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Messages - Pat Lamb

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1
That's a shame.  I'd suggest you plan on going up around the lake, then over to Norris, and down the Gibbon River.  If you haven't seen Old Faithful, catch a bus for a half day (or more!).

The van-supported AC tour we paralleled through there went south through Jackson and over Teton Pass, then up to West Yellowstone.  I don't remember if they were shuttled or cycled it; perhaps someone from ACA can help out.

2
Routes / Re: Southern tier in the summer time
« on: May 28, 2015, 08:13:13 pm »
I agree with Pete on the TransAm in summer being hot enough.  If you really want to look into the Southern Tier, spend some time at weatherspark.com and look up averages for a few locations.  For instance, New Orleans is a lot like most of the Gulf coast; lows between 75 and 80, with highs in the upper 90s to low hundreds, with relative humidity at 80% on a dry day (before the thunderstorm).  Albuquerque is a bit cooler in the morning, much lower humidity, but 90-100 most days.  If you like that kind of weather, you'll enjoy the ST.  Myself, I can't tolerate the heat, I'd have to be finished by 10:00 most days.  I'd be riding at night (and missing the scenery) and cowering in cheap motel AC during daylight.

3
Gear Talk / Re: How heavy is your touring bike (unloaded)?
« on: May 23, 2015, 02:53:03 pm »
Anyway, I'll weigh my bike when I get the chance, just so I know.

Better yet, wait until you've got a tour under your tires.  You may wonder how heavy everything is, but if you know how much you're lugging, it'll weigh on you mentally (pardon the pun).  After your toured with it, you can look at the bike and think, "I rode X miles on that, and climbed Y feet over Z pass, I can do my next trip on it.  I know it'll carry me and my load with no worries."

Don't worry about the weight.  Now go for a training ride!

4
Routes / Re: Connecting from Northern Tier to TransAM near Missoula
« on: May 22, 2015, 07:32:08 pm »
The Great Parks route (MT 83/200 from Big Fork) is quiet, isolated, and quite beautiful.

Of course you'll miss the four passes in four days in Washington if you leave the NT and head south.

5
Gear Talk / Re: Single pair of shoes, or bike AND walking shoes?
« on: May 21, 2015, 09:44:45 am »
I've toured with a good pair of MTB shoes and sandals (and will likely do so again!).  MTB shoes so you can walk in them, clip in to Frog/Eggbeater/SPD pedals.  Good, stiff soles to avoid hot foot on long riding days.  While you can walk into a store, diner, or library in these, they're not really good for hikes -- the soles are great for riding, but compromised for long distance walking.

Sandals are light, small, and multi-purpose.  Take a shower in them (oh, and avoid leather for this purpose and for general water and rain tolerance).  Set up the tent in them.  Heck, I even did a white-water rafting trip in them.  Get a pair that are easily adjustable, put on warm wool socks, and you can go hike for a few miles.

Now, if you're planning a 10-15 mile day hike, you'll probably want something sturdier.  The more non-cycling activities you want to add to a bike tour, the more you'll end up carrying.  I'd be interested to know how heavy the Vibram soled shoes are, and how good the soles are for long rides.

6
Gear Talk / Re: Touring without fenders - big mistake?
« on: May 19, 2015, 09:08:09 pm »
I'm very glad I've had them on multiple occasions -- namely when it rains.

Where do you ride?

7
Gear Talk / Re: How heavy is your touring bike (unloaded)?
« on: May 18, 2015, 07:36:19 pm »
Both of mine come in at 32 pounds with fenders, racks, bottle cages, and seat pouch with tube and tools.

You might try taking a wheel set off one of your other bikes and putting it on the BG.  I have a theory that most of the heavy feeling comes from wheel and tire weight.  It's sometimes surprising how much difference I feel when I take a heavy 35 tire off the front and put a light 28 tire in its place.

8
Routes / Re: Texarkana to Las Cruces
« on: May 14, 2015, 11:14:04 pm »
Just leave early in the morning, the sandstorms don't usually kick up until later in the day.

9
Get out your measuring stick!

There are two or three key measures you'll want to duplicate from your Soma so the fit will be the same; the distance from the center of the bottom bracket to the top of the saddle, the distance from the saddle to the bars, and vertical distance between the saddle and the bars.  You might also measure the distance from the saddle to a plumb line to the center of the BB.

Get those close (1/4" to 1/8") between the bikes, and then start tweaking if you're using a different bar.

