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Messages - Pat Lamb

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Gear Talk / Re: Preferred method of terminating handlebar tape ?
« on: December 31, 2011, 09:34:10 pm »
I used fly fishing thread and spar urethene.

Looks beautiful.

I think I'd cry when the bar tape wore out and had to be replaced.

Gear Talk / Re: Hub Generator Lights
« on: December 29, 2011, 09:58:58 am »
Got my first hub generator just under two years ago.  Liked it so much I got another one for the spare bike this year, even before the battery running the light on that one died.  My use is commuting, with an evening group ride every couple of weeks if the weather isn't too bad.  My light is pretty much middle of the pack as far as brightness goes on the road, but doesn't blind riders checking back like some of them do.  While they get back to their cars before their battery runs out, I ride home.  :)

Cost is typically $300-500, if you buy a hub built into a wheel and a good light (IQ Cyo class or better).  You might shave $100 off that with a Shimano Alfine hub and Lumotec Lyt, at the cost of somewhat higher drag and lower light output.

I'll pause before I babble any further; post any questions you have and I'll try to answer them.

Gear Talk / Re: Cycling Shorts vs. Padded Liners?
« on: December 28, 2011, 02:25:53 pm »
+1 / -1 for Pete.

Performance Century shorts have been quite adequate for my cycling.  To tell the truth, though, I haven't got to the century ($100) price point for shorts.  I prefer bibs, and that only adds $15-25 to the price, but that's another topic.  I'm curious what more the "best" shorts can do; at the Century price, I get shorts that cover me adquately, wear out in 2-3 years, rarely chafe, don't bind.  Can I get some shorts that'll pedal up hills for me?

About 3/4 of my saddle sores start with infected hairs.  These pop up much more quickly when I've not washed under the shorts daily, and are almost guaranteed if I wear shorts two or more days without washing.  I'll load, plan, and ride so I've got a good chance of washing shorts and my as required.  As always, of course, Your Bottom May Vary (YBMV).

General Discussion / Re: TransAmerica 2012
« on: December 28, 2011, 02:01:42 pm »
Hi guys, Im planning on going East to West starting Yorktown on 20 April and taking approx 9 weeks to complete.
Does anyone know estimated temperature ranges? Im about to buy sleeping bag but not sure how cold ..... or warm it gets.

As John said, you can expect temperatures down to around freezing.  (Although we had a killing frost the first of May a few years ago!) 

Highs can exceed 100F.  After drinking a over a gallon per day for a week, and hiding out in air-conditioned libraries, restaurants, and grocery stores in the afternoons,  I found it hard to sleep when the temperature "dropped" to 85F after 11:00 p.m.  Motels made it possible to continue.

Of course, you'll have to wait until next summer to see what the weather is like then!

Gear Talk / Re: Brooks saddle dye.
« on: December 26, 2011, 09:26:52 pm »
My black B-17 hit 5 years old and 15,000 miles last spring, and it was only in the summer I noticed the dye is thinning on part of it.  I wouldn't try white gym shorts, but I've never noticed any bleed over any of my colored bike shorts (dark blue, light blue, or green).  What are you planning on wearing when it gets hot?

Routes / Re: Is the NT a traffic nightmare?
« on: December 26, 2011, 09:21:13 pm »
I did the section from Apgar (Glacier NP) west to Anacortes in 2011.  I'd say the simple answer to the question, "Is NT a traffic nightmare?" at least over that section, is: No.

I'd taken the gravel road to get into Apgar a couple days earlier, and stayed on U.S. 2 into Columbia Falls Saturday morning.  I'd take again.   We left Whitefish early Sunday, and I still wonder why we got off U.S. 93 -- I'd stay on the main road, were I to do it again.  Got into Sandpoint about 9:00 and left after a second breakfast, and I don't remember any significant traffic, but the bike path going west was better suited to pack mules than touring bikes.

The heaviest traffic I remember was coming down from Diablo Dam overlook into Newhalem, but that wasn't really a problem.  It was much nicer than climbing up to West Thumb or down into West Yellowstone on the TransAm.

Gear Talk / Re: Rain Gear (yet again...)
« on: December 20, 2011, 12:12:19 pm »
Like Pete, "breathable" fabrics only work for me when built with lots of vents.  Unfortunately, it seems you have to spend the money for better cycling gear to get pit zips, adjustable wrist bands, back vent, and two-way front zippers.  Showers Pass touring jacket has worked well for me for a few years' commuting, if that helps.

Gear Talk / Re: Brifters vs. bar-end from a convenience standpoint
« on: December 20, 2011, 12:09:19 pm »
- Bar-end Brifter

Looks just a bit odd, to me, seeing someone wearing trousers with straps around his ankles riding on a trainer...

