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Messages - RussSeaton

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General Discussion / Re: Touring TN.
« on: February 08, 2016, 10:14:47 am »
Not an answer to your question.  But I rode BRAT, Bike Ride Across Tennessee, a number of years ago.  I think BRAT was its official name.  Pleasant week of riding sometime in the summer months.  Cycling in Tennessee seems to be OK.

Gear Talk / Re: One Bike to Do It All
« on: February 05, 2016, 11:16:09 am »
an old specialized allez road bike i use for faster rides and a Rivendell Bleriot that I have used for road tours and even GAP and C&O tours.

So the question is: What would you consider to be a great do-it-all bike?

The problem is there really isn't a great do it all bike.  Yes one bike can do it all.  Some of the ones you mentioned will probably ride in the mud and rocks and paved road OK.  But when you are riding on the road, you might compare it to your former road bike, and it will not measure up.  Bikes are not great at everything.  They can be OK at everything, but not great.  Or acceptable at everything, but not great at everything.  And if you have a great road bike now, riding an unloaded touring/cyclocross bike on the road will not seem as great.  It will still work, but not feel as nice.  I own a carbon electronic shifting racing bike.  More fun on paved roads than the loaded touring bike.  But the loaded touring bike is better on gravel roads and carrying panniers.  Each has a specialty and I don't try to make one do the other's job.  If you want to widen the extremes.  Compare a full suspension mountain bike to a carbon fiber road racing bike.  If riding on a paved road or gravel road, both will get you from point A to B.  One might be more fun than the other.  Then ride on a rough rocky and dirt trail and maybe the racing bike will not work at all.  So is the full suspension mountain bike the better do it all bike?

Gear Talk / Re: How to pack my sleeping bag
« on: February 05, 2016, 10:57:28 am »
Its kind of odd you did not quote what I actually wrote.  You seem to have left off the record low I quoted.
I picked Columbus since its in the middle of Ohio.  The average low in Columbus is 61 degrees in June.  Average high in June is 82 degrees.  And the record low in Columbus in June is 35 degrees on June 11, 1972.

As a friend of mine is fond of saying; "climate is what you expect, weather is what you get".  Averages are just that with the range being ±3 standard deviations. 

The small town in Ohio I was camped in on GOBA in the early '90's did reach 35°F two mornings in a row and those who believed the averages and brought a single blanket or "sleep over" quality sleeping bags suffered very noisily.

My quote contained both the average and RECORD LOW temperatures for the middle of Ohio.  Not sure where you camped on this GOBA ride.  But if it was in the middle of Ohio, then on your camping you equaled the RECORD LOW twice.  Seems odd the websites I looked at did not mention record low dates for both 1972 and 1992(?).  Did it reach upper 30s, low 40s on your camping?  Maybe, possibly.  And a 40 degree bag with some clothes on while sleeping would have worked fine.

Gear Talk / Re: How to pack my sleeping bag
« on: February 04, 2016, 08:48:11 pm »
No, a true 20 bag is not overkill even in the summer unless you are staying in the deep south and at low altitude.  I've experienced low 30's temperatures in mid-June in Ohio and high altitude can produce low temperatures any time of year.

Because I have nothing better to do, I decided to look up the temperature in Ohio in June.  I picked Columbus since its in the middle of Ohio.  The average low in Columbus is 61 degrees in June.  Average high in June is 82 degrees.  And the record low in Columbus in June is 35 degrees on June 11, 1972.  Cleveland is in the north of Ohio.  Might be colder up there.  Its coldest temp for June was 31 degrees on June 11, 1972.  Not saying it does not get into the low 30s somewhere in Ohio in June once every 20-30-40-50 years.  It might, maybe, possibly.  But its been 44 years since it was in the low 30s in June in Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio.

I will repeat my suggestion to the person who posted this thread.  For the Trans Am trail in the summer.  Get a DOWN sleeping bag that is rated for about 40-45 degrees or so.  It will be warm enough for everything except sleeping at the top of mountains.  It will be small and light too.  You can always wear tights and socks and a hat if it gets extra cold.  I assume you will carry some warm clothes along on a cross country bike ride.

Gear Talk / Re: How to pack my sleeping bag
« on: February 04, 2016, 08:07:04 pm »
But the question of where most people pack their sleeping bag makes more sense to me if most folks buy more expensive bags that require less space.

