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General Discussion / Re: How do I convince my partner touring is safe?
« Last post by John Nelson on May 30, 2016, 12:17:29 pm »
There is nothing inherently more unsafe about being 1000 miles from home than being 50 miles from home. People who worry often envision a crazy psycho attack. But why would you think there are any more of them somewhere far away? Worriers also think about you lying in a ditch somewhere where nobody will find you. Really, what are the chances of that? If you're not opposed to constant monitoring, consider a SPOT (, but don't promise a phone call every night, because it may not always be possible.
Gear Talk / Re: saddles and sores
« Last post by mgholson on May 30, 2016, 10:53:52 am »
What's funny is that I started riding longer distances when I was about 14, I did my first century that summer.  I didn't own a pair of bike shorts until I was maybe like 18.  I never had these sores back then.  Thing was that I suffered on just about every ride past 40 miles with a sore rear, probably because the saddles I used back then were the standard hard plastic shell with padding that had no flex.  I had really sore sitbones after longer rides, but never damaged skin boils, saddle sores. 

The older guy that lead most of the rides got into Brooks saddles and bought several.  He loaned me a Professional to use for about a month so I could help break it in.  Was so comfortable.  Later he loaned me a B-17 to put some miles on for him, was even better.  That's why I bought my own a couple years later.  I remember that seat being super comfortable for about the first 3 years.  I started getting the bad boils in 2004. 

So went to the doctor several times for them, as they weren't healing and so large and painful that it hurt to even walk.   it was waste.  A GP sent me to a dermatologist.  The dermatoligist sent me to a urologist.  The urologist checked me out for 5 seconds and started laughing,  "These are infected hair folicles.  Why are you here?"  he said.

"Good question." 

A couple years later I tried again, this time doctor sent me for an ultrasound.  "Yeah got the results back those are just abscesses under the skin."

"Yeah I knew that," I replied I get them from riding like I said.

"Well stop riding," he replied. 

Anyway, looking at my records I bought a Romin in april 2012.  That year I put on over 6000 miles.  About 2500 more than usual. 
General Discussion / Re: How do I convince my partner touring is safe?
« Last post by jamawani on May 30, 2016, 10:02:17 am »
Tell your partner that touring is not safe. But then, nothing in life truly is.
In the long run, touring is safer than sitting on a sofa watching reruns of Mad Men.

There are ways to reduce your risk considerably -
With online resources, you can ride low-traffic roads as much as possible.
You can avoid those times of the day - rush hours -
and of the week - weekend party-time - that are riskier.

Camping is a pleasant component of touring - for most, not all, people.
Camping gives you more stopping options - especially in remote areas of the West.
In some national parks, you have to have reservations months, if not years, in advance.

Some campgrounds look like Walmart parking lots - but others are magical.
Don't know where you live - but is there a nearby park with hiker/biker or walk-in sites?
These take a little more effort, but are more often the picture-book experiences that many imagine camping to be.
Try a nearby single-night car camp so that extra stuff is close at hand.
Then perhaps a weekend by bicycle.

It could be that she is just not the camping type -
And age sometimes has something to do with it for some unknown reason.
(Not that there is any correlation between stiff joints, hard ground, and age - of course.)

Hope all goes well.  -  J
Gear Talk / Re: saddles and sores
« Last post by dkoloko on May 30, 2016, 09:47:28 am »
I have your problem. Among the saddles mentioned in this thread that I have tried are Brooks B-7, narrow and regular, Brooks Professional, and Selle San Marco Regal and Rolls. I have not used a Specialized Romin, but I have used other saddles with similar trough, such as Fizik Arione . I am currently using a Selle Anatomica that I have yet to use on an extended tour.

I do not think you will cure your problem by buying a new B-17. A doctor, specialist, recommended against using Vasoline; clogs pores. My doctor recommended 1% Hydrocortisone, available without a prescription, which I use. Does not eliminate the problem, but reduces chance of eruptions, and gives more comfort when riding if eruptions have occurred.

I have not found "That ugly little problem can be cured by a wash up before every ride with soap and water (do not use alcohol!)." This does not mean I am saying you should not keep the area clean; recommend that. I am saying, in my experience, cleanliness will neither prevents or cures the problem.

I have not found shorts the answer. I have used Assos shorts, both regular and bib, among other brands. Assos are tough and fit well, but I haven't gotten more wear from them than much cheaper shorts, and I have find the padding too thick for my comfort.
Gear Talk / Re: saddles and sores
« Last post by zzzz on May 30, 2016, 09:37:12 am »
You have good bacteria and bad bacteria on your body that are doing their thing all the time. The bad bacteria down there is from you know where. But there's good bacteria that works against fungus that also lives down there. Alcohol kills the good bacteria while leaving the fungus unharmed and unchecked. I learned this the hard way.

The way you worded your reply, you may have thought I was talking about cleaning up after but the most important thing is cleaning up before.

