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Messages - staehpj1

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General Discussion / Re: Question about airplane travel!!?
« on: August 14, 2010, 11:27:40 am »
There are many, e.g., expedia, travelocity, kayak, orbitz, hotwire. I also have good luck just going to the airlines' web sites directly.
I strongly recommend SouthWest if you are flying with a bike and they go where you want to.  Expedia and others often do not list SW flights so I always check directly on SouthWests site too.  Remember that they only charge $50 for the bike and other baggage is free within the normal limits to size and number of bags (the bike counts as one checked bag).

I have heard that Frontier is good too.

General Discussion / Re: Airplane Travel
« on: August 11, 2010, 09:49:50 am »
SWA does not appear to state an upper limit for bicycles.
Southwest says:
"Effective June 17, 2009, overweight
items from 51 to 100 pounds and oversized items in excess of 62 inches but not more than 80
(e.g.; surfboards, bicycles, vaulting poles) will be accepted for a charge of $50 per item.
"Non-motorized Bicycles, including Bike Friday and Co-Pilot, will be accepted in substitution of a free
piece of checked baggage at no additional charge provided the bicycle is properly packaged and the
box containing the bicycle fits within the 62-inch sizing limit and weighs 50 lbs or less . (Maximum
weight is 50 pounds and maximum size is 62 inches (length + width + height) per checked piece of
luggage). The handlebars, kickstand, and pedals must be removed and placed inside the box. A $50.00
each-way charge applies to bicycles that don’t meet the above criteria. Bicycles packaged in a
cardboard box or soft-sided case will be transported as a conditionally accepted item.
"The items listed below shall be acceptable for Carriage as Checked Baggage upon the Passenger's compliance with the special packing requirements and payment of the applicable One-way charge.
Bicycle (defined as nonmotorized and having a single seat) properly packed in a bicycle box or hardsided case larger than 62 inches in total dimensions will be accepted as Checked Baggage. Pedals and handlebars must be removed and packaged in protective materials so as not to be damaged by or cause damage to other Baggage. Bicycles packaged in cardboard or softsided cases will be transported as conditionally accepted items as outlined in Section 7h.

My read of that is that they imply that they will take a box over 80", but do not specifically waive the 80" limit even for bicycles.  In practice they apparently do, and I have checked my bike in a box over 80" without an issue.  That said, I think if the clerk wanted to it would be easy for them to say no to a box over 80".  Because of that I try to tread lightly with weight, box size, and box contents.  Using a really big box, loading it too heavy, or putting much other than the bike or things that are specifically bicycle accessories just seems like a bad idea to me. 

General Discussion / Re: Airplane Travel
« on: August 11, 2010, 07:57:10 am »
Be careful how much you add to the bike box.  Southwest is pretty reasonable but they, like all the others, have a weight limit and the overweight charges can be pretty eyepopping.  I believe the maximum is 50 pounds but check with SW.

I would be really careful because Southwest's policy says they don't take boxes over 80" (L+W+H) at all.  They seem to ignore that for bicycles, but if they decided to they could refuse to take the box.  I would not do anything that might draw extra scrutiny.  As a result I think it is prudent to keep the box as small and as light as possible and to not put anything but the bike in the box.

Since it doesn't seem too hard to fit everything else in one checked bag (and one carry on and a personal item if necessary) and since Southwest doesn't charge for the checked bag or carry on, I would advise not packing other stuff in the bike box.  You will probably be OK if you do but why push your luck?

General Discussion / Re: Shipping a bike through REI
« on: August 11, 2010, 07:48:21 am »
I found REI to be cheaper than going directly to UPS etc. They have a discount account, I didn't. They will ship to store, residence, etc.
What did they charge you and from where to where?

I've had a great experience with REI this summer. I've shipped with them twice this year and experienced no problems.  Disassembly, boxing and shipping ran around 160.00.
Buster, how far did you ship and was that price one shipment or a round trip.  Obviously, it depends on the distance and probably even what cities, but...  If one way and within the continental US it sounds kind of expensive.  If round trip it sounds reasonable.  Using a bike shop and shipping from Reno, NV to Baltimore, MD the whole deal (packing and shipping) was $100 (one way) on my last tour.

