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Messages - Sxphn

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Gear Talk / Matching tire width to rim size.
« on: September 25, 2004, 04:36:31 pm »
OmahaNeb:  Thanks for your reply.  I found the exact information I was looking for at the link you supplied.  Now all I need to do is to remove my tire and measure the inside of my rim.  I am glad I asked my question in the right place.  Thanks.

Gear Talk / Matching tire width to rim size.
« on: September 24, 2004, 04:10:16 pm »
How can I know the largest width tire my rims will safely accept for touring with a load?  My recumbent bike came to me with a 28 mm tire on the rear wheel and at the builder's website it list the rear wheel as 28mm.  It seems I read somewhere that you could only safely move up or down one tire size which suggests a 32 mm is as large as I could go.  However, I no longer remember my source so I am relunctant to trust what I think I read.  Can anyone advise?

Gear Talk / tool kit
« on: September 23, 2004, 02:38:29 am »
If you're asking about tools to carry on the bicycle while traveling, I will tell you my experience.  I would term my touring experience as moderate having taking six solo bicycle tours covering about 3200 miles. I have carry many different tools but have only ever needed to use the following away from home:  pump, tire irons, tire patch kit, and two allen wrenches--one that fit my shoe cleats and one that fits my mirror.  Every other tool I have carried has just been along for the ride.

Routes / Florida to California or vice-versa
« on: September 19, 2004, 04:00:32 am »
I don't have personal experience riding across the U.S. but I have in my files an article from Bicycling Magazine by Tim and Jennifer Klingler concerning wind patterns in the U.S. (unfortunately my copy does not have the publication date but it must be from the early 90's when I had a subscription.) There were several interesting point in the article.  One is that while the prevailing winds are predominately from the west in the upper atmosphere (this explains the weather patterns we seen on T.V.,) that does not means that the surface winds are predominately from the west.  The article agreed with what one of the other writers replied in this forum, that in the mid-section of the U.S. the winds are more often from the east than the west while on both coasts the winds are more often from the west than the east.  Looking on the chart in the article, it appears that in a St. Augustine to San Franisco trip you would have a noticeable advantage with the winds if you started in the east and went west across the southern part of the U.S.  However, the authors make the point that their chart only takes in to consideration winds from the east and west.  The authors say that if all four wind directions are taken in to consideration, then the predominate surface wind direction in the U.S. is from the SOUTH!  Maybe you should consider a Sotuh to North crossing of the U.S.  Personally, this is one factor in my planning a New Orleans to Winnepeg trip next summer.

General Discussion / Trinp Length
« on: September 24, 2004, 03:48:56 pm »
I am a teacher and have from 68 to 72 consecutive days off every summer, at least since I stopped working with the high school band in the summers about 10 years ago.  That's plenty enough time for a transcontinental ride with a some weeks left over (though the longest tour I have taken is 1000 miles/12 days.)  In my younger days, I always got another job during the summers but haven't done that for nearly twenty years.  I am taking early retirement soon and then I will have year-round summer vacation!

General Discussion / Mid Life & Over weight Crossing USA HELP
« on: September 20, 2004, 06:34:34 am »
Midlifeblues:  Your main question seemed to be about recumbents.  I just got my first recumbent 2 months ago after years of riding upright bikes and I will tell you about my impressions.  
   First the negatives about recumbents.  The biggest negative is price -- my impression from shopping around is that a recumbent cost 2 to 2 1/2 times as much as an upright bike of the same quality.  So expect to pay $2000 for a recumbent that is roughly the quality of a $800 - 1000 upright.  When you buy accessories for a recumbent you will have fewer choices and often higher prices.  The second negative for me is that slow speed maneuvering is more difficult (at anything under 6 MPH, I am noticeably more unsteady on the recumbent.)  Starting from a stop is also more difficult which is a problem for me in traffic.  I also feel that I am somewhat slower climbing hills on my recumbent.
   Among the positives about recumbents for me is that I am convinced I am faster on the flats and really faster down the hills.  The slightest, shortest downhill makes my recumbent accelerate to the mid-twenties and a downhill over a hundred yards long puts it in the thirties with little work from me.  It also helps with certain physical problems I have had with riding.  There is no pressure at all on my hands -- this is wonderful!  With an upright bike, I was never able to ride more than a few hours without at least some numbness in my hands.  There is also no stiff neck and so far no stiff back on the recumbent.
    There are a few things which are sort of a wash between my upright and my recumbent.  One is visibility.  Recumbents have the advantage of a level head looking straight forward in a very relaxed, natural position without craning the neck -- great for sight-seeing and general comfort; upright bikes have the advantage of a higher seating postion with a better view over the front tire for pavement obstructions, better view over cars in traffic, and an easier look behind.  As for rear-end comfort, the recumbent is somewhat more comfortable but there is still a lot of pressure on the hip muscles can cause considerable discomfort.
    For touring I would suggest a long-wheel-base (usually abbreviated as LWB) recumbent, meaning that the front wheel is in front of the pedals. On a short-wheel-base (SWB) recumbent, the pedals are in front(and over top) of the front wheel.  Easyracers and Rans are both brands that are noted for long-wheel-based recumbents, are respected, and have been around for a long time.  Visit their websites.  I have also read positive comments about Burley recumbents.  There are also websites with information about recumbents that you can find easily using your favorite search engine.  
   I bought a used Easyracer Goldrush and I am happy with it.  I believe it will be superior to my upright for both touring and speed.  However, after the first 550 miles I still feel I am learning about the bike.  The 1000 miles training some respondents have suggested is probably a good figure to shoot for. Be careful and watch out for injuries as they can stop your preparations dead in the water.        

General Discussion / What really is Adventure?
« on: September 14, 2004, 03:41:12 am »
I have felt for some time that an adventure must include the following:
1.  A prodigous physical effort (this also implies significant physical discomfort.)  I do not believe you can have an adventure from an armchair.  "An adventure of the mind" is simply a metaphor.
2.  A goal for which both success and failure are real possibilities.  If either success or failure is assured, then one of the elements of a true adventure is missing.  
3.  There must be a probability that unpredictable or unforseeable events and situations will occur.
4.  An adventure should generate a story that other people would find interesting.  (I guess I am saying an adventure has to be judged as adventurous by more than just the participant.  If no one except you thinks it was an adventure, then it wasn't.  Sorry.)
5.  This last one I am not sure of, but it seems an adventure need to involve some kind of journey or trip as an intergal part of the experience.  

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