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Messages - DaveB

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General Discussion / Looking Backward
« on: April 02, 2008, 11:55:33 pm »
I agree 100% with the use of mirrors and have them on all of my bikes.  

I like your comment on "no false positives".  If you see it it REALLY is there.  I also agree that a negative finding isn't always indicative of nothing there.  

However, mirror choices are a bit like saddle choices, one size doesn't fit all.  I tried all of the available helmet and eyeglass mounted mirrors several times and never got used to them.  

After trying every alternative I could think of, I settled on the Third Eye bar end mirror.  It's very stable and, at 3" in diameter and slightly convex, it gives a wide view.  And, yes, objects in the mirror are larger (and closer) then they appear but you learn to compensate for that quite quickly.  This mirror has the further advantage of always being in the same place. so you can quickly glance at it for an update.  

I install them in the left end of my drop bars for riding here or in Europe and move them to the right side when riding in the UK or Japan.  Their one disadvantage is that they precludes the use of bar-end shifters.   Not a problem for me.

General Discussion / Camping in Arizona
« on: April 02, 2008, 02:30:08 pm »
After Labor Day (September 1 this year) the crowds tend to be less and your chances of finding a motel are much better.  The closer the the park entrances you are the more likely the motels are fully booked at any time of the year.


General Discussion / Dumpster Diving Rider?
« on: April 12, 2008, 09:57:33 am »
I noticed the change in RJR's approach too. In the other thread he was asking for some magic idea that would let him live and eat respectfully without actually working for or being tainted by money.  

I do have one very effective way to have all the advantages of money without having to demean your self by actually doing anything useful for it:

Have wealthy, overly indulgent parents.  :(


General Discussion / Dumpster Diving Rider?
« on: April 07, 2008, 10:05:53 am »
A lot of otherwise useable food is discarded instead of being given away because of the current legal climate.  A business that gives away open packages or prepared food, even if it is still edible, can open itself up to a law suit by someone who claims the food made them sick or otherwise harmed them.  

Whether such suits have really happened or not is immeterial. The fact that it can happen has an inhibiting effect on what would otherwise be a charitable idea.

If you dumpster-dive for what appears to be perfectly good food and you are wrong about the quality you are on your own. The store isn't liable for what happens to you.

I have seen huge amounts of left-over food discarded by restaurants and "party houses" after weddings and similar affairs and asked why it wasn't donated to a local soup kitchen or shelter.  I was told they were worried about the liability if someone claimed it made them sick.  

General Discussion / Dumpster Diving Rider?
« on: March 24, 2008, 11:06:44 am »
If I remember the original thread she really wasn't proposing "Dumpster Diving" as a method of eating, just stealth camping and trying to live on the good will of other people for food and shelter. Sort of a "charity ride" where she and her friends were the charity recipients.
Another poster told of his adventures traveling by bike and eating left-overs from restaurants, etc. and the ensuing contentious thread picked up on his comments.  

General Discussion / Car parking along ACA routes
« on: March 21, 2008, 09:54:28 pm »
I've done a couple of multi-day tours and we've always stayed in a motel at the start/finish at least one of the days, either at the beginning or end of the tour. We've been able to leave our car(s) in the motel parking lot with the owner's permission.

General Discussion / Laptops while touring?
« on: March 21, 2008, 10:00:01 pm »
I'm not really up on these gadgets but don't many cell phones and PDAs have internet and e-mail capabilities?  These would be a lot cheaper and lighter than any laptop, if less convenient to use.

WiFi is available in many chain coffee shops and restaurants like Starbucks and Panaras as well as most chain motels.  

General Discussion / WiFi in Kansas, Missouri, Kentucky?
« on: March 21, 2008, 09:51:26 pm »
I don't remember seeing too many Starbucks on the TA.  Also a lot of the towns are too small to have a hotel or motel.
They must be REALLY small towns if they don't have a Starbucks OR a motel. I thought having both was a legal requirement! ;p  

I agree that a lot of Mom-and-Pop motels may not have WiFi but all of the chains do.

Another chain that usually has WiFi is Paneras' Cafes

General Discussion / WiFi in Kansas, Missouri, Kentucky?
« on: March 16, 2008, 06:40:55 pm »
I would expect any Starbucks or similar chain-type coffee shop would have Wifi as well as many hotel lobbies, and possibly local libraries.  

General Discussion / Trans Am Bicycle Choice???
« on: April 05, 2008, 12:03:41 pm »
I wouldn't put Octalink and ISIS bottom brackets in the same category despite their similar designs.  

My experience is that Shimano Octalink bottom brackets are quite durable.  I have 15,000 miles on an Ultegra-level triple Octalink and it is still smooth and free of play. I've had reports of good service life from other users of these bb's too.  

ISIS bb's are highly variable in quality and durability.  Many of them had poor quality bearings and were built to a price point.  They gave the entire design a deservedly bad name.  Some of the better ones lasted well.  

External bottom brackets have their issues too.  They put a high premium on accurate bottom bracket shell alignment and face parallelism as they rely completely on the bb shell to align the spindle with the bearings.  A poorly faced bb shell can ruin these bearings in short order.    

General Discussion / Trans Am Bicycle Choice???
« on: April 04, 2008, 10:09:58 am »
If you are doing a Trans-Am you can't travel Russell's version of ultra-light (spare shorts and a toothbrush only) because it is likely, maybe certain, you will hit some cold and/or rainy weather. So you will need at least a jacket, tights, etc. as well as extra shorts, jersey , light shoes and clothes for off the bike.

I've taken several very hilly multi-day credit card tours using a pair of small panniers and a rack top bag for a total load of 19 pounds which included the rack's weight.  I washed my riding clothes every night in the motel's sink or shower and could have traveled that way indeffinitely with the clothing and accessories I had.

My bike is a Co-Motion Co-Pilot, a solo sports bike, not a full-on tourer, but it has rack mounting eyelets that many pure racing bikes don't. It also has a Shimano road triple with the 30T granny changed out for a 26T ring and a 12x27 cassette so it has a 26" low gear which is plenty for the light load I was carrying.  Lower gearing woould be easily possible by substituting a MTB 12x32 cassette and changing to a MTB rear derailleur.

I agree about avoiding low spoke count boutique wheels but a good quality carbon fork will be plenty strong and reliable.  

General Discussion / Travel on Sheldon
« on: February 04, 2008, 07:34:03 pm »
His passing so suddenly was certainly a shock.  He will be missed by a lot more than the bicycling community but we, particularly, are diminished by his loss.  At least it was mercifully quick.  

General Discussion / Stealth Camping?
« on: February 03, 2008, 01:55:00 pm »
You can't equate backpacking with bicycle touring unless you are MTB touring.  Backpacking is done on public land and is nearly always away from other people and their property.  You are generally out of sight and out of mind.  

Bicycle touring is done on public roads but most of what you are near is private property and certainly in the public eye. Unless you are riding through a National Park or National Forest or similar you will be on someone else's property.

General Discussion / Maps: opinion on ACA maps
« on: February 10, 2008, 07:57:22 pm »
If you are an AAA member, their state and regional maps are free.  They available at most AAA offices so you could pick them up as  you need them instead of getting (and carrying) everything in advance.

They also can prepare detailed "Trip-Tics" of your route which have a lot of detail but are mostly intended for automobile travel so you have to specify secondary roads.      

General Discussion / Highway question
« on: January 27, 2008, 09:46:35 pm »
In the mid and far West, riding a bicycle on interstate highways is sometimes legal since there are no alternative roads.  It will vary and you will need to ask about specific roads and locations.  

As a general rule, in the East and Southeast it's illegal everywhere.

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