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Messages - e46rick

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I would echo the posters who've suggested looking at a bikepacking setup. 
Especially since you're already committed to traveling light with your gear investments. 

General Discussion / Re: Need Help With Shifting on Climbs
« on: June 12, 2013, 11:22:36 am »
Thanks guys; this is all very helpful.

I think I am waiting too long to shift (ie. waiting until it gets pretty hard before downshifting).

Also..  I hate to admit this, but I only ever use my right shifter -- I think it's the rear derailleur.  I think I need to practice this on flat road and then put it into action on the climbs.

I also have not yet pedaled my road bike standing up... only seated.  I have stood and pedaled in my spinning classes -- just lack the confidence, balance, etc. on the road bike. 

I have a Fuji.. I think it's a Roubaix.
You definitely need to get comfortable using the front derailleur as well.  Start by just shifting the front back and forth while riding in a level place without any obstructions - like a quiet parking lot or local street.  Don't worry too much about cadence at this point, just get used to the operation of the front derailleur.  Once you've become more familiar it will much easier to integrate its use in to your rides.

I also like to alternate between sitting and standing while climbing.  The vast majority of the time climbing (80-90%) I will remain seated at moderate cadence, but occasionally standing helps use the muscles differently and stretches the back a bit - not to mention it gives your backside a brief break as well.  Like another poster mentioned, shifting up a gear or two when standing works well for most riders.  Just remember to downshift back to the easier gear again once you sit back down.     

Gear Talk / Re: Ultra Light TransAm Ride
« on: June 03, 2013, 10:53:02 pm »
I've used the Equipes for cyclcross riding without any issues.  I was planning to carry extra spokes.  And I was planning to carry no more luggage weight than 18 lbs, or less!

Am I nuts?!
I don't think so.

Have you looked at some of the gear selections the bikepackers are using? 
If you haven't, check out - those guys are obsessive about going light.

Gear Talk / Re: Ultra Light TransAm Ride
« on: June 03, 2013, 06:32:49 pm »
Got it.  I will get the SORA components reviewed before spending on an upgrade.  I will change the cassette to 9 speed 11-34.  And the small ring to a 24.

Does anyone have any concerns about the Mavic Ksyrium Equips running Conti 4S 28s for this kind of tour ride?  And I usually run my tires at near max inflation.  112psi.  I'm assuming a lower inflation would be better?  Would any other tire configuration make sense?  These wheels are rated up to 35mm, I believe.
I have a pair of Ksyrium SL's on a road bike but I've never used them for loaded touring.  The SL's were a race oriented wheel, I'm not sure how the Equips compare in that regard??  The SL's also have brand-specific aluminum spokes which could be very difficult to find should you need a replacement on the road.  Again, I'm not sure how the Equips compare.

For the long haul, I would be more comfortable with some good ol' 32 or 36 hole wheels with standard stainless steel spokes.

Gear Talk / Re: Ultra Light TransAm Ride
« on: June 03, 2013, 10:08:37 am »
The cassette is a 9 speed 11/30.  So I gather I should change it for a larger one.  Yes?  The Sora front derailleur has never worked.  In general the SORA drivetrain has been a pain.  I'm willing to upgrade to the best touring drivetrain if it can be done affordably.

Are you sure it's adjusted properly?  I know of several people that have had good luck with the Sora components.

That aside, the terms "the best" and "affordably" are generally not compatible with bike stuff. 

Due to a recent fire in the Ventura County/LA County area of Southern California, Point Mugu Campground is temporarily closed.
Point Mugu is one of the many parks along the coast that offer hiker/biker camping and is popular with traveling cyclists.  The closure is temporary.

More info here:

Gear Talk / Re: Ultra Light TransAm Ride
« on: May 07, 2013, 07:53:57 pm »

Routes / Re: Looking For Route Recommendations
« on: May 06, 2013, 10:16:37 am »
In Alberta, Canada the Icefields Parkway from Lake Louise north to Jasper has wide shoulders and tremendous scenery
I traveled by car and camped in that area 10 or so years ago.  Beautiful country!  Great suggestion.  Thanks.

And thanks to others for their input as well.

Routes / Re: Looking For Route Recommendations
« on: May 05, 2013, 11:36:00 am »
You could ride the C&O Canal Towpath and GAP Trail combination. It is about 325 miles without any automobile shared usage.
I'll look that up.
Thanks Dan

Routes / Re: Looking For Route Recommendations
« on: May 05, 2013, 11:24:01 am »
Well I'm sure it varies by locale.
I have ridden very rural roads in northern CA and Oregon where the occasional vehicles were logging trucks that showed little interest in sharing the road with cyclists.  2 or 3 feet of shoulder is nice under those circumstances.

Routes / Re: Looking For Route Recommendations
« on: May 05, 2013, 10:40:33 am »
Almost everywhere in the country except for southern California fits your requirements. Note that you can typically get wide shoulders or very little traffic, but usually not both at the same time.

Try Montana, or Wyoming, or Kansas, or North Dakota, or northern Wisconsin, or the Erie Canal, or west Texas, or rural Kentucky, or Idaho, or any of zillions of other places.

Thanks for the reply.
Given the choice, I would prefer nice wide shoulders.  I don't mind cars as much when I have my own space.  We actually have quite a few roads that meet that description here in SoCal, it's just that we often have to traverse narrow-busy sections to get to them.

Routes / Looking For Route Recommendations
« on: May 05, 2013, 10:23:48 am »
I looking for recommendations for safer and/or lower traffic routes for touring. 

I live in southern California and I'm no stranger to dealing with cars on the road - I ride our busy roads with cars virtually every day.  But I'm interested any route suggestions that would take me away from this and offer nice wide shoulders and/or very little traffic to contend with.  (Eventually I'd like to make my way to the Netherlands to give their network of bike paths a shot.) 

I've spent most of my life competing for space on the road with cars.  I'm interested in alternatives where I can relax and just ride my bike without being strafed by cars every few moments.  I have experienced a few places like this myself but I'm curious of what others have found.

Have you found an area, region or country that was relatively free of car-conflicts for bicycle travel?  Gravel and dirt roads are not out of the question either.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts and suggestions. 

Gear Talk / Re: Bike Sizing
« on: May 05, 2013, 10:05:04 am »
Be sure to compare top tube lengths as well as frame size.

For me, it's always been a bit easier to adjust my fit to a slightly smaller frame rather than to a slightly larger one.  Stem length, rise, stack height and seat post (up-down, fore-aft) are easier to adjust on a smaller versus larger frame IMO. 

General Discussion / Re: The importance of always wearing a helmet
« on: May 02, 2013, 09:02:22 am »
A helmet is a personal choice - (unless a local law dictates otherwise)

Personally, I choose to wear a helmet. 
I figure if I chose not to wear it one day, and that was the day I crashed - it would nullify all those other times I wore and didn't need it.

General Discussion / Re: 3 years to retirement.
« on: May 01, 2013, 08:06:21 am »
Congrats on your pending retirement!

The mushy feeling could be the setting on your front suspension.  I don't know if the fork on that particular bike is adjustable?  Either way, personally, I would prefer a rigid fork for riding the road.  Some suspension forks have a "lock out" function that essentially converts it to a rigid fork with the turn of a dial while on the fly.

Are you planning a supported or unsupported cross country tour?  If you are planning to do it on your own, I think it would be well worth the cost of a touring-specific bicycle.  Decent touring bikes can be had for well under $1500.  A relatively small price to pay considering the numbers of hours, days, weeks you will be riding it cross country.

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