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Messages - Pat Lamb

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Gear Talk / Re: Suitability of Shimano Tourney Derailluer
« on: April 10, 2012, 09:46:13 pm »
I'd bet it will work (but I wouldn't bet any more than the derailer is worth).  Most Shimano derailers of recent vintage (last 15-20 years) are indexed in the shifter, and most rear S. ders are compatible with each other.

It may be worn, and therefore shift sloppily, though.

Routes / Re: White Hall VA Community Center
« on: April 10, 2012, 11:15:10 am »
A similar topic was discussed just recently:

Bottom line is you can pitch your tent, but see what convenience stores or gas stations have available for restrooms, and fill up your water bottles while you can.

Gear Talk / Re: Mountain bike forks
« on: April 05, 2012, 09:20:03 pm »
Well, if you're going to use front panniers, your only rack choice is Old Man Mountain with suspension.  There's lots of other choices with a rigid fork.

The main reason to avoid suspension for road riding is pedaling efficiency.  I've never ridden a sus bike loaded, but a lot of pedaling energy with just me goes into making the bike go up and down, instead of forward.  At the end of a long day, you might wonder how much further you could have gone if you had been just rollin' instead of rockin' and rollin' all day.

BTW, some of the best roads I was on in Kansas were dirt roads (but carefully maintained for efficient wheat transport), and some of the worst were allegedly paved (going west from Hutcheson towards Larned, for example).  None were quite as bad as eastern Colorado's expansion joints, which were enough to make me wish for a fully suspended bike.

Gear Talk / Re: Cars and bike racks
« on: April 05, 2012, 03:41:56 pm »
Fred, thanks for the details.  I've been successful for local trips (got caught by the wife at the cafe during a thunderstorm) leaving the front wheel on with one bike, but that requires turning the front wheel and the saddle ends up resting above the rear car wheel next to the window.  I'll have to try taking the front wheel off next time.

Gear Talk / Re: Cars and bike racks
« on: April 05, 2012, 08:56:50 am »
Another data point: our Prius hatchback has held two people, two road bikes lying flat with front wheels off, and luggage for a two-week supported trip & visit to family comfortably. Inserting that second bike did take two people.


I need some help visualizing this.  Two bikes, OK.  (I can usually manage one with the front wheel left on.)  But where did you carry the luggage?


Gear Talk / Re: Surly Disc Trucker v. LHT
« on: April 05, 2012, 08:54:46 am »
... no likelihood of the brakes overheating the rims and blowing a tire.

Hans, all your other points can be argued, but I agree a disk brake won't blow a tire.  Though I've met two people who had blowouts on long/steep descents (one of whom was riding a loaded bike), I've never personally blown a tire, although occasionally I have to think about it and change braking behavior to prevent it.  As to the rest, it's a matter of taste.  Properly set up brakes of almost any kind (cantilever, caliper, or disk) give good control on descents.  I've read accounts of disk brakes fading -- after all, a rim is just a large disk, and it's possible to overheat either.

Routes / Re: TransAmerica from DC, but I need to go east first.
« on: April 05, 2012, 08:42:55 am »
If you're pressed for time, you can skip Yorktown and join up with the TransAm in Richmond.

If I were riding TransAm and starting from D.C., I'd consider taking the W&OD trail out of Washington, riding from the end over to Front Royal, then take the Skyline Drive down to Waynesboro, and pick up the official trail there.

Of course, I'd expect one long, slow, painful climb coming out of Front Royal as my introduction to hills on the trail and the Appalachians.  After that, it'd surely get better.  (Can it be worse than Afton Mountain?)

From memory, coming from the east, the last "official" water source close to the road was near Mazama, at the Early Winters campground.  There were signs to perhaps four campgrounds on the way up, but all of those looked to be 1/2 to 2 miles off route (and all downhill).  The next was past the two passes at Colonial Creek campground.  That was about 50 miles, I'd guess.  For what little it's worth, I went through 3 quarts on the climb, and wished for more, in early August.

