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Messages - PeteJack

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Routes / Re: before I'm 70
« on: August 20, 2014, 06:43:17 pm »

I'm too lazy to check out the OP's route but my little bit of planning routes for myself was not a raging success. I followed Pennsylvania Route S across the state from Philly until I got to the much overrated GAP (probably better when it's dry). Route S was alright sort of, the Amish country was lovely but there was an awful lot of traffic in places. I eventually got onto the Northern Tier route. What a relief. It's all relative, ACA routes are 'popular' but that doesn't mean you'll be falling over hordes of people doing them: this place is huge and you may well go weeks without meeting someone doing the same route. From other responses I take it some of your route uses interstates. I also counsel agin 'em they have rumble strips, a cyclists misery, and lots of debris on the shoulders, including shredded truck tires that put those tiny slivers of steel in your own tires that cause hard to locate flats days or weeks later. And freeways are NOISY.

According to Sheldon the tire that is least likely to fail should be on the front. Sheldon's words on tire rotation are as follows: "The idea is to equalize the wear on the two tires, but this is a serious mistake, don't do it!"

You should ride the Yakima river canyon road from Ellenburg to Yakima awesome scenery a little hilly but well worth it
Other posters know a lot more about the JWT than me but I can tell you that Ellensburg to Yakima via the Yakima Gorge is superb. Be aware there is no drinking water in the Gorge.

General Discussion / Re: Cardboard Box for Bike as Checked Baggage
« on: August 05, 2014, 09:36:03 pm »
It's all fading into the mists of time now but as I remember it the problem I had was in refitting the cable outer on the chainstay; there wasn't enough slack for it to go back on. How that came about beats me because it came off OK. In the end I had to bite the bullet and loosen the cable. The tip someone had for marking the cable's location at the cable clamp was what I eventually did using a black marker and it worked, pretty much. Ah well I might not be fast but I'm slow.

General Discussion / Re: dogs and security
« on: August 03, 2014, 02:57:10 am »
The eastern third of the Transam did seem to be worst for dogs. On the NT a year ago I used Halt in a res in MT, and on a lone chaser in Alberta. It did the trick both times.  What I have had happen is dog has 'adopted' me. The last one was on the Natchez Trace when I stopped for a 'natural break' as they say in the TdF, he was a very handsome animal, part husky with the odd eyes, obviously underfed but very good natured and he just wouldn't stop following us. In the end we called the NP rangers as we didn't want him causing an accident. The ranger came and said he'd take him round some houses in the vicinity to see if he belonged to anyone. Apparently the locals are prone to just letting dogs wander.

General Discussion / Re: Cardboard Box for Bike as Checked Baggage
« on: August 02, 2014, 12:01:19 pm »
Quote from: Sanuk
Whatever you do don't take the derailer off as it's a bitch getting it back on.
+1 I spent a whole day in the YMCA in Bergen trying to get mine back on without changing the adjustment. In the end I loosened the shifter cable to give me enough slack to mount the beast, then I had to redo the adjustment. Which is a major pain without a bike stand or a mate to hold up the back wheel.

General Discussion / Re: brooks saddle break-in how long
« on: August 02, 2014, 11:48:28 am »
While I'm sure Paddleboy is right. I abused my B17 by e.g. getting it soaking wet and then riding on it for miles and miles. Eventually the adjustment mechanism failed; when I turned the adjusting nut, the bolt spun thereby preventing any adjustment (I knew I should have packed those needle nose Vice Grips) and the leather started to tear at he front rivets. I bought a new one in Sandpoint ID and rode all the way to Anacortes on it. I've been looking after my new one much better and use a Sugoi saddle cover at the least hint of rain (I'm told the Brooks covers leak) One of these days it will break in presumably but I probably won't notice. I must be lucky and have the right kind of bum for B17s.

