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Messages - RussSeaton

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General Discussion / Re: How to figure average miles per day
« on: May 23, 2016, 08:45:12 pm »
I would guess most people give a number for miles ridden on riding days.  Exclude rest days, non riding days.  Long ago I rode around Europe for about 100 days.  Mid-end May to end August.  Total miles were low 4000s.  So I only averaged about 40 miles per day.  But in that whole trip there was only one day I recall riding less than 40 miles.  I left Pisa, Italy and rode about 25 miles to the next town north.  I remember thinking it was a wasted day because I rode so short.  I remember every riding day as being 60-70 miles or so.  Plenty of enjoyable non riding days on that trip.  When describing that trip to people I would say May to August.  Memorial Day to Labor Day roughly.  If someone inquired more and wanted to know how far I rode, I'd say 4000 miles or so.  If they wanted to do the math after that, let them.

Gear Talk / Re: Brooks saddle and bike shorts
« on: May 20, 2016, 05:02:11 pm »
Brand new Brooks saddles are slick and shiny.  New leather.  With use, sweat, the leather softens and get a bit more porous, rough.  You can speed this up by soaking the saddle in Neatsfoot oil.  The oil makes the leather more porous and rough.  I suppose to speed up the roughening part you could maybe even use light sandpaper on the saddle leather.  Just rough it up.  Not gouge it.  Take the sheen off.  Do in five minutes what it would take 1,000 miles of rubbing from your shorts.  The roughness would help you stick a bit better.  Look at the underside of your saddle.  It is rough.  Top is smooth and shiny.  Brooks puts the smooth shine on the saddle.  Its rough like the bottom when it comes off the cow.  Try to make the top a bit more like the underside of the saddle.  But use, oil, sweat will soften and roughen the saddle up.

General Discussion / Re: Demands on energy
« on: May 16, 2016, 04:31:18 pm »
Bicycling is usually a constant energy endeavor.  Racing bicycles can be a constant energy and sudden peak energy activity.  But loaded touring is almost always constant energy expended.  You ride along at a medium pace constantly working at your aerobic level.  Your breathing can keep up with your exertion level.  And your body can produce enough glucose to sustain this activity level.  To fuel your body you need to eat a lot a few hours before you start and keep eating during the activity too.  It takes awhile for your body to process food and turn it into glucose your cells can use to produce activity.  Supper more or less replenishes any excess you used during the day.  Fat that your body slowly converts from fat back into glucose to burn now.  So if you eat a big supper to stock up the tank, eat breakfast to get plenty of fuel for the start, eat lunch to keep going during the afternoon, and eat supper to replenish, you will be fine.  And eat some snacks during the day too.  Your fancy drinks you talk about and Coke and Hostess fruit pies are good if you over exert yourself by climbing a mountain, or sprinting for a few miles.  They are quickly and easily digested by the body and provide almost immediate energy to be burned now.  But they are gone pretty quickly too.  So if you eat your energy drinks for breakfast, or Coke and fruit pies, don't expect them to help much when you climb a mountain at the end of the day.  You need a healthy lunch and stored energy to get you up the mountain at the end of the day.  Or a bunch of your energy drinks and Coke and fruit pies at the bottom of the climb.

Despite what the diet commercials and energy drink marketing departments convince people.  The vast majority of people are stupid and gullible.  Eating and how the body work are pretty simple.  You consume fat, protein, carbohydrate.  Your body processes this at different speeds depending on whether its fat, carb, protein.  You use this glucose to fuel your activities.  Your stores the excess.  Or converts stored glucose, fat, to glucose for immediate use now.  Its pretty simple despite all the BS you hear and believe.

General Discussion / Re: Newbie ISO perfect touring bike
« on: May 12, 2016, 01:02:45 pm »

If the above Fuji Touring bike is the one you are considering, then it looks pretty darn good for loaded touring in mountains.  Deore crank which can fit a 22 tooth inner chainring.  Nashbar is selling one for $16.99.  Easy to change.  Bike comes with 11-34 nine speed cassette.  A low of 22x34 should allow you to climb almost any hill on earth with ease.  Rest of the bike looks fine.  Fairly standard basic touring bike specs.  Wheels are 36 hole with Deore hubs.  Shimano makes fine hubs.  MSRP of $770.  Performance Bike in the US is selling it for $729.  So price wise this bike is very good.  If you NEED a heavy duty loaded touring bike, this Fuji is a good choice.

Now if the question is whether you NEED a heavy duty loaded touring bike, that is a whole different question than whether the Fuji Touring is a good touring bike.

General Discussion / Re: If you only had a couple of weeks?
« on: May 03, 2016, 09:18:36 pm »
I've ridden in Indiana, Tennessee, Arkansas, northern Missouri.  If I was you in southern Illinois, I'd just take off either east or west and ride for two weeks.  Loop ride.  Decent state, county roads in these states.  Good riding.  And if you looked up some books on Illinois itself, you would find many historic and scenic places in the state.  Could also ride north for a few weeks in your own state.  Ride to Chicago and back.  Visit the Lincoln historic sites.

with a loaded bike, 8% is about the steepest I will try to ride.  Any steeper than that, even if you're geared to go slower, you'll have trouble balancing the bike.  YMMV, riders and bikes vary in low speed abilities.

You would have a hard time riding in the Dolomites and Pyrennes.  Appalachians too.  I recall seeing signs saying 13-14-15-16-17% grades in the Dolomites.  Short sections, not continuous.  I've heard the Appalachians are steep too.  You had better confine yourself to the Rockies and Alps only.  They max out at 7-8%.

I have a Surly Disk Trucker with 48-36-26 chainring and 11-36 cassette. 

