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Messages - dkoloko

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Routes / Re: Pacific Coast: Vancouver or Bellingham?
« on: April 29, 2014, 10:17:46 am »

If I fly to Bellingham, I would ride the 21 miles up to the border before turning around and heading south.

Anybody else faced similar concerns when doing the Pacific Coast, and which way did you decide? Is it worth the extra cost and border-crossing hassle to go to Vancouver?

Thanks for your thoughts.

While I would have preferred to have begun at the start, Vancouver, Canada, I started south from Bellingham to avoid border hassles. While en route I met two riders, also traveling south, and having the same border concerns,  who did what you are thinking, riding north up to the border, and then turning around, riding south. They said border security chased them, brought them back, and detained them for hours, questioning them why they did what they did. You are warned.

Gear Talk / Re: Parrafin heads only
« on: April 25, 2014, 01:45:11 pm »

dkoloko, where can I find that Berto reference?  Google fails me.

Was in Bicycling Magazine; reference to test not done by Bicycling. Drivetrain, incidentally, means more than chain. As to trouble to wax, of course not cleaning shortens time re-lubricating. Waxing isn't that much trouble for me. Touring, I have my stove out, my pots out; little trouble to unsnap chain connecter, give a quick swish of cloth to knock out any outside grit on chain, and pop in pot in wax can to simmer. As to those who say one rain removed wax, for me, takes an extended downpour for chain to need re-lubing. My estimate of 500 miles between waxing, means surviving heavy rains, means may have ridden more than 500 miles before needing to re-wax; maybe less, not a lot less. My worst experience waxing involved a New Hampshire bike shop. Mechanic seeing clean chain surmised chain needs lubrication, and poured so much liquid lubricant on chain that it sprayed lube for days in spite my wiping chain number of times.

Gear Talk / Re: Parrafin heads only
« on: April 24, 2014, 03:46:05 pm »
I use paraffin riding locally and touring; have done so for decades. Weight of my can of paraffin is 10 oz; could reduce amount of paraffin. Application touring lasts me about 500 miles. This means for a 1000  mile tour I wax once on tour.

Don't forget "and another time every time it rains."  Chacun a son gout.

No, no, no, no! About every 500 miles, including rain days. As far as all the trouble to wax every 500 miles, it's less trouble for me to wax than to clean and oil type lubricate chain, and, as explained, I enjoy extra long life from my drivetrain components. The topic originator asked that there be no lube wars. Keep that in mind when you think you have a clever comeback.

Gear Talk / Re: Parrafin heads only
« on: April 24, 2014, 10:59:38 am »
I use paraffin riding locally and touring; have done so for decades. Weight of my can of paraffin is 10 oz; could reduce amount of paraffin. Application touring lasts me about 500 miles. This means for a 1000  mile tour I wax once on tour. I do not add anything to the wax. None of the previous respondents mentioned the prime advantage of wax; it came in first in what Berto called the most definitive test for chain lubricants for least drivetrain wear.

Gear Talk / Re: 11-32 vs 11-34
« on: April 17, 2014, 01:31:55 pm »
You don't say how many cogs your bike has, 8-9-10 or what; that may limit which cassettes are available. If change, I would change to 12-36, not 11-34 or 11-36. Personally, I would use existing cassette, and not change unless I had to; but, since you asked, maybe you'll be more comfortable changing before you begin trip.

Routes / Re: From east to west starting June 2014
« on: April 10, 2014, 11:25:12 pm »
Add, I don't recommend NY State bicycle routes; too much follow main roads.

Gear Talk / Re: Making wheels stronger with a mixed spoke pattern.
« on: April 10, 2014, 08:55:29 pm »
Actually I did not invent the idea. Frank Berto did an article for bicycling called building a bicycle for an adult female. He did radial right and 3 cross left. He pointed out nearly all of the torque would be transferred to the left side which is under less stress. You are certain to bust a flange with radial spoking. 

There was burst in interest in weird spoking patterns at the time Berto built the wheel you mention. He told me he broke a Dura-Ace hub with a weird spoking pattern, and that was the end for him with weird spoking.

Routes / Re: Erie Canal Bike Trail - Stone Dust trails
« on: April 10, 2014, 08:43:36 pm »
Hi Ben -

The only part of the trail that I dislike is around Rochester.  There are sections where the tree roots have pushed up the pavement and it a jarring/bumpy ride.  There are also some section where you integrate with roads and there was broken glass to deal with.  Only around Rochester though from my experience.


I rode the trail in 2003. Tree roots still a problem? Understandable that the park service had to deal with path deterioration, but the "solution" of asphalt paving was a disaster, both esthetically and in durability. 

I got separated from the trail several times, onto weedy, narrow single track; maybe my error.

Routes / Re: From east to west starting June 2014
« on: April 10, 2014, 08:31:32 pm »
I rode NYRATS, New York Ride Across the State, which went from Niagara Falls/Buffalo to New York City. The only public place I know of to view the maps is at

If you get to Buffalo, I suggest going a little further to Niagara Falls. View is better if you cross into Canada.

In general, the route follows a diagonal path through the Finger Lakes region; hilly. You will also cycle though the Catskills; hilly. Catskill: where Rip Van Winkle woke from his sleep.

Going north from NYC traffic is lighter west of the Hudson River; you can ride over bridge at Newburgh.

Gear Talk / Re: "SKS" Fenders??
« on: February 28, 2014, 09:40:09 am »

The single best bit of advice I've seen regarding SKS fender installation is to make sure you file the ends of the cut fender mounting rods round.  Greatly reduces the chance to stab yourself (or your wife).

If you lose a fender stay cover use a Presta valve cover.

Gear Talk / Re: Retiring, getting into self contained touring
« on: February 17, 2014, 12:32:07 pm »
None of the replies so far focus on choosing between the two bikes you are considering. Going by specs, I'd choose the Elite for the better derailleurs. As far your kit is concerned, IMHE, you'll make many changes before settling on what suits you most.

Gear Talk / Re: (Cyclo)cross-country
« on: February 15, 2014, 09:46:25 am »
Deep section rims are more durable and strong and can tolerate fewer spokes that the usual 36 or even 40 often recommended for touring. 

This is debatable. US pro team eschewed deep rims on front wheels, fearing while deep rims may be stronger vertically they are weaker in the other direction and may wash out when bike is leaning as when cornering.

Routes / Re: Northern Tier - bike shops in Bangor or Bar Harbor
« on: February 13, 2014, 02:47:35 pm »
I  had a poor experience with the Bar Harbor Bike Shop and do not recommend them.

Gear Talk / Re: Racks
« on: February 05, 2014, 10:11:12 am »
For what it is worth, on my first cross-country tour back in the 80's I actually broke two Blackburn low-rider front racks.  Granted, I may have been packing more weight up front in order to try to better balance my load front to back, however, the overall weight wasn't anything extreme.

What was the weight on the low riders? Was mounting to braze-ons or clamps? Were the low riders hooped? I had no trouble with hoopless braze-on Blackburn low riders over years of use with loads up to 20 lb a side. Not doubting your experience; just wondering details.

Gear Talk / Re: (Cyclo)cross-country
« on: January 30, 2014, 12:31:38 pm »
I carried a small backpack bicycling across USA; never again. Sweat built up under backpack, and once I forgot it, when I took it off to let my back breathe during a break. Luckily it was still there when I pedaled back miles over hills to retrieve it.

As far as a large backpack, IMHE, it is the least desirable way to carry.

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