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Messages - bogiesan

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General Discussion / Re: Dynamo charger for cell phone and tablet
« on: July 21, 2013, 09:38:43 pm »
To be efficient and useful, one way of handling electrics on tour is to use two steps unless you have a very powerful generation system. You use a solar unit or hub or rim dynamo, all with very small current outputs, to charge a battery pack. You then use the power held in the battery pack to recharge your devices.  In a few more years, maybe, generators and solar units will be powerful enough to charge your devices directly. Practically, you need two, or maybe three, battery packs; you can strap your solar unit onto the trunk bag on your bike and use it to charge one battery pack while you use the second to recharge your phone. The third is held in reserve for rainy days or if you should fail to get a good charge. If you were using products from, say, GoalZero, you're looking at $200-250 for their larger solar collector and three packs.

I don't know anything about the bike2power units described in this thread. Be sure to research them carefully.

Gear Talk / Re: Recommended Long-Sleeve Touring Shirts?
« on: July 13, 2013, 07:05:36 am »
I enjoy my Pearl Izumi sun skins. However, I ride a recumbent so my exposure is slightly different. My most powerful sun protection is in the form of a Lycra skin that covers most of the bike.

I have also found the combination of a light sunscreen and a conventional longsleeve jersey to be adequate for most of my desert riding.

Gear Talk / Re: Chain Maintenance is unnecessary
« on: July 07, 2013, 06:32:44 am »
I am three thousand miles into an experiment with my transmission. Because this is the second chain on my current cogs and rings, I knew I would be replacing the entire package eventually so here's what I have done:
1. Thoroughly cleaned the chain. Thoroughly. I mean totally.
2. Thoroughly cleaned the rest of the transmssion elements.
3. Allowed everything to dry in the Idaho sun.
4. Reassembled and rode 200 miles, wiping the chain every 50 or so to remove whatever seeped and weeped out of the rollers.
5. Kept everything clean and dry by spritzing some WD40 into a rag and backpedaling the chain especailly after riding in rain or dusty conditions.

What I am not doing:
1. Ignoring the bike's other mechanical systems (in fact, just replaced a the rear deraileur trigger and both shifter cables)
2. Letting anything get rusty or gritty
3. Ignoring anything. I take very good care of my bike, she's got 43,000 miles on her.

That's it. I have applied no lubricant at all to the chain in 3000 miles. WD40 has minimum lubrication properties but I'm not applying it to the bearings, just wiping things down to make sure I have no rust or dust on the chain.
My results are inarguable but they're also inconclusive. The transmission is sparkly clean all the time, no black gunk, not ever, and it shifts crisply and instantly and dependably in all conditions. It's not failing.
But I say the results are inconclusive, not measurable, because I really don't care how the chain is wearing; I expect it to wear and I expect to replace the entire transmission. Someday. I did not measure the chain's condition, or, as we like to say, inncorrectly, the stretch, when I started so measuring it now is not a valid indicator of anything. And everything in the transmission is wearing together, remaining seated. Eventually, the teethe will hook so badly or the chain will wear to the point that it starts to skip and then I'll know it's time to spend the money.

Several years ago, an engineering school was contracted by a bike chain lubricant mfr to test their products. The video and the research materials are online and it's a fun journey to locate them if yyou want to. Most demand a link but if you are at all interested, you'll do the work yourself. The bottom line of their extensive tests is that lubricants do almost nothing to prevent wear of the metal-to-metal contact points in a bicycle transmission. That is, under normal biking conditions, including exposure to water and grit, the difference between the precisely measured loss of metal from a lubricated transmission and one that is completely dry is insignificant. A lubricant attracts and holds more grit than is healthy and, as it turns out, its only appeal to the consumer is to dampen the noise made by metal-to-metal contact.
This statement can get you into a fight; we all so dearly love our lubricants of choice. Yet there are many of us, particualy among recumbent enthusiasts, who are satisfied by our own tens of thousands of miles of anecdotal evidence (which is NOT data) that bicycle chain lubricants are unnecessarily complicated and create more problems by attracting dirt and making black marks on our legs.

