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Messages - Pat Lamb

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Gear Talk / Re: Prius and racks
« on: November 18, 2016, 10:17:37 am »
I can easily believe jonc's story.  We took a trip a year after buying a 2005 Prius using a hitch rack to carry three bikes.  There was about a 20 mph headwind for 100 miles, filling up as we left and driving 65 mph.  The Prius got 30 mpg.

The 50 (+/-) mpg mileage is really sensitive to external conditions, and speeds over about 60 mph is one of the things that cuts it down.  Drag from bikes on a hitch rack seems to cut mileage by 5-10 mpg in quiescent conditions IME.  Add bikes, high speed, and headwinds, and you're asking for lousy mileage.

You don't necessarily need a new tube, but you do need one that doesn't leak. Patch it.

Given the OP, it's worth it for our peace of mind (and peace of forum) to replace the tube with a new one.

General Discussion / Re: Which Route Would You Suggest?
« on: November 10, 2016, 09:54:00 am »
Agree that August will be hot in the south (and central) U.S.  I've arranged to go north for a week's cycling vacation two of the last three years to escape the heat and humidity.

If you're looking at ACA routes, the western (and northern!) parts of the TransAm or Great Parks North would be good.  You might start at Anacortes and take the Northern Tier to Glacier NP, then head south to Yellowstone and the Tetons, before flying out of Jackson.  If you've got a bit of extra time, head south into Colorado.

Gear Talk / Re: Prius and racks
« on: November 03, 2016, 04:13:00 pm »
How about "none of the above"?  I got a bolt-on hitch for my wife's Prius, and use it with a trailer rack.

Gear Talk / Re: Shifters-integrated vs bar-end
« on: November 03, 2016, 04:10:49 pm »
This choice is pretty much all personal preference.


I found that I really didn't like bar end shifters.

Eh, not me.  I've got a bike with Shimano brifters, one with Campy brifters, and one with bar-ends and like riding them all!.  Frankly, the worst part about switching between bikes is the difference between the Shimano and Campy, but I normally re-adjust within a couple blocks.

I'm not sure if I'm the only one who doesn't know, but seriously, I can use my tennis shoes in biking?  :)

Sure, and you can eat salted caramel peanut butter cup ice cream.

Personally, I wouldn't recommend either, but it depends on your tastes.

Gear Talk / Re: New Rider Advice on Purchasing a Road Bike
« on: October 24, 2016, 10:59:03 am »
Hopefully, if the OP was interested, he had a chance to buy the Novara in the 11 years since this thread (should have) expired...

Routes / Re: Great Rivers South in November/December
« on: October 17, 2016, 09:55:27 am »
Not too far from Tupelo, three things would concern me: temperature, rain, and daylight.

In reverse order: first of November, there's about 11 hours of daylight (probably good cycling for 9.5 hours) a day.  By the end of December, you're down to less than 8 hours of good cycling daylight.

Rain: October is our driest month (especially with the current drought!).  Probability of precipitation is going up from 30%/day, on average, to 50% per day.  November is when we transition from pop-up thunderstorms to powerful fronts coming in.

Temperature: Early November is great cycling weather, usually mid-40s to mid-60s.  Late December, not so much: how do you like cycling in frost in the mornings, with highs usually between 40 and 50?  It's tough commuting by bike then, since I end up having to bring home cold weather gear 2/3 of the time -- unless the temps are going down, then I wish I'd brought some more.  Proper equipment helps a lot, but on some days you're going to be spending a lot of time changing clothes...

Are you thinking of camping or B&B/motels?  Many of the campgrounds on the Natchez Trace will be closed, but a warm shower and toasty bed at the end of a long, cold day are great luxuries.

Edited to add: You probably won't have to worry about snow.  South of Tennessee, the snow removal plan is typically "wait 'til it melts."  And that plan only gets exercised every 3-4 years.

Hi there! I am just bumping this up to try & get an answer to 2 more questions....

If you desperately want an answer...

1) do u know a relaxing place to stay at the end of my trip close to San Diego?

Nope, I've only been there once, on business, for three days or so.

2) should i buy the paper Adventure maps or the digital version?

Like John, I prefer paper.  Easier to plan ahead when you can spread the paper map out.

Gear Talk / Re: Advice for choosing components to reduce gear inches
« on: October 12, 2016, 07:49:00 pm »
Your chainline questions illustrate why I recommend letting a bike shop change things for you.  Let them figure out what you need; often the price of the part (crank) will include installation and adjustment.  If it were a cassette, I'd say go for it.  But you may need a couple of tools, which will eat up any savings from buying online (even if you get it right the first time and don't have to eat shipping).  Besides, a learning exercise is better used on something you're likely to repeat -- like changing cassettes or chains when they wear out.  You may never need to replace the crank, although you may need to replace the BB after 5-10 years.

