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Routes / Re: Pacific Coast Highway on a road bike?
« Last post by litespeed on June 28, 2015, 05:37:51 pm »
There are some steep climbs on the PCH, particularly south of Legget CA on Route 1. You will need triple MTB gearing at the bottom bracket (pedals). The two big gears on the standard road bike won't cut it unless you plan to walk up some hills. A touring bike or possibly a mountain bike is really required.

My Litespeed Blue Ridge has a mixed rig - Deore XT at the bottom Bracket and 9-speed 12-28 cassette. It took my lowest gear and all I had on some of those climbs.
You might also try riding to a gas station on the last exit before crossing the river and seeing if you can hitch a ride.  Empty pickup trucks have plenty of capacity for even a loaded bike, and often have room in the cab for an extra rider...
General Discussion / Re: What can towns offer cyclists?
« Last post by DanE on June 28, 2015, 03:37:27 pm »
I would suggest having a store in town that sells supplies that a touring cyclist might need, mainly I have in mind stove fuel. The stores in a RV park or the hardware and grocery stores generally don't have the type of stove fuel a touring cyclist needs, often only selling the 1 lb Coleman propane bottles or the 1 gallon cans of Coleman fuel. It can be difficult to find the correct stove fuel in rural America and carrying more than about a weeks worth of fuel can be difficult.

Touring cyclists often use the 8 oz butane/propane thread on canister fuel containers or would like to buy Coleman fuel to fill their 20 oz fuel bottles. Having the canister fuel or selling Coleman fuel out of the gallon can by the ounce would be wonderful I think.

Classifieds / Re: Trek 520 frame & all the little pieces that hang on it.
« Last post by ammodramus on June 28, 2015, 03:21:19 pm »

I just joined and say this message hanging out there.  Do you still have the Trek 520 and all the parts?

Let me know.

General Discussion / Re: Winter Cycling
« Last post by RussSeaton on June 28, 2015, 01:37:44 pm »
For tires you want carbide studded tires with as many carbide studs as possible.  And you want the tire as wide as possible too.  Wide allows you to put very low pressure in the tire.  You can then get more tread and studs on the snow, float on top of the snow.  Instead of a narrow tire that cuts through the snow and does not put much tread on the ground.  I have ordered stuff from Starbike in Germany.  Including Schwalbe studded tires.  With the Euro to Dollar rate at about $1.12/1 and not paying the VAT Value Added Tax if in the USA.  Your price is about the same as converting the Euros directly to Dollars.  Cheap compared to US bike shops.

As for clothes to stay warm, as many as you can put on.  Those chemical warmer things for toes and fingers are also good.  But the best advice is to keep your rides short, short, short.  1 hour maximum or less.  Ride hard for 30 minutes then get inside and get warm.  Then a few hours later go for another short ride.  Short, quick rides in the cold.
While I have not ridden it yet, there is a sidewalk on the southside of the I-55 bridge.  It is narrow and you will probably need to walk.   It dumps you out near Metal Museum Rd & Alston Ave.

Let me know how it works out.


Routes / Route to Memphis downtown from the west (Crossing Mississippi River)
« Last post by Shinsuke on June 28, 2015, 12:51:53 pm »

I am now on the way to New York City from Los Angeles. I will follow Route 66 to Oklahoma City, and go to Memphis and Nashville.

I am considering the route from Oklahoma, but have no idea how to enter Memphis’ downtown from the west. There are two interstate bridges to cross the Mississippi River, which a bicycle is not allowed to go through. Not using these bridges, I have to go to south more than 100 miles to cross the Mississippi River.,-90.3191757,10z/data=!4m15!4m14!1m5!1m1!1s0x87d570e0406747bf:0xef0a2f9113976454!2m2!1d-90.1845388!2d35.1464797!1m5!1m1!1s0x87d57e1eea439745:0xd193f315601ab6fe!2m2!1d-90.0489801!2d35.1495343!3e1!4e1?hl

My questions are:
 - Are there any alternative routes for a bicycle to enter downtown Memphis? (Is Harahan bridge travellable now?)
 - If no alternatives, are there any bus services which accept a passenger with a bicycle?

I really look forward to your information.

Routes / Re: Pacific Coast Highway on a road bike?
« Last post by staehpj1 on June 28, 2015, 08:14:22 am »
It depends on how heavy or light you pack.  My preference would be to take less than 15 pounds of light backpacking gear and a road bike, but a minimalist style isn't for everyone.  You can go a bit heavier too, but I wouldn't go too heavy on a road bike.  If carrying a good bit more you might consider a trailer with your road bike.

In any case a lot of the coast is very hilly so be sure you have low enough gearing.

Is this trip a one time thing?  If so I definitely wouldn't buy a new bike just for it.

BTW, bikepacking bags or even just strapping on stuff sacks can work well for lighter loads.  Packing very light, you might manage with a roll under the handle bars and one under/behind the seat.

PS: John's numbers sound reasonable to me except, I would not worry as much about a carbon frame or fork.
Routes / Re: Pacific Coast Highway on a road bike?
« Last post by John Nelson on June 28, 2015, 08:13:41 am »
From where to where exactly?

A touring bike is generally considered a sub-class of road bikes. For most touring situations, a touring bike has a number of advantages over a standard road bike: longer wheelbase for stability, more attachment points for panniers and water bottles, longer chainstays to avoid heel strike, steel frame for strength, clearance for wider tires, lower gearing, stronger wheels, etc. But if you keep your load light, a regular road bike can be used.

I would say it depends on the weight of your load. If the total weight of your gear (including panniers and racks) is less than 30 pounds, a regular road bike can be used. If your road bike is full carbon, or even if it's just a carbon fork, I'd probably want to keep the load under 20 pounds.

If I had a regular road bike and a touring bike sitting side-by-side in my garage, I'd take the touring bike. If you travel super-light (less than 15 pounds), however, a regular road bike will help keep the weight down and make you faster.
Routes / Re: Pacific Coast Highway on a road bike?
« Last post by bobbys beard on June 28, 2015, 05:25:15 am »
As far as the roads are concerned, there's nothing I remember that a road bike couldn't cope with.

I find it better to think of touring as lots of rides, rather than one big ride. If you're a keen biker, you will be no stranger to riding on a daily basis. How long do you plan to ride versus your usual distances?

On the PCH, you can easily plan to ride between accommodation each day, so if you didn't want to take too much gear, it would easily be done on a credit card. If you plan on camping a lot (it's a beautiful route to camp on), there are several incredibly lightweight tents and sleeping bags, but they're not cheap.

Personally, I think a touring bike is better, just because it's better designed for long trips and the weight of luggage and water, however people also do these trips on unicycles, so a road bike shouldn't be any problem at all!
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