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Messages - happyriding

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General Discussion / Re: Dream realized!
« on: September 07, 2011, 04:25:16 am »
Nice.  I hope you had adventures that you will remember for the rest of your life!

General Discussion / Re: What about your Bike??????
« on: September 02, 2011, 01:22:01 am »
I carry a medium weight cable and combination lock when touring.  My tent has loops in the straps that you stake to the ground, and one time I locked my bike to one of those loops.  I always lock my bike when in camp: either to a picnic table or tree, and I pitch my tent right next to my bike.

I looked at those Ghisallo tents, but they are too small for me and my x-large bike.

General Discussion / Re: Recovery Rides ( the "other" kind of recovery)
« on: August 29, 2011, 07:49:19 am »
Not what you asked for, but check out this tour:

General Discussion / Re: What would this be called?...
« on: August 29, 2011, 07:45:31 am »
I like big loops too.  I don't fancy the idea of having to fly/drive/train to the start or finish. 

Gear Talk / Re: "SKS" Fenders??
« on: August 10, 2011, 11:13:43 am »
Here is a pic of my LHT and SKS fenders exactly as they were installed by my LBS.

I have ridden in some pretty heavy rain this year with absolutely no issues whatsoever.  No toe overlap, (I am 6'2" and the bike is a 60cm). No excess spray.

I called Harris Cyclery to see if possibly my fenders had been installed incorrectly and I explained why I was asking by quoting some of the posts in this thread. They laughed and said they have seen FAR MORE problems with fenders mounted too close than too far.

I would note that it takes more work to install a fender properly.  For instance, on your bike it might have involved finding or making a bracket that extended the fender closer to the wheels.  Sometimes the supplied hardware that comes with a fender is a fixed length, so you don't have any choice where your fender is going to end up.  For most bikes, which have very little clearance between the top of the tire and the fork, you just install the fender as high as possible and hope you have 10mm of clearance for safety.  But if a bike has enough clearance, installing fenders can require a lot of creativity in order to get the fender 8-10mm above the tire.

There is also the issue of liability.  I imagine a bike shop would lean toward installing fenders with too much clearance.

But who knows, maybe a fender that's 10mm from the tire is a death trap.  I've never read any studies about fender safety, and I pretty much just accept what people who have been installing fenders for years say.  They could be wrong.  Jobst Brandt has demonstrated that a lot of things that are taken for granted in the bicycling world have no basis in fact.


Nice fender foo.

Gear Talk / Re: "SKS" Fenders??
« on: August 08, 2011, 02:42:08 am »
I mostly plan to stay on roads, but I imagine I may encounter some dirt paths or gravel roads, so I surmise I'll want to keep a little extra fender clearance.  

I imagine if you find muddy enough conditions to clog your fenders, you won't be able to stay upright anyway unless you are using wide, knobby tires.  Setting up a bike to handle both road conditions and muddy off road conditions is probably going to provide poor riding in all conditions.

The main problem with getting fenders set up properly is figuring out how to extend the fenders to the right height above the tires.

Gear Talk / Re: "SKS" Fenders??
« on: August 07, 2011, 03:36:15 pm »
I agree that the only issue with fender placement would be "toe strike" during turns and if you are not having that problem then ride on my friend.

The closer a fender is to the tire, the less spray will be directed at the rider.  Unless the op is touring off road, the fenders would be more effective if they were closer to the tire.  Some people who switch between fat tires and skinny tires will mount their fenders to fit the fat tires, and therefore when they have the skinny tires on, there will be more clearance than ideal.  Here are pictures of a bunch of bikes with fenders, so you can see how other people are mounting fenders:

Gear Talk / Re: "SKS" Fenders??
« on: August 06, 2011, 07:02:38 am »
Your fenders should be much closer to your tires.  If you look at your bike from the side, you shouldn't be able to see any daylight between the top of the tire and the fender.  In other words, the sides of the fenders should overlap the top of the tire.  Be careful about mounting the fenders too close to the tire, though.  You should have 10mm of clearance between the top of the tire and the fender.

Connecting ACA Routes / Re: Seattle to Northern Tier
« on: August 06, 2011, 06:40:49 am »
I thought Washington and Rainy Passes were more spectacular than Sherman, at least from the east.

Me too.  But the entire Washington Pass, Loop Loop Pass, Sherman Pass series is awesome riding. I thought Loop Loop Pass was the hardest, but I recovered by eating ice cream cones at the outdoor shop in Winthrop (highly recommended!).  I ride to climb, so climbing those passes was something I looked forward to.  If you're out of shape or don't enjoy climbing, then by all means route around the big climbs.

Routes / Re: Seeking advice on East to West US transit
« on: August 06, 2011, 06:09:21 am »
Another vote for 'no problemo'.  I believe riding the Trans Am east to west is the traditional way to do it.  I've been on a section of the TA out west, and I met scads of people riding it east to west, and nary a soul riding it west to east.  And for what it's worth, I rode the last 1/4 of the Northern Tier east to west, and it was fantastic riding.

