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Messages - Pat Lamb

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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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.  :(

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.

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.

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.

General Discussion / Re: TransAM Newbie w/ Questions
« on: April 29, 2015, 09:16:16 am »
1) How many other TransAmers did you meet along your summer TransAm route ? How often did these cycler interactions occur? --- I'll be traveling solo so it will be nice to meet people.

As Pete said, you'll see touring cyclists coming the other way every few (1-3) days.  It's easiest to stop and talk when you're on relatively flat and narrow roads.  It's really hard to have a conversation across 4 lanes of traffic, and neither you nor they are likely to stop on a good downhill (the one going up is always ready to stop, but it's tough to stop bike plus load when you're screaming downhill at 30-40 mph).

You'll also have lots of other chances to meet people, at picnic areas, campgrounds, diners, restaurants, grocery stores, gas stations, and just about anywhere else you stop.

2) I have the ACA maps, but does anyone have a resource to determine the best campsites along the route? any info or link helps.

You'll notice the ACA maps lists lots of places you can camp.  Most of those will be great places, a few are more emergency /"I need a place to throw down a sleeping bag" spots.  Some of the places I remember most fondly are town parks -- no scenery, birds wake you half an hour before dawn, but wonderful townsfolk.  How will you determine what a "best" campsite is?

Sounds like good news, if a cyclist has the right attitude.  Sneak up to the front of the line, cross the bridge/detour. Then pull off and read a book or take pictures waiting for the traffic to pass, and enjoy 30 minutes of riding with virtually no traffic.  Repeat as necessary.  :)

Will the escort/signal trucks be ferrying cyclists across the construction zone?

Routes / Re: Cross-US Trail-Based Route - Feedback Please!
« on: April 17, 2015, 10:46:49 am »
A few more notes to think about:

First, if your daughter wants to do this ride, I think age 10 is mature enough that she should be able to handle riding on low-traffic roads. (If SHE doesn't want to do the ride come February 17, fuggitaboutit!)  Also, it seems like most of the viable towns in Wyoming and Montana, and then west from there, are spaced at about 50 miles apart.

Your "southern" Yellowstone route has a huge plus, IMHO: the view from  just west of Togwotee Pass looking to the Tetons is the most spectacular scenery I've seen.  It also has a few minuses: (1) it's a 50 mile ride from the Jackson Lake (last settlement in the Tetons) to West Thumb (first store/grocery/restaurant/campground in Yellowstone); (2) from the Yellowstone gate up to Lewis Falls is a decent climb, with no shoulders, and a steady flow of traffic; and (3) the southeastern corner of Yellowstone has the least to see.  But you'll be close to Old Faithful, and to get out through the north gate, you'll end up riding past plenty of geothermal features and some nice, scenic ridges.  If you stick to 25 miles a day, you can probably grind those miles out starting at dawn and miss most of the tourist traffic in Yellowstone.

I can't quite read the decal, but the bike itself looks like the Bilenky Viewpoint:!viewpoint/cb9e

Routes / Re: Getting to TransAm start point (Yorktown, VA)
« on: April 14, 2015, 11:55:37 am »
My wife was along to see us off, so she drove us to Yorktown and took pictures there.  But really, Yorktown is a very easy 10 mile ride; you could do a quick unloaded dash down and back, and still have the free breakfast at your Williamsburg motel before you load up and head west.

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