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Messages - driftlessregion

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General Discussion / Question Regarding Wheel Strength
« on: December 16, 2008, 10:44:00 pm »
You don't say what size tires are on your wheels, but use big ones: at least 32 or 35's. Take some rides without the trailer. 260 is alot for 32 spoke wheels but if you're careful about potholes etc you should be ok. You'll find out soon enough. The trailer should have a negligible effect on the wheels since you're just pulling it with little downward force on the rims.

General Discussion / PTS? Post Tour Syndrome?
« on: December 06, 2008, 10:44:13 pm »
It's going to be -1 F overnight here in SOUTHERN Wisconsin. Planning the next tour is the only thing that gets me to the spinning class and through the winter.

General Discussion / Favorite book
« on: October 06, 2008, 09:57:08 pm »
Yes, yes, yes to Carl Hiaasen! Few authors are funnier. If you ever get a chance to listen to his stories narrated by George Wilson, do so. Wilson nails the personalities perfectly.

General Discussion / Favorite book
« on: August 19, 2008, 09:50:55 pm »
I have agonized some years over what book to take. It has to be a good one. This year it was Pulitzer Prize winning Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry (it is 900 pages so I sliced out the 300 or so pages I thought I would need for 800 miles). One year it was Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer. The book has to have good writing and not merely be entertaining.

General Discussion / bearings going out
« on: August 10, 2008, 11:26:35 pm »
My BOB has about 5000 miles on it. It doesn't come with a super hub. There is some slop in it now and being sealed bearing hub can't tighten down, but it still took me up to Crater Lake last month with no problems. My bag probably weighs 35#.

General Discussion / Maine bike tour questions
« on: August 10, 2008, 11:30:52 pm »
We recently used FedEx to get our bikes from Wisconsin to Portland Oregon. I have asked motels to keep the box with the promise of staying there at both ends of the trips. I also have used bike shops but one jerk shop in Portland wanted $10/day for each box (there were 3 of us). When you fly with them it becomes a big hassle at the airport. How many cabs can carry one bike box let alone 2 or 3. I would never check my bike with the airline.

General Discussion / First tour, No Experience
« on: August 03, 2008, 11:29:13 pm »
Given your inexperience and lack of time to prepare, I advise buying a new bike not a used one. You need to have something that won't break down. You don't have to spend a lot, $1000 will get you a good Trek or Novara at REI, and a couple of others are in that price range. Buy it now and ride it so you can take it back to the shop and have any cable stretch taken care of. Make sure the shop adjusts it to fit you well! That is as important as the bike choice itself. Realistically, if you leave in less than 3 weeks you don't have time to get in good physical shape so don't push it. You will be getting in shape on the road. Your main task is in making sure your gear works.

You will get hot and sweaty, and there is no way to say this politely: smear some lube (many to chose from in bike shop or good old Vaseline which lasts longer but doesn't wash as easily) in your crotch and buttocks to prevent heat rash as well as chafing. Nothing ruins a tour like sores. Cycling clothes are beneficial but many people tour without them. Don't sweat the decisions about shoes and pedals now. Just get a bike and make sure it works! Finally, read the articles on touring on this website.  Good luck!

General Discussion / Where to camp
« on: August 03, 2008, 11:32:43 pm »
Warmshowers is great. I used it recently and had a wonderful visit with our hosts. Thanks Paul and Monica!

General Discussion / Laptops while touring?
« on: March 22, 2008, 11:26:58 pm »
Nothing beats a colorful postcard.

General Discussion / Eating on Tour
« on: May 28, 2008, 10:30:48 pm »
Hamburger with tomatoes of some kind (canned stewed, chopped or fresh if possible), and any number of seasonings: lots of paprika, those dry packets, over whatever starch you can find: noodles or rice or potatoes.  Lentils cooked with onions, carrots and soy sauce. TVP (texturized vegetable protein) requires no refrigeration and can be added to anything for some protein. Carrots and onions carry well.

On a tour in Iowa on the Mississippi River we stopped at a small commercial fisherman's shop (shack really) and had fresh fish that night. MMM.

General Discussion / Hip Bursitis
« on: March 11, 2008, 11:24:22 pm »
Ditto to the professional fit. Do it. Get someone who doesn't just use the jig but looks at your body and how it sits on the bike. You won't be sorry you spent the money!

General Discussion / Shipping the bike when trip is over!
« on: March 03, 2008, 10:59:14 pm »
DHL is often cheaper than either FedEx or UPS or the airlines. Also check out and

General Discussion / Communication from the road
« on: February 23, 2008, 08:39:35 pm »
I had pretty good luck with Verizon on the NT a couple of years ago while others with me didn't. Not total coverage by any means but better than the others.

General Discussion / Travel on Sheldon
« on: February 05, 2008, 11:31:13 pm »
Travel on.

General Discussion / Single Riders on Tours
« on: January 27, 2008, 10:51:01 pm »
On my one ACA ride, none of us (all 14) knew each other beforehand, though many of us were married. On local/state supported rides most, but by no means all people came with someone to ride with.

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