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Messages - BikeFreak

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Gear Talk / Re: Which Schwalbe
« on: December 20, 2011, 06:00:00 pm »

2. Heavy: I suppose they are a few mg heavier than others, but I did not notice.

A few mg?  The Marathon Plus series weigh more than twice what some other touring suitable tires weigh.  In the size you mention they are just under 2 pounds a piece.  Also they have a very dead feeling ride that is at least partly due to the stiff sidewalls.

They are very flat resistant though, so if flat resistance at all costs trumps ride feel and very a significant weight difference they may suit you.  I rode on a set for a few hundred miles and hated them enough to take them off.

Personally I would pick a lighter tire from their line.  I don't have much experience with their other models so I won't recommend a specific one.

I fully agree on that reply. I have been using the Plus tires ... once ... and will never do it again. If I had to commute 2 mi through glass debris, nails etc I would probably choose them. But for touring: Never. Unless you like the additional exercise by the rolling friction.


Gear Talk / Re: Bike Mirror
« on: December 17, 2011, 03:36:18 pm »
Some of my personal statistics:

1. I never use a mirror (exept once) - both touring and commuting.
2. The one time I used a mirror was on my trike when doing the perimeter of Australia. Actually, I never made use of the mounted mirror - I always used my ears and the turning of my neck.
3. I live in a capital where you have more bicycles than cars in the city (CPH). I have never seen one single person using a mirror.
4. I have bicycled in many heavily congested European areas and I never see bicyclists using a mirror.
5. The times I have seen cyclists using mirrors was almost always in USA on some ACA routes.

I guess its an American thing.


General Discussion / Re: 100 dollar bills too large?
« on: December 09, 2011, 01:27:09 pm »
To conclude:
Avoid 100 dollar bills at gas stations and grocery stores
Crack 100 dollar bills at large super markets

How bout McDonalds, Burger King ... do they accept 100 dollar bills?

PS: I live in Denmark and our largest bill is a 1000 DKK. It corresponds to approx 200 USD. That type of bill is accepted everywhere, even the smallest diner and kiosk. Traveling in Europe has not given any problems using 100 Euro bills so far - even at gas stations. However, the largest bill, the 500 Euro bill (corresponds to approx 700 USD) would probably result in some problems.


General Discussion / 100 dollar bills too large?
« on: December 09, 2011, 03:23:08 am »

Last time I biked in the US I vaguely remember some difficulties/sceptism when paying with a 100 dollar bill in shops. Can someone please update on that matter? Are there truly gas stations/shops that only accept a maximum of 50 dollar bills? I like to carry plenty of cash to avoid the hassle of finding an ATM machine - however small bills take up a lot of space.


General Discussion / Re: Cross Country with a 13 year old boy
« on: December 06, 2011, 02:21:54 pm »
I do bicycle 125 mi/day and with the snow in the Rockies I have to start quite late in June (in VA) in order to do the mountains without closed roads.
This doesn't make sense to me. There's very little chance of closed roads in the Rockies on the TransAm route after June 1, and only a small chance after mid-May. Even at 125 miles a day, you could still start in May in Yorktown.
The reason for my worries is mainly the McKenzie Pass which has been mentioned numreous times in this forum. The snow might stay well into July.

General Discussion / Re: Cross Country with a 13 year old boy
« on: December 06, 2011, 11:45:07 am »
On average I spend 20 dollars a day (solo touring). However, the more you rest, the more you spend  :)


General Discussion / Re: Cross Country with a 13 year old boy
« on: December 05, 2011, 03:35:52 pm »
2012 I'm doing TransAm myself. My biggest concern is the heat/temperature going E-W. I do bicycle 125 mi/day and with the snow in the Rockies I have to start quite late in June (in VA) in order to do the mountains without closed roads. That worries me a lot because I know the temperature in the Midwest can become very very hot. Still, I have not decided when to leave VA.

