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Messages - canalligators

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Gear Talk / Re: Idworx Easy Rohler
« on: March 20, 2017, 12:30:43 pm »
... I am dismissing recumbent for safety issues on the road.

Which safety issue is that, the "can't be seen" myth?  A typical short- or long-wheelbase bent, such as a Tour Easy or a Giro 26 is almost as high as a shorter person on a DF.  I'll buy it for some trikes and low racers, I wouldn't ride one of those in a city.

Gear Talk / Re: Rohloff Speedhub
« on: March 17, 2017, 08:28:44 am »
I usually keep my mouth shut on this, but I'm wondering what the OP decided.  And did he find the comments helpful?  (Never mind saying thanks.)

Gear Talk / Re: Tubeless
« on: March 17, 2017, 08:24:43 am »
I haven't tried tubeless, but don't you always use sealant with them?

On tour, remember to pack a spare inner tube or two.  You could run out of CO2, not be near a compressor or be unable to locate/fix a leak.  You don't want to be stranded.

Gear Talk / Re: Idworx Easy Rohler
« on: March 17, 2017, 08:22:22 am »
I think I'd recommend that you get out and do some touring first, so you'll get a better idea of what you want in a bike.  You can do tours on a wide variety of bikes, at least to get started.  You'll also find out if the touring bug bites you or not.

That said, I offer no advice on that bike.  But make sure that the bike you get:
- Is comfortable riding it all day  (this is the most important aspect)
- Has a lowest gear around 25 inch-gear
- Is stable with a load at 3 mi/hr climbing, and doesn't go into oscillation at 40 mi/hr on the descents
- Has capacity for the load you intend to carry
- Has sturdy wheels

By the way, are you dismissing recumbents and crank forwards out of hand?  They can be great touring bikes, assuming you use one that meets the criteria above.  (Not all do.)

General Discussion / Re: ?How easy are SPD pedals to get use too?
« on: March 17, 2017, 08:13:05 am »
As for numbness, don't overlook the insole area.  There's a spot in the middle of your foot where many nerves go through one place.  That area is protected by bones, except it can have pressure put on it by setup problems.  In my case, the backing plate for the cleats was deformed from years of use.  Its ends were bending upwards, causing pressure on that spot in the foot.

I did two things: First, I took it apart and bent the plate back to a flat condition, then reassembled.  (And put it on an annual inspection schedule.)  Second, I cut away the  insole in that area, much as Terry did on their diamond frame bike seats.  These solved the pressure part of the numbness.  Every case is different, but it might help others too.

Gear Talk / Re: Keen sandals for 2 month crosscountry trip
« on: March 07, 2017, 11:51:36 am »
I am moving towards less and less stuff brought along.  So one pair of shoes is an absolute must for me.  You may choose sandals or walkable shoes.  Since my feet require fairly high arch support for walking, and because they're useful over wider range of conditions, I choose walkable shoes.

General Discussion / Re: Cycle the Erie Canal Event
« on: March 07, 2017, 08:56:59 am »
I forgot about West End Brewery in Utica.  It's a good tour, I learned a lot about brewing.  The tour goes through there mid-day, so the timing is good too.

General Discussion / Re: Weight Distribution
« on: March 06, 2017, 01:22:09 pm »
In practice, on most bikes, as long as you don't keep all the weight to either end, you should be ok.  I strongly recommend you load and test, preferably with many conditions.  You must test it uphill at very low speed, and you should test it downhill at high speed.  Be aware that it may behave just fine as long as you keep both hands on the handlebars, so test it (cautiously) by removing one hand, and perhaps hands off very briefly.  If it doesn't shimmy with one hand, or with no  hands, you're good.

That advice is for most bikes and riders.  There are bikes, riders and setups that are inherently troublesome.  You may have to adjust weight balance as part of your testing.

General Discussion / Re: Cycle the Erie Canal Event
« on: March 06, 2017, 01:13:02 pm »
That commercial service is new, not starting up until, was it, May?

I've ridden the entire thing once, and have volunteered to help with parts of it a couple other times.  I'd like to ride it again; it is well run.  I recommend you plan on visiting the Womens' Rights National Historic Park in Seneca Falls, the Erie Canal Museum in Syracuse and the Canastota Canal Town Museum.

As for having a cold one, all nights it's near local joints, less than a half mile walk.  In Pittsford hit the Lock 32 brew pub.  In Canajoharie it's down a steep hill, so if you end up crawling back, it might at least look like it's the hill that has you on all fours  ;)

Yes, mittens or lobster claws.  But if you use chemical hand warmers, the mittens are indicated.  You want room for the warming pouch.

Gear Talk / Re: How to know tire size
« on: March 02, 2017, 02:22:14 pm »
Trail surface is found by finding the trail name (TrailFinder is good for this), then looking up the trail's website.  You can also tell by going to a place where the trail crosses a road and looking with Google Maps street view.

Do you generally have trouble keeping your hands warm?  If this isn't especially hard for you, go ahead and listen to the general advice.    If you find it difficult to keep your hands and feet warm, be aware that you'll receive a lot of information that isn't helpful.  For that case, I recommend this:  Below 35F, insulation alone will not do the job.  You will need to add heat, using electric or chemical hand warmers.  On a long tour, chemical might be better as they last hours and you won't have to keep batteries charged or carry spare batteries.  They are available in a smaller size for toe warming, too.

p.s. Inexpensive electric warmers vary widely in quality.  I bought some and they were totally ineffective - because they only drew a few watts (I measured it).  So if you decide to go electric, get some good ones.  These will also have good rechargeable batteries.

General Discussion / Re: Transamerica trail temperatures
« on: March 01, 2017, 09:43:21 am »
If you aren't already aware of it, most sleeping bag ratings are overly optimistic.  (Except for military equipment.)  My 45F bag is useless below 60.  Had to stop at a Wallymart and buy a fleece bag to put inside of it.  It's a good thing I did that, we had frost on the bags the next morning.

Routes / Re: Route advice - Oregon to Maine
« on: February 28, 2017, 12:23:46 pm »
More info on the Erie Canalway corridor:

Gear Talk / Re: Rohloff Speedhub
« on: February 26, 2017, 09:52:22 pm »
I like hub gears, love the old Sturmeys and use them a lot.  But I can't get past $1200 for a hub.

If you're outspun with your current gearing, you have three options:
1. Learn to spin faster (your knees with thank you)
2. Change your cassette to a higher high
3. Coast down hills.  How often are you in your highest gear?  Also, any power you add above about 25 mi/hr is mostly getting burned up as wind friction anyway.  You might as well coast.

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