Not to try to dissuade you from the water filter, but general information for anyone else who might want it: the west side was wet, with water cascading down to the ditch or under a bridge roughly every 1/2 mile.  The east side was pretty parched.  The road stayed pretty well above the creek on either side.

I don't remember any campgrounds or water sources after Colonial Creek. As Fred pointed out, you might luck out and get water from people in cars. And if you have a water filtration system there are numerous streams you can use. There is a pit toilet between Rainy and Washington Passes, but no water.

Ditto the recommendation for a water filter.  Lots of streams, right off the road. 

Note you probably won't need water once you hit Washington Pass -- it's literally all downhill from there!

Gear Talk / Re: Cars and bike racks
« on: March 27, 2012, 09:31:40 pm »
Problem with a hitch rack in this case is the question asker has a Tercel.  Hitches mounted to small cars like this are the ones with the tongue permanently attached.  Unlike hitches put on trucks and SUVs where the rack frame is attached to the frame of the truck.  And then you have a separate tongue hitch part that fits into the 2" square pipe.

If you want to go for a hitch rack, it's worth going to a decent welding shop.  They can either install or fabricate and install just about anything you want.  Downside is the cost ($150-200 for the hitch).  Upside is you may never have to buy a rack again, if you get a new hitch on your new car.

I've heard the 2" hitch is more stable than the 1-1/4".  No personal experience, as I wanted a 2".  And it pitches on bumpy roads anyhow unless it's really tight.

I wouldn't worry about the wind on that stretch.  It never cooled me down when climbing.  :(

Although I've only done it E-W, I don't think there's going to be much difference in difficulty.  Getting out of Omak is going to be an effort in either direction, ditto the Washington/Rainy Pass climb.  People say there's 60 miles of climbing going east over Washington Pass, but there's some downhills in there too.  Not many, but some.  There's about 25 miles of serious, continuous climbing in either direction.

The only suggestion I'd have is to shoot for Colonial campground if you're going east, to shorten that day.

General Discussion / Re: Long distance trip alone?
« on: March 26, 2012, 02:31:25 pm »
it seemed much less fun when there wasn't someone there suffering with you
Suffering? There's not supposed to be any suffering on a tour!

I think he meant, "Enjoying the adventure!"


Gear Talk / Re: 2012 Novara Randonee rear rack
« on: March 26, 2012, 08:59:15 am »
FWIW, my daughter and I took the previous incarnation of the Randonee rack across the U.S. with no problems beyond loose mounting bolts.  They're a bit off-center now, because we both went down and bent them a bit, but they carried everything just fine.  I probably had 30-40 pounds on the rear.  (Is your friend going to use front racks, too?  Tubus Tara is very good.)

The newer version of the Randonnee rack in the last couple of years has a longer center post up from the lower rack mount before it branches out.  I'm a little bit concerned with the change (longer moment arm, necessary structural rigidity, blah, blah, blah), but I haven't read or heard of any failures because of that theoretical weak point.  I'd try to leave the kitchen sink at home if I were loading that one, but it should be good with a reasonable load.

Gear Talk / Re: 700, aka 29er, aka *-622
« on: March 23, 2012, 09:14:45 am »
I think you're going to be searching for large numbers of people, so you get some who have bicycled outside the U.S., and have done so enough to be able to detect trends outside the U.S., and, as you note, are not out touring.  I don't meet either of the first two criteria, although (alas) I meet the third.

Bikeforums' touring forum gets more visibility even than CGOAB, I think, so you might want to double-post in both.

Coming from the east, we stayed the night in Anacortes.  There's a bike shop downtown that packed and shipped bikes for us (you could ship to them and have them assemble it, but make sure you arrange it well in advance!).  There's a shuttle service that goes through Mt. Vernon (change to a bus) and straight into Seatac.

Were I to do something like that from the west, I'd probably stay a couple nights in Mt. Vernon, and run out to Anacortes as a day trip before heading east.  Easier access, less expensive motels, and a couple bike shops to fine-tune anything that went wrong on the shake-down day.

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