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Messages - zzzz

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1
General Discussion / Re: Riding on the US Interstates
« on: August 27, 2014, 05:13:56 pm »
You are right. I missed your point. I thought you were saying that it's safer to ride on the interstate as opposed to the idea it should be a choice. Since I wouldn't do it I don't have a strong opinion one way or the other.

And you're also right about the RV's. The 2 really close encounters I've had on tours have both been RV's. Small sample size but that's still 100%.

But do you really want to stand by the statement that in 4 continental crossings you've never once had a truck slow down when overtaking you? Riding a bike exposes you to a certain amount of danger that you would not face in a car, as your fellow Aussie's recent death all to clearly illustrates, but let's not make it out to be worse than it is.

I'm going to make up some numbers here but they represent what it feels like to me out on the road after 40 years and well over 100k miles on a bike. Probably 40% of the time I'm passed and there's a bad sight line or oncoming traffic ahead the car eases off the gas 50-100 yards behind me to assess the situation for a safe pass (AKA: the proper way to pass a cyclist). Then there's another 50% who stay on the gas till they're quite close and then hit their brakes hard when they realize they can't see around you or somebody's coming the other way (AKA: the stupid way to pass a cyclist). Now that still leaves a 10%± group of drivers that stay on the gas despite the fact they can't see what's coming the other way or there's not enough room because of car traffic ahead (AKA: the should be considered criminally negligent way to pass a cyclist) and that's plenty bad enough.

Pete


2
General Discussion / Re: Riding on the US Interstates
« on: August 27, 2014, 07:29:50 am »
I have to agree w/ the 2 previous posters, I don't believe interstate highway access is the answer. There are too many people hit every year on the shoulder of the road when they've stopped their cars for repairs for me to think that this is a safe place to be.

I would like to see two changes to improve rider safety in this country:

1) I think people should have to undergo a driving test every time they renew their driver's license. And it should be difficult to pass. This can be done in a driving simulator (which can be very sophisticated these days) and it should include a number of scenario's involving pedestrians and cyclists. I'm sure all of us see behavior from cars on a regular basis that is shocking in it's ignorance considering the driver is piloting equipment that is so easily lethal.

2) There should be real consequences to hitting someone with your car. If the driver is at fault in a serious accident their license should be pulled for a long time and except for their work time they should be under house arrest for a long time as well. They've KILLED or SERIOUSLY MAIMED someone. There should be dramatic consequenses for that, not dismissed as "no criminality intended". Right now, if your not drunk, and it's not a hit and run, and in some jurisdictions if you're not texting, you get a free pass for killing cyclists and pedestrians.

Now, the guy who hit this poor women was reported as drunk and it was a hit and run so everything he did was already illegal as well as immoral. And you go thru life and see bad stuff happen to good people who deserved a better fate. It's cold comfort but hopefully justice will be served and 1 more a--hole will be off the road. And the rest of us left will carry on just a little more sober in the knowledge that what time you have here is precious.

Pete

3
From the outside or inside?

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General Discussion / Re: Busiest ACA or other trail intersection?
« on: August 25, 2014, 10:07:13 am »
These folks are a commercial enterprise which you indicate you may, or may not, be what you eventually want to shoot for but they are similar to what you described. You may want to talk w/ them:

http://www.whitefishbikeretreat.com/other-services/

As for location, have you thought about someplace w easy on/off access to the GDMR ?

Pete


5
General Discussion / Re: Help me decide on this last minute tour.
« on: August 25, 2014, 04:47:30 am »
I'm not going to try to talk you out of Colorado, it's a beautiful state w lots to see. But if you want to see Glacier at some point in your life I think early September is the best time to ride GTSR, at least from my experience.

