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Messages - nomad

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Gear Talk / Re: do I have too much crap?
« on: April 23, 2013, 05:06:47 pm »
Hills are definitely the issue.  On flat ground, extra weight really just stabilizes your forward momentum, although it squashes your tires down a bit more, causing extra rolling resistance.  I even think the extra momentum helps cutting through wind drag, but that may be subjective, idk.  Going up hills is where you notice weight, but then when you're going down them, the extra momentum is an asset.  Beware of extra stress on tires, wheels, and spokes.  A cargo trailer takes the stress off your bike but adds an extra wheel's worth of rolling resistance. 

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General Discussion / Re: touring without "eating out"
« on: April 23, 2013, 04:54:45 pm »
If you can set aside issues of flavor for a moment, consider combining starches, fats, and sugars in the highest densities possible and then using protein bars for protein.  This could be dry potato flakes mixed with olive oil, for example, and hydrated with a bit of water.  You could also try something like bringing cake or brownie mix, adding oil and water, and then just eating it with a spoon, that is of course unless you want to try to 'bake' it in a pan over a fire or something creative like that.  Quick-cook oatmeal is also dense complex carbs and rehydrates easily, even without heat.  Add trail mix to it or some other combination of nuts and dried fruit and/or other sugary garnish and add coconut oil to make it creamy and add very high-density fat calories.  These may not sound like the tastiest meals but if you're trying to pack a lot of calories with little weight and you're filtering water along the way, they'll work.  Most importantly, experiment with ratios of complex carbs, fats, and sugar that works for you.  I once tried living on mainly nuts and sunflower seeds as these have lots of calories and protein, but I found that I just can't get the energy from fats that I can from complex carbs.  This may be different for people depending on the ability of their livers to break down fats into simpler carbohydrates, though, idk.

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Routes / Google's bicycle directions
« on: July 25, 2012, 12:02:34 pm »
I am wondering if the bicycle directions given by Google maps use the ACA designated bicycle routes.  I have noticed that none of the roads given as bicycle directions include the bike route designation as one of their names so I wonder if Google even knows these roads are designated as bike routes.

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I still haven't even been able to figure out if there's a speedometer that is powered by the magnet on the wheel passing the sensor instead of requiring a battery.

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Gear Talk / Re: Review: charging batteries with a SON hub
« on: March 16, 2012, 02:31:31 pm »
It's a slightly different topic, but I've looked at solar chargers and wondered how long it would take for phone batteries or others to recharge.  I wonder if you could combine a solar charger with the dynamo current to charge faster.  It would be good if you could charge phone batteries in a charger without plugging in the phone so you could have spares on hand when the sun isn't or hasn't been shining for a while.

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General Discussion / Re: Method for Bond-Funding Bike Roads
« on: March 15, 2012, 07:42:40 am »
The catch-22 of bicycle infrastructure is that the costs of building it and maintaining it are designed to pay wages at levels that afford the contributing workers and investors cars, gas, and the lifestyle that comes with it.  Ironically, I think if the economy was reduced to desperation because gas was up to unaffordable levels, bike infrastructure and businesses serving it would grow to high demand.  I guess it's just a question of waiting until the ongoing economic 'catastrophe' reaches that point, but it would be nice if there was a way to figure out what would make such projects doable before they are critically needed. 

The comment about current roads being undermaintained reflects a common attitude that bicycle infrastructure is an extra privilege that can only be legitimated if the 'essentials' are taken care of first.  But if you think about it, all a bike road really is is an extra lane on an existing road that is separated from the road by the maximum amount of unpaved green space possible.  I think if people would see that, it would become clear that adding a bike lane is a far better investment in a future economy where gas prices continue to rise, making it that much more difficult for families and individuals to travel recreationally. 

I was just thinking that if the bonds were available for investment, people might put some of their money into that instead of rising oil futures.  Maybe it's a pie-in-the-sky alternative to more drilling and wars for oil, but I don't see why it shouldn't be part of an "all of the above" approach to energy/infrastructure policy.  Thanks for the critical-thinking; it certainly is a challenging prospect.

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General Discussion / Method for Bond-Funding Bike Roads
« on: March 14, 2012, 11:13:34 am »
The problem with funding bike roads seems to be that no one wants to build them purely for the goodness of doing so, which is the best reason imo.  However, it seems like municipal bonds could be used to get funding if there was some source of revenue planned to repay the bond.  Could it be organized so that each, say, 20-mile stretch of bike road along a planned route could be funded by businesses that would start up as "rest stops" at the end of the 20 miles?  So, for example, if you were a business investor who wanted to set up a restaurant, truck-stop type facility, campground, etc., you could agree to a certain level of sales-tax until the bonds for the road-work had been paid off.  That way, each 20-mile stretch could be planned and funded in itself and there would be travel-oriented facilities along the route.  I think 20 miles is a distance that is short enough to promote traveling with children, who are the main people in need of separated bike roads anyway.  What do you think?  Would people be willing to invest in such bonds and businesses along the routes?  Or aren't there enough families with children willing to travel in this way to make it pay off?

