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Messages - PeteJack

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Charlie, John's advice is excellent. The winning back your girlfriend thing only happens in movies, direct your energies elsewhere.

A lot of the corny adages are true.  "One day at a time" is a good one. It sounds like you won't be cycling to a deadline so just concentrate on getting from A to whatever B you've picked for that day. You're young so you should get in shape pretty quickly. Start off without being too ambitious, say 20-30 miles a day. Before you know it you'll be up to 60-70. But remember it's a ride you're doing not a race. when you first set off you may well meet people going the same way. If they are faster riders than you let them go ahead. Don't spoil it for yourself (and others) busting a gut trying to keep up.

Stay at places recommended on the ACA maps but do check the addenda to make sure they are still in business. I learned that the hard way. Don't leave it too late before stopping for the day, if you aren't sure of your abilities start early and be done by 4pm. I can't recollect ever riding after dark in many thousands of miles of touring. Charlie, take a bike maintenance class NOW. There's not much that can go wrong that you can't fix yourself once you know your way round a bike. There's tremendous satisfaction to be had in overcoming the little challenges that get thrown your way: flats, worn out brake pads etc..

Tell your parents they can come and rescue you if it all goes to hell (which it won't). Before you know it you'll be 1000 miles away, having the time of your life and your parents will be bragging to the neighbors about how far you've rode.

Buy newspapers each day and send postcards.

Routes / Help addressing Gettysburg
« on: March 13, 2013, 02:28:54 pm »
in late May / early June I plan on riding from Philadelphia to Pittsburg, probably using Route S which I believe goes fairly near to Gettysburg. I very much want to visit the battlefield but from what I can make out Gettysburg itself is a spendy tourist trap so I would appreciate advice on accommodation, motels etc. or campsites that won't break the bank. I'm riding down the Atlantic Coast route to Philly so it will be difficult to make bookings ahead of time. Thanks in anticipation.

Routes / Re: Chicago to New Orleans in April, exp cyclists, beg tourists
« on: January 19, 2013, 10:23:58 am »

The heaviest most sustained rain I have ever met was in Illinois in May and I live in Seattle where it's supposed to be wet! No matter what you wear you'll be drenched to the skin.

General Discussion / Re: Costs of Touring
« on: January 17, 2013, 03:38:24 pm »
Bear in mind that at the end of a long day it is sooo easy to talk yourself into a night in a motel, particularly if it's raining.  I use a very rough rule of thumb for costs: a buck a mile. That means that for my NT trip this year I'm budgeting  $5500 +/- 500. Of course if you have a will of iron you can do it for less but I don't.

General Discussion / Re: network provider for cell phone
« on: January 08, 2013, 07:28:53 pm »
Do not use T-Mobile. On the Sierra Cascade route I had no reception for over 500 miles from southern OR to the middle of CA! Plus the south side of Mt Rainier in WA was dead to T-M. In those spans other suppliers worked when T-mobile didn't (I borrowed phones to call home etc.) Mind you, T-M is cheap   :-[

Gear Talk / Re: Cheap Breathable Rain Gear and Shelter
« on: December 29, 2012, 01:08:49 am »
cheap, breathable, waterproof, windproof, and light weight
Reminds me of the adage for anything to do with bikes: light, cheap, strong; pick any two.  Similarly, cheap, breathable, waterproof: pick any two. My experience with Tyvek is that it lets nothing in and lets nothing out. It's also irritatingly noisy. If you sign up for Cascade Bicycle Club's Seattle to Portland ride you get a Tyvek jacket as part of the sign up package (at least it says Tyvek by DuPont on the label) so I have a couple of them. I have a Gore Bike Wear jacket that I think is very good.

General Discussion / Re: The TransAmerican for a beginner?
« on: November 15, 2012, 02:40:10 pm »
I figure that in the mountains regardless of time of year you need to be prepared for a bit of cold

Too true. I crossed the North Cascades W-E in October one year in the pouring rain. Climbing was OK, the exertion kept me warm but descending from Rainy Pass to Mazama I came close to hypothermia.

And be aware that you can get dehydrated when you are cold and wet, so keep drinking even if you don't feel thirsty.

General Discussion / Re: Cleaning A Bicycle
« on: November 15, 2012, 02:11:45 pm »
You might consider cheap furniture polish (e.g., a "Pledge" knock-off for about $1 a can) to shine up the tubes.
I've been recommended spray on furniture polish for clipless pedals. Doesn't attract crud.

Classifieds / Otlieb mesh pocket
« on: October 28, 2012, 09:33:04 am »

$10 +postage

General Discussion / Re: First tour for Brits in US
« on: October 20, 2012, 11:25:07 pm »
We also get the impression that just turning up at a campsite and asking for a pitch for the night and a shower is not always as straightforward as we're used to.

I've just got back from four months in the UK and found camping a major pain at least in the North of England. Over here if there is no obvious campsite in a small town go to the fire station and explain your predicament. A couple of times they've let us stay inside the station! Other times on a patch of grass next to it. Otherwise go to the town hall and ask (get there early enough) I've camped on the lawn in front of court houses before today. The aforementioned were of course free.
And there's almost always somewhere to get breakfast that opens at 6 am. Americans are notoriously early risers

General Discussion / Re: Overcoming butt pain
« on: October 20, 2012, 11:06:32 pm »
just as important is getting a professional bike fit from someone who really knows what they are doing


Gear Talk / Re: Chain Maintenance on Tour
« on: October 18, 2012, 08:59:35 pm »
I've just done the math and 1/16" is 0.52% of 12" the Park Tool thingy goes in at 0.75% half as much stretch again roughly. So staehpj1's method is more conservative and presumably less likely to cause damaged cogs than my using the gauge. I'd better start measuring. I do hate cleaning chains even in my garage let alone on tour.

Gear Talk / Re: Chain Maintenance on Tour
« on: October 18, 2012, 12:09:44 am »
Wow, I think I'll shut up and ride :)

Sounds like a plan

Gear Talk / Re: Chain Maintenance on Tour
« on: October 16, 2012, 09:23:48 pm »
Changing a chain every 1,000 miles seems extremely excessive to me

It seemed so to me at first. A mechanic of my acquaintance who has been a wrench for a TdF team advocates changing chains every 500 (!) miles and using the cheapest chains you can find. He maintains that by the time you can measure wear the damage has been done. My experience sort of concurs with that. I tried to keep on top of things with a Park Tool gauge, changing the chain at the lowest stretch reading, usually around 2500 miles, but I still needed new cogs every three chains or so. So I'm going to give frequent changes a try. Besides it's an excuse to call in at the local bike shop, BS a bit and ask about local conditions. It always goes down well if you spend a few bucks; bike shops get no shortage of people who want advice, wheels truing and God knows what else for nothing.

i agree with you about chain cleaning. Nobody has convinced me you are not just as likely to wash grit etc in as to wash it out. And you wash out the oil that's already in the rollers.

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