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Messages - BikeFreak

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Gear Talk / Re: Surly Disc Trucker v. LHT
« on: April 06, 2012, 03:23:21 pm »
Off topic:

Spokes have tensile strength of approx 1100 MPa.
Typical spoke diameter is 2 mm.
Lets assume you have 2 wheels both with 36 spokes. On each wheel 18 spokes act as "braking spokes" due to the spoke pattern. In total you have 36 "braking spokes".

Main formula: p=F/A

where p=pressure=tensile strength
A=Cross sectional area

Lets calculate the cross sectional area

A=3,14/4*2^2=3,14 mm^2

F=1100*3,14=3454 N

With a total of 36 braking spokes you have 3454*36=124344 N

which equals 12,6 tonnes.

Now, unless you are able to stop your bike literally within a fraction of a second (=enormous decelleration) I hereby claim that you will never reach the 12,6 tonnes limit. Now, one can extend the calculus with all different kinds of variables, but this was only to show how strong spokes actually are.

As a comparison:

Construction steel tensile strength: 370 MPa
And the beforementioned stainless steel spoke: 1100 MPa

... and even higher for thinner spokes.

Thus, spoke material is 3 times stronger than construction steel.

However, if your spokes have experienced extensive fatigue due to bad/wrong wheel building, a large strain like a downhill brake might just be what is required for a snap. But thats a different story and disc brakes cannot be accused for that matter.

Now, this doesn't mean I run disc brakes myself. I have used disc brakes and they are fun in dry sunny weather in town. I only run hydraulic rim brakes (=Magura). My Maguras have not required any service or a drop of oil for the last 13 years.


General Discussion / Re: No restrooms?
« on: March 31, 2012, 07:15:53 pm »
"Camping in city park, no restrooms."

How does that restrooms while camping in a city park?

I guess it works just like it says! The town/city has offered their park to cyclists, however there are no services except a lawn and maybe a shelter. In turn, such a city park is probably for free and this is why I love these parks. Not far away you will probably find a gas station or a McDonalds with rest rooms.

This is how I interpret it.


Routes / Re: I have an old Southern Tier map ...
« on: March 20, 2012, 06:10:51 pm »
Thanks for your feedback.


Routes / I have an old Southern Tier map ...
« on: March 19, 2012, 02:53:27 am »
Summer 2000 I did the Northern Tier + Pacific Coast + 1st Section of Southern Tier.
Summer 2012 I will do the Transamerica Trail + Sierra Cascades + 1st Section of Southern Tier.

Reason for 1st section of Southern Tier is due to my departure airport in Pheonix, AZ.

3 months ago I ordered all the maps and had them shipped to Europe. Except for the 1st section Southern Tier: I had this map already of course.

Then a few days ago I realize the map is so old that no addendums exist online anymore.

The map is called  #BC-1710 99D

which indicates a print from 1999 I suppose.

Further researching I see that there is a heavy change of route on the first part leaving San Diego:

Whereas the new map closely follows I-8, the old map stays close to the border (HWY 94). Both routes rejoin in Boulevard, CA.


1. Is it possible to get an addendum for such an old map?
2. What is the reason for changing the route? I remember the HWY 94 as being very quite and peaceful.


I don't think that's stupid at all. You chances of getting robbed on the TransAm are probably less than one in a thousand,

Somewhat off topic:
My point exactly. Friends/family still don't believe me when I tell them it is more safe to ride across USA (incl probable bear encounters in the Rockies) than having a Friday night out in a European city/town where you have a large chance of getting robbed, stabbed, shot at or beat up by total strangers. People do stupid stupid things when intoxicated by drugs but most importantly alcohol.

But hey, on my Northern Tier trip somewhere in the heartland I was sitting on a porch in front of a tiny grocery store relaxing and eating. A lady came by and gave me 3 dollars so I could buy myself an ice cream  :)


I know that some of you will call this upright stupid ...

On my last trip I had 1000 dollars in hard cash in my wallet. Just a bunch of 20 dollar bills. I will also be doing the TA this summer and again I will start out with 1000 dollars. That should last for 50 days (= the entire trip) excl unexpected mechanical failures. Although I will carry 2 credit cards (emergency) I don't like using them at all because I "loose the grip" of where the money is going. But this behavior is probably reflecting the use of credit/debit cards in my everyday life: I probably use those cards 2-3 times a month. I need to physically see where the money is going. It is as simple and basic as it gets.

And remember the saying:

Money talks
Cash screams


General Discussion / Re: Rain pants? Yay or Nay
« on: March 17, 2012, 02:37:35 am »

Last year I asked the same question (even with a poll):


Routes / How quickly are addendums updated?
« on: March 17, 2012, 02:33:14 am »

This is how I use the addendums:

With a ball pen I write all the important information right on the map. Motels, hostels, B&B are not of interest to me so it boils down to route changes, campground changes and closures/operings of grocery stores/gas stations. That way I don't have to fiddle with 1 extra sheet of white paper pr map when touring. I always did it like that, and I love it. This swapping of information to the maps takes me approx 1 day and is worth every minute spent.

