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Topics - Pat Lamb

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General Discussion / Use the "Mark Read" button, people!
« on: January 18, 2018, 09:35:54 am »
A few people have noticed and become fed up with the, shall we say, frequent and repetitive posts that have been popping up (and dragging on).

It's still possible to use these forums without being burdened with all that trash.

1. Note thread starter.

2. If the thread was started by someone like "I am a moron", don't read the thread unless you think the last poster in the thread might have added something worthwhile.

3. When you've read (or decided to skip them all), hit the "Mark Read" button on the top right of the forum.

Why bother?  My reason is that I think these forums have value for new bike tourists, and can serve as a good place to discuss new things for experienced tourists (I almost wrote "old," sorry!).  Letting trolls, like the one who's apparently trying to blanket these boards, run it out of existence, serves no good purpose.  While I'd prefer the moderators actually moderate, this is the course mere users can take to try to preserve the benefits of the forums.

Edited to add: And don't feed the troll, obviously!

Pacific Northwest / Iron Horse Trail conditions?
« on: January 14, 2016, 09:48:10 am »
I was reading a bicycle review / trip report in Bicycle Quarterly last night.  Jan Heine (the author/publisher) spent a quarter of the article extolling the virtues of a mountain bike width (48) tire on the Iron Horse, implying that ordinary road tires ridden by mere mortals would be in a heap of trouble on this trail.

Is the trail surface really that bad?  What's the minimum width tire that could be comfortably ridden, say from North Bend to Cle Elum?  I was thinking about trying it with 28s.

General Discussion / How picky are you?
« on: January 22, 2015, 05:44:27 pm »
How do you approach bicycle maintenance and adjustments, both when you're touring and when you're not?

For instance, if my shifting isn't crisp and quick, I'll adjust it when I'm commuting or riding around home.  On tour, I'll allow a bit more slop -- as long as I can downshift, it's OK if it takes a second to shift up.

Conversely, I can deal with a wheel a bit out of true near home (especially after a winter of commuting).  On tour, I know I risk high speed shimmy if the wheel's out, so that gets addressed immediately (or as soon as I get to the bottom of the hill).

How do you all deal with little imperfections?

The Carlton Complex fires  closed Washington Hwy 20 across Loup Loup yesterday or last night:

"Due to the fire situation, road and highway closures could change very quickly. Hwy 20 is now closed between MP206 to MP215. Hwy 153 is closed at MP6-21 and at a Level 3 Notice between the town of Carlton and Pateros. Hwy 97 is closed between Pateros and Brewster."

It looks like it's still possible to get out of the Okanogan valley on 17 or by going north into Canada, though the Inciweb report shows the fire's jumped the river below Omak.  It would be prudent to avoid this route from Republic west to Washington Pass, or perhaps to Concrete.

(I wish I could send them the showers we've had today!)

Routes / Northern Tier, Cascade passes 2013
« on: April 05, 2013, 10:52:33 am »
Washington DOT has been talking about opening these passes early this year (May 1?!), and it looks like they might come through.  The east side crew, that has to deal with Spiral Gulch and Liberty Bell avalanche zones, made it to the top of Washington Pass yesterday.  IIRC, that's where they've usually met the west side crew in previous years.

Keep an eye on their status page:  Just 12 miles to go -- plus cleaning up any avalanches that might come down.

General Discussion / Most interesting states
« on: January 23, 2012, 05:32:44 pm »
Is it fair to use picture counts as a proxy for the most interesting states on a bike tour?  Messing around with picture counts from our Trans-Am plus Northern Tier, I came up with the following statistics, ranked from high to low:
Montana: 25%
Wyoming: 19%
Colorado: 15%
Virginia: 12%
Washington: 11%
Kentucky: 6%
Kansas: 5%
Missouri: 4%
Illinois: 2%
Idaho: 1%

(Disclaimers: Percentages rounded.  Montana likely skewed by time in state and day off in Glacier.  Colorado likely skewed by Royal Gorge train ride.  NT crosses Idaho in a day.  Other disclaimers not considered significant.)

Is this a fair comparison?  What would your counts look like?  How vehemently do you agree or disagree with these "ratings"?

General Discussion / Best touring blog sites?
« on: August 21, 2011, 09:54:13 pm »
I've just been kicked off crazyguyonabike, but would like to keep my journal on-line somewhere.

What's the next-best site(s)?  Has anyone used more than one of blogspot, livejournal, etc., and what are the relevant advantages and disadvantages of each?


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