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Messages - csykes

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Routes / Re: Mexican Border to San Diego AMTRAK
« on: April 14, 2012, 11:17:57 pm »
Up and down the Silver Strand is one of my usual weekly rides.You can have headwinds either direction on the  Strand depending on the weather patterns, but it's still a nice route even when windy.  I even experienced headwinds both directions one day when a storm was approaching! The ferry landing is just a few blocks from the Amtrak depot once you cross the bay.  It is also pretty flat riding the eastern leg of the Bay Shore Bike Route that continues around the bay from Chula Vista/Imperial Beach.  You follow it into downtown San Diego to find the depot.  You might want to avoid rush hour in downtown, but it is always ride-able.   

General Discussion / Re: Woman Cycling Alone
« on: April 13, 2012, 02:33:05 pm »
The currently-featured journal on is by a young woman who crossed the counrty solo after graduating from grad school.  I have not read it completely yet, but you may find it interesting as it is about a solo tour by a woman.

Gear Talk / Re: Cars and bike racks
« on: March 27, 2012, 10:33:08 pm »
I do have a fairly expensive road bike and tend to be religious about carpooling which corresponds generally to one other person who also owns a fairly expensive road bike.  I do not care if the car gets dinged up
I like that you have your priorities straight!

General Discussion / Re: Tires
« on: March 24, 2012, 11:38:08 pm »
I would consider bumping up to 25s. Minimal weight penalty, with a noticeable increase in comfort which would be important on a cross-country tour. 

Gear Talk / Re: used zipp wheels
« on: March 11, 2012, 07:41:42 pm »
A good forum for this type of question is the triathlon site
Zipp wheels command good prices on the used market, but you have to know what you are looking at.  Check ebay etc to get a feel for current pricing of similar wheels.

Gear Talk / Re: For CC Touring:Trek 1.2 or Surly LHT?
« on: March 11, 2012, 12:04:50 am »
I think he was talking about tire width...

General Discussion / Re: NEW BICYCLE QUESTIONS
« on: February 11, 2012, 10:02:48 pm »
Another similar option from Continental is their GP 4 Seasons which is available up to 28mm.  Very tough, fairly light, with good performance.  They run small, so a 28mm is closer to a 25.

I have often thought of finding a nice Peugeot, Raleigh, or similar bike from the 1960s and using it for touring after making a few modifications.  I saw a really nice Austro-Daimler with a granny chain ring for sale in my LBS, but it was 3 frame sizes too small. 

Gear Talk / Re: SRAM Apex?
« on: November 01, 2011, 07:26:44 pm »
I think the point is that doubles in general are not appropriate for touring.  They often make sense for road bike riders with not much more load than water bottles and a repair kit who spend most of their time in the big ring but need the low range for hilly territory.  I use a compact on my road bike and it's been great and I can assure you they are not going away any time soon.  For loaded touring, they are not ideal and should not be anyone's first choice.

Routes / Re: Southern Tier - Oct 2012 Questions about maps and route
« on: October 18, 2011, 10:10:10 pm »
For the bike you may want to put on wider tires than the typical 23 or 25mm that are standard; something like 28mm which should work on your bike and improve your ride and reduce the possibility of pinch flats.  Many road bikes have a stem the lowers the handle bars but can be flipped over to raise it a little.  For long hours in the saddle you will probably want a slightly more upright position.  Your bike may be great as it is, but it's something to look consider.

Thanks for sharing. I like that you two found a way to tour together.  I know so many people who think that they can't do anything strenuous because of some physical problems.   

Gear Talk / Re: Fitting a Brooks Saddle
« on: July 25, 2011, 12:14:15 am »
Remember that many brooks saddles work best if they are near level to the handlebars and not much higher.  I have more of a racing type bike, but I flipped up the stem and added spacers, and my B-17 works great.  It felt good from day one, I could feel it supporting the sit bones instead of the soft parts.  I climbed my usual long hill faster because I was more comfortable and did not have to move around as much.  I guess weighing over 200 pounds helped it break in quickly.  Good luck and don't give up on it too quickly!

Bicycle Route 66 / Re: Welcome to Bicycle Route 66!
« on: July 18, 2011, 11:29:54 pm »
Be careful how you spell Virginia!

International / Re: Avoiding currency transaction charges
« on: June 23, 2011, 03:08:41 pm »
You often can get the best exchange rates by using credit and debit cards for cash and purchases. Most will charge a transaction fee (around 1%,) but it is offset by a much more favorable exchange rate.  Also see if your institution has agreements with banks where you are going. As much as I prefer my Credit Union overall, I was happy to find that my BofA ATM/Debit card had no ATM fees at either end when I used it at BNP/Paribas which is all over France.  The worst exchange rates are typically at the airports and exchange counters in tourist areas in most countries.

General Discussion / Re: High Visibility - Always Good or Not?
« on: June 08, 2011, 11:40:33 pm »
Flying the flag is a great Idea...same reason I always feel that my son is safer on his bike when he is wearing his Air Force Jersey!  My bike club's junior racing team was sponsored by the Teamsters for a few years, so we had a large Teamsters logo on our club jerseys' middle pocket, I felt better on the road with that logo showing.

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