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Messages - litespeed

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Routes / Re: What is the best route from Virginia to New York?
« on: August 10, 2012, 06:50:09 pm »
I have gone up the east coast from Florida to NY a number of times. From Virginia I go to Lewes, Delaware where I catch the ferry to Cape May. From there I go straight up US9. If the bridge is still under construction over the Mullica river near New Gretna it requires a detour to the west on 50. From Toms River I cut towards the coast on 70. To get into Manhattan I take the train (off hours) from Long Branch or (much more relaxing) the ferry from Atlantic Highlands.

Gear Talk / Re: Bar End shifters vs
« on: July 18, 2012, 08:54:09 pm »
Hopefully you can still edit your comment and fix the obvious error.  Shimano introduced STI (brifters, dual control brake/shift levers) for road bikes in 1990.  That was about 22 years ago.

Apparently you are right. I would have sworn I got my 105 STI in 1980 or earlier but, checking my records, it was the early 1990's - probably as soon as they came out with it.

I have heard so many bad things about bicycling through Houston that I always avoid it by swinging south and bicycling along the Galveston waterfront. This is a beautiful ride - miles and miles of wide esplanade along the ocean. I recommend it highly. You also get the relaxing ferry ride east of town.

The Beaumont/Port Arthur area is difficult, congested bicycling. You might want to buy a county map to help you pick your way through the area.

Gear Talk / Re: Bar End shifters vs
« on: July 16, 2012, 05:18:16 pm »
I have barends on my touring bike. I'm thorougly used to them. One disadvantage is that I occasionally bump them with my leg while horsing the bike around and get an unwanted shift. Barends are said to be more reliable but I have Shimano 105 brifters on my knockaround/training bike that are about 35 years old and have had very heavy use and little care or maintenance. They still work fine.

Gear Talk / Re: Best touring tires
« on: July 16, 2012, 05:07:58 pm »
I use 700x35 Schwalbe Marathon Supreme touring tires on my custom touring wheels (Rhynolite Sunrims). They wear longer and flat less than the Continental 2000's I used to use. I use Mr. Tuffy tire liners.

Routes / Re: Need Route and info from Georgia to San Diego
« on: July 16, 2012, 04:40:25 pm »
I assume you are leaving from Savannah. If so, I'd recommend going down to US90 and taking it through the Florida panhandle at least. Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana are full of bad roads and bad food. This will avoid those states as much as possible. Avoid US190 across Louisiana at all costs. Except for the far western portion it is a very bad bicycling road - two lane, shoulderless and heavily trafficked. As far as I know the only bicycle trail in Louisiana is from Slidell to Covington. Once you get clear of the eastern third of Texas you will start getting proper shoulders on the roads.

MacKenzie Pass is not to be missed. I went over it east-to-west. It is one of the most scenic spots in the country - really beautiful with great views of the surrounding peaks. If you go that way plan to spend some time at the top and get some pictures. I was lucky it hit it on a clear, sunny day. The climb from Sisters was pretty mild. I didn't even work up a sweat.

General Discussion / Re: Pacific Coast September 2012
« on: June 24, 2012, 11:18:24 pm »
Along about the middle of October you run a good chance of foul weather - storms rolling through. I left Petaluma about October 22 a few years ago and slogged through two miserable storms before I got to San Simeon. If I were doing it again I would try to get at least as far as Santa Barbara by October 15.

For your Idaho-Florence route I would recommend taking 26/126 between Vale and Sisters instead of 20. You climb over a lot of passes but it is more scenic with a lot more services, less traffic and a number of fine little towns with plenty of places to camp, sometimes for free. The traffic count is really low. Most of the time you have the road to yourself. This is one of my favorite bicycling roads.

General Discussion / Re: Cycling Yellowstone
« on: May 03, 2012, 04:16:30 pm »
As pointed out, a bicycle is a fine way to skirt the numerous traffic jams. Also, don't let the "Campground Full" signs turn you away from the campgrounds. They usually have room for a bicycle tourist. Everyone should see Yellowstone at least once.

General Discussion / Re: Bike weight
« on: April 19, 2012, 10:35:01 am »
"Most people take too many clothes."

Indeed. Most beginners take too much clothing and wind up discarding a lot of it or mailing things home. Some clothes, like outer MTB shorts, can do double duty and it's easy to wash bicycle clothing in a sink or shower.

It's also easy to pack too many tools. I carry tools and repair items I have never used but the day might come....

Your weights don't seem high to me, especially if you pack food and cooking gear. I don't pack either one and push upwards of 80 pounds down the road.

Routes / Re: Which Route to Take
« on: April 11, 2012, 06:42:06 pm »
Right. I corrected it.

Routes / Re: Which Route to Take
« on: April 11, 2012, 04:43:15 pm »
As a general rule the further south you cross the country the less climbing you will have. If you really want to avoid climbing you can follow interstates 8 and 10 (ride the shoulders, frontage roads and parallel roads) across CA, AZ, NM and TX then go along the Gulf coast. In New Mexico the continental divide on I-10 is just a sign on a flat stretch of highway. This route is also about the least scenic way to cross the country.

« on: April 10, 2012, 03:42:36 pm »
$400 for a fairly short ride in a van? Doesn't surprise me. Jasper-Banff is about the most spectacular scenery in the world but the place is a tourist trap. $5 to change money (although most places accept US dollars). No water fountains anywhere but plenty of expensive bottled water for sale. High prices for most everything. Plan ahead. If I go again it will be in the shoulder season - maybe just after they go back to school or before they get out.

General Discussion / Re: Good workout supplement to cycling?
« on: April 06, 2012, 08:00:29 pm »
I once demo'd the first two stories of a three story building by myself while living on the top floor. We couldn't rig a chute so I had to carry everything by hand down to the dumpster. I filled three 30-yard dumpsters. Endless stair climbing, half carrying loads.

After a week's rest I got on my bike and really flew. I was amazed at how strong I was. So I guess stair climbing is good cross training.

Greg Lemond used to do cross country skiing to keep his legs in shape in the winter.

For a few years I did 100 slow crunches every morning. It pretty much eliminated all backaches. I also spent most
Saturdays for a few years mixing cement with a hoe. This really built up the core and arms but is clearly not an activity available to most people.

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