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Messages - staehpj1

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1636
General Discussion / Re: Long distance cycling and supliments
« on: January 27, 2009, 06:32:25 pm »
Ha Ha!  We took Flintstones chewables on the Trans America!  I am not a big believer in supplements, but my daughter took them and handed me one each day.  I can't say the did or didn't help.


1637
Gear Talk / Re: Drivetrain questions
« on: January 26, 2009, 12:08:44 pm »
Easiest and cheapest change is to replace the 28T chainring with a 24T.  It's a bigger % change than going from a 32 to a 34T rear cog and much less expensive than changing the cassette.
I agree.

Quote
Are you sure you don't already have a long cage rear derailleur?  Almost all bikes with triple cranks come with them and your current gearing would be very limited if your rear derailleur is now a short cage.
I agree here too.  It seems unlikely that you have an 11-32 and a triple and do not have a long cage RD already.

1638
Routes / Re: Pennsylvania to Oregon
« on: January 26, 2009, 08:56:57 am »
Check out the Transam route on this site. Also google the DOT website in each of the states you will travel through. Many offer free road maps and some have state bicycle maps and routes.
I would second that.  the TransAmerica is a great route and the maps have a wealth of information including lots of free places to camp, contact info for libraries, post offices, stores, bike shops, motels, hostels, camp grounds, police, and so on.  Well worth the price.  You can buy the maps and just start riding with zero route planning or research on facilities.

1639
Gear Talk / Re: Drivetrain questions
« on: January 26, 2009, 06:55:43 am »
I'm in the midst of upgrading my bike for a TA tour. I did consider buying a new one, but it was far too expensive. I've gotten to the point of looking at my gearing, and from the few thousand miles I've put on it on day trips I think I need some lower gearing. It's an 8 speed, and currently I'm running 28-38-48 up front and 11-12-14-16-18-21-26-32 on the rear. I was thinking of Sheldon Brown's custom cassette:13-15-17-19-21-23-26-34. Has anyone used these before? Does the combination work well for you? Should I also perhaps find a smaller front sprocket? Would it be worth it to upgrade my derailleur to a long cage version? I realize vastly different solutions work well for different people, but I was just wondering what everyone thinks about this topic.
There are personal variables, like your preferred speed and cadence, what you weigh, and how much you will be carrying.  Some folks like super low  or rather high gearing and some get by on less extreme combinations.  Three of us did the TA on bikes that came with  30/42/52T paired up with and 11-32.  We all replaced the crank with one that was 46-36-26.  One of us put a 24 on in place of the 26 before the start and another did the same in Missoula.  I did the Whole TA with the 46-36-26 and the 11-32.

I didn't feel the need for anything lower than the 26-32 in the Cascades or the Rockies.  There were a few places in the Appalachians where a 24 would have been nice and I have since installed one.  Still the 26 was "adequate".  Personally I used the 46-11 high gear a lot and would not have wanted to lower the top gear much if any lower.

1640
Gear Talk / Re: Front Racks Low Rider vs Expedition Rack
« on: January 25, 2009, 10:00:32 am »
It is just personal preference, but I like low riders.  I don't see a need for a platform in the front.  I have a handlebar bag that puts enough weight up there without stacking more stuff on a platform.  I keep small but heavy stuff in the front panniers and lighter, but bulkier stuff in the rear panniers and on top of the rear rack.

I like the inexpensive low riders from Nashbar or Performance (Blackburn clone).  They are cheap light and sturdy.  The Tubus racks are nice and if money is no object you might go that route, but I would buy the cheap Performance or Nashbar ones again if I didn't have any.

1641
I forget exactly which stores there were in Frisco and nearby by Silverthorne and Breckenridge, but you should have no trouble finding fuel there.  I think there are 3 or 4 hardware stores and a Walmart.  I am pretty sure that one of the bike shops had it was well.  Sorry I don't have addresses, but it should be easy to find some.

1642
Gear Talk / Re: front rack with shelf
« on: January 20, 2009, 07:39:21 am »
although the weight is a bit high, I suspect that more weight on the front would be better to counter balance any weight from a trailer. i now own two trailers one is a burley nomad, which im not concerned with, and the other is a bob yak which ive read in other forums that it takes weight off the front of the bike when fully loaded and makes it more difficult to steer on soft ground so instead of taking weight off I actually want to add as much weight as possible to the front of the bike so the surly rack should work well.
It is high in two ways.  First it is double the weight of most lowriders and second the weight is up high.  I can see wanting a rack top for light bulky items, but you are using a trailer so you should have an abundance of space for bulky stuff.

It isn't hard to get some weight on the front wheel by just using smallish panniers on lowrider racks and putting small dense items in them.  The advantage of the weight being low is significant, especially in the front.

