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Messages - Pat Lamb

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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?

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.  :(

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