General Discussion / Re: texting
« on: December 20, 2011, 12:06:01 pm »
1. The true a**h**e: These guys drive close or yell at you or stick their dog's head out the window at you, just to throw you off kilter. There's one of these every hundred miles in suburban/rural areas.

I must be lucky, I only seem to run across these about once a month, on average.  First warm day of spring I'll have four to make up for the winter months.  :(

2. The clueless: Thinks that since you're riding fairly close to the white line he(she) can pass you within 6 inches, no problem. One every 20 miles.

Someone suggested that motorists give you as much room as you take.  If you're six inches from the white line, they'll give you six inches when passing.  If you're three feet out in the road, they'll move partially into the other lane, if necessary, to give you three feet.  That's been my experience, as well, after I started taking adequate space on the road.

General Discussion / Re: 100 dollar bills too large?
« on: December 09, 2011, 07:39:44 pm »
I'm with the OP on bulkiness; my experience is that over about 10-15 bills, of any denomination, makes my wallet stiff and difficult to bend.

That said, I only had trouble locating an ATM once.  They are everywhere.  U.S. banks usually charge $2-3 for using an ATM from another bank's account; I don't know what charge the foreign bank would make.

Would it be reasonable to set up an account with a U.S. bank for a few months?  I did something like that as a college student one summer in a different state.

Routes / Re: Milwaukee, WI to Jasper NP
« on: December 07, 2011, 09:11:31 am »
One limiting aspect of the AC maps is that they don't show many roads other than those comprising the route. It's often helpful to get a state DOT map so you can get a broader view of the state.  This comes in handy if you want to (or need to due to road closure) go off the AC route to see something. You can usually get the maps from a chamber of commerce-type office when you enter the state, or write away for them in advance.

Excellent advice.  Also helps find:
 - Where you are w.r.t. the big storm on the news
 - Nearest big town for restaurant, bike shop, dentist, etc.
 - How to get around the "why did they go this way?" sections of the route.

The nice part is that you can discard the map when you leave the state (it was a freebie, nothing lost!) or mail it home.

Routes / Re: San Fran to LA along Pacific Coast in February
« on: December 07, 2011, 09:06:42 am »
Normally I'm the one saying, "Go ahead, a little rain won't melt you."  But I'd suggest trying to adjust your time frame by a month or two in this case.  If you catch a winter storm, you can face a week of consistent rain and strong winds, at least down as far as Lompoc.  South (east) of there, you've got a chance that the storm will blow out to sea -- unless it soaks the hills around LA and causes mudslides!

Routes / Re: Late start to ST
« on: December 06, 2011, 04:07:00 pm »
We met a guy who started on the Southern Tier, took the Grand Canyon Connector up to the Western Express, and then met up with TransAm.  (I think he was then planning to go UGRR to NT, but that's off course / off topic here.)  Not sure what that would do to your mileage, but it might get you past the Sierras early and avoid the worst of the Gulf of Mexico sauna.  All AC routes, too, if you're looking for company.

General Discussion / Re: Choice of bike
« on: December 06, 2011, 03:58:29 pm »
We are a fit, retired couple, getting ready to do a tour next spring. Right now we're choosing touring bikes and want something not custom built, with steel frame, flight deck shifters and preferably mechanical disc brakes.

Maybe I'm missing something, but is this even possible?  Do Flight Deck (STI) shifters operate mechanical disk brakes?  I thought STI was designed for calipers, which coincidentally work well with most cantilever brakes.

Routes / Re: Transam East to West 2012 Advice Sought
« on: December 03, 2011, 05:09:24 pm »
I'm still tempted to go ahead, after all if it was easy it wouldn't be worth doing...I am assuming that the jouney repays all these 'risks', from what I can gather from here the route looks amazing...
P.S. Just seen the new posting re lightning, thanks staehpj1, I'll just add that to the list....isn't one insulated from lightning on a bike ?? 

Insulated on a bike?  Not really; a few thousand volts will go right through the tire.  You need a Faraday cage (like a metal car body) to isolate/insulate yourself from lightning.

Most of the weather problems can be addressed by asking, "Do you have enough sense to come in out of the rain?"  (Not me! ;)  If it's just a shower, you can keep riding.  When weather gets really threatening, if it turns black in the middle of the day, it's a good time to take shelter.  A library, diner, or convenience store will probably have someone watching the weather, and if they encourage you to head for the basement, cooler, etc., you might want to follow their advice.

Absolutely, a TransAm trip is worth the risks.  I'd expect no more than 3-4 days of really nasty weather, worst case, and you can spend that time meeting the locals.  The rest of the time, to quote Dr. Seuss, "Oh, the things that you'll see, the things that you'll do!"

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