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Messages - Pat Lamb

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16
Routes / Re: Century day along the TransAm route
« on: March 24, 2016, 09:17:02 am »
Another run would be the stretch between Lander and Rawlins, WY.  Nothing to stop for, although if the wind turns against you it'll make stopping at Jeffrey City a really good idea.

17
Urban Cycling / Re: Enhanced "Sharrows"
« on: March 23, 2016, 12:05:40 pm »
As a sometimes driver, it would irritate me too if you get oblivious cyclists that are real slow and make no effort to get out of the way.   Share the road works both ways.

I'm puzzled by how you think "oblivious cyclists" are supposed "to get out of the way."  In the picture geegee posted, the only way to "get out of the way" is to get into the door lane (which can get the cyclist killed), or to get off the road.  If a cyclist is allowed to get off the rail-trails (as they are in most states of the union), neither option is a good one.  None of the places I normally ride to are adjacent to a bike path or trail.  Perhaps that's different in Seattle, but I doubt many destinations share those favored locations.

My opinion of the display started off as "what a waste of paint," but if it's only for a block or so scattered around the city, this might be a useful educational tool.  It might lead to useful, civil conversations on what a door zone is, and why the cyclist needs to be riding "in the middle of the road."  That's a much better outcome than the common blaring horn and "Get off the f#(k!n6 road!"

By the way, this mis-understanding of "share the road" is leading many of these signs to be replaced with BMUFL - Bicycles May Use Full Lane.

18
FWIW, Skagit's also has a shop in Burlington right off WA 20.  There are more lodging options in the Burlington and Mt. Vernon area, so you might consider starting there, with perhaps a shakedown/day trip out to Anacortes before you hit the road.  It's also one bus trip closer to the SeaTac airport.

19
General Discussion / Re: How many bags do you carry on your bike?
« on: March 22, 2016, 02:17:49 pm »
I tend to like things tidy, and for some reason I just HATE handlebar bags (the way they look, having something sitting right in front of me like that, etc).

There's no accounting for taste, but I use a bar bag and the only time I don't have one on my bike is when I've got a pannier or two loaded up for commuting.  It's too versatile to do without!  Spare tube, wallet, sunscreen, camera, cell phone keys, all right there; and going into a store or restaurant, push the button forward, lift the bag out, and it goes with me.

There's also the matter of how do you carry a map or cue cards?  I get a tiny bit smug when I watch people using binder clips, or reaching back to grab it out of their jersey pocket, or even rolling shorts legs up to pull out a cue sheet.  Me?  I look down at the map carrier sitting on top of my bar bag.  My maps are safe in the wind and dry in the rain.  I'm normally pretty humble on a bike (I have a lot to be humble about!), but while you're sneering at my bar bag and fumbling with your maps, I'll be watching and smirking right back at'cha.  ;)


20
General Discussion / Re: Flying with bike racks...?
« on: March 22, 2016, 12:18:48 pm »
IIRC the Tubus Tara came to me packed flat, which makes the front rack easy.

If it were me, I'd try to wrap the rear rack around the rear wheel when packing the S&S bike.  If that didn't work, I'd put it in the other bag and just pack things around it.  That is, lay the rack on the bottom of the bag, tuck the helmet between the two legs near the top, add shoes between the bottom legs, fill with clothes or foot, and then pack more stuff on top of the rack.

21
General Discussion / Re: Asking too Much?
« on: March 22, 2016, 12:12:29 pm »
I have to agree with the "it depends" answers.  If you want a 16 pound bike for "local riding" you'll surely be disappointed with a touring bike for the fast group local rides.

OTOH, let's say you're looking at a reasonably priced "local" road bike, maybe 24 pounds (at least in my size) and $1,000-$1,500.  My touring bike is 32 pounds with racks.  The frame weight is about a pound, maybe two.  The racks are about 2 pounds.  Swap out touring tires for lightweight tires, and you've saved another pound.  (Or follow Dan's advice and get a spare wheel set; you won't save much more weight, but you make the change much easier.)  If you're not touring or commuting, take off the fenders and save yet another pound.  Leave the cable and lock at home, one less pound.  You're down to the point where conditioning is much more important than weight-weenie ounce-counting.

The only difference then is the frame geometry.  Does your wife want a "quick" bike that she can steer like she's in a criterium?  If so, she'll want another bike.

Of course, if you get two bikes, when there's a mechanical problem you simply ride the other bike (until you have to fix both bikes at the same time).

22
Gear Talk / Re: Who makes decent rain gear....
« on: March 11, 2016, 05:44:57 pm »
Have to agree with paddleboy on the (lack of) utility of rain pants.  Unless it's really, really cold, you're going to be soaked with sweat if you're doing anything more than standing still.

You might want to look at rain chaps.  They'll block the wind (and most of the rain), but your legs can breathe out the back.

