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Messages - driftlessregion

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General Discussion / 100 lb+ loads
« on: September 26, 2006, 12:16:56 am »
Well, 10 MPH on the flats maybe.
This and the previous string are interesting because there has long been an assumption in touring circles that lighter is better. The friends I mentioned earlier that took everything but the proverbial kitchen sink were quite happy and didn't need anyone telling them it was too much!  Not my way of traveling but then I don't go super light either. The point is to take what fits with your notion of what is important on a tour. I don't need 10# of photog equipment but I do need that heavy pad and maybe even a pint of good single malt whiskey. The photographer will sleep on rocks before giving up his high zoot lenses. Some are leery about traveling without 10# of tools. They get nervous if they can't fix things in the middle of nowhere.  Who am I to say that is too heavy? My preference is to have every thing nearly new so nothing breaks down but that may not always be possible. We have different values and if the bike keeps moving forward that's all that really matters. Happy trails everyone.

General Discussion / Loaded Weight
« on: September 26, 2006, 12:06:55 am »
"Regardless of how fast or slow I rode on my tour, the tour was the journey and not the destination, nor the miles made good"


General Discussion / Loaded Weight
« on: September 22, 2006, 10:20:12 pm »
Every one has a opinion as you can see. Who knows if 59# is too much until you try it. I've ridden with folks who brought a laptop computer to plug in his camera that makes yours look mini. Another person brought a spare set of pedals and shoes! They rode mountains and never quit and had a blast. As for what to take, it is your experience and you know what is important to you. That said, what's with all the batteries and camera gear? I love camping and camp cooking so I take lots of cooking gear. That is my value and maybe yours, but if it isn't yours don't take all the stuff. 5.5# for a tent is OK if it is a very good tent. Lighter might mean smaller which doesn't work for someone 6'3" like me. I love a large vestibule.  My bag is only 2# which means I can take my 5# pad. Again my values. Are they yours? I take one flashlight only; it weighs next to nothing. Are you riding at night? Then why the front and rear lights? For a one week trip can you do without so many clothes?  I agree with the handwash (one day per short!)and dry on the bike. Friends of mine though wouldn't be caught dead with their laundry on the back of the bike. I don't take a lock-I don't let it out of my sight generally, and run my helmet straps through in the spokes and loosen the quick release hubs to make noise if someone tries to take it.
Well, there you go, another opinion. Go have fun and see what you don't need and then go again leaving some of it behind!

General Discussion / to late to ride?
« on: September 14, 2006, 12:01:51 am »
This is from the North Cascades National Park website ( "During an average year heavy snow and continuous avalanches bury the highway beyond Ross Lake Trailhead from mid-November to April. " Ross Lake is only a three day ride from the start in Anacortes on the Northern Tier Route. Temperatures will start dropping soon at night. I was there last week and wished I was on my bike! The weather was fabulous: warm in the sun, cool at night and clear skies, in contrast to two years ago when I rode it on my bike in early June and it was cloudy/rainy. It was great to see what I missed two years ago.

General Discussion / Riding Southern tier with load
« on: August 15, 2006, 10:14:01 pm »
You can only carry so much so I think they mean the total you will carry, period. Your stuff, shared group stuff etc. That's a wide range: 30-45#. I've seen people at on the same tour at both ends of the range and they each were happy. The lightweight was happy because he was light, the guy with [more than] 45# was happy because he had his laptop, huge camera, and more variety in his wardrobe. It's all very personal- unless you can't haul it up over the mountains.

General Discussion / Shoulder Pain solutions?
« on: September 29, 2006, 08:47:27 pm »
Excellent! I paid $100 4 years ago on a fit and it was the best money I've spent bicycling. Glad you're comfortable!

General Discussion / Good Touring Saddle?
« on: July 15, 2006, 11:51:30 pm »
The B-17 takes almost no time to break in, the Pro will take longer but last forever if you take care of it (mine is 20 years old). Don't have any experience with the spring loaded versions. My guess is that it could hurt power output but that my be of no concern for you. There are many other discussions in the forum archives about saddles to peruse. Good luck.

