Trip Report gathering data on riding

Discussion in 'Trip Reports with Pics' started by Alex MacDonald, Oct 12, 2017.

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  1. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

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    Went for a beach walk yesterday afternoon after logging off from here. I'm heading south into the wind, since it was between squalls and its always wise to start out into the wind on a showery day, so if it gets bad and you decide to flee back to your rig, you have the wind and rain at your back.

    After about a half-mile walking on the wave-swept beach, I see this small red dot coming at me, getting larger, and it became a cyclist...a dude I recognized from somewhere around here. Was the only other person on the beach at that time. He slowed as he approached, so I flagged him down, because I recognized his bike! I'm acquainted with his girlfriend, as she's a surfer and some of her friends happen to be my friends...she was riding his bike the last time I ran into her.
    We chatted a bit, and he said he'd recently moved here from Montana. Went on to say that he had worked in a bike shop in Whitefish. I told him I'd have to talk with him about that later, and that he should finish his ride before he cooled down, and the next squall hit. He said, "Its a great day for riding on the beach! You should be on your bike."

    I mumbled some lame excuse about it raining at my place when I was trying to decide whether to ride or walk, and he laughed and took off. I walked about 300 yards further, and the sky started crying hard, and the wind picked up again, so I turned around and speed walked back to the beach approach, and my rig.
     
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  2. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

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    Great advice on using a HRM, but after several hours of searching online, I could not find a wrist version that has good reviews. All of them have their faults. The Fitbit wristband reviews all complain about inaccuracy.
    Nearly all of the wristband or wristwatch versions of the various brands have too many "features." I only need to know about my "heart rate." Info like watts, steps, altitude, distance traveled, calories burned...I don't need any of that!
    It appears that there is no such thing as a "pure" HRM wristband that actually does what it is supposed to do accurately. The marketing experts all want to ram too many features down our throats!
    Doing an extensive online search for a HRM just seems like it is bad for my heart!

    Time for a ride...unencumbered by electronic devices!
     
  3. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

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    Hmmmm...seems like the best simple wristband (no chest strap needed) HRM for cycling is the Mio Velo. Its positive reviews outnumbered the dissatisfied reviews. Price is right.
    I'm not even sure if I'll need it once I get a pacemaker (Doctor told me I might eventually need one. Nothing scheduled for 2018).

    Yesterday's ride wasn't bad, even though a squall hit as I started. Wind was at my back, and the front blew over after 15 minutes. Didn't rain again until after dark. Good riding weather!
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2017
  4. Alex MacDonald

    Alex MacDonald that's His Lordship, to you.....

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    OK gents, I have the approximate trip mileage. Be advised however, that after a decade of not using it, I can't find my nav bag with my dividers in it, so these distances are approximate.

    Overall, looks to be a little more than a hundred miler, beginning in Whitefish, and returning to same.
    Day 1 is second longest, with camp either at Upper Whitefish Lake at 22 miles, or Red Meadow Lake, at 27 miles.
    Day 2 is Upper Whitefish/Red Meadow to Polebridge, 23/18 (23 from Upper Whitefish).
    Day 3, Polebridge to Logging Creek Camp, which is only about 10 miles,
    Day 4, Logging Creek to Fish Creek (in Glacier NP) 15 miles
    Day 5 is Fish Creek Campground back to Whitefish, about 35 miles, none of it on highway, but I believe it's all paved-bike trails and secondary roads, avoiding the main drag.

    The folks at Glacier Cyclery told me that any place except the 2-hour parking spots downtown are completely safe to leave the vehicles at. So they said.... But Jim, if your training regimen is not as far along as you hoped, you could sag from Whitefish to Red Meadow, and again to Polebridge, and here's a thought: if we decide to do a "group cook" at Red Meadow, Polebridge, and Fish Creek, Jim can haul a box-which I already have-with the cooking supplies, pots & pans, and the tonnage in food. I'd expect we'd still carry our own camp setup, snacks, water, etc. if we went this route, be mindful that Inside North Fork Road can't be supported by vehicle, so for one night, we'd have to do our own food with our own backpacking stoves and such.

    I'd suggest also, that we base out of Whitefish rather than Kalispell-Kalispell will be a little cheaper motel-wise, especially since it's high season, but I'd feel a little better basing in a town that gets a lot of this, rather than the oddity in "K-Town".

    Also, if someone drives support, we could bring the infamous Washington Fly Fishing Forum Travelling Bar!! I'm trying to remember the first time we used that-the St. Joe trip, maybe??
     
  5. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

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    Wow, that's an ambitious itinerary for this old dog! Oh yeah, a "designated driver" for hauling the "Infamous WFF Forum Traveling Bar..." Maybe I should drag my utility trailer for hauling wrecked bikes and hungover riders:D...ha!

    My day rides here locally have been less than 20-miles, unloaded. I can ride all the way to the Tokeland marina and back, which is 25+ miles RT. The route is level and much of it on back roads through the cranberry bogs.
    I'm usually hitting a couple of miles of trails in the State Park here and then heading out the beach to get in my standard 1-hour-plus workout "off road," but I'm going to gradually add some miles to that. Most of my beach rides on my fat tires are less than 12 miles, since the beach is usually slow going. I'm definitely going to have to train for this, mainly to handle the inevitable long and possibly steep uphill grinds.

