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Messages - Pat Lamb

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Routes / Re: Libby to Kalispell on Rt #2 OK to ride?
« on: February 19, 2012, 07:18:44 pm »
My personal opinion is that U.S. 2 was fine from Columbia Falls into West Glacier.  NT routes you on a beautiful back road that turns into a rough gravel road.  No thanks, that part needs at least front suspension.

When did you ride that? We (April and myself) rode that part of the NT/Great Parks North last summer (July) and the unpaved section was fine with our bikes. It was mostly hard packed dirt. Neither of us had front suspension, and also had front bags. We were running 32mm/35mm tires. April didn't mind that section, and she HATES gravel.

My daughter and I hit that around the middle of July, 2011.  Took the back road up to Glacier, and then came back town 2.  As I recall, there was about a mile and a half of two lane road near the bridge on 2, and we had no problem with traffic all the way into Columbia Falls.  The washboard we hit was noticeable all along the unpaved sections, but the part from the river up to the railroad was almost unbearable.

Routes / Re: Libby to Kalispell on Rt #2 OK to ride?
« on: February 18, 2012, 11:03:18 pm »
My personal opinion is that U.S. 2 was fine from Columbia Falls into West Glacier.  NT routes you on a beautiful back road that turns into a rough gravel road.  No thanks, that part needs at least front suspension.  I was grateful for the backroad routing from Whitefish to Columbia Falls, though, as the traffic was picking up as we left Columbia Falls westbound.  It looked like a major highway (with attendant traffic) south of Whitefish headed toward Kalispell.

Sorry, no information about Kalispell.

General Discussion / Re: Which sunscreen?
« on: February 17, 2012, 06:32:37 pm »
Step 1. Read all the articles about sunscreen chemicals.
Step 2. Read all the articles about sunscreen effectiveness.
Step 3. Figure out which articles you believe, if any.
Step 4. From the articles you believe, make a list of the dangerous chemicals and a list of the effective chemicals.
Step 5. Read the ingredients on the sunscreens in the store.
Step 6. Select one contains the effective chemicals but not the dangerous chemicals.

If we each apply this procedure, we'll all walk out of the store with different brands. Some will walk out with nothing. Step 3 is the difficult step.


I think you forgot  #7:
Step 7.  Buy the one that's on sale.


General Discussion / Re: Cost - WE to TA
« on: February 17, 2012, 03:45:44 pm »
As I recall, Subways were pretty rare across Kentucky, parts of Missouri, and Kansas on the TA in 2009.  There were quite a few towns that were just too small, I guess.

Or was it just that there was never one when we needed lunch?

General Discussion / Re: Which sunscreen?
« on: February 17, 2012, 02:42:58 pm »
I think you missed what DaveB was saying, which is that the alleged "very toxic and harmful" ingreedients the OP says are in common sun screen at not toxic and harmful at all.

Except in high doses in lab rats.

Some people are frankly scared of (OMG!) Chemicals!  and Chemical Names!  And there is a limited set of peer-reviewed studies and scientific journal articles that indicates there may be some problems.

My personal opinion is that the risks of severe sunburn and skin cancer far outweighs the risk of sunscreen and sunblock indicated by these studies.  (And further, if we started publishing systematic chemical names to phytochemicals and antioxidants found in natural food, we'd start a trend of people who are afraid of the names starving themselves to death.  Or maybe gorging on Twinkies.)

Hijacking this thread ever so slightly: can someone who's used long sleeve sunblocking clothing describe what it's like riding in 90 degree weather with 70% humidity at noon?  That kind of riding in Kansas, Missouri, Alabama, and Tennessee leads me to sunscreen and the thinnest, lightest, short sleeve or sleeveless jerseys I can find.

Routes / Re: east coast to st louis via motels?
« on: February 17, 2012, 02:32:33 pm »
Major U.S. highways in the east aren't usually the best choice, for the reasons indy gives.  I'd second John Nelson's advice on the TransAm, followed by Great Rivers north into St. Louis.  It's worth the price of the maps for the routing.  Get them early and start looking for motels.  There's probably no more than a couple hundred miles from Yorktown into Chester, IL that you might have problems finding a motel.  I suspect you'll be able to find something within 10 miles of the route if you can manage 50-60 miles per day.

General Discussion / Re: Which sunscreen?
« on: February 15, 2012, 05:58:55 pm »
Long sleeves are the "safest" -- unless you're on the verge of heat stroke.  Titanium dioxide is probably next in line, except it needs some goop to make it stick to your skin.

I prefer gels, partly because I could never rub the creams into my skin so they didn't look like I was a leper.  Apply twice daily to start, once daily after you've got a nice tan, and wash off at night.

