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Messages - PeteJack

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General Discussion / Re: camping on city parks
« on: February 27, 2016, 01:11:28 am »
The only time I ever tried to register was in Scott City Kansas. I said to the cop in his car: "It says here", pointing to the ACA map, "I'm supposed to register with the police" "Consider yourself registered" said the cop.

General Discussion / Re: Dogs n' bears
« on: February 16, 2016, 08:09:11 pm »
I've only once come across a bear. Last year in BC on the Icefields Parkway about half a mile from Bow Summit, the highest point, I was grinding my way to the top very slowly and a grizzly bear walked into the road about 10 yards in front of me. Needless to say I stopped. He/she stopped. Bang in the middle of the traffic lane and looked right at me. (It's amazing how much like Teddy Bears they appear, imagine a Teddy Bear's head the size of a cow's.) Right then a car pulled up next to me and the lady in it asked if anything was wrong. I pointed mutely at the bear not wanting to get his attention any more than I already had. The lady gasped. About that time the bear decides to go on its way across road and that was the end of the adventure.

I sort of regret not getting a picture but a comment above tells me I did the right thing. TBH I thought of getting a picture at the time but was scared of getting the beast's attention any more than I already had. It was also the only time I've ever been glad of traffic.

General Discussion / Re: Careful where you buy stuff
« on: February 01, 2016, 01:56:29 am »
When we got to Oakland CA for a ride down the coast I decided we needed a chain long enough to lock both our bikes up. I went into a bike shop on the waterfront and found a Kryptonite chain for $62. So I bought one and well it served. After I got back I went to my LBS, Burien Bikes,

Burien Bikes, huh?  Is it the one called Bicycles West just east of Ambaum and north of 152nd?  I grew up going to that bike shop in the 1950s and 1960s and have bought bikes and much gear there.
That's the place. Actually it's new name is Burien Cycle. It used to be a branch of Bicycles West but is no longer. I believe it's independently owned now. Their prices always seem pretty good.

General Discussion / Re: Careful where you buy stuff
« on: January 27, 2016, 04:36:13 pm »
$30 is a cheap price for not having to go all the way home to get a chain.
Very true John but it is quite a difference. But then if we never forgot anything we'd be perfect - actually I didn't forget, it wasn't until someone on the train down suggested I needed a good lock in San Fransisco that I even considered it. I did have my flimsy cable lock that I believe the ACA says is all you need on their tours but I don't suppose they spend much time in San Fran.

General Discussion / Careful where you buy stuff
« on: January 27, 2016, 01:56:11 pm »
When we got to Oakland CA for a ride down the coast I decided we needed a chain long enough to lock both our bikes up. I went into a bike shop on the waterfront and found a Kryptonite chain for $62. So I bought one and well it served. After I got back I went to my LBS, Burien Bikes, for a chain of the type that makes your bike go and what should they have but the same Kryptonite chain I had bought in Oakland for $32!

Gear Talk / Re: Drivetrain HELP
« on: December 27, 2015, 11:50:24 pm »
For many years I've rode a Trek 520 with  51-38-24 Shimano 105 square taper cartridge bearing crankset 9-speed 11-32 rear. My LBS tells me the old 105 stuff is no longer made and as the BB was showing signs of wear I had them replace it with Shimano FC-5703 external bearing triple (there's Youtubes on installing them) this set comes as 50-39-30 and I had them put a 24T ring on the bottom. Nominally this is a 10 speed crankset but it works just fine with 9-speed. I had some trouble with rear shifting I thought was a chain size problem that turned out to be a worn out shifter detents, changing to friction shifting mode fixed that though it takes a bit of getting used to.

I think you can get the FC-5703 set for about $120 on the net and you may have to buy a tool to install the bearings for <$50.

General Discussion / Re: bike vs. bike
« on: December 22, 2015, 10:54:04 am »
I had SD-7's on a Surly Cross Check and the braking power (with Kool Stop Salmon pads) was plenty good but they were very squeal prone and nothing I did quieted them down reliably.  Substituting road brake pads and holders for the OEM ones helped a bit but not enough.  My solution was to sell the bike and replace it with a Pacer and caliper brakes.  These are always quiet.
Looks like it's a design issue with the 520, some marriages are just not made in heaven. Possibly the SD-7 and 520 forks are just not made for each other so to speak. I also replaced the original levers (no idea what brand they were) with Tektro SR520s, it may have been a combination of the two replacements that fixed my problem. The back brake is still the original SD-7 and it's just fine, quiet and works well.

Back to the OP's question. I find the 520 a really comfortable ride and on fast downhills with four panniers very stable. To my mild surprise when I got my rig weighed at the ACA HQ on my last tour from Jasper to Portland I found I was hauling 45 lbs! No wonder I was slow on the hills.

On the Trek website the three main beefs are: uncomfortable saddle (The original was horrible I now have a B17 - ahhh joy), brakes could be better (see this reply) and heavy (It is a steel touring bike though MrsJ's Novara Safari is considerably lighter)

I had a similar experience to Westinghouse; whizzing down the hill into Idyllwild CA. The stop sign was obscured by foliage and I ended up braking way too late and shooting across the intersection. Luckily there was no traffic. With lousy brakes stopping becomes like planning for retirement you have to think so far ahead.

