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Messages - driftlessregion

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General Discussion / I got halfway there when...
« on: September 09, 2005, 12:17:22 am »
The previous writer is correct that it is more important to stay warm than dry.  Lycra-rich leg warmers or tights keep me as warm as Gore-Tex pants and are much lighter. There are several light weight breathable jackets for not much money out there now. $.99 shower caps make great rain hats over your helmet and don't impede vision like attached hoods do.

General Discussion / I got halfway there when...
« on: September 03, 2005, 05:54:24 pm »
The best advice I have is to have your bike running 100% before leaving for the tour. I do much of my own maintenance but before anything more than a couple of days away I will have my shop make sure the bike is ready. Also, don't leave without a practice weekend ride with ALL of the weight you plan to carry for the tour. Nothing like weight to shake out the weak spots in a bike. Have a great tour and you are absolutely right for planning now.

General Discussion / Knee Issues
« on: September 03, 2005, 06:03:21 pm »
If you have never been quite sure of your bike's setup that is the first thing to do. Pay the professionals the $75-100 to do a fit with you on the bike! You will not regret it!  If you must do it yourself one good resource is Jim Langley at  "Andy Pruitt's Medical Guide for Cyclists" is an excellent book available in some bookstores but also as an ebook at Good luck.

General Discussion / How fast do you ride?
« on: August 10, 2005, 10:23:35 pm »
I recommend Fred Matheny's Complete Book of Road Bike Training available from  In it he lays out training plans even for us tourists. One of the things he says is if you train at XX mph that is what you will be good at. If you want to ride faster, you have to train at some faster speeds. Be careful of overtraining if you're doing 6 rides a week. I'm 53 so understand where you're coming from. I rode with a 70 year old on a tour last year for several weeks and our experience was 10 mph overall; 70 miles, 7 hours. 14.5 is pretty good for loaded touring anyway.  Having fun is the main thing!

General Discussion / What pump for loaded touring
« on: May 22, 2006, 11:52:17 pm »
While I don't pump every day (more like every 3 days) I don't think that squeezing the tire is an effective way of determining the volume of air in the tire.

General Discussion / Chafing
« on: July 21, 2005, 01:58:31 am »
A touchy subject. I rode the Northern Tier last year WITHOUT ANY saddle sores.  But you may remember that it was cool last year. I had my first saddle sores in 10 years last week despite using Chamois Butt'r minimally. But, it was very hot and I got irritated after an 80 mile day of 90 degree weather. I soaked in a tub and used much more Chamois Butt'r and it didn't get worse. The heat was the only thing different so in the future on hot days I will use either Vaseline or thicker Chamois Butt'r which is water soluble.

General Discussion / What gets confiscated at the airport...?
« on: July 21, 2005, 02:01:52 am »
I had no trouble with stove or empty bottles with lids off or matches or knives in the checked bag and it was inspected (and they ruined the duffel zipper!).

General Discussion / grabaawr
« on: November 29, 2005, 10:41:07 pm »
You're right that it is a lot of miles, something that many tours lack today.  Beautiful country to ride through though. Come on back to Wisconsin and ride the Northwoods tour ( Great folks running the show, smaller capacity than GRABAAWR (300 v. 1300) making it easier to get to know the other cyclists, shorter and still great country to ride through.

General Discussion / smaller ring for touring?
« on: May 12, 2005, 03:41:19 am »
I switched my 30 for a 24 last summer before hitting the mountains. It worked great but sometimes the chain would over shoot the 24 on downshifts using STI. I quickly found that with a device that looks like a big thumb attached to the seat tube below the front der no problems with the chain overshooting the ring. I'm sorry that I can't remember the name of the "thumb"; maybe someone else does.

General Discussion / Bridge shuttles?
« on: March 15, 2005, 05:29:45 pm »
Try steel-cut oats instead of rolled oats for a truly wonderful hot oatmeal cereal.

General Discussion / Panniers VS. trailers, what do you prefer?
« on: December 25, 2004, 07:32:02 pm »
There will always be someone who has had a bad experience with one or the other. Many problems can be traced to the bike, and not to the mechanism of hauling gear. This past summer I regularly hit 40+ mph in the mountains with a BOB and 700/32 tires without a hint of shimmy. I rode a quality bike that fit me like a T, had a new headset and wheels (two areas that can start shimmy) but I wouldn't think of trying 40 mph on my smaller, older, less touring oriented bike with a trailer or panniers. Riding with me down those hills were folks with BOBs and others with panniers who were also having no problems. The one person having problems swapped out her panniers for another set and the problem disappeared.

This message was edited by driftlessregion on 12-25-04 @ 3:33 PM

General Discussion / checklist for bike purchase
« on: November 14, 2004, 03:06:03 am »
If you're willing to pay for an IF or Co-Mo, don't forget Waterford's Adventure Cycle (

General Discussion / Money and Banks
« on: October 31, 2004, 10:11:57 pm »
On my Northern Tier tour this summer I used travelers checks as well as credit cards, but no ATMs. I had great luck with travelers checks EXCEPT at banks and credit unions. NONE would cash them. Every small cafe, grocery store and bar would eagerly cash them, even the $100 denominations.  In Canada I used credit card exclusively so they could determine the exchange rate.

General Discussion / Knee injury
« on: March 15, 2005, 05:42:07 pm »
"Andy Pruitt's Medical Guide for Cyclists" is an excellent resource. I think it is only available at
After I went to the pro racers shop and paid for the bike fit, i.e., all the possible adjustments of stem, saddle height and fore and aft, and cleats, I haven't had any more problems with my knees. Pruitt does a pretty good job of explaining this too, but there is nothing like having someone knowledgeable watch your particular body on the bike to get the best fit.  I highly recommend it even for us non-racers.

General Discussion / Cell Phones
« on: July 30, 2004, 01:52:03 am »
I just finished Anacortes to Duluth on the Northern Tier with 13 others. I was the only person to have service 75% of the time while some gave up even trying. My phone was with Verizon.

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