Think about this...  A BoB Yak weighs 13.5 pounds and a Surly Nice Rack weighs 2.95 pounds (slightly more or less depending on which hardware your bike needs) add an extra inner tube for the trailer and you are up close to 17 pounds.  There are people who manage to tour carrying less than what just the trailer and rack add to your load!

If there is one thing that I learned while riding the Trans America and other shorter tours it is that weight carried matters.  A pound or two are a big deal and a few ounces here and there quickly add up to pounds.  If you take too much "stuff" you can always mail things home, which many tourists wind up doing even after they are pretty experienced.  If the weight is in racks and trailers it isn't that easy to reduce the load.

I don't know your experience level, if you have logged tens of thousands of miles happily hauling hundreds of pounds of stuff, ignore me.  If you have not yet done a multiweek tour, please at least consider my suggestions one more time.

1643
Gear Talk / Re: front rack with shelf
« on: January 19, 2009, 01:42:46 pm »
im going with the surly rack, thanks again for the help tourista :)
If you are at all weight conscious, check the weight of the Surly before buying.  I think it is something like 2-1/2 pounds.  If that doesn't bother you disregard this.

1644
Routes / Re: cross country polio fund raiser for newbies
« on: January 17, 2009, 02:58:43 pm »
We are in the planning stages of doing an across the US - West 2 East ride to raise money for polio for the Rotary.  Being new to riding we want to avoid hills :-)
One of the three Adventure Cycling routes is what I would recommend.  The Trans America is great.  The climbs in the west are long but not very steep.  My two companions had almost no miles under their belts and just started off with shorter days in the first couple weeks.  They did fine.

The Northern Tier is supposed to be nice too.  The Southern tier is shorter and flatter, but you don't want to do it in the Summer.

The hard climbs are the short steep ones in the east and if you are going W - E you will be in shape by the time you get to them, Just be sure to pack light and have low gears.

1645
Routes / Re: Dedicated Across America Bicycle Path
« on: January 12, 2009, 02:48:06 pm »
Different strokes, but I would just as soon ride the roads.  When on the TA we generally found that when we had the option of riding bike paths we usually preferred to avoid them.  The way cool one between Dillon/Frisco/Breckenridge Colorado was an exception.  It was awesome.

You might look into the American Discovery Trail it is sort of what you propose.  It doesn't really appeal to me, but it might to you.
http://www.discoverytrail.org/

1646
Connecting ACA Routes / Pueblo, CO to Delaware Water Gap, PA
« on: October 03, 2008, 07:06:53 am »
The TA uses the Blue Ridge Parkway up to the start of Skyline Drive.  You can just continue up Skyline Drive to  Front Royal.  From there I am not sure what is best.  There are some decent roads for cycling, but I am not knowledgeable enough to make a good recommendation.

I am told that if you want to go via Washington DC you can take W&OD Bike Trail into Arlington VA. Then follow the Custis Bike Trail to DC, but have never ridden on either.  Another option might be to look at where the AC Atlantic Coast Route goes, not sure if it is useful for you or not.

If you need a place to stay in Baltimore let me know.

http://www.nukefix.org/parkway/parkwaymile.htm
http://members.cox.net/blueridgecyclist/
http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/forum/board/message/?o=3Tzut&thread_id=33999&v=2I&page=1&nested=0#34119


1647
Connecting ACA Routes / Pueblo, CO to Delaware Water Gap, PA
« on: October 02, 2008, 09:15:42 am »
I'd be inclined to take the TA until it joins the Blue Ridge Parkway, then continue north onto Skyline Drive to Front Royal and pick a route from there.  Where in PA are you headed?


1648
Connecting ACA Routes / Grand Canyon Connector Bike Route
« on: September 29, 2007, 11:47:24 am »
I really enjoyed that link!  It makes me want to start planning a trip there soon, but alas it will be a while until I have enough leave saved up again since I used it all on this summer's tour

-Pete
http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/staehling2007


1649
Underground Railroad / Looking for a Guide
« on: January 11, 2008, 08:27:11 pm »
Do you have any camping experience?  If you have backpacked, canoe or kayak camped, or even car camped, it should be pretty easy.

If you have no camping experience at all, practice using the gear at home.  Pitch the tent in the yard.  Cook some meals on your camp stove at home, etc.

Half of the battle is taking the right stuff with you.  Study the packing list of others who have made successful trips if you don't know what you need.


1650
Classifieds / cross country riding buddy needed
« on: May 01, 2008, 08:38:00 am »
Since you seem open to suggestions, I will make a couple...

I think that starting at an easy pace the first few days and easing in to longer miles as you go is a good idea.

Budgeting more time than you need is a great idea if it is possible.  That way you can just take each day as it comes and get there when you get there.  Nothing spoils a trip like being on a must make schedule.  You will likely get there just as fast and be less stressed if you don't have a demanding schedule.


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