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Messages - csykes

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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.

Gear Talk / Re: Classic Randonneur Build
« on: June 06, 2011, 03:20:51 pm »
Check out for new old-style components.  For 27" tires, try Panaracer Pasela Touring tires.  I use them on my 1985 Santana and they work fine.  For shifters, you could use non-indexed bar-ends which would be more comfortable than downtube shifters. The Santana is six speed and I have no problem with the non-indexed shifting.  Almost any bike of that vintage would take Universal, Mafac, or other center-pull brakes which you should be able to find inexpensivly on Ebay.

Good Luck, I love the older stuff and have considered a similar project.

General Discussion / Re: REI SALE
« on: May 21, 2011, 05:32:14 pm »
No bikes or GPS gadgets either...

Gear Talk / Re: Best Brake pads
« on: May 02, 2011, 07:35:24 pm »
I second installing the drum break as well.  We find it useful when descending in the rain on our tandem with just the two of us and a very light load.

Routes / Re: Paris to Prague to
« on: May 02, 2011, 07:29:04 pm »
French people will be very helpful if you learn a few phrases in French and always begin with a greeting such as "Bon Jour."  Rick Steves' travel books are excellent resources for country/people information (not for bike travel.)  Cyclists are respected in Europe, even by the truckers!

General Discussion / Re: Shakedown Trip, still concerned
« on: May 02, 2011, 07:22:55 pm »
How can you argue with that?!

General Discussion / Re: Shakedown Trip, still concerned
« on: May 01, 2011, 12:38:53 pm »
A great hydration drink is Vitalyte.  It has much less sugar than most so you can drink more and not over do the simple carbs.  I have also diluted Gatorade/Powerade which makes them go down easier and keeps the stomach happier.

Gear Talk / Re: Tandem crank legth
« on: May 01, 2011, 12:33:13 pm »
I agree with getting out and riding the tandem.  I have a Santana from the mid 80s which is very different from my road bike; but I also ride it very differently.  You don't mention having ridden the bike yet.  Ride it for a while and make a change only if you really fee the need to do so, not just based on your research.  Enjoy!

In my observations both in the car and on the bike, yellow stands out more.  I look like a clown in yellow, so I wear my club jersey and vest which are red black and yellow with white letters.

San Diego has so-so public transportation.  There is a semi decent bus system and all buses have bike racks on the front.  The web site for the bus and the trolley system is

San Diego is both bike-friendly and bike-hostile depending on where you ride.  Here is a link to bike maps of the city

If you have some idea of what area of the city you plan to visit, I can give you some ideas.  I have lived in San Diego my entire 53 years and have been biking it since I was 15.

General Discussion / Re: Possible cause of crashes?
« on: April 16, 2011, 11:57:20 pm »
It would be interesting to find out what tire pressure your friend runs on his bike.  My experience is that way too many people run the highest pressure the tires will hold on their road bikes.  It can cause poor handling and at high speed going downhill, one could lose contact with the pavement due to a very small bump and crash.  I'm not discounting the possibility of fainting, but it could also be something very simple.

General Discussion / Re: Possible cause of crashes?
« on: April 13, 2011, 07:26:52 pm »
As a 200+ pound rider, I have turned myself inside out on long hard climbs.  I have never felt anything but wonderful on the way down the other side!  I have low blood pressure and sometimes black out just from standing up quickly; never experienced any thing like than in many miles of suffering on the bike.  Just my experience...

General Discussion / Re: Touring
« on: April 10, 2011, 01:40:22 pm »
Maybe you leave a little earlier and let him break camp and clean up!  Just make sure you are both completely clear about the route.

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