Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.


Messages - Pat Lamb

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 50
1
General Discussion / Re: Toe clips? Clipless? None of the above?
« on: October 17, 2014, 03:53:42 pm »
I use both mtb and touring shoes interchangeably on my clipless pedals, but prefer NOT to use the mtb shoes when touring so I don't track in dirt and mud into diners, bathrooms, warmshower's living rooms, etc.  Most mtb shoes have a pretty serious tread pattern.

I have more of a mud problem commuting (in winter, half my yard turns to mud) than touring.  The overwhelming majority of my touring time is on the bike, on pavement, in a store or diner, or on concrete sidewalks -- not much to pick up mud from.

2
Gear Talk / Re: Looking for a good touring shoe.
« on: October 16, 2014, 11:07:12 am »
My problem is that I have used two different SPD shoes when touring. A Specialized MTB shoe and a soft touring shoe both with SPD setup. Both shoes fit perfectly and a are very comfortable when walking around. They are also very comfortable when biking and not too large and too small. However, when touring, my big toe starts sleeping (feeling numb) after 6h of biking or so. It is so annoying that I step out of the SPD system and start using the other platform side of the pedal ... still with the same SPD shoes. And the problem is gone. My feet just dont like to be fixed in one position.

There are a couple other systems which use MTB shoes, but give you more angular freedom.  I've used Speedplay Frogs and Crank Bros. Eggbeaters with good results.  After many hours, you may want to change the lateral point of contact,  I usually get off the bike for 5-10 minutes every hour or two.  After walking a bit during that bathroom, snack, lunch, camera, or scenery break, I'm typically good to go for a few more hours.

3
General Discussion / Re: Knees.... not the bees knees...
« on: October 14, 2014, 09:21:34 pm »
Just speculation (not medical advice), but are you using clipless pedals and is it possible the cleats are maladjusted?  One of the reasons I went to Speedplay pedals is that I could never get the SPD cleats lined up right, and finally figured my biomechanics were too goofy to use with even the "multi" cleats.

4
Classifieds / Re: FS: Cannondale Touring, Jumbo Sized Frame
« on: October 14, 2014, 11:18:14 am »
Model, size (usually seatpost, inches or cm), vintage, condition?

5
Gear Talk / Re: Looking for a good touring shoe.
« on: October 14, 2014, 11:16:32 am »
I think the key to the pedal/shoe system is that the lugs on the shoes let you walk (instead of slide) when you're off the bike.  The two bolt MTB "standard" does that pretty well, choose whatever footwear you want and whatever pedals you want.

Speedplay Frogs are my preferred pedals, although I've had little problems with Eggbeaters.  After Specialized shoes and Keen sandals, I've bought an extra pair of Sidi MTB shoes for whenever my current pair wears out.

6
Underground Railroad / Re: April in the south
« on: October 06, 2014, 06:45:33 pm »
September will be hotter and drier, at least on average.  Look for highs in the 95-85 range, with lows around 75-70, depending on the time of month.  I'd guess you'd only hit 2-3 rainy days, vs. 5-8 in April, generally with a reduced chance of severe storms.

The downside is that the scenery will be late summer to early fall; no colors to speak of, everything has a tired, dusty, tan tint.  Few flowers, except goldenrod, joe-pye and ironweed, and ragweed.

7
Underground Railroad / Re: April in the south
« on: October 06, 2014, 11:45:37 am »
Purely subjective, it's a great time to be riding a bicycle in north Alabama.

Temperatures run about 50F to 70-80F, with an occasional day into the mid-80s and even more occasional frost.  Trees are blooming and budding, dogwoods early in the month and azaleas later.  After a long winter, this is the time you'll be happy to be a bicyclist!

