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Messages - Pat Lamb

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Gear Talk / Re: For CC Touring:Trek 1.2 or Surly LHT?
« on: March 06, 2012, 10:09:51 am »
For credit card touring, what would be best?  Trek 1.2 or a Surly LHT(or equivalent).

Before we go too far, how much of a load do you expect to carry?  Credit card touring can be accomplished with a moderately sized saddle bag, or you might want to carry a fair bit more.  Some of the "sport touring" or randonneuring bike might be "best" on the light end, while a LHT-like is fine for carrying bigger loads.

(Quotes meant to indicate entire threads could be devoted to those topics.)

General Discussion / Re: trike riding the transam and rumble strips
« on: March 05, 2012, 01:04:08 pm »
The only spots I can remember where it might be a problem are in Colorado, where the state police want you to ride on the shoulder, period; and the stretch north of West Yellowstone.  For the most part Colorado roads on the TransAm are lightly traffic'ed.  That stretch in Montana, though, had moderate traffic and a shoulder that was about 1.5 panniers wide.

Gear Talk / Re: Cycling Shorts vs. Padded Liners?
« on: February 29, 2012, 05:59:41 pm »
I'd challenge whether one needs bicycle shorts at all.

I've found that coolmax briefs under lycra running shorts give one coverage/support without seams in a system that is easily rinsed out every evening and usually dry by morning.  A couple of extra pairs of each are very lightweight and take up very little space in one's panniers.  For me a chamois is unnecessary.

I won't quibble with "needs", as it's possible to ride a bike with rat-trap pedals, sneakers, and gym shorts.  However, I'm more comfortable in one-piece bike shorts (with chamois) than anything else I've tried.

I'd go look at some of the mountain bike cranks.  If you're looking to do loaded touring out of western Penna., I'd bet you'll want the lower gears (26, maybe 24, maybe even 22).  Ergo, something like a 48/36/26.  Add in a long-cage derailer, while you're at it, and an 11-32 or 11/34 cassette.  Just make sure your derailer is from a road group.

General Discussion / Re: North from Atlanta, GA
« on: February 28, 2012, 10:16:52 pm »
I'd say things get better around the beginning to middle of April.  You may run into a day and a half of bad weather as a front comes through, but otherwise it'll probably be nice weather.  High around 70, low in the 40s or 50s.  Oh, yeah a half a day of south wind before the fronts, and a day of north wind after.  Just watch out for the occasional late frost!

Gear Talk / Re: How to avoid saddles sores and rash (hand sanitizer)
« on: February 26, 2012, 09:45:26 pm »
Cycling shorts don't really weigh all that much, I'm happy to carry 2-3 pairs.  Wash before re-wearing; slop sink or shower if necessary, but laundromats get them really clean.

Same for skin; wash at least with a washrag daily, shower preferred.  Most of the time I don't need anything extra, but there's Bag Balm, chamois butter, and talc if/when necessary.

Routes / Re: Vancouver to Los Angeles
« on: February 21, 2012, 10:12:32 pm »
Not all the answers, but I'll take a swing at some of them:

(1) I'd figure 300-400 miles per week, unless you're in really good shape.  Really, really, good shape.  And carrying very little in the way of gear.

(3) Costs are all over the map.  The lowest estimate I consider reasonable is $15/day.  You might need to double it, depending on what campsites cost this year.  (Or multiply by 20 if you have to motel it in a beautiful, scenic, touristy area.)

(4) AIUI, most of the slides occur in rainy weather.  Wait 6-8 weeks for the end of the rainy season, and check the road status then.

Routes / Re: Mammouth Caves Loop, Kentucky to Asheville, NC
« on: February 21, 2012, 10:05:24 pm »
Two options for you to investigate.  First, Mark Boyd has done a number of tours out of Asheville, and IIRC a couple of them went north to Kentucky.  Check out for his journals.  (Note: from what I know of at least one of his routes, he may be nuts!  U.S. 19 may have lost some traffic with the completion of I-26, but it's narrow, winding, and has too many drivers going too fast for my tastes.)

Second, although this is a bit longer and involves doubling back a bit, stay on the TransAm through Damascus.  From there, figure out a way to get down to the Blue Ridge Parkway, and follow that into Asheville.  You could either take the Virginia Creeper all the way up to Whitetop, then cut down through West Jefferson, NC, or go down from Konnarock to Troutdale, and cut through Mouth of Wilson on 58 and over towards Sparta.

General Discussion / Re: how safe is it to ride in the US?
« on: February 21, 2012, 09:55:25 pm »
One driver out of a thousand will give you problems, but you only hear about the one. Furthermore, that one won't give you that much of a problem. I rode the entire TransAm with no close calls at all, and no visibly irritated motorists.

I had one more dangerous motorist interaction than John.  If my guesstimator is close, that comes out to about one in 20,000 interactions with motorists (it might be closer to 50,000 or 100,000, depending on how many motorists I guess I passed per average hour).  How's that compare to your area?

Gear Talk / Re: Shimano 8-speed
« on: February 20, 2012, 06:58:38 pm »

....SRAM has a master link that allows you to easily make or break your chain.....

Note : The SRAM PowerLink is NOT reusable like a standard master link . You can easily add one and if you need to break the chain it is the obvious choice to have its rivit driven out, but a new one is required each time.

When I was waxing chains, I re-used the link for the life of the chain, and then carried the master link as an emergency repair item.  Typically disassembled/reassembled 4-5 times for each chain; never had any problem.

(Now I'm just too lazy.)

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.

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