Comment on crankset.  Your crank will almost certainly take a 24 tooth inner chainring.  74 mm bolt circle diameter.  So you could change the 26 ring for a 24 tooth ring easily.  $15 and 15 minutes.  Little bit lower low gear.  Probably won't make much if any difference.  But it will be the lowest you can get with your current equipment.

Routes / Re: TransAm trail - how fit
« on: April 30, 2016, 06:26:41 pm »
The only difference being in shape makes is how long it takes you.

Yes, but not much difference in time.  An in shape rider will put in big miles the first month.  An out of shape rider will put in small miles the first month.  Maybe 30 miles per day difference for the first couple weeks.  After a month both riders are in equal tip top fit shape and can ride the same mileage.  So in the first month the fit rider gains an extra 5-600 miles on the out of shape rider.  It takes an extra week for the out of shape rider to finish.  An extra week over an entire summer.  Not much difference.  13 weeks instead of 12 weeks.

Routes / Re: TransAm trail - how fit
« on: April 30, 2016, 06:20:43 pm »
I'm not sure how RussSeaton defines "real mountains,"

I don't consider a climb a mountain unless its 6-7-8 miles of climbing up.  Constant or varied grade.  Switchbacks too.  1-2-3 miles and its still a hill.  Maybe a loooong hill, but not a mountain.  The 4-5 mile length I guess you could put in either category depending on how vigorous you were that day.  I also think of mountains as having a pass at the top.  Usually a named pass.  Hills usually don't have pass names and elevation signs at the summit.

Long ago I rode from Canon City, Colorado up to the Royal Gorge bridge.  Its several miles of climbing to get up to the pass on Hwy 50.  And by the Royal Gorge bridge.  I did not consider that a mountain pass.  Even though it was several miles of climbing.  And several miles of descending on the other side.  Not sure if that climb is officially part of the Rocky Mountains or not.  But I did not consider it a mountain pass.  Just a climb.  If you get to the top in less than a half hour, its not a mountain.

Routes / Re: TransAm trail - how fit
« on: April 30, 2016, 12:29:17 pm »
I have never ridden the TransAm route.  But I have ridden all over Europe.  Did that when I was about 22-23.  And a few times since.  I had about 10 miles of training when I started.  I had ridden the prior 10 years off and on so knew how to ride a bike.  But I just got on the bike and started riding from Rome.  Took about a month to get to the Dolomites mountains in northern Italy.  If you started on the east coast, it might take a month before you got to real mountains.  Just hills before then.  Anyway, tours are not climbing straight up Alpe d'Huez all day long.  There are lots of regular miles too.  A majority of the miles are just regular riding.  Then some hard miles and some easy miles.  And you can just ride 50 miles a day for the first month then maybe ride 80 miles a day at the end so it averages out to about 65 miles a day in total.  That is a good average.  You don't need to be in very good shape to start a cross country bike ride.  As long as you are not extremely out of shape, you will be fine.  One month of continuous riding will get you in peak physical shape.  Bicycling is not really an extremely demanding activity.  If your town has a bike path, go watch the people riding on it.  You will see 5 year olds and 85 year olds riding bicycles.

Classifieds / Re: FS: Fuji Saratoga Garage Find
« on: April 29, 2016, 11:19:46 pm »
Looks very similar to my 1991 Trek 520 touring bike.  Mine had Deore DX while your has Deore LX.  Probably 7 speed indexed shifters.  The low profile cantilever brakes look familiar.  Lugged steel frame with a pump peg.  Quill stem.  Mine did not have spoke holders on the chainstay.  I think I paid about $700 in January 1992.  And you want $550 for a 25 year old bike?

Food Talk / Re: Malnourishment on a long tour
« on: April 29, 2016, 11:10:54 pm »
Can't recall what vegan means.  I've only toured in Europe and the USA.  Ate anything and everything at convenience stores and restaurants and inns/motels.  It was all good food.  Tasty if not always dietary healthy.  Coke, Hostess, Nutella are not healthy but do give you lots of calories.  Guessing some of the very foreign locations have native food and germs and sanitation that are not compatible with non natives.

Food Talk / Re: Eating well on tour.
« on: April 29, 2016, 11:00:48 pm »
I'm guessing you are exaggerating a bit.  The convenience stores you stopped at with the Jimmy Dean sausages, probably had a cooler with orange juice and V8 juice.  Fruits and vegetables!  Sort of.  Juice has some downsides but its main ingredient is kind of healthy.  As mentioned, milk is available.  No problems with proteins, fats, and carbohydrates of course.  Just drink your fruits and vegetables.  If there is food to buy in the USA, you will get by OK.  It will take a long, long time to die of malnourishment.  No place sells only Hostess fruit pies, Ding Dongs, and Coke.  You might die pretty quick on that only.

Gear Talk / Re: Front pannier racks
« on: April 29, 2016, 02:40:00 pm »
I would guess I have the same Nashbar rack mentioned in the prior reply.  I do not have disk brakes.  My rack does not tilt backwards as in the previous pictures.  I mount my rack to a fork eyelet behind the dropout, not out in front.  I end up with much less hoop over the front of the tire.  Rack hoop and tire are much closer together.  What fork you have, how you mount it to the eyelets, where the fork mount is located, all will change how the rack mounts.

General Discussion / Re: Michelin Maps or Google Maps for Europe?
« on: April 16, 2016, 05:51:19 pm »
About 25 years ago I used 200,000:1 scale maps for Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Czech, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium.  Not Michelin, some other brand of maps I bought somewhere over there.  Local shops or street stands I suppose.  Every two weeks or so I had to buy a new map.

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