Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Messages - staehpj1

Pages: 1 ... 110 111 [112] 113 114 ... 144
General Discussion / Re: Transporting a bike: box or bag?
« on: October 08, 2009, 08:09:10 am »
Not too sure what the air carriers cost plus, never too keen to cycle from airports as always seems to be very busy highway traffic.
On the other hand, I like riding directly out of an airport.  Not sure why, but I get a kick out of not using any ground based transportation other than my bike at that point.

I have done a few different options.  One trip I packed the three of our bikes in airline boxes, I have used Amtrak, I have flown with my bike packed in bike shop box, I have rented a car, and I have used

All of those had their advantages and disadvantages, but all worked well in one situation or another.  With the airlines increasingly becoming a pain to deal with I think I am more likely to use, Amtrak, or FedEx in the future.  I really liked the fact that the shipbikes box and the Amtrak box both required almost no disassembly of the bike. seems to be able to negotiate a better price than if I deal directly with FedEx myself.  They also ship door to door even to and from residential addresses. The shipbikes box is a clever design, but is $99 and is only good for maybe 4 uses on average.  They do offer replacement for the outer cardboard for 30 or 40 dollars.  It looks like they now also ship plastic cases.  The thing is that it is a bit of a hassle to deal with a case (or the shipbikes box), especially if like me you usually fly out to one place and home from another.

So far I have not found one answer that works to my satisfaction for all of my trips and just do what seems to fit the situation.  On my last tour I had the luxury of being able to ship my bike to a friend's house and then back again from there.  It was nice to be able to leave the shipbikes box there.  Since my tour actually ended 850 miles from his house I had to take Amtrak for that short leg of the tour where my box was.

Amtrak is great if you are going to and from locations that have baggage service and are not in a hurry if the distance is long.  I found the boxes to be huge and the service to be good.  The ride was a good bit longer than I could have driven it though and if there were several of us we would have probably been better off both in cost and time to rent a car.

Gear Talk / Re: Marathon tires. Schwalbe. Tires. Wheels.
« on: October 07, 2009, 05:57:06 pm »
I don't know if the marathon you bought is a schwalbe, but some of the schwalbes are listed as using "india rubber" could that be what you have?

General Discussion / Re: boredom on cross-country?
« on: October 06, 2009, 02:18:05 pm »
Tried audio books but they always send me to sleep, which isn't a bad thing after a days riding, but the battery tends to drain.  Not sure that is useful or not only that's why they don't work for me. 

Or do you listen to them whilst riding is really what I would like to know.
If I am tired enough that I would fall asleep, I just go to sleep and don't bother listening.  I have never fallen asleep while listening to an audiobook.  I know that won't work for everyone though.

I generally don't listen while riding, but have on occasion.  In the flattest, emptiest, most monotonous parts of eastern Colorado and Kansas it can be a nice diversion.

General Discussion / Re: boredom on cross-country?
« on: October 06, 2009, 07:15:09 am »
Avid reader, me too.  I bought a Sony E reader and now carry around 100 books with me, including manuals.  Absolutely brilliant and even has a "page Light" so no need to mess with torches, candles etc, in a tent at night. Plus a bonus for me (62) you can enlarge the text.
I find that for me an iPod shuffle loaded with audiobooks works out well and allows me to carry 7-10 books at a weight of about two ounces including a light weight third party charger.  Similarly I can load audiobooks in my blackberry if I am taking it anyway.  It can take a 4gb memory chip so it holds a lot of books.  Using either you can even read while you are riding though I am generally not inclined to.

Routes / Re: northern tier or transam?
« on: October 01, 2009, 07:12:47 am »
I haven't done the NT so I can't compare, but I thought the TA was a great route.

General Discussion / Re: boredom on cross-country?
« on: September 30, 2009, 06:10:35 pm »
No, I've never been on a solo tour and regretted it.  That said I greatly enjoyed riding coast to coast with my daughter and a friend of hers from college.  I'd happily tour with either or both of them again and probably will.  I will certainly also tour alone again.  Both ways can be great.

Gear Talk / Re: Info on Trainers please
« on: September 28, 2009, 07:33:30 pm »
I hope this isn't too off topic, but...
I find riding a trainer pretty boring and try to avoid it.  I am not saying others will or should feel the same way, but it is something to consider.   It is hard to stay motivated if it is boring.  That said I have found that I can stay in pretty good touring shape even when I am not riding much.  Both running and indoor rowing seem to keep me in pretty good shape for touring.

Before my spring tour I had only about 200 miles in for the year.  I had been running and trail running and had run a half marathon a few weeks before the tour.  I was able to average 80 miles per day for the 10 days of riding and even managed a 142 mile day at the end of the tour.  I did all this in reasonable comfort with a base of about 200 miles.

Similarly a year or two ago when I started riding after a winter of indoor rowing I found myself to be in pretty good riding shape (for some reason I find indoor rowing less monotonous that riding a trainer).  I am 58 years old and a mediocre athlete at best, so if it works for me it probably would for most folks.

My point is that maintaining general fitness is the main thing and to be in reasonable touring shape doesn't necessarily require a great deal of riding miles.

