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 2 3 [4] 5 6 ... 138
General Discussion / Re: Question About Minimum Stay Requirements
« on: February 08, 2015, 07:24:21 pm »
I'd say you're looking in the wrong places.
Or at least way different places than where I typically tour.  I am curious where that is a problem and at what kind of campgrounds.

General Discussion / Re: Question About Minimum Stay Requirements
« on: February 08, 2015, 10:06:26 am »
My wife and I are planning a tour and we're running into minimum stay requirements at some campgrounds. What has your experience been dealing with them? Do you find that most people are flexible when it comes to folks who are just passing through and need a place for the night? Do you have any tips and/or tricks for reserving for less than the minimum stay?

I guess it must depend on the locale and the type of places you stay, but I have never been told I had to stay a minimum stay.  I usually stay in places like town parks and so on, but do stop at the occasional campground.  What part of the country are you touring in? Most of the places I have toured are either usually fairly easy to camp for free or have hiker biker sites.

Gear Talk / Re: Too tight spokes causes wheel buckling.
« on: February 06, 2015, 10:23:22 am »
It's true but I have several spokes at close to zero tension with the rest being too tight. Generally I allow this for front wheels but not for the back.

I am tend to be one to run things until they break, but I'd probably replace a rim that is in that condition if I couldn't get it true with at least somewhat even tension.  If on tour, I'd probably wait until back home though.

General Discussion / Re: Traveling the Transam Supported by RV
« on: February 05, 2015, 10:20:32 am »
It may have helped that Don had experienced the western half of the trip on a bike before his accident.

I'd think that it is likely to be a pretty different thing for a cyclist on the disabled list driving or for a non cyclist being recruited to drive.  It seems like it would be just way less likely to stress the relationship and the driver way less likely to wind up unhappy and or bored and maybe even resentful or bitter.

General Discussion / Re: How picky are you?
« on: February 05, 2015, 07:25:39 am »
Any component which I suspect may not last the distance is replaced and put aside for local use.

I have done that to some extent, but have found a few problems with it at least for my personal situation.  First, on tours longer than some length you can't plan on everything lasting the whole way. And second, I found that for me stuff that came off when partially worn out never got used again and things like tires with a couple thousand miles of wear left in them would wind up going to waste, hanging in the shop for years until dry rotted.

It probably doesn't help that I don't ride all that much at home and generally do long tours.  So for me it seems to make more sense to just replace things as needed whether at home or on tour.

That said if something is really close to end of life I would probably replace it before a long tour.  For example, I wouldn't hesitate to start a coast to coast tour with tires that will make it half way but would probably replace them if they looked like they had less than a thousand miles left in them or were getting an excessive number of flats.

I have fitted inline cable adjusters near the shifters so I can fine-tune shifting as I ride.

I have bosses on the frame that have adjusters on some of my bikes and probably should add inline adjusters on the ones that don't.  I find the ones on the frame to be easier to adjust with one hand while riding, so I prefer those when available.

General Discussion / Re: Traveling the Transam Supported by RV
« on: January 31, 2015, 12:55:17 pm »
Having met a few folks doing that I will comment on a couple things.

First expect to stop lots of places with no RV park.  I think you will find there will very often be no official RV sites.  In most small rural towns just parking it somewhere will work fine.  A couple that befriended us on the TA did that a lot.

Second, be aware of the disadvantages which can be significant.  You may be less welcome to stop in a lot of places hiker biker sites will be off limits.  You will meet fewer cyclists.  As soon as a motor vehicle is involved the trip changes pretty significantly.  The wives driving support that I have met were often pretty miserable and wound up harboring a fair amount of resentment.  She needs to expect a lot more boredom that you might normally think.  There will be a lot of days spent in the middle of nowhere in tiny towns where she will likely be all day with not much human contact and way too much time on her hands.

My observations of folks with a wife driving support made me WAY less likely to ever consider it myself for a long tour.

Routes / Re: Jacksonville FL to New Orleans...
« on: January 28, 2015, 04:08:22 pm »
I read somewhere else here that 20 was flatter and quieter, neither of which I have a problem with!

Yeah, I have heard that some folks prefer 20.  Regardless which way you go, have a great trip.

Routes / Re: Jacksonville FL to New Orleans...
« on: January 28, 2015, 03:49:30 pm »
US 90 would probably be my choice for that section based on what I have seen of it and the other choices.  For this section that opinion is based on having driven most of it in a car as I have not ridden most of that section.

Different area, but I rode the ST from San Diego to Pensacola and used US 90 more than AC recommended,  I think that I'd consider using it for it's entire length (Van Horn TX to Jacksonville FL) if riding the ST again.

General Discussion / Re: folders
« on: January 28, 2015, 03:33:35 pm »
Are we talking about a bent or an upright bike?  I'll limit my comments to upright bikes since that is what I know.

For a car trip I see pretty much zero advantage to a folder.  A rack outside of the car makes more sense IMO.  I like roof racks, but there are other choices that can work too.  Even for shipping a bike to a tour or checking one as baggage I don't see any real advantage to a folder unless it fits in a standard checked bag size (l x h x w<= 62").

Most folders are not the best bikes.  I have a Dahon Helios and wouldn't dream of touring on it.  It is OK for short errands or to have in the deck locker of a small boat, but it really isn't that nice to ride.  The two biggest problems are that:
  • It is hard to set them up to an efficient riding position
  • They can be really noodley with the tall masts for seat post and stem.

