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Messages - Pat Lamb

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

Look for some of the AA powered battery extenders for the Garmin 800-1000 units.  I've got a Verbatim, but there are others out there.  My 800 lasts 8 hours on internal charge, and another 16 hours with 4 AAs (I use rechargeables).

I've been using free OSM maps, which lack the POIs.  Maybe Garmin's maps have them?

Routes / Re: Lexignton, KY to Asheville, NC - how to develop a route?
« on: February 15, 2016, 02:32:43 pm »
I second the idea of hitting the TransAm at Berea.  My suggestion would be to take the TransAm to Damascus.  From there you've got a couple of choices:

1. Take the Virginia Creeper trail to Whitetop, U.S. 58 over to Mouth of Wilson, then cut over through Sparta to the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Turn right and ride 200 miles or so to Asheville.  There's really only 2-3 mountains on the BRP, along with a bunch of little hills.  Virtually no services on route except at Boone/Blowing Rock and Little Switzerland, but the grades are 6% or less and the speed limit is 45 mph.

2. Go south through Shady Valley towards Elizabethton.  Go down to Erwin (where they hanged the elephant!) and head over the mountain into N.C.  I can't really help you with routing into Asheville from there, although with the completion of I-26 a while back, a lot of the traffic may be off U.S. 19.

I know maybe half of the alternate routes through east Tennessee, if you decide to go another way through there.

General Discussion / Re: Touring TN.
« on: February 13, 2016, 01:34:53 am »
Most of 64 has been widened, I think.  There might be a few stretches where the shoulders aren't all there, or clean, but that's always a risk you take.  Last time I was up there, the section around Fayetteville still had some 2-lane, but they may have finished it by now.

Going over the south end of the Cumberland Plateau will be a problem, since 64 merges with I-24 from Decherd up the mountain, and coming down from Monteagle.  Double-plus ungood.  Take 41 to Sewanee, instead.  East of Winchester it's 2-3 lanes up the mountain to Sewanee, then I think it's still two lanes to Monteagle. 

You could take 41 down to Jasper, then over the "new blue bridge" to Haletown.  I'd recommend, instead, taking the TN 156 back road from Sewanee down to South Pittsburgh.  You could get on the racetrack-without-shoulders from South Pittsburgh to Kimball, after you get to Jasper the traffic approaches sane across the river.  Instead, cross the Tennessee River on the bridge in South Pittsburgh and go up past Nickjack on 156 to Haletown. 

From there you can take 41/64 up to Wauhatchie, or (better) cut south and climb the hill up to Wildwood, GA, and then follow 11 and Wauhatchie Pike towards Browns Ferry Rd, where you'll follow 64/41/11 over the foot of Lookout Mountain into Chattanooga.

General Discussion / Re: Juneau - Seattle
« on: February 06, 2016, 08:19:24 pm »
Are you just looking at a three week tour with nice scenery, mountains, and services? Doing something like the Northern Tier from Anacortes to Glacier National Park would be a good choice, and possible to do without camping if you plan ahead. If you're travelling fast and light, you could do it in three weeks, and then have time to spend at Glacier. You could also catch Amtrak out of Whitefish to get back to where you need to.

Eminently do-able; we made Apgar to Anacortes in two weeks loaded.  The Washington/Rainy pass day would be the only difficulty; I think you can find B&Bs near Concrete, and there's a pricey lodge right outside Mazama.  Towns are spaced about an easy day's ride for the rest of the trip.

Gear Talk / Re: One Bike to Do It All
« on: February 05, 2016, 09:36:21 am »
I think you will find the LHT ill suited for faster rides rides, unless your definition of a faster ride is relatively slow.

I hear stuff like that when I'm doing a "fast" group ride on a touring bike, but I'm not sure.  First, they lose me going up a couple of good hills, but losing 5-8 pounds off the bike won't do anywhere near the good taking 50 pounds off the middle would.  Second, when the "18-21 mph" group accelerates to 25-28 up a half mile false flat, I have to back off and admit I'm not in that good a racing shape.  (OTOH, I've pulled a group of stragglers that caught them 2-3 miles down the road!)

A heavier bike won't be as good accelerating or climbing as a lighter bike.  But unless you're below 10% body fat or riding criteriums, it's not likely to limit you.

Gear Talk / Re: How to pack my sleeping bag
« on: February 03, 2016, 11:19:16 pm »
I have front and backs, so maybe I'm ok with space??? Maybe!

You will be OK with space.  It might take trips to 2-3 post offices to mail stuff home, but by the end of your trip you'll find there's plenty of room.  :)

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