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Messages - PeteJack

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General Discussion / Re: how safe is it to ride in the US?
« on: March 05, 2012, 12:03:42 pm »
Be particularly careful on roads that cross freeways. Typically you will be going straight a head but vehicles in the RH lane are accelerating to freeway speeds and turning right. The ACA route across San Diego crosses three freeways in a relatively short distance. By the third I found it so scary judging the speed of vehicles behind me using my mirror that I dismounted, waited for a gap in the traffic and walked across the lane. Mind you I suppose it's the same in Europe. So, granny let me show you how to suck eggs.

Connecting ACA Routes / Re: Seattle to Northern Tier
« on: February 18, 2012, 04:14:02 pm »
This route looks pretty good if you know your way around. When you get to Mercer Island I'd urge you to stick to the signed Greenway, it's bike path with less chance of getting lost. This route avoids one hill then adds another that the Greenway misses. (I rode this yesterday.) Be aware that the Mercer Island police are into giving tickets to cyclists who don't stop at stop signs. Another reason for staying on the Greenway. If you give me a PM when you are about to set off I'd be happy to ride with you out of Greater Seattle.

Gear Talk / Re: Folding tires
« on: February 18, 2012, 10:59:30 am »
I'm one of those who has given up on carrying a spare. I carry a Park Tool tire boot. They have an adhesive surface presumably so you don't have to worry about it sliding off the hole. The only time I ever used one was on a club ride when another rider with super light 23 tires had a blow out. It got him home about 10 miles. You may find you have to ride with slightly lower tire pressure to avoid feeling a bump but most of us tourists aren't riding on 120 psi so that's probably not an issue

Gear Talk / Re: Trek 520 vs Cannondale T1 or T2
« on: February 06, 2012, 01:16:06 am »
I've yet to hear of anyone repairing a steel frame. I suppose steel is less likely to break if you attempt to straighten a bent frame. Forget about welding. In the western hemisphere it's probably easier and cheaper to replace a frame than mend it if it's badly bent or broken. Repairability was not a consideration when I bought my 520. having said that I have had to have the derailer hanger bent back into alignment a couple of times. I suspect a hanger on an aluminum frame may have broken off.

Routes / Re: Summer heat on the TA
« on: January 29, 2012, 06:31:08 pm »
it's always a good idea to be carrying mosquito repellent
This is true and DEET works remarkably well. but remember DEET, or at least the REI version Jungle Juice, will dissolve your helmet if like me you get fed up and spray the stuff all over your head and neck. I found this out the hard way.

General Discussion / Re: Bike Friday or S&S Couplers
« on: January 15, 2012, 02:10:19 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, 03:07:53 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, 03:10:58 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, 11:39:56 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, 11:30:40 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, 11:08:28 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, 11:25:35 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, 07:50:46 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, 11:07:59 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....

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