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Messages - Pat Lamb

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Routes / Re: Cycling from SFO airport - Western express
« on: April 02, 2013, 09:41:41 pm »
If I were flying into SFO from Europe, I'd be looking to check into a motel for a night -- you'll arrive in the middle of the night, body clock time.  That also gives you a chance to sort your gear, check the bike over, etc., as well as deal with jet lag.  Perhaps you can find a motel/hotel with an airport shuttle.

BART's an excellent idea as well.  Perhaps an arrival trip toward downtown, spend the night, and cross the bay the next morning?

General Discussion / Re: Training: Schedule Critique Needed
« on: March 30, 2013, 11:01:28 am »
Also, interval training is useful mostly for racers and other competitors.  It will help boost your conditioning but really isn't of much benefit to tourists.

While intervals can't replace saddle time for conditioning the butt, it helps in two areas.  As DaveB notes, it helps with general conditioning.  And it also seems to improve conditioning for what I'll call higher efforts.  These higher efforts can include hauling a heavier load that during your training rides, or climbing hills -- in other words the things that are different between just riding your bike and touring.

General Discussion / Re: Getting hungry too fast while riding
« on: March 30, 2013, 10:55:50 am »
1. Will cheese also be OK for 2-3 days at temperatures around 100 degF?
2. How will beef jerky hold up in the heat?

I've carried hard cheese for 3 days with temps in the 90s (F).  It gets oily, but it's still fine.  If you can buy it in a resealable pouch, that helps with packing.  Avoid shredded cheese and the soft cheeses.

Meat drying was invented to store it through the year.  Jerky will be fine.

Concerning a): When stuffing I feel great the first 3-4 hours, not sluggish or anything at all. I also tried what you recommend, but more to an extreme: Not eating breakfast at all for the first 15 mi (first hour of riding) until I reach a place to buy food. In these cases (which I really try to avoid) I feel completely wasted and empty on arrival. If you recommend snacks all day long, what sort of snacks would you suggest?

IMHO, go ahead and eat a good breakfast.  And lunch.  Just take it easy for the first hour or so after eating.  The only time you might reconsider is if you camped at the bottom of a big, steep mountain and have to start climbing immediately.

And since you've lost weight on previous tours, sounds like your caloric estimates are marginally low instead of high.

Gear Talk / Re: No Stove
« on: March 30, 2013, 10:43:09 am »
"No stove" is probably easy enough to do.  I'd suggest you plan on carrying one overnight's worth of no-cook food, just in case.  It can be as simple as buying lunch food for a day ahead, and call it dinner if weather, road conditions, etc., slows you down.

As Miller points out,fruits and vegetables seem pretty scarce from mid-Kansas to mid-Colorado.  Grocery stores help (lunch food).  I was pretty excited when I found a great salad bar in Pueblo; seemed like a long time since I'd seen one.

Routes / Re: Blue Ridge Parkway / Skyline Drive input
« on: March 29, 2013, 06:41:53 pm »
Blithering idiot congresscritters...

The AC Blue Ridge tour stopped near Otter Creek at a private campground.  Don't remember the road or the campground name, but you get off the Parkway about 1/4 mile south of the Otter Creek campground and ride up the hill about 1.25 miles.

Lots of motels near Roanoke, not sure about the nearest private campgrounds.

Crabtree's an interesting place; shame they're closing it.  There use to be some private campgrounds near Little Switzerland, about 5 miles north of Crabtree, and Mt Mitchell state park is about 20 miles south, but it only has 12 camp sites, IIRC.  That's one of the more remote stretches, with few services available.  Of course, once you hit Mt. Mitchell, it's all downhill!  In both directions! 

Mostly.  ;)

General Discussion / Re: Getting hungry too fast while riding
« on: March 29, 2013, 06:25:33 pm »
I usually figure I need refueling after about 30 miles.  (A big pancake, egg, and sausage breakfast might take me 40.)  Looks to me like your breakfast, BikeFreak, is heavily tilted towards carbs.  They vanish pretty fast from my digestive system unless there's something to slow them down, like fats and proteins. 

I'd suggest you think about adding meats or cheese to your mid-morning and mid-afternoon topping up.  Solid cheese (cheddar, pepperjack, etc.) will usually last 2-3 days if you buy it in a resealable bag.  Meats can be more perishable, but you can find small (3 oz or less) cans or bags of tuna, pepperoni, jerky, etc.  Add some fruit (oranges and apples) and crackers or bagels.  Think "Hobbit" and it's second breakfast and tea.

Some of this you can find at the gas/convenience store.  Some you'll have to spend an extra 5-10 minutes per day going through a grocery store to get.  Get Pete's fig newtons or Oreos while you're in there!

Gear Talk / Re: Looking for Rain Pants
« on: March 24, 2013, 08:46:10 pm »
  It seems to me that is useful information.  As is the fact that they apparently work well for some folks in their usage.

That is useful information, but not in the context of the OP quest. Opinionated responses to posts, especially when some one is seeking sources and not opinions,  just does not kick the can down the can down the road much.

Given the context of the thread (OP was asking for something I, and apparently others, thought was impossible); OP's irate response to the opinion it didn't exist; and OP's lack of response when I asked what he'd found -- I think the answer to the original question is that waterproof and breathable rain pants still don't exist!  That, IMHO, is not kicking the can down the road, it's a quasi-definitive response.  "No" may not be the answer that was sought, but it's helpful if the questioner can accept it.