    I like that your route appears to be mainly "valley biking," with what appears like a pass to ascend between Red Meadow and Polebridge. I've only looked at the route on the "maps" software already on my computer, and need to look at this on Google Earth, with elevation lines.
    The main upgrade to my bike will be to replace my handlebars with some Jones Loop bars, which I planned to get anyway for touring. I'll be upgrading my touring kit...mainly a new large seat pack, larger frame bag, and a new down sleeping bag. My current synthetic bag is just too bulky. My 2-person backpacking tent may even be too big...weighs 5 lbs, but it can be packed on a bike. I might have to get a smaller shelter setup. I'm going to limit my back pack to 15-20 lbs. The rest of the weight will be on the bike.
    I'll probably load up my pack with 15# of "ballast" for local training runs starting next Spring.
     
  6. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

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    Your Salsa Fargos are awesome all-round touring machines. My bike is somewhat heavier, but it could be a great touring setup with the Jones Loop bars.
     
  7. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

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    I think my new nickname might be "Captain Afib," and the white whale I'm after is improved heart function. Time to hoist anchor and raise the sails! (Go for a ride)!
     
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  8. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Well-Known Member

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    This looks totally doable. The mileage is fine; I just have to get my bike butt in condition again. I've never done self-supporting touring, so this would be good experience for me. I'd do backpacking light for self-supported riding, which probably means freeze dried dinners or similar - and no beer.

    Jim - I have an extra lightweight backpacking tent you can use if you want. I think it's around 3 1/2 lb, maybe 4. It's old but in very good shape the last time it was used.

    I'm curious about how rough these roads are. Instead of my mtn. bike, I could possibly ride my Rivendell Ramboulett - it's a road bike but heavy duty enough for touring and cross racing. I'd just have to get wider and heavier duty tires I think. Or just go with the old Diamondback mtn bike. Plenty of time yet to figure this out.

    And as far as I can tell, my summer calendar is wide open for the likely time period.
     
  9. Alex MacDonald

    Alex MacDonald that's His Lordship, to you.....

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    Sounds pretty good so far! I also need to get the butt into saddle shape for something longer, but that shouldn't be difficult-I can handle 18 or so now without too much. It would definitely make a difference to get the Fargo "fit kitted" though. I still have a little too much weight on my bars. those Jones bars are outstanding! I'd go for them myself on my Mukluk!
    I'm expecting to be able to completely resupply at Polebridge, food-wise, so hauling freeze dried foods and the jetboil won't weigh down the machines too much. We plan on returning to Whitefish in June to do Going-To-The-Sun Road before they open it to auto traffic, so I'll have a chance to take a look at the route from Whitefish to Polebridge (depending on snow load), and get an accurate read on the mileage. Looks like we have only one overnight at Red Meadow Lake before Polebridge, so that's not forcing us to carry a lot of food. It's possible the folks at Polebridge will let us drop supplies there so we don't have to carry so much.

    I'd like to hit the trail around 11 August, which just happens to be my 70th! There's an incredible amount of riding in that area, coupled with the best scenery on the planet. Should be an awesome trip!!
     
  10. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

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    I've got a SnowPeak stove and a fresh fuel canister for it, and a 1.7 liter Primus EtaPower pot that is designed to require less cooking time and less fuel burned. Have an ultralight compression sack and other assorted backpacking stuff that I should be able to use. I would like to get one of those new "hydrophobic down" bags, though. My current bag is OK when carried on the outside of my expedition pack...but it doesn't compress well enough for bike touring. My old 2.5 lb REI down bag that I got back in 1965 was invaded by mice out in my garage, and I retired it.

    Sg, thanks for the offer of your tent. My tent is only a pound or so heavier than the one you offered. That 5 1/4 lbs I mentioned includes the weight of rainfly, stakes and poles, and "footprint" (optional). Its a Sierra Designs, and was the lightest 2-person tent I could find back in 2005, that didn't have a ridiculous price tag on it. I like mosquito netting! The thing packs lighter without the rain fly and footprint, which might not be needed on this expedition, but is worth taking if there may be rain. I might try to see if I can pitch it using my bike or front wheel in lieu of poles.

    If I can find someone selling Jones Loop bars (might have to order them directly from Jones bikes, down in OR, since they're perpetually out of stock at Universal), and a better ultralight hydrophobic down bag, then I'm all set with gear. I don't plan on wrecking my bike or really needing any spare bike parts, but I'll be carrying a spoke wrench, tire levers, spare tube, and tube patch kit (unless I convert to tubeless, then maybe only some extra sealant and a plug kit), a few allen wrenches, disk brake adjusting wrench, and a 15mm cone wrench, and maybe a small squeeze bottle of Boeshield T-9. I always carry my frame pump, and may even get a new (and better) one made by Lezyne, since I use the hell out of my Mountain Morph, due to altering my fat tire pressure to match the terrain during my rides, and might have it worn out by then. Sand seems to get in it somehow, although I try to keep it clean.
    I'll make sure that I install fresh brake pads, and check to see if my bearings are all good and freshly lubed before we go. A hundred miles or two shouldn't wear anything out.
    I've got a 6-pc 8.5' 4wt and a light reel for it. Flies, leader, and tippet weigh next to nothing!
     