You want to stop taking care of your chain because it's a hassle? That's easy. Stop taking care of your chain. It doesn't need it.

General Discussion / Re: riding and camping in thunderstorms
« on: June 19, 2013, 08:48:28 pm »
there are many sites offering complete lightning safety advice. Anyone who is involved in an outdoor sport of any kind needs to know how to deal with thunderstorms and lightning. The actions you take are specific to your location and equipment at your disposal.
Your chances of being injured in a thudnerstorm are very slight but the chances of being injured while trying to avoid a thunderstorm are higher.

Violent winds and wind-borne debris and precipitation like hail and horizontal rain or sleet can be really dangerous. i've ridden in hail only once, like trying to stand on ball bearings. I've ridden in many storms and severe winds but rarely out in the middle of nowhere although it happens. Idaho can stir up some interesting weather out on the deserts or high in the mountains. You hope you packed correctly for the day's ride. You hope it will pass quickly. You are comforted by the fact you can only get so wet and there's a hot shower and dry sleeping bag at the end of the day.

Knowledge is better than fear.

Gear Talk / Re: Jetboil: Possible to cook real meals?
« on: May 27, 2013, 08:07:10 pm »
I found tons of realworld reviews of the JetBoil systems with  a quick search. Cooking does not seem to be a function designed into the JetBoil. Rather, depending on your hunger, patience, culinary skills and collection of third party pots'n'pans, it is possible.

Sounds like youve already made up your minds.
You are talking to the wrong recumbent dealer; that's not a reasonable recommendation. There's a tandem 'bent for every cycling pair and you really want to ride one before letting someone talk you out of something about which you have said you know very little. The "balance situation" on a tandem, which may or may not be as bad as you anticipate,  is the same on any two-wheeled bike but on a 'bent you are ten inches closer to the ground so when you fall over, and you will, you don't hit nearly as hard. and you need to ride a tandem trike. There is no balance issue at all.

I recommend recumbents for three reasons. Comfort, stability and uniqueness. You want to spend 8 hours sitting on a fence post or in an easy chair? The physics of the recumbent and 'bent tandem are beyond the scope of the post but easily researched ( or just as easily ignored). And a tandem trike is an unbelievable traveling experience. But I ride a recumbent as much for the fact that no one else does as for the other two reasons. Recumbents are not for everyone. And that's good.

Hope you two find a bike you enjoy riding and helps you achievE a good touring experience. You know what they call tandems? "Relationship acceleration system on wheels." The several hundred miles you will spend together while training will test much more than your camping and tire changing skills.

Gear Talk / Re: New bike questions
« on: May 25, 2013, 09:53:08 pm »
Welcome to the family.
You might try Miyata-focused collectors or Miyata-specific dealers. Subtle differences between models of bikes? There are thousands. I don't know the differences between the various models of my bike. The bike I've got is the bike I ride and that's eth bike I care about. Everyone else? They're on their own.

You want to seriously explore a tandem recumbent or a tandem trike before you make ANY decisions. See some fascinating systems at
A tandem 'bent has the stoker way behind the captain in a heads up, comfortable position. On a tandem trike, three wheels keep the unit stable at all times. It never falls over.

A tandem 'bent is a bit heavier than a conventional tandem but you're not setting speed records on this trip so that's not a factor, really. The investment is a bit steeper, too, but a good bike is worth every penny it costs. CraigsList should have a few recumbent tandems.

Look up the Northwest Tandem Association and you can also research a few tandem buying guides that may still exist.
I'm telling ya: recumbent.

Gear Talk / Re: Bio Lite Stove...
« on: May 21, 2013, 07:44:03 pm »
We started talking about it about two years ago but I don't think anyone has actually invested in on and taken it to the field for extensive, realword testing. You are more likely to find useful reviews with a more general web search. The mass of the unit makes it more suitable for large groups or basecamp style outings. The thermocouples that provide the heat-to-electricity service are nothing new but the electronics designed for charging digital devices is an interesting twist.