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Transporting a bike, especially an expensive one, is an awful risk.  Why not just buy a Walmart bike that you can pick up at your destination?  (sorry to everyone with a Walmart allergy).  If baggage handling would end up bending one of your wheels, you'd end up having to replace that anyway.  If you don't want the bike once you're finished with it, you can do somebody a favor and resell it.

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General Discussion / Re: Affordable/free camping idea
« on: March 08, 2012, 03:22:35 pm »
Wow, really great replies in this thread so far, everyone.  I also see the money as the main problem, but it's also the problem with bicycle tourism in general because of needing multiple days to cover what would be a much shorter trip by car or airline.  The thing is, though, with the price of gas going up and the economy getting ever tighter, it seems like affordable bicycle touring could increasingly be the only viable option for many people to travel.  As one of the posts mentioned, there are a lot of small towns that could benefit from the business if they had a reputation for accommodating through-going cyclists.  But to attract more people to travel by bike, the overall cost of a trip would have to be less than driving - besides all the other hurdles that discourage everyday people from setting off by bike.  It's a catch 22 though, I think, because if traveling this way would gain popularity, there would be a stronger impetus to build dedicated long-distance bike highways.  But of course, having the highway and affordable facilities up and functioning is what would cause word to spread that bicycle travel is doable, affordable, and fun.

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General Discussion / Re: Most interesting states
« on: March 05, 2012, 02:27:42 pm »
I would think that there would be routes that ride well without being so photogenic.  Is aesthetic intrigue the only factor that makes a ride interesting?

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General Discussion / Affordable/free camping idea
« on: March 05, 2012, 02:21:30 pm »
Warmshowers.com is a great idea but it has the drawback of having to trust strangers.  What if instead of lawn-sharing, there was a non-profit corporation that would buy up small parcels of land for use as cyclist camping.  The parcels could be relatively small because no (car) parking would be needed, only bathrooms and showers.  Users could clean and maintain the facilities as a means of funding their membership.  Granted, there are a lot of affordable campgrounds around but how many are geared exclusively to cyclists who just need a place to sleep before leaving early in the morning?  Plenty of motels cater to auto travel in this way.  Walmart and other businesses allow RVs to park for free overnight.  Shouldn't there be something comparable for bicycle travel to make longer trips affordable?

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General Discussion / Re: Rain gear on self contained long distance touring?
« on: September 21, 2011, 02:30:46 pm »
I always carry plastic trash bags to quickly rap up any cargo I'm carrying.  It's also useful to carry along an inexpensive poncho if you don't enjoy being completely soaked.  They are very light and cheap and as long as they're unopened, they take practically no space wherever you keep them.  I also prefer to ride in water shoes since these dry faster than other shoes, but that isn't possible if you're using clip shoes.  The only problem with cheap ponchos is that they tend to blow around a lot.  Maybe one day someone will mass-produce ponchos made especially for bicycling with elastic to wrap around the handlebars like a skirt.  It's not that hard to bunch up the excess poncho in you hands while riding but it would be more convenient if it was already the right length and was form fitting.

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General Discussion / Re: Gotta eat, but don't want to cook/boil
« on: August 25, 2011, 04:38:33 pm »
Knowing us, it might require occasional replenishing even without emergencies.
As for diamond from coal, a certain amount of compression transforms a pb&j into a breakfast bar . . . imho.

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General Discussion / Re: Gotta eat, but don't want to cook/boil
« on: August 24, 2011, 07:24:18 am »
If I go with isobutane I usually take both unless I am absolutely sure I will have enough fuel.  I have been disappointed with the lack of available fuel on two different tours where I expected to buy cartridges, but went long distances without seeing any despite checking just about every possible source along the way.
Maybe naive, but aren't there cooking stoves that work on regular unleaded gasoline?  It sounds like a nasty idea but surely you could keep the smoke out of the food.

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General Discussion / Re: overnighting en route
« on: August 22, 2011, 01:47:54 pm »
Good posts, everyone.  Warmshowers looks interesting though I'm not sure I would want strangers staying in my house - maybe they can camp in the yard.  That would actually be sufficient for me to do as well.  Camping in a public spot would be better though, I think, since you don't have to deal with interpersonal issues, which are usually fine but can cause problems.  I'm looking at the central and north Florida areas.  The suncoast trail has caught my interest lately and I'm wondering why a private road company couldn't allow free camping along its bike road.  Of course, wild animals and naughty people could be a problem if security was insufficient. 

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