The Bike Friday is reportedly better on both counts though.  Still it doesn't sound to me as if a folder suits your needs.

If you are thinking of a folding bent, I have no idea.

If possible, I prefer to know where I'm going to end the day before I get there, or at least know the possibilities. If I have no idea where I might spend the night, the anxiety is a bit uncomfortable. It always works out, but it makes me a bit uneasy.

Everybody is different.  I like having an idea of what the options are at least to the extent of knowing how far the next few towns are, but I really prefer not to commit to where I will stop, because I never know if I will feel like stopping at 40 miles, 140 miles, or something in between.  For me the flexibility that offers is liberating.  OTOH it makes it pretty much impossible for me to stay with hosts who typically want a little notice.

Has anyone taken the risk of not knowing where you are going to camp for the day?  Any ideas that have worked well?

I seldom plan ahead for where I will camp.  Where I stay varies depending on what part of the country you are in and how rural/small town it is.  It is typically easier to impromptu camp if you are away from either coast.  It is also usually easier in rural or small town settings.

For town parks... 
If the town is large enough to have cops, I usually ask first.  If the town is small enough I might ask the clerk at the general store if they think anyone will bother me if I pitch a tent in the park for the night.  Sometimes I don't ask and just set up.  I usually try to set up early enough that if I get run off I still have time to find somewhere else, but in practice I have never actually been run off.

Churches...  I usually ask first.

Outside or behind businesses or fire houses I usually ask first.

In places like rural Texas, roadside picnic areas work well.  I suspect that cowboy camping or using a bivy is less likely to get you run off than using a tent.

I am not big on stealth camping but in a pinch will just find a spot I won't be seen.

You get good at knowing what will work and what won't with experience.  I found that doing my first tour on an Adventure cycling route (Trans America) was helpful in learning what was likely to work with less worry since they listed a lot pf places to stay on the maps.

I find that opening with "I am riding from _____ to _____ and..." opens a lot of doors.  It probably won't work well if ______ and _____ aren't pretty far apart, but for a multi week or multi month tour its seems to.

General Discussion / Re: Washington, DC to Atlanta, GA
« on: January 27, 2015, 06:41:42 pm »
3. Be aware that leaving the parkway for camping or services usually means a long steep climb back up to the parkway.

This is commonly repeated, but I'm not so sure.  As long as you can get into a campground (Pete's point 1) and carry enough food for a day or two, I think things aren't as desperate as they're often portrayed.  For instance, I don't see the climb up to Rockfish Gap from Waynesboro as very bad.  Resupply there and you'd want to make the long slog to Roanoke; there's a number of small towns near the Parkway (and not too far downhill), i.e. Floyd and Fancy Gap, from there down to North Carolina.  Boone and Blowing Rock are easily accessible from the Parkway.  There are got a couple of restaurants and motels around Little Switzerland, then another day to Asheville, and another day to Balsam.

You may be able to plan well and avoid the longer and steeper climbs when leaving the parkway.  That said I'd definitely advise planning that carefully and not leaving it to chance.   While there are some places where the climb back up isn't bad there are also some real humdingers.  Some places leaving the parkway looks like dropping off the edge of the earth.  In any case it will be a challenging route for most riders.

Not everyone feels the same as I do, but I really hate going far at all off route for camping, shopping, or other services.  I also hate being tied to plan, preferring to be able to play it by ear as I go.   As a result I have only ridden the portion of the BRP that is on the TA (Vesuvius to the norther end of the BRP).  I have a few times considered riding the BRP and always decided against it after looking closer at the logistics.

General Discussion / Re: How picky are you?
« on: January 27, 2015, 04:50:51 pm »
The only time I've had a squeaking chain around home was after a good downpour on the commute in to work, but I drove my (younger) companion nuts on tour -- she could hear the chain half a day before I could

That sounds familiar.  I have had the same issue with a variety of sounds that I never heard driving my daughter nuts.

Gear Talk / Re: What lube to use for touring.
« on: January 27, 2015, 01:19:11 pm »
Pete, you are the only person I have ever heard report getting 10,000 miles out of a chain (or even anything close to that). I have read how you care for your chains, but try as I might, I cannot duplicate your experiences. I lube once a week with a quality lube, never deep clean it off the bike, and yet I cannot get more than 4000 miles out of a chain. When doing loaded touring, I cannot even get that much.

I started the TA in 2007 with a few hundred miles on the chain of my then new Windsor Touring bike.   Subsequently I did at least 3000 miles of other tours on that chain.  I know I did a few centuries and a bunch of around town riding, in between all of that.  So truth be told the 10k is an estimate, but I don't think it is off by all that much.  I can definitely document 8k miles.

I have no good explanation for why my chains last as long as they do.  I sometimes joke that it is my silky smooth spin, but I really don't do anything all that special.

General Discussion / Re: Washington, DC to Atlanta, GA
« on: January 27, 2015, 10:03:37 am »
In Front Royal you can pick up the Skyline Drive/Blue Ridge Parkway.

A few comments on that
1. Be sure the camping you plan to use is open when you will be there.  Most of it closes in the Fall and opens again sometime in the Spring.  I think some sites open as late as May.
2. Be aware that it is a challenging route with camping and facilities pretty widely spaced even when they are all open.
3. Be aware that leaving the parkway for camping or services usually means a long steep climb back up to the parkway.

None of that is intended to discourage you from using the route.  Just be sure you know what you are up against before you decide to use it.

Pages: 1 2 3 [4] 5 6 ... 138