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Messages - John Nelson

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Gear Talk / Re: Gearing for Touring Bike Followup
« on: July 30, 2015, 12:04:59 pm »
I have 52/11 and very often wish I had a higher gear, and I have never raced.
Really?  A 52/11 is 127 gear-inch and gives 38 mph at 100 rpm.  Can you really ride that fast except on a big downhill where you would go as fast or faster by just tucking in and coasting?  My problem with the excessive use of 11T cogs is that you give up a far more useful interior cog to get it.
38 MPH is fast enough for Kansas, but not for a lot of other places. On rolling hills, I want to start that next uphill going as fast as I can manage. Besides, I'm not really a 100-RPM kind of guy. And even though I don't race, going fast is fun, and going 45 MPH is more fun than going 38. Also, it you ever hope to get going 55 MPH, you need to pedal as hard as you can at the very top of the hill. So no, of course I don't need a bigger gear, but I want one because it's more fun. It's good not only for downhills, but also for tailwinds.

Gear Talk / Re: Gearing for Touring Bike Followup
« on: July 30, 2015, 12:36:59 am »
I have 52/11 and very often wish I had a higher gear, and I have never raced.

General Discussion / Re: Bicycle tools for a cross country ride
« on: July 29, 2015, 12:53:20 pm »
For any given repair, I'm sure you can find a hundred people who have never needed that repair on tour, and a hundred other people who have.

I find the V-brakes need adjustment every 1000 miles or so. The cable travel is greater on these brakes, so a small amount of pad wear can warrant adjustment. If you ride in the rain or you are timid on mountain descents, you may even need new pads after a few thousand miles. I find brake wear somewhat unpredictable. At times, I've worn out brake pads in as little as 2000 miles. At other times, I've gone 6000 miles on the same pads.

There are several campgrounds along that route, most with potable water. They are right off the road, so you won't waste much distance. If memory serves me right, I think I refilled at the Wilderness Gateway Campground before wild camping on down the road.

General Discussion / Re: TransAmerica bike tour- travel East or West?
« on: July 24, 2015, 11:38:24 pm »
There are 606 TransAm journals on CGOAB, 315 east to west and 254 west to east. Yes, I know that doesn't add up. I guess not everyone specified direction.

General Discussion / Re: Warning: Newbie with lots of questions
« on: July 24, 2015, 09:14:55 pm »
If it feels good to ride, then it's the right bike. I think the best bet is to take a bike-knowledgeable friend with you when you go shopping. And take a nice long test ride.

As for your wife's bike, keep air in the tires and lube the chain. As long as it shifts and brakes well, don't adjust anything. If she's going to go very far from home, make sure she carries a phone and/or knows how to fix a flat.

If you're still riding after a couple of years, you'll be in a better position when you buy your next bike.

General Discussion / Re: Tandem on the Northern Tier
« on: July 24, 2015, 08:49:27 pm »
I'm browsing them now...any recommendations?
Browsing what?

Parts of the NT are wonderful. Washington is beautiful. Western Montana is great too. Glacier National Park is superb, and Going To The Sun Road is one of the best rides on the planet. Eastern Montana is peaceful. North Dakota is not entirely bleak--Theodore Roosevelt National Park is a gem. Minnesota is a refreshing change, and the bunkhouse in Dalbo is a welcoming oasis. Wisconsin is rich in rustic roads. Enjoy the pasties in the upper peninsula, and have fun on Mackinac Island. Take the Lake Erie connector along the north shore. Niagara Falls is always worth a visit, and the Erie Canalway is a pleasant break from traffic and hills. The Adirondacks are hilly, but beautiful, and New England is a walk in the hilly woods. Bar Harbor is a great place to celebrate your finish.

General Discussion / Re: Tandem on the Northern Tier
« on: July 24, 2015, 11:57:15 am »
I don't think the tandem makes much difference. But the tandem is a good choice for a couple, especially if they have different ability levels.

But just out of curiosity, why did you choose the Northern Tier? Have you already done the TransAm (which I consider a far better route)?

General Discussion / Re: Northern Tier or better idea?
« on: July 23, 2015, 03:36:52 pm »
Well, North Dakota isn't the most exciting place to ride. But if you want to tick off coast-to-coast, I suppose you better continue where you left off. Once you get to Minnesota, the riding will get better.

Having done both the Northern Tier and the Pacific Coast, I would rate the Pacific Coast much more highly. Is there more traffic in Los Angeles than in Gackle, ND? Yes. Is the scenery better on the Pacific Coast? Yes. You can't get to Los Angeles in three weeks anyway.

In three weeks, you can probably get from Vancouver to San Francisco. Fly home from San Francisco. There won't be any traffic problems on that route and it's logistically pretty simple for you. That's what I'd recommend. You've already done the best part of the Northern Tier anyway.

General Discussion / Re: Getting home from Yorktown in Sept.
« on: July 19, 2015, 12:38:16 am »
I used the Newport News airport, only 8 miles from Yorktown Victory Monument. The flight cost no more than flying from a big airport. I support your idea of using a bike shop to ship. Almost all of them provide a pack-and-ship service. $150 ought to cover it.

General Discussion / Re: Bicycle guidance
« on: July 17, 2015, 10:43:57 am »
Are you planning to go on one of the self-contained tours or a supported tour?

If you are planning to go on a supported tour, you'll probably be one of the last ones in if you take a hybrid. If you're planning on a self-contained tour, then a hybrid may work just fine. 10 MPH is a fine speed for self-contained touring, but pretty slow for supported touring.

Not a lady obviously, but I wash my riding shorts every night and wear the same pair every day. It's simple, you only need one pair, and you wear clean shorts every day.

Routes / Re: Transam West to East; Florence or Astoria?
« on: July 15, 2015, 04:07:24 pm »
Unfortunately, the Three Capes Scenic Loop has been closed for the last two years and will be for the next two. But there's plenty else to see and some spectacular places to camp. Cape Lookout State Park is one of my favorites.

General Discussion / Re: Biking with a dog?
« on: July 13, 2015, 04:37:22 am »
There are 68 journals on CGOAB about touring with pets, almost all of them with a dog.

Routes / Re: Transam West to East; Florence or Astoria?
« on: July 12, 2015, 02:03:03 pm »
I also found the ride to/from Astoria extremely nice (both times). I'm surprised to hear that someone found it awful. I don't know how much stock to place in one experience. For almost every gorgeous stretch of cycling road, I'm sure you can find someone who found it unpleasant.

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