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Messages - Pat Lamb

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436
Routes / Re: Eastbound from Washington/Oregon
« on: June 19, 2013, 09:32:13 am »
Going to the Sun Road is one of the finest rides in the world.
+1

I doubt that the experience would be even one tenth as good by bus.

+1 more.

We came up from Missoula to Apgar before resuming our westward ride, and I took the shuttle.  I've got to get back there to cycle the pass, sometime, somehow.

437
Routes / Re: Southern Tier timing and direction
« on: June 19, 2013, 09:28:26 am »
I'd look at the ST as three parts: desert southwest, Texas, and the Gulf Coast.  Either way, you're going to hit Texas in the middle, so that doesn't help you decide.

Going west, you'll hit hot and humid into mid-October along the Gulf.  Good news: you'll miss most of the 90 degree/90 % humidity.  Bad news: it'll be 80/90 days instead.  There's not much relief from the humidity at the end of the day.  I'd expect the desert to be getting chilly by the time you get there, but it's easier (at least for me) to add layers to deal with cool than it is to generate enough sweat to stay alive in hot, humid weather.

Going east, you'll have some toasty days in the desert near the start, but it's a dry heat, and you say you're used to that.  You'll have longer days so you can make some miles in the evening if you need a shady siesta in the early afternoon.  By late October into November, the weather will be pleasant in the Gulf, it's likely to be a bit cooler and drier.  Unless a hurricane is coming.

Either way, be careful about riding into sunrise and sunset (that means try to avoid it!).  The glare makes it difficult for motorists to see you.

438
Routes / Re: Planning trip from NY to Ca
« on: June 13, 2013, 09:48:10 am »
Let me try this one more time...

Some of the roads across the higher passes are likely to be closed.  They will have the beginnings of six to sixty feet of snow on them.  Sometime after they get the first three feet of snow there'll be avalanche zones across the closed roads.  Some of the dropoffs will be marked with poles so the snowplows won't fall off the cliff in the spring.

Have you considered the Southern Tier?  Or dropping down south to the ST from eastern Colorado?

439
Routes / Re: Planning trip from NY to Ca
« on: June 12, 2013, 03:38:27 pm »
Your blog will make an interesting read.  If I were locked into that time frame, I'd plan on riding west to east, and keep my fingers crossed.  As planned now, you'll be hitting the Rockies in late November.  It's possible, I guess, they'll have a dry winter, and you'll be able to get through.  Possible, but likely?

First obstacle going east will be getting over the Sierras before snow closes the roads.  Don't know the odds, but they'll be worse in December (going west) than October (going east).  Lather, rinse, and repeat for every pass until you get to central Colorado.

I'd prefer the occasional snowfall in the Appalchians that can close your route (to a bicyclist, with common sense but no chains) for 3-4 days around the end of the year to being holed up in a mountain camp in Utah until the spring thaws.

Note, too, that you'll be down to 9-10 hours of sunlight, while summer tourists can expect 14-15 hours.


440
Routes / Re: Riding west to east along the northern tier
« on: June 12, 2013, 03:28:57 pm »
In your opinion, what kind of daily mileage can be expected when crossing through Washington and those first set of mountains?? I'm really intimidated by the idea of tackling huge hill climbs right from the beginning.

I'll defer to the other posters who've done it west-east (we rode west) on the approach to the first passes.  From there on, figure a pass a day until you get to the Columbia River.

I found out west that I usually ended up riding from one town to the next.  It could be done differently, especially if you're willing to load up on food and water -- again, YMMV.

441
General Discussion / Re: Choosing a bike and could use advice
« on: June 06, 2013, 10:45:23 am »
The $350 price is also very high. 

I missed that on my first scan.  Going price for a bike like that is about $100.

Panasonic made some nice bikes, so it wouldn't be completely unreasonable to tour on that (assuming it fits you).   It would be a project bike, though.  You'd need to disassemble and repack wheels, headset, and bottom bracket; replace brake and derailer cables and housing; replace brake shoes, tires, and tubes; and probably re-tape the bars.  Probably $100 in parts, and $200-400 in labor at a bike shop, depending on the shop, if you don't do it yourself.  Gearing is high, by modern standards, so you'd either need to replace the crank or plan on walking more hills.  There goes another $150.

Go visit you local bike shop (LBS).  I'd bet a good shop could get you on a new hybrid, with racks, fully tuned, up to date, and ready to roll, for less than the total/real cost of that Panasonic.  If you want more hand positions, there are bar ends you can get to clamp on the ends of flat bars.  Or save a bit more and buy a loaded touring bike -- they start around $1,000.

