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Messages - Pat Lamb

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Routes / Re: Greensboro NC to Boone
« on: May 26, 2014, 08:59:06 pm »
FWIW, Deerfield Rd. is my favorite way to get to and from the Blue Ridge Parkway into Boone.  Winkler's Creek Rd. is OK going into town (if your hands don't cramp from all the braking), and it's a good way to get a workout climbing back out of town, but not my favorite in either direction.

Routes / Re: Atlanta, GA to the coast
« on: April 27, 2014, 04:10:24 pm »
No personal experience, but you might want to check out Suzanne Stack's journal at for some ideas. 

I think Suzanne cribbed some off Ron Wallenfang's routes.  This may (or may not) have been part of what she and Don followed:

General Discussion / Re: Panniers as Checked Luggage
« on: April 27, 2014, 04:02:29 pm »
I've flown with the panniers emptied into a cheap duffle, with the panniers loaded in the bottom.  No problems there.  I took one pannier as a carry on; got a few strange looks (where are the wheels? kind of looks), but had no problems checking, carrying, stowing, or getting through security.

Gear Talk / Re: Parrafin heads only
« on: April 24, 2014, 09:37:04 pm »
I use paraffin riding locally and touring; have done so for decades. Weight of my can of paraffin is 10 oz; could reduce amount of paraffin. Application touring lasts me about 500 miles. This means for a 1000  mile tour I wax once on tour.

Don't forget "and another time every time it rains."  Chacun a son gout.

No, no, no, no! About every 500 miles, including rain days. As far as all the trouble to wax every 500 miles, it's less trouble for me to wax than to clean and oil type lubricate chain, and, as explained, I enjoy extra long life from my drivetrain components. The topic originator asked that there be no lube wars. Keep that in mind when you think you have a clever comeback.

Thanks for the compliment, I didn't mean it to be a clever comeback.  During the year that I used paraffin, every time i rode home through a thunderstorm, I had to relube; the chain squeaked like nobody's business the next day if I didn't.  That was for a half hour commute, so I'd expect a couple hours to all day in the rain would do a super job of cleaning the wax out of the chain.

Gear Talk / Re: Parrafin heads only
« on: April 24, 2014, 03:11:05 pm »
I use paraffin riding locally and touring; have done so for decades. Weight of my can of paraffin is 10 oz; could reduce amount of paraffin. Application touring lasts me about 500 miles. This means for a 1000  mile tour I wax once on tour.
So what, 8 times on a the Trans America?  I'd say no thanks to that.

Don't forget "and another time every time it rains."  Chacun a son gout.

Gear Talk / Re: Touring-oriented bike shop in Missoula?
« on: April 24, 2014, 09:12:20 am »
Not clear to me what you'll need done, but Hellgate Cyclery was about a block away from ACA headquarters.  They did a fine job re-truing a wheel and charged me $8, or maybe less.  Not much stock if you want anything new, but great mechanics.

General Discussion / Re: TransAm season
« on: April 24, 2014, 09:06:34 am »
Most people riding east to west seem to start in May.  Most of the worst spring rains are usually finished by then, and then you're just trying to beat the heat in Kansas (at which we failed).  Western passes will be open when you get there.

Gear Talk / Re: Parrafin heads only
« on: April 23, 2014, 07:44:38 pm »
I'm no weight weenie, but carrying a pound of wax to do what a 4 oz. bottle can do seems -- well, dedicated might be a polite way to put it.  Depends where you'll be touring, too.  You'll have to re-lube the chain at least once a week plus every time it rains.  Are you riding in the desert, or are you that dedicated?

FWIW, I ran my bikes on paraffin for a summer.  They lasted about the same total distance as others have with various other lubes.  Neat is nice, until the third thunderstorm in a week.

Food Talk / Re: Food by Mail
« on: April 23, 2014, 07:40:13 pm »
Just MHO, but unless you're on a special diet, mailing food to yourself seems like a good way to spend money needlessly.  I could see perhaps a couple of mail drops for freeze-dried food on the route.  But most places you'll find a post office, you'll also find a store that carries pasta, oats, peanut butter, dried or canned meats, etc., not to mention some kind of vegetable and/or fruit.  The first four are about as dense calories as you can get without eating a stick of butter

As Pete alludes to,  part of the problem is predicting where and when you'll pass a P.O. that's open.  That means you'll either have to be in touch with someone to express mail you things one or two days ahead, or you'll be paying some company even more to do the same.  There's a place for a $15 freeze dried meal with dessert, but make it a $40 meal with S&H, and is it really going to taste that good?

Routes / Re: Seattle to Missoula
« on: April 21, 2014, 11:08:03 am »
One way is to head north and pick up the Northern Tier to Whitefish, MT. Then due south thru Seeley Lake.  Not the most direct, but very scenic.

If you take this route, spend the extra time to go to Glacier and spend at least one night.  It is so magnificent that you'll kick yourself for being that close and not seeing it if you pass it up.

I've wondered if it wouldn't have been smarter for us (going the other way) to head northwest from Yellowstone to the east side of Glacier.  The TA seems to spend a lot of time riding in "W"s down in SW Montana, and the scenery is good but not all that great (IMHO).

Gear Talk / Re: Retiring, getting into self contained touring
« on: April 21, 2014, 11:01:17 am »
On a steep downhill I just couldn't stop by braking from the hoods, I had to reach round to the drops and squeeze like hell.

Being able to brake from the drops is a good skill to have for any brakes.

Gear Talk / Re: 11-32 vs 11-34
« on: April 21, 2014, 10:56:09 am »
It's always helpful when people use a common language to discuss things.  For road steepness, that's grade in percent.  Sure, it's technically possible to use centiradians from vertical, but it's not reasonable to expect other people to participate in a discussion when you use that kind of odd terminology.

The best I can figure, the Vesuvius grade averages 10% for 3 miles.  That's based on GPS, bike computer, and topographic maps.  It's built like most old mountain roads, so I wouldn't be surprised if there's stretches of 15% or more embedded in that 3 miles.

Lookout, KY was perhaps the worst grade going west.  I don't remember the numbers off the top of my head, but it was rough.  And we just had to laugh at the series of U-shaped dips southeast of Irvine, KY.

Back to the gearing question, pack light, gear low, and get a good running start on the flatter 8% sections to tackle the next 100 yards at 12%.  And there's no shame in walking.

GPS Discussion / Re: New Garmin Edge Touring
« on: April 20, 2014, 08:46:59 pm »
Steve, good catch on the alkalines.  I got it with a charger + 8 Ni MH batteries.  Watch out for the low price, though: S&H will eat you up.

GPS Discussion / Re: New Garmin Edge Touring
« on: April 20, 2014, 11:49:51 am »
FWIW, battery life limits are one of my top GPS aggravations when touring.  Those wo don't want to go the DIY route might appreciate the battery holder I was guided to.  Holds 4 AA cells, recharges through a USB cable, and can at least double the 15-16 hour life of the Edge battery.  Of course, you'll either have to resupply with more alkaline batteries or hole up near an outlet for some hours to recharge after that.

Gear Talk / Re: 11-32 vs 11-34
« on: April 17, 2014, 11:44:18 am »
As John said, it'll make a little difference.  As Pete said, it probably won't be enough.  Get some Shoe Goo and put it on your shoes in Charlottesville so you don't wear the soles out walking before you get to Missouri.

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