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Messages - PeteJack

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General Discussion / Re: How to safely ship my bike and who can recieve it?
« on: December 17, 2013, 09:58:40 pm »
they don't have the "typical" cardboard box that we would need.

Never said anything like that to me

General Discussion / Re: Need advice for my trip this summer
« on: December 17, 2013, 04:59:20 pm »
Tim DO IT. Daft adventures is what young men (and women) are supposed, nay must, do. Years ago some friends of mine went climbing in Scotland in winter in Wellington boots. Some older club members, myself included, were appalled and ready to chew out these young guys for being badly equipped until one of my peers calmly pointed out that that sort of thing is what broke young men do, that we ourselves had done when we were broke young men.  The bike touring I do nowadays  is chickenfeed compared to the stuff I got up to decades ago. I don't really have any advice re bikes: I once met a young man in Kentucky who had rode an 8 speed Schwinn he'd found in a ditch from LA to there. He couldn't afford ACA maps so he'd done it mainly on freeways. His weather gear was a black plastic garbage bag with holes for head and arms. He was living out of dumpsters.

As your cause is supremely worthwhile but not well known (at least to me) I suggest you travel with placards explaining your charity and make up some little fliers explaining your charity in detail and among other things how donations are handled and kept separate from your own finances (a local Staples might do that for free)

Don't be a Blanche Dubois, you can't rely on the kindness of strangers but you will be thrilled to find how much of it there is out there. Have fun.

General Discussion / Re: How to safely ship my bike and who can recieve it?
« on: December 17, 2013, 03:24:28 pm »
If you live near an REI that has a bike shop they will pack and ship your bike to REI Sacramento. They are incredibly cheap. They shipped my bike from near Seattle to a motel in Bangor ME for $60, it would have been cheaper still if there had been a nearby REI.

Gear Talk / Re: Can we survive the Transamerica with no cyclocomputer?
« on: December 04, 2013, 02:30:10 am »
If you ever plan to go off-route (or are forced off route by a closed road), or if you're just curious about where the hell you are in the world, then a state map is good.

+1 and you can often get them for free at tourist info places. The GPS/MapMyRide stuff would drive me batty, upload/download bla bla, faffing with technology when you could be riding or reading a good book or just watching TV in a motel room. It's amazing how much time you spend messing with that stuff. It's not that it is beyond me; I worked in data processing for decades, including a stint programming GPS mapping software before Garmin got into the business (their early GPSs told you lat and long and not much else) and frankly using this equipment is too much like the work I've left behind. However a simple bike computer is very nice to have.

General Discussion / Re: Start date spring 2014
« on: December 04, 2013, 01:53:39 am »
If you want up to date info on the North Cascades Highway go to the Washingon DOT website and subscribe to the news letter. You can also get data on previous years opening times. I guess June is the earliest you can count on it being open.

Routes / Re: How do I get a copy Cycling British Columbia? Please help.
« on: November 19, 2013, 02:53:17 am »
Thanks everyone. I finally got the book. Copies should be available now because they had a reprint in 2012. i may have had a part in that because last year I called the publisher to try and locate a copy and they told me there were no plans for a reprint. I suggested there may be quite a demand for this book and mentioned the $200 copy on EBay. Who knows...

Routes / Re: Sierra Cascades in april
« on: November 19, 2013, 02:43:35 am »
With the Sierra-Cascades route the hardest part (for me) was the North Cascades at the very beginning when you are not in the shape you will be in 1000 miles later. Also, Elk Pass, south of Mt Rainier will almost certainly be impassable, I couldn't cross it in June! I would suggest you go round the Olympic Peninsula from Vancouver BC. It's hilly enough to be interesting but much less strenuous than the North Cascades, a great way to get your touring legs. It can be wet both on the peninsula and the NC at that time of year but the wet will be warmer on the Peninsula. I rode from Utrecht to the Hook of Holland a couple of years ago and I can assure you the Peninsula is nothing like it.

Gear Talk / Re: Trek 520 poor brakes
« on: November 15, 2013, 05:18:58 pm »
Quote from:  Paddleboy
DaveB's implied question about the brakes being properly adjusted is fair game too

Thanks. This seems to have solved the problem. I was unaware how much difference clearance made, I thought that larger clearance just meant that the lever traveled further before braking and that when the pads arrived at the rim everything would be hunky dory. I've now reduced the clearance on the front brake to as small as possible using the adjuster on the cable and the difference in the feel is amazing. Interestingly I can't get the same improvement on the back brake, an original SD-5. It still feels mushy presumably because the SD-5 arms are die castings that flex while the Ultimate's are machined from solid, also the Ultimate has bearings at the pivots which I guess have less play.

