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Messages - raybo

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Routes / Re: Southern Tier favorite section? Advice needed!
« on: November 12, 2011, 11:24:28 am »
I rode the Southern Tier from San Diego to Phoenix in April, 2006.  I wrote an account of it without photos.  

I found the two days from San Diego to Jacumba to be lots of climbing but worth it with pretty terrain.  The road drops into the desert a few miles past Jacumba and then it is all desert riding.

I found it uninteresting and wouldn't recommend it.  In fact, after riding to Phoenix, I knew I could ride cross-country but didn't have any desire to.


General Discussion / Re: bike travel in cuba
« on: November 07, 2011, 10:42:36 am »
This page contains 5 links to information about bike touring in Cuba.

Three are touring journals and two are informational sites.


General Discussion / Re: Stupid Hotel Question
« on: October 27, 2011, 10:28:51 am »
Check out hospitality sites like or where you can find free places to stay in people's homes or camp in their yards.

I have been hosted close to half the time on my recent tours.


International / Re: Best International Touring Book ever
« on: September 17, 2011, 11:08:35 am »
Should anyone be interested, I wrote a review of The Bike Touring Survival Guide. I agree it is an excellent book.


Routes / Re: Atlantic Coast Route
« on: September 11, 2011, 12:04:42 pm »
I've ridden the ACA Atlantic Coast route from Charleston, SC to Maine.  I deviated from the route in Northern Virginia.

I'm not sure which places that "cross over water" you are referring to.  On the Outer Banks in North Carolina, it is all ferries. On the roads to the Outer Banks, it is bridges.  There is a ferry to Wilmington, NC.

You can read my tour journals here:

Charleston, SC to New Jersey

Pennsylvania to Maine and then Boston.


General Discussion / Re: Cycling in Switzerland
« on: August 07, 2011, 12:04:46 pm »
Raybo, can you please tell us how you had your Waterford set up? 26" wheels? What size tires did you use? Components?

My Waterford has 700cc Wheels.  I have to take the tires off the rims to get them packed into the bike box. I usually use 700x28s and I had no problem with the hard-packed dirt on the non-paved trails.

As for components, I'm not sure as the make of my components it isn't something I pay attention to.  I am using the same equipment that the LBS put on it. According to the sales receipt, I have 12-34 XT cassette (since changed several times but still the same cluster, I believe), XT derailuer (I think).  I'm not sure what other information you might want.


General Discussion / Re: Cycling in Switzerland
« on: August 05, 2011, 11:07:26 am »
I did a two-week loop in Switzerland in 2009 (journal here).  The riding is outstanding.  I have an S&S coupled bike and I stored the hardshell case (a big suitcase, in essence) at a friend's house.

I would suggest you look at  I had several hosts off that site and I'm sure one of them would help you out.  A quick look on for Geneva shows hundreds of potential hosts.

A couple of suggestions:

1) Get the bike map of Switzerland and learn how the bike path signs work.  I didn't use any other map the whole time I was there.

2) Remember that you can take your bike on a train. There were some climbs that weren't really worth doing that were long and steep.  I often passed a train station at the bottom and top.  I eventually took a train from Interlaken to Gstaad to save a vicious climb out of the valley.

3) Switzerland's food stores have fresh bread delivered every day that is really good for biking fuel.

4) Choose your climbs carefully.  Switzerland has some incredibly steep climbs.

5) All the lakes I saw were stunningly beautiful.


Routes / Re: Cycling in San Francisco, suggestion for a 40 miles loop???
« on: February 23, 2011, 10:44:44 am »
Here is a 49 km route based on the scenic 49 mile drive through SF:


Routes / Re: cycling from Portland Maine to Boston
« on: February 10, 2011, 10:55:08 am »
I recently rode into Boston from Bedford, MA on the Minuteman Bike Path.  Once in Boston (Cambridge, MA, actually), I took the Charles River Path all the way to downtown.  I was on city streets for a couple miles, as I recall.

You can see pictures of the bike path in my journal for the day.


