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Messages - PeteJack

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1
General Discussion / Useless advice/help
« on: November 14, 2014, 09:33:29 am »
I've often benefited from the kindness of strangers like a night's stay in CT or a bottle of Snapple at the top of a hill in PA while on tour but once or twice the 'help' was anything but. Like the time I came out of a cafe in Ellensburg WA and a passing stranger informed me my back tire was flat. Now I think there's a fair chance I would have noticed that on my own. I know the guy meant well but nevertheless I found it irritating and felt obliged to thank him for pointing out the obvious. Anybody else had a similar experience?

The previous time someone pointed out a flat tire was in Valence France, I was pushing my bike because my left arm was in a cast, I'd broke it a couple of days before. The man not only pointed out the flat tire but he fixed it as well! He was a master, fixing the flat without taking the wheel off and re-inflating it for me in about 5 minutes. I was so grateful I was going to tip him my last 12 euros and then I found my wallet had been lifted. The same man recovered it for me. (I'll never know but I suspect he was the lifter. All the cash was gone but my credit cards etc were still there.) All in all quite a day.

2
Gear Talk / Re: chain ring sizing
« on: November 06, 2014, 11:54:31 am »

Quote
You don't mention how many times you have removed your chain.
The chain had about 1000 touring miles on it and had never been removed. Maybe it's QC on the QLs (!) but sometimes they separate easily and other times they can be a bear to get apart. I only separate when replacing a chain, never to clean a chain.

3
Gear Talk / Re: chain ring sizing
« on: November 06, 2014, 09:13:33 am »
I've come up with an explanation for the Quicklink separating. The derailer cage pushed the left side of the Quicklink backward and the ramps on right side pushed it forwards thus opening up the QL, the sideways push to move to the middle ring pulled it apart. I think not shifting quickly enough gave it time to separate. It hasn't happened since (about 2000 miles). Probably nothing directly to do with chain ring sizes but the size difference does mean the chain is quite slack on the granny. I found out the hard way not to do anything about that by shortening the chain.

4
Gear Talk / chain ring sizing
« on: November 05, 2014, 11:48:33 am »
A friend of mine who is an expert(!) was appalled that the front triple on my 520 was 51-38-24. He claimed that you're not supposed to have more than a 20T gap between the largest and smallest rings. Does he have something?

the only odd thing I have had happen was when I got to the top of a longish hill and shifted up from the granny perhaps a bit too soon and the Quicklink came undone. It was all twisted when I checked it so I replaced it with a spare and was on my way. Other than that strange incident I've rode any thousands of trouble free miles with this arrangement.

5
Handlebar bag:  Koki Mini Dilly.  Cost: ~$45.  Small enough to minimize weight and wind resistance. 
According to Bicycle Quarterly a large bar bag can actually improve the aerodynamics of a bike.

6
General Discussion / Re: Touring Bicycle
« on: November 03, 2014, 12:20:45 pm »
I'm wondering how a cyclist from Kansas knows that he's a strong climber. He surely didn't figure that out in Kansas!

There's two kinds of climbs the touring cyclist needs to worry about: (1) 20% grades for a quarter of a mile (e.g., in the Ozarks, New England or Appalachians) and (2) 6 to 8% grades for 30 straight miles (e.g., the Rockies).

My lowest gear is 20 gear-inches, and I need every inch of that. Over and over and over again. Even with that gear, I sometimes feel that I couldn't get up the hill I'm on at all if it were even a bit steeper.
+1


The Mrs and I did the Natchez Trace from Natchez to Nashville last summer. We met a rider heading south at a B & B in Belmont MS. He warned us there were some big hills as you got near Nashville. We were still waiting for them when we got to the end of the Parkway but then, we live in the Pacific NW so it's all relative. It's a very pleasant ride. There are hilly bits in Iowa. When I did the NT the climb up from the Mississippi past Effigy Mounds NP was a flog, very much harder than anything on the Trace. I don't know if the Great Rivers route goes that way mind. BTW if you do go that way the road where you turn off at the top of the hill has a different number than the one shown on the ACA map. It should be in the addenda. I went a couple of miles the wrong way before a local set me right.

