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Messages - SoNouveau

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Gear Talk / Bianchi? Trek? Bruce Gordon?
« on: October 24, 2005, 01:31:32 am »
Thanks for sharing with me! I'm about THIS close to ordering a new bike from Bruce. In fact, I'll probably call him tomorrow. I suppose, when all is said and done, I THROUGHLY like the idea of my money going to an artisan--that is, a man whose name is on the frame, who actually BUILT the bike, and who picks up the phone himself when you call. AND, a man who "knows" touring, has definite opinions on the hows and whys, and puts his ideas into practice.

On a different note, I stopped in at Elliott Bay Bikes here in Seattle today (where Davidson's are built--beautiful, handmade bikes: and asked them if they made a touring bike. The young salesman said, in an all TOO sure tone of voice, Sure, we can make anything! I wanted to say, Well, yeah, you CAN make anything, you do so on a regular basis?!?! But I didn't, of course.

Again, though, thanks for the thoughts On Bruce Gordon bikes, racks, and panniers.

~ Michael

Gear Talk / Bianchi? Trek? Bruce Gordon?
« on: October 22, 2005, 10:48:48 pm »
First off, thanks for the post!!

Yes, in fact, I did. The BLT, though considerably less money, seems "pretty darn close" to their upper-end bike. And I'm looking at both Bruce Gordon bikes closely.

I guess it's just so appealing because THEY make the racks; you KNOW they'll fit and fit well; and the panniers they sell evidently fit their racks. And they appear to have put a lot of thought into WHAT they do when making a bike and WHY they do it.

Too, I'm starting to think that when I come back I could just slip on some thinner tires, remove the front rack, and have a great "around town" bike. I currently ride a cruiser, but the BG touring bike would be a nice substitute.

Again, thanks for setting your thoughts down. The dialog alone is helping me come to a (reasonable) conclusion!!!

Gear Talk / Bianchi? Trek? Bruce Gordon?
« on: October 22, 2005, 03:43:48 am »
Soooooooooooo, about two weeks ago I decided to ride from Seattle, WA to Bar Harbor, ME next summer. I'll ride alone most likely and camp out the vast majority of the time. That's was the EASY part--making those decisions.

I started researching bikes and...the more I look, the more I like, and...the more I like, the higher the price. Which is fine. I started with the Bianchi Volpe; nice looking bike; not too expensive. Then I graduated to the Trek 520 (and started salivating a little); nicer bike; well-respected, from what I gather. But then I got a LITTLE windfall (monetarily speaking), and so now I'm looking at Bruce Gordon bikes--which I like because they're integrated, so to speak. I like the idea of things fitting together WELL. And their gearing, say, seems more realistic when I look at the Adveture Cycling maps and see near vertial elevation gains to 5,500 ft.

Granted, I could swap parts 'til I'm blue in the face, and change everything in the world on any bike. In fact, I could buy a frame and start there, but...I'm just an ordinary guy (57); I've done the Seattle To Portland bike ride a few times (200 miles in a day), and a nice fund-raising ride in Montana over two mountain passes (150 miles in a day) but that's about it.

And...I just want to ride and enjoy myself, and the country, and the bike--with adequate gearing, minimal breakdowns, and stability on the bike. I plan to camp out quite a bit, too.

So, how much bike do I need?!?! Opinions? Suggestions? Warnings? Insights? The Trek 520 SEEMS adequate. The Bruce Gordon Rock n' Road Tour seems almost luxuriant. But above that magical $2,500 mark (or so), aren't we talking about aesthetics? Or simply the priviledge of owning the best of the best?!?


Gear Talk / shelter
« on: October 22, 2005, 03:59:48 am »
For what it's worth, Sierra Designs has been making tents for a LONG time and they constantly win awards. Your choice of tent, though, depends A LOT on the weather you think you'll encounter. I just purchased a Sierra Designs Lightning tent for a two month trip across the U.S. next summer--but that'll be July and August. It's lightweight (4 lbs., 2 oz, total), has lots of room for just me, pitches FAST (has just two poles), and it's a nice color (i.e., it doesn't scream, Look at me!!! I'm camping over here!!!!) (LOL), etc.

Too, I've owned a Mountain Hardwear tent (several years ago) and it was great. I used it for backpacking. It was rock solid and sat like a stone in even very high winds! Just FYI. sells tents at reasonable prices, their shipping rates are reasonable ($6.95, I think!?!?), and they have "Web Bargains" where you might luck out and find the tent you've decided on for 30-40% off.