2000 I did the Northern Tier E-W. Like all ACA maps, these maps are also excellent. You will also be able to camp in plenty of town parks. However, you will not meet so many other bikers along the road - the route is not so popular (I guess). BUT, the summer temperature will be in your favor (you ride close to Canada all the time). My guess is, unless you start at 05 in the morning each day, you will not be able to do the Southern Tier - it simply becomes too hot during the day and you will not be able to do the miles. So, no matter what route you choose - don't underestimate the temperature.

And yes, of course you can do it yourself. In 2003 I did the Divide myself and met the ACA group along the way. In that particular group a family with their 12-14 old son was part of the team. That boy did very very well. And I would say that the Divide is the toughest of all routes in the US.


General Discussion / Re: photography and cycling
« on: November 19, 2011, 04:43:51 pm »
I share the same thoughts like you do. I'm also torn between stopping and shooting some photos or keep the good pace and just continue with the nice tailwind.

However, over the years it has boiled down to the following:

1. Photos of landscapes are boring. You can always go to the same place with a car and shoot the same pictures.
2. Photos of your bicycle on a mountain pass are boring. You just have too many of those photos :-).
3. Photos of people and especially bicycle riders you meet along are interesting and bring up a lot of memories. Now, 12 years ago, on one of my cross country trips I met a cyclist who used plastic paint buckets as panniers. These panniers were fitted to the bike by means of steel wires. That still brings up memories  :).

Question to the GPS compact camera users: How well is the functionality of the GPS? How long does it take to acquire a GPS signal? Does it only make sense for point and shoot if the camera is powered on all the time?


Routes / Re: Number of Cycle Tourists on the Southern Tier?
« on: November 15, 2011, 12:47:30 pm »

April 2009 I did the Southern Tier from FL to AZ on a motorcycle. I was 2 weeks on the road and followed the Adventure Cycling maps all the way. I was on the road from dusk till dawn and had no rest days.

I met no cyclists going E-W. I passed/met less than 10 cyclists going W-E. The weather was nice and I was quite puzzled seeing so few cyclists. I met all cyclists in the region between AZ and Eastern TX.


General Discussion / Re: Hi, I'm a newby after advice!
« on: November 15, 2011, 12:40:50 pm »
1. No.
2. Campsites only (private, state parks, national forests etc). I spend on average 20 dollars a day. There will be remote stretches of more than 100 kms - especially in the West.
3. I'm also young, I never train and I do 200 kms a day.


Gear Talk / Re: Brifters vs. bar-end from a convenience standpoint
« on: November 07, 2011, 01:44:44 pm »
I'm kind of old school: I don't have brifters and I don't have bar end shifters. I have down tube shifters. And everybody makes fun of me.

However, I cannot trust brifters - they are too complicated if something goes wrong. I don't like bar end shifters because they easily get damaged if the bike falls or touches a wall.

I have used down tube shifters the past 12 years and they perfectly suit my riding style. Plus, if a wire snaps you can fix it with a coca cola can and a swiss army knife.


Gear Talk / Re: Your Portable Repair Kit - What's Inside?!
« on: November 02, 2011, 01:32:36 am »
Could you please provide some more information on that tiny chain tool.

What would you like to know that you could not find in the web sites returned by that Google search?


I'm did not mean the sprocket removal tool but the chain link tool.


General Discussion / Re: Weather maps
« on: October 31, 2011, 11:10:59 am »
I was thinking of something similar to this

However just averages for each month. I just cant find these average maps


Gear Talk / Re: Your Portable Repair Kit - What's Inside?!
« on: October 30, 2011, 05:30:55 pm »

  • Tiny chain tool (about 1/3 the size of a disposable lighter) works with an Allen key and the crescent wrench.

Could you please provide some more information on that tiny chain tool.

Thanks in advance,


General Discussion / Weather maps
« on: October 30, 2011, 04:50:44 pm »

As I will be doing Transamerica + Sierra Cascades summer 2012 I was shocked to see how hot it gets on the Sierra Cascades already in Northern CA. Hence, could somebody share a link to some nice US average weather maps (temperature, high/low for each month) to better understand the regions I will be passing.

Thanks in advance,


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