Monday, August 4, 2014

Location: Missoula MT Layover

Thursday July 31 and Friday August 1

Layover in Missoula

Quote of the Day: "I now have been to Mecca".

This is the Adventure Cycling headquarters in Missoula. It was a great experience to be here, the Mecca of cycle touring.

This is the Peugeot Bicycle used by the original cartographer that laid out the original Trans America route in 1976. There are many vintage bicycles on display at the headquarters:

This is the wall of names and photographs of all the people coming through Missoula on the Trans American route for 2014. I saw several families that were on tour with teenage children.

Another view of the headquarters:

Equipment Upgrades

Parking Brake Front Wheel

One of the issues with a heavily loaded bike is that it wants to roll away. A complicating factor is that most touring bike don't have kickstands.  There are two reasons: One is that the additional 4 or 5 pounds for a kickstand that is sturdy enough for these loads is not something that you want to haul around with you. A second factor is that there is a possibility of damaging the bike's frame in the area that it is attached. In fact Surly the manufacturer of the highly regarded Long Haul Trucker will not warranty a frame with a kickstand mounted on it.

So the rider of a loaded bike is away looking for the perfect place to lean the bike
when not riding. Perfect would be a completely flat area.But even with a flat area often the front wheel will turn crosswise to the bike and roll sideways so that if unattended the bike ends up on the ground.

The Velcro front parking brake below solves this problem by preventing the wheel from rolling even if the wheel does turn sideways to the bike. I found it in the hardware store in Halfway OR.

Brake applied:

Brake not applied:

A thermometer, compass, and clock - $5.96 from Walmart:

The question has been asked as to what type of shoes I am wearing. Prior to our trip Sandrine had convinced me that I needed to wear sandals, "Wet shoes will stay wet for 3 days and will eventually stink - sandals will not".

This is the Exustar that I wear - they are made by a Swedish company. Even though my feet burn on long uphill climbs I don't think it is a function of these particular shoes as all my shoes allow my feet to burn on extended rides:

I'm loaded for bear! $45 and weighs a ton as it is like a small fire extinguisher :):)

Lighting in the tent has been an issue. This is a "lamp" made out of an empty white plastic bottle modified slightly and attached to the front bike light. While a bit bulky it is extremely light - oh sorry bad pun.

I had purchased a highly recommended Therm-A-Rest NeoAir Camper mattress. After sleeping 2 nights on it I was radically under-whelmed with the comfort and sleep experience. It was very narrow and I found myself waking up multiple times (like 8 times/night) with one of my arms pinned under me and numb because I had rolled off the mattress onto the floor of the tent, i.e. the ground.

In one of the towns Sandrine and I were going through, a west bound rider from Banff Alberta stopped to talk. Out of the blue he mentioned the REI AIRRAIL 1.5 was the best camping mattress he had ever slept on and that it helped him alot as he was a "side sleeper" like I am.

Glad to find it in an REI store in Missoula and really like this mattress with it's side rail to keep you cradled in the center.

I shipped 6 pounds of stuff that I wasn't using today at the FedEx store. The Therm-A-Rest was included.

This is the new mattress and note also the reflective spoke add-ons I purchased at Adventure Cycling:

Surfing in Montana - go figure! There is a spot on the river where the locals go in with their surf boards and surf in position - staying in the same spot and riding the whitewater:

Surfing video:

I keep coming back to  the Oxford. It was started in a tent in 1883:

Gambling is everywhere in Montana with casino and liquor stores combined seemingly every few blocks in the cities and towns. This is a shot of a table game at the Oxford:

This is Les the chef who has taken such good care of me:

And Lee my new BFF who has been here every time I have been here (3x's) and  who has been coming here since 1985:

I have spent a great deal of time at Best Buy in Missoula trying to get an iPhone issue resolved. The process of getting the photos to the blog is very cumbersome and time consuming.

After taking the photos on my iPhone I first email them to myself in groups of 4 and then open them on my Samsung Galaxy Tablet and download them. Next I select them to upload to the blog. For some reason they are not ordered in the folder in accordance with the time stamp on the photo making it difficult to easily sequence the story in the blog as it has unfolded during the day. The final step after selection is to upload them to the blog.

There is a function on the iPhone called iCloud which with a simple click will allow the photos to be uploaded in time sequence and then downloaded to the tablet. Both myself and 4 different guys at Best Buy can not get my iCloud to work on my phone. Will have to bring it back tomorrow for the Apple rep to take a look at it.

The Usual Disclaimer: 
And finally please remember the cause -  I will go into this in more detail and perhaps some level of haranguing later on, but for now here is the link .... and an additional link for donation   SoldiersBestFriend - Donate Please :):)  As you donate please enter my name in the appropriate spot so the folks at SBF can tally the results to encourage me and let me know WE are getting something done TOGETHER. Oh and I would be a lot more comfortable if you use the "honorarium" option vs the "memoriam" option - you'll understand when you click on the link:):).     I will be inserting this call-to-action in all of my blogs so I hope you don't mind.

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