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Messages - RussSeaton

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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.

General Discussion / Re: Michelin Maps or Google Maps for Europe?
« on: April 14, 2016, 02:50:01 pm »
Don't know anything about these Google maps.  But can you fold them up and stuff them into the map case on top of your handlebar bag?  You can do that with Michelin maps or whatever the other brands are.  Can you buy these Google maps at the local convenience store (in Europe)?  Most or all the local stores sell Michelin or other maps inside the door.  Variety of magnification.  Get whatever size fits the roads in your area.  Some only show the interstates, some will show the alleys.  As much or as little detail as you want.

Gear Talk / Re: Wheels without spokes?
« on: April 11, 2016, 05:05:29 pm »
Not exactly spokeless, but Aerospoke makes a wheel with only 5 spokes.  Each spoke is about 2 inches wide and 1 inch thick.  I think they are pretty much indestructible.  Never seen one on a touring bike, or many other bikes actually.  Although oddly enough I have a recumbent tandem in my basement with a 26" Aerospoke on the back and a 20" Aerospoke on the front.

Gear Talk / Re: Gear Inches for the Northern Tier
« on: April 07, 2016, 01:08:34 pm »
I might be able to tell you if you can swap out your 11-32 with a 11-34 or 11-36 (or 12-34 or 12-36 depending on your groupset).

What,s the reason for using a 11-36 vs 12-36? Both are available.

Most, all, people never ever use the 11 cog on a cassette.  The only place you can possibly ever use it is if you have a tailwind down a mountain and get into a tuck to be as aero as possible.  Then you will be hard pressed to even turn the pedals at 90rpm.  Its a wasted cog.  Like professional riders would be if you put a 32 cog on the bikes they ride.  They would never ever use it.  You only have 9 or 10 cogs on the cassette.  These 9 or 10 cogs must cover the entire 11-36 range or 12-36 range.  So 25 or 24 teeth depending on which cassette.  With the 25 teeth 11-36 cassette, you will have one jump in the cog spacing where it may be more of a jump than you want.  Its a 3 tooth jump instead of 2 tooth.  With the 24 teeth 12-36 cassette, you will not have that one spot where the jump between cogs is not right.  And this bad jump may happen in a part of the cassette you use frequently.  For shifting its almost always better to have more cogs covering a smaller space.  Exception being the largest cog on the cassette.  Its Ok or even preferable to have a huge jump in teeth to that cog because when you need the biggest cog on the bike, you want it now and its OK and fine and dandy to instantly have a "too" easy gear.

Not much help.  Long ago I used bike boxes at airports to fly home.  I cannot remember if the airline itself supplied the bike box, or if there was a universal supply for boxes at the airport.  Meaning all the airlines contracted with a third party to have boxes at the airport.  You went to your airline and asked for a bike box.  They sent you down to the customer service supply office and they gave (charged) you a bike box.  Same bike box for everyone in the airport.  I ALWAYS made sure to have my own roll of tape before going to the airport.  I taped it so it would stay sealed permanently.  I think the bike boxes at the airport were always big so you did not even need to take off the front wheel.  Just take off the pedals, take off the seat, and turn the bars.  But maybe you did have to take off the front wheel.  Not sure.  Don't think you had to take the bars off, just turn them.  Racks always stayed on.  Boxes were good sized unless you ride a 68cm monster sized bike.  As for the airport not having boxes, not really a problem.  If the airline supplies them, you could get a box from another airline.  If its one place that supplies all the boxes, I suspect they would work with you to find enough cardboard to make your own box.  Another reason to have your own roll of tape.

Also should add that on a couple trips I went to the airport the day before and asked to make sure they had boxes available.  Did not want to take a chance that maybe they are out of boxes.  I would always ride into the town I was flying out of one or two days before flying out.  Then either rode to the airport, got a motel near the airport, or took a bus or train to the airport.

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