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Messages - Pat Lamb

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Hi there! I am just bumping this up to try & get an answer to 2 more questions....

If you desperately want an answer...

1) do u know a relaxing place to stay at the end of my trip close to San Diego?

Nope, I've only been there once, on business, for three days or so.

2) should i buy the paper Adventure maps or the digital version?

Like John, I prefer paper.  Easier to plan ahead when you can spread the paper map out.

Gear Talk / Re: Advice for choosing components to reduce gear inches
« on: October 12, 2016, 07:49:00 pm »
Your chainline questions illustrate why I recommend letting a bike shop change things for you.  Let them figure out what you need; often the price of the part (crank) will include installation and adjustment.  If it were a cassette, I'd say go for it.  But you may need a couple of tools, which will eat up any savings from buying online (even if you get it right the first time and don't have to eat shipping).  Besides, a learning exercise is better used on something you're likely to repeat -- like changing cassettes or chains when they wear out.  You may never need to replace the crank, although you may need to replace the BB after 5-10 years.

Gear Talk / Re: Advice for choosing components to reduce gear inches
« on: October 12, 2016, 09:52:26 am »
I think Russ has the best solution, just replace the crank.  I've seen reports of the Tiagra front derailer handling a 24 low, I don't know if it'll work with a 22.  Sticking with the stock Sora 24 is easiest, and will give you a decent low gear.

Sounds like OP is a mechanical newbie; if that's the case, you're probably best off finding a bike shop with a decent mechanic and letting him (or her) do the switch.  The FD can probably handle the MTB triple, but its position may have to be tweaked -- much better to let the pro do this right off.

Routes / Re: Road 395 south in USA?
« on: September 27, 2016, 08:58:22 pm »
Fools rush in...

I'm totally ignorant of this road, but since nobody else has responded, here's a few thoughts.  Playing around with gurgle maps, I noticed a "Starr Sno-Park" south of John Day.  Further south 395 goes close to Lake Tahoe, also known as home to a bunch of ski areas.

It might be a better idea to work your way over to the coast and run the risk of some winter storms.

Finally, regarding POG's reviews: this was also really interesting to hear (read?). In general, we subscribe to the idea that there's no sense wasting ink in the magazine on bad products, largely because SO many of the bikes out there are so very good. Long before a review makes it onto the page, at least a handful of folks have determined that the bike is worth investigating — in some cases despite taller gearing, a weird fork, etc. — and so odds are any negative commentary are more nits to pick rather that out and out warnings to avoid. Do we miss on occasion? Without a doubt. But hopefully O'Grady's reviews are entertaining as well as informative, I certainly find them to be.

Having had my 2 cents input, I was going to leave it alone.  The gearing issue is one I remember several reviews glossing over or ignoring completely.  But perhaps I can learn something with one more question:

What kind of touring is appropriate for a bike with, say, a 27-30 gear inch low gear?

General Discussion / Re: Touring bike wheel
« on: September 26, 2016, 12:51:18 pm »
I pretty much agree with Dan on what's necessary for a durable, problem-free touring wheel, with a couple minor differences.

Double butted spokes?  I think you can build a wheel with straight gauge spokes that will work, but the double butted spokes give you a bit of extra latitude.  (Pardon me if I go all nerdy for a few sentences!)  The smaller gauge wire in the center allows for more plastic deformation -- it'll stretch more without stretching permanently.  This lets you add a bit more tension to the spoke than the minimum required to maintain tension over the rotation of the wheel, and without damaging the rim.  The result can be tens of thousands of miles on a wheel loaded with gear and a clydesdale without problems.  OK, nerdiness aside, DT, Sapim, or Wheelsmith spokes are made well.

Brass nipples -- Dan's nailed this one.  Make sure all the nipples on both wheels take the same size spoke wrench, and carry a good one in case you need to adjust the wheel between bike shops.

IMHO, machine built wheels are a good source of parts.  If you can get one with components you like, either you or a good wheel man can tension and stress relieve it and you'll have a great wheel for far less than the parts would cost you individually.

Why do your local bike shops think the original shopping list was overkill?  It could be they're looking at the double eyelets and double walled rims and thinking they put hundreds of people on wheels without those features and they seem to work.  It could also be that they don't know squat about touring bikes and touring loads, and they'd be happy to sell you the last of this season's deep carbon fiber rim wheels with a 175 pound load limit.  It might be worth asking them (politely) which part is overkill, or maybe not. 

General Discussion / Re: southern tier
« on: September 13, 2016, 11:43:07 am »
OTOH, with adequate planning the ST should be achievable.  There was a story on crazyguy a while back about a guy who had to schedule kidney dialysis three times a week, but he managed.  If he could get treatments at fixed centers with limited time slots, self-treatment of diabetes with supplies on the bike should not be an issue.

A few more thoughts:
Most (sane) people ride the ST in the cooler part of the year, so there probably won't be a bunch of 90 degree days to contend with.  (Isn't room temperature 80F in the summer?)

Even in the remotest parts of the ST, there'll be a town with a pharmacy every other day.  Worst case, pick up more insulin and test strips there.  (Check regularly so you buy it before you need it!)

