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Messages - staehpj1

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General Discussion / Re: Cue sheet assistance
« on: February 20, 2011, 10:02:53 am »
I have one major concern, however, and that is my ability to read the cue sheets while I am bicycling, since the type is quite small.

I didn't have my bifocal prescription in my riding glasses when I rode the Trans America and could generally not read directions while underway.  It really wasn't a major hardship other than that it annoyed my traveling companions sometimes when I stopped to look at the map.

As has been said you really make surprisingly few turns most of the time.  At least that was my experience on the TA and subsequent tours.  Lots of days I was on the same route all day.  Some other days the turns were few enough to remember the whole day.  There were a few towns here and there where I stopped a lot to read the map.

I did later get riding glasses with my bifocal prescription and while they are very nice they are not an absolute necessity.

Gear Talk / Re: Hub recommendations?
« on: February 18, 2011, 07:26:57 pm »
If you adjust this just so, and jump on one foot like that, and pat your head while rubbing your belly, and you get it all just right, they work great.  And when it's service time, pull bearings, play with grease, check this and that, then go through the fun adjustments again.

Or you can install good cartridge bearing hubs and go ride.  And when the bearings die (still waiting on mine to do so), pop out the bearings, replace, go ride.  No adjusting necessary.  But that's just me; I'd rather ride than wrench.  I also like the idea of removing the vagaries of adjusting "just-so."
I think you make it sound like a way bigger deal than it is.  Spending a few minutes to repack and adjust bearings every ten or twenty thousand miles really isn't much trouble at all and if it is for you a bike shop tune up is an option.

Gear Talk / Re: Hub recommendations?
« on: February 18, 2011, 10:11:15 am »
After 20 years, 1 mountain bike, 2 road bikes, and untold thousands of miles (50k+) the old Mavic 501 hubs went south this past fall. Axle broke, couldn't get it out of the hub so I dumped them. Have decided to move on to cassettes so I am looking for the same quality and durability. Have considered Phil Wood, but will need to save up through the mid way point of the riding season (Michigan) so need something more affordable right away. Yes, lace my own wheels. I do know that if they had been Phil Wood hubs, the company would have replaced the axle for me at a minimal charge which makes them very tempting. I keep stuff for a very long time so I buy top shelf product and do not cut corners. Ideas anyone?
Personally I'd stick with cup and cone bearings.  Deore XT or even Deore are good enough to last a very long time if given even minimal maintenance.

Routes / Re: Missoula going west - TransAm or Lewis & Clark?
« on: February 17, 2011, 09:06:18 am »
Expect headwinds - usually strong - if you go west along the Colombia River.
Good point the guys we met who said the L&C was easier were east bound.

MacKenzie Pass is really spectacular and not a bad climb. If you go over it on a clear day it will be a highlight of your trip.
MacKenzie Pass is both interesting and beautiful.  We caught it when it was closed to cars and it was an awesome ride.  It certainly was one of the highlights of our trip.

Routes / Re: Missoula going west - TransAm or Lewis & Clark?
« on: February 16, 2011, 06:45:28 pm »
Hi all,
I am planning a self-contained solo ride beginning in May 2011 from Silverthorne CO along the TransAm heading north to Missoula MT. Once in Missoula I'm trying to decide between the TranAm to Florence OR or the L&C to Seaside OR. The L&C to Seaside would be about 128 miles shorter. Would prefer the L&C to Seaside over the TranAm but am concerned about ruggedness of terrain. Does anyone have experience on these two routes who can give me some insights as to how the terrains compare with each other. Ideally I would like to keep my mileage around 50 a day. I like staying at motels but camp when there is no motel option. Also would welcome company.
I was told that the L&C was easier by some guys who went that way before we met on the TA, but I have only done the TA there so no first hand comparison here.

General Discussion / Re: 2/11 Adventure Cyclist Mag Letters from Readers
« on: February 16, 2011, 06:53:11 am »
although I enjoy the majority of the aspects of digital downloads, there is just that good feeling of flipping through the pages of a magazine or book, and taking it with you in the car, or to the doctors office, or even lending it to a friend that you don't get with a digital download.
You can do all that with a kindle, nook, or ipad.  I actually prefer reading on my kindle, but grant that it isn't great for looking at pictures.  The ipad isn't as nice for reading, but is great for pictures.  I am sure that pretty soon there will be a device that excels at both.  I think that it is great that you can take all of your books magazines and documents with you in a device that is smaller and weighs less than a regular paperback.

General Discussion / Re: Mountain West trip
« on: February 15, 2011, 01:31:09 pm »
Valygrl knows the area way better than I do so I won't add anything except to say that I enjoyed Moab quite a bit when I when there to ride my mountain bike.  The riding in the area was great and some other nearby stuff was worth visiting.

No riding there, at least off road, but Arches NP was worth a visit if you are in the Moab area.

One caveat is that I have not been to Moab in quite a while (20 years?), so my experience with the place is pretty old.

Patrick, thanks for the compliment on the journal.  I enjoyed reading your journal as well.  It really is satisfying when someone else is inspired enough by your journal to do a major tour, isn't it?

General Discussion / Re: Bicycle Stereo
« on: February 15, 2011, 08:47:50 am »
Ive been looking through assorted threads and it seems to be agreed that cycling with headphones is a bit of a no no, however I'm pretty music driven when it comes to getting out and about. Has anyone had any experience with bicycle stereos? I have found links to a few online but it would be nice to hear if anyone has had any problems/ outstanding audio quality.

