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Messages - canalligators

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Gear Talk / Re: Best Water Bottle?
« on: October 16, 2021, 08:21:12 pm »
A fellow rider once warned me about GI distress.  He claimed it was common on group rides, people just rinse their bottles and refill the next morning.  He had just bought a small bottle of bleach for his party to share. 

I took his warning to heart.  When I/we travel, I am the chief cook and bottle washer; I take a small bottle of dish soap along, and diligently wash the bottles every night with soap and hot water.  The only time I wasn't careful, on a solo tour, I started to have issues, realized it was happening and corrected.  Problem went away.

I took a hit just above my eye, from a heavy duty black bungee.  I was lucky, it only chipped my eyeglass lens and gave me a cut that could have used a stitch or two.

If you do use bungees, and I occasionally do, ALWAYS stand away from the area where it could fly, if either end came loose.  And put some steri-strips in your first aid kit.

Gear Talk / Re: BOB cargo trailers discontinued
« on: October 14, 2021, 10:26:55 pm »
Agree, even in cargo form the Bugger wasn’t a great design, a light hauler for sure.  But it did successfully launch the company.  Today I use an inexpensive child carrier, modified to a flat floor for hauling cargo.

General Discussion / Re: Trans Am nights with power in camp
« on: October 14, 2021, 10:20:24 pm »
Thanks, John.  That is useful info, though I was specifically interested in the group tour, as they have specific places that they overnight.

General Discussion / Trans Am nights with power in camp
« on: October 14, 2021, 09:28:12 pm »
I’m riding the Trans Am Westward AC tour next year.  How many nights will our camps not have power for recharging stuff?

I’m not taking a lot of electronics, basically a smart phone, helmet lights and perhaps a handheld amateur radio.  But I’m looking into feasibility of taking a battery powered CPAP machine.  The whole idea seems problematic, and I can do ok without it.  If there are a lot of nights without power, the CPAP would be a non-starter.

Will there be a lot of powerless nights? 

Gear Talk / Re: BOB cargo trailers discontinued
« on: October 13, 2021, 07:51:27 pm »
I also had a cargo Bugger, I actually used it to move to a new apartment.  Later I wasn’t using it, so I sold it to a fellow club member to use as a grocery getter.

I liked using the Yak in flat land.  I didn’t like it in hilly areas because of the speed restriction on descents and because it weighs more than rack & pans.  By the way, a recumbent tandem towing a BOB is almost 16’ long, it’s like a bike road train.  Makes for quite a spectacle.

We avoided disarray by having ditty bags, color coded: yellow for clothes, red for first aid, green for toiletries, etc. (I still use the same color coding for bags.) 

If I was buying one now, I’d consider the Xtrawheel.  It’s more compact and can operate at higher speeds.

Go ahead and test-pack it rear-only.  If you are packing light, you’ll probably be ok.  BUT make sure it handles ok.  Some bikes will go into a wild shimmy if the weight isn’t balanced.  If it has problems, you’ll likely discover it in short order.

There are other ways to shift weight forward.  Put heavy things like your tools in your handlebar bag or a small frame bag in the front triangle.  Mount your water bottles as far forward as possible, under the down tube or you can get bottle carriers that mount on the fork.  Strap your sleeping gear to the handlebars.

Gear Talk / Re: Best Water Bottle?
« on: September 30, 2021, 10:19:31 pm »
In my experience, dark colored plastic water bottles get a lot hotter in the sun.  I don't thing it's air flow around the bottles, even hot air, so much as it being a little solar collector.  Something about dark masses absorbing more solar energy, you know those pesky laws of thermodynamics...

Gear Talk / Re: Velocity Cliff Hanger for tubeless
« on: September 30, 2021, 10:14:23 pm »
I had no input on tubeless, but the new Cliffhangers (introduced about 6 years ago) are extremely tough rims.  I have them on a Vision tandem.   I bought their first 20" rim, and delivery was delayed; they had trouble rolling the rim because the extrusion was so stiff.  They told me it was probably the toughest rim they've ever made.

You are using 26" so this is not an issue, but the 20" version has very little spare space in the well.  I could not mount certain tires (and I do know what I'm doing).  In the end, they gave me some tubeless tape to use for rim strip, so that I could get my standard Marathon mounted.  That particular 20" tire can be problematic to mount on many rims, though.

Gear Talk / Re: ActionBent Recumbent
« on: September 30, 2021, 10:05:11 pm »
Flex depends on the bike.

Single tube recumbents with smaller tubes, say <2.5", do bend in use, and bend an amount that is unacceptable to me.  I wouldn't be concerned about weakening with bend cycles, as much as the pedaling losses.  My first bent flexed a lot, and that's one of the reasons I upgraded.  My current touring machine has three tubes running full length and doesn't flex at all - I'm sure it's stiffer than most DFs.  I also have a monotube low racer, which has a 3.3" tube, it hardly flexes.

I sat on a couple of trikes in my LBS.  They had monotubes to the crank.  They both flexed less than my old 'bent, but more than I liked.  Not all trikes flex that much, though.

As for empirical evidence, I follow a couple of user groups and can't remember hearing of a recumbent frame breaking.  Fatigue is not the shortfall, inefficiency is.

Poor low speed handling can be an issue, but again it depends on the bike.  My first one was instable below 4 mph and kinda weird above 30 as well.  My current ones (single, lowracer and tandem) all handle well at both low and high speeds.  DFs are still better at low speed, but mine are ok down to walking speed.  I'm happy with them.  And in the balance, I'd rather suffer a slower climbing speed, and reap the benefit of a better bike to fight headwinds.

I'm not evangelizing recumbents, whatever works for you is fine.  Just clarifying some points you made.

General Discussion / Re: The best music for touring
« on: September 30, 2021, 09:23:14 pm »
I'm not a listener while riding, though I plan to take a whole lot of ripped music along for evening entertainment.

On those long ascents, we have sung "99 Bottles of Beer".  That seemed to help.  The second time we ran out of singing steam before we hit top.  If the climb is one of those five hour jobs, well I can't sing that long.

If I were going to listen on a climb, I'd probably pick one of those long, epic albums that were rowdy or energetic.  Maybe Chicago Transit Authority, or Beethoven's 9th, or Buddy Rich's Just In Time.

General Discussion / Re: Starting in January-February 2022
« on: September 30, 2021, 09:04:10 pm »
Good for you, welcome!

I recommend you do a couple of overnight or weekend trips, to check out your gear and see how the riding goes for you.


General Discussion / Re: Riding boot recommendation
« on: September 22, 2021, 08:30:01 pm »
It sounds like you are looking for motorcycling advice.  This is a bicycle touring site.

Gear Talk / Re: Best Water Bottle?
« on: September 22, 2021, 01:00:25 am »
I like the Polar bottles too.  They insulate fairly well, without a big volume reduction, and are reasonably priced.  I’m not terribly worried about covering the spout.  I wish they made larger ones, say a liter or more, for backup supply.

Gear Talk / Re: Adapting ordinary sockets to hex keys.
« on: September 22, 2021, 12:54:46 am »
I suppose it all depends on your bike and accessories, but I find little use for sockets on tour.  Most of the fasteners are allen head, for which I take a small multi-tool.  What few hex head bolts & nuts I have, can be managed with a 4” crescent wrench.

The important point is to make sure you can work all fasteners on your rig, and you can effect the common repairs: tire repair, chain link replacement, cable replacement, spoke replacement.

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