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Tales from the Log of the Ruptured Duck

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
13,035
74
81
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
G'day, JD. So good to hear from you. Yes, skill sets are changing. I suppose that, when the bronze age hit, some old timers were criticizing those darned, lazy kids for not whacking out their own stone axe?

Building your own of anything engenders pride. I was born in a log cabin that I had built by myself.
 

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
13,035
74
81
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
EVART TO CADILLAC

Charlie and I met this morning to plan a bicycle trip in a couple of months. Outlining it, looks like a 40 mile trip, from Evart to Cadillac. The first day we'll get a campsite, leave gear there, do vehicle shuttle, return to camp, eat either in camp or a restaurant, and relax. Next day, store camp gear in a vehicle, and start the ride. Towns are 6--12 miles apart, restaurants ans small motels are there, and the railroad grade is 3% max. Charlie's family is from that locale, so we'll do some visiting along the way.

I bought a bike trailer through the Walmart app. Its 16" bicycle wheels roll along nicely. I'm looking forward to this trip.
 

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
13,035
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Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
TELLING MYSELF IT'S ACTUALLY "TRAINING"

i loaded some stuff into the bike trailer to simulate camping gear. My first estimate of gear needed was 47 pounds! Of course, 15 pounds was water. Too used to a canoe. Now that I know that water sources are available along our way, I trimmed off 11 pounds. A few more judicious parings got me down to 30 pounds. My load today was only about 15 pounds. Just a simple test.

When I compared the Fitbit's analysis of rides yesterday and today, I was surprised. Yesterday, I rode a 4 mile round trip to coffee and back without the trailer. Today, I rode 5 1/2 miles round trip with the trailer, but burned fewer calories than yesterday! It's possible that the training effect from yesterday made my body more capable, and therefore more efficient today - but that seems to be a stretch.

I found out something else. The trailer tongue needs to be rebent. It presently positions the trsiler bed nose high by about 3". I think the local hardware might have a conduit bender. If not, a buddy of mine does. I'd like the trailer bed to lie flat; the load won't shift aroind so badly then. I need to explore tie downs n such.

All in all it's kinda interesting to play around with this. Some things transfer from canoeing, others don't.
 

oldsparkey

Well-Known Member
Aug 25, 2003
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Central , Florida
www.southernpaddler.com
if you wanted to increase your visibility here is a good place to find a custom made flag for your bike. David is closing shop this year so some items are out of stock but a lot still remain.
I put one on my recumbent and also the wife's to increase the ( vehicle ) drivers awareness of the bikes. They really let folks know you are there.

http://soundwinds.us/bike-flags/

Jack.... If you want to waterproof your gear and don't have a waterproof pack. Backpackers have a trick to accomplish that. They line the inside of their backpacks with a Compactor trash bag , the bags are heavy duty and more durable then normal trash bags ..

Chuck.
 

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
13,035
74
81
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
Thanks for the ideas, Chuck. I'll put up a warning flag

I had some of the heavy, plastic bags for Adopt-A-Highway pickups that followed me home. They're similar/identical to the trash compactor bags. I've been using them to protect my sleeping bag from wetness.
(1) Stuff sleeping bag into its original small, stuff sack. This compacts and protects the sleeping bag from physical damage from tearing, ripping, etc.
(2) Put that bag into a HEAVY plastic bag - trash compactor or similar, thick-walled bag. (I also keep my extra AAA & AA batteries in here, taped together with all positive ends aligned, in groups of 3 or 4, as needed. Then, wrapped well in plastic wrap (Saran Wrap) to prevent opposite poles touching.) Squish all of the air out of the bag, tightly twist the neck full length, then bend that twisted neck over double into a "goose neck". This proyects the packed sleeping bag from water.
(3) Now, stuff that tightly wound, goose necked, plastic bag into another nylon stuff sack. This protects the plastic bag from physical damage of tesring, ripping, etc.
(4) When you teturn home remove the sleeping bag and hang it up to dry and air out. Store it NOT in the stuff bag, as that will ruin the loft of the filler - which SHOULD be down. A large, mesh bag is good for storage. I go to a multi-market store (department store/grocery store combo, and get the largest, mesh bag I can. They might be in camping, or might be in home goods nesr Laundry. They also make nice bags for dirty clothes.

Some campers think that's too much work - until they find their sleeping bag all wet!
 

oldsparkey

Well-Known Member
Aug 25, 2003
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Central , Florida
www.southernpaddler.com
Jack you would make a great packer for any backpacker. :)

On this end almost the same action as yours.
If your backpack is not waterproof........
Line the inside of the pack with the plastic bag. Add what you want to keep dry ( I don't use separate stuff sacks ) loose inside the plastic bag. When all of the must keep dry items are in the bag , shove down on the bag to get most of the air out. Twist the top as much as you can and then tuck the twisted part ( Affectionately known/refereed to as the Elephants Trunk ). Now put the rest of the gear ( including your food bag ) in the backpack and close it.

The backpacks ( a 38 liter and a 55 liter ) I have today are made with the Ultra light Dyneema Composite Fabric ( Also known as Cuben fiber) . With both of them being Dyneema Composite Fabric packs they are waterproof and super light.
Still old habits are hard to break , I continue to pack all of the " Must be keep dry " items in a separate , waterproof , bag inside the backpack just playing it safe. No one wants wet sleeping bags or spare clothing when camping.
 