I will be doing the Transamerica starting June 2nd in Washington DC. This is a late start as a realize that many cyclists start in May, maybe even April. Those cyclists will be just ahead of me and able to report on any changes to Missoula.

At the moment I see some addendums from February 2012 already which is good. However, how is the procedure for updating the addendums? If a cyclist reports a change on route, will it just be added instantly without any ACA research?

Just prior to departure things get very hectic for me and I will not have time to print all the information onto the maps the night before departure. So when would be a good time to download the addendums? If the addendums are truly updated instantly I have to pick the latest time possible. If there is a 1 month "processing" time I can relax and have it done a quiet weekend in May.


Routes / Re: Northern Tier: Change of route May 2012
« on: March 15, 2012, 02:43:46 am »
Thanks for your reply. The link was very informative. I did the Northern Tier in 2000 and very clearly remember ND 1804. A place where you really experience the bad lands.


Routes / Northern Tier: Change of route May 2012
« on: March 14, 2012, 06:57:32 pm »

Does anyone know why the Northern Tier route is drastically changed in North Dakota?


Gear Talk / Re: How to avoid saddles sores and rash (hand sanitizer)
« on: March 13, 2012, 01:38:32 am »
A few updates:

There is a lot of good information on Thanks "bikenorth"
Also see this:

I have to agree with "bikenorth": In my case I'm probably struggling with infected hair follicles.

From my original post I forgot to mention at what mileage saddle sores are a problem to me. From reading the posts some people can go bike travel without padded shorts and chamois cream at all. I guess if I "only" do 40 mi/day with frequent rest days I can go without padded shorts and cream. However my pace is approx 125 mi/day with no rest days at all. Padded shorts are mandatory to me in that situation, it would be impossible to have that pace with normal cotton underwear - I think it would be a blood bath.

At the moment there is another interesting thread going on:

I really like primitive camping and I have no need to shower every day. I have never stayed at at motel/hotel/hostel/bed breakfast etc. I very much prefer campgrounds in National Parks, National/state Forests, city parks, fire dept lawns etc. In these situations it is not possible to shower which conflicts with common sense in terms of hygiene as mentioned everywhere: Shower daily, wash your shorts daily. Which makes totally sense. This is why, in the original post, I was interested remedies that could help touring cyclists if showering was not an option.


General Discussion / Re: Affordable/free camping idea
« on: March 12, 2012, 04:24:36 pm »
One of the most common addendum updates to the ACA maps are:

The XXX RV resort no longer accepts bicycles. Just like we are a nuisance. It is really sad to read those addendums.


Gear Talk / Re: packing panniers
« on: March 10, 2012, 06:06:18 pm »
With my bike it's opposite:

My first tours were with rear panniers alone (Ortliebs). And a roll on top. With that very simple and basic setup my bike handles completely stable even at 45 mph descents.

A while ago I did another tour in a more cold climate: It was necessary to carry a heavy sleeping bag and cold weather clothing. For that reason I got the Ortlieb front panniers and the rock solid Tubus front rack. From day 1 and the next 30 days the bike behaved badly. Lots of vibrations and flexing of the frame especially on descents when riding faster than approx 18 mph. I had to literally brake on the descents. I tried all kinds of variations with the panniers: Shifting weights etc but nothing helped.

My next tour will be with my trusted Ortlieb rear panniers and a roll on top - just like in the old days :-)


General Discussion / Re: Affordable/free camping idea
« on: March 07, 2012, 02:07:24 am »
In small-town churches nowadays, the pastor is more likely to be a she.
Quite often, the church sign will have the pastor's name.
Sometimes, they have multiple churches they serve in a few nearby towns.
It's easiest to ask - "Does Rev. Smith live here in Smallville?"
If she lives 30 miles away - then ask if a minister does live in Smallville.
So, the Baptist minister - Rev. Johnson - lives over on Maple Street.
So you call Rev. Johnson, instead, and ask.  Don't expect.
But you will usually be pleasantly surprised by the generosity.

As for public lands - I find the purchase of National Forest maps worth it.
They show surface ownership patterns - with a scale of 1 inch = 2 miles.
So they are pretty detailed for touring and back roads, too.
They have them in paper ($5) and plastic ($10).  Or thereabouts.
Even one night of pricey camping more than covers the cost of a plastic map.
Most larger towns near forests have a Forest Service office.
Plus, town libraries will often have areas maps, too.

Thanks for the info on churches.

Here at it is possible to see where established campsites are located in the national forests. You are even able to make online reservations and payments. But you are saying that besides these established campsites in National Forests, you could literally camp 1 mile away from the signed camp site for free - because it is public land? Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Next, when searching on I see that many many campsites are something called group campsites or family campsites, where, for instance, they ask for 50 dollars for one group campsite. Has anyone stayed in such campsites? Is it a matter of asking the group/family to share a few square feet for another tent. What is the intention of these special campsites.


General Discussion / Re: getting insurance for UK rider in N America
« on: March 06, 2012, 04:47:59 pm »
A plan to stretch the ride over 3-4 months. 

As far as I know you are only allowed to stay in USA for 90 days on a tourist visum. I'm from Denmark and I can get an insurance for as many days as I want to.


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