Stoves for bike touring is an interesting topic around here. SSo is how to charge one's  GPS, iPad, iPhone, iPod, iMac, Kindle, Nook, Fire, Android and GameBoy.

Gear Talk / Re: Tips for avoiding back pain at night
« on: May 21, 2013, 07:35:30 pm »
I enjoy the services of a physical therapist in Boise ID who is a bicylce racer and marathoner. He understands everything about sports injuries and sports-induced pain, weighs it against your age and fitness levels, pokes and prods and forces isolated bands of muscles to fire and let go and then prescribes a set of exercises.
Phyical therpaists are not chiropractors. I am almost 60 and I have seen Mchael Devitt no more than fifteen times in twenty years.
You want to find a guy like him. A PT like Michael won't tell you to get a pillow. He or she will isolate the precise location of your issue, find the root cause, and go after that cause. Then it's up to you to do the exercises.

Gear Talk / Re: Underwear
« on: May 19, 2013, 07:12:24 am »
I ride aa recumbent without shorts.
No, I don't.
I run triathlon-style jammers with seamless synthetic briefs.
Jammers are basically bike shorts without the chamois or padding.

Everyone finds their own recipe for maintining the comfort of their nether parts and the preventing various afflictions that can occur on long distance rides.

Bicycling shorts have evolved to the current designs over nearly a century. You need to separate the hype from practicality (you do not need to run $300 Cinelli bibs worn by Tour d'France stars) but you need to find a style of padding that fits your anatomy while providing protection from your chosen saddle. Because you will be sitting on it for many hours, I suggest you find the saddle you will love first.

General Discussion / Re: Do we need to do any training?
« on: May 14, 2013, 05:28:25 am »
The discussion aboiut preparing your nether regions for long hours in the saddle is a bit scary. Saddle sores are not caused by inexperience, they're a localized bacteriainfection, like a pimple but weirder, that can show up on anyone. A sore butt is a different issue that is caused by improper saddle adjustment, improper bike fit, the wrong bike shorts and many other, more subtle causes.

I suggest you explore a recumbent tandem. Two engines will move the bike more efficiently--if you are not going to train--and the delightfully comfortable recumbent chairs take care of your butt prep. The additional benefit of the tandem is you cannot get away from each other. At all. Ever.

General Discussion / Re: Do we need to do any training?
« on: May 14, 2013, 05:22:28 am »
The question that I don't think you asked, is are the two of you ready for this?  That is best answered by trying out your team and your equipment, in some test trips.  Do some overnight or weekend trips.  Start modestly and increase the difficulty.  I think you can figure out if the two of you are ready for this.

Find a week-long supported bicycle tour event in June and do it.

You will learn how much you do not know and some time to figure it out.

A July event is too late. It only gives enough time to panic about how much you do not know.

General Discussion / Re: first big bike tour
« on: May 10, 2013, 09:30:15 am »
Hey guys so i'm planning a long trip across canada and it will be my first long term expedition. i've been looking into different types of bikes and from what i can tell there are specific bikes for touring i was hoping for a little insight on what would be the best type of bike for mostly roads with light offroading terrain? any other advise is welcome regarding gear, camping or anything else you think may be helpfull
Thanks for your time

My advice to virgins is to save up and then pay for a week-long, fully supported bike tour event. It is a cheap way to decide if bicycle adventuring is for you. And you can test your stamina, your head, your bike, your routines and your gear under conditions that have little risk of disaster.

The AC site is loaded with all the information you could possibly need and links to additional resources. Visit your local libary and check out everything they have on the topic.

Gear Talk / Re: Ultra Light TransAm Ride
« on: May 09, 2013, 05:38:16 am »
Excellent work, thorough documentation.

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