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Messages - PeteJack

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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.

Gear Talk / Re: solo bike security
« on: April 21, 2014, 07:38:50 am »
Carry a light cable lock to keep people honest, perhaps, and a detachable handlebar bag with ID, camera, cash, credit cards, etc. stays with you all the time. 

+1 Also be aware of what nice gizmos are on your handlebars because they can attract the eye. The only theft I experienced was with a device on the handlebars. I ride with a GPS. When I'm off the bike, the GPS goes in my handlebar bag, and the bag stays with me.
+1 One of our club members had a GPS disappear on a Washington State ferry.

Gear Talk / Re: Cateye time & average speed funky readings
« on: April 21, 2014, 07:30:28 am »
 :-[ Oh the embarrassment. Somehow I'd managed to turn off the Automatic Mode for the thing. i.e. the timer keeps running until you press the start/stop button. There should be a little AT on the display. When all else fails RTFM

General Discussion / Re: newbie planning Belgium tour
« on: April 21, 2014, 07:11:22 am »
I took some French in college
Do learn how to pronounce the letters of the alphabet, most people are not taught this. It's very helpful if you want to find route D123 say. (e.g. D in French is pronounced 'day').  See And be aware that locals often don't know route numbers; roads often have local names that don't appear on maps.

+1 for Safari. You you can fit a bar bag on those bars. My wife's has one of these
 BTW make sure you have some good electrical tape with you. So far our only grouse is that the bar tape started to unwrap. The original tape on the Safari seems a bit thin to me, though Mrs PJ hasn't complained. You may want to have them put some more padded tape on before you pick it up.

Gear Talk / Re: Disc Trucker + Schwalbe Marathon Deluxe.. rim?
« on: April 19, 2014, 05:51:21 pm »
as everyone has said... use the ones that came with the bike. they're decent tyres. i find it useful to swap over the front and back after a while to get more even wear out of them.
Sheldon differs on this. You want the tire that is least likely to blow out (i.e. the least worn) on the front. 'Rotating' by moving the front tire to the back and putting a new one on the front is acceptable

General Discussion / Re: Tools for adventure
« on: April 15, 2014, 11:15:06 am »
Take some electrical tape (the good 3M stuff) for when your Safari bar tape comes undone as it surely will.

General Discussion / Re: Tools for adventure
« on: April 13, 2014, 11:12:36 pm »
I've also had my chain separate a few times
Wow, how is that happening? You're not putting pins back in, are you?
On tour last summer my SRAM 9 spd chain had about 1000 miles on it. I was climbing a steep hill using the 24T front ring when just before the summit I shifted up to the 38T middle ring. There was a rattle like a can of marbles and the bike stopped, the chain had broken. At least it looked that way. What had happened was that the Quicklink had separated. I had a spare so I was off again in short order. I asked around about this and the only explanation anybody came up with was that I was just unlucky in where the Quicklink was when I shifted. The quite a large jump from 24T to 38T may have contributed. I rarely use the 24T ring, it's my 'get out of jail free' card.

Gear Talk / Cateye time & average speed funky readings
« on: April 13, 2014, 08:53:42 pm »
On my Cateye Enduro 8 the readings: speed, distance, max speed,  time of day all appear to be working just fine but the ride time and average speed is rubbish. On my last ride it showed a time of 35 minutes for a 35 mile ride (!) and an average speed of 1.0 mph. Sometimes the average display shows a letter E. Does anybody know what's going on? Is it just the battery running down? I've done some searching and could find nobody with the same problem. Plenty of people with iffy Cateyes. e.g. intermittent failures. But with these the problem always seems to be the whole thing going blank. I don't really care about average speed so I can live with it but I'm curious as to whether it's a symptom of a dieing device. :(

I've just been out to check it again. The irritating arrows that indicate above/below average speed no longer appear to be working. Now that I can live with.

General Discussion / Re: Tools for adventure
« on: April 07, 2014, 12:05:46 am »
pick up our new Novara Safaris
My wife got a new Safari a few weeks ago. People have complained about the rack screws coming loose, I think I found the reason. The cheesy looking hex head cap screws that that retain the bottom of the rack only engage for a couple of threads and will strip out very easily if you overtighten them. The screws REI put in are M6 X 40. If you replace them with M6 X 50, the next length up,to get full thread engagement it interferes with the chain on the RHS if screwed in all the way so I shimmed it out with three washers. So, take a couple of M6 X 50 stainless socket head screws with you and a few washers when you pick up the bike. Then you will be able to tighten all the rack screws with a multi-tool and not have to faff with an adjustable wrench.

Other than that the Safari is a splendid machine. We are setting off for the Natchez Trace next month with one and my Trek 520 with 42K miles on it.

And yes you can fit an Ortlieb bar bag to those bars.

General Discussion / Re: 2 General Questions
« on: March 26, 2014, 10:57:40 am »
   Regarding how far in advance to arrange for motels[/b] (can not speak to campsites), when I was riding thru eastern Montana and western N. Dakota, which I did in the earlier/beginning days of the oil/gas boom, I could find no/zero motel openings even 4 days in advance.  Now that the 'boom' has grown.... hopefully the motel capacity has as well.
Last summer (July) I rode the new ACA route through ND and MT that avoids the oil/gas nightmare, didn't book ahead, and had no trouble finding accommodation. Big chunks of Section 4 of this route are on I94, the ACA route offers alternatives, some people prefer to stay on the freeeway thinking it's quicker but I don't recommend it. On one frontage road I did 18 miles and saw one car and a lot of cows, far nicer than navigating freeway rumble strips and debris.

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