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Messages - Fred Hiltz

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General Discussion / Family Rides
« on: February 11, 2007, 10:49:50 am »
Hi Fan. I can't answer directly (try the Contact Us link on the ACA home page if no one pops up here). You might consider one of the many cross-state rides, which are about the right duration, have plenty of support, and lots of parties. You won't be alone, for sure, but I think you meant alone = not with family. The January issue of Adventure Cyclist has a nice article by susan Weaver that gives the flavor.


General Discussion / Bicycle Insurance
« on: January 29, 2007, 08:40:10 am »
Good question, Nobachi. Most states consider a bicycle to be a vehicle but not a motor vehicle, putting us in the same category as, say, a horse and carriage. Check your state at and check your policy to see whether you are already covered as operator of another vehicle or another motor vehicle. If in doubt, ask your insurance company.


General Discussion / Searching the web
« on: December 29, 2006, 10:01:54 am »
You probably have found Loose Screws. They have supplied me parts that are long gone elsewhere on a few occasions. Good folks.


General Discussion / Do I really need to carry a spare tire?
« on: November 10, 2006, 08:40:34 am »
I carry a small piece of light canvas in my patch kit. A boot between tire and tube has got me to the next bike shop after one blowout and a couple of sliced tires over the years. I have read that a folded dollar bill works too, but have never tried it.


General Discussion / Spam from this forum
« on: November 09, 2006, 07:35:41 am »
Hi Paul,

My address has been in the profile since day 1 with no evidence of trouble. The logon requirement here would keep the spambots from scanning it.


General Discussion / Trailer vs Panniers
« on: October 14, 2006, 08:05:34 am »
Hi TheWind,

It has been discussed to death. You are not likely to evoke any opinions or experiences signifigantly different from what you can find quickly by searching this forum and the Gear forum for the two terms. is an excellent place to start by reading a summary of pros and cons.


General Discussion / Camping on private land
« on: August 30, 2006, 08:52:51 am »
Having ridden the same route, I would say that he was having a bad day. He must have forgotten the Cascades, the Rockies, the Adirondacks, and the White Mountains that he just rode through. He may be right about the roads, though.

I found rip-off accommodations and decent alternatives all along the way. Prices do average higher in the East.

I doubt we need yet another listing service for people willing to host cyclists. A Google search for "list bicycle host homes" without the quotation marks returns several.


General Discussion / just some silly questions
« on: August 24, 2006, 08:01:21 am »
Hi, gman,

You have found the right place. An excellent start is the "How To Department" link on our home page Read the articles for a good general background and come back here with specific questions.


General Discussion / suggestions for mapping needed for fundraiser
« on: August 23, 2006, 08:27:56 am »
Oh my! You need a quick dose of reality. You have found the premier bicycle route mappers here, and should get in touch with Carla Majernik of routes and mapping pronto.

Just to start, you will have to make some compromises. "Usable roads" and "shortest possible routes" are contradictions. Cycling through big cities and between them can be done safely, but requires the local knowledge of experienced cycle commuters, possibly gained by contacting bike shops and bike clubs in each city. Adventure Cycling avoids big cities for good reasons, but has made routes through a few of them.

Your proposed route is twice the length of a typical Adventure Cycling cross-country route. Ask Carla how much work goes into scouting and mapping one of those. I'll guess it is many man-years and tens of thousands of dollars.

You have not mentioned the number of riders you plan, but if it is more than a handful, the logistics are not trivial. Carla will refer you to someone who has done it, no doubt. This is not a job for beginners.

In sum, I think you have planned more than you can handle in the time (and probably the money) available. You have surely considered alternatives that will get your cause on the local TV news just a well. One might be local rides in each city.


General Discussion / Artificial joints on tour
« on: July 15, 2006, 08:47:25 am »
I rode a ten-day tour in 2000 through the Rockies from Kalispell to Jasper with a young lady in her seventies who had two plastic knees. That was a van-supported trip of 50 - 80 miles per day, every one of which she cycled happily.

There is a small risk of diminished function, probably much smaller than the likelihood of diminished function without the repair. One of my cycling buddies had to install a shorter crank arm because he could not comfortably flex the knee enough to ride his regular crank.


General Discussion / Chain Longevity
« on: July 02, 2006, 06:42:58 am »
See also the thread "Chains" starting on June 27 in the Gear Talk forum.


It is a mild base, but extremely weak and not at all reactive with steel and aluminum. Not a problem. Engineers build steel bridges on it and railroads use it for rail beds around here (Vermont) where it is common and cheap.

Gritty dust, from limestone or any other source, is far more important. Keep that chain clean to make your gears last long. And if you ride in the winter, rinse salt off aluminum parts, which will get surface pits if salt stays on them for weeks or months.


General Discussion / Women who've gone x-country alone?
« on: June 23, 2006, 09:28:19 am »
crm wrote:
I would love to hook up with your friend who rode in Spain, if she were willing to be in touch.

Sure. Please send me an email (address in my profile) and I will forward it to her so she gets your address. I'm not sure when she will be back in the States, but she is a good communicator.


General Discussion / Women who've gone x-country alone?
« on: June 22, 2006, 09:39:11 am »
Hi, Shoe.

Be sure to read the thread "Safety--women travellers" about seven lines down on the contents page of this group. It already contains most of the answers you can expect here; interestingly not one by a solo woman traveller. However, Molly should soon be done with her trip and perhaps will tell us how it went.

The friend I mention there is riding somewhere in Spain just now, so I cannot put you in touch with her, sorry. She has said that she does nothing special beyond the normal cautions about avoiding situations that don't feel right. My wife says the same.

Not much help, I know, but the best a man can do.


General Discussion / Atlantic coast, nothern area
« on: June 27, 2006, 07:24:31 am »
I'd note that the Atlantic Coast Route is a coastal route rather than going through the mountains.

A good point, Peaks. Janie, there is plenty of color in the coastal areas, usually a week or so later than in the hills of the same latitude, but most leaf peepers want the hills. If you have never experienced fall foliage, you might want to bite the bullet and make advance reservations to see the show. A bike is the best way to see it, and the ACA route keeps you off the big roads with their tour busses from Nebraska.

Call some of the places on the route and ask how much notice they need for a particular week or weekend. In the heavy tourist spots (think Stowe VT) many of them want a two-night minimum on foliage weekends. I have found innkeepers to be very helpful. They like cyclists, who eat a lot and go to bed early.


This message was edited by FredHiltz on 6-27-06 @ 3:25 AM

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