Down bags have the advantage of packing/squeezing into a smaller space and lighter weight at a temp rating.  Down bags have the disadvantages of being susceptible to failure if they get wet and being more expensive than synthetic.  Down bags also come in 600 and 800 down so that magnifies the advantages or disadvantages too.  Your choice.  Down or synthetic sleeping bag.

Kind of like frame material.  Contrary to some claims, there are pros and cons of each material.  Pick one.

Gear Talk / Re: How to pack my sleeping bag
« on: February 03, 2016, 06:33:31 pm »
You may want to trade that bag for a smaller one.  I have a 800 down bag rated for 45 degrees and it packs into a size about 10 inches long and 5 inches diameter.  You could put 3 or 4 of them in one pannier.  Its perfect for summer.  It never gets near 45 degrees in the summer where I ride.  If you are camping on the top of a mountain at any time of the year, then its probably not the bag to use.  But why carry an arctic bag if you are riding in the tropics?  As for carrying it so it does not get wet, plastic garbage bags or grocery bags will keep the water away.  I'd suggest putting everything in a pannier inside plastic bags.  And then put those plastic bags inside a big plastic bag that goes inside the pannier.  I'm an advocate for using plastic bags when carrying stuff on a bike.  Keeps it dry and organized.

Routes / Re: Katy Trail riding conditions?
« on: January 29, 2016, 08:37:02 pm »
Its been a long time since I was on the Katy trail.  But back then it was very, very, very fine limestone gravel.  Gravel is probably not the right word to use since a stone the size of a pea would be huge compared to the rocks, dust on the trail.  Road tires and road bikes are fine on the trail if dry.  If wet then it might be best to find an alternative paved road.  Its 100% flat too.

General Discussion / Re: camping on city parks
« on: January 28, 2016, 03:22:46 pm »
Its probably a very good suggestion for towns that have a police force.  Towns that are big enough to actually have a policeman or two, probably do not see many tents in the city park.  Best to let them know ahead of time.  But many, many towns in the US are small and do not have a police.  There is a county sheriff and deputies that do all law enforcing in the county and cities/towns.  Doubt its worth asking them about camping unless they happen to have the sheriff office next to the park.  In small towns, tents in the city park would likely be considered almost normal.  Only bigger cities with a police force would a tent in the city park be not normal.

The question of legality is a different question.  I have no idea if it is legal according to the written law to camp or not in a city park.  Some towns or cities may have explicit laws written that forbid camping in the city park or within city limits.  Other towns or cities may have laws explicitly permitting small groups to camp in city limits or on city parks.  And most probably have no laws because the concept of camping is so out of this world and minor that they have never even considered it.

Gear Talk / Re: 2016 Cannondale Touring Bikes
« on: January 28, 2016, 10:36:47 am »
While I understand the merit of double butted spokes instead of straight gauge, they are not high on my list of desirables. I have toured many thousands of miles with straight gauge spoked wheels, factory built and built by me, without problem. I would not reject a bike because the wheels have straight gauge spokes.

If the wheels had 14 Gauge straight spokes, fine.  I've used 14 gauge spokes for years and miles.  But these wheels say they are 15 gauge straight spokes.  There is a difference.  Straight spokes are $10 cheaper than double butted for both wheels.  Poor place for the company to cut costs.  I'd be concerned where they cut other costs.

Wheels are very high on my list of desirables.  Wheels are one of the most important parts of a bike.  Wheels fail and you stop.  Saddle/seatpost fail, ride standing up.  Bars break, ride one handed.  Pedals break, ride one footed.  Gearing breaks, ride one speed.  Spokes break, and you may be stopped.

Gear Talk / Re: 2016 Cannondale Touring Bikes
« on: January 27, 2016, 10:29:18 am »
Agree with the other posts.  The equipment on the bike seems a bit odd.  15 gauge straight spokes?  32 number is OK for unloaded touring.  But straight gauge?  Straight is 15 cents apiece cheaper than double butted at my spoke place, Dans Comp.  64 spokes times 15 cents is $9.60.  I'd happily pay $9.60 extra for 14/15 double butted spokes over straight 15 spokes.  Bad place to save a few dollars.  Tiagra 10 speed with STI is OK.  Ultegra 11 speed with STI is OK.  But the low gear required is not that good.  Disc brakes are not my choice for touring or anything else.  Some love discs.  They can have them.  The 700x40 Marathon Plus tires are great for a tandem carrying two 300 pound riders and 100 pounds of gear on a gravel road.  Both of the Cannondale touring bikes seem like a mix of road and touring where Cannondale picked the worst from each and mixed them up on a bike.  I'd also suggest picking a road bike or a heavy duty loaded touring bike.  One or the other.  Not a poor mix of the two.  Using a large saddle bag and frame bag allows you to credit card tour easily.  Adventure Cycling sells these bags under the Revelate Designs name.