General Discussion / Re: On-line Bike Touring game
« on: February 05, 2011, 07:02:36 pm »
I believe I've removed the offending javascript code and the problem you had should go away.

Again, sorry you couldn't post such a great score!


General Discussion / Re: On-line Bike Touring game
« on: February 05, 2011, 06:01:54 pm »

I'm really sorry that you weren't able to post a score over 26,000 points!  That would have been a new high score!  I know from experience that it is hard to get a score that high.

I'll try to change the code so that it doesn't need to pop-up a window to get the name to enter for the score, which is all it was asking for.

Thanks for letting me know the problem.


General Discussion / Re: On-line Bike Touring game
« on: February 05, 2011, 05:18:31 pm »

Do you remember the error you got when you tried to submit your score?

What browser do you use?


General Discussion / Re: On-line Bike Touring game
« on: February 05, 2011, 11:15:32 am »

I see that you posted a score for the game.  Thanks for trying it again.

Was your experience any different this time?

Like you, I'm loath to spend $80 for a night in a motel (though, I have).  But, instead of simply having one type of motel, I decided to randomly provide a range of them.  Only having a choice of an $80 motel would simply be bad luck!


General Discussion / Re: On-line Bike Touring game
« on: February 04, 2011, 01:26:41 pm »
My note on the game stands regardless. I don't know anyone who would be near exhausted after 13 miles of MILD UPHILL riding after consuming a 1900 calorie breakfast.

The OP asked for folks to play and post critiques.  I did.

I agree that the thread seems to have gone off-topic and I, again, want to thank you for taking the time play and critique.

However, I dispute your report.  First, the experience you report can't be completely accurate since the game doesn't create 13 mile long terrain sections.  Terrain sections are between 4 and 9 miles in length.  According to the game's calorie tables, mild uphill requires 50 calories a mile or 650 calories for 13 miles.  Note, that a headwind would increase this.  If you ate 1900 calories (950 if metabolism is accounted for) and spent 650, the Fuel Gauge would show Full, so that can't have been the case.

So, the question I have, and there is no way to go back and know, is what kind of terrain constituted those 13 miles?  If some of the early miles were uphill (85/mile) or steep uphill (158/mile), then it isn't hard to see how you could quickly use up those calories.

As an example, if the 13 miles you "rode" was 4 miles of Steep Uphill followed by 9 miles of mild Uphill, it would equal 1,082 calories (you'd be hungry, if metabolism was added in).

This is one obvious problem with using a computer program to simulate bike touring.  On the bike, terrain is obvious.  On a computer, riding up a hard uphill is only a click away!

Did anyone else try out the game and have any comments?


General Discussion / Re: On-line Bike Touring game
« on: February 03, 2011, 05:22:06 pm »
The assumption that half what you eat goes into metabolism seems unrealistic.  Shouldn't it be more like 1/24 of 2000 (or an adjusted amount to account for metabolic changes) per hour, regardless of what you eat?  Assuming an adjustment to 2400 so I can do the math in my head, this would be 400 calories before lunch, leaving 1500 for biking.  

The game doesn't operate in "real time."  As such, there is no way to allocate metabolism calories by the hour.

Dealing with metabolism was a bit of a challenge for just this reason.  The statement "that half of what you eat goes to maintaining your metabolism" is an over-simplification. What actually happens is that a full day's metabolism (2000 calories) is accounted for at the end of the day (when the player stops for the night).  That is, the calories available to replace the calories used biking are reduced by 2000 at the end of the day to account for metabolism.

But, points are tracked throughout the day.  So, there has to be some way to estimate the points earned (calories replaced) and I decided to do a two-part estimate.  During the day, I assume half the calories eaten go to metabolism.  Once the player eats more than 4000 calories, anything over 2000 calories is available for biking use.  In all cases, the 2000 metabolism calories are removed at the end of the day.

As for metabolism being elevated during a ride or using different metabolic rates for players based on size and weight, there are some subtleties that will have to go unimplemented.  Oh well.


P.S. The server's been down a bit today.  Sorry for any problems this might have caused.

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