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Messages - staehpj1

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1
General Discussion / Re: Bike Question
« on: Today at 06:34:43 am »
it really depends on how much gear (weight) you plan to carry on your bike.....that is, how many days is your tour?
If more than a few days and you are going self contained....a touring bike might be a better option.......unless you pull a BOB trailer, as suggested before.
I agree except for the parts about tour length and self contained.  I definitely agree that the load you carry is a major factor in the choice though.

I have always found I need pretty much the same stuff on a multi-week or multi-month tour as a short one.  So tour length isn't really a factor in bike choice IMO.

I also have found that some folks pack super heavy even for a credit card motel tour, while others can pack really light for a self supported tour.  I've seen folks staying in motels and eating in restaurants packing heavy and carrying 30 - 40 pounds or more.  I and also seen folks carry camping and cooking stuff and pack 10-20 pounds or even less gear.  So to me the deciding factor is packing style (ultralight vs. light vs. heavy).

2
General Discussion / Re: Wireless computer on touring bike
« on: Today at 06:23:20 am »
You can use either. The panniers will not interfere with the wireless signal. Some people complain that wireless is more subject to interference, but this is a small problem. I use a wired computer for touring, just because it's one less battery to worry about. But that's a very small issue too. I use a wireless computer on my daily bike. Flip a coin.

I agree on all of that except interference being a very small issue.  My two companions on the TA found their wireless ones quite annoying.  The biggest culprit was interference from neon signs when parked in front of stores or diners.  The wireless computers would often register miles while the bikes were parked.  The other issue was that like many other wireless models they needed to be turned on before they started working.  Forgetting to turn them on until down the road a ways offset the mileage registered while sitting still :)

They also got crazy readings sometimes when near power lines, electric fences, and broadcast towers.  They might look down and see a 700 mph reading once in a while.

I gave up on wireless long before I started touring so I have never toured with wireless, but I had the same problems with several different brand name models before giving up on wireless ones.

The total miles traveled were not off by much on the Trans America, but my companions were pretty annoyed by the little differences that made it difficult to keep track of things like how far the next turn was.

One of my TA companions, went into Performance after the Trans America and when the sales guy asked how her tour went and how the gear he sold her worked out, she said "Great except this P.O.S wireless computer you sold me".  His response was "I could have told you that, all the wireless ones have those kind of problems".  He then gave her a refund that was used to purchase a wired model.

My recommendation is that if you use the computer to keep track of your turns throughout the day base on mileage from the start, stick with a wired model.  If you are worried about breaking the wire some of the MTB models have a heavier duty wire.

3
Routes / Re: Southern Tier, highway 78 Glamis to Palo Verde, Ca
« on: October 18, 2014, 08:01:54 pm »
I just rode Rt-78 for that section when I did the ST but someone suggested an alternate route at the time.  Sorry but I don't recall what it was.  It looks like Blythe Olgilby road parallels rt 78, but I don't think it is paved and do not know how ride-able it is.

I didn't really mind Rt 78, but I have a pretty high tolerance for traffic.

I just remembered that it was Nancy Mercury who suggested the alternate route (if my memory is correct).  She was offering to host cyclists near there (for a fee I think).  I didn't stay there but did speak to her on the phone.  If she is still listed on the AC maps or with warmshowers.org you might look her up and ask her.

4
Gear Talk / Re: A folding bike for touring?
« on: October 18, 2014, 12:45:49 pm »
This whole discussion seems to be off on picking apart the idea of using folding bikes to tour.  Both rational and irrational reasons are presented, but the only ones that have merit were the cost and possible fit issues.  I note also that the naysayers are mostly people who haven't really given one a good try.  I may be misjudging, but that's the tone I heard.
The thread seemed to me to generally be supportive of the notion of folders for touring.  My post probably had some of the most negative comments, but did not "pick apart the idea of idea of using folding bikes to tour".    I did pick at the particular style of bike that the first post of the thread was about.  It seemed a poor choice for touring to me for the reasons I listed.

