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Messages - RussSeaton

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We are wanting to ride from Portland,Or to Des moines, Iowa this upcoming June. Would love some insight to a great route.

For the final 60 miles into Des Moines get on the paved bike trail at Jefferson, about 60 miles NW of Des Moines.  Trail takes you right to downtown Des Moines through the western suburbs.  As for the rest of Iowa, South Dakota, Nebraska, just get a state road map and pick out some lesser roads.  Most of the non interstate roads in the western states are lesser traveled.

Routes / Re: April Weather in Kansas
« on: March 11, 2009, 04:36:13 pm »
I am planning on taking the TransAm route, starting out in Colorado in late March, does anybody know what the weather will be like in Kansas and Missouri?

Kansas is usually OK by April.  Not hot and not cold, cold, cold.  Can be rainy and cool.  But late March on the Colorado plains can be cold.  You'd be better off leaving a month later.  Missouri similar to Kansas, cool and rainy.  BUT, it can be danged cold too.  I've ridden in the KC area where it was in the 30s in late March and early April.  And not much warmer a month later.

Tornadoes?  Lie in a ditch if you see one.

General Discussion / Re: ‘Camping’: Is it really necessary?
« on: March 11, 2009, 04:31:10 pm »
For all you biker/campers out there, what low weight set up do you use, or would you recommend for a short multi-day tour?

This is where I'm at for now, when packing light.  One downs bag good to 25 degrees Fahrenheit, and weights 2lb.  An emergency tent (>1lb), which could be used  only as a canapy/floor while it is low weight, but may be questionable under torrential rain. Thought of purchasing a bivy to better protect myelf from a rain storm. Note, there's no trailer or pannier, just a back pack carrying emergency kit, food, h20 etc. Riding technical back country trails vs. roads.   Any thoughts are welcome. thanx.

General Discussion / Re: Informatio Please
« on: March 09, 2009, 03:00:09 pm »
The Northern Tier goes through the northern part of Indiana.

The Transamerica goes through Kentucky just south of Indiana.

I presume both maps will have campsites and towns and such listed on the maps.

Gear Talk / Re: Oxford Low Rider panniers
« on: March 05, 2009, 03:13:58 pm »
Nashbar unfortunately doesnt ship to India... Performance does, but they dont really have anything that stands out.

Any other options for bags with good, robust rain-covers?  Worst case, I can probably get covers made locally but it just saves a lot of time to get them together.

They sell the same Waterproof panniers as Nashbar and also the Transit line.  Both were acceptable and I would buy either again.

These would be the Performance version of the Nashbar panniers.

Nashbar panniers below.

Gear Talk / Re: Oxford Low Rider panniers
« on: March 04, 2009, 03:44:06 pm »
You might want to look at the Nashbar waterproof panniers.  I used the Nashbar ATB panniers years ago and they worked perfectly great.  The ATB are not waterproof, which is one of your requirements.  I just put everything in ziploc bags and then put a plastic trash bag inside the panniers and everything stays dry.  Waterproof panniers don't seem to add much for me.  But based on my good experience with the other Nashbar panniers, the waterproof models may be OK.

Gear Talk / Re: Should I get a new bike?
« on: March 04, 2009, 12:54:24 pm »
Building a wheel is rocket science.  Truing a wheel approaches rocket science.  Setting the tightness on cones is like doing drywall (one day it will magically make sense).  Everything else is pretty easy.

You overstate the complexity by a considerable amount.  Drywalling is much much more difficult.  And permanent if its not perfect the first time.  There are various books or online resources for building wheels.  Just takes some time and patience.  Hub adjustments is a feel thing.  You can feel if its right or not.  Although lots of new hubs have no adjustment to them.  Bicycle mechanics is pretty simple with a few special required tools.  I know there are many incompetent bicycle maechanics who ride across the country, but thats not what I would do.  I think everyone should know how to work on their bike before riding it.

and wide--though only a few inches wider than a cyclist's shoulders, actually.

