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Messages - Goodaches

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Routes / Re: Double fatality on Route 66 today
« on: May 21, 2018, 11:26:19 pm »
Alright, now I think I see where I'm being misunderstood - probably a regional difference in terminology. In Great Lakes states, Michigan in particular, those asphalt paths that are sorta parallel to the road shoulder, used like sidewalks, are called Safety Paths. I wasn't referring to those, I don't use those myself because, well,, Safety Paths aren't safe for fast moving cyclists. They're offset from the shoulder just far enough that cyclists are not in the line of attention of motorists emerging from cross streets. Also, the bushes and evergreens along the "Safety" Path prevent cyclists from seeing drivers coming out on a driveway and vice versa. Neither of my prior posts were intended to embrace these dogwalking, baby stroller pushing, "Safety" Paths for cycle commuting or touring. What I was referring to are most commonly Rail Trails. I was referring to long distance routes that can take us through many communities. A few examples being Great Allegheny Passage, C&O Canal, or Pierre Marquette Trail. The Detroit Metro area isn't a premier cycling area but is on a good start. A cyclist can make a hundred mile circumnavigation of the outer metro area by connecting rail trails, park paths, and a non-motorized pathway that is on an easement offset from I-275 and separated from the expressway by space, embankments, and concrete barriers. Cyclists can get off of the rail trail or expressway easement at least every mile to branch off to whatever destination they're heading for. More of these is what cyclists need. "Safety" Paths are for the benefit of pedestrians.

Routes / Re: Double fatality on Route 66 today
« on: May 21, 2018, 06:34:41 pm »
What?!  How was I going there? We do need a greater availability of separate routes. The greater number of useful non-motorized routes the fewer miles that we will need to mix it up with larger and faster vehicles that are not adequetly controlled. Advocating for more non-motorized routes does not inherently imply banning bicycles from all other infrastructure.
Very glad to know you made it all the way across the US uninjured as many do. However, I know of too many who were on cross country, cross state, and across town trips who were killed by drivers of cars and trucks. We're all here because we share an interest in long distance bicycle touring and I assume all of us want to retain the ability to continue making these journeys of hundreds or thousands of miles. Increasing the miles of non-motor routes will make those same journeys more pleasant in addition to more survivable.

Routes / Re: Double fatality on Route 66 today
« on: May 15, 2018, 06:53:46 am »
45 years ago, long before cell phones or complicated dashboard electronics, I witnessed something startling about a large percentage of drivers - they don't look more than a couple hundred feet ahead. A car was disabled in the right lane of a 4 lane hiway on  the uphill of a overpass over RR tracks. Tall over pass, very open area, disabled car had flashers going and was OBVIOUSLY viable from 1/2 mile away. I watched for 20 minutes as lone car after lone car cruised along at 50mph in that lane until within 200 feet or less and then aggressively braked and abruptly swerved to the left lane. Eventually a cluster of traffic came along and the lead driver in the right lane couldnt swerve. Keep in mind the uphill of the overpass was high enough that the disabled car in the right lane was visible to every car in the right lane except maybe the car that was tailgating the pick up truck. Anyhow, lead driver in right lane suddenly slammed on brakes and came to a tire squealing stop about ten feet behind disabled car. The left lane was full of a string of cars and right lane had a curb so right laners only option was to stop straight ahead which about a dozen cars did in senseless sudden tire smoking lock ups...until the last car at 50ish MPH without even a flicker from her brake lights slammed the entire line in domino reaction all the way to hitting the first occupied car.
 My point to sharing this jarringly memorable 20 minute observation is that it's not just a few distracted drivers we need to worry about - apparently a large percentage of humans lack the proper scan, situational awareness, or visual acuity to safely travel at speeds over 20 MPH. But there they all go, simply lucky to not run in to things with their two ton vehicles on a daily basis.
We need entirely seperate lanes or routes for non-motorized travel.

Carla: Thanks for the update - we'll watch it close.
John: Good point for others to consider. We already bought the full US set a few months ago when it was offered at half price. It has been helpful to get quite a bit of general planning started. Looking forward to seeing whatever improvements are coming in the new maps.

Thanks - this kind of info is very helpful, especially including a phone number.
Any update on how soon the 2018 GDMBR maps will be available? I'm hoping earlier than the mid June estimate I saw a few months ago. We'd like to get the new maps before we leave Michigan.

General Discussion / Re: Custom touring bike vs. mass produced
« on: April 19, 2018, 11:26:18 pm »
When I couldn't find a production bike equipped and geared as I wanted I began to fantasize a bit on how I'd like to spec a custom bike. But, having had 4 locked bikes stolen over the past four decades I didn't want to be that commitment to a bike not readily replaceable.  So, I was delighted last fall when I saw the 2018 specs for the Surly ECR 27+. It exactly met my very practical specs including gearing that makes sense for loaded touring. Wife and I got a matched pair in Octobef and we'll use them on GDMBR this year.

Gear Talk / Re: Hooking you up.
« on: April 16, 2018, 12:13:45 am »
Try Safety Glasses USA. Ive been getting clear and tinted safety glasses with bifocals from them for about a decade. I get a couple years use out of $12 glasses. They have a variety of styles - not all look like safety glasses. Years ago I bought one pair that had the bifocals too high on the lens and they were unsuitable for cycling (probably ideal for an electrician terminating junction boxes). Since then ive been able to recognize which models have bifocals lens positioned low enough for cycling just by looking at photos in their on-line catalog.

Food Talk / Gluten Free
« on: April 13, 2018, 12:24:31 am »
Anyone else notice how easy/difficult it is to find restaurants and grocers along the GDMBR that offer GF choices? Wife has Celiac's - avoiding gluten is not a fad diet choice.