General Discussion / Re: Airplane Travel
« on: August 10, 2010, 11:31:39 am »
I have used a suitcase from a thrift store ($7) and discarded it at the other end.  I have also bought a cheap duffel bag and put everything in that.  Both worked well.

I used cardboard boxes for my 2007 TA, but the airline (Continental) said they would not be responsible for damage to stuff in cardboard boxes (only loss).  They stamped that all over the boxes and made me sign something to that effect.  Everything got there fine though.

I find that I can fit everything except the bike and handlebar bag (personal item) in one suitcase, but taking one pannier as a carry on is an option if you can't fit everything in the checked bag.

On the train I have strapped panniers together into two bundles and carried them on.  I personally wouldn't do that on a plane though.

I try not to give them any excuse to not take the bike so I only pack the bike in the box and nothing else.  I also make sure that the box weighs less than 50 pounds, which could be a problem if you put much other stuff in the box.

General Discussion / Re: Cutting Weight
« on: August 07, 2010, 06:27:58 pm »
I suggest that you diet off 10lbs of body weight,
That is the equivalent to a load reduction of 25%.

Did I miss something here?  When did we determine that he was overweight?  Losing 10 pounds of body weight might be a bad thing if he is already lean.

Reductions in gear weight and changes in body weight both can be beneficial, but are entirely different things.   For one thing a reduction in gear weight is quick and easy; you make the choice, leave something home, and instantly your riding is easier.  Loss of bodyweight takes time to do and doesn't necessarily instantly make your riding easier.   For some of us a long term slow loss of weight might be a good thing.   Quick weight loss before a tour might leave you weaker.  On a long tour weight loss sometimes leaves me weaker and I struggle to maintain weight or at least keep it very slow even when I am overweight.

Additionally I notice a 10 pound change in gear weight a lot more than I notice a 10 pound change in body weight.

I find the "don't worry about what you carry just lose weight" comments to be a bit ludicrous.  It would make more sense to say, "in addition to watching gear weight, don't forget to watch body weight too".

Gear Talk / Re: Which pedal?
« on: August 06, 2010, 06:42:17 pm »
I think that you will run into the same problem with every type of clipless pedal out there-if you forget to unclip, you are attached to the bike.
Someone above said that "no one" likes SPd-actuallt you'd probably find millions that do. Just different options.
+1  I like my SPDs just fine.  Most of the tourists I have met on the road use SPDs and the ones who don't mostly either used toe clips, power grips, or no retention system.

My recommendation is to either work at getting used to your SPDs or if you don't think they are for you just go with a platform pedal.

Good luck with whatever you choose.

Routes / Re: Sierra Cascades - anyone done it yet?
« on: August 05, 2010, 07:01:55 am »
Would like to hear from anyone who has done any of the new Sierra Cascades route.  I have been planning to do the section north from Lake Tahoe as part of my return from going down the coast but have reservations about the overall altitude and climbs as well as amenities/camping etc.  For someone who hates hills and only has a summer rated sleeping bag it doesn't look like such a good idea.
We did the southern part.  We started in San Diego and flew home from Reno.  So my knowledge of the northern part is mostly from the maps and a general knowledge of the area.  That said the Northern part looks like the substantially easier part from a climbing perspective.  There is still a lot of climbing though.

You can generally camp fairly low if you want.  You may summit fairly high some days but there is no need to camp extremely high.  So you can get by with a fairly moderate sleeping bag, depending on when you go.

General Discussion / Re: Cutting Weight
« on: August 04, 2010, 08:13:25 am »
Additionally, you've got to a wee bit of math. Your total mass––you, bike, water, food, gear, clothing, tools, spares, everything--must be objectively measured before you begin going ultralight. Say your total moving mass at the moment is 250 pounds. Whittling away a whopping 10 pounds is a mere 4% reduction in your total mass! (240/250=96/100)
My experience definitely does not bear that out.  I can tell you that when I have mailed home even a few pounds of stuff the difference was very noticeable especially in the mountains.  Similarly when we redistributed gear between riders to help a weaker rider a few pounds was the difference between continuing and failing to continue.

Additionally I can say that losing body mass did not seem to offer a similar amount of advantage as lightening the gear load.

10 pounds of extra stuff would be a trip killer in the mountains for me.

