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Messages - misterflask

Pages: 1 [2]
16
Gear Talk / Re: Chain selection
« on: March 02, 2012, 04:24:29 am »
Anybody have any experience with KMC chains?  I was about to mount one for a TA trip and hoped it might make the whole trip(always the optimist). 
And John N, how about sharing some of that arduously collected data?  What's your chain life average and the range?

17
General Discussion / Re: Communications on tour
« on: March 01, 2012, 04:21:09 am »
I use a standard cellphone which I turn once or twice a day to make calls and check messages.  The battery lasts at least a week used this way. 

I also use a GPS SPOT locator so my wife knows I'm OK, even where there is no cell service.  She could also hunt me down if anything untoward happened.  When her car was hit while I was touring, she was able to contact me through the campground host at a remote campground she saw that I was staying at in the SPOT log.

18
General Discussion / Re: Long distance trip alone?
« on: January 25, 2012, 09:56:56 pm »
If you're considering it, you probably have the temperament for it.  I've ridden 350, 700, 800, and 1400 mile rides by myself and am planning a TA trip for this year.  Never seemed overly lonely; you just stop and talk to people when it suits.  If you feel like cranking out a long day, or loafing, there's no need to submit it to a committee. 
My wife (she doesn't ride) insists she is not going to be one of those wives whose husband disappears from the face of the earth, so I carry a SPOT satellite locator (see link below).  She'll at least know where to look if something drastic happens.  I haven't followed through on it yet, but I've meant to carry some sort of ID and contact info on my person in case there was an incapacitating accident of some sort.  I've worked in an ER, and I'd say it is unlikely that ID in your bags would find its way to the ER with you.
But that's all a downer:  Have fun with it.  Riding up from Orlando through GA you'll be picking up some conditioning by the time you need it.

bcs

link to SPOT locator site: http://www.findmespot.com/en/

19
General Discussion / Re: Wind Rose Data for planning
« on: January 25, 2012, 09:32:37 pm »
Thanks for comments guys.  I think I would have thought of the up-at-daybreak idea about 2/3 of the way across the prairie. 
Here's a link to the Brandt article on our late friend Sheldon Brown's site:
http://sheldonbrown.com/brandt/wind.html

20
General Discussion / Wind Rose Data for planning
« on: January 24, 2012, 05:31:46 am »
I stumbled on a site with wind rose data and thought I'd share.  You can download wind roses from http://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/ftpref/downloads/climate/windrose/ .  An explanation of the data is at http://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/climate/windrose.html .  If you're not familiar with wind roses, they show a number of colored rays emanating from the center.  The length of the ray shows the likelihood that the wind will blow FROM that direction.  The colors  of the ray show the likely wind intensity when coming from said direction.  For my planned W-E transit of Kansas in September, I see that I'm fairly likely to face a moderate headwind, very likely to ride in stiff crosswinds, and will probably never see a tailwind.  From my initial perusal of data along the TA, I would reverse the direction of my trip to E-W were there not logistical considerations.  I can't change the wind, but I can at least get psyched for it.  After a tour or two I realized that if I didn't like headwinds and hills I would need to find another hobby. 

21
Gear Talk / Re: Alcohol Stoves
« on: January 24, 2012, 05:17:53 am »
My 2cents.  I use a homemade alcohol 'penny stove', for which you can find instructions on the internet.  I typically bring water to a very light boil; I think if it was really important to me I could get a roiling boil going, maybe with a fuel refill.  The methanol energy density is half that of gasoline, so you carry a little more fuel, but the stove weight is under an ounce.  You can pick up the fuel as the yellow HEET fuel line dryer at parts stores and big-box stores.  A 12oz bottle lasts me not quite three days, cooking/heating two meals and making a lot of coffee and hot chocolate.  I like the light weight of the stove, the dead quiet while it's cooking, and the odorless fuel.  I dislike the lower fuel availability and potentially higher fuel weight from stocking up.  Methanol is toxic, but so is gasoline, so that may be a wash. 

22
Gear Talk / Re: bike maintenance on tour
« on: January 22, 2012, 08:55:57 pm »
I'm about where John Nelson is with his 5day chain lube sked.  Every few day's when I find a nice mechanic's grease rag on the shoulder, I wipe down the bike, lube the chain, and wipe the excess off the chain. 
Ride the bike in the week before you leave to make sure everything is tweaked.

23
Gear Talk / Re: Cassette Life
« on: January 13, 2012, 05:00:15 am »
Thanks all for the useful information:  I'm feeling pretty comfortable now about gear life.  My anxiety is rooted in a trip where I think I established the low end when I completely wore out a SunRace freewheel in 800 miles (to be fair this included 20 miles on a trail through Florida sugar sand.) 
It seems I am the only person on the planet who likes White Lightening.  I was not aware of the Boeshield product, though, and it looks like a superior product. 

24
Gear Talk / Cassette Life
« on: January 11, 2012, 05:10:38 am »
To push down to that elusive 20inch gear, I want to put a 11-34 cassette on an 8spd bike for a TA trip.  I really don't like alpine gearing with its 26-34 jump, but it is available in nickel plated cassettes.  The spread gearing is only available on a HG31 low end mtb cassette.  Anybody have mileage numbers or anecdotal evidence of cassette life in the various Shimano lines?  The cassette really only needs to last for the one crossing.  FYI, I use white lightening wax lubes.

25
Gear Talk / Re: Which Schwalbe
« on: January 10, 2012, 05:14:33 am »
I have a pair of Marathon 700x35s (not the plus).  They can be wrestled on the rim by hand with a little bit of cleverness, and come off reasonably with tire irons.  I ran them 1500miles on a tour with no flats and there is barely any wear showing.  Here's the bad news though:  These two tires went on identical Sun CR18 rims.  One of the tires seats perfectly, but one never seats properly.  It's high in some places and low in others.  Several people have tried mounting this tire on multiple occasions, always with the same result.  I found it scary at first, but it eventually lured me into a sense of complacency.  On a smooth road where you'd like to really enjoy the ride, you can feel the tire's 'whumpy' spot.  Nevertheless, due to the extraordinary wear characteristics, I plan to buy more of these.  I'm going to mount them before I leave the shop, though.

26
General Discussion / Re: TramsAm: Rainy days?
« on: January 06, 2012, 03:37:49 am »
I rode for half a day on the C&O with booties but no rain pants in steadily increasing rain.  By nightfall my socks and shoes were soaked from water running down my legs.  I pull on rain pants now at the start of a shower. 
I have also taken the middle road on rain gear quality and the entire kit weighs in at a few ounces over 2lbs.  I don't mind carrying it for weeks without using it.
What I would really like to add to the kit are waterproof glove covers.  Does anyone use or know of any?  I find nothing on the market.

28
General Discussion / Re: TransAmerica 2012
« on: December 27, 2011, 07:44:39 pm »
I was planning to average 500miles per week, which would put me on the east coast at the end of october, which I'm pretty comfortable with.  That's pretty much all the time I have available.  I can generally make 500 miles/wk touring, but a major mechanical mishap or a long stretch of miserable weather could sure ball things up.  Anybody have tales of woe or encouragement on ambitious schedules?

29
General Discussion / Re: TransAmerica 2012
« on: December 27, 2011, 05:24:15 pm »
I was planning to ride the TA W-E starting around mid-august.  I planned to use lightweight gear that could sustain me down to about 30degF and my theory was that I should be over the Rockies before temperatures started to drop that far.  Then the edge should be off of temperatures across the plains and on the east coast.  Any flaws in my theory?

tnx
bcs

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