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Messages - Pat Lamb

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Routes / Re: Staying or Camping in Yellewstone Park doing the TransAm
« on: January 04, 2021, 09:31:02 am »
Finally, if you want indoor lodging, just call once or twice a day but especially right after the "must cancel by" time and see if anything has opened up.  Two or three years ago, we did that and got a same day reservation in Colter Bay and also in West Yellowstone.  And this was over July 4th!  Granted, we only got to stay one night due to availability in Colter Bay but that is much better than we thought we would.

Once you get pretty close to Yellowstone (say, Dubois or Lander coming from the east), if you've got someone back home who can call for you, this approach often works well.  My wife got my daughter and me a room in West Thumb (she was sure we would be eaten by bears if we camped), after we stayed at the Colter Bay hiker/biker/group campsite.

Didn't see either bear or buffalo on that trip.  :(

As John Nelson said, camping won't be a problem.  There are four campgrounds along the TransAm route in Yellowstone, IIRC, although you'll want serious mosquito repellent and netting if you stay at Lewis Lake.  (We didn't even stay there to eat lunch!)  There was also a forest service campground before you got to the gate at Moran Junction back when I went through there, but it's hard to stay that close to the Tetons without getting 10 miles closer!

What is a gym membership  ??? ???

I think that's when you belong to a gym.

I belong to my bike.  And my dog.  And, oh yes, my wife.   8)

General Discussion / Re: Question about seat height
« on: December 22, 2020, 08:22:14 am »
Context-free (knowing nothing about the OP's size or his bikes):

Does the new bike have longer cranks than your older/lighter bikes?  If so, and if you measure from bottom bracket spindle to the top of the saddle, you may have inadvertently set your saddle 5 mm higher from the bottom of your pedal stroke.

Gear Talk / Re: Better components?
« on: December 21, 2020, 08:38:09 am »
How's that saying go?  Marry the frame, date the parts?
Ever tied explaining that approach to your wife?   ;D

Yes, actually.  I saw that for the first time after I'd read her the part of Grant Peterson's book where he said, "Wear something out."  Her response was, "You've certainly done that!"  So when I quoted her the "Marry your frame" bit, she told me to go out and buy a new bike.


Routes / Re: Oldest Self-Supported Cyclist on the Transam ?
« on: December 18, 2020, 09:16:42 am »
Even though you won't be the oldest next summer, go ahead and do the ride.  It'll be a great experience, and you want to do it while you can.  If you're still able in 13 years, you can do it again!

General Discussion / Re: Pedals and Shoes for the TransAmerica
« on: December 18, 2020, 09:13:14 am »
I'm not going to spend a whole lot of time defending Frogs, so this is likely my last post on the subject in this thread, but there are a few points that I'll make.

First, a shoe that's sold as good for biking and hiking will probably be good for neither.  It's going to be stiff to walk in, and flexible to ride in.  35 miles to hotfoot is not much more than my 30 miles when I decided to go find other shoes (Sidis, in my case).  If you're planning to do more walking than into a store, restaurant, or visitor center, perhaps it's worth carrying other footwear.  My Teva sandals are great as shower shoes, and also work well for walking up to at least a few miles.  Be dorky and wear wool socks if there's brush or rocks!

Second, as a tourist, it's not too much trouble to get off and walk around every 30 miles.  That's every 2-3 hours at my touring speed, and by then I'm ready for more water, or a second breakfast, etc.  That usually resets my "hotfoot clock," although I need to take breaks more frequently as a long day drags on.

Finally, I suspect the effective size isn't that much different between Frogs and the ubiquitous SPD pedals.  The Frog cleat fills the lateral width between MTB cleats, and isn't much smaller than the fore and aft distance of an SPD pedal.  If you want a larger foot platform, you should probably be looking at platforms (with or without straps).

Gear Talk / Re: Better components?
« on: December 16, 2020, 02:37:02 pm »
How's that saying go?  Marry the frame, date the parts?

Gear Talk / Re: Bottle Cage Allen screw Size
« on: December 16, 2020, 02:35:16 pm »
I started re-packing bike wheel bearings with a can of automotive grease that was probably 20-25 years old at the time.  It worked fine. 

I bought a tub of Pedro's and then a tube of Phil Wood after some years looking for a neater way to repack bike wheels, since I usually do that in the house on a cold winter afternoon.  They all work about the same.  The tub is easiest to use for bolts, just clean the bolt off and stick it down in the grease.