Gear Talk / Re: Advice for choosing components to reduce gear inches
« on: October 12, 2016, 09:52:26 am »
I think Russ has the best solution, just replace the crank.  I've seen reports of the Tiagra front derailer handling a 24 low, I don't know if it'll work with a 22.  Sticking with the stock Sora 24 is easiest, and will give you a decent low gear.

Sounds like OP is a mechanical newbie; if that's the case, you're probably best off finding a bike shop with a decent mechanic and letting him (or her) do the switch.  The FD can probably handle the MTB triple, but its position may have to be tweaked -- much better to let the pro do this right off.

Routes / Re: Road 395 south in USA?
« on: September 27, 2016, 08:58:22 pm »
Fools rush in...

I'm totally ignorant of this road, but since nobody else has responded, here's a few thoughts.  Playing around with gurgle maps, I noticed a "Starr Sno-Park" south of John Day.  Further south 395 goes close to Lake Tahoe, also known as home to a bunch of ski areas.

It might be a better idea to work your way over to the coast and run the risk of some winter storms.

Finally, regarding POG's reviews: this was also really interesting to hear (read?). In general, we subscribe to the idea that there's no sense wasting ink in the magazine on bad products, largely because SO many of the bikes out there are so very good. Long before a review makes it onto the page, at least a handful of folks have determined that the bike is worth investigating — in some cases despite taller gearing, a weird fork, etc. — and so odds are any negative commentary are more nits to pick rather that out and out warnings to avoid. Do we miss on occasion? Without a doubt. But hopefully O'Grady's reviews are entertaining as well as informative, I certainly find them to be.

Having had my 2 cents input, I was going to leave it alone.  The gearing issue is one I remember several reviews glossing over or ignoring completely.  But perhaps I can learn something with one more question:

What kind of touring is appropriate for a bike with, say, a 27-30 gear inch low gear?

General Discussion / Re: Touring bike wheel
« on: September 26, 2016, 12:51:18 pm »
I pretty much agree with Dan on what's necessary for a durable, problem-free touring wheel, with a couple minor differences.

Double butted spokes?  I think you can build a wheel with straight gauge spokes that will work, but the double butted spokes give you a bit of extra latitude.  (Pardon me if I go all nerdy for a few sentences!)  The smaller gauge wire in the center allows for more plastic deformation -- it'll stretch more without stretching permanently.  This lets you add a bit more tension to the spoke than the minimum required to maintain tension over the rotation of the wheel, and without damaging the rim.  The result can be tens of thousands of miles on a wheel loaded with gear and a clydesdale without problems.  OK, nerdiness aside, DT, Sapim, or Wheelsmith spokes are made well.

Brass nipples -- Dan's nailed this one.  Make sure all the nipples on both wheels take the same size spoke wrench, and carry a good one in case you need to adjust the wheel between bike shops.

IMHO, machine built wheels are a good source of parts.  If you can get one with components you like, either you or a good wheel man can tension and stress relieve it and you'll have a great wheel for far less than the parts would cost you individually.

Why do your local bike shops think the original shopping list was overkill?  It could be they're looking at the double eyelets and double walled rims and thinking they put hundreds of people on wheels without those features and they seem to work.  It could also be that they don't know squat about touring bikes and touring loads, and they'd be happy to sell you the last of this season's deep carbon fiber rim wheels with a 175 pound load limit.  It might be worth asking them (politely) which part is overkill, or maybe not. 

General Discussion / Re: southern tier
« on: September 13, 2016, 11:43:07 am »
OTOH, with adequate planning the ST should be achievable.  There was a story on crazyguy a while back about a guy who had to schedule kidney dialysis three times a week, but he managed.  If he could get treatments at fixed centers with limited time slots, self-treatment of diabetes with supplies on the bike should not be an issue.

A few more thoughts:
Most (sane) people ride the ST in the cooler part of the year, so there probably won't be a bunch of 90 degree days to contend with.  (Isn't room temperature 80F in the summer?)

Even in the remotest parts of the ST, there'll be a town with a pharmacy every other day.  Worst case, pick up more insulin and test strips there.  (Check regularly so you buy it before you need it!)

Resupply can be an issue, trying to guess where you'll be 7-10 days ahead of time if you're using USPS.  Pay a bit more, and FedEx will have a package waiting at a motel 2-3 days in advance.

If you're going to tour next February, get on your bike now and start riding.  That'll get you in shape and let you figure out what you'll need to do to care for your health issues.  Best to learn near home with your doctors available than to try to get hold of them when you're a thousand miles away.

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