Thorn Cycles Forum

Miscellaneous => Thorn Cycling Forum Policy and Administration => Topic started by: Danneaux on September 26, 2016, 07:18:44 PM

Title: Admin announcement, please read
Post by: Danneaux on September 26, 2016, 07:18:44 PM
Hi All!

I (Dan) will be "away" for as much as 17 days while a stoker and I take a tandem tour through the logging, Forest Service, BLM and unmarked timber sale logging roads of Oregon's Coast Range. First destination out of the woods will be my family's little cabin on the Oregon Coast, then down the Coast a considerable distance and in once again to make our way home through the Coast Range again on rough tracks.

We'll have one of my cargo-box trailers and a full set of panniers so we can carry our needed food and water, as there are no stores in the area. Always a challenge to fit two people's stuff on one bike.

I will monitor the Forum as I go, but I may be offline for as much as a couple days as I traverse the mountains where there is no cell coverage and several null areas along the coast as well. I'll have my smartphones with me and will check-in regularly. If Admin work is needed, I may be more utilitarian than usual given the circumstances (i.e. standing astride the tandem roadside as wind-driven rain buckets down -- it is in the forecast).

My stoker is inexperienced at cycle-camping, so we may need to cut the trip short. It is supposed to be fun and not a Death March. Terrain is rugged and one pass is rated at more than 21% on ballast, so I will likely be pushing the train then instead of riding it.

Be good, play nice (as usual) and don't put beans up your noses (it happened once to a fellow I knew...jammed 'em up there as a kid when home alone and forgot about them till they sprouted when he was in his 40s. Lost his hearing as a result. Moral of the story is Be Good or it will come back to haunt you ;) ).

All the best,


Thorn Cycling Forum Administrator
Title: Re: Admin announcement, please read
Post by: Matt2matt2002 on September 26, 2016, 10:06:29 PM
Safe cycling, Dan.
Let's see some snaps if those 21%ers..
Title: Re: Admin announcement, please read
Post by: Danneaux on September 27, 2016, 12:15:34 AM
Let's see some snaps if those 21%ers..
Thanks for the kind wishes, Matt.

Attached below is a photo of one we'll be climbing, taken the last time I did so on the Nomad...

All the best,

Title: Re: Admin announcement, please read
Post by: Neil Jones on September 27, 2016, 04:05:52 AM
Hope both stoker and yourself have a fantastic tour and the weather stays fair for the duration of your trip.

Title: Re: Admin announcement, please read
Post by: Danneaux on September 27, 2016, 06:37:03 AM
Many thanks, Neil.

We're all packed this evening (my time here in Oregon USA) and will be hitting the road tomorrow.

Always exciting to start a tour, and this is a favorite one I have done many times with variations, riding with my father and by myself. I is always nice to introduce others cycle-camping these areas, a nice mix of forest and coastline with beautiful vistas, pleasant solitude, and animals. We should see deer, elk, possibly bear and maybe mountain lions; I've seen two of those on previous trips, way down in the valleys as I rode the ridge-tops.

All the best,

Title: Re: Admin announcement, please read
Post by: julio on September 29, 2016, 11:08:11 AM
It's seems dry Oregon currently..

i'm sure you will not forget your "cistern"    :)

Enjoy this time Dan
Title: Re: Admin announcement, please read
Post by: Znook on September 29, 2016, 02:33:04 PM
Enjoy the trip, can't wait to see the pics :)
Title: Re: Admin announcement, please read
Post by: geocycle on September 29, 2016, 04:42:26 PM
Hope your stoker can keep up with your cadence!  Have fun.  Would be interesting to hear how a tandem performs on those roads.
Title: Re: Admin announcement, please read
Post by: Danneaux on October 01, 2016, 02:57:30 AM
Thanks for the good wishes, all. We made it over the mountains and to our coastal cabin and will enjoy several days here before moving forward. We fought a strong headwind along the Coast that presages several days of heavy weather and arrived just as the raindrops hit my riding glasses. Good timing!

At our last camp, a small herd of deer spent the night by our tents and the tandem. They made for very nice neighbors. We saw more deer and three fully grown Roosevelt elk today, and bear scat throughout our journey.

My sister is my stoker for this journey, her first bicycle camping tour. She has been a joyful companion and I am so proud of her. Somehow, she is matching my cadence, but that may due to the timing chain and her SPD shoe cleats making her little legs go all a-blur.

Though my Tandem was produced in 1989 by a now defunct company, I want to avoid featuring it here because this is Thorn's forum and it is not a Thorn. I will attach a couple non-identifying photos (below) showing it and one of the box-cargo trailers I made, so you can see some of the terrain we rode.

In truth, a tandem is not so good a tool for such journeys as my Nomad (which weighs only about 1kg less). This is due to several factors:

1) The bike has such a long wheelbase that even a tandem marketed as a MTB (before I converted it to my favored drop handlebars and road slicks) just does not have the clearance over span under the timing chain.

2) Tandems are faster than single bikes downhill, and are generally faster on level ground (twice the power, half the wind resistance of a single bike). However, because a tandem carries two people (and a touring tandem also carries two people's kit on one bike), it is heavy. That much weight really comes into play when climbing hills, something they not do so well as single bikes

3)Gearing is a big factor, and given the above, owners must choose between biasing their geartrain ranges to climbing or descending. The range to do both at once is generally too wide to be practical, though I for awhile ran four (quad) chainrings and a front derailleur with new parallelogram links I machined to accommodate the quad (and a cable leverage changer so I could shift it). It proved too specialized and was effectively more trouble than it was worth. I ended up with a triple crank (46/36/22) and a 13-28 freewheel for a 20 gear-inch low and a 92-inch high. We coast downhills and find ourselves wishing on climbs for the 12-inch low I made for a past bike. Inladen, it has proven to be a good compromise for our needs, given my (our) generally high cadence.

On this trip, we hopped off and started pushing when grades exceeded 8% as shown on my inclinometer. Sometimes, we could get a run at it and make it further uphill, but 10% is the absolute limit. In contrast, I can top 21% grades on my fully loaded Nomad running 36x17 gearing on the Rohloff hub (about 16 gear-inches as I recall).

As for the handling on such roads, the bike and trailer did really well on pavement gravel, dirt, and grass. I swapped the Bontrager SR1 26x1.5in road slick on the rear for a 26x2.0 Schwalb Dureme. I left the Bontrager road slick on the front because I did not have enough time before departure to make a shorter drop-mount for the fort mudguard to resolve clearance problems with the larger tire. As I've found before, fat road slicks do a surprisingly good job on dirt and gravel and I had no washouts with it on this trip.

The trailer did a fine job outfitted as our "chuck wagon", carrying all our food for the duration. It is more bear-resistant than panniers, and we had more food with us than we could practically bear-bag and loft into a tree. I fitted it with 16x1.5in tires at 35psi. Those were large enough to not fall too deeply into the chuck holes we found.

So far, so good.

All the best,