Recent Posts

Pages: 1 ... 4 5 [6] 7 8 ... 10
51
Gear Talk / Re: 11-32 vs 11-34
« Last post by John Nelson on April 21, 2014, 07:32:10 am »
I don't know abut John, but I missed the "degrees" and thought "%" automatically.  Degrees seems like an odd way to express the steepness only because "%" is pretty much universally used.
When I see someone give a road pitch in "degrees," I always assume they misspoke and mean "percent." Nobody, nobody, cites road pitch in degrees. So yes, I responded as if it said 8%.

With the exception of Kansas and eastern Colorado, the entire TransAm is hilly. There is no escape. Some of the hills in eastern Kentucky seemed insanely steep, perhaps only for 50 to 100 yards, but definitely made your legs work to maximum effort.

I don't place much stock in numbers to describe hills. On many 8% hills, there is at least one five-foot section that is 25%. Some people like to call that a 25% hill. The difficultly of a hill cannot be expressed by one number. In Colorado, you might climb at 6% for 30 straight miles. That's one kind of difficult. In eastern Kentucky, you might climb much, much steeper hills, each of which is fairly short, but there might be a hundred of them in a row. That kind of wears on you. That's another kind of difficult.

Clinch Mountain, near Hayters Gap Virginia, is regarded by many as the hardest west-bound climb of the TransAm. It's not that it's all that steep, but it the combination of steepness and length. Since I went east-to-west, I got to descend to Vesuvius, the hill where most west-bounders complain of having to stop frequently and let their brakes cool down. The psychological problem with both these hills is that they are very twisty and hemmed in with heavy trees, making it impossible to guess how far away the top is.

And yes, I remember well those Missouri river valleys, especially the valley formed by the Current River between Ellington and Houston. The Ellington park manager told me, "You got some hellacious mountains ahead of you!" Well, being from Colorado, I don't call them "mountains" but they were certainly difficult.
52
Gear Talk / Re: 11-32 vs 11-34
« Last post by staehpj1 on April 21, 2014, 06:14:56 am »
Slopes of  8 degrees is about the maximum you will see on the TransAm.
I think you'll find a lot of people who would dispute that.

Did your remark take into account that I mentioned a slope of 8 degrees? More often slopes are expressed as the ratio of rise over run, which for an angle of 8 degrees amounts to a grade of 14%?
I don't know abut John, but I missed the "degrees" and thought "%" automatically.  Degrees seems like an odd way to express the steepness only because "%" is pretty much universally used.

Oh and based only on my impression of them...  The hills in Missouri climbing up out of the river valleys were pretty tough, but a few in the Appalachians definitely were harder for me so I'd assume they were steeper than the ones in Missouri.  Two that I remember were at Vesuvius and another that I think it was at Big A mountain.  Those were climbs for eastbound riders.  There were a least a couple others that seemed steeper to me than the ones in Missouri.

That said I don't have accurate numbers for any of them.  Furthermore I have decided that we seldom know the actual grades because the signs posted are often way off and even the maps can be pretty misleading.  Also the grades on smaller roads are generally extremely variable along their length.  So do you call the grade by a 100' section that is steepest, by the average from bottom to top, or something else?  In any case the numbers can be misleading wrt to the difficulty in riding them.
53
Gear Talk / Re: Cateye time & average speed funky readings
« Last post by DaveB on April 21, 2014, 05:54:47 am »
:-[ Oh the embarrassment. Somehow I'd managed to turn off the Automatic Mode for the thing. i.e. the timer keeps running until you press the start/stop button. There should be a little AT on the display. When all else fails RTFM
Well, I'm glad it was that simple and maintains my faith in Cat-Eye cyclocomputers.  As I said above I've been using them for many years and never had a reliability problem.  Sometimes versatility (auto start vs manual start, odometer reset ability, etc.) leads to inadvertent changes and unwanted changes.  Thanks for the update.
54
Gear Talk / Re: 11-32 vs 11-34
« Last post by mathieu on April 21, 2014, 05:54:36 am »
Slopes of  8 degrees is about the maximum you will see on the TransAm.
I think you'll find a lot of people who would dispute that.