General Discussion / Re: Route map with elevation profile
« on: December 15, 2020, 10:39:34 am »
I haven't looked at a raw .gpx or .fit file lately, but I think the elevation is in a field for one of those.  Look at them with a text editor, then try to import one into Excel.

Your challenge will be to spread the points out more or less evenly by road distance.

(Also, you'll want to reverse the direction -- the biggest passes are in the west, on the left side of the map.)

General Discussion / Re: Pedals and Shoes for the TransAmerica
« on: December 15, 2020, 10:35:20 am »
I had problems with foot support when I first went to Frogs.  After 30 miles or so, my foot would bend around the small pedal and painful hotfoot was the result.

That was about 19 years ago.  My solution was better shoes with more rigid soles.  I've completed rides up to 400 km (in 25 hours) in Sidi shoes with no problems.

I just checked, and the Speedplay site shows Frogs again!  I don't know when they'll be available, as they were out of the Speedplay lineup for the last year.

General Discussion / Re: Kickstands - Love them or leave them?
« on: December 15, 2020, 10:27:30 am »
Let me toss in another vote FOR a kickstand, with a couple caveats.

Why?  As John mentioned, it's easier to load/unload/find stuff in your pannier with a free-standing bike.  IME, it's also more stable than leaning the bike up against a wall, post, fence, etc.  My main bike no longer has a kickstand (replacement frame doesn't have room for both a kickstand and rear fender).  It's an art to lean the bike against something, let the front wheel flop, adjust the angle of the bike, step back with fingers crossed, and then jump back to catch the bike as it finds a way to roll 6" and fall down, scratching the paint all the way.  I've also seen too many nice bikes on larger rides fall on the derailer, bending the hanger and making shifting difficult for the remainder of the ride.

John's golf ball recommendation is spot on.  No worries about impaling someone or punching a hole in soft turf, leading to the bike falling.  FWIW, I like the kickstand that mounts on the rear triangle.

Caveats?  With the rear kickstand (somewhat less on the center mount), a loaded bike will find downhill, if there is one, and swing around until the front is pointed that way.  It may then start to roll off the kickstand, depending on the front wheel's angle, and down goes the bike.  I've seen the same thing happen in gusty winds.  Sometimes it's best just to lay the bike down on its panniers.

Gear Talk / Re: Bottle Cage Allen screw Size
« on: December 10, 2020, 08:50:29 am »
OK, you got my curiosity up.  You got a new 520, a production bike, and the bottle cage screws matched the paint job?  What color is the bike?

I'd consider adding two days in Yellowstone, from what I think the PPP route takes.  First, take a side trip up to Canyon through the Hayden Valley; you'll get a chance to see some wildlife (buffalo!), and the falls should not be missed.  Backtrack to Fishing Bridge, up the mountain to Norris Geyser on the route, and when you get to Madison do a side trip to Old Faithful.  Take some time en route to see some of the thermal sites and back roads you can do on a bike.  Slowly eat an ice cream cone after Old Faithful erupts to let the cars leave.  ;)

Routes / Re: Meeting other riders or loose group riding the Trans America
« on: December 07, 2020, 09:17:38 am »
A lot of people ride west to east.

A lot of people ride east to west.

I got the impression there were more west-bounders than the other way around.  Perhaps someone from AC has the numbers.

As John Nelson indicated, leaving from the east in early May is a great time to surf the wave of westbound riders.  From what I've read, early June is peak departure time eastbound from the west.

General Discussion / Re: Cell Phone Coverage on the TA
« on: December 07, 2020, 08:43:03 am »
I've also had good luck with Verizon.  I can only remember one time where someone with AT&T had service where my Verizon phone did not, but I can remember several times where the reverse was true.  I don't think I've ever been anywhere where T-Mobile had service that Verizon didn't.  I knew of two spots where Verizon didn't have service but Sprint or T-Mobile did (on interstates), but Verizon closed the gap on one of them and does have voice, but no data, on the other.  I've never personally observed T-Mobile having better coverage than Verizon on a bike trip. 

Of course, with a week or two per year of new locations, some of this may be dated.

Le me echo the advice to turn your cell phone off in between rural towns (except perhaps going across Kansas, for some reason), or at least put it in airplane mode if you're using the GPS with saved maps.  Otherwise you can ride all day without coverage, get into town where there is cell coverage, and your battery dies as you call out.

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