I rode it last year on Sept. 6 and started at 7 am on the east (less spectacular) side. Traffic was almost non-existent. There was 3, maybe 4 small patches of construction and that actually worked in my favor. A couple times as a cyclist they just waved me thru and where I was stopped for a couple of minutes the few cars that were there passed me right away before I even had much of a chance to get rolling. I don't think I got passed by 20 cars on the entire ascent. I did stop several times on the way down the west side to soak up the views but while I was rolling I don't remember getting passed by anyone on the steep part. By the time the road was starting to flatten out at the bottom I could see traffic was starting to build going up, I think it was probably around 10 by then.

Compare that to the nose to tail traffic jam that any video you pull up on you-tube for GTSR has and it felt like I had the road all to myself.

Pete

6
General Discussion / Looking for Bike Shop in LA
« on: August 23, 2014, 09:49:54 pm »
Hello All:

I start the Sierra Cascades route in Bellingham on 8/30. On 9/30 I have a plane ticket from LAX back home. I'll need to drop my bike off at a shop in the LA area for them to ship it back (I got a hardshell box, it doesn't come with me on the plane).

I'm sure there are 100's of bike shops in the LA area that I could look up on the web but I'd like a recommendation from someone who knows the business who can speak directly to the fact that they did a really careful job packing your bike. And if they are located within 10-15 miles of LAX, so much the better.

Thanks,

Pete

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General Discussion / Re: Help me decide on this last minute tour.
« on: August 23, 2014, 09:34:05 pm »
Take a look at the route thats shown on the 2 Great Parks North maps. I started at the opposite end than you would be last year in Jasper and rode down to Wyoming and the scenery was spectacular.

If you start in Billings, make your way to Missoula (I think there are a number of attractive options for that) and then pick up the GPN route. It goes thru Glacier NP / Waterton NP, Southern BC, then back over into Alberta and up the rockies. Once you get into Lake Louise you pick up the Ice Fields Parkway which is just incredible.

The 2 GPN maps total about 750 miles + whatever you add between Billings and Missoula to make your distance what you want. But the clock is ticking, as others have mentioned GTS closes for road work in mid-Sept and the end of September is getting pretty close to winter in Jasper.

I believe ACA prefers that pics not be attached directly to a post, if you want to see 3 or 4 of my best from my trip send me an email at pwm2@lehigh.edu.

pm

8
General Discussion / Re: brooks saddle break-in how long
« on: July 25, 2014, 09:43:28 am »
I bought a Brooks Swift about a month ago and have about 400 miles on it now so this isn't a long term review.
It was pretty comfortable straight out of the box but it has not "disappeared" underneath me yet, I suspect another 400 for full break-in. I have had it on mostly 20± mile rides so far but also a couple of 80± milers.

Make sure you get the saddle dressing gel that Brooks sells as that helps w/ break-in (Proofide) and use as directed.

I have the Swift on one of my bikes and the Brooks Cambria (got that in May and it has about 2000 miles on it) on the other and I'm still trying to make up my mind as to which I take on my upcoming tour in September.

Pete

9
you could have worked that Louis Jordan angle a little more fully....

Is you is  or is you ain't a lady...
Maybe, lady?I'll be riding with someone new,
'cause if you're a lady, I'll go riding too!

Of course if Apsiaki is under 50 it's likely to go right over her (or his) head and it will just be assumed you have lousy grammar.

(Preemptive aplogies to anyone who finds this sexist or a desecration of one of the great R&B songs of all time)

Pete

10
Routes / Re: East to West or West to East
« on: June 30, 2014, 02:34:51 pm »
All this is interesting but kind of academic. Since this is a touring based forum, it doesn't really matter what direction the wind is blowing on any give day because whatever way the wind is blowing, you're still going to ride in the direction your route goes.

Two years ago on the WE the wind picked up around lunch time and I had a 40± mph tailwind from Carson City almost all the way to Fallon. There was a fully loaded couple going the other way. They looked miserable but what are they going to do? I thought about waving "Hi!" but I thought they'd just give me the one finger salute.

