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Messages - canalligators

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Gear Talk / Re: Recumbent for Long-Distance Touring
« on: August 08, 2016, 12:18:12 pm »
... I was also leaning to an SWB because I figured it would be more stable on steep climbs, but I'll try out both.  Thanks again for your help.

The last time I bought a bike that was going to be used for touring ('07 Rans V-Rex), I tried a number of other bikes.  My litmus test was, would it each machine handle well towing a loaded BOB trailer?  One LWB that I tried was fine going uphill at low speed, without the trailer.  With the trailer, it was almost uncontrollable.  So if you are considering a trailer, also test ride with a loaded one.

p.s. We don't use the BOB in hilly areas, only where it's relatively flat.  Actually I've been sold on underseat racks.  Handling is unaffected, it's a really slick solution.  Combine that with taking as little gear as possible, and you have a winner.

Urban Cycling / Re: commuting by bike
« on: August 06, 2016, 06:38:27 pm »
Depends on your dress requirements, of course. If you have to dress professionally or work in close ptoximity to your customers or clients, of course.  I'm amused by the Grant Petersen mindset that you just ride in ordinary clothes. I can get away with dockers on a mild day, I'm an engineer who does not interface with the public.  My wife is a nurse, works close to people and cannot offend, she doesn't even ride to work.

Urban Cycling / Re: commuting by bike
« on: August 04, 2016, 03:24:39 pm »
3km - that's got to be fairly hassle-free.  No clothing change most days, I bet. I'd probably walk or maybe ride the old three speed.

Gear Talk / Re: Ideal Two Wheel Trailer Tongue Weight
« on: August 04, 2016, 03:21:39 pm »
I looked at their website and didn't find an answer.  I'd ask them first.

That said, the general rule is to put more weight on the front of the trailer so it tows well and doesn't go into oscillation.  Also, it's not hard to experiment with loading.

Gear Talk / Re: Recumbent for Long-Distance Touring
« on: August 01, 2016, 01:08:00 pm »
Recumbents vary widely in their configuration and character.  You've focused in on suspended short wheelbase bikes.  I would strongly advise you to find a dealer that sells a wide variety of bikes and check them out.  Try a few, then take long test rides on your finalists.  Plan it as an all-day affair.

While the bikes you've identified are well regarded for touring, you should also try unsprung and long wheelbase bikes.  LWB is highly regarded for touring.  Make sure the bikes you try have good handling at both high and low speeds, while loaded.  Make sure they can carry the load you intend to take, and that loading it up does not compromise handling.

Regarding suspension, I/we have toured with an unsuspended V-Rex, a sprung Vision R42 and a Vision R82 tandem with sprung stoker seat (since removed).  Both of us found suspension to be of little value, and a fair bit of added weight to drag up mountains.  My wife has disk problems in her back, and has not had an issue with shocks.  Unless you have back issues where shock of hitting a bad bump could "ruin your day", I wouldn't bother with suspension.  Long wheelbase will buy most of the comfort you get with suspension.  LWBs also handle well on fast descents.  (I use SWB because it's a multipurpose bike and has to fit in my car for commuting to work.)

Good luck with the search.

The project is listed as completed on July 2.  That was faster than I expected.  I presume the detour is no longer necessary.

General Discussion / Re: Converting Elevation Gain, Grade to Mileage
« on: August 01, 2016, 12:42:58 pm »
I more-or-less agree with John Nelson, I just figure it will take longer on a moderately hilly day. 

I do adjust for very hilly days.  If the day's feet of climb is less than about 3000, I don't adjust daily mileage.  More than that, and I start planning shorter days.  I subtract about ten miles off the plan for every thousand over 3000.

Urban Cycling / Re: commuting by bike
« on: July 21, 2016, 12:02:24 pm »
... i reckon i save around $50 - $60 a week on transport plus if take into account the exercise i get as well then i really don't mins. Takes me a total of 35 minutes door to door which isn't too bad

I've looked at my savings more than once.  It's very dependent on your situation, but I would make a generalization: Unless you can avoid owning a car (first or second), you're not going to save a lot of money.  Fixed car expenses such as insurance, basic maintenance and car payments can't be avoided.  Although smaller, there are fixed and per-mile costs with the bike too.

The other aspect of commuting by bike is the hassle factor.  Frankly, it's time consuming and a pain in the neck to commute to work.  I make it work because it's my chosen exercise and I love to ride, but there are days when I just say "forget it" and drive.

General Discussion / Re: Bike Touring on Rainy day's
« on: July 18, 2016, 04:47:00 pm »
Many tourists consider the conditions.  In severe weather, seek shelter.  In steady but  not really heavy rain, ride.  You might also consult the weather radar and decide to wait out a short storm.

Gear Talk / Re: Continental Touring Plus
« on: July 14, 2016, 03:13:26 pm »
I may be off topic, but it seems to me that the cost of a pair of tires is a small part of the cost of a trip.  If $70 tires (vs. $30) are a hardship, are you sure your trip isn't underfunded from the start?  Granted, you can free camp and eat low cost foods you've prepared yourself; the budget will be much smaller than commercial campgrounds and the occasional restaurant.  Just concerned that you prepare well.

No matter what the travel style, everyone should have contingency plans.  These should cover bad weather and medical problems, mechanical breakdowns, etc.  I always figure out Greyhound and Amtrak options ahead of time, and shorter alternative routes, in case I need to abort the trip early.

General Discussion / Re: Rain Gear for Touring
« on: July 14, 2016, 02:48:25 pm »
I take a different approach.  I don't really try to stay dry when cycling in the rain.  I make sure that I'm warm enough, that I'm visible, and I can see.  Clothing that I've tried, either purchased or home made, has at best kept the parts away from openings dry.  My jackets seep rain into the openings or through the material.  So I consider staying dry a losing battle.  The one part that really annoys me is rain running down through my helmet, so I make sure I have a helmet cover, either one purchased/made from coated nylon or a shower cap.

General Discussion / Re: Do you pack a Spare Tire???
« on: July 01, 2016, 12:34:51 pm »
I carry 3 tubes, a cheapo patch kit, and a spare tire.  Several times, my partner has needed some of this stuff.  In fact, partners have needed it more than I have.

Those items, and add actual tire levers and a piece of heavy cloth to "boot" the tire if you get a tire cut or cord failure.

General Discussion / Re: Do you pack a Spare Tire???
« on: June 25, 2016, 12:24:13 pm »
Agree on starting with new tires, and make them puncture resistant (kevlar belted) too. I also recommend a bike using a using a common wheel size, so that you can buy a tire almost anywhere.  This is known as the "Walmart Test".

I generally do not take a spare. But consider special circumstances.  In my case with a recumbent tandem, no one makes a 20" tire that is actually rated for the load and failures are common, so we do pack a spare - even on local riding.

Routes / Re: Northern Tier Alternate
« on: June 25, 2016, 12:08:04 pm »
Regarding the Finger Lakes and hills, it's generally flat between the lakes.  They transition from very gentle rolling across the north to some real hills across the south. Getting out of Ithaca or Watkins Glen requires some climbing. Generally, going north-south is much easier than east-west, the glacierscarved the land with north-south grooves.  Bike 14 is flat to rolling and very scenic.  As long as you're not opposed to a moderate amount of climbing, the Finger Lakes have some really fine riding.

The Albany alternative is a good choice too. Bike 5 to Albany, most of which is good riding. Then Bike 9 can get you to northern NJ. Bike 9 is a decent ride, mostly going east of the Hudson. I agree that you shouldn't take 9W all the way from Albany.

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