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Messages - John Nelson

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Routes / Re: Leadville to Minturn to Vail pass to Breckenridge???
« on: February 22, 2011, 03:28:04 pm »
This route is two-thirds of a very popular bicycle route called the Copper Triangle. The climb up Tennessee Pass is quite easy. The descent from Tennessee Pass to Minturn is really sweet--gentle slope with sweeping turns. The route up Vail pass is almost all on traffic-free roads and paths, and will be harder than Tennessee Pass. The route down Vail pass is all on bike path (although watch out for some sharp turns).

Routes / Re: Independence pass
« on: February 22, 2011, 03:23:42 pm »
I've ridden it in both directions. It is true that the west (Aspen) side is narrow and the surface can be rough. For brief stretches, it's even a one-way road (although wide enough for one car and one bike). Try to ride it at a time with less traffic (e.g., really early on a weekday). You won't have any problems on the east side. Take warm clothes.

Underground Railroad / Re: Mobile to St Louis
« on: February 20, 2011, 10:42:54 am »

Reading online journals at will also prepare you for what to expect.

Don't take bear spray. If you use it, you'll probably find yourself in jail for assault. Besides, it's illegal in many places. Valygrl is correct--the only equipment you need is your wits. Leave everything else (bear spray, tarp, men's underwear, ninja throwing stars, baggy clothes) at home.

Most assaults on women are by people they know. You'll be safer out on the road with people you don't know.  :)

Gear Talk / Re: Ortlieb Front Roller City Panniers
« on: February 17, 2011, 07:52:31 pm »
I'm curious as to what keeps these city panniers from bouncing off the rack. Without the strap, it doesn't seem they can have the sliding part of the clip that goes under the rack rail, thus making a completely secure connection.

Colorado / Re: Worst experience across the US was in CO
« on: February 17, 2011, 10:19:36 am »
I read a story of cyclists pulled over for speeding on the Blue Ridge Parkway, which has a speed limit of 45 MPH. The cop was inclined to let them off with a warning, but they insisted on a ticket, just for the status symbol.

Colorado / Re: Worst experience across the US was in CO
« on: February 17, 2011, 09:10:24 am »
If you ever drive a car/motorcycle through Kremmling, keep a close eye on your speed. It has a reputation as a speed trap.

General Discussion / Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
« on: February 16, 2011, 09:31:25 am »
If you haven't already done so, I would suggest you contact the Florida Bicycle Association, a group that advocates for bicycle safety at both the state and local level. Get suggestions from them, join them, and work with them. Perhaps start a chapter in Tampa.

Change won't happen overnight, and you'll need to take baby steps, but you can make progress.

Colorado / Re: Worst experience across the US was in CO
« on: February 15, 2011, 09:47:12 pm »
Yes, it certainly doesn't take much to make a bad impression. In any area, 99% of the people are friendly and 1% is unfriendly. You were just unlucky enough to run into that 1%. By the way, Hot Sulphur Springs, just 17 miles down the road from Kremmling, has a free city campground.

Kansas does indeed make camping pretty easy. Almost all of the city parks allow camping and have some pretty lush grass.

I carry my notebook in my handlebar bag. As I ride, I frequently reflect on my experiences and what words seem to best describe them. When I hit upon a phrasing I like, I stop right there on the shoulder of the road and write it down before I forget. In the evening, these notes get moved into my journal.

Gear Talk / Re: Squeaky brakes
« on: February 15, 2011, 07:41:32 am »
Yes, a squeak is much better than the grinding you get when a piece of aluminum from the rim is stuck in your pads. I had that grinding, which is why I switched from Shimano pads to Aztec pads.

I like the CGOAB journal format, with text intermingled with pictures and captioned pictures. It also gives you whatever kind of hierarchical structure you want, and it takes care of the mundane things for you such as accumulating mileage. Neil provides good support and the help page there will answer all your questions, as well as offer many suggestions on how to create an interesting journal. I like how easily you can navigate the site. I often get a bit lost on journals hosted on other sites.

There are a lot of different opinions about what makes a good journal. In my opinion, don't tell me what you had for breakfast, but tell me about the waitress who served it or the conversation you had with the couple at the next table. Don't tell me that there was a lot of wind or hills (of course there were), but tell me (and show me) about something charming that you saw along the way.

Gear Talk / Re: Squeaky brakes
« on: February 13, 2011, 01:57:05 pm »
One or more of:

1. Clean the pads and rims.
2. Adjust pads so that you have toe-in (leading edge hits rims before trailing edge).
3. Replace the pads.

Gear Talk / Re: 1988 Trek 520 recommended upgrades????
« on: February 11, 2011, 07:31:23 pm »
I agree. Just ride it as is and make do. If you want a different bike, buy a different bike.

General Discussion / Re: 2/11 Adventure Cyclist Mag Letters from Readers
« on: February 11, 2011, 01:36:16 pm »
Does not look like PhotoShop to me. If it was altered, the rider would have been looking straight down and his body posture would have been really low. Not impossible of course, but less likely. What the picture doesn't show is how many spokes he broke when his wheel landed.  :)

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