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Messages - BikeFreak

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General Discussion / Re: Getting hungry too fast while riding
« on: April 08, 2013, 11:57:31 am »
Thanks for all your answers.

Concerning proteins: As already suggested plenty of times, this is the way to go. However as paddleboy mentions, they take more time to digest: I read somewhere on the internet that proteins need to broken down to carbs in order to fuel the muscles. This break down process (break down before they get available as fuel) requires energy. And that energy is taken from 1st hand carbs (like pasta, potatoes etc). Thus, it should be an "evil" cycle where valuable carbs are used for processing protein instead of being used as "fuel" right away.

I was always told that Tour de France racing (and alike) cyclists eat carbs alone.

I do drink Gatorade, however cannot remember if it is the G2 version - I just pick whats in the fridge. Or Powerrade. I like the stuff and could easily spend 10 dollars each day on "gas station Gatorade/Powerade". Alternatively I tried buying Gatorade powder (which is more economic) but that is a bit messy and tastes more chemial.

I never experience muscle cramps.


General Discussion / Re: Getting hungry too fast while riding
« on: March 30, 2013, 01:43:32 am »
Hi and thanks for all your answers.

1. I never tried the newton figs. I will try that next time.
2. When you mean baked goods, do you mean, for instance, those blueberry, chocolate chip etc cupcakes available at virtually all gas stations?

1. Will cheese also be OK for 2-3 days at temperatures around 100 degF?
2. How will beef jerky hold up in the heat?

Concerning a): When stuffing I feel great the first 3-4 hours, not sluggish or anything at all. I also tried what you recommend, but more to an extreme: Not eating breakfast at all for the first 15 mi (first hour of riding) until I reach a place to buy food. In these cases (which I really try to avoid) I feel completely wasted and empty on arrival. If you recommend snacks all day long, what sort of snacks would you suggest?

Concerning b): I don't know my heart rate. I just picked the figures from webpages - and many seem to agree on that figure. However I can say, that 15 mph is a pace where my heart is not racing at all and I rarely sweat unless it is 100 degF.

You mention a carb-protein-fat ratio of 40-30-30. For oatmeal this ratio is 68-20-12. Is it really that bad?

I think one of your most valuable comments is the one on water. I don't drink a lot of fluids in general because I don't feel thirsty at all. So maybe I should force myself to drink more even though I don't want to.

PS: I forgot to mention: I weigh 155 pounds, and after 30 days of riding I typically loose 10 pounds of body weight. After a few weeks without riding I gain the 10 pounds again.


General Discussion / Getting hungry too fast while riding
« on: March 29, 2013, 09:32:35 am »

This post is targeted towards those of you who have toured the ACA maps in US. I have posted this in a European bike forum, but it seems that people back here have a hard time understanding how food supplies are in the US.

I myself am from Europe and have toured Northern Tier, Pacific Coast, Great Divide Trail, Atlantic Coast, Transamerica and and parts of Western Express.

When riding I never use a stove. I eat from super markets, grocery stores, gas stations, family restaurants, Subways, Burger Kings etc. Anything at hand along side the road. And you know how difficult it can be getting food in the middle of Montana, Kansas etc.

My riding style is approx 125 mi/day. Approx 60 mi before 1 or 2 pm and the rest thereafter. On my last tour I realized that I either

1. Get hungry too fast.
2. Or my blood sugar level drops too fast.

However I do not know what applies in my case.

Typically I would eat breakfast consisting of oatmeal and stuff as much as possible into my stomach. Then add a drink and maybe a granola bar/chocolate bar. I hope this should last the first 60 mi, but it rarely does. After a few hours a need to top up with chocolate bars, granola bars, peanuts, drinks or whatever to keep going till noon where I will have some sort of meal. After the meal at 1 or 2 pm I get going again, but the topping up has to be done again.

The reason for this posting is that basically I don't like that many chocolate bars, granola bars etc and would rather have something different. Also, because of the heat I spend too much money at gas stations buying these quick fixes = chocolate, soft drinks etc. The quick fixes are not bad - they work very well - but I would rather have the option to try something else. But as you know, in the middle of Montana/Wyoming/Kansas ... something more wholesome is very difficult, because ACA maps take you along the quite roads.

