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Messages - DaveB

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Gear Talk / Re: Bike Friday or Bilenky
« on: August 08, 2009, 02:38:37 pm »
My Son-in-Law has a Bike Friday and I have a Co-Motion single with S&S couplers which is pretty much the same as the Bilenky you are interested in. 

The BF is somewhat easier to pack and a unpack, fits into a smaller case and is easier to transport through airports, etc.  It is "different" to ride as the small wheels have their own characteristics.  You do get used to it but it's noticably different from a full size wheel bike. 

The Co-Motion (and the Bilenky) are perfectly "normal" bikes that happen to disassemble for travel.  Once put together, the couplers are completely transparent to the rider and every thing about the bike is conventional.  Packing and unpacking take a bit longer than the BF and the packed bike is in a significantly larger case that can be a bit awkward to handle.   

Trade offs: The Bike Friday is easier to travel with.  The Co-Motion is better to ride.   

South Atlantic / Re: Florida Rides
« on: August 04, 2009, 10:11:27 am »
The Gainesville Cycling Festival is the weekend of October 24 and 25 and is very well organized.  Here is the link:

I rode the "Horse Farm Hundred" a few years ago and it was a great ride.

Gear Talk / Re: cannondale
« on: August 03, 2009, 09:09:38 pm »
As several posters have aluded to, what type of tour are you planing?  Fully self-contained with camping, sleeping and cooking gear?  A credit card tour and planing to stay in motels and eat in restaurants every day?

For self-contained touring, your bike really isn't suited and the cost of modifying it to be even marginally effective (stronger wheels, larger tires, more suitable gearing, etc.)  will be the majority of the cost of buying a really proper touring bike.  A trailer will sort-of work but your bike really isn't intended for that use.

For a credit card tour, have at it.  You will only need a light rack, small panniers and a decent credit line.  Your Cannondale will do fine for that.

Gear Talk / Re: Knobbier Wider Tire for 1984 Trek 520
« on: July 25, 2009, 07:35:20 pm »
I've ridden on several sections of the various trails that make up The Great Allegneny Passage and the crushed limestone surface is pretty hard and undemanding.  I've ridden it using 700x23 tires on a road bike with no problems. 

The tires you link to seem too agressive and will have a lot of rolling resistance for this use.  Try to find some 27x 1-1/4" (basically 32 mm) touring tires with a milder tread.

Gear Talk / Re: Bike Clothing For Glacier National Park
« on: July 23, 2009, 09:22:00 pm »
We were in Glacier NP in mid-September, 2004 and drove from St. Mary to West Glacier on the Going-To-The-Sun Road.   Approaching the top of Logan Pass (at 6646 ft, it isn't that high) we drove through a blinding snowstorm and sub freezing temperatures that lasted for many miles on both sides of the pass.   

Plan for something similar and have appropriate clothing.  Take several layers and use all-synthetics or wool which will allow you to add or subtract clothing as needed but prepare for temperature extremes. 

General Discussion / Re: New to Adventure cycling. Need good bike .
« on: July 23, 2009, 09:10:41 pm »
With regards to folding bikes, I used to own a Bike Friday New World Tourist.  It was amazing.  I loved the ride, the handling, the durability, and the ability to take it everywhere with me.  Including riding it to the airport.  Unfortunately, in your price range, you probably won't find many folders that fit your needs.
Did I miss something?  I didn't see anything in the original posting mentioning wanting or being interested in a folding bike.

General Discussion / Re: Where To Park
« on: July 16, 2009, 09:59:10 pm »
If you are staying in a local hotel or motel prior to or immediately following the ride, the manager/owner may let you leave your car there for the needed days.  We were able to do that for a 5 day ride in the Finger Lakes since we stayed at a local motel in Pen Yan on our last night. 

Also, ask the ride organizers or the local bike club if there are any local riders that might let you use their home driveways.

General Discussion / Re: Italy Bikes Trains
« on: July 13, 2009, 10:57:56 am »
I've bikes in Italy but never taken my bike on a train there.  However, RailEurope has an Italian Rail web site with a great deal of info and they can tell you the regulations.  Here is the URL:

Apparently you can take your bike on most trains but there are packing requirements. 