The Bike Friday does look like for some folks in some touring conditions that it would make a lot of sense.  Like any bike style there are some compromises with even the best of the folders.  For most of my tours the benefits would not be that great so I see no reason the deal with the compromises which include the cost among other things.  If your touring style would benefit greatly from a folder then a BF might be the ticket, but I have my doubts about the Tern Eclipse S-18.  It looks a lot like a dolled up Dahon, with a lot of the same disadvantages and hefty price tag.  The Tern in question seems like more of a mixed mode commuter that a touring bike.

5
General Discussion / Re: Toe clips? Clipless? None of the above?
« on: October 15, 2014, 12:20:29 pm »
Personal preference rules on this topic but here are my thoughts.  Remember that your preferences and read on this may well be entirely different.

Toe clips and straps aren't much use unless you tighten the straps at which point they become harder to get out of and less comfortable than clip-less.  I was very quick to make the switch away from clips and straps way back when they first became more commonly available and was glad I did.

Those little half clips with no straps manage to have many of the dis-advanatges of clips and straps with no real advantage at all as far as I can tell.  They seem like a complete waste of effort to me.  Some folks seem to love them.  I don't get why, but if they are happy all is well.

Going with just platforms is fine for casual riding and short hops around town, but even then I miss having a retention system.

The bottom line is that you should use what works for you though.  Folks have successfully tour on all of those options and others as well.

6
Gear Talk / Re: Looking for a good touring shoe.
« on: October 15, 2014, 07:27:58 am »
I've bought an extra pair of Sidi MTB shoes for whenever my current pair wears out.
I really like my sidis and considered doing the same, but find they last me so long that my current pair may just outlive me.  After the Trans America mine were still pretty much like brand new even though I and them and had used them on and off road in all weather for a while before the trip.  That was 2007 and I am sure they would still be going strong if my dog had not chewed them up when she was a puppy.  The pair that replaced them has crossed the US on the ST and done a bunch of other longish tours as well as being used around town for several years and is still pretty much like new other than the nubs on the sole being just a little worn.

7
Gear Talk / Re: Looking for a good touring shoe.
« on: October 12, 2014, 10:05:15 am »
Whatever you buy, you will want several hundred miles on them, in varying conditions, before you start your adventure.

I have not found that to be an issue for me.  I guess it depends on the person, the shoe, and the fit.  I have found that bike shoes are like running shoes in that, if I have the shoe that fits me properly, they are comfortable from the start.  If they weren't I'd keep shopping for something else that was.

8
Gear Talk / Re: Looking for a good touring shoe.
« on: October 12, 2014, 07:03:32 am »
I really like the lower end Sidi MTB shoes.  The ones I have now are the Giau model.  I use them with 2 bolt SPD cleat pedals  They last a long time, dry very quickly, and are comfortable on the bike.  Depending on how much hiking I plan to do I may or may not take a second pair of shoes for off bike use.  If I plan to do a lot of long hikes I might take my trail runners.  I have gone as far as to buy a pair of trail runners when I stopped to spend a week hiking and sightseeing in the Yosemite Valley.  I considered mailing them home when we left the Valley, but our trip was only going to Reno so I carried them for the remaining 5 days of the tour.

I have carried Crocs on some trips to wear around camp and they worked out well, but lately have not bothered with them.

9
Routes / Re: contemplating riding TransAm in 2015....so many questions!
« on: October 03, 2014, 07:03:38 am »
is it best to ride East to West or West to East??
I usually like to get the air travel out of the way at the beginning, but since you are in Kansas that isn't an option.  The other big factor is when you want to start.  If early in the season start in the East.  If late in the season start in the West.  You will have better weather that way.

but how the heck do i get my bicycle and me to Yorktown or Florence?....from the airport city?
Take it as checked baggage and ride it out of the airport?  Pick a bike friendly airline like maybe Southwest or the cost will be high.

should i carry canned foods in my pack.....
Carry a few snacks and maybe one meal in reserve.  Skip the canned foods.

cooking seems like a big hassle if im traveling solo.    
Why?  Just keep it simple.