  11. Alex MacDonald

    Alex MacDonald that's His Lordship, to you.....

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    Jetboil and a couple of extra fuel canisters for us, but we're on full-length Exped Synmats at night. We'll have to get 2 new bags-the NEMO Disco 30 degree bags. We have the 15 degree bags, but they're too warm. The shape allows you to curl up and sleep on your side, so they're really comfy. food-wise, we'll use Packit Gourmet meals

    I'm still working on my body position on the Fargo-still too much pressure on my hands, and even though the seat's level, i'm gradually sliding forward on it, so more adjustment is in order. Other than that, the bike's ready to go. I also have a Goal Zero solar charging unit that should be able to charge cell phones and such There's no cell service in this area, but folks use the camera function. I don't have a smart phone myself, so it's a GoPro for me. Lots of time to get stuff whipped into shape-including ourselves!
     
  12. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Well-Known Member

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    Alex,

    Regarding bike position, I raise my saddle nose one click above horizontal and slide it all the way back on the rails to take some weight off the bars.

    It will be mid-summer. Shouldn't over-think sleeping bags. A simple fleece blanket would likely be more than sufficient.

    I'm going even more compact than my JetBoil; got a new gas stove that weighs 0.96 oz.! Of course the canister is most of the weight and bulk.

    Have you figured out a handlebar mount for the bear cannon yet?

    Sg
     
  13. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

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    Alex being 70 on Aug 11th will call for a celebration! I won't be 68 until nearly a month later.
    Talked to a guy today who recommended road flares as being better than bear mace...:confused: He said it wouldn't be so bad when the wind blew it back in my face.:eek:

    I've got the cockpit set up nicely on both of my Pugsleys...body position is where I want it. I don't have my saddles slid too far toward the rear on the seatpost, so I can sit more upright with a straight back, being closer to the handlebars. I can't really assume an aero position, but at least this doesn't put too much weight on my hands/bars. The bars are at about the same height as my saddle. This can be a disadvantage when battling strong headwinds, though.
    My bars and grips are comfortable for a few hours of riding before I notice any discomfort, so I might try some small bar ends that allow for different hand positions. Still might be getting the Jones Loop Bar.
    I also find that having my saddle ever-so-slightly pointing up from horizontal keeps me from sliding forward. One click, like Sg said.
    Also, I have found a comfortable saddle that works for me. I had a Sella Anatomica NX, but my ass didn't really like it unless I wore padded chamois-lined bike shorts, aka "diapers":D. So its up for sale. I replaced it with what my boney ass considers to be the best $40 cruising saddle available, the Planet Bike ARS (anatomic relief saddle). Padded, shock-absorbing, but not squishy, comfy even with Wrangler jeans and 50/50 boxer briefs,... awesome on a fat bike, but I'm not so sure it would be all that great for a dedicated road touring bike....saddles are personal choices.
    I have this saddle on the three bikes that I ride.
    Don't overthink 'em....let your ass decide.;)
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2017
  14. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

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    I think its awesome that you have a GoPro, Alex. I'm not sure if I'm going to get a new camera. I have a 11-12 year old "point & shoot" that I've been using, and my iphone 5s. I thought that if I had a GoPro, I might have it aimed behind me, so there'd be footage of the cougar leaping up to bite my neck.:eek:
    I have a really lightweight 10x monocular that I like better than my binocs.
     
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  15. Alex MacDonald

    Alex MacDonald that's His Lordship, to you.....

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    I have to say, Jim, that just because I have one, doesn't mean I've figured out how to use the damn thing! However, my son's a visual IT expert, working in that field, so I'll bring a few memory cards and ask him to make us a disk with music, titles and the like. I know there's a way also to snap stills with it, but I'll have to read the manual for that!:eek:

    As for spare stuff, I've got the following: A new Blackburn rack that will fit a standard older hardtail mountain bike, a set of older kangaroo panniers with 8mm hooks, a spare Revelate under-seat bag, some spare Therm a Rest pads, and probably some other stuff lying around (we have enough for a basement sporting goods outlet!).

    Might I also suggest, as soon as the snow's off the road, that we do a test run on the John Wayne Pioneer Trail from Rattlesnake to say,Easton or Cle Elum? A weekend overnight-leave Friday, return Sunday.

    And some further data on getting to Red Meadow Lake from Whitefish-apparently there's a climb involved. Don't know yet how hard it might be, but it's a gravel road, so we can always get off and walk the bikes! I found a video of the area. It's got bearproof food storage, but no water; we should pack filters anyway. the woman says it's a tough climb from the East, but we're riding from the southwest.
     
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