I've driven in the northwest US a bit, but not biked there.  I'd suggest flying to Seattle or Portland.  Get on the Pacific Coast highway route and go down to San Francisco.  You would see the redwood forests.  Then cross the Sierras over to the central valley in California.  Near Sacramento.  Head north.  Sequoia Park is somewhere in there I think.  Ride near the mountains in California and Oregon and Washington.  Rainier Mountain in Washington.  Then back to Seattle.  Make a small loop in the northwest on both sides of the mountains.  Cross them once or twice.  Tailwind on the Pacific Coast going south.  Six weeks might be enough time.  It is very scenic in that part of the US.  Yellowstone has a lot of traffic and there are only a few roads in the park.  So all the cars are on those roads with your bicycle.  Its worth seeing Yellowstone.  But drive there, not bike.

Gear Talk / Re: Good winter SPD shoes?
« on: January 24, 2016, 07:10:46 pm »
I was a carry my clothes each day commuter.  We had a casual dress code at work.  Polo shirt, t-shirt, cotton pants, black socks.  Think I left my belt at work with my shoes.  Used a backpack like college kids use to carry books to class.

Gear Talk / Re: Thoughts on "fat-tired" touring bikes?
« on: January 24, 2016, 07:05:45 pm »
Gravel IS a lot of big sharp edges.

No.  Its maybe possible to have a sharp edge on gravel.  But not likely.  Gravel on roads in the USA are made from limestone.  Its a very soft rock.  Easily crushed and easily rounded by use.  Gravel roads in the US are not made out of granite that can hold a sharp edge.  And you are confused about pinch flats and cut tires.  They are not the same.  Pinch flats occur when the tire hits a sharp edge, such as the edge of a pothole, at high speed.  The tire and tube are compressed so the edge of the rim contacts the tube.  And you get two holes in the tube about an inch apart.  As wide as the rim.  Skinny tires with low pressure ridden on pothole paved roads can result in pinch flats easily.  You are talking about cut tires.  There are many situations where tires can get cut.  Cut tires and pinch flats are not the same.  The railroad beds you are talking about are not made from limestone like gravel roads.  Railroads use a different rock of much larger size for the track beds.  You will never see this rock on gravel roads or trails in the US.

Gear Talk / Re: Thoughts on "fat-tired" touring bikes?
« on: January 23, 2016, 05:43:30 pm »
I wouldnt ride gravel with high pressure road tires... You'll pinch flat in no time.

? ? ?  How could you pinch flat on a gravel road?  Pinch flats occur when riding at high speed on a skinny tire and you ride into a SHARP edge.  Such as the edge of a large pothole you ride over.  The front tire will clear the edge due to momentum or you pulling the front tire off the ground.  The back tire will drop into the pothole and crash, at full speed, into the sharp hard edge of the pothole.  Pothole in a paved, hard surface road.  All the potholes I've seen on gravel roads have very smooth and rounded over edges.  And are not very deep because with a gravel road, the surface is not hard so it moves into the lower pothole.  Sort of filling the pothole up.  Not really sure a pothole can develop in a gravel road.  As for the size of the gravel.  All the gravel I've ever seen is 1 inch in size or less.  On gravel roads you do not see big chunks of rock that fill your entire palm.  That is not gravel, that is rock chunks.  Gravel roads are not made from rock chunks.  They are made from rock that has been crushed and sorted to the size of small gravel.  And even with rock chunks, I doubt you would ever ride fast enough on such a surface to induce a pinch flat.

Gear Talk / Re: Good winter SPD shoes?
« on: January 23, 2016, 05:31:10 pm »
Agree with the other post.  Kept my dress work shoes in a desk drawer.  I did carry fresh clothes back and forth each day.  Changed into the shoes at the beginning and end of the day.  Wore SPD sandals most of the time.  In winter I had some Lake winter boot/shoes.  Also had neoprene booties over them if it was bad.  And wool socks of course.  There are several companies that make SPD winter boot/shoes.  They have a rubber lugged sole so are fine for walking.  Have a friend who is a proponent of sandals with multiple pairs of wool socks during the winter.  If going that route I'd also recommend neoprene booties on top of many wool socks and sandals.

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