Is it common to find other TransAM riders to ride with briefly.......or there are just too few riders??
Yes in season you will meet other riders fairly frequently.

how many water bottles should i take? 
I take two and add capacity by using recycled bottles as needed for drier sections.

isn't it difficult keeping cell phone charged?
Not really.  Turn it off when not in use, searching for a signal kills batteries fast.  Put it in airplane mode if using it as a camera or whatever.  Carry a power wallet if you are concerned.

TransAM  ride Definitely wlon't be a "walk in the park"
On the other hand it is mostly just a matter of getting on the bike and riding everyday.  So to some extent it is as easy or as hard as you make it.

10
Routes / Re: contemplating riding TransAm in 2015....so many questions!
« on: October 03, 2014, 06:51:09 am »
IMO, the bridge is too long to walk across, and the sidewalk too narrow to safely ride on.
I am a little puzzled by that statement.  How on earth can less than a mile be too far to walk?

That aside, judging by pictures of the bridge I'd be inclined to ride and take the lane.  It doesn't look all that different than a lot of other bridges that I have ridden.  If traffic got really backed up behind me I might pull off onto the minimal sidewalk to let a bunch of cars pass.  More likely, I'd just ride as fast as I could manage.  For those who are more squeamish about traffic, walking looks like a good option.

Maybe I am missing something since I have not actually ridden that bridge.

11
Routes / Re: New York - Virgina Beach
« on: September 28, 2014, 12:37:40 pm »
A good portion of that route will be quite hilly.  Factor that in when planning daily mileage.  100 mile days are fairly ambitious over the terrain in question.

I have not ridden the AC route for that section, but can give a strong recommendation for AC routes and maps in general.

12
General Discussion / Re: Safe to cycle the USA? Things do happen.
« on: September 18, 2014, 03:31:55 pm »
Yeah a better title would have been "Safe to go in McDonalds? Things do happen". 

13
General Discussion / Re: General Advice- TransAm Route
« on: September 12, 2014, 05:59:51 am »
Why not leave as late as you can in April and do the entire TransAm east to west. Then if you'd like you can ride back down the pacific coast.

With your proposed route you'd be riding the least scenic part of the pacific coast, picking up the less than stellar scenery on the Southern Tier, and then missing the best part of the TransAm. Just my thoughts. Let's see what others have to say...

Especially since the OP apparently lives in the west, that is very good advice in my opinion.

You would probably have decent weather other than some rain in the east.  You could arrange the long distance (air?) travel ahead of time.  That works out easier because it is much easier to know the date you will start than the date you will finish.  An open ended schedule is a big plus IMO.  Set schedules (and budgets for that matter) can suck a lot of the joy out of a tour.

I also like starting out at the far end of a tour and riding toward home.  That way you are automatically more committed from the start since you have no good options for bailing on the tour and by the time you are anywhere near home you are very road hardened and in the groove.  Seeing family and friends again is a nice motivation to finish and if you are lucky friends and family can meet you at the end of the tour.  We had family and friends meet us and throw a nice picnic at the finish of the TA.  We were joined on the ride for the last half day or so by family members.  It was a wonderful reunion.

Also, I agree on the relative merits of the various sections expressed by Miller.

I'd advise seriously considering the early start in the East.

14
General Discussion / Re: Can scooters ride the routes?
« on: September 09, 2014, 06:27:46 am »
I think the OP is using bike "route" and "path" interchangeably.
That is my impression also.  I don't think she is planning to ride on bike paths.  I think she is referring to AC routes as bike parhs.

Motorized bicycles, bikes with a motor driving one of the wheels, are a different matter.

In many places motorized bicycles are not a different matter and are also banned from bike paths.  Probably varies with location though.  Personally I agree with sbear55 that if it has a motor it isn't a bike and many jurisdictions treat it as such wrt bike paths.

I do think that AC routes are for the most part pretty suitable for someone wanting to ride a scooter.  They may have short sections of interstate of bike path in them but in the case of the bike paths I have always seen a reasonable alternate route.  Just me, but...  On the relatively rare fairly short section of interstate where there is no alternative, I'd be willing to take a chance with riding the shoulder on the interstate.

15
General Discussion / Re: Can scooters ride the routes?
« on: September 08, 2014, 06:55:52 am »
Sounds like fun.  Have a great trip.

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