Now here is the problem, at least what I believe:

Riding for 1 hour at approx 15 mph burns approx 650 kcal (based on internet information). Riding 60 mi will thus burn 2600 kcal. Looking at oatmeal (or any other grain) they contain approx 375 kcal pr 100 gram. If I really push it, I can eat 200 grams = 750 kcal and then there is no more space left in my stomach. Then I can add a chocolate bar of 240 kcal. Then a drink of 150 kcal. Now I total at 1140 kcal. But I am still far away from my 2600 kcal which I need in order to make the first 60 mi. I believe this explains my hunger after some hours of riding. I do know that chocolate bars and soft drinks are bad, but I just don't have many options at the tiny gas station somewhere in Kansas (when refueling to make it to the first meal around noon).

I do like fruits: When possible I get bananas, apples, pears, peaches etc, however there is a problem with that. They are tasty but contain a lot of water. Thus my stomach is filled very quickly with too few calories.

You folks who follow the ACA maps do know that food can be a problem on route. There are plenty of gas stations, but stores with healthy food can be a problem - also you need to observe their opening hours.

So my question is: What do you guys do in order to get all the calories? Do you drink pure olive oil? Are you actually able to do 60 miles with only one single meal and no snacks/drinks at all? When posting, please consider that many ACA cyclists have a daily milage of 60 miles in total, so making a comparison to my daily milage, you need to basically imagine that you eat breakfast, have no lunch, but a meal in the evening.


General Discussion / Re: Packing for flights
« on: March 28, 2013, 01:55:54 pm »
Use a sturdy one.
Agree on that one.

I would say that 90% of all bike boxes are flimsy, soft ones. Go to a high end bicycle dealer who sells Cannondale bikes or similar. They have really sturdy boxes and they are also larger.

General Discussion / Re: Packing for flights
« on: March 28, 2013, 09:24:38 am »
Last year I pedaled the Transam. I'm from Europe and I go quite lightweight which means I only use rear panniers and a roll for the tent. Here is what I did:

In the cardboard box with the bike I also stuffed all metal parts such as tools, knives etc in the water bottles. I also put my roll with my tent as cushioning in the box to avoid a damaged bicycle at arrival. I think I also put my sleeping bag and mattress in the box. The trick is to put all the bulky stuff in the box and place it where it will cushion the bike. If needed put plastic bags around if your bike is dirty. Of course when doing this, observe the 50 pounds max limit.

I was able to put the remaining stuff into just 1 of my rear panniers which acted as my carry on luggage. Then a hip purse/bag for all my essentials and wearing my fleece/jacket if it should get cold during the flight. Wearing the fleece/jacket will again displace a lot of volume from your bags.


I found that the  trailer pulled very nicely behind our Cannondale T-1000 touring bikes .. I didn't feel like it added much wind resistance .. on the steep declines I remained vigilant about how the trailer was reacting to speed so I limited it to a top speed of 30mph .. I probably could have gone faster .. the trailer never gave me any indication it was going to be a problem at any speed

I have toured with a BOB Yak myself and I fully agree with your analysis. However there is something most trailer people never mention. Something which annoys me a lot and explains why I switched back to panniers again. When pulling a trailer, especially standing in the pedals going uphill, I feel a large dead mass behind me. A mass which tries to live its own life. I would describe it as inertia. The trailer gives me small sideways "counter forces" when pedaling and I don't like that. I guess these counter forces are a result of a non-perfect attachment system on the rear axle of the bike: There is a little play in that system. I believe that if the play could be fully removed, then the counter forces would be reduced. But not fully, because the entire trailer might flex along its longitudinal axis especially if you are hauling 60 pounds of gear.


General Discussion / Re: Touring Question
« on: March 16, 2013, 05:11:33 am »
In Scandinavian countries you are typically allowed to have 5-6 weeks of vacation (25-30 working days). I mean paid vacation. And you get it from day 1 and everybody is entitled - even people without any sort of education.

That sounds great - and most Americans would love that.

But personal income taxes are at 50-60%. So yes, at least half of your pay check goes straight to the state. And gasoline costs 7,60 dollars a gallon at the pump. And 1 kWh costs the equivalent of 40 cents. I guess that all systems have advantages and disadvantages.


