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Messages - PeteJack

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1
Gear Talk / Re: One link in the chain
« on: March 01, 2015, 10:41:59 am »
Some time ago someone told me my chain looked slack when I was using the granny gear. Without checking the length properly or anything sensible like that I took a link out. Problem fixed, slackness gone. Then when climbing the notorious Devil's Slide hill on the Pacific Coast Hwy. (very busy, no shoulder) I inadvertently shifted to the big-big combination. The chain jammed instantly. It was so tight I couldn't move the chain off the chain ring or sprocket even by pulling on it sideways never mind the derailers.

I ended up climbing into the ditch to try to fix it and had to remove and replace the jockey wheel to get some slack so I could ride again. At the first opportunity I replaced the chain and now I live with the 'slack' which is probably due to a fairly big difference between the largest and smallest chain rings, 51 - 24.

Moral of story. Beware of chain shortening and  put a new chain on if anything is the least bit suspect.

2
Gear Talk / Re: New Rider who needs advice on tires
« on: February 18, 2015, 10:18:20 pm »
You're young you say. Well get out there and do it with whatever you've got. You can find a way to strap gear to your bike. It won't be purdy but who gives a s***, it's your trip not anybody else's. You don't need fancy tires, as Sta... etc has noted, M+'s weigh a ton and ride like you are going through sand. I've mentioned this before but I'll say it again. I met a man in Virginia on a Schwinn he'd found at the side of the road in LA! He was dumpster diving for food. His weather gear was a garbage bag with three holes in it. His front tire had a bulge in it and when I pointed it out he said it had been like that for a month. So, as they say in Liverpool, on yer bike.

3
Gear Talk / Re: What lube to use for touring.
« on: January 27, 2015, 03:12:34 pm »

4
General Discussion / Waterproof printer paper
« on: January 24, 2015, 12:59:52 pm »
There's a product that seems to be only available in the UK, Toughprint, a waterproof paper you can use with a laser printer. Sounds ideal for those of us who don't want a GPS. Anybody know if there's a US supplier?

5
Gear Talk / Should I be worried about my frame?
« on: January 23, 2015, 02:58:59 pm »
I have a Trek520 that I love dearly with 46000+ miles on it. I was in an LBS the other day and mentioned this to the fella and he asked if I was getting cracks in the frame. I haven't found any cracks but then I haven't done a penetrant dye inspection on it or any such thing. About the only thing that hasn't been replaced is the bottom bracket which still seems smooth as silk. Should I be undertaking another big tour with this bike or should I be looking to replace it? If I do it will probably be with a Disc 520, my one beef with my current bike was the brakes it came with were very noisy and not very good.

6
I'm working on alternative routing in case this proves to be a problem. This would put me on country roads through small towns, but in Pennsylvania and Maryland instead of Kentucky and Missouri.

If you are not set on starting in D.C. or can get yourself up to it, you might consider signed PA Bike Route S to get around the C&0:

ftp://ftp.dot.state.pa.us/public/pdf/bikes/state_mapS.pdf

Heading west, Route S joins the GAP at Rockwood, PA. However, you can take U.S. 220 from Bedford, PA to Cumberland, MD if you want to pick up the GAP from the beginning. I did the reverse when I rode from PGH to Philly in 2013. I picked up U.S. 220 north of Cumberland by following smaller roads out of town. The road has a decent shoulder and traffic was not that heavy on a Monday afternoon. Let me know if you want the exact routing between Bedford and Cumberland. Personally, I found the portion of the GAP between Rockwood and Cumberland to be the most interesting so I wouldn't miss that portion if possible.

Also, if you pick up Route S anywhere east of Hustontown, PA and have a strong from light or headlamp you can take an easy detour from the route and ride a stretch of the abandoned portion of the PA Turnpike. Very neat ride (It was used in the filming of "The Road" starring Viggo Mortensen), but there are two long tunnels that are not lit, hence the need for a good light. At the western end of the rideable portion you will find yourself back on Route S at Breezewood, PA.
+1 I rode Route S from near Philly to Rockwood. Some of it is fairly busy roads but much of it is highly rural PA e.g. Burnt Cabins. The western part is quite hilly. I managed to miss the old turnpike tunnels as you will if you follow the Route S signs, perhaps as well as I didn't have much in the way of lights or a map to show me where the tunnels were. i was unimpressed by the GAP. When it's wet the crushed gravel makes a paste that clings to your bike, especially to fenders. i ended up sharing a room with a complete stranger in Ohiopyle because the camping facilities near there were so poor.

7
Gear Talk / Re: What lube to use for touring.
« on: January 07, 2015, 06:43:53 pm »
Off to lube my chain.

8
Gear Talk / Re: What lube to use for touring.
« on: January 07, 2015, 05:56:39 pm »
FWIW, the care my chains get is mostly sloshing on some lube and wiping it off with a napkin.  They very rarely get any cleaning beyond that.
Hmm. It could be I'm not oiling my chain often enough. I took the Dumond label at its word when it says not to relube until you can hear the chain. I'll try more frequent oiling and see if that makes a difference. I can live with oiling more but the cleaning razmtaz is insufferable.

