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Messages - bigringer

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Urban Cycling / commuting by bike
« on: May 02, 2007, 11:38:35 pm »
I definately agree about the mittens to keep your hands warm.  one tip about shifting with mittens, twist grip.  I commuted 30 miles every day in the winter on aln old department store huffy for about five years.  I finally had to retire it when the shifters finally broke one day when it was about zero. after allready upgrading to xt brakes and a good set of wheels it was time to build a new bike.  I think I cried when I threw that bike in the dumpster.

Urban Cycling / top bicycle-friendly cities and towns
« on: May 03, 2007, 12:02:55 am »
I am new to the urban commuuting.  I recently moved to the raleigh area in nc and have had many new commuuting experiences since my old commute was on country roads.  I sat for what seemed like ten minutes at a red light at five in the morning before I realized the light didn't know I was there.  I have had semis turn right in front of me when I was going straight.  (now I ride in the middle of the straight lane so no one is tempted to go around)  I definately think you have to stake a claim to your part of the road.  Down here they are pretty proud of their bike routes but they are no more than signs with a picture of a bike on busy roads with no shoulder.  

in michigan the worst thing that happened to my daily commute was the rails to trails path that paralelled my usual route for several miles.  I will agree there are few people on them at five thirty in the morning, but at six at night it can be a different story. everything from dogs on fifteen foot leashes to baby strollers roller bladers and people walking three abreast that wont yeild.  when I chose to ride the road at these times I get nothing but motorist honking and pointing at the trail. I even got pulled over riding the trail at tenthirty pm by a police officer who thought I was on a motorcycle!!

Gear Talk / self sealing innertubes
« on: April 27, 2007, 08:27:22 pm »
I am considering using self sealing innertubes to reduce flats.  I don't have a problem with changing tubes, but they can be a pain, especially on a fully loaded touring bike and most of my flats seem to be very small punctures.  just wondering if anyone has used them and what brand seems to work the best.

Gear Talk / front racks
« on: April 27, 2007, 03:45:40 pm »
I am looking for a good front rack.  I have a rigid fork with no mounts or hole in the top of the crown.  I have seen racks that use the brake bosses for support and they sound like a good idea.

Gear Talk / women's shorts
« on: May 02, 2007, 06:30:36 am »
I can only speak about mens shorts, but the pearl izumi do seem to be the best bang for the buck.  If money is no  object and you simply want the best shorts you can buy I would probably try assos. of course shorts are just like shoes or any other piece of clothing, everyones body is different, so you might have to try a few brands and find what you like best.

good luck on that century, just look at it as four twenty five mile rides, and be ready to hit the wall after the third one.  

Routes / raleigh nc to traverse city mi
« on: April 27, 2007, 05:20:40 pm »
I plan on taking nc bike route 4 to near piney creek nc.    from there I would like to pass through va wv and into ky.  madison indiana looks like a likely place to cross the ohio river.  from there on to monroeville In and follow the north lakes route to traverse city MI.  just need some suggestions how to fill in the gaps.  (routes, can't miss stops etc).  I plan on rustic camping most of the time.  any suggestions greatly appreciated.  

General Discussion / Ok advice and insights.
« on: May 04, 2007, 11:04:46 pm »
don't forget a laptop, gps unit and some sort of portable weather radar.  

General Discussion / Ok so anyone want to?
« on: May 03, 2007, 04:08:45 pm »
I thought everyone in nc knew what the triangle was.  raleigh durham chapel hill.  makes a funny looking triangle though.  Northern lower michigan is gods country in the summer.  the riding up there is spectacular. Nice rolling hills, cool temps and little traffic.   sometime you'll have to come up and tour leelanau county.  they have had a big road race up there the last two years, the tour de leelanau.   actually I have children in michigan that I miss too much right now.  unfortunately in the winter time there is not much to do but look at snow, so  I came down here to work for a landscaping company and make more money than I could up there on unemployment.

General Discussion / Ok so anyone want to?
« on: May 03, 2007, 03:08:07 pm »
I like your style.  sounds like a lot of fun.  wish I could join you.  Unfortunately I am blowing my wad on my trip to michigan.  I plan on leaving this sunday actually.  anyhow if everything goes allright I do plan on coming back down to the raleigh area next winter.  do you ever get over to the "triangle"?