Gear Talk / Re: Panniers
« on: March 13, 2013, 10:53:40 pm »
For the last 10 years I have used Ortlieb Backrollers and they have served me well and have been very dependable - nothing has broken yet - except I had to patch them a few places.

However I have realized that one-compartment panniers (like Ortlieb) have been a great annoyance for me: I just use too much time looking for stuff. Now somebody might say: Put your stuff into colored bags. Yes, but that is still inconvenient. This is why my next bags are going to be some Arkels with many pockets. And here is the turning point: I only do touring during summer time. In 30 days of touring I might have 2 rainy days. This is why - for me at least - the Ortlieb PVC material is waay overkill for me.


General Discussion / Re: Firearms
« on: March 13, 2013, 07:37:56 am »
The ACA maps are superb. They list paved roads that you will NEVER see on one of those US state maps. Of course, if you only want to stay on HWY 1 and 101, you will of course find those HWYs on the state maps. However, as you are approaching a large city, ACA maps takes you on small streets/roads around all the heavy traffic: You will never find these hidden roads on a state map. Your only chance is Google Maps where you can see these roads/streets.

Gear Talk / Re: Chain selection
« on: March 10, 2013, 03:27:12 pm »
The best chains are Rohloff SLT-99 chains, but they cannot be bought anymore. However I still have 5 chains in stock for future adventures.

On my trike I biked 14000 kms on the same Rohloff chain. The trike used 2 standard length chains linked together. After 14000 km the 0,075 Rohloff chain guide still did not show any wear.

On my standard bicycle I biked 6000 km last summer and there was still no 0,075 wear. I sense that the chain would have done at least 10000 km before hitting the 0,075 mark.

The above values are only valid for summer touring.

Bonus info: On my last summer ride I used more or less exactly 1 gram of lube for every 1000 km. That's approx 1/20 ounce for every 1000 miles. I use FinishLine Cross Country lube. The really heavy stuff - I don't rely on those "watery" lubes.


What about this:

However they want 230 dollars for one night at Hite!!

Anyhow, I passed through last summer when it was horrendously hot. I stayed at the campground. The ground was so hot during the night that your sleeping mattress acts as an insulator against heat from the ground and not cold. I vaguely remember the ACA maps listing some sort of motel like accomodation at Hite, but I had a hard time seeing where it was. The entire place was completely deserted. I stayed in the grocery store for 3 hours while a dust storm at 105 degF was blowing outside. Within those 3 hours there was one single customer who needed a few gallons of fuel for a boat.

Last summer (2012) I biked the entire stretch of the "Grand Canyon Connector" in Arizona. Looking at the area you are interested in, I would highly recommend HWY 89 south of Prescott - very pretty and low traffic. Also consider HWY 89A going from Prescott to Jerome. Jerome is a very interesting town.
However, I have no idea if there is snow up there.

General Discussion / Re: Question: Highway Troubles?
« on: March 06, 2013, 12:05:35 am »
I do this:
Once you reach the exit, just stay to the right and follow the exit as if you wanted to leave the highway. Follow the exit lane a bit and make an (almost) sharp left turn across the exit lane - of course with no vehicles behind you. The main idea is to cross the vehicle lanes as fast as possible.

Routes / Transamerica Trail store opening hours
« on: March 01, 2013, 04:14:11 pm »
I suggest to open this thread where cyclists can post opening hours of stores, gas stations and grocery stores along the Transamerica Trail.

For me, it can be extremely useful to know the opening hours of stores along a route to better plan ahead in terms of food and drinks. For instance, it can be very very valuable to know if there is a 24h gas station in the next small town where I plan to sleep. I have always missed this information on my travels. Having that information I would write it directly into the maps prior to departure.

I hereby encourage other cyclists to post opening hours of stores in critical areas where supplies can be a problem. People are free to change, update and add information to the list:

Hite Park:
Limited grocery store with microwave for heating frozen food. Opening hours 8am-5pm. Update: Sorry, this store is on the Western Express.

Tribune, Kansas:
At intersection HWY27 and HWY96 there is a large gas station open 24h.


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