Then there's the weather fronts.  A line of thunderstorms seems to come through about every week, bringing rain and winds.  The wind usually lasts a couple days -- south one day, veering to west and then north the next day -- and the rain is often in the evening.  The south wind can push you to some incredible distances if you hit it just right.  The good news is you'll rarely be shut down by rain that lasts for the full day.  The bad news is that the best option is often to take shelter (motel, perhaps warmshower host) early on the day the front hits, and ride it out.

8
Pacific Northwest / Re: Getting bikes from Vancover to Portland
« on: October 04, 2014, 10:30:59 am »
Just a couple ideas, I don't really know what the costs would be.  How about renting a truck?  I'd think, for a 19 day ride, you might be better off with a one-way rental each way for a 15' or 18' U-Haul or Ryder truck, although I don't know how badly the border would screw things up.  (Have you looked at flying into Seattle instead?)  You might be able to get either a 9 or 12 passenger van for the people.

Alternatively, can you fly into Vancouver and take a train down to Portland, checking the bikes as luggage?

9
Routes / Re: contemplating riding TransAm in 2015....so many questions!
« on: September 29, 2014, 09:28:39 am »
A few more notes:

(1)  Check out Adventure Cycling's own howto http://www.adventurecycling.org/resources/how-to-department/ for answers to many questions.

(2) Cooking is cheaper, eating at diners etc. is easier.  Your choice depends on your budget (if this is truly a once-in-a-lifetime trip, and you've been saving up for it, you can do it either way).  Breakfast, or second breakfast, at diners that see who can make the biggest pancakes are fun, entertaining, filling, and fueling!

(3) An apple, a package of tuna or chicken, and a chunk of cheese makes a good lunch anywhere, anytime.

(4) Two bottles is usually enough water.  You can either buy extra bottles of water or fill up a collapsible pouch (Platypus makes a good one, see http://www.rei.com/product/820769/platypus-platy-bottle-70-fl-oz) when the AC maps note a long stretch without services.

10
General Discussion / Re: Gear Calculator for Android
« on: September 25, 2014, 10:00:02 am »
How much of the http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gears/ wheel needs to be reinvented?  It works in every browser I've tried it on, including a couple of Android devices.

11
General Discussion / Re: General Advice- TransAm Route
« on: September 19, 2014, 01:58:10 pm »
I don't know if this matters to you but yet another consideration is that there probably won't be very many leaves on the trees in March and early April, which IMO greatly detracts from the views. You also won't encounter many other riders with a March start.

OTOH, when there are no leaves on the trees, you can see out almost anywhere when you get into the mountains.  Wait until May, and you can't see the valleys below until/unless you get to an overlook, power line, or some other break in the trees -- at least in the Appalachians and Ozarks.

Just MHO, but early March is likely to have tough weather, mid March is a crap shoot as regards the weather, and by late March (or by the time you get into Kentucky, if you leave from Yorktown), you'd have a pretty good chance at tolerable weather.  Fronts will come through, and you'd do well to plan to hole up for a day every week through April, but it'll be cool instead of hot and sticky the rest of the month.

12
General Discussion / Re: Safe to cycle the USA? Things do happen.
« on: September 18, 2014, 09:50:10 pm »
On the other hand, most people in the US live in towns and cities larger than most of the towns most bicyclists stop in while touring.  In the remaining 50-odd days after the car driver arrives at his/her destination, s/he's much more likely to run into a homicidal psychopath than the cyclist spending nights in Kremmling, Rush Center, or Troutdale.

The dozen or so fatal shootings in my home city this year haven't made national news or been reported outside local TV range (that I know of).  Perhaps the rarity of touring cyclists being murdered is responsible for the wider reporting of this incident -- and that might indicate it's safer to be riding your bike across the country than stopping at gas stations in major cities at night.

13
General Discussion / Re: Riding on the US Interstates
« on: September 04, 2014, 07:40:29 pm »
Those who have responded to my post and have sited specific instances or issues and problems using the interstates seem to think that you can extrapolate one incident and arrive at a conclusion

These same problems of narrow bridges with no shoulders, bad traffic, speeding traffic etc etc happen on back roads and I would suggest are orders of magnitude more frequent and more serious than can be experienced on the interstates.

