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Messages - staehpj1

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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.

Gear Talk / Re: Converting my suitcase to a trailer
« on: July 22, 2010, 09:32:25 am »
Ok I know I have thread about BF's but also considering a Brompton.  They don't do a case that converts into a trailer- I could consider a BF case & trailer set up but just wondered if anyone else has ideas about transforming a strong suit case into a trailer and how did you do it?
I have no experience with their kit, but Bicycler Evolution sells the hardware to do this.

Gear Talk / Re: Bicycle Shipping Cases
« on: July 22, 2010, 09:27:24 am »
Slightly off subject (sorry) but might be relevant just what do you do with your box/case when you have arrived at your starting point - always been a prob for me and usually use a cardboard box which can be left for recycling at the airport. 
That is why a case generally doesn't work for me.  If you fly into and out of the same airport (I don't) then a case makes more sense.  It should be easy enough to find someplace to leave your case (motel where you stay at the start, bike shop, warmshowers or couchsurfing host, etc.).  If using a case means having to ship it empty between start and finish, or start and finish and home, then it is more hassle and expense than it is worth to me.

I wish there was a better answer for folks who do not start and finish in the same place and still want to use a case, but I have not found one.

General Discussion / Re: looking for a new bike
« on: July 18, 2010, 11:03:54 am »
For touring bikes, you're probably locked into steel-- at least partly.
Don't rule out the Cannondale aluminum touring bikes.

Gear Talk / Re: Bicycle Shipping Cases
« on: July 17, 2010, 09:18:56 am » This is an impressive little package and keeps your bike mostly intact.  It can be broken down and then mailed back to yourself. ( also has an estimator.  You can get door-to-door service or drop-off service. 

I used one on my tour last year and it worked well.  They were cheaper for the shipping than I could negotiate with FedEx or UPS.  That said they are still a pain to deal with wrt to what to do with the box when you get to your destination.  If you have to mail the box home from the start of the tour and then mail it to the end of the tour it is a real pain.

On the tour where I used it I started and ended at a friends house so it worked great.  Very little disassembly is required and the bike is very well protected.  The box is not cheap, but can be used several times and the shipping seems to be a better deal than you get if you go directly to FedEx yourself.  If you start and finish your tours in the same place this is a great way to go.

Gear Talk / Re: Good Cycling Shorts w/ Chamois
« on: July 17, 2010, 09:11:44 am »
I really like Pearl Izumi Ultrasensor shorts and do not feel the need to wear anything over them.  That said if you either don't want to look like a cyclist or want pockets you can wear whatever you want over them.

Personally I find the handlebar bag a much better place for the stuff I might be inclined to put in pants pockets.  I do sometimes carry something like lip stuff or a snack in my jersey pocket, but more and more I find I prefer the handlebar bag for even those items.

Gear Talk / Re: Bicycle Shipping Cases
« on: July 16, 2010, 01:10:27 pm »
Preparing for RAA in 2011 and inquiring what folks use to ship their bicycle to the starting point?  I read the article on ACA.   I am looking for a case that is durable, will hold the bicycle pretty much assembled, and does not cost a lot.  Can you rent cases from somewhere?  Thank you in advance.
What kind of case or box is best depends on how you plan to ship it.   Assuming travel within the US...
  • On Amtrak - Use the box they sell.  It is huge and you only need to take off the pedals and turn the handlebars for most bikes.
  • For UPS and FedEx - Use a box that bikes come in or a similar sized case.  This means a lot more disassembly, but a beyond a certain size cost goes way up.  You can generally get a box for free from a bike shop.
  • For Flying - The same kind of box or case as with FedEx or UPS.  Stick with South West or Frontier Airlines if in the US.

The thing with cases is that you have to do something with them while on your tour.  If you are returning to the start before flying home that might be easy, but if starting in one city and finishing in another it will be tougher.  That is why I use cardboard boxes.

The hassle is usually at the end of the trip when you need to send the bike home.  The easiest way to handle that is to have a bike shop pack and ship it for you.  It typically costs $30-60 for the bike shop and $40-60 for UPS or FedEx for domestic shipping.

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