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Messages - RussSeaton

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1
Gear Talk / Re: Advice on a Bicycle for Trip to France
« on: April 08, 2014, 08:00:34 pm »
Are any of the touring models you are familiar with sportier than others and would give a better unloaded road experience?

Cannot comment on Bike Friday.  As Pat Lamb mentioned, there is a cost to flying with a bike.  I thought it was around $100 each way, not $400.  But check with the airlines.

As for which touring bike to get, if possible try to find one with STI brake/shift levers.  These are much nicer for around town unloaded riding than barend shifters.  I've had both types of shifters on touring bikes.  The STI levers are more fun to use.  Barend shifters can also wear out and stop functioning, so they are not impervious.  I think the bikes I mentioned all come from the factory with barend shifters.  You would probably need to work with the shop you buy from to change to STI levers.  It would add cost.  If you can buy online and do the mechanic work yourself, it would lower the cost quite a bit.  I've had touring bikes with 7 speed barend shifters and 10 speed STI.  The STI are more fun to ride.  I think all of the touring bikes I mentioned are similar.  Trek 520, Surly Long Haul Trucker, REI Novara Randonnee, BikesDirect.com touring bike all come with barend shifters.  All are steel frames/forks.  All are 9 speed cassette.  I think you could flip a coin with any of those.

2
Gear Talk / Re: Advice on a Bicycle for Trip to France
« on: April 08, 2014, 11:48:28 am »
No experience with Bike Friday.  Any of the common touring bikes sold in the US will work fine.  Surly Long Haul Trucker, REI Novara Randonnee, Trek 520, and a few others are the common choices.  All work fine.  All work as road bicycles when not carrying bags.  So you can buy these for a tour and then use them to ride the roads around home.  They all work fine on all roads.  Loaded or unloaded.

3
General Discussion / Re: First Multi-Day BikeTour
« on: April 08, 2014, 11:32:15 am »
You mentioned diabetes.  I am unsure if you have Type 1 or Type 2.  Based on the pancreas cancer, I am assuming Type 1.  Diabetes adds some complexity to bike riding and touring.  But does not prevent it or hinder it much at all.  You will need to keep track of your blood sugars during the ride.  Carry a blood glucose meter with you and use it every hour or two.  Carry food, snacks, candy, etc.  And eat them.

4
Gear Talk / Re: Making wheels stronger with a mixed spoke pattern.
« on: April 04, 2014, 12:38:56 pm »
If you are worried about flange breaking use a large flange hub.

Really?  Large flange and small flange hubs have the spoke the same distance from the outside of the hub.  The metal the spoke head is bearing against is the same in both flanges.  Large flange merely moves the hole closer to the rim.  Large flange does not add more metal for the spoke head to bear against.  Flanges break with radial lacing because the spoke head is bearing against a small bit of aluminum in the hub flange.  This small bit of aluminum is the same in both large and small flange hubs.  All a large flange hub does is make the spokes shorter.

5
General Discussion / Re: newbie planning Belgium tour
« on: March 26, 2014, 10:14:01 am »
stop by a bike store.

BOOK store, not bike store for maps.

6
General Discussion / Re: newbie planning Belgium tour
« on: March 26, 2014, 07:48:30 am »
I cannot imagine going on a bike ride, any bike ride, except on my own bike.  My own bike I have been riding for years and years.

I toured Europe a long time ago.  1992.  I bought maps locally.  The ones I used were labeled as follows.
RV Reise-und Verkehrsverlag
GroBe StraBenkarte 1:200.000

I assume that RV company is a map making company.  And the 1:200.000 is the scale.  That size worked well for riding a bike.  These maps showed all of the roads.  Little roads too.  And all towns.  I folded them up and stuck them in my handlebar bag map case.  I'm guessing I bought the maps in book stores.  Don't think convenience stores would have maps to this small of a scale.  Couldn't have been too hard to find since I acquired lots of them over the summer.  Many different countries.

7
General Discussion / Re: First Bike Tour
« on: March 20, 2014, 10:04:15 am »
Assume you already have a touring bike and panniers and gear.  If not, then you have more troubles.