General Discussion / Re: Communications on tour
« on: February 15, 2012, 05:56:18 pm »
Wish there was a way to choose multiple choices on the poll.

Same here.  Netbook and cell phone, pretty close to 50/50.  There are times you can get wireless internet when you can't get cell coverage, and vice versa.

General Discussion / Re: Weather Extremes
« on: February 09, 2012, 05:24:21 pm »
It's strange how "science" (the map) sometimes declares one thing, and yet, sometimes our own experiences (anecdotal evidence) tells us something else.

Got to be careful which science you're looking at.  The map Pete posted is based on science, too, I'd bet; only it's an agglomeration of surface readings.  "Everybody" knows the the wind blows west to east, because their nightly news features a chart of the jet stream.  Probably relevant if you bicycle at 30,000 feet.  ;)

There are "winds aloft" predictions available.  When I was talking to a group, I looked up the predictions a week ahead of time.  I was asked the inevitable question, "Why did you ride east to west when the wind blows west to east?"  My response, "How many of you lost tree limbs to the 100 mph winds last Friday?"  After the blank looks, it was easy to explain that those winds were blowing from the WNW at altitude, while the surface winds were 5-10 mph out of the south.  Same thing happens in Kansas.

General Discussion / Re: Blatant Anti-Cyclist Comic in Today's Paper
« on: February 09, 2012, 05:16:30 pm »
Can't wait to see what happens when Pennsylvania's 4" passing law takes effect:

Hope you mean 4', 4" sounds like some of the yahoos around here!

General Discussion / Re: rondanee vs long haul trucker
« on: February 09, 2012, 05:14:40 pm »
Any thoughts on whether the aluminum frame is too old?

Assuming you're taking the bike to a shop (possibly for a chainring change, probably for lube, new tires, etc.), ask them to inspect the frame.  If it's not cracked, and there's no evidence of paint buckling or major dents, the frame's fine.  The T-800 is one of the bikes I would have liked to have bought, but couldn't find one.  They were well made.

General Discussion / Re: rondanee vs long haul trucker
« on: February 08, 2012, 11:53:51 pm »
The Cannondales are nice frames.  Unless you just want a new bike (always a good reason to get a new one!), you should be able to make the trip on them, with a few possible modifications.

Not sure what gearing you have on your T800s.  IIRC Cannondale played around with the gearing a bit over the years.

The cassette in the rear is (relatively) cheap and easy to change, if you don't have at least a 32 in back.  Changing the crank is a bit more difficult and expensive, but if you don't already have a 26 or smaller chainring, the crank can be changed for something smaller.  If your front derailer can handle it, go for a 24 or even 22 small ring.  (Front derailers are sometimes a bit fiddly to set up.)  I'd guess your LBS can set you up for $250, worst case.

If you do have a bad case of new-bikeitis, this year's Randonnees have gone to 10 speed.  Unfortunate, since replacement parts will be more expensive.  OTOH, they've got nice gearing.  LHT is pretty similar as far as frame and weight, and still has the less expensive 9-speed setup.  Either will work, I'd call it a toss-up.

General Discussion / Re: Weather Extremes
« on: February 04, 2012, 02:01:26 pm »
If you can deal with 110F heat, rain, hail, and frost and sub-freezing weather, you should have everything covered.  :)

Go for layers and multi-functional clothes.  For example, if you get a "technical tee" made of a synthetic fiber instead of cotton, you can wear it in casual, off-bike situations in Kansas, or as a base layer in Montana.  Rain jacket is also a wind jacket, and you can wear it for an extra layer when it's cold in camp.  Tights keep you warm while pedaling, but if you dry them when you stop, they turn into a base layer under pants or shorts for cool evenings.

I don't remember which way you're riding.  If you're coming from the west, you can probably mail some cold-weather gear home around Pueblo.  Coming from the east, you might want to get someone to mail you some gear around Pueblo, so you don't have to carry it as far.  Then again, aside from warm gloves, you might be grateful for the clothes when you ride through cool rain in the Ozarks and Appalachians.

Routes / Re: Best Novice Route Under 500 Miles
« on: February 03, 2012, 11:16:37 am »
No first-hand knowledge here, but Europe + no traffic + 500 miles to me sounds like a trip along the Rhine (+Rhone?) or the Danube.

Gear Talk / Re: touring bags
« on: February 02, 2012, 07:51:20 pm »
(a) Never heard of that manufacturer.
(b) It may be hard to fit those panniers on a different rack with a different width.
(c) Ortlieb panniers are more expensive, but known quantities, fit most any rack, and are easy-on/easy-off.

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