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Messages - Carl

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Urban Cycling / commuting by bike
« on: April 12, 2008, 01:54:02 am »
I must have one of the easiest commutes in the world; it's 3 or 4 miles going to work, depending on whether I'm in a hurry or not (3 when I'm running late, 4 when I've got more time...mostly a psychological thing). I can ride along the Columbia River in the morning when the sun's coming up over wheatfields to the west. After work I can do another 15 mile loop ride to my house that takes me through parks and a nature preserve, then down to the Columbia where I can pick up another bike trail that goes right along the edge of the Yakima River with all its heavy shrubs and wildlife, then hit one crappy intersection and go directly onto either side streets with old houses or onto a heavily treed bike path. So I can get as few as 6 miles in a day or, when time and weather allow, an easy 20 miles. By the way, this is all in a town without a major university so the bike paths are relatively empty most of the time.

Gear Talk / Sore butts
« on: April 12, 2008, 02:03:46 am »
I'd second David B's suggestion to stand up more. I've never understood why the few milliimeters of padding in most bike shorts would make a difference in cushioning when it's compressed by anybody who weighs more than a few tens of pounds. My theory on bike shorts is that the seam placement in the crouch and their slippery nature makes them desirable...less so the padding, but I won't go down this road with so many folks loyal to the padding concept. I will argue that simply standing up in the pedals a lot, moving around (look over both shoulders, move your hands on the bar, etc.) ...makes a huge difference in comfort.

This message was edited by Carl on 4-12-08 @ 6:25 PM

Gear Talk / Kirtland panniers
« on: February 09, 2008, 11:59:51 pm »
After hearing so many good things about Kirtland panniers I was disappointed to learn that they'd gone out of business. If this is true (and I don't know for sure that it is), is there another pannier out there that has the same qualities that the old Kirtlands did? Thanks...

Gear Talk / Pannier/Daypack combo?
« on: January 23, 2008, 03:43:50 am »
Does anybody know of a pannier that can also serve as a daypack? I've used shoulder straps on my Jandd "Mini Mountain" panniers but this doesn't work when I have to walk any distance with filled panniers. Any guidance or reviews on such a product would be mightily appreciated.

Gear Talk / LWB or SWB for touring
« on: August 13, 2007, 11:28:13 pm »
Hmmm.I hadn't considered the 'bumpy factor.' My LWB Tour Easy rides like a charm, which I think really helps for rides over, say, 30 miles. I would think the 'bumpy factor' would wear a person out sooner. I'd also think the faster steering would wear you out sooner, too.

Thanks for pointing these things out, Dan.

Gear Talk / LWB or SWB for touring
« on: August 12, 2007, 07:22:47 pm »
Thanks, Fred.
I really enjoyed this issue (as I do all issues of Adventure Cycling). But it didn't address the handling of a long wheel base 'bent with full panniers vs. a short wheel base bike. I know my Tour Easy with panniers handles like a dream because the panniers appreciably lower the center of gravity, which is already pretty low. But the SWBs seem to be generally higher above the ground so it's not obvious to me the handling with panniers would be as good.
Any thoughts??

Gear Talk / LWB or SWB for touring
« on: August 09, 2007, 09:45:48 pm »
I'd appreciate any information that could be shared regarding use of short-wheel based vs. long-wheel based recumbents for touring (SWB, LWB).

I'm presently riding a Tour Easy (LWB) which is great for speed, comfort and ease of maintenance. But it's simply too long to fit in the back of my Subaru Outback and a major pain to put on the roof rack (with lifting + fairing removal).

I'm assuming a SWB 'bent would be easier for carrying but 1) how do they handle with racks and panniers, and 2) does the generally higher pedal position make a difference for numb feet or tingling toes? Are there any SWBs that are more suited for loaded touring than others?
Thanks in advance for any guidance or thoughts on this topic

Gear Talk / shipping box + bike trailer...all in one
« on: April 07, 2007, 07:14:43 pm »
I know that Bike Friday makes a great little trailer that allows owners to first ship their folders and then use the trailer as a true trailer for touring. But does anybody make a similar shipping box/trailer for non-folding, standard diamond frame bikes?  Any guidance would be mightily appreciated.

Gear Talk / goggles?
« on: April 16, 2007, 01:15:05 am »
Sailariel...I checked out the "Fitovers" webpage and they must have a hundred kinds of shades. Any thoughts on which one would be best for cycling?

General Discussion / Platform pedals for touring bikes
« on: June 03, 2008, 01:09:33 am »
Grant Petersen of Rivendell bikes makes a good case for riding with simple (albeit good quality) platform pedals. You can read his arguments at the Rivendale site. I've ridden in sandals for day rides of less than 50 miles, but what happens when you've got a fully loaded bike for several days in row? Does the difference in pedaling efficiency start to make a difference?

General Discussion / What to buy??? Bent or straight up???
« on: April 20, 2008, 01:46:49 am »
Here's another vote for Tour Easy 'bents. I'm fortunate to have a local bike shop that carries a number of recumbents, and the Tour Easy's seem head and shoulders above the other. They are pricier than the others, somewhat heavier than a diamond frame and, as a long wheelbase bike, are harder to haul around. But riding the TE's is intuitive right out of the store. They also have a noticeable 'jump' to them when starting from a standstill. No tillar effect if you get the handlebar angle right. I occasionally ride my diamond frame for a day or two but always come back to the Tour Easy after the neck pains start and the scenery turns into focusing on only the front tire.

General Discussion / Looking Backward
« on: April 04, 2008, 12:25:34 am »
I ride with a Blackburn mirror strapped to the hood of the brake lever and wouldn't go out without it now. But I've tried a helmet mirror several times and could never them to work...always had trouble focusing and in lining them up with what I wanted to see.  How long have others found its taken to get used to them? Also, are all brands the same?

General Discussion / Contact lenses
« on: February 10, 2008, 08:44:15 pm »
I recently switched to replaceable soft contact lenses that require sticking your finger in your eye to get them out (unlike the old gas-permeable lenses that popped out with a special blink). They also have to be kept much cleaner than the old gas-perm lenses. Have other tourists had experience with these replaceable lenses on multi-day rides? Is there a type of towlettes that cleans your hands well enough to keep these little membranes from getting crudded up when they're removed? They're very comfortable but just seem too delicate for sustained outdoor activity.

General Discussion / Highway question
« on: February 10, 2008, 11:46:56 pm »
What's it like going over Snoqualmie Pass on a bike? I thought bikes had to get off near Ellensburg.

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