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Messages - velo

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Gear Talk / Re: Question about something.
« on: March 07, 2010, 04:42:54 pm »
Most eyelets take 5 mm x .8 pitch. These are the two numbers, 5mm refers to the diameter. .8 pitch refers to the pitch of the threads, basically how coarse or fine they are.

You can get bolts in different lengths, don't get then too long or they might run into things before they get tight. Don't get them too short or they won't stay.

6mm x 1.0 pitch is also common, 4mm is around as well. 

General Discussion / Re: Money money money!
« on: March 05, 2010, 12:36:03 pm »
On the Northern Tier last summer I averaged somewhere between $20-30/day. This was camping every night and mostly cooking my own food but eating very well. I probably ate a meal in a cafe 2-3 times per week. This was with a group of 4 so we were able to split the cost of more expensive campsites as needed.  At least on the NT there is a fair amount of free or very cheap camping in city parks and such.

Gear Talk / Re: Rectangular vs mummy sleeping bag
« on: February 17, 2010, 12:44:06 am »
Lots of mummy bags zip together. My partner and I have an REI and a Mountain Hardware that zip together fine. Both have #8 YKK zippers, one is left side zip, the other is right side. No need to look for anything fancy, most companies make a right and left zip model.

You can snuggle and have mummy bags! The weight and bulk of a non-mummy bag would be prohibitive to me for touring.

Gear Talk / Re: 3-4 person tent
« on: February 17, 2010, 12:26:48 am »
Take listed weights with a grain, or 2 lbs, of salt.  "Variation in manufacture" seems awfully severe and always heavier, funny thing.

I have a Hubba Hubba and it's a great tent for 2. I suspect the Mutha Hubba would be good for your needs if it is large enough.

Gear Talk / Re: Bicycle Head Light ?
« on: February 14, 2010, 05:17:53 pm »
If what you want is a "be seen" light I'd recommend a Planet Bike Superflash 1 watt (or 2 watt, or 1/2 watt) front and a PB Superflash 1/2 watt rear. They are great lights and have an extremely bight flashing pattern. The front runs on 2 AA batteries and the rear runs on 2 AAA batteries. 

If you need to see you'd want something brighter. I've finished rides by the light of a 1 watt and it was just enough, but a little marginal for true night riding.

General Discussion / Re: Your first long distance tour...
« on: February 13, 2010, 05:55:04 pm »
What was going through your mind upon commencing your very first long distance tour?
What was going through your mind as you finished, or were about to finish your first long distance tour?

1) The house is packed, the stuff is in the shipping container and I'm moving on two wheels - awesome. I should have found time to train. We did the Northern Tier from Seattle to Minnesota.
2) Why are we stopping?!? When can we start again.

General Discussion / Re: Bike recommendations for heavy people
« on: February 08, 2010, 12:41:12 pm »
I'll second tandem wheels. 48 spoke tandem wheels might be the ticket. Phil Wood makes some nice tandem hubs.  Bigger tires would also help cushion the ride and protect your wheels.

Depending on your height a Surly Long Haul Trucker with 26 inch wheels might be a good choice, those frames are stout. If you have the crash you could always get a really beefy custom frame built up.

You could also consider a 2 wheeled trailer for gear as this will take some weight off of your frame. Just an added option.

General Discussion / Re: Best Cell phone coverage across US???
« on: February 03, 2010, 11:42:48 am »
Based on riding on the Northern Tier from Seattle to Minneapolis in 2009. We had phones by Verizon, T-mobile and AT&T. Verizon had the best coverage, it didn't always have coverage, but it was generally solid. Most of the little towns had coverage. The t-mobile phone seemed to beat out AT&T but not by much. With both of these we got some coverage virtually every day.

I heard complaints from a few people along the way about iPhone/Blackberry speed and reliability. We had no smart phones on our tour, so I don't have first hand experience with this.

WiFi is more and more available, a phone with wifi could be useful at times. I'm planning to bring my iTouch in the future to be able to check email and such. A fair number of truck stop/service stations, cafe's and hotels have wifi.

General Discussion / Re: A couple of touring questions
« on: February 01, 2010, 03:33:51 pm »
For the tent:

I often pull my tent out at lunch to dry and air out, in 30 minutes a tent will mostly dry if it is sunny out. In the morning I try to shake my tent out before packing it up. It rides near the top of pannier so it is easy to get out at lunch time.

For clothes:

Wash them and then strap them on top of panniers, they will dry quickly in the wind.  Make sure to tie or clip everything in so you don't get to the end of the day and realize that you no longer have an article of clothing.

General Discussion / Re: Carrying Pepper Spray
« on: January 25, 2010, 04:17:47 pm »
I've carried a small thing of pepper spray in my jersey pocket. I've also carried bear mace in the mesh side pocket of my jandd handlebar bag. After some guy in Northern Minnesota called his dogs on us I now consider any bear mace fair game.  The only reason we didn't get bitten was that my touring partner kicked on of the beasts solidly in the throat.

You could probably make a velco mount for it to attach a canister to your stem. 

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