I'm not knocking the trainer if it works for you, merely suggesting that other options work well too.

General Discussion / Re: boredom on cross-country?
« on: September 28, 2009, 05:43:29 pm »
No.  I was sad to see the trip end whether it was coast to coast or 10 days.  This was especially true on the coast to coast trip.  Getting back into real life was tough.

General Discussion / Re: Eastcoast / Atlantic coast in November
« on: September 27, 2009, 11:25:14 am »
And in addition to that question: what about the 'Tidewater Potomac'?
I think that trip is dependent on the ferry which I don't think runs that time of year.  Check to be sure before committing.

I live in the Baltimore MD area and heading south from here should be OK weather wise.  It might be cold at times, but will probably not be too bad if you stay with the coast and out of the mountains.  Also chances of cold weather will be less as you head south.

I would pass on using a backpack for more than a few pounds if even that.

That said some off road tourists like them.

General Discussion / Re: question for transam riders
« on: September 22, 2009, 09:09:40 am »
We met riders of all ages, but mostly either in their early 20's or 50-60's.  There some who were in their teens but most were with someone older usually a parent.  Nothing wrong with an 18 year old going alone though.

Don't sweat the planning too much.  If you manage to get to the start and a reasonable time of year, with reasonable gear, enough money, and the AC maps it will all fall into place.  Also I recommend doing it alone or with one or two friends and meeting folks along the way to camp or ride with if you want.  If you start at a "normal" time of year and direction of travel you will meet other riders.  That way you are not tied to or dependent on staying with a group, but will find friends along the way.

Gear Talk / Re: Big Apples vs. Marathon Plus for Trike Tour
« on: September 21, 2009, 07:57:00 am »
I have only used the Marathon Plus in the 700X32 size, so consider that when weighing my opinion.  In explanation of the riding like anchors statement, there are two pieces to this.

The first is weight.  They weigh more than double what most other touring tires the same size weigh.  Rotating weight has a lot to do with how a bike rides.

The second has to do with the way the tire rides.  Silk racing sewups are at one end of the scale and the MP is at the other.  The sewups feel lively and the MPs fell the opposite.  Something between the two extremes is called for IMO.

Personally I like the Continental Ultra Gatorskins, in my case in 700X28.  I used them on my last tour and was delighted with the ride and they are 308 grams vs 800 grams for the larger MPs they replaced (the 28 mm MPs are 740 grams still more than double the weight).

I used the MPs for a couple hundred miles and just couldn't stand them.  They now sit in my basement.  If I ever need to commute through some really hostile glass strewn road conditions I may put them back on a beater bike, but I will not tour on them.

Weight and ride quality are important to me.  If on the other hand puncture resistance is far and away your main concern the MPs may be just what you want.

Gear Talk / Re: Big Apples vs. Marathon Plus for Trike Tour
« on: September 19, 2009, 09:22:36 am »
Between the two I'd go for the Big Apples.  I found that the Marathon Pluses ride like anchors.  I have not used them in the size you are considering though.

If it was me I'd probably go with something narrower.  Personally I find myself feeling better and less fatigued after a long ride if I am using light tires with a lively ride.  I am willing to put up with a few more flats if necessary to have that lively ride, but I really have not found the difference in the number of flats to be that great.  Since you will not be in goat head thorn country I think flat resistance will be even less of an issue.

General Discussion / Re: older riders
« on: September 18, 2009, 11:35:36 am »
Thanks for sharing.  I'm glad you had fun.

Routes / Re: Los Angeles to New York May 2010
« on: September 16, 2009, 07:59:34 am »
I was initially going to cycle alone but supported, we are now traveling unsupported but i have already purchased my bike for training earlier in the year etc so am now faced with prospect of a small trailer on the back of my trusty Roubaix hoping this will be ok. (any advise as not the norm i know)
We met folks who were doing OK with similar bikes and trailers when we were on the Trans America.  You might consider going with wider tires than came on the Robaix.  I would go with lower gearing as well.  Beefier wheels might be a good idea, too but then you are getting to the point where maybe a different bike might be the answer.  If you stick with the Robaix use at least 25mm tires (28mm if they fit).  Also in my opinion at least, low gearing can't be stressed enough.  I found a 26/32 granny gear just barely adequate in the Appalachians and fine in the Rockies.  Also keep the load light especially with a bike like the Robaix.

May, June July - Assuming these these months suitable?
West to East  - Westerly wind (how important and factor that time of year)

Forget about prevailing westerlies.  The surface winds in the middle of the country will most likely be out of the Southeast by June.  In July we had a headwind the entire way across eastern Colorado and Kansas (the portion of the trip where winds mattered the most because they are open plains).  I'd be inclined to go east to west if starting in May.  That way you avoid some of the heat and humidity in the east and also avoid possible snow in the Rockies.

Personally if I were doing it again I would probably skip directness and again do the Trans America starting in the East this time (unless starting late in the season, then I'd start in the West).  If NY and LA were a must, I'd consider using Amtrak (train) at each end.  The indirect route along the Rockies was very nice and while I haven't ridden the Western Express it doesn't sound as nice.

Pages: 1 ... 110 111 [112] 113 114 ... 144