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Messages - Pat Lamb

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General Discussion / Re: TransAm Bike Route Questions 2021
« on: April 08, 2021, 05:57:30 pm »
Pat Lamb, you said, " There are a few stretches where you'll want to make sure you're carrying a full day's supply of water, which is heavier."
Could you tell me what stretches those are?

Check your maps.  Those stretches will have a note like "No services next 63 miles."  A collapsible 2 liter bladder weighs next to nothing and take up the same amount of space, or you can buy bottled water or a coke and re-use the bottles as needed.  IIRC there was one in Kentucky, one in Kansas, a long stretch in Colorado and one in Wyoming -- although when you see a diner or store in Colorado or Wyoming, you will want to stop!  :)

General Discussion / Re: TransAm Bike Route Questions 2021
« on: April 08, 2021, 02:13:35 pm »
John and Pete answered most of your questions, but I'll expand on a few.

Cell service is almost always available in towns.  It's between towns, especially in the mountains, that it may be lacking.  I was surprised by how consistent coverage in Kansas was, but one of the people there explained that wives had to be able to call their husbands when dinner was ready.  ;)

Food will be available daily.  There are a few stretches where you'll want to make sure you're carrying a full day's supply of water, which is heavier.

Your daily distance may expand and contract, depending on the distance between towns. 

It may take a bit more ingenuity or persistance to find good camping places in the east.  The AC maps generally note some places where you can camp, as you'll have found from your R66 ride.

Gear Talk / Re: Kickstand love it or leave it?
« on: April 05, 2021, 03:23:33 pm »
Well, someone has to argue for kickstands, so I guess I'll do it.

A kickstand makes it much easier to attach two pairs of panniers, possibly with a bar bag, and then to bungee a tent or sleeping pad to the top of the rack.

With a kickstand, you may have to hold the bike up and let it "walk" itself into a stable direction on a slight slope or in wind.  You won't have to worry about the bike starting to roll if it's leaned against a pole or small tree and falling down, most of the time onto the derailer.  You won't have to experience the slow scrape of paint off the top tube as the loaded bike slides along a corner while falling over.

That said, I've only got a kickstand left on one bike.  It's a rear stay model (third one down the page at ), and I replaced the foot with a drilled-out golf bar when the foot wore out. 

It is amazing to me how people will get ticked off when someone has to pay a literal penny more. 

FWIW, I usually try to figure my bill and contribute 5% more to the "treasurer."  Either it goes into the tip or I figure that's the price for not getting stiffed myself.

General Discussion / Re: T A maps
« on: March 29, 2021, 08:54:23 am »
Not trying to be argumentative, but there's a lot of things that do not change in two years.  Convenience stores in out of the way places would be the exception, as remote stores, diners, and hotels/B&Bs open and close with some regularity.  But roads don't move much, and new roads generally take a long time to build.  Off the top of my head, I can think of four major re-routes in the last half dozen years on four of the longer ACA routes (some 13,000 miles).  If you download the change notices and print them out, either before you leave or before you get to a new map, you can navigate with some pretty old map sets.

If you're dubbious, you may want to review couple of the change sheets to verify my wild claims.

South Atlantic / Re: Raleigh, NC to Venice FL
« on: March 25, 2021, 02:21:38 pm »
If you're thinking of buying a bike in or near Raleigh, good luck.  Classical touring bikes are pretty scarce in most of the U.S. in the best of times, and often sell out by mid to late May, and many new bikes of all types are back ordered until 2022.  You might be able to order a bike from REI and arrange to pick it up when you arrive in June, if you give them your credit card now.  The ADV 1.1 is a classic touring bike, but I think you can also get their 4.2 (more of a heavy-duty trekking bike) or a Salsa Marrakesh (close to the 1.1).

Like the late night TV commercials, order now!  This offer (availability) may not be repeated!

General Discussion / Re: Tires for a 29" Fargo
« on: March 25, 2021, 02:10:54 pm »
Extrapolating from West Glacier to Anacortes on the NT here.  Almost all of that stretch was pavement, and while there was some chipseal, there weren't the gosh-awful expansion joints of eastern Colorado through Missouri on the TransAm.  If you get unlucky and ride the week after they've applied fresh gravel to the road, or come across mud that came down with a gully-washer of a rain, you might want something bigger or knobbier than a smooth road tire of 35-38-42 width.  Otherwise, pick something in that width range, and get a smooth pavement tire.  Any of the more-or-less standard tires for touring should work well: Schwalbe Marathon, Continental Gatorskin or Specialized Armadillo.  (Add or subtract as many tags to those names as you'd like.)

