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Messages - PeteJack

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General Discussion / Re: The importance of always wearing a helmet
« on: April 23, 2013, 05:01:31 pm »
Had I had a helmet on, my head injuries would not be as severe.

Try telling that to some Brits if you check out the Cycle Touring Club web site you'll find that many people get all up in arms and libertarian about helmet laws. Almost as bad as the tobacco lobby; many of the same words and phrases are bandied about e.g. 'freedom', 'Big Brother', 'personal choice' etc.

If you haven't already done it get a professional bike fitting, your body, particularly your knees and ass will thank you forever. What may feel comfortable when you're new to a bike may actually be bad for you. e.g. many novices have too low a saddle height. Bad for knees. If it's too high, bad for ass. Similar considerations apply for handle bar height, in this case it can be your back that suffers. And it's more than comfort; when your bike fits right you deliver more power to the pedals. I paid to have my Trek 520 fitted; it was like the bike was ten pounds lighter. The main problem was my saddle being about 2" too low. A fitted bike is much less tiring to ride.

General Discussion / Re: Guide to Poor Woman's Cycling
« on: April 04, 2013, 03:40:49 pm »
I did do a route in Missouri a few months back that was mostly hills.

I found it so myself and people I've met who've done the Transam agree that Missouri is the hardest part. By the time you get to it, Hoosier pass it will be a piece of cake. Be very careful hurtling downhill with a trailer. In particular brake very carefully. I've never rode with a trailer but I've heard horror stories of trailers jackknifing on fast descents causing a crash. Do some research on this please.

DaveB's link appears to be broken. There is however an ACA route from Erie to Pittsburgh, I plan on taking this route this summer heading norh, with luck our paths might cross

General Discussion / Re: Guide to Poor Woman's Cycling
« on: March 28, 2013, 10:28:09 am »
Good luck Jasmine with the dog business, that's a heck of a load, not to mention possible vet bills (if you can find one). There are posts on this site by people who wanted to take dogs, search them out. As for a bike, the LHT is a fine machine but it is a lot of money. In Kentucky I met a young bloke who had rode from Los Angeles on an old Schwinn he'd found at the side of the road. His rain gear was a black garbage back with holes for head and arms. He seemed happy enough. Whatever you end up using be sure it has good wheels, 36 spoke minimum, built by a reliable builder who knows how you are going to use them. Apart from broken spokes pretty much anything else that can go wrong you can fix yourself. Have you done a bike maintenance class? Some places: bike clubs, YMCA, LBSs possibly have them for free or cheap. (If you are really keen take a wheelbuilding class then you can save a lot of money on bombproof wheels by building your own and you'll have no fear of breaking a spoke. But that may be a bit much) It's good for your ego if you're fiddling with your bike and a passerby asks if you need help to be able to say "No thanks. I'm good"

I was going to sail round the wold when I got the ideal boat. I never did. If I'm honest with myself it was an excuse for not doing it. So get out there and do it with whatever you can scrounge up.

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

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