / Re: Rohloff SpeedHub
« on: February 25, 2021, 11:17:22 am »
I have asked about drivetrains before. This question is specific to the Rohloff. For cyclist who have toured with them, do you or have you had any problems with them? Leaking oil things like that. Any regrets on getting one? Do you wish that you stayed with a standard chain derailleur system? I have read several articles with the pros and cons. I know they are expensive. Just wanted feedback from cyclist who use them. Thanks.
No problems. No regrets.
Have toured exclusively with Rohloffs on and off road. Minimal maintenance.

Gear Talk / Re: Marathon supreme width for full pack touring . . .
« on: February 25, 2021, 10:55:54 am »
I know you wnjoy thinking about details, so when it comes to tire size, I wanted to reiterate the importance of rim width.

General recommendations are for 1.5 to 2 times the rim width.  On pavement, I like to run closer to lower ration. The smaller tires also handle somewhat higher pressure.

I would add to the discussion of clearances the possibility you might need to run a slightly damaged rim. You might want an extra 5 mm clearance on either side to the stays - just in case.

Have fun.

General Discussion / Re: NEWBIE Cooking question . . .
« on: February 25, 2021, 10:40:43 am »
Right on all counts.

Depends on how big your tent is and how much risk you're willing to take.

On the one hand, when skiing, I always enjoyed a cup of coffee or tea in bed. (gas stove)

On the other hand, cooking, drinking and eating while in a sleeping bag takes practice, and modern bags that integrate the pad make it more difficult.

Besides, my first task in the morning as an old guy is to get out of the bag and urinate. Unless you're using a pee bottle or unless it's raining or snowing, meals in a little ultralight tent might not make sense.

People and set-ups are different. Have fun experimenting, but stay safe.

GPS & Digital Data Discussion / Re: GPS query
« on: February 19, 2021, 06:12:11 pm »
Jamie - Many thanks for jumping in (again). Your post saves a lot of time and non-productive wishful thinking.
Good year to you and all.

GPS & Digital Data Discussion / Re: GPS query
« on: February 19, 2021, 02:30:29 pm »
...By the way, it's not a good idea to transfer a route from one app to another too much - that's a great way of getting a route you hadn't planned!

I used the ACA app for one section of the Atlantic Coast Route and it was fine except it only had data (stores, campgrounds) for the official route. When I had to go off course due to a storm it was as useful as a chocolate teapot. It was supplemantary to my own gox files.

For any device you want to use on a tour I can't emphasise enough the importance of testing it out and becoming familiar with its foibles in advance.
Right you are, though a chocalate teapot would still be useful while touring if nothing more than a source of calories....

Reply from Wahoo with my inquiry.  This doesn't look like it's going very far. (Have to say, the folks at Garmin/Delorme are up to date on all available platforms and file structures)

Michael S (Wahoo Fitness Support)
Feb 19, 2021, 11:11 AM EST
Hello Raymond -
Thanks for writing in. My instinct tells me that the Roam is not compatible.  However, I am not familiar with the product you are referring to.  Could you send more information on that?

Kind regards,
Raymond E Bourey
Feb 18, 2021, 6:29 PM EST
Do you know if the Element Roam is compatible with FrontPack's platform for download and display of route and service data purchased from the Adventure Cycling Association? (This should be a big market with just the GDBMR alone.)

GPS & Digital Data Discussion / Re: GPS query
« on: February 18, 2021, 07:45:06 pm »
While I don't know for sure, I doubt you can even get the Navigator data (it is proprietary to ACA).  However, the GPS data you purchase from ACA is in a GPX format I think and that "should" work I would think as it is still a major format.
Wahoo are very private and don't play well with outside partners other than the big boys like Strava etc.
The ACA gpx tracks will work, but will need to be edited in something like RideWithGPS.
Please see here:
Many thanks. Your replies certainly answer my question as to whether a thread left fallow for 6 months can be resuscitated.