Classifieds / Re: FS: Ultimate Touring Bike*
« on: March 08, 2021, 08:58:30 am »
Size?  Seat tube or Rodriguez "size"?

And is that Picacho Peak in the background of your picture?

Routes / Re: How are you getting to Anacortes?
« on: March 04, 2021, 09:19:33 am »
I ended my trip in Anacortes.  Used Bike Flights and Skagit Cycle Center.  The bike shop did a good job and I recommend them.  After bicycling 3800 miles, I was ready to return home to NJ.  The airport shuttle was an efficient, no-hassle way to get to SeaTac.

Same here (except for NJ ;).  Felt really weird carrying panniers two blocks from the motel to the shuttle stop.  For 4,000 miles, the bikes had done the work.  Now they were in the bike shop waiting to be packed!

General Discussion / Re: Pedals and Shoes for the TransAmerica
« on: March 02, 2021, 09:08:47 am »
Any ideas on where to source the Frogs? Any dealer with an unwanted stash? Some laments noted among the mountain bike fora, so not surprising, surplus looks taken and beat up used products are appearing on-line at greater than original retail.

FWIW,  I found out late last year I'd gone too long without rebuilding a pair of Frogs, and severely scored the spindle.  (I say scored, more like ground that sucker down around the inside bearing.)  I was able to find a 'bay dealer with a set of spindles, only half the price of a new set of Frogs when they were available.  I took inventory, and I think I've got enough cleats to go through the end of '22 before I have to do something.  I'm hoping Wahoo will come to their senses and restart the Frog production line and spares. 

I've got Crank Bros. Eggbeaters on my travel bike, but I doubt I'll switch the rest of the fleet over because I'm not impressed with the plastic spindle cap that can't be unscrewed.  Anyone have experience with the Time Atac?  I really want to keep the free float I've got with the Frogs (and Eggbeaters).

Gear Talk / Re: Handlebar bag conundrum . . .
« on: February 23, 2021, 09:05:18 am »
I've got the Thorn bar John Nettles mentioned on one bike.  It's very solid and it works well.  I've got the accessory bar angled down, so the bag is below the "real" bar.  It's still handy to wrestle with the Ortlieb release for 5 seconds, pop the bag off, and carry it with me to preserve valuables like wallet, camera, and cell phone when I'm running inside (to a bathroom, convenience store, or diner).

Just writing this made me stop and wonder why I haven't done the same thing with my other bike.  Inertia, I guess.

General Discussion / Re: Tranamerica Trail starting late April
« on: February 22, 2021, 02:14:51 pm »
I think our goal was to finish in about 2 months, but that'd put us in Pueblo far before 6/15. Our goal was also to camp primarily. I'm getting the sense from this thread that we should see if we can reschedule to warmer summer months.

First, two months would be a daily average of 75 miles.  That may be possible if you're lightly loaded, in good shape, and perhaps on the young side.  For many of us, riding that far every day for weeks on end would be a stretch.  What's your training/conditioning plan?

Second, the first two weeks of May seems to be the traditional start time for westbound cyclists from Yorktown, in large part because it works out so well -- on average.  Starting a couple weeks earlier than that might work well for you, especially on a somewhat more relaxed schedule.  (It would have meant missing 5 days in a row of 100F afternoons in Kansas if I'd taken that option!)  Of course, it might also mean frost in the Appalachians.

Lastly, SW Virginia tends to be cooler than many other parts of the state.  For example, I left college (less than 10 miles from the TransAmerica route) in late March my senior year wearing my winter boots, because I'd needed them for months to navigate frozen sidewalks.  Imagine my surprise in the piedmont, when I walked into an interview in boots -- it was warm and sunny over there!  Now, if your imagination can stretch that far, extrapolate from 5,000' maximum altitude in Virginia to 10,000 feet in Colorado, and nearly that high in Wyoming.

General Discussion / Re: Advice for Newbies about the Weather.
« on: February 22, 2021, 09:01:25 am »
Does nobody talk to people on their travels anymore?

No, only people far away on internet forums.

General Discussion / Re: Preparation for climbing . . .
« on: February 19, 2021, 09:43:32 am »
I notice that in the Crazyguyonabike journals, there are way more picture going up than coming down.

1. Most riders have a lot more time to stop going up than coming down.
2. If you pull out a camera and wave it around, nobody feels like they need to stop and ask, "Are you doing alright?  You need some help?"

General Discussion / Re: Low profile rugged touring tires
« on: February 19, 2021, 09:40:49 am »
How about a smaller Marathon?  I think you can get them down to at least 700Cx25.

Diameter is the rub.

Height will follow width on any pneumatic tire.  25 should be 25% lower ( => smaller diameter) than a 35.

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