10
Gear Talk / Re: Touring Shoes - High Cuff or Low Cuff?
« on: May 08, 2015, 10:57:36 am »
For what little it's worth, I preferred high-top running shoes (while they were available) to stabilize my ankles.  My ankle problem is usually lateral stability, though, which isn't a problem pedaling a bike. 

I used to have a pair of cycling shoes with a higher ankle, but I found that rubbed the skin raw over my achilles tendon when I went too far.  Ergo, I'm fine with any shoe that holds my foot securely and doesn't rub a blister on my heel.

11
Tim, since you've toured with one and bought all the parts for the other, perhaps you could try BG's panniers plus dry bags.  Can you take a short tour of a week or two, preferably where and when you expect some rain, and see how it works for you?

Like John, I'm very happy with waterproof panniers (Ortliebs in my case as well), both for touring and all-weather commuting.

I wonder how much of a divide there is between people who live and ride where it rains frequently and those who don't, on which system they prefer?  There has been a similar divide, also based on expected rain frequency, between down and artificial fiber sleeping bag users -- although that may be tending more towards historical choice and personal preference with the development of water-resistant down, and as the artificial fibers get better.

12
General Discussion / Re: Which shops stock ACA maps?
« on: May 01, 2015, 09:44:14 am »
True, but if you do it from a different post office you may run into a stickler who'll route it through someplace in Missouri (St. Louis, maybe?).  It can take a week to ten days before the receiving post office will get the notice and forward the package.

I never heard of forwarded packages being routed through Missouri is that official USPS policy?  Have you actually had that happen to your package?

Edit:  I just realized that you were saying that the request was forwarded through Missouri not the actual package.  Is that correct?

Yes, the postmistress at Lolo, MT pulled that on me, and waited until the forwarding request came back through channels before she would send it on.  I missed the package, and it was returned to sender about 6 weeks later.  :(

13
General Discussion / Re: Which shops stock ACA maps?
« on: April 30, 2015, 10:07:17 pm »
If you miss it (package not there yet, or post office closed when you come through), leave a signed, written request at the post office for them to forward the package to West of Nowhere, KY, 32109. 

For what it is worth...  You can make these arrangements to forward them at any post office, not just the one the item was mailed to.  Personally I'd just buy the maps all up front unless your plans are likely to change.

True, but if you do it from a different post office you may run into a stickler who'll route it through someplace in Missouri (St. Louis, maybe?).  It can take a week to ten days before the receiving post office will get the notice and forward the package.  You can drop a sheet of paper (even without a stamp!) into the mail drop at the post office to which the package was originally addressed, and they'll forward it the next day they're open (if it was closed when you came through) or as soon as the package arrives.

14
General Discussion / Re: Which shops stock ACA maps?
« on: April 30, 2015, 02:59:38 pm »
U.S. Postal Service is your friend, if you can decide a week or so in advance.  Mail order map(s) from ACA and have them shipped to you.  Pick out a post office in a reasonably small town where you expect to be in about a week, and ask ACA to ship them to you there:

Mr. 205 Brit
General Delivery
Boonedocks, NC 23456

(Obviously, replace with your actual name, town, and zip code.)

Give it about a week in the west, and maybe 10 days in the east, for ACA to ship the maps and USPS to deliver it.  If you miss it (package not there yet, or post office closed when you come through), leave a signed, written request at the post office for them to forward the package to West of Nowhere, KY, 32109. 

Note I mentioned a reasonably small town.  If it's too small, the P.O. may only be open 2-4 hours a day, 3 days a week; if it's too large, you may get bounced between multiple post offices.  Towns with a population of 3,000-20,000 are just about right, typically open 6-10 hours 5-6 days a week.  Aim for you to arrive on Monday, so you can stay close and check in the next day if the maps haven't arrived when you get there.

15
General Discussion / Re: How much water to carry?
« on: April 29, 2015, 05:58:18 pm »
You'll figure out how much water (or other fluids) you need within a few days.  I normally go through a 24 oz. water bottle every 5-25 miles; more going uphill and in heat, less flat and cool, and downhill is virtually free.  I almost always start with two full bottles.

Check your route for the day's ride and adjust as needed.  When your route map says "no services for (>30) miles, think about adding extra.  I took a 2 liter collapsible Platypus flask that takes up almost no room empty, and only ran out of water once when I'd filled it.

Most of the time you'll be able to find water every 25-30 miles in the eastern U.S., at gas stations, diners, parks, etc.  It's more of a challenge out west, where you may go 50-75 miles without a good refill option.  You may want to take a water filter to purify water from streams, but be careful about what's upstream and -- especially in arid areas -- don't count on the dotted line on the map having water when you need it.

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