I have mused while touring that some day I should try to take a tour that I'll just ride in whatever direction the wind is blowing that day just to see where I'd end up. And while I'm at it, maybe I can figure out how to go down hill all day also.

Pete


11
General Discussion / Re: Poll: Additional ACA Web Feature?
« on: June 04, 2014, 09:49:49 pm »
Upfront, I want to point out that the poll does not appear on Taptalk. So if that's your main egress to the forum and you'd like to vote, you'll need to access the forum through the ACA web site.

Chippedtooth basically made the points I was going to make. I'm not suggesting that ACA publish anything. This would have to be built one entry at a time from members. You go to a place, you like it, hate it, or something in-between and ACA provides you a place on their web site to park your opinion. What I'm suggesting is hardly more sophisticated than a Excel spread sheet. I give a restaurant 3 stars, you give it 2, it shows as 2 1/2 stars. As for what kind of $ amount you fill in, I think you make these judgement every time you go out to eat. I make it a point not to loose weight on these trips so I eat as much as I possibly can for dinner, so my bill w/ 2 entrees and 2 desserts, and 2 drinks if they have a bar, may be $50. But I know a fair representation is that it's a mid-priced place and I would rate it as such.

I've gotten recommendations informally on this site regularly, you have a posting that shows your going thru Wisdom Mo. and somebody writes in about the really good restaurant there, or you're on the WE ride and somebody writes in suggesting you skip the motel in Baker and go off route to the Border Inn. I always appreciate these tips. And as for stuff closing up, I ran into that twice last year on my trip, this would be a great place to post that a place is no longer open. You could do it in real time as your standing in front of the locked doors if you have a smart phone and internet access there.

I know ACA isn't a organization thats rolling in cash from big money donors and I'm sure their IT guy's aren't drumming there finger's on their desks waiting for something to do. We will see if the poll indicates a real desire for this among the membership.

pm

12
John:

I made that same suggestion on this forum last fall. I got 3± very positive replies and then nothing but crickets. It's certainly possible that nobody else had any interest in it as an idea but I thought I may have made a mistake by not setting it up as a poll. I still really like the idea so I decided to try it again, this time as a poll.

pm


13
General Discussion / Poll: Additional ACA Web Feature?
« on: June 04, 2014, 01:57:53 pm »
For those of you who have toured using the ACA maps, you know that in each town there is a listing of services (camp grounds, hotels, restaurants, bike shops, etc.). Sometimes you find the places listed to be what you expected, sometimes they are less or more in terms of quality or cost. And because of space limitations, in larger towns there is a limit to how many places can be listed.

I'm looking to poll ACA members as to whether it would be useful to have a space in the "Resources" menu of the ACA web site where you could rate or reference other members opinion about places of business along ACA routes cross referenced to the route map number (ie: TransAm / Map 43 / Restaurants). This would be a in-house "Trip-Advisor" but specific to cyclist's needs.

It could be as simple as 1-4 $ signs for cost and 1 - 4 rating for quality although space for additional info would be helpful.

14
When I started doing this I thought the motels listed on the maps were vetted in some way, like ACA's version of the AAA stamp of approval. Apparently not. Sometimes the motels have been very nice, sometimes they've been pretty rough, and sometimes the bad one's were in towns  where a nice (unlisted) place was right next door.

There has been at least a couple of occasions I could have "credit card camped" in a tent and sleeping bag pitched in the hotel room and slept much more easily than sleeping in their bed.

pm

15
I have everything and I've set everything up, it all works and weighs as described. You are giving something up along w/ the weight, most significantly, the tent is single wall, so if it's raining.... don't touch those sides.

It sounds like we're coming from the same place. I'd rather stay in a hotel. Even w/ this gear I'll still be primarily staying in hotels. So it's mostly dead weight to me and I want it to be as little dead weight as possible. But if it bails me out 3-5 nights on this coming trip, and on the next trip, and on the one after that, I can amoritize  the cost down to where it doesn't seem insane.

Pete

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