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Messages - PeteJack

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General Discussion / Re: Bike Friday or S&S Couplers
« on: January 15, 2012, 12:10:19 pm »
I agree about the hassle of dealing with a hard case. For this summer's European trip I've decided to box up my Trek520 as I've done three times before. I'll have to pay for excess bags on BA but I hope to minimize the fees by putting my four paniers tent, mat etc in a large duffel bag I'm hoping to find cheap at Goodwill (i.e. essentially disposable) and only pay for one extra bag. For someone needing to do a lot of plane trips a BF or S & S makes sense but I'm planning on only doing two. I should imagine it's fairly cheap to ship an empty bike box back home within the US.

Besides that I don't have much to offer. I looked at BFs having rode with a couple for hundreds of miles who were on them. It began to look as though I wouldn't get much change out of $4000 if I bought a BF kitted out the way I would like and you can pay a hell of a lot of excess baggage fees for that kind of money. And I still get to ride my beloved 520.

General Discussion / Re: TransAmerica 2012
« on: January 09, 2012, 01:07:53 pm »
I've had good luck with BA and a boxed up bike, from Seattle to the UK and back three times. I'm hoping to use them again this spring.

The baggage rules have changed: only one checked bag is allowed these days so I'm hoping to keep extra bag fees down by putting my paniers and bar bag in a big cheap (disposable) duffel bag so I only have one extra bag.

I've worked on baggage handling systems at my local airport (SEA) and they are brutal. It's not so much careless people but the devices known as 'diverters' that shove bags from one conveyor to another that really clobber bags. Also anything a bit loose and flapping like a plastic bike bag is just asking to get caught in conveyor rollers. I don't know how they handle bikes in bags, it would be a major hassle for them to not use the conveyor system. Because of this I think it safer to box a bike with plenty of pipe foam insulation. The only problem I have had was one time when the security people opened the box, they resealed it just fine, but managed to lose my front skewer which was in the bar bag. This video is very good

General Discussion / Re: Choice of bike
« on: January 05, 2012, 01:10:58 pm »
Thanks Dave. That sounds about right and explains why I never saw another. So, if absolutely must have a 520 with disk brakes it's probably doable.

Gear Talk / Re: Ortlieb trunk bag question
« on: January 04, 2012, 09:39:56 pm »
I'm not sure what I would use it for when fully laden touring as it seems to be designed for the top of the rear rack.  That's where my tent etc etc go. 

Excellent point. I've always toured with a rack bag but in future I think I'll do without. I ended up piling stuff on top of it and if I needed the stuff in the bag it was a pain getting to it. I think I got carried away with Ortlieb mania. There's nothing wrong with my existing bag that getting rid of it won't fix.

Gear Talk / Re: Which Schwalbe
« on: January 04, 2012, 09:30:40 pm »
The math is irrefutable: 2 pounds of rubber is less than 1% of the total estimated mass of 300 pounds, 0.067. Thirty-two ounces is roughly two liters of water. That delta of the effort to move this mass uphill or forward cannot be perceived. Nor does it translate directly into a 1% change in the total energy required to travel the same distance.   

I have to differ. A pound on a wheel is not the same as a pound in your paniers. The reason people pay thousands of dollars for wheels is because they are lighter,  specifically light rims and tires have a smaller moment of inertia.  An extra pound on a wheel will, very roughly, double the moment of inertia of a wheel, something you'll feel with every turn of the pedals. If this were not the case then I suppose we'd still be riding on steel rims.

General Discussion / Re: Choice of bike
« on: January 04, 2012, 09:08:28 pm »
I did see a Trek520 with disk brakes about a year ago at Gregg's Cycles in Seattle. (I own 520 and always like to check out the latest incarnation) Since then they seem to have vanished. I've asked in bike shops and nobody has heard of such a thing. Perhaps I was hallucinating. Anyway I love my 520 with 29K on it; it weighs a ton mind, that said I've never heard of a Trek 520 frame breaking. I've no idea what a Flight Deck is but I bet you can live without it.

Good luck Alex. I think Tony's advice is sound. I've rode through both LA and SF. LA covers a vast area, it's worth riding there just for the experience. SF is much more compact and it will have bike shops that can have a bike ready for you when you arrive. A good warmup would be the ride from SF to LA down the coast, there are hostels (rare in the US), Elephant Seal Beach, magnificent scenery and, when I did, it we saw whales offshore. I wouldn't advise LA to SF because you'll have a headwind and all the stuff to see is on the other side of the road.