General Discussion / How to survive weather on the Northern Tier
« on: April 07, 2006, 11:18:38 pm »
Depending on when you leave Anacortes you could be cold and wet in the mountains, if my trip was any indication. Yes to Gore Tex type coats and layers underneath so you can find the combination that works. I found tight lycra leg warmers kept my legs warm because there wasn't room for water in the fabric. I don't know where the idea came that thunderstorms mainly come at night in the midwest. I've lived in Iowa, MN or Wisconsin for 40 years and have gotten plenty wet riding during the day. Sometimes the storms come out of nowhere and you just try to find somewhere to hide. I've met some great people when running for their large oak trees and were invited in-well, as far as the porch due to being dripping wet! Most of the time it is warm to hot, but staying dry is always better no matter what the temperature. Summer t-storms in the midwest can also be incredibly beautiful as the clouds form. By the way, the reason we get most of our precip in the summer is that it comes down hard and then we're free of it for a while, unlike in some areas where it rains a little frequently. Enjoy your tour, it's a great route.

General Discussion / first aid kits
« on: March 14, 2006, 10:56:16 pm »
I recommend taking the Red Cross First Aid class so you know how to use what's in the kit and how to make a splint etc. I added diphenhydramine (generic Benadryl) for bites and an epipen for bee stings.

General Discussion / Keeping Clean
« on: January 23, 2006, 12:13:10 am »
Where there is water there is the opportunity to wash out your cycling shorts no matter what the weather. Throw them on the back of the bike, on the BOB bag, whatever the next day if they need a few more hours to dry. It is important to wash out the bacteria daily. You can wear dirty T-shirts after the ride but I would never wear shorts more than one day without washing them. Too much enouragement for saddle sores.

General Discussion / Tire Inflation Pressures
« on: January 23, 2006, 12:29:42 am »
I'm sorry but I don't know. There is lots of discussion on other websites such as and I think Sheldon Brown weighs in as well. Basically, we have been fed bad information for years about tire pressure. I used to run my tires ABOVE the maximum to get that added rolling benefit. But it was an illusion. The difference just wasn't there. Harder tires are more prone to cut because they can't give and are too hard to grip on tight turns, not too mention the comfort factor.

General Discussion / Tire Inflation Pressures
« on: January 14, 2006, 07:32:58 pm »
The tire pressure stamped on a tire is the MAXIMUM pressure for that tire. Higher pressures do not give significant reduction in rolling resistance, especially for a tourist, to justify the reduction in safety that a stiffer tire provides. Lower pressure allows a tire to grab the road better and contrary to popular belief does not increase the possibility of flats. Al Ardizone of also claims that tires last longer at the lower pressure. I've forgotten what I ride touring with the 35's but when I ride 25's I put in 90# front and 95# rear despite being able to put in 120#. Some riders are using 85#. The handling is also far superior at the lower pressure.

General Discussion / Amtrak Boxes for Tall Bikes?
« on: January 14, 2006, 07:38:09 pm »
I understand the frustration. My 64 cm barely fits into my box I got from Colorado Cyclist. You might want to contact a shop at the end of your ride and see about having them save a big box for you to get home.

General Discussion / Safety/money/ATMs/Cash/Traveler's Checks/etc.
« on: November 08, 2005, 12:02:49 am »
The strange thing about travelers checks is that banks won't cash them. I have never had a problem cashing them in cafes or grocery stores but always a problem in a credit unions and banks.

General Discussion / Doctor Sez NO!
« on: December 18, 2005, 09:42:49 pm »
How are we to know which saddle, if any, protects us? I have never had numbness with my Brooks saddles, including two past seasons of over 3500 miles each. Last week I used my Selle Italia Trans Am (identical to the Terry Fly and the manufacturer of the Terry) and had numbness, (not to mention a sore butt since it isn't as soft as the Brooks) even with the nifty cutout.

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