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Messages - Old Guy New Hobby

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46
You can't make phone calls with a laptop, so you need a phone, which can double as your camera. The very latest smart phones are quite capable on the internet, but typing on a smart phone is a chore. On my last unsupported tour I took a small laptop and a smart phone. You could easily replace the laptop with a tablet to save some space and weight. I used the computer for email, to pay bills, & to blog my tour on crazyguyonabike.com. I just took a short break during the day, wrote a few words, and uploaded a pic or 2. Months later, I was running into people who commented on my blog.

If you take a computer, save yourself some $$$ and use Wi-Fi. Data plans are expensive, especially when they include teathering to a computer. Free Wi-Fi is available in almost every town (in the East, anyway). The only problem I had was public libraries in Pennsylvania. PA might be the cradle of our freedom, but their library Wi-Fi is locked down tight. Crazyguyonabike was locked out at all 4 of the PA libraries I tried. Every Starbucks I tried worked. McDonalds was OK, but a couple of them had busted Wi-Fi. Small coffee shops were a good bet.

47
Gear Talk / Re: 2 people, 6 panniers for a cross country tour. Bad idea?
« on: December 10, 2012, 11:36:46 am »
Quote
You really do not need to carry more for a tour that length than for a shorter one.

A longer trip across country that includes low population density, less knowledge of the area, and being further from home & friends might mean more self-reliance for bike repairs, etc. Creature comforts in camp might be more important. There are probably all manner of small comforts that are easily put off for 5 days, but not for months. Still, you probably don't need two more panniers worth of more stuff.

48
Gear Talk / Re: Bike Rack Advice
« on: November 22, 2012, 07:50:30 am »
There are two sizes of receivers on hitches -- 2" and 1 1/4". Make sure your bike rack matches your hitch.

Some hitches are designed to hang the bike from a hook. The wheels are free. I prefer racks where the bike is supported by the wheels. There are lots of brands to choose from. Like most of these types of racks, mine has a curved clamping bar that ratchets down to hold the bike in. The bike I had at the time routed the cables along the top of the top tube. I contacted the manufacturer. They had grooved rubber bumpers to keep the clamping bar from rubbing the cables against the top tube and rubbing the paint off.

49
Gear Talk / Re: Brooks Saddle help
« on: November 22, 2012, 07:38:33 am »
Quote
Good shorts help prevent chafing

+1

There's not much that's more personal than saddles and shorts. You just have to find what works for you.

I have a bunch of padded cycling shorts in my wardrobe, so I wear them. But when I buy new, I buy UA compression shorts and wear a pair of athletic shorts over them. I've found the padding doesn't do anything for me, even on long rides.

I never experienced a "break in" period with my Brooks. It was comfortable from day 1.

50
Gear Talk / Re: Chain Maintenance on Tour
« on: October 31, 2012, 05:03:35 am »
Quote
Plan to give Boeshield a try.

Boeshield lasts a good long time -- especially if it doesn't get wet. Don't over-lube. When you lube, spin off the excess. Also, lube the night before so it can dry.

51
Gear Talk / Re: Outfitting a Trek 7.5 FX for a full summer tour
« on: October 25, 2012, 05:47:14 am »
Quote
You're better off with more spokes.  If one of the 24 spokes breaks, the wheel will be unusable.  It will rub the brake pads.  And it likely takes special spoke wrenches so regular DT ones won't work.  And it will be about impossible to find a replacement spoke.  The wheels are a liability.

Agreed. But who would go on a tour without the correct spoke wrench and some spare spokes? To me, the bigger issue is this. If one breaks a spoke in a shower, or at spot where it's not good to pull over, or just an hour from the end of the day's ride; it's a nice option to be able to ride through until one finds better conditions for repairs.

52
Gear Talk / Re: Another "what type of bike" question!
« on: October 20, 2012, 06:44:17 am »
Mike -- you're taking a bit of a risk. Any new bike could have problems that aren't detected until loaded, or not detected until well into a tour. There's nothing better than several hundred miles of shake-down riding. I wouldn't consider taking a brand new bike on an unsupported tour. As you are van supported, you will have a lot of options. Just be prepared, you might have to be very flexible.

53
Gear Talk / Re: Chain Maintenance on Tour
« on: October 01, 2012, 03:59:06 am »
Havings used both and having ridden the C & O - Boeshield is the best for road riding IMO. White Lightening is better at not collecting grime, flaking off to keep the chain clean. I sure hope you have full fenders. It's amazing the difference between my bike and others in the group that didn't have fenders. 