General Discussion / Re: Cutting Weight
« on: August 04, 2010, 08:05:59 am »
Over the years, I've tried everything I can think of to lower the packing weight of the stuff I carry. Right now, I'm down to 35-45lbs. Is there a way to get lighter? (short of not shaving or not packing any soap, I'm unsure of where to cut next.
Hard to say since you don't say what items you are carrying now.  You also don't say what you include in you tally.  I count all gear and panniers, but no food or water since I don't carry much food most of the time and food and water vary widely throughout the day and day to day.  I find it fairly easy to get down to a bit over 30 pounds and could go lower if I really wanted to.

BTW: I don't count anything that is on the bike all the time, even when not on tour.  That stuff I include in bike weight (bike weight in my case is a bit under 30 pounds).

I may not be the best example since I am not really going ultralight, but my packing list from my last trip is at:

I find the two biggest things are to:
1. Watch the weight of the larger items picking ones that are the lightest.
2. Watching what smaller items you choose to take.

Item 1 for me means that:
a. I take my cheap Nashbar waterproof pannier rather than something heavy like Arkel panniers. 
b. I take a lighter tent.
c. I take a lighter sleeping bag.
d. I use my light weight NeoAir sleeping pad (12 ounces)

Item 2 means that I look hard at each item and leave anything iffy home.  Additionally I mail stuff home if I find I am not using it.

Gear Talk / Re: vintage cannondale
« on: August 01, 2010, 03:37:37 pm »
Just bought either a 1986 or 87 cannondale sm 600 or 800 (not sure) for $200 thats never been ridden.Its been stored off the ground all these years. The owner said he paid $800.00 new.Being this old of a bike is it just an outdated bike with outdated components or does it have vintage value? I didnt think I could go wrong at $200. Opinions?
Dunno about the vintage value.  I'd ask on the bike forums classic and vintage area.

If you want it to ride it is probably a pretty nice bike as long as you are not worried that it is "old fashioned".  I have a Cannondale road bike of that vintage and it is still a very nice ride in my opinion.

Routes / Re: Delta PA
« on: August 01, 2010, 09:54:25 am »
Not a lot but have ridden by there.  What do you want to know?

Gear Talk / Re: Which pedal?
« on: July 30, 2010, 07:27:17 pm »
Sorry about your fall Sanuk, but... after you are used to clip-less, forgetting to clip out is kind of like forgetting to breathe.  The key is to get to that point.  I think that getting used to clip-less is helped greatly if the following procedure is followed when setting up new clip-less riders.  I also think this avoids problems caused by poor setup.  I have posted this elsewhere, but figured it was relevant here. So I am posting it again.

This is how I have set up family and friends:

       1. Unless you know they need something special position-wise, set cleats up with all adjustments in the middle of the range.
       2. Have the rider straddle the bike and clip in and out a few times while not moving.
       3. Verify the the initial cleat position is close enough that they feel OK to try it.
       4. Have them ride a few hundred yards and come back.
       5. Remind them to unclip as they are stopping.
       6. Ask them how the cleat adjustment needs to be changed. Discuss as needed and repeat riding if they are unsure.
       7. Make changes to one foot at a time.
       8. Repeat steps 4 -7 as needed increasing the distance ridden in step 4 as they feel they need to. This may take 30 minutes or so before you are done. Repeat again later if needed.

None of the folks I have done this with have had problems either with adjustments or with forgetting to clip out.

Gear Talk / Re: bIKE COMPUTER
« on: July 24, 2010, 05:19:28 pm »
I don't understand your comment on flashing headlights lights turning off the unit?
I don't get that one either.  I've never had one turn itself off due to interference.  That said I did have plenty of trouble with interference with wireless computers.  We have had several wireless ones in the family and all were susceptible to interference from stuff like neon signs, power lines, heart rate monitors, cell phones, and even electric fences.  The result was always bogus readings the most annoying of which was mileage logged while parked near a neon sign.  This has been true for several models and brands (including Cateye) until we gave up on wireless.

Gear Talk / Re: Bicycle Shipping Cases
« on: July 22, 2010, 11:03:00 am »
Even if you are flying, if an AMTRAK station is within reach, consider buying one of their boxes. 

I have always thought about that, but was afraid it might be big enough for the airline balk at accepting it.

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