General Discussion / Re: Numb Feet
« on: July 06, 2009, 01:31:53 pm »
Since most of us mere mortals don't really "pull up" as our pedals are coming back up, but rather just unweight them, what is different between releasing pressure with your foot trapped on the pedal vs releasing pressure with your foot free to move about as you need to. I really don't see how adapting a racing equipment mentality fixes problems of touring cyclists.

Unweighting the pedal is as good as pulling up as far as restoring circulation.  Clipless pedals allow you to unweight (or really pull up) without having your feet pull out of the straps or off of the pedals.  I started out with toe clips and straps and "touring shoes" in the mid-'80 and went to clipless pedals about 1992.  The improvement in foot and pedaling stability was dramatic and I never saw any reason to go back. 

A few weeks ago, I put my old clip-and strap-pedals on one bike for a short neighborhood jaunt.  I must have pulled my foot out of the clips at least five times in 1-1/2 miles.  I had forgotten how limiting clips-and-straps were and this was a real eye opener.  I'll never do that again. 

Gear Talk / Re: 1984 Specialized Expedition
« on: June 28, 2009, 09:37:51 am »
There is no need to go to 135 mm spacing to use a MTB cassette as they will fit on all 130 mm freehubs too.  Most 126 mm frames will  accept a 130 mm hub with only a modest struggle so cold setting is a convenience, not a necessity.

For a new front wheel, buy a complete one.  These days, a complete wheel will cost less than a new rim, spokes and assembly labor for reusing your current hub.

Parts longevity is highly variable depending on rider weight, strength and riding conditions. 

Upgrading the wheels and drivetrain on your bike could be more costly than a complete new bike so be careful you don't go past the economic "tipping point" if you rehabilitate your current Specialized.   

General Discussion / Re: When should I start my trip to cali
« on: June 12, 2009, 09:32:11 am »
When wondering about likely weather conditions, I like to check it out at
Type in a city near a area you're concerned about. Then scroll down the page a little find the chart displaying average lows, highs, and maximums as well as monthly precipitation.
Keep in mind; "Climate is what you expect, weather is what you get."  Even in summer, some of the high mountain passes in the west can be snowed in or have severe storms.  Give youself time to wait them out.

General Discussion / Re: Where to pick up a new bike?
« on: June 12, 2009, 09:29:40 am »
Here is the web site for Harris Cyclery:

It gives their shop location, e-mail, phone and other needed info. 

General Discussion / Re: Shorts recommendation?
« on: June 08, 2009, 04:50:19 pm »
I was taken on a tour by my parents when I was 11, and I did just fine wearing just my regular shirts and jeans. I was already used to the bike I was riding though.
You can tolerate a lot if 1) you are young and 2) you don't know any better.

General Discussion / Re: Where to pick up a new bike?
« on: June 01, 2009, 09:01:05 pm »
As previously noted, don't show up cold and expect any shop anywhere to have both the type and size bike you want in stock. 

REI, because of their mail-order business and multiple retail shops is a good bet to have exactly what you need IF you contact them IN ADVANCE and make arrangements for it to be at the specific REI store you will go to.

Another possibility in the Boston area is Harris Cyclery in West Newton, Mass (a Boston suburb). Harris was the shop the esteemed Sheldon Brown worked in and they are a very well equipped and well stocked store with the ability to get almost anything you want.  But, be sure to contact them in advance too. 

Getting a couple of longish rides in before starting out is a good idea as the selling shop could do any adjusting you need before you are too far away. 

After than, any shop can adjust any bike but they won't do it at no cost if you didn't buy it from them.  If you haven't developed at least a medium level of bike mechanic's skill, now would be a good time to start learning.  One thing you will discover about the US is that there are a lot of really open spaces so being fairly self-sufficient is a great asset. 

General Discussion / Re: Shorts recommendation?
« on: May 26, 2009, 10:18:24 am »
Second the recommendation for Performance's house brand shorts.  Their "Century" line of shorts is now on sale for $30 and they are a great value.  I find them very comfortable even for long days.  If you catch them on a "10% off" sale or free shipping promotion, you save even more. BTW, I found their even less expensive "Classic" line is too thin and flimsy so don't bother with it.

Another possibility is Performance's MTB shorts and their "Mesa" shorts are on sale for $35.  These are looser fitting and may be more appealing to kids/teens that are a bit self-conscious in regular, tight fitting bike shorts.  These have a padded, properly made liner but look more like regular street shorts. 

And I also concur that proper padded shorts are one of the few really essential pieces of bicycle wear for any but the shortest trips. 

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