23
Gear Talk / Re: Shimano Hollowtech experience anyone?
« on: March 09, 2016, 10:46:33 pm »
It may be the case that you can no longer buy a Shimano square taper crankset, but there are plenty of offerings suitable for touring bikes from the likes of Sugino, Stronglight, IRD, Velo Orange just to name a few.

I guess since they're not named Shimano or Campagnolo all those other manufacturers go by the generic name "No One."  :)

Love my Sugino "No One" square taper crank.

24
Gear Talk / Re: Installing rack and fenders tomorrow, quick question
« on: February 26, 2016, 11:18:24 am »
It's really better if you put the rack on first, then use the longer bolts (possibly with one of those plastic spacers) to put the fender, or you could just use one eyelet and put the fender over the rack with one long bolt.  You may have to bend the fender stays out to make either work.

25
Gear Talk / Re: Installing rack and fenders tomorrow, quick question
« on: February 25, 2016, 06:12:01 pm »
If there are only one pair of eyelets at the rear dropouts and you need to "double-up" both the rack and fender stays on them, be sure to fit the rack's stays to the inside.  That minimizes the cantilevered load on the single M5 bolt.

Since I masquerade as an engineer 40 hours a week, I have to concur.

OTOH, it was easier to put my fenders inside, and didn't have any problem carrying too much weight across the country, so I doubt it matters.  Just use some Locktite and snug the bolt down good.

26
Routes / Re: TransAm Summer 2017
« on: February 24, 2016, 04:56:54 pm »
Might I suggest a 1-2 week trip this year, before you embark on an epic adventure?  You're kind of in the middle of the Underground Railroad, Northern Tier, Atlantic Coast, and TransAm.  Pick one of those, ride a week or two, and have a friend come pick you up.  Berea, KY towards Springfield, MO would be one option -- easy driving along I-64 and I-44 for the return.  Or drive up to Pittsburgh, ride to D.C. along the GAP/C&O, and take the train back (unless you're going to ride skinny tires unloaded!).  Or pick a supported tour for a week or so.  Ride easy (it gets to be harder than you think!) and enjoy talking to people from all different walks of life.

27
Routes / Re: Lexignton, KY to Asheville, NC - how to develop a route?
« on: February 23, 2016, 05:03:33 pm »
It looks like you've decided to take the direct route.  Your way will be shorter, but you'll have a few challenges to deal with:
 - It looks like you're following US 421 and 25E a fair bit, which will have more traffic than the TransAm route.
 - 25E has a "no bicycles" tunnel up near Cumberland Gap.
 - You'll get to see a lot of east Tennessee ridges.  There's so few N-S roads over those sections of ridges, you might be surprised how heavy the traffic will be.
 - The bridge over the Holston River south of Bean Station has fairly wide lanes, but only two of them.
 - IIRC, the section of 25E over Bulls Gap is two and three lanes without shoulders, and it is the most direct route between Morristown and Greeneville.
 - I don't remember Lower Paint Spring Road, hope it's paved.  The best way to drive a car from Greeneville to Hot Spring was to take 321 down to Parrotsville and then over to Del Rio. 

Why would I suggest a longer route?
 - Adventure Cycling does a pretty good job of picking out good roads for bicycling.
 - Taking the BRP only leaves you with about 30-40 miles of roads where bicyclists are uncommon.
 - As I noted, I-26 has taken a lot of traffic off 19 and associated roads.  And the route from Damascus down to Elizabethton has a good road, lightly trafficked until you get close to Elizabethton.

It's a "horses for courses" kind of thing.  What do YOU look for in a bicycle touring route?

28
I'll second Russ' suggestion to change the tires.  Maybe not to "skinny" tires, but get rid of the knobbies and get slick tires instead.  A decent bike shop should have no problem setting you up with slick tires at least 1.5" wide.  That'll get rid of the annoying buzz, and effectively speed you up a bit.

Edited to add: I hope you have some effective way to restrain your dog.  You don't want it to hop out to play (or fight, or run from) some of the other dogs you're likely to encounter, and you may pass some people who would regard a 45 pound dog as a threat.

29
Gear Talk / Re: 700x40 vs. 27.5 (650b)x48
« on: February 19, 2016, 10:51:47 am »
I can't answer your question, of course, but maybe I can ask some questions to channel your wondering.

Just what did you not like about the 26" wheels?  Was it the width?  Were the tires knobby and stiff?

Where are you planning to ride this bike?  Paved roads, somewhat paved roads, gravel roads, single track?

What's wrong with 700Cx32?  There's surely some reason you're considering alternative standard sized tires.

30
General Discussion / Re: Bikeshop / Outdoor gear store in Miami, FL
« on: February 17, 2016, 10:11:08 am »
My first inclination was to say that if you can't fly with it, you're packing too much.  Then I remembered that I shipped sleeping bag, pad, tent, and stove home at the end of my long tour.  :/  You can mail (USPS) yourself a box to General Delivery and they'll hold it for 30 days.  Pick a smaller town than Miami, one that only has one post office.

You can probably (wiggle word there!) find gas canisters in Walmarts in the spring through fall.

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