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Messages - PeteJack

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I did Anacortes to Fargo... and most of the time had a tail wind. I assume you realize you'll be riding into the wind most of the time? Better exercise I suppose.
Last year I did Fargo to Anacortes and had tail winds all the way. I'd been told several times I was going the wrong direction for the winds. The wind direction is a toss up I suppose

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General Discussion / Re: Poll: Additional ACA Web Feature?
« on: June 26, 2014, 12:47:06 pm »
I'd like some sort of indication of cost/quality. The problem I've seen over the years is that e.g. eating places start out very good and get all kinds of business and then, perhaps because they are not making the profit they hoped for, start penny pinching and the service/quality starts to slide and in a year an excellent place can go to hell. Not much you can do about it. It's in the nature of running a small business. I suspect that much of this is due to well meaning business owners just wearing themselves out, so try not to be too demanding and be grateful for their efforts. And don't be above leaving a decent tip!

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I did the S-C a couple of years ago. Tremendous fun. See http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/petejack02 I took an REI Quarter Dome tent that I ended up using quite a bit because there's some longish gaps between motels in Oregon and California. At Crater Lake there was no room to be had period. Don't book in advance because then you are riding to a schedule which is misery. I took a stove and pans that I used hardly at all because I hate cooking. Even if a motel is full they may have a patch of grass you can camp on if you look forlorn enough. Avoid Forest Service campgrounds they never have showers, private ones are more expensive but usually have showers and some even have a laundramat and a restaurant e.g. one near Old Station CA. Best of luck.

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Any chance of getting Remax to come up with a bike shirt? One bike shirt is pretty much like any other.The yellow jackets I think you guys wear would be hi-viz but hopeless in the wet. You'll find the real estate scene interesting as you go along e.g. one small town in ND will give you the land for free if you build a house there.

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I'm short 5'6" and I think that makes me less of a threat to anybody. It also means I can fit comfortably into a one man tent. Riding partners are a dodgy business: being with someone who is the most reasonable and likeable individual before you set off can end up like a bad marriage. Enjoy your own company and your own schedule or absence thereof.

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General Discussion / Re: newbie planning Belgium tour
« on: April 23, 2014, 10:15:09 am »
I'd definitely suggest that you take your own bikes.  I'm heading across this summer for my 4th European tour and never regretted paying the fee to have my own bike and gear that matched it.

One thought on logistics.  I've found that Amsterdam Schiphol is an incredibly bike-friendly airport to travel in and out of.  I'm often not the only cyclist setting up my bike in the baggage claim hall, and the truly amazing Dutch bike network begins across the pedestrian mall from the main terminal.  I used an Amtrak box for my 1st trip across... minimal fuss to get your bike ready to fly.

Perhaps more importantly, on departure you can buy bike boxes at the airport (left luggage office sells them for about 20 Euros).  These are sturdy cardboard boxes similar to the Amtrak style that last until the return trip you're going to want to make after this first one.   :)

There is a train station connected to the terminal if you want to speed south to Belgium, or it's a pleasant few days down along the coast to Belgium.  It's a reasonable option to take the train back to Schiphol from your tour ending point--- but do a bit of planning on which trains take bikes... most do, but not all, and some require reservations for your bike.

Happy riding!
+1 to everything dom says

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Gear Talk / Re: Retiring, getting into self contained touring
« on: April 21, 2014, 01:18:03 pm »
Quote
I've never used them but I did have SD-7s on one bike and they were very strong and powerful
After I'd bought the Ultimate it occurred to me SD-7s have done the trick and been a lot cheaper, about $30. I guess I'll never know.

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Gear Talk / Re: Retiring, getting into self contained touring
« on: April 21, 2014, 08:06:03 am »
There are good rim squeezers and not so good rim squeezers. My 520 came with Single Digit SD-5 brakes and for years I put up with noise and poor performance. On a steep downhill I just couldn't stop by braking from the hoods, I had to reach round to the drops and squeeze like hell. And they were almost impossible to center, I'd use up all the adjustment on one side without it lifting off the rim. Eventually I sprang big bucks $111 for a Single Digit Ultimate as opposed to $17 for a replacement SD-5 on the front. It's like night and day: powerful, modulated braking from the hoods, silent, center perfectly. Everything a vee brake should be. While I was at it I replaced the brake levers with Tektro RH520s  I do believe the new levers are a help too i.e. they have better ergonomics.

I've still got the old SD-5 on the rear and it seems plenty adequate so it's staying. I reckon you don't want too powerful braking at the back, locked wheel etc.

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Gear Talk / Re: solo bike security
« on: April 21, 2014, 07:38:50 am »
Quote
Carry a light cable lock to keep people honest, perhaps, and a detachable handlebar bag with ID, camera, cash, credit cards, etc. stays with you all the time. 

+1 Also be aware of what nice gizmos are on your handlebars because they can attract the eye. The only theft I experienced was with a device on the handlebars. I ride with a GPS. When I'm off the bike, the GPS goes in my handlebar bag, and the bag stays with me.
+1 One of our club members had a GPS disappear on a Washington State ferry.

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Gear Talk / Re: Cateye time & average speed funky readings
« on: April 21, 2014, 07:30:28 am »
 :-[ Oh the embarrassment. Somehow I'd managed to turn off the Automatic Mode for the thing. i.e. the timer keeps running until you press the start/stop button. There should be a little AT on the display. When all else fails RTFM

11
General Discussion / Re: newbie planning Belgium tour
« on: April 21, 2014, 07:11:22 am »
Quote
I took some French in college
Do learn how to pronounce the letters of the alphabet, most people are not taught this. It's very helpful if you want to find route D123 say. (e.g. D in French is pronounced 'day').  See http://french.about.com/od/pronunciation/a/alphabet.htm And be aware that locals often don't know route numbers; roads often have local names that don't appear on maps.

12
+1 for Safari. You you can fit a bar bag on those bars. My wife's has one of these http://www.rei.com/product/852189/ortlieb-ultimate-6-plus-handlebar-bag
 BTW make sure you have some good electrical tape with you. So far our only grouse is that the bar tape started to unwrap. The original tape on the Safari seems a bit thin to me, though Mrs PJ hasn't complained. You may want to have them put some more padded tape on before you pick it up.

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Gear Talk / Re: Disc Trucker + Schwalbe Marathon Deluxe.. rim?
« on: April 19, 2014, 05:51:21 pm »
as everyone has said... use the ones that came with the bike. they're decent tyres. i find it useful to swap over the front and back after a while to get more even wear out of them.
Sheldon differs on this. You want the tire that is least likely to blow out (i.e. the least worn) on the front. 'Rotating' by moving the front tire to the back and putting a new one on the front is acceptable

14
General Discussion / Re: Tools for adventure
« on: April 15, 2014, 11:15:06 am »
Take some electrical tape (the good 3M stuff) for when your Safari bar tape comes undone as it surely will.

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General Discussion / Re: Tools for adventure
« on: April 13, 2014, 11:12:36 pm »
I've also had my chain separate a few times
Wow, how is that happening? You're not putting pins back in, are you?
On tour last summer my SRAM 9 spd chain had about 1000 miles on it. I was climbing a steep hill using the 24T front ring when just before the summit I shifted up to the 38T middle ring. There was a rattle like a can of marbles and the bike stopped, the chain had broken. At least it looked that way. What had happened was that the Quicklink had separated. I had a spare so I was off again in short order. I asked around about this and the only explanation anybody came up with was that I was just unlucky in where the Quicklink was when I shifted. The quite a large jump from 24T to 38T may have contributed. I rarely use the 24T ring, it's my 'get out of jail free' card.

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