9
Gear Talk / Re: What lube to use for touring.
« on: January 07, 2015, 01:35:57 pm »
In Bellevue WA there is a bike mechanic who seems to know his stuff (claims to have been a wrench on the TdF and have worked for Shimano. Very nice guy) he reckons you should use the cheapest chains you can get and change them every 500 miles! I kid you not.

10
Gear Talk / Re: What lube to use for touring.
« on: January 07, 2015, 01:14:56 pm »
That surprises me.  It sounds like you change chains every 1500 miles or so and that cassettes only last you maybe 4,000 or 5,000 miles.  Is that correct or am I reading that wrong?  Is that with a steel cog cassette?  Aluminum? Something else?

Chains typically last me 10,000 miles or so (with very minimal care) and truth be told I have only rarely ever worn out a cassette, but some of them have certainly lasted me 20,000 miles or more, some of them probably a lot more.
No you're not reading it wrong. Good for you with the chain life thing. Can't be bothered myself. I use vanilla SRAM or Shimano cassettes whatever the LBS has in stock. Different strokes, different folks

11
Gear Talk / Re: What lube to use for touring.
« on: January 07, 2015, 11:57:47 am »

Is there a special lube that stays clean that I'm not aware of?  Wax lubes stay clean but a person would have to reply it every day, is that what touring people do?  My experience with drip on wax lubes is that my chains get about 2/3rds LESS mileage on them before they are worn out, so replacing a chain once or twice going across country would be ridiculas too.
when I did the NT I replaced my chain twice. I look on chains as disposable and not worth the effort and mess of trying to make them last by cleaning etc. It's a 5 minute job replacing a chain like a SRAM that has a Quicklink if you know the trick for opening gummed up Quicklinks. And they aren't that expensive. I carry a Park CC-1 chain checker and replace them sooner rather than later to preserve the teeth on the cassette (generally I get 3 chains to a cassette another consumable)

12
I am going a different route...

Big Agnes has a line of sleeping bags where there is a pocket to put your mat in.  I did a fall hang where it got down to 32F both nights and I was quite comfortable in my Big Agnes bag.
Wherever my bag went, my mat was forced to follow.
This sounds like a good way to go. Now, does the BA pocket work with Thermarest pads or do you have to use the BA pad? I suppose I could ask them at REI but they have been wrong before today.

13
General Discussion / Help with: From Jasper to ??
« on: January 05, 2015, 09:35:48 pm »
I'm intending to ride from Jasper to at least Whitefish this year and I am trying to get a friend in the UK interested in joining me. One way of arm twisting would be to have my mate's non cycling wife drive a SAG wagon (i.e. We get to ride. She gets to do the Great Parks in comfort) Is there any way of doing a one-way car rental to facilitate this? Any suggestions for alternatives that would be attractive to a non-outdoorsy person would be appreciated. My mate isn't a problem; winters in Scotland tell me that.

If my mate comes over I plan on: train to Jasper, ride to WF, train to Seattle. If he doesn't I'll be doing L&C to Portland rather than train to Seattle. Can't wait either way.

Thanks in anticipation.
Pete

14
General Discussion / Re: TransAm 2015- Looking for others
« on: January 05, 2015, 10:12:16 am »
chiptoothed, I have to totally agree with what PeteJack responded with. Going alone is a great way to travel for sure on such a personal adventure taken, and for the obvious reason he mentioned. My own travels alone have been chock full of many great memories and experiences had, as well as other similar travels having been made with fellow cyclists. Remember, the TransAm route is an established bicycle route, and odds are pretty good that you will easily see, and come across many other cyclists who are both coming & going while your out there on the entire distance.

I myself will be starting the same route as you at the end of April - east to west direction. I am cycling solo too, well kind of I guess I would say since my wife and family pet will be traveling along just shortly ahead of me daily in a family vehicle.
+1  One thing I would urge you to do is to tell your new friends "You guys go ahead. Don't wait for me" if they are obviously more comfortable with a faster pace than yours. It's all too easy to let your ego spoil your fun. I did that twice on my last NT.Edit. Told people to go on that is.

15
General Discussion / Re: TransAm 2015- Looking for others
« on: January 01, 2015, 12:17:58 pm »
Going solo is not the end of the earth. Nowadays it's how I prefer to do it, no disputes about pace, destinations where to eat, what to eat etc.. doing a big tour with someone has parallels to getting married. You find out all kinds of things about your partner you didn't know before you set off, sometimes you find things you would rather not have found out. Personally I love the flat bits in the middle where I can pedal for hours on end in my own little world. It's Zen like.

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