2-3-4-5-6 times during May and June, go on test campouts on the weekend.  Load up the bike.  Leave Friday after school, work and ride 40 miles or so to a park for camping.  Get up Saturday morning and pack up all your stuff on the bike. Go ride 60 miles to another camping spot.  Set up camp.  Get up Sunday morning and load up the bike.  Ride 60 miles back home.  All of this will get you in shape and get you used to riding and prepare you for camping.

8
General Discussion / Re: Miles Per Day
« on: March 18, 2014, 04:47:22 pm »
Personally, for me, I find 60 miles per day the ideal distance to ride loaded per day.  Less than 60 miles and I start doubting myself.  Thinking I wasted the day by not riding far enough.  More than 60 miles and I start questioning whether I am having fun or simply working to put in the miles regardless.  Give or take 5 miles, I find 60 miles an ideal distance to ride loaded each day.  And unloaded too.  Anywhere between 50 and 80 miles is a good distance for each day.  You can start at a good time in the morning.  8 to 9 AM.  And finish in a good time in the afternoon.  3 to 5 PM.  Find a place to stay for the evening, get cleaned up, and get to supper before its too late.  And get back to camp or the motel in plenty of time and get to bed early.  60 miles.

9
General Discussion / Re: Bike Travel and Visiting Dress Up Sites
« on: March 10, 2014, 11:54:11 am »
As already mentioned, in more official churches, shorts and short skirts are not allowed.  Period.  It doesn't matter how you look or smell.  You are not allowed inside.  But most big visitor places in Europe have all kinds of people coming and going.  Your bike clothes will not stand out at all.  Dress up?  Whatever.  You probably should not be covered in mud, but other than that, who cares.

10
A friend bought the REI Novara Randonee 2-3 years ago.  I overhauled it before it went into service.  Seemed like a very good bike with good components.  Nothing major in the overhaul.  It would be one of my top choices for riding across the USA with panniers.  Equal to the Trek 520 or Surly Long Haul Trucker.

11
Routes / Re: Biking Spain - Valencia to Barcelona
« on: February 26, 2014, 08:55:02 am »
Not a lot of help, but...  I rode a few days in the SW corner of Spain about 13 years ago.  November.  The part of Spain that touches Portugal and the Mediterranean Sea.  Weather was pleasant.  Roads were great.  Traffic was minimal.  Plenty of good untraveled roads going everywhere.  Towns were a reasonable distance apart.  I stayed in motels and ate at restaurants and convenience stores.  Easy to find and low cost.

You're talking about Barcelona and the NE corner of Spain.  Might be different up there.

12
General Discussion / Re: touring in the rain?
« on: February 18, 2014, 01:38:55 pm »
Keep in mind rain limits visibility.  For car drivers.  So you are harder to see on your bicycle.  If you ride in the rain on the road, turn on all blinking lights and wear a yellow rain jacket.  Yellow jacket is for visibility.  Not to keep water off you.

As for whether to wear any rain gear while riding.  Temperature decides that.  If its cold, then wear all the clothes you have.  Being wet and cold is bad.  If its warm summer rain, nothing extra is needed.  No matter what you wear, you will get wet riding in the rain.  If its cold and wet, then try to get as little wet as possible.

14
Routes / Re: Pacific Coast Route Northbound
« on: February 14, 2014, 12:51:42 pm »
Northwest winds accompany high pressure and dry weather.
Southerly winds accompany storm systems and rain.

Hmmmmm.  If what you state has any truth at all, it means weather patterns are dependent on where in the world you live.  NW and NE winds in my part of the world mean storms.  South winds mean dry and hot.  I suspect I could go back in time 100 years and never find a storm or rain coming out of the south.  Look at all the snow storms hitting the SE and NE parts of the country over the past couple months.  They have all come out of the NW.  None came out of the south.

15
Gear Talk / Re: STI Triple 9 Speed with canti brakes
« on: February 11, 2014, 01:50:35 am »
My touring bike has Shimano 105 5703 STI levers.  And 10 speed SRAM cassette.  Shimano Tiagra triple front derailleur.  Shimano Deore mountain bike rear derailleur.  Crankset has 44-33-20 chainrings.  With an 11-32 cassette it has plenty of high and low gears.  Chain is 10 speed Shimano or SRAM, can't remember which.  Bike shifts perfectly.  Brakes are Avid Shorty 6 cantilever.

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