Resupply can be an issue, trying to guess where you'll be 7-10 days ahead of time if you're using USPS.  Pay a bit more, and FedEx will have a package waiting at a motel 2-3 days in advance.

If you're going to tour next February, get on your bike now and start riding.  That'll get you in shape and let you figure out what you'll need to do to care for your health issues.  Best to learn near home with your doctors available than to try to get hold of them when you're a thousand miles away.

Gear Talk / Re: Flying with synthetic luricant
« on: September 12, 2016, 02:55:07 pm »
It's not clear.

TSA prohibits flammable liquids in either checked or carry-on luggage.  (But they allow fueled cigarette lighters to be carried on!)   I don't know what the carrier liquid in Finish Line is, but it's volatile, so it might well be flammable.

OTOH, I've flown with aftershave or cologne, and my wife with perfume, and never had a problem.  If there's a small bottle wrapped up in a ziplock bag and packed with toothpaste and deodorant, there's a good chance TSA won't notice it on X-rays and won't give you any guff about it.  Just be ready to toss it if TSA or Customs doesn't like it.

Routes / Re: Underground Railroad Route??
« on: September 12, 2016, 09:22:24 am »
You can do the route to the southern border of Tennessee almost any time, except perhaps for the day every year (on average) when there's snow on the ground.

The weather changes drastically from there to northern Kentucky.  I wouldn't plan on hitting the Ohio River much before April 1, unless you like ice in the mornings.  You might get lucky earlier, but then again, maybe not.

Actually, if I were planning, I'd try to get to Tennessee the first two weeks of April to catch the azalea, dogwood, and magnolia blossoms.

I don't really know about the DWR stuff.  It's probably fine for 80% of what it's used for -- wind jacket, cool weather top layer, light rain, warm rain.  The last 20% is what I wonder about: cold rain.  When it's raining and 50 degrees so you're not sweating much, or when a thunderstorm on the high plains of Wyoming drops temperatures 30 degrees with 30 mph wind gusts, how much water will soak through and potentially cause hypothermia?

I'm not a fan of down for biking, and I don't remember meeting many, if any, cyclists wearing down.  I sweat too much to wear it on the bike, and I don't recommend carrying that pound and a half for camp-only wear.  Try to take multiple-use items, like a long polypropylene shirt, instead.  Wear it on the bike during cool days, cover it up with your rain jacket in camp, and it's easy to wash.

BTW, how goes the search for a bike?

and John Schubert is a friend of mine... I'll have to show him that he rates as one of the "better authors." :-)

Please do.  I'm afraid I took him for granted for too long -- knowledgeable, fair, and I suspect he was part of the annual touring bikes compendium that I studied for several years.

Nowadays, Adventure Cycling seems to reflect the schizophrenia within ACA itself.  I expect to read "Biking with Brown Bears" any issue now.  It'll be right after an announcement that some paved ACA route has moved off a four-lane road, recently paved, with daily traffic of 500 vehicles, because a parallel rail-trail opened up surfaced with leftover riprap, all because someone wrote an impassioned blog post on how uncomfortable they were riding on a road without a shoulder and sent a link to AC.  O'Grady's "reviews" are cute, but they're like "Buycycling for Touring Bikes;" slap a "touring" label on a kid's tricycle and he'll find two pages of lovely things to say about it.

Whew.  Makes me question why I'm still a member? 

I might flip through the older issues and cut out articles from some of the better authors -- Sheldon Brown, John Schubert, Willie Weir, for example.  The best of AC could fill a few file folders, and the rest could be recycled.

My wife would probably appreciate it if I'd do that this winter...

Gear Talk / Re: Single pair of shoes, or bike AND walking shoes?
« on: August 30, 2016, 10:12:33 am »
If I may interject a question, how do you stand staying in one pair of shoes all day?

I'd suggest you get to a podiatrist and get some properly fitting shoes.

Interesting, I've never heard of well-fitting shoes reducing foot sweating.

Gear Talk / Re: Single pair of shoes, or bike AND walking shoes?
« on: August 29, 2016, 06:22:24 pm »
If I may interject a question, how do you stand staying in one pair of shoes all day?  Maybe it's just my semi-tropical outlook, but one of bike riding's pleasures for me is getting my feet out of sweaty, stinking cycling shoes at the end of a ride.  Is Europe that much cooler than southern U.S.A. that you don't sweat, or do you take it so easy in Europe, or ...?

FWIW, I'm like that when I get home from work, winter or summer.

Food Talk / Re: to cook or not to cook?
« on: August 19, 2016, 10:13:57 pm »
My preference is to go to a restaurant, diner, etc. for breakfast and supper.  Lunch can be a hamburger or sandwich, or something picked up earlier on the trip -- an apple, a bit of cheese, and maybe some sausage or tuna on crackers is fine dining in the right surroundings (like under a tree 30 miles from the nearest diner).

It's probably a good idea to have some plans for the occasional meal-in-the-woods even if you plan not to cook.  There are places where there's nothing to eat where you may be forced to stop for the night, either by weather, fatigue, or the dreaded too-many-flats-to-get-there day.

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