I don't know that it is agreed.  My advice, either forgo the music or use loose fitting ear buds and keep the volume fairly low.  Some people use one ear bud.  Personally I just skip the music when I am riding, sing, or "play music in my head".  I might have listened to music if I had my iPod along when on some of the nearly deserted roads I crossed Kansas on.

Great comments! Thanks for the time to explain all that you have to me about a good journal! Really great! I agree with the importance of details and lots of description to bring the reader to where you are trying to explain.

For me this trip will be a lot about starting life over again. I come from an addiction that stole my life and will be writing a lot about just thoughts of what was and what now is. What I look forward to most is those times of sitting on the edge of a mountain having the deepest of thoughts and analyzing life itself. I think my journal will be an autobiography mixed with the beauty of life and the experience of experiencing life to the fullest. Something like that.

I do want to have a journal worth reading. What I really want is a life worth reading and I think this trip adds an interesting chapter or two to my life. I feel like I am among many interesting people when i am on this forum. Thanks for all the comments!
Good luck turning your life around.  A cross country tour can be a life changing experience, I hope it is for you.

In addition to everything else already said - be yourself.  If your personality is appealing to at least one other person on this planet it is not because - I hope - you are pretending to be someone you are not.  My guess is you have your circle of friends and they like you because of who you are.  Your journal should be the same way.  Don't try to win my attention trying to be someone you are not.  The people I gravitate to (authors are the same) pull my attention because of something unique or particular about their personality that comes out in their words.
It all depends on what you want the journal to be.  A few possible goals might be.
  • A way for friends to follow your journey.
  • A way to share your journey with the touring community.
  • An outlet for your thoughts.
  • A journal that rises to the level of art
  • A book that makes money for you
  • A book that is great writing
For the first three cgoab is a very good venue.   It could be for the 4th as well.

For the last two... I am not sure if any of them made much money, but none of the touring books I have read have been all that well done.  I did enjoy, "Hey Mom, Can I Ride My Bike Across America?" but great literature it wasn't.  I read some of the other touring books that are often mentioned and they didn't do much for me.

OK, assuming you are sticking to some subset of the first 4 items in my list, I'd say just write about what you are doing and how you feel about it.  Family and friends will enjoy that, you will enjoy it, and in all probability some subset of the touring community will as well.  Our Trans America journal ( was written without the effort that I would have given to serious writing and was mostly targeted at family and friends with some additional effort given to sharing knowledge with other tourists and would be tourists.  I was surprised to see that it wound up having somewhat of a following.  I often hear from people who remember some detail or other of our trip or say they feel like they know us.  Overall it can be a very positive experience without too much effort.

If you should want to write a book that makes money or is a truly good book then, in my non-expert opinion, the focus need to be on writing a good book that just happens to be set in a touring situation.  Again, in my opinion, it needs to be interesting to and enjoyable to read by folks other than cyclists.  I am not sure if any of the touring books written so far rise to that level.

My suggestion is that it makes sense for 99.99% of us to do what I did and just share your experiences simply and in your own words for whatever audience finds them interesting.  Intersperse that with some good pictures and you will have a successful journal assuming it is where your audience can find it.  I think that cgoab is the logical place where an audience will find you.

Gear Talk / Re: moving bar end shifters?
« on: February 14, 2011, 10:34:06 am »
While sitting that's fine.  Try it while standing
I've am in the brifter camp, but down tube shifters are my second choice.  I have never had a problem shifting while standing and do not find it particularly awkward.  I actually have found bar ends more awkward than down tube shifters both when sitting and standing.

That said I am on a smallish frame and like my bars low, so bar ends and down tube shifters are at about the same height.  With larger frames and or higher bars down tube shifters may be a lot lower than bar ends, so any issue with d/t shifters may be more pronounced for those who require a large frame and or want to sit more upright.

Routes / Re: pacific coast
« on: February 14, 2011, 07:47:07 am »
Henk There is a book called "bicycling the pacific coast" that gives great route information.
It is a very nice book but is probably getting a bit out of date wrt services.

I'd probably invest in the ACA maps if I were going now and didn't already have either.  I have not used these specific maps, but based on my experience with their other routes I am sure they would be all you would need other than printing out the addenda from the ACA web site just before you go to be sure of having the latest changes.

Routes / Re: Average Number of Days for Southern Tier on a Trike
« on: February 11, 2011, 01:23:22 pm »
I am in decent shape and I'd like to complete the trip in under 49 days.
No trike experience here, but 49 days doesn't sound like an unreasonable amount of time to complete a ST.  It works out to 63 miles per day, definitely in the normal range.

That said I prefer to have an open ended schedule.  Having a deadline can be a joy killer.  I know that I am a lot happier if I either don't have a deadline or have ten days of extra time in the schedule.

General Discussion / Re: Which bike tyre should I go for please?
« on: February 09, 2011, 12:19:12 pm »
It depends on your preferences.  I value a lively ride and don't mind fixing a flat once in a while.  Given that I choose Continental Ultra Gatorskins in 700x28.  They have a lively ride and are fairly flat resistant.

If you want to avoid flats at all costs the Marathon Plus might be the one for you.  Personally I found them to ride like I was dragging an anchor and took them off after only a few hundred miles.  Some don't notice the ride difference and/or don't care or at least care more about avoiding flats.

If unsure I'd say go for something in between.

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