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Messages - sanuk

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1
Routes / Re: Pacific Coast - Seattle to SF - Fall 2016
« on: September 12, 2016, 10:51:29 am »
When I did the Seattle to SF route more than five years ago and never having done any long distance cycling before in the US what turned out to be my main concern and recurring nightmare was motorised traffic - specifically in Washington and Oregon the dreaded sound of loaded logging trucks coming up behind on roads with little or no shoulder and nowhere to hide. Of course, motor homes and trailers weren't much better. The only state providing anything like a decent space for cyclists was Oregon which seemed to be premoting cycle touring. But then that's coming from a European perspective where designated cycle routes are more or less the norm. Otherwise the state parks were the best and there was a good hostle up on the Marin Headlands overlooking the SF bay.

2
I clicked 'nothing' on the survey, but actually that's not true - more of a philosophical position. In reality on nearly all of my longer cycling trips I'm accompanied by my partner, and she's a teck-head junky - smart phone, Ipad and soon GPS. However, on some long trips in Northern Thailand and Laos I had nothing but a map and a handle-bar compass and managed just fine. Guess what? If you get lost you ask people! Wow! What a revelation! Then while on the West coast - Seattle to SF - I only had an off-the-peg basic mobile phone at the insistence of my daughter that I used maybe two or three times mainly out of laziness. The trouble with electronic aids and devises in general is that they distract you from your surroundings - I've seen cyclists riding in traffic while looking at Ipads attached to their handle bars - and isolate you from contact with other human beings.

3
Gear Talk / Re: Un-Chain my bike!
« on: April 16, 2016, 07:11:44 am »
Thanks for the words of wisdom. That's pretty much what I did. After a day of trying to forget it I finally went back to the basement and worked my way through. Amazingly, those nasty chain twists must have got the message and they almost un-did themselves for me.
Then it was just a matter of looping the chain back round the front cog. Lesson leant: If at first you don't succeed, try, try, try again.

4
Gear Talk / Un-Chain my bike!
« on: April 12, 2016, 11:50:05 am »
In the process of changing my rear tire - a simple maneuver I've done a thousand times with little or no problems - my chain decided to slip off the front cog and get itself all in a nasty twist. The bike was on the floor upside down. At first I wasn't too worried, but then when I came to put the rear wheel back the chain got itself in a worse tangle that my efforts to straighten have only complicated. Now the chain is all in a terrible twist and jammed between the front cog and the chain guide and won't move - which of course is made worse by the tension of the derailer pulling backwards.

I guess I'll have to get a ride in someone's car to the nearest bike shop as otherwise I'll probably just make it worse. Just wondered what the experts might have to say. If this happened, as it quite easily could out in the middle of nowhere I'd be really screwed.

5
Gear Talk / Re: New Adventure Bike...from Trek!
« on: March 24, 2015, 12:36:01 pm »
Re the Trek 920.  Seems this type of off-road/touring bike - including the ugly - IMHO - drop bars - as mentioned has been around for a bit in Europe.  I'm just looking at the 2014 catalog of a local German manufacturer - Velotraum - based near Stuttgart.  They have several versions with or without fenders, with either Shimano XT derailer or Rolof gearing and disk breaks, plus unlimited colour options and made-to-measure fitting on site. All their bikes come with 26inch wheels - the only limiting factor for those who prefer really big wheels like the Trek. Worth checking out if you're ever in the region.   

6
Gear Talk / Re: New Adventure Bike...from Trek!
« on: March 23, 2015, 05:27:32 am »
OK, I get the point.  This may be a genre of bike - and of cycling - I haven't encountered before. Not sure about the degrees of difference between 'Adventure bike' or tourer. Isn't it all an adventure?  As for drop bars, it's like a lot of things, everyone has their favorites.  For me the stretch down and forwards seems unnatural and likely to cause more strain on your lower back.  As for various holding positions it seems there's only two with a drop bar: either hands on top or bent full forward face down - which is also the position you need to be in to brake with drop bars.  With a flat bar - actualy a 'riser bar' in my case - with bar ends and ergonomic hand grips I get quite a few more options and my brakes and gear shifters are always at hand.  I also have a sufficient forward sitting angle to prevent spinal stress on bumps.   Nevertheless, after several hours on the road I still get numbness in one hand.  Not sure how to cure that. 

7
Gear Talk / What tires?
« on: March 21, 2015, 11:31:50 am »
Just been looking at the tires on my touring bike.  Actually, it's the only bike I have so it gets around. The front tire is relatively new while the rear looks like it needs replacing.  The bike came with Continental Travel Contact tires which I quite like, especially the smooth central patch which seems to give a faster ride than most other touring bikes I encounter on the road, and the little nobbles on the side seem to give some protection too on rougher trails.  So far no punctures.  Otherwise, however, everyone seems to rave about Schwalbe's - especially here in Germany where they're made.  My partner rides happily on Schwalbe Big Apples.  Others swear by Schwalbe Marathon, or Marathon Plus. Of course, the more 'Plus' the heavier they get as well as pricier.  I have a folding Travel Contact tire as back up so feel inclined to stick with them.  Just wondering what other opinions are floating around on this no doubt endless topic.

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Gear Talk / Re: New Adventure Bike...from Trek!
« on: March 21, 2015, 10:36:42 am »
I get the general idea of this Trek touring bike, but where are the mud-guards (fenders) and why oh why drop handle bars? Unless you're into down hill racing or fancy yourself in the Tour de France, no one on a long distance bike ride needs drop bars - IMHO.  And unless you enjoy a wet ass, fenders are a great invention.  It looks like Trek are just jumping - belatedly - on the rising popularity of bike touring but are still stuck in mountain bike mode.  Otherwise, not a bad bike.