So now you have some new shorts and it will be interesting to see if they make a difference. I can't help but think in reading your reply that you have a bike position problem when you're in the drops or even on the hoods. I assume you're down pretty low when doing a TT. Maybe you sit while climbing and you're using too high a gear?   As for the ride with your mom, that would generally poke a hole in my theory or maybe mom is hell on wheels and it reinforces it. Is there someone in your area that does bike fitting? There is (unfortunately) no test or certification to say you're qualified to do a bike fit and there's a lot of self-proclaimed experts out there but to have a 3rd party go for a ride with you and look at what your position is might be useful.

I'll add one other thing. I had some seat problems some years ago and I went back to the guy who built my bike for advice. He's one of the most respected frame builders in the country and recently passed 5000 frames over 40 years and I take his word as gospel on all things bike related. He said when it comes to seat comfort, shape is 90% & padding is 10%, that when I found a seat the right shape for my anatomy I would be set. I am not familiar with the Romin, Regal or the Specialized saddles you've used and how their shape compares to the Brooks that you killed or the Sella (thats a lot of seats) but you may keep that advice in mind if you go out shopping for another seat.

Gear Talk / Re: saddles and sores
« Last post by mgholson on May 30, 2016, 08:34:22 am »
Thanks for the advice.  Why no rubbing alcohol?

I've about 2478 miles in for the year at this point.  Probably around 1000 of that on the trainer over winter.  I rode about an hour a day on my good ol' Regal on a very upright bike with no saddle problems.

I know what you are saying about getting tired on the bike and bad form causing your to ride wrong.  I try to watch out for that.

I just bought some good shorts, Gore and Izumi, I almost sprang for the Assos but balked at the price.

So last Sunday I did the century on the Romin and defiantly could feel that I had damaged the skin.  Also due to the nature of the ride I wasn't able to clean up as soon as I'd like.

Tuesday night I did a 10 mile time trial and even though I was only on the bike for about 35 minutes I definitely made things worse.  Very low position just seems to make things worse.

I didn't ride again until Sunday, I did a 30 mile ride with my Mom, same saddle.  Afterwards the sores were the worse they've been so far. 

Gear Talk / Re: saddles and sores
« Last post by zzzz on May 30, 2016, 08:19:41 am »
That sounds like a nasty problem to have.

It definitly is not a what is traditionally thought of as a saddle sore which is more like a pimple. That ugly little problem can be cured by a wash up before every ride with soap and water (do not use alcohol!).

There was 2 things that struck me in reading this, maybe they will help.

It's still relatively early in the riding season in most parts of the country. You said you recently rode 250 miles in 3 days and then a few days later you had a 100 mile day. Maybe you're in an area with year round riding and this comment is irrelevant but you should be building up gradually. This is true for sore sit bones but also because when you get really tired on a bike you start to use your butt as a fulcrum to push off of and that could be the cause of your problems.

The second thing is you mention a lot about seats and nothing about shorts. I've found really good riding shorts are worth the insane amount of money they charge for them. Assos has perhaps the most snob based campaign of any product I've ever seen and it pains me to give them this endorsement but their chamois is (at least for me) the best on the market. I don't wear bib shorts which is good because they charge 300+ for those but their 1/2 short is around $175. It's a stretch but you can make the good value argument for buying them. I have 2 pairs and I save them for long weekend rides and my tours where I put in 5-700 mile weeks for a month. They wear really well as my oldest pair is 6 or 7 years old and has still not worn thru despite probably being washed 50 times a year.

Good luck getting figured out.

General Discussion / Re: wild camping in WA, OR and CA
« Last post by zerodish on May 30, 2016, 08:12:52 am »
This is governed under title 33 US code. It is illegal for any one including any railroad or highway to block access to a navigable waterway. You will only run into to legal trouble around  ports or on native American lands. People fought and died for this right. A local law can not be written in conflict with a federal law. Don't expect the police to understand this. However if confronted mention this and they will generally back down.
Gear Talk / Re: saddles and sores
« Last post by mgholson on May 30, 2016, 08:12:25 am »
I abused that B-17, well actually I murdered it.  To try to give it some spine I punched holes and tied it.  That didn't really seem to help.  Tightening it seemed to have no effect.   I eventually tried heating it in the oven.  After about ten minutes at 150 it had leached out alot of oil.  Later my wife baked something at 400 degrees.  A while after she took it out I popped the B-17 back in the oven, it had been off for several minutes and I thought it had cooled off.  In 5 minutes I began smelling something like burning steak.  I took the saddle out and found it had shrunk so much that it was bending the rails as it cooled it popped all the rivets and pretty much just fell apart. 

I bought a Selle Anatomica but the bike shop didn't sell me the clyde version.  It lasted about ten rides.  They gave me my money back.

I bought a B-17 Imperial and had the same problems. 

I would like to try a professional those things are  like rock solid. 
Gear Talk / Willie and Max motorcycle bags.
« Last post by zerodish on May 30, 2016, 07:47:32 am »
I got a new set of bags thanks to Harley Davidson's trash. These are Willie and Max slant design. I like this design. They will eventually transferred to the rear where they should give me an additional inch of heal clearance. These are fake leather of fairly rugged design. The internal stiffeners are plastic you see on yard signs. They should be easy to replace if they give me any problems. There was a zippered connector that would have went over the rack.I removed them and bolted the bags directly to the rack.
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