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Messages - PeteJack

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Gear Talk / Re: Recommended Long-Sleeve Touring Shirts?
« on: September 18, 2013, 02:34:41 am »
I've been considering some kind of a cover for the back of my neck and ears, but I haven't come up with any ideas that don't seem completely dorky

A Buff pulled over my ears with the end of it hanging over my neck seems to work for me. Who cares what it looks like when your riding? Kids think you look like a pirate when you take your helmet off. If appearance is a big deal to you whip it off and stuff it in a bike shirt pocket when you go to eat.  If you're a bit sparse on top it also prevents sunburn through the helmet vent slots which is why I started wearing them.

General Discussion / Re: bicycles on the roadways
« on: September 16, 2013, 09:07:43 pm »
I remember riding due east  out of Big Bear City CA and being terrified. The rising sun was right in my eyes and those of any motorist behind me. To make it worse much of the road had no shoulder and a drop off of about 12 inches in places so there was nowhere to go if I did see someone behind me who hadn't seen me. I really should have waited an hour or two to let the sun move round (OK Galileo, let the earth rotate) a bit.

General Discussion / Re: riding and camping in thunderstorms
« on: September 16, 2013, 09:00:03 pm »
You may want to check this guide that I wrote about bicycle touring tent. There are several sections including tips when using your tent, and a section on how to choose a touring tent”

Cyclo the link seems broke. Any chance you can fix it?

General Discussion / Re: Self inflating pad / Neo air reliability
« on: August 28, 2013, 12:02:25 pm »
i took a Neo Air on my Northern Tier tour this year. The first time I used it it deflated in about 1/2 an hour. So I traipse into Boston where REI replaced it. I then used the replacement perhaps twenty times without problems. The NeoAir is supremely comfortable and I don't slip off it, a problem I had with self inflating Thermarests. The last time I used it fairly close to home the pad was half deflated in the morning. I wrote and complained to the manufacturer and they wanted me to send it back but by the time I'd got their reply REI had replaced the Neo Air with an XLite version. We'll see how that works out.

I've toured with a ZRest. It insulates well but you feel every pebble under you

Gear Talk / Re: do I have too much crap?
« on: August 26, 2013, 01:54:12 am »
    Scraping my panniers on the ground when you lean it over too much... :)

Has that actually happened to you?

Good question. You either have very low paniers or be cornering tight radii very fast.

General Discussion / Re: Complete newb, TA in 2014
« on: August 24, 2013, 12:40:26 pm »
In my opinion, indoor riding on a trainer is of value, but that value is very limited. Get that bike outside as much as possible. Outdoor riding is much, much better training for your trip.
I second that. Spinning classes and the like just don't prepare you for e.g. long climbs, there's a psychological element to it plus gear selection, in/out of saddle technique etc. that you can only learn by actually doing long climbs.

Good advice somebody gave me: when climbing use a gear lower than you think you need. Sounds daft but it works for me

General Discussion / Re: Bears
« on: April 23, 2013, 05:14:15 pm »
If you hang your food in a tree or put it in a bear box don't forget to take it with you next morning. Sounds daft but it's been done, I know whereof I speak.

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.

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