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Messages - driftlessregion

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Gear Talk / STI and handlebar bags
« on: November 26, 2003, 10:09:51 pm »
Glad to hear that the predicted unreliability of STI may not be as bad as I thought. I have 105's and love them but don't mind swapping bar-ends for my Northern Tier trek next summer if necessary. I've had them on for 2000 miles now and wonder if they will break in the middle of ND. Anyone else?

Gear Talk / STI and handlebar bags
« on: November 25, 2003, 02:44:24 am »
Tonight I saw on the Arkel Panniers site about using either Avid Rollamajig or V-brake "noodle" to allow large handlebar bags wtih STI levers. Installed where the shifter cable exits the lever it directs the cable down without harming it. Does anyone have any experience with this system?

Does anyone have opinions about the reliability of STI on a long tour?

Gear Talk / panniers vs. BOB-like trailers??
« on: January 09, 2004, 03:02:39 am »
I think John Schubert's article is a good example of the difficulty many of us had in choosing. I wanted the classic look of panniers but for some reason hate cantilever brakes so I couldn't buy the full touring Waterford.  As for handling, I think this is one of those preference issues. I used a BOB in August for 400 miles one week and after a few hours the first day didn't notice it behind me. Around camp it was very convenient. As for lack of compartment, that't what zip-lock bags are made for.  Sometimes you just need a reason for a decision that makes sense to you when neither seems to be the wrong one. I finally decided that a trailer would put less stress on the bike as a whole and thus have fewer mechanical breakdowns. True or not that's what tipped the scales for me.

Routes / Need Washington state route help
« on: November 21, 2006, 11:54:11 pm »
I have to admit I have plenty of time, this trip not being until June 2008; I just enjoy the planning! I will definitely try the Seattle bike club. I also bought a book called Bicycling the Backroads Around Puget Sound from The Mountaineers ( With a gazetteer I may be able to piece together a route from its many day trips. My experience with gazetteers is that they are usually great in the country (but one state didn't differentiate gravel roads) but in urban areas it is hard to determine suitablility of the road for bikes. What is your experience?

Routes / Need Washington state route help
« on: October 28, 2006, 12:21:42 am »
I have the official WADOT bicycle map and it doesn't show any bike routes if you can believe that. The problem with the Delorme Gazetteers is that it is not very helpful in urban areas. I'd be grateful for any specifics you can provide. My email is in my preferences.

Routes / Need Washington state route help
« on: October 25, 2006, 11:12:59 pm »
Hey Washingtonians,
I need help planning a route from Paradise/Mount Rainier to Mukilteo north of Seattle. It looks like nothing but busy city highways on the maps. If you know of a safe way north through Pierce and King counties please let me know.

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.

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