As others will tell you: do avoid getting over ambitious with distances at first. When you get to the Grand Canyon remember cycling fitness and hiking fitness are not quite the same. A couple of years ago some friends persuaded me to climb a hill, Hungry Hill, in Ireland with them. It was only 2000 ft and I'd been riding every day for three months so I thought "No problem" Going up I was like a lamb in springtime, by the time we got back to the cars I could hardly stagger! It seems the muscles you use descending on foot don't get much of a workout when cycling. Something to bear in mind.

You'll have a great time.


General Discussion / Re: Creating a group bike tour
« on: January 02, 2012, 09:25:35 am »
If Andrew doesn't have a specific tour I do.

Here's a tour I've been thinking of for 2013. Train Vancouver BC to Jasper Alberta, ACA Great Parks route Jasper to Whitefish MT. Then depending on how everybody feels and time constraints (not all of them are retired) either train or NT back to Seattle.

There will be from two to six riders. All will be physically up to this or they can get back on their own. This sounds harsh but I've known them all for decades. I don't want to camp.

Is there anything to be gained from group rates on railways, in hostels etc.?

Gear Talk / Ortlieb trunk bag question
« on: December 30, 2011, 05:50:46 pm »
Has anyone had experience with the Ortlieb rack bag? It seems to be a new product and I can't find any reviews on the web (well three actually). They also sell an adapter that allows you to hang paniers easily which would be nice. I currently have a cheap Novara bag with velcro attachment and it's a bit of a struggle sometimes to attach my Sport Packers.  The zip top seems really handy too.

General Discussion / Re: TransAmerica 2012
« on: December 29, 2011, 09:07:59 am »
+1 only I usually ride my half day in the morning and take the afternoon off.

That's probably a better way to do it but it is is nice to lie in bed sometimes....

Gear Talk / Re: Rain Gear (yet again...)
« on: December 28, 2011, 04:16:59 pm »
Gore-Tex also said they guarantee their garments; if a garment fails to meet your expectations, and the dealer will not refund your money or substitute a garment to your satisfaction, Gore-Tex will.

I can attest to that. I bought a GoreTex Bike Wear jacket in the UK that ended up leaking like a sieve after about a year. I sent it back (in the US) and they let me pick any jacket in their line to replace it.

General Discussion / Re: TransAmerica 2012
« on: December 28, 2011, 09:53:46 am »
I think I'd get bored on a rest day unless there was something very compelling there.


Believe it. I made the mistake of taking a day off in Packwood WA when doing the Sierra-Cascade route. I was bored to distraction. There's absolutely nothing there, I couldn't even find anything to read. What I found to be better than a rest day is a short day, say 20-30 miles, I even had a day of just 12 miles! You can relax, have a late breakfast, see the museum or whatever and set off early to mid afternoon. This way you satisfy the urge to keep riding, there's no chance of stiffening up and the next day you're ready for that 70 miler.

Gear Talk / B17 issue. Am I the only one?
« on: December 11, 2011, 10:07:04 am »
About a year ago I was touring in Washington State and called into a bike shop in Ellensburg to buy a tube. While there I decided my saddle needed tightening so I asked the owner if he had a Saddle wrench I could borrow. He said he didn't but very kindly took one from a new B17 saddle he had for sale (Both saddle and wrench were mounted on cardboard for display. You know the sort of thing I mean) to my surprise the wrench didn't fit! It was too small. I know they are a bit fiddly so I had the bike shop man try. He couldn't get it to work.

The old nuts were an imperial size. My guess is that Brooks couldn't get any more imperial stock to make the nuts out of and went to the nearest metric size. Brooks website only advertises one wrench so if I buy one will it fit? I tried contacting Brooks via their site but got no reply. Was this all a bad dream or what?

General Discussion / Re: Stupid Hotel Question
« on: December 09, 2011, 07:50:21 am »
Not to say that most motels/hotels aren't clean,however I prefer to sleep in ( or on ) my own sleeping bag. I'll even put my sleeping pad on the floor and sleep on that,rather than the bed.

uh?? Hostels in California, at least the ones I stayed in, do not allow the use of sleeping bags. Seems sleeping bags sometimes bring uninvited guests

Routes / How much climbing does the Sierra Cascades route involve?
« on: December 05, 2011, 04:47:33 pm »
I did the SC last summer and would dearly love to know what my total climbing was. Anybody figured it out?

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