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Topics - oldguybiker

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Great Lakes / Soo Strong Trail - Sault Ste. Marie
« on: August 20, 2019, 05:35:17 pm »
Tried the Soo Strong Rail Trail west out of Sault Ste. Marie on my gravel bike with 700x40 tires and spent a lot of time bike hiking due to frequent, pernicious deep sand.  It may be good in the winter snow with a fat tire rig, but it wasn't much fun in the summer. Diverted to back roads and Hwy 28 which turned out to have nice wide shoulders most of the way to Marquette.     

Gear Talk / Burley: Coho XC or Nomad ?
« on: June 18, 2019, 10:43:46 pm »
I'm planning a 5 day bikepacking trip which will include 2 days of rough 4x4 road and the rest mostly pavement with some gravel.  Instead of buying yet another bike, as a first attempt at bikepacking I'm thinking of getting a trailer to pull behind my trusty 2010 Trek Hoo Koo E Koo. The Coho's appeal is it has only 1 wheel centered behind the bike, so it will follow in the MTB's tire tracks, plus it has a shock to dampen the jostling. Downside is it weighs 21.5 lbs empty and is rated for 70 lbs carrying capacity.  The Nomad is designed specifically for touring, has 2 wheels, weighs 14.5 lbs and is rated for 100 lb carrying capacity.  I won't max out the carrying capacity of either on this trip, but it could be a factor for future trips. I pulled my kids around for thousands of miles in a kid type Burley many years ago, so am very familiar with that setup, but it was always on pavement with a touring bike.  This will be a solo trip into wilderness country with limited resupply points, and yes I'll probably over pack. So - anybody got any recommendations on Coho versus Nomad?   

Southwest / Pedernales Falls SP to McKinney Falls SP
« on: March 08, 2019, 08:41:14 am »
Looking for the safest way to get from Pedernales Falls SP to McKinney Falls SP. I used to be familiar with Austin, but it's grown and changed so much since the last time I did this in the late 60's, I'd really appreciate anybody with up to date info giving me a hand with route planning. Thanks!

``spins, grins, and tailwinds

General Discussion / Mechanical Doping or Misplaced Sympathy?
« on: December 10, 2018, 07:12:12 pm »
European press coined the term "mechanical doping" to describe racers hiding miniature motors in their bike frames to provide a boost in applied power wattage. Clearly that's cheating and nobody supports it. I know this won't be popular, but I have to wonder if putting a motor on a recreational bike isn't somewhat equivalent to an opiate or an "easy out" to generate speed where it may not be such a good idea. In a recent forum topic "e-bikes are motor vehicles" the majority of replies favored allowing older or disabled riders to use motors on their bicycles and still use bike-only paths and/or to enable them to maintain the same pace or speed they used to enjoy. I oppose this idea for several reasons, but here are two major ones. SAFETY - as we age, other capabilities needed to ride safely also tend to diminish: balance, vision, depth perception, reaction time, and hearing. Do you really want to have anyone, especially a loved one, riding their bike faster that they can ride it safely? HEALTH - a major  benefit of riding is that it requires us to exercise our hearts, legs, and lungs. Even a limited dependency on a motor for propulsion diminishes those health benefits, and a dependency on motors, like some drugs, can be addictive.  There is a simple alternative, not just for the disabled, but for everyone as they age: slow down and gear down. Use three wheels if necessary. I don't want to deprive anyone from riding. On the contrary, I encourage people to ride, but please ride within your limits.     

General Discussion / e-bikes are motor vehicles
« on: October 08, 2018, 06:18:20 pm »
The marketing folks have cleverly stuck a happy sounding name on yet another product to disguise what it really is. Seems to me that any vehicle, including bicycles, which have a motor are by definition Motor Vehicles. No doubt the manufacturers, marketers and purchasers will presume they should somehow be given special dispensation and allowed to use them in areas such as bike paths reserved for non-motorized transportation and Enjoyment.  For me, a significant element of that enjoyment is derived from the absence of motor powered vehicles.   
But, you might insist, isn't an e-bike still a bicycle? No, when you boil the issue down to basics, any vehicle, even an "e-bike" surrenders its right to be considered a traditional, non-motorized vehicle (or bicycle) when you put even the smallest motor on it. The size of the motor doesn't matter. A Harley Davidson only has two wheels, too, albeit a much bigger motor, and is an anathema to bicyclists. So where does one draw the line? Electric motors are OK but not internal combustion engines? Two wheeled electric vehicles like e-bikes are OK but 4-wheel electric vehicles like golf carts are not? Make an exception for one and you might as well make an exception for all.  I oppose e-bikes in any guise, but suspect we'll have to wait years for a series of court rulings to see how this plays out. In the meantime, if I see a motor vehicle, including e-bikes, operated in an area posted against motorized vehicles, I'm going to complain to the operator and report it to the police. 

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