I'm going to try new levers anyway, Tektro RL-520s,  in the hope they will have better ergonomics than the originals

<Edit. Corrected name of brakes>

Gear Talk / Re: Trek 520 poor brakes
« on: November 14, 2013, 02:21:53 am »
Want to bet $20 against your life that the cables didn't fray in the last year when there's a stop sign at the bottom of a long, steep hill?
Nothing is frayed, the cable inner is brand new as is the V brake itself. As I said, it is a bit better than the old one but nothing to write home about. I get the point that the levers shouldn't wear out but I'm at a loss as to what else it could be. I'll try a new outer cable and see what that does. I don't much care about the tape. If need be I'll ride without it until I get the brakes right.

Gear Talk / Re: Trek 520 poor brakes
« on: November 13, 2013, 06:19:25 pm »
Thanks John. I may as well replace the levers and here's why. My LBS has a sort of co-op arrangement where you you can use his stands and tools. One day I was redoing the tape on my bars and while I was at it installing new inner brake cables, the levers had a small noodle like an inch long version of the noodle on the V brake. I didn't know what purpose it served as the brake seemed to function just fine without it. The assistant in the shop (who now works in a distillery) didn't know what it did either so I left it out. When I came to put a new inner with my new brake I found its purpose. I could not get the new inner into the cable from the front of the lever without unwrapping the bar tape! As I don't even know the brand of the existing levers (there's no name on them) rather than try to find another noodle thingy I think I'll get new levers and new outer cables

Gear Talk / Re: Trek 520 poor brakes
« on: November 13, 2013, 05:46:20 pm »
Thanks everybody for your suggestions. The levers are the ones that came with the bike along with the SD-5 Vee brakes. The Ultimate does give better braking but is still not fantastic e.g. on an unloaded bike I couldn't launch myself over the bars if I tried. I'm using the Avid pads that came with the brake.
When you're applying the brakes, how far will the brake levers continue to move after the pads initially contact the wheel rim?
You may be on to something there. They do feel kind of squishy after the pad hits the rim, in fact it's hard to tell when the pads have hit the rim. With my Roubaix cantis there's a definite stop in lever movement when the pads meet the rim. Presumably I should be getting the same with the Trek's V brake? Perhaps after 40,000 miles the levers and outer cables are worn out. Recommendations for cables and levers please?

I don't think it's rim wear. The wheel has only 5k on it and the braking was pretty poor when the wheel was new with new pads.

General Discussion / Re: Northern Tier For Non Campers
« on: November 13, 2013, 02:35:26 pm »
Point taken John. What I should have said was ease up on itinerary planning. Riding to a schedule can be miserable particularly if you are riding with someone else and you are not 100% in sync on where and when. These days I prefer riding solo in part because of this. Bah humbug.

General Discussion / Re: Northern Tier For Non Campers
« on: November 13, 2013, 11:31:31 am »
Still lots of planning to do but leaning toward packing my tent, bag and pad, "just in case".
+1 I took the same and used them a few times on an extended NT trip this year (ACA Atlantic Coast to Philly, across PA to Pittsburgh then Erie & NT, it's a long story) I also lugged a stove and pans which in OH I sent home. I hate cooking.

Ease up on the planning.

Gear Talk / Re: Shipping My LHT with Racks and Fenders
« on: November 11, 2013, 04:22:45 pm »
There are 3 REI stores in Indianapolis, have you tried them? My local REI near Seattle packed and shipped my Trek 520 with fenders and front & rear racks to a motel in Bangor Maine for $60 this summer. Had there been another REI store I could have shipped it to it would have been even cheaper. If they don't have a bike shop they may not offer the service.

Do call ahead to the motel to make sure they will keep your bike for a few days so you can ship early and be sure it's there when you arrive

BTW I put my loaded paniers in a $3 suitcase I got at Goodwill so they only counted as 1 piece of luggage. The motel got rid of the suitcase for me or you can find another Goodwill to give it to. (One thing there's no shortage of at Goodwill, SVP, etc is suitcases.) If you have nice aluminum fenders you may want to put the front one in the suitcase to protect it rather than zip tieing it to the front wheel as I do. My fenders are SKS which take quite a bit of banging around.

Gear Talk / Re: Tire and tube storage
« on: November 11, 2013, 03:51:46 pm »
I don't go for storing tires either.I got two new tires, Panasonic RiBiMos before setting off this summer and took the old front tire (same brand) as a spare. After 4700 miles the rear tire was down to the thread stuff and I replaced it with the spare but I'd only had one flat in all those miles. (Actually I had another when the valve body came out of the valve stem of the bargain tube my LBS supplied but IMO that's not a real flat)

I always carry two spare tubes. One February in Seattle when there had been snow and there was a lot of debris from those wire snow 'chains' I got 3 flats on a day ride and ended up in a coffee shop patching a tube! This was a few years ago and I have to agree that flats are pretty rare these days. I think the tires were well worn Armadillos, not a tire I recommend.

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