John, there are probably few people who are more knowledgeable about the TransAm route than you, so I reverently give way. Still I tried to remember where those wickedly steep slopes occurred. Maybe in Kentucky, where the adrenalin from the many dogs in ambush drove me over the hills?

Did your remark take into account that I mentioned a slope of 8 degrees? More often slopes are expressed as the ratio of rise over run, which for an angle of 8 degrees amounts to a grade of 14%?
55
Gear Talk / Re: Retiring, getting into self contained touring
« Last post by PeteJack on April 21, 2014, 05:06:03 am »
There are good rim squeezers and not so good rim squeezers. My 520 came with Single Digit SD-5 brakes and for years I put up with noise and poor performance. On a steep downhill I just couldn't stop by braking from the hoods, I had to reach round to the drops and squeeze like hell. And they were almost impossible to center, I'd use up all the adjustment on one side without it lifting off the rim. Eventually I sprang big bucks $111 for a Single Digit Ultimate as opposed to $17 for a replacement SD-5 on the front. It's like night and day: powerful, modulated braking from the hoods, silent, center perfectly. Everything a vee brake should be. While I was at it I replaced the brake levers with Tektro RH520s  I do believe the new levers are a help too i.e. they have better ergonomics.

I've still got the old SD-5 on the rear and it seems plenty adequate so it's staying. I reckon you don't want too powerful braking at the back, locked wheel etc.
56
Gear Talk / Re: solo bike security
« Last post by PeteJack on April 21, 2014, 04:38:50 am »
Quote
Carry a light cable lock to keep people honest, perhaps, and a detachable handlebar bag with ID, camera, cash, credit cards, etc. stays with you all the time. 

+1 Also be aware of what nice gizmos are on your handlebars because they can attract the eye. The only theft I experienced was with a device on the handlebars. I ride with a GPS. When I'm off the bike, the GPS goes in my handlebar bag, and the bag stays with me.
+1 One of our club members had a GPS disappear on a Washington State ferry.
57
Gear Talk / Re: Cateye time & average speed funky readings
« Last post by PeteJack on April 21, 2014, 04:30:28 am »
 :-[ Oh the embarrassment. Somehow I'd managed to turn off the Automatic Mode for the thing. i.e. the timer keeps running until you press the start/stop button. There should be a little AT on the display. When all else fails RTFM
58
General Discussion / Re: newbie planning Belgium tour
« Last post by PeteJack on April 21, 2014, 04:11:22 am »
Quote
I took some French in college
Do learn how to pronounce the letters of the alphabet, most people are not taught this. It's very helpful if you want to find route D123 say. (e.g. D in French is pronounced 'day').  See http://french.about.com/od/pronunciation/a/alphabet.htm And be aware that locals often don't know route numbers; roads often have local names that don't appear on maps.
59
General Discussion / Re: Any advise on Bicycle choice greatly appreciated.
« Last post by PeteJack on April 21, 2014, 03:33:36 am »
+1 for Safari. You you can fit a bar bag on those bars. My wife's has one of these http://www.rei.com/product/852189/ortlieb-ultimate-6-plus-handlebar-bag
 BTW make sure you have some good electrical tape with you. So far our only grouse is that the bar tape started to unwrap. The original tape on the Safari seems a bit thin to me, though Mrs PJ hasn't complained. You may want to have them put some more padded tape on before you pick it up.
60
General Discussion / Re: Any advise on Bicycle choice greatly appreciated.
« Last post by RandomGuyOnABike on April 20, 2014, 09:56:23 pm »
After touring last year on a loaded mountain bike, I've been looking at touring bikes this year. Last week, I finally test rode a Disc Trucker.. and words cannot express the comfort and ease of the bike as compared to my beast. Can't really go wrong with a bike that has been toured on by hundreds, if not thousands of people, right?

Of course, it also depends on where your touring as well. I wouldn't want to take the Trucker out on a 500 mile trip through single track / expedition style touring, that's for sure.

So the best advice, attempt to ride the bike before you buy. You might find something that you just fall in love right when you get on it and ride it for a couple of feet.
Pages: 1 ... 4 5 [6] 7 8 ... 10