I looked at the Cat Trike website and they list 33" as the width of their trikes.  Greenspeed was also 33" width.  TerraTrike was 30-34" width.  I measured my own shoulder width at 20".  I'm not huge.  I don't consider 13" (33-20) a few inches.  A loaded bike with panniers front and back is only about 20-24" wide.  6" to 10" narrower than a trike.  Might be more perception than anything.

Gear Talk / Re: Four gears in hub.
« on: February 27, 2009, 04:52:52 pm »
I can't think of any advantage to having multiple chainrings and cassette and internally geared hub.

Unbelievable range of gears.  For the recumbent tandem I mentioned that does come with all three, it needs super duper low to get up the hill.  And can utilize super high going down.  For a single bike, no need at all.

Gear Talk / Re: Four gears in hub.
« on: February 27, 2009, 02:26:50 pm »
Recumbent tandems frequently use a SRAM/Sachs rear hub and triple crankset. 

The recumbent tandem I am speaking of would use a triple crankset, the rear internal hub gear, 3 speed most likely, and a 7-8-9 cassette.  60 to 90 gears, lots of overlap.

Gear Talk / Re: Four gears in hub.
« on: February 27, 2009, 09:21:32 am »
SRAM, formerly Sachs, also makes internal gear rear hubs.  Yes you can combine them with a multi ring crankset and front derailleur.  Recumbent tandems frequently use a SRAM/Sachs rear hub and triple crankset.  Chain tensioning would be accomplished with the second link.  As you state wheel strength should be good.  More gears over a wider range is a benefit.  Thus their use on tandem recumbents.  Upright bike would have no need for this though.  Disadvantage is cost and complexity.

Er... Adventure Cycling? 
Cycle America
PacTour (fast!!)
Any number of charity organizations....

There's lots of them.  To each his own -- if the OP wants a supported tour, who are we to pass judgement.

Adventure Cycling is not offering a coast to coast supported tour.  Cycle America is in 2010.  PacTour true.  Not sure I would say there are lots of them, but some.  Not judging.  Just was not aware anyone was doing such an extended supported tour ride.  Lot of committment and cost to have support people and trucks for 2+ months.

Gear Talk / Re: Tri-Cross
« on: February 25, 2009, 04:50:43 pm »
I'm new to biking, and I plan to ride across America this summer.  I know very little about bikes.

The guy at the bike place I went to really pushed a Tri-cross.  I'll be taking about 50-60 pounds with me.  I told him I wanted to research it online, but I don't see much about loaded touring on one anywhere.  Does anyone have any advice or recommendations?

Assuming you are referring to this bike:

Its not a loaded touring bike for carrying 50-60 pounds in panniers.  Its a cyclocross bike, sort of.  Its probably fine for pulling a trailer.

I believe there are articles on the Adventure Cycling website discussing touring bikes and what to get for a cross country bike ride.  And some webstie called crazy guy on a bike or something like that has many articles about people who rode all over the world.  I suspect many of these stories talk about the bikes and bags and trailers the people used.

I'm curious who offers coast to coast bike rides with support vehicles?

Routes / Re: Prague to...
« on: February 24, 2009, 09:30:16 am »
In 1994, going from West Germany into Czech was like going from a prosperous part of the US into a desperately poor part of Mexico. The contrast was stark and staring out at me from every doorway and every field of crops.

This seems a bit harsh.  I was in the Czech Republic in 1992.  Obviously it was less modern than West Germany.  The former East Germany was also less modern than West Germany.  I recall the exact spot on the road where I rode from former East Germany to West Germany.  The road literally changed.  And it seemed the trees were more lush, sun brighter, grass greener, etc. once I crossed that line.  But it was not that awful on the East side.  Czech and East were both older looking.  Unmodern.  Unkempt, gritty but not really bad.  I did not notice any poverty like we see in the US.  Everyone was less rich of course.  But I did not notice any extreme disparity amongst the people.  And the people I met in Czech were some of the nicest I met on my entire trip.  Which is why I like Czech.  Czech and East were probably comparable to the US in the 1920s-30s-40s when I visited in 1992.  Not bad just not up to date.

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