Good luck!

PS I'd think a lot about the weather, though, and the amount of room inside the tent--as much as I would the length, etc.

General Discussion / Safety/money/ATMs/Cash/Traveler's Checks/etc.
« on: November 03, 2005, 01:18:08 am »
Sooooooooooooo, this may seem like a lame question, but..I hope it isn't. When traveling 'cross country by bike, do you simply rely on ATMs and pay the fees everytime you withdraw cash?!? I mean, even over 8 weeks, say, and withdrawing money 3 times per week, that would only amount to paying fees on 24 transactions--not a huge outlay of cash, but bothersome (that's for sure). And I assume no one carries TOO MUCH money with them, do they? You don't carry $1000 in Travelers Checks, I'm assuming.

I was thinking of actually opening an account with a bank that appears to be nationwide, but even then Bank or America, say, or US Bank have holes in their coverage. That is, they may be great in the West, but not have ANY banks or ATMs in Minnesota or New Hampshire.

Any thoughts on safety/money/ATMs/Cash/Traveler's Checks/etc. that folks would like to share?!?!?!? (Odd as it sounds, I'm thinking I have to always keep my money with me--like carrying a passport with you at all times in Europe, say. Because I can see situations, like taking a simple shower at a campground, where you'd always want your money with you.)

General Discussion / Doctor Sez NO!
« on: November 03, 2005, 01:02:24 am »
I'm also of the opinion that you should get a second opinion--and then a third. Science, at best, is really an art.

General Discussion / Steel versus Ti
« on: November 23, 2005, 01:25:03 pm »
My earlier confusion regarding building a bike for both centuries and touring remains, but the two don't seem soooooooooo far apart now that you've said that the touring will be somewhat lightweight touring.

In the end, I think the situation is something like this: Say you can only buy a horse or a mule, but you want to ride into town from time to time, and over the hills into the next valley on occasion, too. But you also have fields to plow!!! So, yes, you could have a horse pull a plow, or a heavy wagon--but it's really not what he's designed to do (so to speak). But he'll be a great ride into town. And similarly, you could ride a mule up and over the mountain and down into the next town, but (again) he's better at pulling plows and heavy loads.

They're both lovely animals, of course, and they can both get the job done, but they're oriented somewhat differently. Sooooooooo, I'm still of the opinion that you should buy both. (LOL) Life really IS short and if you're out there breezin' down the highway, be it Long Beach to San Diego, or any other measurable distance (as in centuries+), I would think you'd want to go in style--that is, on a bike that just sails (i.e., a horse).

General Discussion / Steel versus Ti
« on: November 12, 2005, 01:58:56 pm »
Hi. I'm just a little confused by the initial post. You said, "I plan to ride cross country sometime in the next several years, with many centuries and distance rides in the years in between!" You're thinking that you'll use the same bike for touring AND centuries?!?! And you're creating (or expecting) this new bike to do both?!? Personally, when I ride centuries, or double centuries, I just use my road bike. I suppose you could ride a touring bike 100 miles, or 200 miles, but wouldn't you be swapping tires, taking off racks, etc?!?! That's my confusion. I don't think you'll find the best of both worlds in one bike--due to chainstay lengths, tire sizes, fenders, racks, etc. And just FYI, it sounds as though we might be close in age; I'm 58 and live in Seattle. I do the STP each year, Seattle to Portland (200 miles in a day) and...I don't think I'd want that much rolling resistance below me over the course of 200 miles. (Indulge yourself--have 2 bikes, or 3, or 4!)

PS My vote is for steel because of the ride--and the fact that life is short. LOL

General Discussion / Bruce Gordon's Rock n Road Ordered
« on: April 27, 2006, 01:48:41 am »

Here you go. This will get you to Bruce's website.

General Discussion / Bruce Gordon's Rock n Road Ordered
« on: October 30, 2005, 01:15:17 am »
Out of sheer curiosity, how long will it take to get your bike produced?!?! Or how long did it take?!?!

I'm thinking of calling him soon (in early November), as soon as I'm sure all my ducks are in a row, and ordering the same bike--and panniers. But mine will be a 700c. And just FYI, the way I look at it, he wouldn't put crappy panniers on one of his bikes. 'Just too much pride in what he does--from what I can discern.

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