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Messages - litespeed

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61
Yup. Just get on US14 and head east. You might even live on 14. Anyway, you might want to bone up on the bike trails in Wisconsin to ease your route from LaCrosse to Manitowoc for the ferry. Wisconsin has lots of bike trails.

In New York you might want to take the Erie Canal bike route from Buffalo to Albany. This will avoid the brutal ups and downs in the Finger Lakes region.

62
Routes / Re: Weather in October
« on: March 24, 2012, 07:31:31 pm »
I rode Petaluma to Guadalupe at the end of October a few years ago. The weather was pretty miserable with two big storms rolling through - lots of rain and overcast. That's an iffy time of year. You might luck out with good weather but have your rain gear ready.

63
Routes / Re: Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes
« on: February 22, 2012, 09:46:45 am »
The Route of the Hiawatha is a fine ride but would have put you a bit out of your way. It has a gentle railroad grade and beautiful scenery. You need a light for the tunnels and cash for the trail fee. I have never ridden the Trail of the Cour d'Alenes but it is probably more interesting and scenic than the highway along the St. Joe River that you head west on after going down the Hiawatha Trail.

64
General Discussion / Re: Blatant Anti-Cyclist Comic in Today's Paper
« on: February 17, 2012, 10:18:19 am »
99% of the time it is easy to get out of the way of an overtaking motor vehicle - get up on a sidewalk, get over on the shoulder, even onto the dirt. Then politely wave them by. I don't use a mirror but listen for oncoming vehicles. If heavy traffic noise precludes hearing overtaking vehicles it's best to get as far over as possible.  As for riding on sidewalks, this is rarely a problem as few Americans walk anywhere. I know people who will drive a block or two to go to the gym. 

I can't remember the last time a motorist showed the least bit of hostility. And I live in Florida.

65
General Discussion / Re: Which sunscreen?
« on: February 15, 2012, 06:18:20 pm »
I've degraded the skin on my forearms from touring in tee shirts. To keep it from getting any worse I now wear Under Armour long sleeve jerseys whenever I'm on my bike. I don't bother with sunscreen as it seems almost impossible to put enough on to really do any good.

66
Routes / Re: Bighorns
« on: February 14, 2012, 04:11:12 pm »
Quote from jamawani:
"Eastbound, US 14A is brutal - left me gasping for air on every switchback.
Been up it twice, down once and practically burned out my brakes."

Indeed. Going off the Bighorns westward on 14A the grade is 10% for 13 miles and very winding. Jamawani is only the second person I've heard from who has gone up this. I have gone down it and had to brake to keep from overtaking a car and a couple of motorcycles. It's the toughest grade I know of. Going up this would take very low gears and give you serious bragging rights.

Also, as I recall, 14A between Lovell and the Bighorns is a bleak, ugly stretch of desert. Of course, I may have done it at the wrong time of year.

67
Gear Talk / Re: bike maintenance on tour
« on: February 12, 2012, 03:07:51 pm »
  Every motelwhere I asked for some rags was happy to supply me with some -- they understand it'll keep their room (walls or bedspreads) clean.
It also assures them you won't use their towels as cleaning rags.

I couldn't agree more. One of my main peeves is to arrive at a motel and have the manager reluctant to give me a room because some  previous bicycle tourist has destroyed the towels or bedding with his greasy bicycle. I have always managed to reassure them and get the room but it's hard to imagine how anyone could be such an inconsiderate slob. It's easy enough to prop the bicycle so it doesn't mar or dirty anything. I also can't imagine cleaning a bicycle in a motel room. Too hard to do without getting something dirty or smelling of lubricant or cleaner.

68
Gear Talk / Re: touring bags
« on: February 07, 2012, 05:23:17 pm »
I liked my Bruce Gordon panniers but after a rainy circumnavigation of the contiguous US I got thoroughly sick of fooling with rain covers. I now use the simpler, cheaper, more convenient, waterproof Ortliebs. I recommend them highly.

69
Gear Talk / Re: Shimano 8-speed
« on: February 04, 2012, 06:20:09 pm »
Thank you gentlemen. Yes, I know that SRAM cassettes and chains are compatible. I just put them on my bike but I'm used to Shimano and prefer them. Thanks again.

70
Gear Talk / Shimano 8-speed
« on: February 04, 2012, 12:18:47 pm »
My beloved old Sampson knockaround/training bike has Shimano 105 8-speed. I can get an 8-speed SRAM chains and cassettes from Nashbar but I can't find retail Shimano anywhere. I know they are still making them as bike shops are able to get them but I'd rather order direct. Does anyone know of any mail order outfit that sells Shimano 8-speed cassettes and chains. 

71
Routes / Re: Houston, TX to New Orleans, LA?
« on: February 01, 2012, 09:35:28 am »
I was warned against going through Houston so, going west to east, I scooted south along the Galveston waterfront. This is a delightful ride - miles and miles of beautiful beachfront esplanade. It was one of the highlights of all my bicycle touring.

As for crossing Louisiana, avoid US190 at all costs. It's a very bad a bicycling road - narrow two lane, mostly shoulderless and lots of fast traffic. Pick your way on back roads or follow the ACA route. You might try US90 which, paralleling the interstate, should have light traffic and plenty of services.

Generally speaking, Louisiana is a tough bicycling state.

72
General Discussion / Re: New York State cycling Maps
« on: January 24, 2012, 12:26:38 pm »
Western New York state? Brace yourself for lots of short, steep climbing and descending. The Finger Lakes region has good roads but they were laid down with no hill cutting at all. You will be doing a lot of shifting. I remember climbs that looked like a wall in front of me. Nothing that I couldn't climb though.

You can avoid this by cycling along the Erie Canal ("Cycling the Erie Canal", Parks & Trails New York). This is on my bucket list.

73
The easiest way to avoid climbing would be to swing way south, cross the country along its southern rim then go up the east coast. This would be longer but would have no appreciable climbing. The continental divide in southern New Mexico is simply a sign on a flat, level stretch of highway.

This would also allow you to motel it all the way. It would be hot in the summer though.

You might be understimating your climbing ability. I have always dreaded big climbs but invariably made them with no trouble despite weighing over 200 pounds, being elderly (now 71) and not packing light at all. And don't forget the great downhills off the passes. I remember coasting virtually all the way from Monarch Pass, CO to Salida - over 20 miles.

74
General Discussion / Re: Crossing Canadian Border
« on: January 19, 2012, 10:50:58 am »
It's a good idea for anyone to have a passport and to carry it with them whenever travelling anywhere - even within the US. You never know when an opportunity for spontaneous international travel will pop up. I have known a couple of cases where someone has missed out on a glamorous overseas trip because he or she didn't have a passport. At best it takes a few days to acquire one and by then the opportunity has passed.

75
Gear Talk / Re: Helmets
« on: January 18, 2012, 11:53:33 pm »
I have a size 8 head that is long front-to-rear. A Giro Atlas II Large is the only helmet that I can get my head into. I have destroyed two of them while wearing them so I am a firm believer in wearing helmets.

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