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Topics - mcparsons

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Routes / Cycling in Romania
« on: February 07, 2013, 07:20:20 pm »
We are moving to Bucharest this summer  ;D .    I've read all the Crazy Guy journals and other journals covering the area.  There are a couple of organized touring companies. I'll be riding with my two teenagers.  I've seen that there are issues with stray dogs, narrow and few roads, and crazy drivers.  But I'm hoping someone here has enough experience to put these in perspective. 

- Is it reasonable to expect to free camp in rural areas?
- Any specific routes that I should look at?  Considering Bucharest to Istanbul along the Black Sea.
- Other safety concerns?  How do locals view cyclists and foreigners?
- Cheap accommodation options?
- Frequency of services, food sources?  Availability of fuel?

Any other considerations?  Really excited about exploring this country.

Routes / Galena IL to Dubuque IA
« on: January 10, 2012, 01:18:30 am »
Planning this spring's adventure through northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin.  I'm trying to find a route from Galena, IL to Dubuque, IA.  It's only 16 miles on Hwy 20 but that looks unpleasant  - no shoulder and fairly heavy traffic.  Any locals that ride this route?  I may have to give up on Galena and come in through Wisconsin  (Fairplay or Sisinawa).

Routes / KATY trail: camping
« on: April 28, 2011, 01:49:38 pm »
I'm planning to ride the KATY in late June with my children. Reading the other threads  it sounds like cheap or free camping requires advance planning. I'd rather take it day by day and react to the weather and the kid's moods.  Is that unreasonable?  Can we roll into a town park at 5:00 PM and find someone to let us camp?  Should I just get a list of town police department phone numbers and call ahead at the lunch stop?  Do the paid campgrounds fill up enough to require reservations?

Gear Talk / Lower gearing: change cassette, chainrings or both?
« on: May 21, 2010, 12:30:39 am »
I have a 2008 Giant FCR3 that I have been riding for two years including one long tour.  I'm planning an unsupported tour with a trailer and it is clear that I don't have enough gear on the low end.  Even unloaded I never used the third chain ring and spend 90% of the time in 4 or 5 gears.

I'm considering three options:

1.  Replace the cassette, currently 11-28 with an 11-32. That only changes the lower three gears and perhaps by not enough. 

2.  Replace the chain rings (currently FSA Vero 30/42/52).  I think I can move the 42 to the outer ring and add 22/32 FSA Pro ATB to get 22/32/42.  I've never done this but It looks like it would work.

3.  There is also this Nashbar MT2 mountain bike crank set for real cheap that would get me 22/32/44.  I'm a little nervous about this as I don't know if it will work in my current bike (don't know anything about how cranksets match up with bottom brackets).  This cost is about the same as option 2.

- I might opt for both the cassette and the chain rings to get a gear range of 19 to 108 inches.  Is this too low?  (I think I know the answer to this one).
- Am I right that I can move the middle chain ring to the outer and add two more inside?  I'll check the BCDs.  The range is fewer teeth than the current so I assume no problems with the FD?  Do I just move the FD down the post a little bit to match the smaller chainrings?
- How can I figure out if the Nashbar MTB crankset will work?  Is this a lot harder to do than the rear cassettes and the rings?  If I had to spend a lot on tools this will be a more expensive option.
- Any other advice?

Sorry for asking for free help but this is essentially my entire biking budget for the year and I'd like to get it right.  :-\

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