I did Anacortes to Fargo... and most of the time had a tail wind. I assume you realize you'll be riding into the wind most of the time? Better exercise I suppose.
Last year I did Fargo to Anacortes and had tail winds all the way. I'd been told several times I was going the wrong direction for the winds. The wind direction is a toss up I suppose

General Discussion / Re: Poll: Additional ACA Web Feature?
« on: June 26, 2014, 12:47:06 pm »
I'd like some sort of indication of cost/quality. The problem I've seen over the years is that e.g. eating places start out very good and get all kinds of business and then, perhaps because they are not making the profit they hoped for, start penny pinching and the service/quality starts to slide and in a year an excellent place can go to hell. Not much you can do about it. It's in the nature of running a small business. I suspect that much of this is due to well meaning business owners just wearing themselves out, so try not to be too demanding and be grateful for their efforts. And don't be above leaving a decent tip!

I did the S-C a couple of years ago. Tremendous fun. See I took an REI Quarter Dome tent that I ended up using quite a bit because there's some longish gaps between motels in Oregon and California. At Crater Lake there was no room to be had period. Don't book in advance because then you are riding to a schedule which is misery. I took a stove and pans that I used hardly at all because I hate cooking. Even if a motel is full they may have a patch of grass you can camp on if you look forlorn enough. Avoid Forest Service campgrounds they never have showers, private ones are more expensive but usually have showers and some even have a laundramat and a restaurant e.g. one near Old Station CA. Best of luck.

Any chance of getting Remax to come up with a bike shirt? One bike shirt is pretty much like any other.The yellow jackets I think you guys wear would be hi-viz but hopeless in the wet. You'll find the real estate scene interesting as you go along e.g. one small town in ND will give you the land for free if you build a house there.

I'm short 5'6" and I think that makes me less of a threat to anybody. It also means I can fit comfortably into a one man tent. Riding partners are a dodgy business: being with someone who is the most reasonable and likeable individual before you set off can end up like a bad marriage. Enjoy your own company and your own schedule or absence thereof.

General Discussion / Re: newbie planning Belgium tour
« on: April 23, 2014, 10:15:09 am »
I'd definitely suggest that you take your own bikes.  I'm heading across this summer for my 4th European tour and never regretted paying the fee to have my own bike and gear that matched it.

One thought on logistics.  I've found that Amsterdam Schiphol is an incredibly bike-friendly airport to travel in and out of.  I'm often not the only cyclist setting up my bike in the baggage claim hall, and the truly amazing Dutch bike network begins across the pedestrian mall from the main terminal.  I used an Amtrak box for my 1st trip across... minimal fuss to get your bike ready to fly.

Perhaps more importantly, on departure you can buy bike boxes at the airport (left luggage office sells them for about 20 Euros).  These are sturdy cardboard boxes similar to the Amtrak style that last until the return trip you're going to want to make after this first one.   :)

There is a train station connected to the terminal if you want to speed south to Belgium, or it's a pleasant few days down along the coast to Belgium.  It's a reasonable option to take the train back to Schiphol from your tour ending point--- but do a bit of planning on which trains take bikes... most do, but not all, and some require reservations for your bike.

Happy riding!
+1 to everything dom says

Gear Talk / Re: Retiring, getting into self contained touring
« on: April 21, 2014, 01:18:03 pm »
I've never used them but I did have SD-7s on one bike and they were very strong and powerful
After I'd bought the Ultimate it occurred to me SD-7s have done the trick and been a lot cheaper, about $30. I guess I'll never know.

Gear Talk / Re: Retiring, getting into self contained touring
« on: April 21, 2014, 08:06:03 am »
There are good rim squeezers and not so good rim squeezers. My 520 came with Single Digit SD-5 brakes and for years I put up with noise and poor performance. On a steep downhill I just couldn't stop by braking from the hoods, I had to reach round to the drops and squeeze like hell. And they were almost impossible to center, I'd use up all the adjustment on one side without it lifting off the rim. Eventually I sprang big bucks $111 for a Single Digit Ultimate as opposed to $17 for a replacement SD-5 on the front. It's like night and day: powerful, modulated braking from the hoods, silent, center perfectly. Everything a vee brake should be. While I was at it I replaced the brake levers with Tektro RH520s  I do believe the new levers are a help too i.e. they have better ergonomics.

I've still got the old SD-5 on the rear and it seems plenty adequate so it's staying. I reckon you don't want too powerful braking at the back, locked wheel etc.

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