"...extrapolate one incident and arrive at a conclusion?"  Is that kettle black?

I think you're overstating the case drastically with "orders of magnitude."  Try riding an interstate in, say, rural Illinois or Tennessee, even though it's illegal there, and tell me how often you are safer on the interstate shoulder.  There are pleasant surface roads through there, by the way.

I've driven interstates in about half of the states, and the 10 mile stretch on the TransAm going into Sinclair, WY was the anomaly in my experience.  It was uncommonly good for cycling.  Straight road, wide shoulders.  Even as good as it was, it wasn't terribly comfortable being passed by trucks that didn't move into the left lane.

Speeding traffic on a back road may be driving 50 mph.  On an interstate it'll be 80-90.  That's three times as bad if you get hit.  (Square the velocity!)

When you run into a stretch of road or a bridge with no shoulders, the traffic has a better chance to see you and slow down and/or move over at the lower speed.

You really haven't answered the point about entrance and exit ramps.

You really haven't answered the point about (demonstrably) orders of magnitude higher traffic count on interstates.

As unexpected as a bicyclist is on a surface street, they're much less expected on an interstate, so the passing drivers will take longer to perceive a cyclist

I can't agree with your conclusion.  We may have to agree to disagree.

14
Gear Talk / Re: Straight up Noob bike/gear advice.
« on: September 04, 2014, 09:36:02 am »
Some answers to all your questions can be found at http://www.adventurecycling.org/resources/how-to-department/.  (If you don't like those answers, ask the questions again and somebody will argue with everything that's written there!)

Fit is critical on a bike where your hands, feet, and seat are going to be fixed for 4-10 hours every day when you're riding.  REIs vary; some may have people who know how to fit a bike to you, others will say, "looks like you have enough room there, you're good to go."  Run away from the latter.

As a substitute for a professional fit, people who've been riding a fair bit can test ride a bike for a bit and get a good feel for whether the bike "feels" right or not.  Since you're not in this class, you probably need a good fit.  Try to test ride the bikes you're interested in for 3-5 miles, minimum, anyway.

One good thing about REI is that many of them have at least two or three models of touring bikes you can try.  Touring bikes are a very good idea if you're carrying the load on the bike; if you're using a trailer, it's not so critical.

Don't get hung up on carrying too much gear.  You're only a day's ride away from parts with mail order and ovenight delivery.  You do need to be able to repair flat tires, and it's a good idea to be able to replace a set of brake pads.  For everything else, duck tape or thumb into town and pull out a credit card.

15
General Discussion / Re: Riding on the US Interstates
« on: August 28, 2014, 09:25:16 am »
I do stand by my statement that a truck has never slowed down behind me but mostly because I get off the road when they approach and another vehicle is oncoming. I don't trust truck drivers in this situation


Car drivers are better. Most will slow down

So you jump off the road when a truck comes up behind you unless you have a wide shoulder, but stay on the road if it's a car, and that makes truck drivers more dangerous?

I guess I've seen enough interstates with road construction (and no shoulders), bridges across major rivers (with no shoulders), in mountainous terrain (with little shoulder), or widened to the point that there's little shoulder left, that I can't buy your assertion at interstate riding is going to be safer.  For SOME rural interstates that may be the case, but remember that the speeds are typically going to be higher on an interstate than a road or surface street.  Look at the skid marks and tire tracks in the median or off the side of an interstate's traffic lane, and ask if you want to be there when somebody ran off the road doing way over the speed limit.  Add in having to navigate entrance and exit ramps in more settled areas, and I'd prefer to skip the interstate even if I could ride on it.

For the most part, I've found the AC routes to be well planned.  There's a few areas where you have to be on that road to get there, but they've done a good job of identifying low traffic roads, with generally good sight lines, and if there's not good sight lines the road twists enough that most traffic won't be flying low.

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 50