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Messages - Pat Lamb

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Gear Talk / Re: Parrafin heads only
« on: Today at 12:11:05 pm »
I use paraffin riding locally and touring; have done so for decades. Weight of my can of paraffin is 10 oz; could reduce amount of paraffin. Application touring lasts me about 500 miles. This means for a 1000  mile tour I wax once on tour.
So what, 8 times on a the Trans America?  I'd say no thanks to that.

Don't forget "and another time every time it rains."  Chacun a son gout.

Gear Talk / Re: Touring-oriented bike shop in Missoula?
« on: Today at 06:12:20 am »
Not clear to me what you'll need done, but Hellgate Cyclery was about a block away from ACA headquarters.  They did a fine job re-truing a wheel and charged me $8, or maybe less.  Not much stock if you want anything new, but great mechanics.

General Discussion / Re: TransAm season
« on: Today at 06:06:34 am »
Most people riding east to west seem to start in May.  Most of the worst spring rains are usually finished by then, and then you're just trying to beat the heat in Kansas (at which we failed).  Western passes will be open when you get there.

Gear Talk / Re: Parrafin heads only
« on: April 23, 2014, 04:44:38 pm »
I'm no weight weenie, but carrying a pound of wax to do what a 4 oz. bottle can do seems -- well, dedicated might be a polite way to put it.  Depends where you'll be touring, too.  You'll have to re-lube the chain at least once a week plus every time it rains.  Are you riding in the desert, or are you that dedicated?

FWIW, I ran my bikes on paraffin for a summer.  They lasted about the same total distance as others have with various other lubes.  Neat is nice, until the third thunderstorm in a week.

Food Talk / Re: Food by Mail
« on: April 23, 2014, 04:40:13 pm »
Just MHO, but unless you're on a special diet, mailing food to yourself seems like a good way to spend money needlessly.  I could see perhaps a couple of mail drops for freeze-dried food on the route.  But most places you'll find a post office, you'll also find a store that carries pasta, oats, peanut butter, dried or canned meats, etc., not to mention some kind of vegetable and/or fruit.  The first four are about as dense calories as you can get without eating a stick of butter

As Pete alludes to,  part of the problem is predicting where and when you'll pass a P.O. that's open.  That means you'll either have to be in touch with someone to express mail you things one or two days ahead, or you'll be paying some company even more to do the same.  There's a place for a $15 freeze dried meal with dessert, but make it a $40 meal with S&H, and is it really going to taste that good?

Routes / Re: Seattle to Missoula
« on: April 21, 2014, 08:08:03 am »
One way is to head north and pick up the Northern Tier to Whitefish, MT. Then due south thru Seeley Lake.  Not the most direct, but very scenic.

If you take this route, spend the extra time to go to Glacier and spend at least one night.  It is so magnificent that you'll kick yourself for being that close and not seeing it if you pass it up.

I've wondered if it wouldn't have been smarter for us (going the other way) to head northwest from Yellowstone to the east side of Glacier.  The TA seems to spend a lot of time riding in "W"s down in SW Montana, and the scenery is good but not all that great (IMHO).

Gear Talk / Re: Retiring, getting into self contained touring
« on: April 21, 2014, 08:01:17 am »
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.

Being able to brake from the drops is a good skill to have for any brakes.

Gear Talk / Re: 11-32 vs 11-34
« on: April 21, 2014, 07:56:09 am »
It's always helpful when people use a common language to discuss things.  For road steepness, that's grade in percent.  Sure, it's technically possible to use centiradians from vertical, but it's not reasonable to expect other people to participate in a discussion when you use that kind of odd terminology.

The best I can figure, the Vesuvius grade averages 10% for 3 miles.  That's based on GPS, bike computer, and topographic maps.  It's built like most old mountain roads, so I wouldn't be surprised if there's stretches of 15% or more embedded in that 3 miles.

Lookout, KY was perhaps the worst grade going west.  I don't remember the numbers off the top of my head, but it was rough.  And we just had to laugh at the series of U-shaped dips southeast of Irvine, KY.

Back to the gearing question, pack light, gear low, and get a good running start on the flatter 8% sections to tackle the next 100 yards at 12%.  And there's no shame in walking.

GPS Discussion / Re: New Garmin Edge Touring
« on: April 20, 2014, 05:46:59 pm »
Steve, good catch on the alkalines.  I got it with a charger + 8 Ni MH batteries.  Watch out for the low price, though: S&H will eat you up.

GPS Discussion / Re: New Garmin Edge Touring
« on: April 20, 2014, 08:49:51 am »
FWIW, battery life limits are one of my top GPS aggravations when touring.  Those wo don't want to go the DIY route might appreciate the battery holder I was guided to.  Holds 4 AA cells, recharges through a USB cable, and can at least double the 15-16 hour life of the Edge battery.  Of course, you'll either have to resupply with more alkaline batteries or hole up near an outlet for some hours to recharge after that.

Gear Talk / Re: 11-32 vs 11-34
« on: April 17, 2014, 08:44:18 am »
As John said, it'll make a little difference.  As Pete said, it probably won't be enough.  Get some Shoe Goo and put it on your shoes in Charlottesville so you don't wear the soles out walking before you get to Missouri.

General Discussion / Re: Logistics of shipping equipment for touring
« on: April 17, 2014, 06:37:02 am »

Last time I tried that they said the policy had changed.

That was in 2012 at the Denver store.

Have you shipped that way since then? *

Wow.  Your update is important.   Thx.  * Nope .... my last was just before 2012.  At that time I did one of the Atlanta REIs to Spokane REI.

And to think that was before the Great Corporate Takeover and Warranty Reduction of 2013.  Somehow, I doubt REI will have improved in the last couple of years.

General Discussion / Re: Logistics of shipping equipment for touring
« on: April 16, 2014, 02:26:10 pm »
I've shipped a stove and fuel bottle by UPS ground.  Washed them out and let them dry the night before, and the guy at the shipping and packing store didn't bat an eye.

Gear Talk / Re: Wheel sizes
« on: April 11, 2014, 08:06:39 am »
I just picked up the sample issue of ACA's "Adventure Cyclist" magazine at REI last night. It has an article entitled "Wheel Size Matters." They concluded that 700C wheels are best for narrow tires up to about 30 mm, and the smaller 650B wheels are better for wider tires, 30 to 42 mm.

Would that article have been written by Jan Heine, aka the lead advocate for 650B?  Either way, I'd view that recommendation with suspicion.  I've seen a total of two 650B bikes.  They're not common.  Tires for them are even less common -- I've only ever seen them available through the web / mail order.  I'm leading up to this: if you're going to ride 650B, take a spare tire, or, if/when you have a problem, be prepared to wait (over a long holiday weekend?) for a replacement to get to you.

700C wheels and tires are everywhere.  So are 26".  You can get 700C tires from ultra-skinny to way wide; 26" you can get only from pretty skinny to pretty wide.  If something goes wrong on the road, you can replace either at the next bike shop.  Maybe not with your preferred width or tread, but if something happens you can get back on the road.  There's a lot to be said for standard parts, and 650B is anything but standard.

Gear Talk / Re: (Cyclo)cross-country
« on: April 09, 2014, 04:17:26 pm »
The only thing in your list I feel at all strongly about is the pedals and shoes.  Stick with MTB shoes.  Get some with stiffer soles and you'll never notice the difference while riding.  You'll want to walk without acting like a duck and/or sliding.

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