General Discussion / Re: bike vs. bike
« on: December 22, 2015, 12:49:26 am »
I've got a 520 with 51000 miles on it so I may be a bit biased. I use it for touring and all my daily riding and love it. The main complaint I had was the SD-7 V-brakes that came with it which were noisy and ineffective. No matter what I tried, all kinds of pads, toe-in etc they were still poor at braking and very noisy. I thought disk brakes would be the answer. About a year ago I replaced the front SD-7 with a Single Digit Ultimate. It was night and day, the Ultimate is silent and very effective. I can now brake on the steepest hills from the hoods without having to reach from the drops to get the extra leverage. I don't even toe-in the pads, the classic fix for squeal, they are silent all the time. I don't think I'll bother with disks if I ever get a new bike, they are a heavy complicated (to me) faff, my wife's bike has them and I don't like them. The Trek website says the current model has Shimano T400 brakes, I've no idea how good they are but I suspect they are cheaper than Ultimates which are $120 each on the web compared to SD-7s that are $25. Ya gets what ya pays for.

General Discussion / Re: How to get from Washington DC to Yorktown, VA?
« on: December 14, 2015, 01:57:52 pm »
And again good luck and have a blast. If you end up in the Seattle area send me a PM.

General Discussion / Re: How to get from Washington DC to Yorktown, VA?
« on: December 14, 2015, 01:46:46 pm »
I've always just zip tied my rear panniers together to make them one piece and carried on front panniers and HB bag if you have one.
I've had Amtrak staff refuse to let me do that in San Diego, though I have seen it done at an airport. Probably depends on the guy checking you in. I don't think there''s an official policy about it. Yes the suitcase can be a bit of a nuisance to get rid of but it is handy having all your stuff in one box especially if it's got wheels. Different strokes...

General Discussion / Re: How to get from Washington DC to Yorktown, VA?
« on: December 13, 2015, 09:21:11 am »
I know this is an old thread but I am doing the trans am trail next summer and am sorting out a train for me and my bike and box from Washington to Yorktown. I have seen the reply re the 7.30am train which takes checked baggage so I will plan to get that one. It seems easy enough to reserve the seat for me but I am confused as to how a reserve a space for my bike and bike box. There does not seem to be a step during the reservation process to book my bike and I don't really want to just turn up in the hope that there is space for the bike and box. Does anyone know how I do this step of the process? Do I have to call the reservation line or can I do it on line. I am flying in from the UK to Washington dc a few days before.
If just browsed through the regs from the link given here in this CrazyGuy article but nowhere can I find any reference to having to have a booking for a bike i.e. as long as you have a ticket for yourself they will take your bike as one piece of checked baggage (limit 2). I've had no experience with Washington DC to Yorktown but this has been my Amtrak experience. I have taken a bike from: Seattle WA, Portland OR, San Diego CA, San Luis Obispo CA, Vancouver BC and Flagstaff AZ. At the latter I just walked in and bought a ticket on the day of the train. There was a family emergency and I didn't have time to book ahead. If you are planning on leaving/arriving from/to a manned station you won't have any problem. Ive always found Amtrak staff very helpful. What you can do is buy a box and ticket and check your bike in up to 24 hours before you travel but no more than 24 hours. You may want to do this to avoid last minute scrambles.

On the east coast there's plenty of manned stations but out West they are thin on the ground. I had to disappoint a touring companion who was planning on taking his bike to Chemult OR the nearest station to Crater Lake NP. This would have been great, it's about 12 miles from the park and about 200 ft. from the Sierra-Cascades route but unfortunately it's not a manned station so you can't take your bike off even though the train stops there. The nearest manned station is Klamath Falls 80 odd miles S of Chemult.

Another tip. Buy a suitcase from a thrift store ($15 seems to be the going rate) and put your paniers, rackbag, helmet etc. in it. this way you only have one extra bag to check. Then dump it or find another thrift store to donate it to at the other end. This is usually only necessary when flying or possibly going by bus, something I've never done. On my last Amtrak trip I checked my heaviest panier and carried on the remaining 3 and a barbag, a bit of an armful but doable.

I've Googled a bit and it looks like the nearest station to Yorktown is Newport News which does appear to be manned i.e. it has a ticket office. Do some poking round on CrazyGuy to find out how to get from there to Yorktown. IIR it's not very far but tricky getting from NN to Yorktown (a tunnel you can't ride through). Again see what others have done on this site and CrazyGuy etc..

You'll have a blast.

from Seattle  take the Mukilteo Clinton Ferry to Whdbey Island, ride the island north then take the San Juan ferry and tour the islands.
If you have time,  take the ferry to Victoria BC, another ferry takes you to Port Angeles from where you can return to Seattle.

You could also take the Victoria Clipper from Seattle to Victoria,( you can take you bike on the boat)  tour Victoria then the San Juan Islands, then Whidbey and return to Seattle.

Beware of any route involving passes. I went over the N Cascades Hwy on the other shoulder, in October, and it was pretty rough. Coming down from Washington Pass I got hypothermia, serious stuff. Now that was partly due to defective weather gear but still it's best to avoid these conditions

General Discussion / Re: Europe border closings.
« on: December 10, 2015, 01:35:15 pm »
The UK's Cycle Touring Club has a fairly lengthy discussion on how migrants may affect touring that you may find useful.

BTW don't let the name mislead you compared to Adventure Cycling the CTC is weak on bike touring, they are mainly an advocacy group. They have nothing remotely close to ACA maps e.g., for that you need to go to Sustrans if you're thinking of touring in the UK, the Sustrans site may have info on continental touring. If you have specific questions the CTC forum is a good place to ask, there's a lot of helpful people there.

We did San Fran to San Diego in early February because that is our time to travel.  Mostly rode in pants, long sleeve shirts and light jacket but we also found lodging each night.  It ranked as one of our top tours and I wouldn't hesitate to do it again at that time of year.

I can't imagine that January would be a whole lot different.
Thanks. I like the bit about finding accommodation, that's what we plan on doing.

I'm hopin Billie Conolly was right. "There's no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothes"

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