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Messages - DanE

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Routes / Re: Looking for week-long spring route in Eastern US
« on: April 01, 2014, 08:34:20 am »
I think you should look at the ACA's Tidewater Potomac route. It meets a lot of your criteria. It is less than 400 miles long, there isn't demanding terrain so your friend shouldn't be stressed since she lacks experience, traveling to DC should be not too difficult, DC has great museums to see if you haven't been before. May is a very good season to tour in this area.

I think you could just start your Trans-Am in DC and bypass Yorktown. Why would a UK citizen want to ride to the place where the British were defeated. In DC you can at least celebrate the burning of the White House by the Brits in the War of 1812. You could use US Bike Route 1 to ride from DC to Ashland, VA were in intersects the Trans-Am and then on into Richmond to meet your friends. Take a look at the Virginia State bicycle map. When I was last in the area Bike Route 1 was signed and easy to follow, but that has been a while. I think you would be in Richmond on your second night no matter where you started and save yourself a bunch of hassle by starting in DC.

Yorktown really isn't on the actual coast, you would have to travel a bit for the ocean and wheel dipping ceremonies unless you use the York River. If you use the river you could just use the Potomac River in DC.

Gear Talk / Re: Looking For Cannondale TX1000 Info - Who Has or Had One
« on: January 30, 2014, 05:32:49 pm »
It is fine to put a 130 mm axle hub into a steel bicycle with 126 mm spacing. Do not do this with an aluminum frame such as the Cannondale the OP is talking about buying. This will lead to a cracked frame.

Gear Talk / Re: Novara Safari rear rack - sturdy enough for long tour?
« on: January 13, 2014, 06:07:11 am »
It looks sturdy enough to me, I would save your money. I think it is unlikely for a rack to break. If it does it's not the end of the world. They can be held together with hose clamps and bailing wire until you find a welding shop where they can tack it back together. Welding shops that can do that are located just about everywhere you go.

I am a life long North Carolina resident and I would not recommend riding the route you have in your post. Jamawani and pdlamb have the right idea of using the North Line Trace in NC.

Follow the Trans-Am from Breaks Park to Damascus, VA. The Trans-Am continues east on US58. This is a two lane mountain highway. US58 will make a right hand turn at the top of the ridge and the Trans-Am will continue straight, follow US58 through Mouth of Wilson, VA. This can also be accomplished by riding the Virginia Creeper Rail Trail from Damascus to Whitetop Station then picking up US58 there.

After Mouth of Wilson US58 will run next to the New River. Turn right on VA93 and cross the New River on the bridge, this turn is obvious with the bridge across the river. You will cross the North Carolina border almost immediately. This is the western end of the North Line Trace bicycle route, also called route 4.

North Carolina bicycle routes are signed. Signs will be at turns with a confirmation sign approximately every four miles if you continue on the same road. Signs can be missing so order the maps. Navigation is usually not difficult between the signs and keeping an eye on the map. I would follow this route across the state.

Bike route 4 will end in the very northeastern corner of the state. Once there follow US158 onto the northern end of the Outer Banks. Once on the banks move over to NC 12 to ride as it better to be on a bike on. Follow NC12 south along the Outer Banks taking the ferry from Buxton to Ocracoke and Ocracoke to Cedar Island.

I recommend that you are coming this far you ride the Outer Banks, it is one of the outstanding coastlines in the country and well worth seeing. It is possible to cut across to Havelock before this but the eastern part of the state is unremarkable, flat farm land.

After Cedar Island NC 12 will join US70 west. You will reach a T intersection with US70 turning left and continuing into Beaufort. Turn right instead onto Merrimon Road, then left onto Laurel Road and then right onto NC101. This will take you into Havelock and to Cherry Point.

There are some county roads that will take you from Havelock to NC24 which you can follow into Jacksonville. I am not sure where exactly the ACA Atlantic Coast route runs in the Jacksonville area, but it is close by. I would ride that route the rest of the way south into and through South Carolina.

Just my two cents!

Gear Talk / Re: Why are most of the tires wire bead?
« on: December 01, 2013, 04:31:05 pm »
Most people are not concerned about saving a few grams that a folding tire offers and use the wire beaded tires on their touring bicycles. I think that you should be able to find the Panaracer Pasela folding tire in your price range. The Vittoria Randenneur Pro is also a folding tire but I believe it might cost a bit more than that. If you only want one for packing and plan to only use it as a true emergency, and you want to be really cheap, look at the tires in Wal-mart. The ones near me carry appropriate sized 700C tires for touring with folding beads for less than $20. No statements of quality coming from me now but I bet they would get you to the next real bicycle shop.

Gear Talk / Re: best touring frames
« on: November 20, 2013, 03:38:50 pm »
I purchased a Trek 720 new in 1983, rode it for 25 years and about 75K miles. Then I decided to move on and purchased a Co-motion Nor'wester Tour. There is no comparison, the Co-motion is better in so many ways, more stable at high speed, better gearing, better able to carry the weight of panniers without feeling it in the ride, does not shimmy.