9
Gear Talk / Re: Keen R.I.P.
« on: March 21, 2015, 10:20:14 am »
This is preciely my current dilema: no shoes around that I can find here in southern Germany that are good for walking/maybe some light hiking too, and for cycling.  My heavy-duty Keen sandals slide strait off my metal Shimano pedals. I use no cleats, clips or other means of attaching my feet to the pedals. The Jack Wolfskin hiking shoes I have are better but too hot for summer and too heavy to carry on a tour although they do somewhat repel water.   A pair of almost worn-out light-weight Teva sandal/shoes I've had for years and are partially glued together are best but only when it's warm and not wet, although they do dry out fairly fast.  Outdoor store staff just look confused when I ask for a light-weight cycling/walking shoe.  I keep looking.

10
General Discussion / Re: Cycling Around the World, but.........
« on: March 21, 2015, 09:57:00 am »
According to the info given above how, I would like to know, does cycling across the US and/or parts of Canada and the west coast constitute cycling around the world - unless, I guess, your 'world' consists of just those two specific countries.  Or is there more to come? 

11
General Discussion / Strange sounds from below
« on: September 18, 2014, 01:38:02 pm »
Could be a deviant rock band drummer warming up in the cellar, but this is on my bike and I don't like the sound of it. There's a knocking specifically when starting a ride.  Kind of like a little hammer sound. Never hear it any other time.  Could be the bottom bracket or maybe the rear casset I suspect.  It's irregular and doesn't last long but strangely nearly always after I've either cleaned and/or oiled the chain and rear casset.  Sometimes it seems related to starting out in rain - something I try to avoid - but maybe that's my imagination.  It only lasts about two or three minutes max and only at the start then it peters out and everything's OK.  On a recent long-haul ride I thought it might be caused by overly loaded rear panniers.  But now I got it again back home having just cleaned the bike and re-oiled the chain and starting out with no luggage.  50 yards or less down the road and it stops. I once had a problem before with a loose rear casset, but that doesn't seem to be it. I've had the wheel off.  It looks OK.  Bottom bracket issues would however be a real pain.  Any suggestions, cures?

12
General Discussion / Re: Fighting off boredom?
« on: July 29, 2014, 04:00:09 am »
Some quotes from 'The Tao of Travel' by Paul Theroux:

Go alone.  Travel light.  Bring a map. Keep a journal.  Read a novel that has no relation to the place you're in.  If you must bring a cell phone, avoid using it - same I would add goes for a GPS or any other electronic gear.  Make a friend.

13
Gear Talk / Re: Best foot wear for touring?
« on: July 26, 2014, 08:45:29 am »
For all those eager advocates of SPD clips, or any other mechanical method of attaching your feet to the pedals, here's something few of the clip using fraturnity rarely tell you.  Unless you aquaint yourself at an early stage in your cycling life and feel very comfortable getting in and out of clips at split-second notice without having time to think you might end up as I did a few years back, running out of momentum on a steep hill and quite suddenly face down on the black-top. Luckily nothing was coming up behind.  I ended up with a swollen wrist, multiple cuts and scratches in the middle of nowhere.  I got the wrist x-rayed and fortunately it wasn't fractured but it put me out of action for several weeks before I could get back on the bike and complete my tour.  Even then it hurt on and off resulting a few months later in a very painful and restrictive frozen shoulder which after an MRI scan showed a partially torn rotator cuff.  A sports medicine doctor said the only cure was surgery costing around $3000.  I decided to see a physio first.  After looking at the MRI he said a partially torn rotator cuff could be at least 90 percent fixed without surgery. Six months of physio and massage later I was fully functional.  The clipped cycling shoes went in the bin.  Unless you're a serious road racer I see very little justification for any kind of clips.

14
Gear Talk / Re: A folding bike for touring?
« on: July 26, 2014, 07:48:39 am »
That was more or less my own thougt on folding bikes in general - gauwky and somewhat uncomfortable for anyone other than 5 foot tall, and then those silly little wheels.  However, it's only since doing longer haul bike tours on various continents, which involve air and/or train travel to get to your start point - and/or to get you home - air being the most stressful  and buses are no joke either if you care at all for the condition of your bike - that I've begun to dream of something that might just fold up into a neat little package I could take as carry-on! Dream on.  That Tern Eclipse bike - the irresistably named 'road warrior for the zombie apocalyps' - just seemed to be approaching my criteria - and the seat combined with the seat post supposedly working as a stand-up pump! That's inovative -if it works.  However, for a bike weighing in at supposedly around 15 kg picking the thing up when folded wouldn't be easy. 

15
General Discussion / Re: cooking stoves for bike travel in Europe
« on: July 26, 2014, 07:14:36 am »
We checked out a Trangia stove that's available here.  Runs on some kind of spirits not gas. Didn't like it anyway as with all the acompanying pots - aluminum - luck! - and whatnot it looked very bulky.  Opted instead for a neat little thing called the Techno Trail made in Sweden by Primus. 49 euros. Works with LP gas cartridges - two kinds - and fits into a tough little plastic container which can also be used as a cup.  Weighs nothing and is compact - my two main criteria for just about anything when travelling, by bike or other means.  Thanks to everyone for all the advice and info.  Now all we need is some sunshine up north.  Guess I might need a shotgun for those mosquitos.   

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