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Messages - RussSeaton

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Routes / Re: Canada to Mexico from mid february, which way?
« on: February 18, 2016, 04:26:16 pm »
RussSeaton, Thanks for your answers. I'm from France but I not in France, and I'm not leaving near coast anyway :-)
I will try to extent my visa when I will be in Canada, but if I can't I will have to take the road. I try to not using transportation, except my feet, bicycle or canoe... and boat to cross ocean!

Rain, cold, snow, ice, wind are the problems you will face.  Since you are from France, you should have a good idea of the weather in the USA.  France and the USA are somewhat similar in latitude.  Latitude being how far north of the equator you are.  Northern France has winters similar to what the north half of the USA has.  Southern France, near Spain and the Mediterranean have winters similar to what the south half of the USA has.  Although southern France is probably not as warm as southern USA.  Imagine walking or biking from Belgium to Spain along the Atlantic ocean in mid February and you will have a good idea what it would feel like to bike from Vancouver Canada to Mexico along the Pacific ocean.  Miserable in the north and better in the south if you start the middle of February.

Routes / Re: Biking from Norway to Italy
« on: February 18, 2016, 03:59:40 pm »
Its been 24 years since I was there.  But I expect things have not changed much.  I rode from Italy up to Germany using maps I bought locally.  1:200,000 scale I believe.  Probably bought from local gas stations.  They showed all the small roads and towns.  Decided which town I wanted to ride to and picked out some roads between them.  Pretty easy.  Western Europe has lots of small roads and lots of towns on those roads.  Excellent bicycling.

Routes / Re: Canada to Mexico from mid february, which way?
« on: February 18, 2016, 10:21:41 am »
France.  So you should understand winter in the northern hemisphere.  Unless you happen to live on the Mediterranean coast in France.  It is mid winter right now, mid February.  Look out your window and ask yourself if you want to go for a bike ride.  I looked at Paris France weather forecast for the next two weeks.  Its upper 40s for high temps and rain a few days.  About what you can expect in Vancouver from November to February.  Maybe a bit colder in Vancouver and little more snow that rain.  Vancouver is on the ocean so gets the warming effect from the ocean water.  Vancouver hosted the winter Olympics in 2010 so they must get some kind of winter weather.  Riding the Pacific Coast Highway down Washington, Oregon, California starting in mid February will be cool/cold, wet, and windy.  Not pleasant riding conditions.  By the time you get down to Los Angles or San Diego in late March it will be OK weather.  But you will have a month or more of miserable weather up north.  If you can stay in Vancouver until March, April, May, then the ride down the PCH would be good.  Otherwise, use some other transportation to get out of Vancouver to the southern part of the US in mid February.  Death Valley, Grand Canyon, Utah all have parks that are good to see.  Maybe southern California.

Routes / Re: Canada to Mexico from mid february, which way?
« on: February 17, 2016, 02:48:23 pm »
In June I will put my first step on american continent, starting from Alaska.
I plan to be in the border Canada/US middle of February 2017, and I'm looking for the best bicycle road at this season, PCT, GDMBR...or other, to go to Mexico?

Based on your forum name I am going to guess you are from South America.  Starting in Alaska in June 2016 seems good.  May still be cold and rainy but will likely be pleasant by July or August.  Six months or so to get down to the USA/Canada border.  Sounds good.  Canada is probably very scenic and pleasant in the summer and fall.  USA/Canada border in mid February 2017?  Are you aware that mid February is about the middle of winter on the northern half of the earth?  The USA/Canada border will have about 6 feet (2 meters) of snow and the temperatures will be about 0 to 10 Fahrenheit (big minus Celsius).  As for the best bicycle roads in mid February on the USA/Canada border.  I suppose any that are not closed due to snow drifts are the best.  The routes you list are the Pacific Coast Trail (Highway) and the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route.  The PCH would likely be not covered in snow.  Its on the ocean front so is sort of warm all year.  Not sure it would be pleasant to ride in the winter though.  The GDMBR?  That follows the Rocky Mountains down to Mexico.  In the middle of winter?  Thanks for the laugh.

Gear Talk / Re: A home made 42 tooth cog.
« on: February 16, 2016, 11:03:00 am »
Pretty pathetic gearing.  Unless you purposely planned and designed a worse gearing system, you could not get much worse than the one you listed.  First off it uses 8 speed, which is getting more rare every day.  Do bike shops sell 8 speed anymore?  As for having a 52 tooth chain wrap, doubtful unless you custom built a rear derailleur cage about 10 inches long.  On the Shimano website some of the rear derailleurs have 45 teeth as maximum wrap.  Your choice of middle and outer chain rings is baffling.  It results in excessive overlap.  You end up with almost the exact same gears on both of these chain rings.  Why even bother having two chain rings?  It looks like your crankset uses 110mm bcd outer and middle.  And 58mm bcd inner.  A fine choice on crank arms/spider.  I use similar on my touring crankset.  My low gear is 20x32, 16.6 gear inches.  Low enough.  I could get lower by using a 34 or 36 inner cassette cog.  15.6 or 14.7 gear inches.  More than low enough.  Your low gear of 20x42 results in a low of 12.6 gear inches.  Lower, yes, but not really much lower.  2 to 4 gear inches lower.  Not a big deal.  And by using an 8 speed cassette and bizarre overlapping chainrings, you end up with very few usable gears for riding.  OK for climbing the steep streets of San Francisco with a loaded touring bike.  But a hindrance for riding into and out of San Francisco and everywhere else in the US or Canada.

If you want to improve your gearing, do the following.  Nashbar has 9 speed cassettes in 11-34 and 12-36.  And 10 speed cassettes in 11-34 and 11-36.  Put some quality chain rings from TA on your crank.  I use 44-33-20 rings and recommend that combination.  You could go 42-33-20 since you would only need to replace the middle ring on your current crank.  With a new ring and a 9 or 10 speed cassette of 11-34, 12-36, or 11-36, you would have an almost perfect touring gearing.

Your rear wheel with no dish.  I just built a tandem rear wheel for a friend with zero dish.  Uses a Phil Wood tandem rear hub.  Phil puts the non drive side flange very close to the axle center to make zero dish.  The rear wheel had 48 spokes built on a Velocity Dyad rim.  4 cross using Sapim Strong 13/14 gauge spokes.  Possibly the strongest rear wheel every built in the history of the world.  Cannot remember if it is 130 or 135mm rear spacing on the tandem.  Its a somewhat old Cannondale tandem so not sure the 135mm rear mountain bike wheel spacing had even been invented when this bike was built.

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.

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