54
Gear Talk / Re: Tire Selection for the Continental Divide Trail
« on: September 28, 2012, 01:00:31 pm »
Newfydog - very interesting. What is the source for the test data?

55
Gear Talk / Re: Panniers and Racks
« on: September 23, 2012, 06:26:39 am »
The biggest disadvantage to the rack that comes with the 520 is that it doesn't prevent the rear corner of the pannier from flopping into the rear wheel spokes. As a result, my panniers were always acting like those playing cards we used to attach to our bikes when we were kids to make a motor-like sound.  If you compare the Tubus to the 520 rack, you will see the Tubus has an extra bar on both sides in the back of the rack that comes down, then bends in to the main support just above the mounting area.

The second big advantage of the Tubus is that is sturdier and can support more weight. This is thanks to a combination of a more robust rack and superior mounting system/hardware.

The last advantage is the vertical bar that runs across the back of the rack. The pre-drilled holes match up with mounting brackets for the Planet Bike Superflash and Portland Design Works Radboot rear lights. (Both use the same bracket. It is included with the Portland Design Works and can be ordered separately for the Planet  Bike. See the Planet Bike web site. I think it's $5.) I suppose other rear lights also match the available mounting holes, but I don't know from personal experience.

I may be mistaken, but I don't think the Tubus or any other rack is significantly lower  because of the space needed for fenders.

56
Gear Talk / Re: Helmet with face protection?
« on: August 28, 2012, 12:08:07 pm »
indyfabz - the next time I want to compare and contrast the helmet function of being a shock absorber and a face mask function of preventing the impact anywhere on the face, I'll try to use more precise words. ;D

I certainly sympathize with the  blood thinners. I was on blood thinners for 3 years following heart stints. As it happens, I dropped my bike today (riding too fast on a stretch of wet slippery curved road). The helmet was not involved. I got a minor case of road rash. When I was on blood thinners, it would have been blood everywhere, a hematoma, and no riding for 90 days while I recovered. Thank goodness the doctor took me off. Drive carefully out there, and best of luck.

57
Gear Talk / Re: Helmet with face protection?
« on: August 25, 2012, 04:39:12 am »
Road helmets don't prevent your head hitting the road. They work by placing a crush zone around your head to lessen the force at impact. A viable face mask would require a good amount of structure to keep your face from hitting the road. That structure isn't in a road helmet. You would end up with a football helmet-like device at the minimum.

58
Gear Talk / Re: MAss reduction for supported touring events
« on: August 15, 2012, 02:05:51 pm »
There are some things you can do. A chair is a convenience, not a requirement. You can get your head off the ground by putting spare clothing in a 1-gallon zip-lock freezer bag and use it as a pillow. That saves one sleeping pad. Whether you need 2 sleeping bags depends on how cold it will get.  You mentioned camp shoes, but camp sandals or even flip-flops would work. That's probably 10 #.

I must admit, I take more weight than I need. My problem is the "just in case" stuff. I kept two *extra* water bottles in the panniers just in case. (I actually used one of them once.) First aid gear. Spare parts. Tools. I never needed the extra chain or the chain tool. But it turns out I did need the spare spoke and the spoke wrench. How can you know ahead of time? And I "can't" travel without my laptop, phone, GPS, battery charger...  The only way I keep the weight down is to use smaller panniers.

59
Gear Talk / Re: map cases
« on: August 13, 2012, 04:23:48 pm »
The ACA maps have a lot of great features, but I couldn't read one while I'm riding, especially through plastic. The details are too small. If you really plan to use the ACA maps while you ride, you'll probably have to stop to give the map a careful look, which means storing the map in a jersey pocket would work as well as anything.

There are dozens of ways to protect maps or route sheets. If you're not riding in the rain, just clip the map to your brake cables. If you want the map on the side, put a couple of zip ties around your handle bars and clip to those. Or put the map in a zip-lock freezer bag, then clip the bag. I once met a person that used to be in the high school marching band. they used the plastic pouch that protected the music in the rain. Also, there's no biking rule that the computer has to be in the center of the handle bars. They're pretty easy to move.

60
Gear Talk / Re: Panniers and Racks
« on: August 06, 2012, 04:32:41 pm »
pdlamb and indyfabz are absolutely correct. It is Wayne, and not Dave as I posted earlier. Sorry, Wayne! How could I make a mistake like that?

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