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Messages - litespeed

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General Discussion / Bringing pets on long trips?
« on: October 02, 2007, 05:24:12 pm »
I think the decision will be pretty much up to the dog - whether or not it likes to ride. You'll probably have to train the little beast almost from birth. Some grown cats and dogs take to riding but it's rare. I've seen cats and dogs on day rides but never on a long trip. I can see the charm in it though. It would be a great ice breaker with strangers especially if it's a cute dog.

General Discussion / leg cramps
« on: September 30, 2007, 11:15:42 am »
Living in Florida and spending most of my time outdoors doing hard work has taught me to drink LOTS of liquid. Drinking between a pint and a quart of liquid per hour will most always prevent cramps. I haven't gotten cramps in over 20 years.

I used to drink lots of Gatorade but now drink mostly water. Water has the advantage of having 0 calories - a good way to keep your weight down. I take no pills of any kind, not even vitamins. I have been ill once in the past 40+ years - appendicitis at age 64, of all things.

General Discussion / Which Touring Tires?
« on: September 10, 2007, 02:28:29 pm »
"Continental Top Touring are out of production and probably getting hard to find.  Right?"

Izzat so? I'll have to check that out. I know my shop still has two in stock. If they no longer make them I'll scarf them up and keep them aside for future use. I've never used anything else.  

General Discussion / Which Touring Tires?
« on: September 09, 2007, 11:12:21 am »
Continental Top Touring.

General Discussion / 55 + cross country
« on: August 25, 2007, 01:00:02 pm »
When I'm looking for an inexpensive motel - the only kind I use - I look for a smiling Indian face behind the counter. It's most always a good deal. I avoid motels advertising "American Owned" like the plague.

General Discussion / 55 + cross country
« on: August 11, 2007, 04:52:44 pm »
I wouldn't even worry about your age(s). I'm 66, almost 67, weigh 200 lbs. and have no trouble knocking out 100+ miles a day fully loaded (camping gear but no food or cooking gear) even in the mountains. I've always felt that the main requirement for a touring cyclist is persistence - the ability to slog away all day at hard, often tedious work and to deal with problems as they come up.
I spent a lot of my life doing hard, dirty outdoor work. I'm not really joking when I say that it was good training for bicycle touring.

This message was edited by litespeed on 8-11-07 @ 3:27 PM

General Discussion / Hurting Feet
« on: October 07, 2007, 06:55:38 pm »
I tried vacyclist's advice to move my SPD cleats fully rearward. I did my Sunday ride today and the improvement in comfort was considerable. I wish I'd known about this years ago.

General Discussion / Hurting Feet
« on: September 26, 2007, 03:11:51 pm »
I use mountain SPD's and suffer pain in my right foot. It was crushed when I was 23. I can live with it but it gets real bad when it rains and my shoes get soaked. Apparently the skin softens - something like the "immersion foot" that soldiers in Vietnam got. I might get some type of waterproof booties to avoid this. Any suggestions?

General Discussion / Toruing shoes
« on: May 24, 2007, 12:28:22 pm »
I used MTB Answer Speeders for years with generic double-sided SPD MTB pedals. No problems despite having a very sensitive right foot. It was crushed in a freak accident and painstakingly rebuilt when I was 23.
Now I have a pair of Shimano MTB shoes and the usual generic SPD's.
I used to get occasional "burning feet" but over the years it seems to have gradually stopped.

General Discussion / Spare Tire recommendations
« on: May 15, 2007, 06:25:03 pm »
I use Continental Top Touring 37x700 tires on the wide custom rims on my touring bike. For a spare I just double one over, tape it together with vinyl tape and stuff it in my rear pannier. It forms a circle about 10-12" in diameter. Other stuff gets packed inside and around it. Over the years I have cut (destroyed) one tire while touring and another on a paved trail near my home here.

General Discussion / Hemorrhoids
« on: May 07, 2007, 11:47:14 pm »
I have never heard of any kind of bicycle riding causing hemorrhoids and can't imagine how it could. If you already have them make sure you get plenty of fiber - eat your fruits and vegetables.
As for a bicycle seat, I have always ridden a Terry Gel Liberator Touring Seat. Very comfortable and comes in Men's and women's models. Everyone I've met who has tried it loves it. Purists and traditionalists might sneer but nothing is more important to a touring cyclist than a comfortable seat.

General Discussion / Incects to Bears
« on: April 17, 2007, 11:02:15 am »
The only animals that I've ever had problems with have been mosquitos in the southeast and upper midwest (Wisconsin, Minnesota) and raccoons in the southeast. Even these have been rare ocurences. For mosquitos just have a can of repellant (which you will rarely need) and a good tent. For raccoons don't turn your back on your food and keep it inaccessible.

I don't pack food and don't consider cooking my own meals to be worth the bother. If you do so, cooking your own meals in the wild in bear country certainly presents its own problems.

This message was edited by litespeed on 4-17-07 @ 7:08 AM

General Discussion / how much weight?
« on: March 28, 2007, 11:49:17 am »
I weighed at the end of my last tour out west. Total 278 pounds - 200 lbs for me and 78 for loaded bike. I carry camping gear but no food.

General Discussion / Hotel/motel vs camping
« on: March 16, 2007, 05:33:21 pm »
Get a KOA directory from your local KOA or go to It will give you a good idea of camping prices. Private campgrounds are usually a bit cheaper but not as well maintained.
You will be surprised at how cheap motels are in west Texas towns like Van Horn. They were under $20 when I went that way in 2004. Otherwise I paid $30-40 for motels.
In out-of-the-way, non-touristy towns in the deep south you can often get a very nice, high end motel for $50 or so.
And most anywhere you can often knock down the price on a motel with a little friendly haggling unless it's the only one in town.

General Discussion / Hotel/motel vs camping
« on: March 13, 2007, 11:25:22 am »
In my experience camping is usually cheaper (except for west Texas), friendlier and quieter. Motels can be noisy with people carrying on in the parking lot. Campgrounds usually quiet down at nightfall (with the occasional Saturday night exception). In motels it's easy to stay up late watching the boob tube. In a tent you just go to sleep as there is nothing else to do. With motels you sometimes have to take a smelly smoking room. Motels, however, are usually handier to eating places. I don't pack food so I try to eat before stopping for the night at a campground.

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