Gear Talk / Re: Cooking set up while on tour?
« on: April 13, 2018, 12:03:32 am »
2 minutes! Fuel canister should last a long time at that rate. I would have been pleased with a boil time of 8 minutes. You're raising my expectations!

Gear Talk / Re: 5lb “penalty”... what is the cost?
« on: April 02, 2018, 11:17:17 pm »
Since I 've not seen them mentioned I'll share what we arrived at after extensive searching. Wife and I share a Zpacks Duplex tent. The cuben fiber tent for two along with carbon fiber poles for free standing option is 2 lbs. Fits nicely in a Blackburn seat bag under my wife's saddle. We each have our 1 lb quilts (Enlightened Equipment 950 down fill) in waterproof stuff sacks under our handle bars. We passed on any of the bikepacking  handlebar bags because all of them weighed at least twice as much as the quilts we would put in them! Our pads are also 1 lb each and are carried in a Salsa bag on fork cage. Bob Ibex behind me carries all the heavier but less bulky items (including food) for both of us.  Only thing we would order different would be to have ordered the Triplex tent so clothes could be in tent instead of vestibules. With the super light tents the rule of thumb (that we know now) is order the tent one person bigger than the number of occupants you're planning for.

Gear Talk / Re: Cooking set up while on tour?
« on: March 19, 2018, 10:45:19 pm »
Sounds like your road test is coming before ours. What route will you be cooking alongside in April?

Gear Talk / Re: Recommendations for gearing
« on: March 18, 2018, 11:33:14 pm »
Most of the discussion thread appeared to miss the significance of wheel size. MisterFlask brought up gear inches which is really the only way you can make comparisons among bikes. A 28T chainring going to a 34T sprocket will yield less hill climbing power on a larger wheel than it will on a smaller wheel. It has taken a couple of years for the drivetrains to catch up with the idea that mere mortals want to go bikepacking on larger wheels. For 2018 models I noticed that some are now providing low gear at something at or under 20 gear inches. In 2016 and 2017 I saw a lot of bikes that looked in photos like ideal off road bikepacking rigs but the specs revealed lowest gear around 23 gear inches (they don't tell you that, you have to do the math that MisterFlask mentioned).
In my case I carry most of the load so that my very petite wife and I can go about the same speed for the same range every day. So I'm pulling a BoB Ibex with about 80% of the load for two people. If I don't have a low gear under 18" I can get stuck pushing the whole rig up too many ridable hills. And it's not only about my conditioning - there's is an obvious difference for the bike between me spinning up a hill or me flexing the heck out of the frame and cranks to mash my way up.
For reference, I won't suggest a low gear any less than 17 gear inches. Any lower than that and you can push the bike faster than you can pedal it. For loaded touring I see no problem giving up a top end gear to get better low end choices. I find that if I can go over 20 mph chances are I'm in a situation where gravity is providing all the power I need. So if I'm over revving with a top gear of 90 or so gear inches that's OK, I don't need that 110 gear inches because my bigger concern is rapidly becoming how am I going to keep me, my bike, and loaded trailer under 30 mph without smoking off my brake pads.

Gear Talk / Re: Lightweight, tough bike lock
« on: March 18, 2018, 10:49:03 pm »
You both voice realistic expectations for cable locks - momentary and line of sight use. Unfortunately, effective security means a lock and chain that weighs nearly as much as the bike  - that's a no-go. While traveling now, if a lodging will not permit our bikes in our room then we don't do business there. A couple of years ago I got to observe our bikes being stolen on morning after video tape. We were not permitted to bring our bikes in but the hostel had a shed in their locked courtyard. Only 1 of the 3 cameras was functional but that 33% functionality was much greater than the 0% functionality of the night watchman who couldn't be bothered to look out the window that night. One of the thieves worked for several minutes to chew through the gate lock with his bolt cutters. After getting in to the court yard our bike cable locks weren't even an inconvenience for his bolt cutters.
Since the wife and I travel together we split up at grocery store resupply stops. One shops and the other does guard duty.

Gear Talk / Re: Search for the perfect touring bike mirror
« on: March 18, 2018, 10:09:51 pm »
While in the saddle the Take-A-Look mirror has performed excellently for us. We've attached them to our helmet visors. Stable and an extra couple inches from our eye compared to mounting on glasses. Plus the visor holds it up just high enough to not create a blind spot when looking ahead. I adjust so that I can just barely see my ear for reference and I can pan the area behind me like that eye in the back of the head that my mother had. Never a problem remaining in position while riding....but nearly every darn time the helmets come off one or both of our mirrors end up wacked. So am now considering switching to one of those mirrors that mount inboard of the handle bar grips.

Gear Talk / Re: Overshoes or Goretex Socks?
« on: March 18, 2018, 09:52:22 pm »
We've been very satisfied with our old SUGOi Resistor Booties. They covered our cleated shoes and fit tight above our ankles. Our shoes stayed dry and the snug fit around the leg has kept water from running in the top. Plus, we rarely encounter warm weather rain. For us, rainy days are also colder days so having the thick shoe covering has helped that aspect of comfort too. The only down side has been that the parts that fit around the sole have deteriorated quickly from walking. These were probably designed for road bikers. We do off-road touring. So, loaded bikes and steep hills can require one or two tenths of a mile pushing instead pedaling. After accumulating about two miles of walking over several trips and the bottoms were shredding. I did slow down the wear by applying lines of silicone glue to the bottom like an add on tread.
For the GDMBR this year we've switched back to cages on our pedals and I'm trying to find light, tight galoshes. I remember as a kid that those could handle a few miles of walking. Anyone using something like that?

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