Gear Talk / Re: Looking for Rain Pants
« on: March 22, 2013, 06:19:32 pm »
Waterproof, breathable.

This is old. I hope it doesn't branch out into a side discussion here. I am sure the archives is loaded with this topic.

So, since this is old and you started the thread, have you found anything?

I'll be the cranky old fart.

Don't worry about it.

Don't do it until you want to.  It takes desire and drive.  There will be tough days when you don't think you can ride any more, and there may be days when you're just ready to roll over in you sleeping bag and forget the whole thing.

But if you're interested, keep reading about it.  If there's somebody near you who's done a long bike tour, go talk to them (most of us love to talk about it!).  Browse the current journals of people doing long tours, like the TransAm or Northern Tier -- there's links off the main AC page under bicycle travel bloggers, or you can surf crazyguy starting around the first of May.  Here's s hint: most travel blogs aren't worth it, but if you can find someone who observes and writes both well and regularly, it'll be fun to read about their trip.  (I haven't written a decent journal since my cross country trip, which is currently at

Read through the how-to articles from the AC magazine.  If you want a supported tour, look at the van-supported tours AC offer (they're less expensive than most anybody else).

Don't sweat the equipment, much.  If you start to get really excited (and motivated), that's the time to start looking into equipment, routes, budget, schedules, etc.

But for right now, think of long-distance cycle touring as something that makes for pretty good reading.

Gear Talk / Re: Camping Gas/stove
« on: March 17, 2013, 01:30:10 pm »
Multifuel stoves can use petrol, kerosene, mineral spirits, etc. so you have a lot of choices and fuel sources but the stoves tend to be more expensive.

You can fill up a pint (or quart) fuel can at any gas station in the country with your choice of gas (petrol) or diesel.

Alcohol is almost as widely available.

Gear Talk / Re: Touring bikes...
« on: March 16, 2013, 06:45:08 pm »
I'd agree you should go with the cheapest of the bikes mentioned.  All are identical enough to not make a difference.  All can have their gearing changed to be low or lower.  The triple cranksets will take 22 teeth if a four arm mountain bike crank using 64mm bcd.  Or will take 24 teeth if a road triple with 74mm bcd inner ring.  And all will take a 32 or 34 tooth rear cassette.  Hopefully anyone buying any of these bikes will DEMAND a 22 or 24 tooth ring in front and a 32 or 34 rear cog in back.  Before they leave the shop.

I think that's a reasonable hope.  However, I can imagine Cat getting into Portland in the middle of busy bike shop season, and she may do well to get any new bike fit to her.  The dealer should cut her a deal to change the crank, but will he have the parts and the shop time to make a change?  I ran into a shop (in Anacortes) taking the bike and scheduling disassembly and shipping 10 days later.  Paying for a hotel for 2-3 extra nights while a part gets shipped in could get expensive, not to mention the "My riding time is slipping away!" factor.  That's why I tossed out all the 50/40/30 posers and concentrated on lower stock gearing.

Gear Talk / Re: Touring bikes...
« on: March 16, 2013, 09:49:51 am »
Today I have been reading a lot about Salsa Vaya 3. That would be a good touring bike, right? As I would need a 54, I would get 700 tires. The disc brakes don´t seem to bad.

The Salsa bike will make a fine touring bike for heavy loaded touring.  And lightly loaded touring too.  Pretty much identical to the Surly Long Haul Trucker, Trek 520, REI Novara Randonnee.  All are 9 speed I think.  Triple crankset.  Bar end shifters.  Steel frame and fork.  All will work fine.

To Cat, don't get caught up in "analysis paralysis."  It's a lot of fun to obsess over the tiny details between choices; however, this being March, pick one, reserve the bike, and forget about it.  Move on to something else -- is the visibility of yellow panniers worth the blaring color over a nice green or brown?

One nit on Russ' response, the Randonnee is a 10 speed for the last couple years.

And FWIW, the Randonnee is the second least expensive choice with a stock front crank smaller than 30 teeth, listing at $1200.  (At least a couple weeks ago.)  The Jamis Aurora is least expensive at $950, though you might want a bigger rear cluster, followed by the LHT around $1350 and the 520 at $1500.  I personally spend a lot of time in my bottom two gears when I'm riding loaded, and the Salsa Vaya is geared a bit high, at least for me -- plus it's more expensive than the four models above. 

Uh-oh, did I just feed the obsession?

General Discussion / Re: Touring Question
« on: March 15, 2013, 02:17:15 pm »
If you've saved up leave, and worked it out with your employer, your insurance carries over during an extended vacation.  Otherwise, sign up for COBRA -- it adds to the cost of the trip, so plan for it!

Gear Talk / Re: Panniers
« on: March 13, 2013, 08:46:41 am »
+1 to everything John said.

Vaude has a good reputation as well; but my panniers are Ortliebs, and I haven't had a reason to try anything else.  And BTW, those Bike Packers are huge!

Gear Talk / Re: Touring bikes...
« on: March 13, 2013, 08:44:16 am »
I haven't seen that Specialized in person, but when I clicked on it, my first question was, "How are you going to carry a load?"  The Cross Check and LHT (and any other "real" touring bike" have eyelets to mount a rack.  That capability, along with a bit more weight and reliability for the load, separate touring bikes from non-touring road bikes.

Of course, if you're going to put everything for an inn-to-inn (or motel-to-motel) tour in a great big Carradice saddle bag or the like, all this is moot.

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