The thing is, bikes like the 720 were good at the time and some of the best that were available. With the standard diameter tubing they were using before the era of oversized tubes they were not optimal for the job at hand. Gearing at the time was 3 x 6 with a good range but was still meant for a young person in their prime to move it along the road. We are better served today by the touring bikes we have to choose from and with the selection of components available than what we had to choose from back then.

Fortunately some builders came along and applied some thought that was needed to build some proper bicycles and not just build them because the lugs they could purchase would fit a 1" top tube. They have come up with some much better bicycles than existed back in the day. A Surly LHT purchased today, while probably not as esthetically pleasing in some ways as a Trek 720 was when new is a much better bicycle for doing the job at hand than a 720 is, not that many a person was prevented from doing some pretty good trips on the 720 they owned. 

Gear Talk / Re: Building a dishless wheel with the Shimano FH-M755 hub.
« on: November 09, 2013, 07:58:51 am »
I looked through the photos on your Flickr group and they are fascinating. I hope you run a bicycle shop and didn't break all those items yourself.

Gear Talk / Re: Tire and tube storage
« on: October 25, 2013, 09:03:13 am »
Pro racers often are racing on handmade tubular tires which utilize natural latex rubber. Often when you buy these tires new they have a certain tackiness and can benefit from some aging so that they cure and become a little harder. That's why you are reading that pro racers age their tires. This does not apply to the vulcanized, butyl rubber touring tires that we are all using here reading the ACA forum. The tires we are using certainly don't go bad overnight, but I don't think age improves them either.

General Discussion / Re: Is Long Distance Touring Really a Healthy Endevour?
« on: September 04, 2013, 03:14:39 pm »
There is a new study released in France which determines that French men who have ridden the Tour de France live seven years longer than the average French man.

GPS Discussion / Re: New Garmin Edge Touring
« on: August 31, 2013, 07:35:37 am »
What I find the most interesting is that Garmin is incorporating OpenStreet Maps into the unit instead of selling their proprietary maps. I think that is a very positive step forward. The other features of the unit look very good as well.

However, it seems to use the rechargeable battery like the other units in the Edge series. I prefer the eTrex series for touring because it uses AA batteries. Then I don't have to carry the charger, I can just pick up a 4 pack of AA's as I go and be good for the week. Just my preference.

Gear Talk / Re: Can I change the chainrings/crankset?
« on: July 27, 2013, 07:03:49 am »
This subject was just discussed:

You might want to read that thread.

General Discussion / Re: riding and camping in thunderstorms
« on: July 19, 2013, 04:08:01 pm »
"I suppose it would be totally different now with smart phones and weather apps."

Probably so, the world does move on. However, I don't see how you are going to get much help from them when you are some place like the Blue Ridge Parkway. There are just places there which are miles from any civilization or cell tower, and there are plenty of places in the US that are the same way.

Gear Talk / Re: Touring crankset
« on: June 22, 2013, 07:11:36 am »
I believe the Sora crankset has a standard for a road bike 130 mm bolt circle. You might want to consider just changing your chainrings. You probably can't get a middle ring as low as what you are looking at with the MTB crankset. You should be able to change the chainrings yourself as they come off with an allen wrench and you will save bike shop labor charges. Not saying this is the solution but you might not have thought of this.

I saw these options on the Harris Cyclery Web Page:

Gear Talk / Re: stability
« on: June 14, 2013, 06:25:38 am »
Side winds will definitely push you around and they aren't going anywhere. However, stability has a lot to do with weight distribution on the bicycle. This includes the weight distribution of yourself as well as your gear.

Front panniers can help quite a bit as they take some of that weight that is on the back and put in on the front. This can help quite a bit, but might not be too beneficial if you just add front panniers then fill them up with more stuff to carry and still carry the same amount on the rear. I like to use two sets of front panniers, mounted on the front and rear. That way I have no extra capacity really so I avoid the temptation to carry more stuff but I have redistributed the weight over the front and rear. This works well for short, week long trips or less. It's probably not going to work for your epic tours and you will just have to take the large rear panniers and try to control yourself with what you carry.

Your positioning on the bike during descents is probably bigger effect than how your panniers are packed. I try to keep my body weight in what I call "inside the triangle" as I descend. What I mean by this is to keep your weight distributed inside the main triangle of the bike and not loading the back of the bike by hanging your butt off the back of the saddle. Slide forward on the saddle and bring your weight over the bottom bracket and stand on the pedals, weight off the saddle as much as you can. Your butt might not even have any weight on the saddle.

Get your hands in the drops and get your upper body pressing down into the handlebars, your arms should be pushing forward putting pressure on the handlebars. Place a knee against the top tube of the bike, this will help dampen any excessive vibrations in the bike frame. Keep your body relaxed as this will absorb the shocks of the bumps.

Lowering your handlebars will usually make a bicycle more stable. It makes it easier to get your body weight forward if they are in a lower position. If you drop your shoulders low enough you will feel the wind shift off your chest and begin to flow over your shoulders, this makes it feel like there is less wind pushing you around.

Look far down the road as you descend, then it looks like things are not coming up at you quite as fast as if you are just looking down the road a few feet. Try to relax and put your mind in it's peaceful place. Wider tires than what you are running would be better for a loaded touring bicycle.

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