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Messages - CraftGeek

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Gear Talk / Re: Clothing to keep you warm and dry
« on: August 19, 2010, 02:49:16 pm »
+1 to the above with one modifier:
I have found that eVent based fabrics are much more efficient at getting the water vapor out than GoreTex. I have an eVent jacket that has no pit zips and as long as relative humidity is not approaching 100% I stay dry(ish).

General Discussion / Re: Food
« on: August 07, 2010, 12:00:35 am »
While camping on Anthrax Island we had liver with fava beans and a nice Chianti.   ;D
Hannibal? is that you?

Gear Talk / Re: Heavy Duty Handle Bar Bag
« on: July 18, 2010, 10:04:59 pm »
Howdy Neighbor,

After going through several I found the Ortlieb Ultimate 5 Plus.
  • are light but bomb proof.
  • have the strongest mounting I have seen.
  • have a secure but easy to release detachment mechanism that can lock the bag to the mount with a key if needed.
  • are torrential rain proof without the need of an extra cover (personal experience).
  • come in three sizes that all use the same mounting so you can easily use the right size for the type of ride you want to do that day. (I have all three)
  • have an optional padded camera insert that converts the bag to a workable camera bag for 35 mm SLR (fits my Nikon D70 with zoom lens perfectly). The insert fits the medium and large not the small bag.

You can buy them from The Touring Store who just happens to be here in Colorado. I've dealt with him before and definitely recommend him.
Here is the link to the bag on his site.

Gear Talk / Re: Camping Tent
« on: July 01, 2010, 01:31:42 pm »
has anyone toured with the quechua 2 second pop-up tents?  they seem hard to find in America (except via Ebay), but it sounds like they're pretty weather resistant and priced very reasonably.   I think it would be nice to have something that sets up so quickly.
For the convenience of quick setup, the tent is heavier than most of its size and it cannot pack down into as small a package as most other tents do.  For example, the 2 person version weighs almost 6 pounds and when packed into its smallest form is still over 2 feet across.


Since no one else has responded I'll toss in my two cents:

For it's price ($2.99), it's  intuitive user interface and feature set I like MotionX GPS.

I wasn't going to mention it on this thread because in normal use, you have to have a data connection to AT&T to get the map of your current location. However, you can pre download maps of your route before you go so you will already have them in memory. Once done, you can access all the maps of the area you've downloaded without any cell phone connection at all.

The down sides are that...
* you have to take the time to download you route (best done in sections) and it takes a long time.
* if you only want detailed maps for a 100 mile route you still need 50 to 100 MB of data.
* if you need to do a full reset on your phone, you could loose all the maps you so laboriously downloaded, until you restore them from the automatic backup on your PC.

However, for $2.99 it is a great backup to a dedicated GPS unit.

General Discussion / Re: Have any of you gotten sick on tour?
« on: June 27, 2010, 11:35:33 am »
Thanks again. I hadn't even thought of the bad water and raw veg angles... :-\

I'm going to get some Imodium AD for my med kit and foot powder & hand sanitizer to my toiletries kit before my upcoming shake-down ride.

General Discussion / Re: Have any of you gotten sick on tour?
« on: June 26, 2010, 03:04:33 pm »
Thanks all.

I guess I just have to...
...stop worrying and go.
...not think that I need to cover a certain distance and peddle only as long as it still feels good.
...smell the roses.


General Discussion / Re: need a bike route from Spokane to Missoula
« on: June 24, 2010, 08:23:03 pm »

Yes, but is it any good?  Around here it has some very bizarre ideas about what is optimal for riding.

True. You do need to take the time and go over the proposed route with Street View and Satellite View to verify the route has shoulders and is paved. As you do that, it is easy enough to drag the route to a better road.

General Discussion / Re: need a bike route from Spokane to Missoula
« on: June 23, 2010, 01:55:44 pm »
Another tool you can use is to go to Google Maps and use the new bicycle routing option to get directions from Spokane to Missoula.
Here is the link to the route I got with Google Maps:,+WA&daddr=Missoula,+MT&hl=en&geocode=&mra=ls&dirflg=b&sll=39.789017,-105.46978&sspn=0.062787,0.154324&ie=UTF8&ll=47.215837,-115.708008&spn=1.869263,4.938354&z=8&lci=bike

As I understand it, to comply with the law, we are supposed to dismount and walk our bikes in the street?

In several sections of the effected road there are minimal or no sidewalks (according to to Google Maps Streetview). Could someone who remembers that section coraborate this please?

If the above is true, that would force us onto the street, walking next to our bikes. This would increase the amount of lane we take up and prolong the time we are taking the lane.

It seems that the ordinance directly endangers cyclists.

Maybe a large group of us should get together and repeatedly travel that section of the route while strictly obeying all local laws...

General Discussion / Have any of you gotten sick on tour?
« on: June 23, 2010, 12:38:12 am »
At 53, I have only been cycling regularly for 2 years. I’ve not been on tour yet but I will as soon as I’m able. (at least that’s the plan)

Today I had planned to cycle to work and back, an 80 mile round trip. I’ve been working up to it and was confident that I could do it.

Then I got sick, several days of fever and a wracking cough.

As I convalesce and more synapses reconnect to their neighbors, I wonder...

What should I do if I got this sick in the middle of a tour?

Has anyone out there been in that situation?

What did you do?

How did it work out?

What would you have done differently?

Thanks in advance,

Colorado / Re: The Colorado Bicycle Touring Society is forming!!
« on: June 05, 2010, 09:10:47 pm »
Thank you Ron for taking the time to put this together and getting it going.

New member

One can subtract all the issues related to stability (wobbly starts and stops, unforgiving gear choices when starting, low speed erratic-ness, etc, etc) by adding a third wheel. It all goes away. Use a tadpole arrangement (two wheels up front) and you double the traction available for steering and almost double it for braking.

Granted, you are low to the ground. But, drivers notice the unusual.  There are few things more unusual looking on the road than a trike. I have little touring experience (something that I'll correct as soon as possible), but while commuting in town and on country roads, drivers give me a   lot   of room. I have never had a car crowd me.  

It is definitely true that with normal peddling techniques recumbents are slower up hill. However, trikes have the advantage of low speed stability. This means that we can take advantage of a lower gears, take the hill slower while still maintaining an efficient spin. No wobble.


Just got mine and am about to sit down with a beer, a dog and the Adventure Cyclist.

Thanks ACA!

General Discussion / Re: Artificial knees
« on: June 03, 2010, 02:35:14 pm »
Something else to consider is replacing the standard peddle cranks with shortened ones. I have a diminished left knee (tore the ACL and PCL years ago) and have found that 153 mm crank arm length works well for me.
The reason it helps (I think) is that the knee does not need to bend at such an acute angle it the top of every stroke. Also, when you start the power portion of the stroke your knee is a bit less bent and your mussels are not as stretched.

I've just begun riding with shortened cranks and it seems better for my knee.

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