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Messages - Pat Lamb

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Gear Talk / Re: Gloves
« on: June 16, 2015, 09:35:22 am »
Go to your local bike shop and find a couple pairs that fit you.

Last year I wore out several pairs, and at least a couple of makers had shifted production to apparent child labor hotspots where the sizing was way off.  Gloves labeled XL were more like M or L, despite pulling out my wife's sewing tape measure and checking both hands before I ordered.

General Discussion / Re: Has anyone biked the east coast?
« on: June 12, 2015, 09:48:34 am »
FWIW, I'd suggest taking the Outer Banks in North Carolina.  There's almost always a breeze (well, a wind) that'll help keep you cool.

Further west, you'll be in the neighborhood for some good postcards at Canon City (Royal Gorge, take a day to see it by train or raft), Breckenridge (Rocky Mtns.), Jackson (Tetons), and of course Yellowstone.  Grab a few red rocks postcards at Lander; the rocks are spectacular, but you won't see them until the next day on the way to Dubois, and for some reason there were none to be found in Dubois.

Routes / Re: Route from Damascus, VA to Greensboro, NC?
« on: June 10, 2015, 09:57:44 am »
I'd suggest heading east on the Virginia Creeper trail to Whitetop, then hop north to catch U.S. 58 to Mouth of Wilson, NC.  From there you can pick up NC Bike Route 4 (see for route maps).  You'll have to work out a way to go south to Greensboro when you get close.

Alternatively, you could drop down from Whitetop to West Jefferson on 194, backtrack to the southwest on the Blue Ridge Parkway, and take Route 2.

The Mouth of Wilson road was more lightly traveled the last time I went that-a-ways.  The BRP is more scenic, and it's really one of the easiest sections of the Parkway in North Carolina to get down to Lenoir.  Just a couple of hills, really, nothing like eastern Kentucky.  :)

General Discussion / Re: Loaded Tour Bike Handling
« on: June 09, 2015, 10:47:13 am »
While I'm on the subject can anyone explain why touring bikes allies bar-end shifters.

Simple answer is that it's the only way to use modern mountain bike gearing with drop bars.  Shimano used to have the same pull in their mountain and road group derailers.  That meant you could use road shifters (STI) to shift mountain derailers in the rear (with clusters over 27 teeth).  When they went to 10 speed, and now 11, the pull ratio was different between mountain and road.  You can still get by with STI and 9 speed gearing if you can get the parts, but the bigger bike manufacturers are slowly tossing in the towel and going to newer models for parts availability.

Routes / Re: Mission: Tulsa to Ashville!
« on: June 06, 2015, 04:12:22 pm »
Pat you said it would be wise to stay clear of the big cities. This makes sense, though I haven't been in this area and would really like to see the sights. What are the best ways to try and approach the cities? Also are there certain cities you personally think are worth taking to time to go to more than others?

I personally think the Jack Daniels distillery is fascinating, even if you can't drink the product there. The Civil War battlefields around Chattanooga (Lookout Mountain, Missionary Ridge, and Chickamauga) I personally find interesting, and the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum and the aquarium there as well.  I don't know what the attractions in Knoxville are.  What are you interested in?  If you don't care for country music, Nashville doesn't have as much to recommend it as it would if you were interested in the Grand Ole Opry, Ryman Theater, etc.  You might consider joining AAA and getting some of the state books to see what's in the state, and what interests you, and work from there.

You can get fairly close to downtown Nashville on the Natchez Trace, and there's an official bike route north and south out of downtown which I haven't taken.  Chattanooga is a bit out of your way, I can recommend a few ways in from the south and west, but I don't have a clue how to get out of there going east.  Similarly, there's a way to get close to downtown Knoxville and the UT campus from the south; I don't know the north or east side, and the west side is scary in a car, much less a bike.  Contact me if you decide you want to go into Chattanooga or Knoxville.

General Discussion / Re: Loaded Tour Bike Handling
« on: June 05, 2015, 08:08:15 pm »
As Ronk says, you've got some big chainrings.  a smaller granny can help; I've heard of people going to 26 and (sometimes) 24 rings with 105 front drailers and making them work.  A good mechanic really helps.

Your shimmy is worrisome.  Despite what Jobst wrote at, some people have reported shimmy cases being caused by loose headsets and unbalanced panniers (especially in the front).  I've experienced shimmy that disappeared when loose wheel bearings were tightened, and especially by out of true wheels.  I'd suggest you make a list of possible causes, then check each one and correct them if necessary.

Bruce Gordon noted a while back that shimmy more often occurred on thin tubed bikes (racing bikes) with a load.  Since the Sojourn was built (or at least market) for touring, this shouldn't be your problem.

Routes / Re: Mission: Tulsa to Ashville!
« on: June 03, 2015, 09:32:05 pm »
Right off, I'd suggest skipping the big cities unless there's a reason you want to go there.  The traffic is much better if you give Nashville and Knoxville a 60 mile berth.  That said, there are a few routes that get in close to downtown without too much hassle.

You'll be coming in a bit north of the Natchez Trace, which gets you close to Nashville.  Sorry I can't help with north or west of there.

Going east from Nashville, I'd suggest looking at some of the RUSA rides.  For instance, starting south of Nashville:
  until it intersects with:
Randonneurs generally have a good handle on good cycling routes (except when they throw in a climb just for fun!).

From just above Cheoah Dam (where the dam scene was filmed for The Fugitive), you could take NC 28 past Fontana Dam (highest dam east of the Mississippi) to 19/74; or if you do the Cherohala climb, you could basically coast down from Robbinsville to 19/74 and then down through the Nantahala Gorge (DO NOT RIDE THIS ON A WEEKEND!  People will be watching the rafters instead of the road.).  Either way, you've got a few miles of stiff, busy climbing up to Bryson City.  Then take the old road to Cherokee, and from there take a couple days to climb the Blue Ridge Parkway into Asheville.

Gear Talk / Re: Wife looking to get new bike LHT/Disc or 520
« on: June 03, 2015, 08:58:00 am »
Either is likely to have machine built wheels.  Those are famous for not being correctly tensioned and stress-relieved.  Get a knowledgeable wheelbuilder to check the wheels, or look up some of the resources (The Bicycle Wheel), buy some tools (spoke wrench and tensiometer), and DIY.  The second option will also give you some confidence if you need to fix a wheel out on the road.

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.

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 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.

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!

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.

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.

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?

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