General Discussion / Re: Sore achilles two weeks before tour
« on: August 06, 2011, 05:25:56 am »
I developed some achilles tendonitis on a long tour.  I resorted to stretching every morning and icing it at night when I could, and that seemed to keep it from becoming disabling.  If I were you, I would not ride anymore before your tour.  Between now and your departure date, ice your achilles every two hours throughout the day if you can.  No stretching.  The best way to ice your foot is to put your foot in a bucket of ice water for 15 minutes.  But it hurts so bad the first 3-4 times you do it, you might not be able to withstand the pain.  After those first four dunkings, it is much easier to tolerate the ice water, and your foot will go numb after a few minutes.  

The second week, alternate between heat and ice.  The last two days before your departure date, apply the heating pad and try some gentle stretching(you don't want to feel any pain), and then immediately apply ice.  If you aren't adverse to it, take a full dose of anti-inflammatories(ibuprofen/Advil) every day and don't miss any dosages. Then when you leave on your tour try to gently stretch your achilles every morning, and spend the first 30 minutes of your ride spinning easily as a warm up.  If you feel pain when you stretch, don't stretch--you'll probably just do more damage.

You should also lower your saddle about 1 cm to protect your achilles from having to stretch too much at the bottom of your pedal stroke.  For the first week of your tour, plan on taking two rest days--so two days riding, one day resting--and ice your foot as much as possible on your rest day.  That will also help your butt get acclimated to long days in the saddle.

I had days were I finished, and I thought I wouldn't be able to ride the next day, but the next morning the pain was completely gone.

General Discussion / Re: What would this be called?...
« on: August 06, 2011, 05:05:55 am »
The riding from Jackson, WY up to Glacier National Park, all on ACA routes, is so beautiful it would be a shame not to do it while you are in the area.  Unfortunately, that will make your loop about 17,000 miles long.  If you do make it as far north as Glacier National Park, then you can ride west on the Norther Tier until you hit the ocean, and then ride south along the whole coast!

At least make your way to Jackson, WY and ride north a little ways on the ACA route.  The Tetons are spectacular.

Why are you changing your route?  If you don't mind mosquitos, riding across the U.S. on the Norther Tier would be much cooler.

Based on what I saw out on the road, a BOB is the standard touring trailer.  The world is divided into two kinds of people: those that tour with panniers, and those that tour with trailers.  There is no consensus on which is better.  Trailers are harder to get on trains and are longer. Panniers can be a pain in the butt to load and unload.  I've talked to people who have used both, and some hate the way a trailer makes a bike handle, and others prefer a trailer.

The only thing I don't like about the dry sak is that it doesn't have any dividers.
That can easily be remedied by buying 3-4 stuff sacks to organize your gear.

If you don't want to spend the money on a new one, it should be easy to find a used one for sale.  Same goes for panniers.  

January does not seem like a good time to tour on the Oregon coast.  It can be cool and foggy in the summer.  You should expect rain in the winter, and riding and camping in the rain isn't much fun.

Routes / Re: San Francisco to San Luis Obispo
« on: July 31, 2011, 12:51:36 am »
I settled on the southerly route from SF only because it's a classic one, but I'm certainly interested in alternatives.  Only hitch is I have to start and end in San Francisco,
One option would be to ride north and into Oregon.  The redwoods are north of San Francisco, and the Avenue of the Giants was probably the most incredible thing I saw all summer on my tour.  You also follow the Eel river for quite a ways, which is really beautiful.  So, riding north you would experience the scenic riding in the redwoods, and then the beauty of the Oregon coast.   Or you could start out by taking a train north, and then ride back to San Francisco--that way you would be going in the same direction as most of the other cyclists.  For me, the riding from San Francisco to Los Angeles was the low light of my trip.

General Discussion / Re: What to do with your stuff on days off??
« on: July 30, 2011, 07:20:50 am »
or does everything come with you all the time?

Yes.  You get up in the morning and you pack up your camp and strap all your stuff on your bike.  Then you try never to let the bike out of your sight.  At night, you unload your stuff and set up camp.  When I went to get a shower, that was the one time my bike and campsite were left alone, but there were always other cyclists around, so I felt pretty comfortable.  I did lock my bike to a picnic bench when I arrived in camp, and I had a small luggage lock for my tent zipper.


Where did you camp in Darby?  

I did a short hop from Jackson, MT to Darby, which included the climb up Chief Joseph Pass and the crazy descent.  I camped at an RV park in Darby that had a grassy area for tents.  ESPN was in town for a national logging competition, which was set up across the street.  The cyclists got to hear the post competition concert for free.  At midnight the warm breeze caressed our skin as we listened to the last lonely twangs of country music waft across the valley.

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