In the old days, I'd load the GPX data directly into the brick that was my Garmin Montana. The Wahoo Roam can accept .GPX and .TCX data files, but as implied by HobbesOnTour, Wahoo officially notes this should be a last resort - i.e., buggy. And correct, the company suggests loading maps into Ride With GPS as a preferred solution.

Thanks for the link to the prior thread. (When I searched bicycle route navigator, I had no hits.)

The Wahoo units have supposedly been upgraded significantly in the last 2 y to include some navigation capability, but still suffer when asked to handle raw .GPX files.

My problem - purchase of both the phone-based ACA Bicycle Route Navigator routes and the ACA .GPX files seems a redundant and unnecessary expense.

Wouldn't it be slick if the ACA phone-based routes would communicate directly (or indirectly) with GPS through their FrontPack platform. 

If I hear back from Wahoo, I'll post their answer.

GPS & Digital Data Discussion / Re: iPhone as only GPS device
« on: February 18, 2021, 07:03:15 pm »
A good question. Aside from battery life (now easily handled with options above), the only issue I've had is that the phone GPS generally uses fewer satellites than dedicated GPS devices, and uses cell towers to help triangulate position. Without the cell towers, it can throw you off route by a couple hundred feet.... Probably not an issue in the mountains where you don't have a high density of roads.

And of course, if you have time, and you're out wandering, ending the day off route is not always bad.... I've done a chunk of the paved routes without problem using just my big Samsung Note 8.

That said, I'm a belt and suspenders guy. Out in the woods, a dedicated GPS unit and a set of paper maps usually find a spot on my rig. Most GPS units are getting smaller and more reliable as they now interact directly with your phone.

Also - as noted elsewhere, nice to leave the GPS on the bike. The phone stays safe with you.

In the end, let us know how it works out. 

GPS & Digital Data Discussion / Re: GPS query
« on: February 18, 2021, 06:47:11 pm »

The pros:  Garmin is the de facto GPS so a lot of gps data is geared toward their file format.

I think Garmin is the standard still but I just read a post on my Facebook Cycling Group about 30 mins ago and the question is do you use a Garmin or a Wahoo and about 2/3 of the respondents wrote they use the Wahoo and most commonly was the Wahoo Bolt.   I think it is quickly (over the past 5 years) becoming a new favorite. I used mine traveling cross country and tried to charge it every day there was power but could go two days in a pinch.  The Wahoo software is noted to be much less buggy and it just works.  Also, mine is b&w screen and uses less battery than the color screen Garmins do.... 

So, to pick up the thread in 2021, the Wahoo Elemnt Bolt will now handle turn-by-turn directions on download maps from Ride With GPS and Komoot. The Elemnt Roam will handle these files, Strava, and "any other routing source file."

Anyone know if "any other routing source file" would include the FrontPack platform used for the Adventure Cycling Association Bicycle Route Navigator? I have a question in with Wahoo, but figured folks on this forum would be approaching the question from the opposite direction of Wahoo, and might already have the answer.

General Discussion / Re: Trailer or just panniers?
« on: February 09, 2020, 03:05:32 pm »
I'm finishing up the planning for a ride back to MI using Route 66.  ... I'm thinking about 2 months to get back home to Grand Rapids.  ... Taking some of the weight off the bike by using a trailer looks to have some advantages but I'd appreciate any advice that might be given...
I also have both a trailer and panniers. Agree with all said, but will point out the physics - My Bob weighs about 14 pounds. Even my long trips have gone ultra-lightweight if I have real hills to climb - I don't even own large panniers. Yes, you might set a personal downhill best speed with the extra weight of the trailer, but you'll pay for it on the way back up the next hill.

That said, for leisurely flatland camping, a trailer with up to 70 pounds of payload can't be beat. If you're starting in Texas, you've left most of the climbing to the west. If you go for the trailer, simply make sure you are geared for the Joplin Missouri area.

And have fun.

They will work just fine, only the ability to get UTC time is possibly impacted.
Exactly right. A bunch of us with old Garmins sold with software and technical support as BMW motorcycle NAV Vs had a temporary reversion to year -00 until the most recent firmware upgrade.

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