442
To my knowledge, there's no one answer to your question, but here are some menu items.

First, most cellular companies will sell you a USB dongle and a data plan.  You may be able to use your modem with T-Mobile or AT&T.  I don't know if anything like that is available in pre-paid cellular.  That should work with your computer, but you might have to cable up the ipod.

Second, many if not all smart phones will have an access point functionality.  You may have to pay double to use that capability -- Verizon, for instance, will charge you for a data plan for the smart phone, and then an extra charge for access point data.

Finally, many libraries, restaurants, and motels will have free WiFi.  If you want to connect mostly in town, free is a great way to go.  Broad swaths of rural America don't have cell access outside the towns, so you might not be limited much in where you can access the web.

443
Call me pariochal since I don't know my Canadian geography.  However, I'd think about heading down to the Underground Railroad AC route, and pick up the TransAm around Cave in Rock, IL.

You might consider veering north to St. Louis to pick up the Katy Trail, then work your way from its west end down to the TransAm somewhere between Golden City, MO (and Cookie's Cafe with the famous pie selection!) and Wichita, KS, to skip some of the Ozarks.  Scenic, yes, also steep, hot, and humid.

444
General Discussion / Re: Cleaning your bike on a long tour
« on: May 31, 2013, 09:29:02 am »
The chain is the big thing.  Wipe it down at least a couple times a week; paper towels or paper napkins from eateries are fine.  Gently wipe any other part of the bike that gets so dirty it bothers you.

Relube?  As needed.  When the chain starts to squeak.  After it rains, shake off excess water, wipe it down (it's probably collected extra dirt), and re-lube the chain when it's dry.  "Dry" lubes  need to be re-applied more often than "wet" lubes IME.  Read the directions, and if it says wipe after application, lube at night and wipe down in the morning.  (If you forget, you can build some monumental mounds of sandy, greasy, gunk on the derailer pulleys.)

Chain wear varies with riders.  After 2,000 miles, borrow a steel tape measure from somebody and start checking the chain.  Repeat as needed.  Every bike shop worth its name will have a new chain, so buy one when you need it.

445
General Discussion / Re: North Nevada & Utah in summer
« on: May 29, 2013, 09:27:11 pm »
You read that correctly.  The normal approach eastbound is to camp at Apgar or Avalanche (riding up after 4:00 to Avalanche), then get up and start riding about dawn, which gives you a reasonable amount of time to get to Logan Pass.  IIRC you can ride up the east side all day, but you have to stop at Avalanche on your way down and let all the cagers leave to find supper before riding the rest of the way down.

They had shuttles when we were there, so you could load the bikes onto racks and carry panniers.  But that'd take the romance out of cycling GTS.

446
Gear Talk / Re: B-17 with Aerotech Bibs
« on: May 28, 2013, 01:22:50 pm »
I know nothing about Aerotech bibs, but if they have a seam running down the center of the chamois, that's just asking for trouble.  Sounds to me like you got incredibly lucky having a saddle with a hole for the seam to fit in.

447
General Discussion / Re: Doin' it well
« on: May 25, 2013, 09:54:01 am »
Planning for my first tour, I was arrogant and figured I'd easily ride 15 mph and 75 miles a day.  This despite a number of experienced bike tourists writing that they averaged 10 mph and 50 miles per day.

I exceeded 50 miles per day average (by 3 mpd!), but the 10 mph on-bike speed was spot on.

Now I just plan on those figures, maybe add 10 miles a day if somebody else is carrying my gear..  If there's not hills to slow me down, it's flat and the wind comes up.  I only remember two significant tailwinds, the longest 10 miles -- the rest of the time the wind was in my face, or it's a crosswind with a hefty headwind component.

Take what the road gives you.  Enjoy it.  Push a bit, but not so much that you'll hurt tomorrow's ride.

448
General Discussion / Re: In low gear and can't ride up hill!
« on: May 25, 2013, 09:46:17 am »
Charlie, is this a 2008 Jamis Aurora with stock gearing?  If so, you've got a 25" low gear.  A 20 gear inch low is the target I like, so you're missing the two lowest gears.  You might be able to have your LBS change the crank out for a mountain triple to get those low gears; should run about $100, and it's possible you'll lose some crispness in the shifting (although I personally haven't noticed it).

Even so, Pete is right.  There's going to be some combination of load, fatigue, hill length, and steepness, where the smart thing to do is get off and walk.  That's why most tourists with clipless pedals have mountain bike pedals and shoes, so it's easier to walk.

449
Gear Talk / Re: Disc Compatible Dynamo Hub
« on: May 24, 2013, 04:38:42 pm »
Schmidt makes their famous Son hubs for centerlock discs, see http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/schmidt.asp.

450
You might also want to look at the Bilenky Viewpoint tandem -- see http://www.bilenky.com/#!viewpoint/cb9e.

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