General Discussion / good experiences with motorists
« on: May 03, 2007, 08:16:12 am »
I know as cyclist we tend to rant quite a bit about inconsiderate motorist.  we have all ran into them, we could go on and on.  recently on a trip home after a hard day at work, I had quite an uplifting experience.  traveling down a paved road that suddenly hit a stretch of "broken pavement", I found myself traveling probably too fast on over inflated too skinny of a tire.  the rattling shook my recently purchased light off my bike.   the car behind me, to my amazement instead of swerving to take it out actually stopped and picked it up for me.  this made me think of some of the other good experiences I have had.   there was the guy who at six in the morning waited for me to change a flat, when I was trying to figure out how to use my new co2 inflater.  the guy who flashed his lights at me in the middle of the first snow storm of the year and asked me if I needed a ride.  (which I of course to his amazement turned down)  then there are the faces you see every morning who wave at you politely even though you only know them from the car they drive.  the list goes on and on.  Just remember the next time you are cursing under you breath(or maybe not under your breath) that we are all human.  I still remember the motorist who stopped that time I came down a hill on wet pavement and skidded through a stop sign.  

General Discussion / traveling on the cheap, high daily mileage
« on: May 04, 2007, 10:58:15 pm »
thanks for the advice tulsajohn.  I hadn't considered meeting a georgeous lady on the way, but the farmers daughter did come to mind. lol.  seriously though thanks for the advice.  hopefully in a few years I will be able to take a smell the roses tour.  I think there might actually be some rhododenrens in bloom in the mountains, which I will stop to smell.  
    and hopefully since I am going south to north, the wind might just be at my back most of the way!


General Discussion / traveling on the cheap, high daily mileage
« on: April 30, 2007, 10:32:57 am »
I have been reading with great interest the responses to spephanieps discussion about traveling cheap.  I think a lot of people seem to forget the true spirit of adventure cycling.  it is just that AN ADVENTURE.  true there may be a lot less worrys and concerns with a large bank account to back yourself up with, but I couldn't think of a greater accomplishment.  It has been stated that anyone  with enough money can summit mount everest. WHAT A SHAME.

I too am considering a low budget trip. Let me start by saying  I have a job and usually work about fifty hours a week.  also when I get to my destination I will have a job waiting for me.  I am recently divorced, and after paying bills and child support, I usually have just enough money to buy food with.  a solo epic trip is something I have always wanted to do, and now other than my financial situation I am able to do it. unfortunately because of time restraints, and not a macho thing, I plan on logging some pretty high mileage days, which goes against a lot of other rules of cross country cycling.  I do plan on taking a camera, keeping a journal, and having a very good time.  
    so some advice for a guy going through a midlife crisis, planning a epic trip on the cheap, and logging high daily  mileage,  would be greatly appreciated.    

one good thing about riding in snow and ice is it definately improves your bike handling skills.  you need to improve your balance, smooth out your spin, and even learn how to fall without hurting yourself.  I even got rid of my studded tires one year just for the challenge!  

hey road,

one thing that I do is try to get to work about a half hour early so I have a time to cool/dry off.  I usually take that time to eat something since I have a hard time eatimg before I ride.  I do use fenders, but I find them most benificial after a recent rain.  I think when it is really raining you just have to embrace your wetness and change clothes when you get to work.  rain gear only seems to make me sweat more.  commuting in the snow and slush can be quite challenging.  luckily I have had places of work that accepted me coming in dripping with slush.  one thing about riding in the winter, get a beater bike.  I don't care how diligent you are about cleaning your drivetrain it will get trashed.  
    has anyone found a way to keep their feet dry?  cold wet feet is probably the worst thing I have had to deal with.  I have tried a couple types of "waterproof" shoes as well as sealskin socks and if it is really raining I still seem to get wet feet after about a half hour.  

General Discussion / worst weather conditions you have been caught in?
« on: April 30, 2007, 09:48:24 am »
hello fellow adventure cyclist.  I have been a daily commuter to work for about the last eight years.  For all but the last six months I lived in northwest lower michigan.  during that time I commuted a minimum of eighteen miles, and a  max of sixty daily. I have been exposed to pretty much everything mother nature has to offer.  I have been in torrential rains with lightening, fourteen inches of wet snow,  -20 deg, to fifty mph headwinds.  probably the worst was the fifty mph headwinds on roads that went from rain to freezing rain to ice and then snow all in the same afternoon.  
     I guess my real message here is that I am considering a trip from where I live now back to michigan.  when I tell my non cycling friends they think I am crazy because of the weather I might encounter.  My response is it can only get so bad.

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