7
General Discussion / Re: northern tier - how to start in bar harbor
« on: October 30, 2014, 06:15:37 pm »
Don't know if this has been suggested yet. I flew into Bangor and rented a car at the airport, took my bike and panniers to a motel in Bar Harbor where I was staying the night, left them there, drove the car back to the airport to return it and caught the airport shuttle to BH. Quite simple really. I booked car, plane and motel with Expedia and saved a fortune. Make sure you rent a hatch back car that you can shove your bikes into.

Living in Switzerland you are presumably familiar with hills which makes the flat bit in the middle of the NT a different experience. Coming from the North of England and having lived in Seattle for many years I find the prairies are quite a nice change. To ride down a road that disappears to a point on the horizon especially if you ave a tail wind is never to be forgotten. I love it.

AND there is no right way to go, EW or WE. 2 years ago I was told by people in e.g. Ohio I was going the wrong way for the prevailing winds. I wasn't, eventually getting pushed across ND and MT. As best I can make out the NT is a coin toss with the winds unlike the TA where south westerlies prevail on the prairie (I think)

8
General Discussion / Re: Bike Question
« on: October 21, 2014, 01:39:04 pm »
Be careful. I'm not familiar with the OP's bike but I did part of the TransAm with a guy on an Orbea road bike towing a Bob. I suspect his gearing was inappropriate because he spent noticeably more time out of the saddle than the rest of us. He also kept breaking spokes in his rear wheel. Make sure your wheels are robust enough, something a good LBS will help with. Broken spoke(s) can be a major downer.

9
General Discussion / Re: Toe clips? Clipless? None of the above?
« on: October 21, 2014, 01:29:41 pm »
Quote
  Of course, until one learns how to get out of the clips fast, falls are likely. 
Too true. The experience of being stationary and not being able to unclip is not to be missed. I always urge people to first try clipless pedals in a spinning class, i.e. on a stationary bike, to get the hang of unclipping something I didn't do and ended up teetering and falling off at a traffic light. Another suggestion: when you try them on a real bike for the first time do it on grass just in case. Having said all that I wouldn't ride without them now.

10
General Discussion / Re: Strange sounds from below
« on: October 19, 2014, 10:23:27 am »
I had a periodic knocking last year. Turned out I had a crack in my cassette body cover.
Not trying to be smart but just what is a  cassette body cover? I've never heard the term before.

11
Routes / Re: New York - Virgina Beach
« on: September 24, 2014, 02:16:59 pm »
I urge you to use ACA maps as much as possible. They are like Sustrans maps only better because: they list eating places and accommodation, are more compact and worse because: they are completely misleading as to the severity of climbs, the contours on ACA maps are pretty vague. Usually the climbs are much less severe than ACA maps indicate. Sometimes the profile provided makes a route look like the side of a house in actual fact you are still waiting for the steep bit to start when you get to the top. Do make sure you check the addenda to the maps before you set off. On the Sierra Cascades route I ended up riding 30 miles for breakfast because a cafe shown on the map was closed, the addenda said so but I hadn't read them.

12
General Discussion / Re: Strange sounds from below
« on: September 22, 2014, 03:21:01 am »
"Strange sounds from Below" You might try Beano.

13
Gear Talk / Re: Thule towbar rack and fenders help please
« on: September 20, 2014, 12:29:06 pm »
Quote
Cutting the fenders is not a solution. That's mutilation. Just take them off.
Thanks for your interest. I'll do whatever I see fit with my fenders

I finally got the rack installed and it seems to work OK with the fenders as they are. Every bus in the greater Seattle area has a rack for three bikes with a similar attachment system, I've never heard of fenders being a problem with their racks so I guess I'll take my chances. I suspect it's all CYA on Thule's part.

Edit. after 2 months of clamping with a front fender it appears to be safe as houses.

14
Gear Talk / Thule towbar rack and fenders help please
« on: September 12, 2014, 07:54:05 pm »
I've just bought a Thule T2 towbar mounted rack and it looks a fine piece of kit. According to the instructions I cannot clamp the front wheel with fenders on. Our front fenders poke out about 4 1/2 inches from the Vee brakes. Do I have to chop off my fenders? or can I get away with clamping right next to the existing fender tip? Is this all CYA from Thule?

15
General Discussion / Re: Riding on the US Interstates
« on: September 06, 2014, 01:11:47 am »
Quote
These same problems of narrow bridges with no shoulders,
Oddly enough on the Natchez Trace Parkway the only bits of it that have shoulders are the bridges.

How's about that for a non-sequitur?

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