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
13,035
74
81
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
Thanks! I'd never heard of Dyneema fabrics before. Wow - fascinatjng stuff.

And, I strongly concur with extra protection for critical stuff. I've read of "first, second, and third lines of defense" against water. Successive layers and seals etc. I suppose that lt's possible to actually have too much protection against water or bugs, but I don't recall ever seeing a case of too much.

You can withstand a lot more hard times if you can get a good night's rest. And a wet sleeping back just doesn't hack it. You're right.
 

oldsparkey

Well-Known Member
Aug 25, 2003
9,871
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75
Central , Florida
www.southernpaddler.com
Thanks! I'd never heard of Dyneema fabrics before. Wow - fascinatjng stuff.

.
It's some fantastic stuff , a 38 liter backpack ( frame;less ) weighs 10.5 ounces. The 55 liter pack with a Carbon Fiber frame weighs 20.2 ounces. Gone are the old days of the external frame 7 or 8 pound backpack.
That 38 liter one when I have it packed the base weight for the pack and everything else except the consumables ( food , water , fuel ) is between 7 and 8 pounds.
 

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
13,035
74
81
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
BIKE CARTS

Should other riders be interested in a bike cart, here are some things that I found.

Carts seemed divided into two categories: most were designed to haul a kid or two. The other category was of interest to me - cargo carts.

The cheaper carts had wheels of plastic, with hard tires. I discarded these as non serious carts. The ride would not have the cushioning effect of a pneumatic tire. And plastic bushings on a bolt axle would have higher friction. Net result is, that the cart would be harder to pull because of bearing friction, and would bounce the load around. The bounce just eats up even more energy, adding to more resistance to towing. I opted for only trailers with bicycle wheels - a spoked rim, and ball bearings. This one feature alone works to separate out poorer carts.

As I dug further with Google, prices between $120 - $200 were common. When I switched to using the Walmart app, the same carts had lower prices. Mine came delivered for under $94. I recommend using the Walmart app. It's also where I got my bicycle maintenance stand for $55 vs $225-350 for one.

The cart that I bought had a surprise for me. The coupling that connects the trailer to the bike has a stiff, coil spring it it. That serves to absorb hard jolts when traveling rough terrain. Nice touch. Also, the tongue folds back under the trailer, and wheels come off easily. These features help in storage.

If you want a bike cart, search some. There are nice ones out there.
 

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
13,035
74
81
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
Speaking of flat tires, I've come to several conclusions.

1 Inner tubes of today a nowhere nearly as good as those of 60-70 years ago. I had 9 years of steady, everyday riding, winter and summer, with only one, flat tire. In the last 7 years of once in a while riding, I've had 3-4 flats.

2. Inner tubes with self-sealing green slime are worse than standard inner tubes. They have gone flat more often, and "self-sealing" is unreliable at best.

3. I now carry an extra inner tube, and little plastic tire irons in my saddle bags. I have a patch kit at home.

4. Nobody mskes chocolate any better than Hershey. Only a couple others make it as good.
 

oldsparkey

Well-Known Member
Aug 25, 2003
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Central , Florida
www.southernpaddler.com
Jack.....

You are correct , the inner tubs today are no whee as good as the ones I had as a child. Back then the only time I had a flat on my bicycle was when I ran over a flint arrowhead some Seminole ( or a tribe before them ) lost a long , long , long time ago. Darn thing was in the ground with the point pointing straight up and I ran over it dead center on the tires..

Check at your local bicycle shop and see if they have the rubber liners/bands to go inside the rim. The bands cover the entire inside of the rim and the ends of all the wire spokes. A lot of flats are caused by the ends of the spokes wearing against the inner tube. The bands are a protective layer between the inter tube and then ends of the spokes inside the rims.
 

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
13,035
74
81
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
Interesting. Four guys gathered, then one left, I guess. Three started - one was overstressed, and drove chase vehicle. Two rode all the way.

Observations:
1. Riding this 10 years ago (2009) was MUCH safer than riding in Argentina now. Kind of a suicide ride today.
2. I would have liked to see more details of the mechanism. Railroads here are patrolled by normal, pickup trucks with standard tires. There are steel wheel adaptations bolted on, to keep the tires on the rails. These bikes had no tires, but I didn't see if the wheel rims had an inside tread. And, the little wheelie-dealies running along beside the rail was interesting too.
3. I didn't see a water purifier in use when gathering water. With all of those sheep runnung loose, there's a very high chance (say, 100%) of worms and e. Coli in the streams and rivers.
4. I would have liked to see more about their foods too. They didn't say mjch about that. I like to see what others do.

Thanks for sharing. Riding a deserted RR is safer than an active one!
 
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oldsparkey

Well-Known Member
Aug 25, 2003
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75
Central , Florida
www.southernpaddler.com
2. I would have liked to see more details of the mechanism.
!
Like you I was interested in the design. Look at this one.

Informational item... Back in my younger days a buddy of mine had a Model A. We would take it and straddle a set of RR tracks. Let about half the air out of the tires so they would cup the rails. No steering just work the throttle and scoot along.

Back to the videos........
The 1;45 mark there is a good shot of the outfit.
The 3:04 mark but is a different design.