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Messages - dkoloko

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Gear Talk / Re: Best foot wear for touring?
« on: July 22, 2014, 01:00:01 pm »
I gave up cycling shoes when they got wet and stayed wet. Switched to bicycling sandals with clipless cleats. Only footwear.

Routes / Re: To many choices
« on: July 04, 2014, 08:20:28 am »
Highlights of the Northern Tier are Niagara Falls, Canada, Erie Canal Towpath, NY, and Road to the Sun, Glacier Nat Park, MT.

Gear Talk / Re: Ortlieb Pannier Shoulder Straps???
« on: May 31, 2014, 10:17:55 am »
After two weeks on the transamerica I can report that a) we're glad we brought the straps because it's not necessary to clip and unclip each time we open the panniers.


Routes / Re: Rainwear for the GDMBR
« on: May 27, 2014, 08:07:11 am »
You can get experience using jacket hood or helmet cover in next rain without leaving home. Personally, I've found a jacket hood is awkward under or over helmet. I wear sandals touring, in large part they can get wet without problem; no socks. Presuming warm weather, I take off my gloves when it's heavily raining. I take pants, if no other reason for warmth and wear in camp when there are flying bugs; not as important as jacket. There will be the usual replies no waterproof, breathable garment works, you're going to get wet. My reply, there is a difference between just being damp and being soaked.

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.

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