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Messages - trevay

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Gear Talk / Cannondale T2000 vs. Bruce Gordon BLT ???
« on: February 11, 2004, 07:17:29 pm »
I have a 1998 Cannondale T1000.  Were I to do it again, I'd probably go for a Bruce Gordon, or better still, a Rivendell Atlantis (a very nice bike in the $2200 range, admittedly a higher price-point than you're looking for).  That's because though I've liked the Cannondale's frame, there were too many things sloppy about the way the bike was put together for me to buy another Cannondale.

For example, a few weeks after I got the bike, I started breaking spokes on the rear wheel.  Repeated trips to the bike shop finally had my mechanic rebuilding it from scratch.  That's when he discovered that about 1/3 of the spokes on one side of the wheel were too long, and had never been brought up to tension.  I replaced the rim, and the rebuilt wheel's been going strong, but that kind of thing is just plain sloppy.

Also, the rear drop-out spacing is too close together.  This means I have to spread the bike frame at the back just to put the wheel back in after I've removed it.  Aluminum is brittle.  You can't bend aluminum the way you can bend steel, and so, this is an ongoing problem.  (See this article for a simple explanation of brittleness and metal.)

I also found that anything labeled "CODA" meant "Crappy Offshore Dumped Accessories," and I've replaced all of these parts but the crank (though the CODA logo came right off the crank the first time I polished it).

Don't get me wrong, the bike's still going strong.  I like its lateral stiffness, and while Cannondales have the reputation of being a harsh ride, this touring bike feels fine with a Terry Liberator men's saddle.

It's because the fit & finish of the Cannondale doesn't impress me that I'd never buy another.


Gear Talk / Wraparound Prescription Sunglasses
« on: January 07, 2004, 01:59:43 pm »
Like Day Tripper, I've been wearing eyeglasses since I was a tyke.  I'm at the point where wearing prescription lenses costs a fair amount of cash, since I wear graduated lenses, aka "bifocals without lines."  I also have a high prescription, so I buy very expensive, but thin and light lenses so that I don't look like I'm wearing Coke bottles.  It's a drag, but when you have to wear specs all the time, you deal.

I tried to play it cheaper and get a sturdy pair of aviator-style prescription sunglasses to cycle in without the very expensive lenses, but those really did look like bottles on my face.  I finally bought a pair of Bolle Vigilante glasses for about $30 from either Nashbar or Performance (don't remember, but they're the same company now), and I got the insert as well.  I had a single vision lightweight, but not super-thin plastic lens installed by my optician, and I use them all the time.  The total cost for the sunglasses with inserts and lenses was about $180, about $50 - $75 more than my ordinary prescription sunglasses.

The good things:
*  they help my peripheral vision by blocking glare from the edges
*  the sunglasses themselves were relatively cheap, enough so that I bought a second pair to have as a backup.  (I follow Grant Peterson's philosophy that says, if you find something you really like, buy a lifetime supply.)
*  they don't fog much worse than my aviators did.  I know this, because I just now rode to work in 17 degree weather.

The bad things:
*  they're too wide for my skinny face.  I would have been better off buying the narrower Parole glasses that use the same insert.  It looks like I'm preparing to go into a radiation zone when I put them on.
*  the case that comes with the glasses isn't sealed from the elements.  That's not good if you're not real picky about the way you throw things into your pannier -- you want something that will keep your glasses from scratching if your Cheerios spill all over your bag.  So I paid another $20 to buy a zipper-closing case and cleaning liquid and cloth from Sunglass Hut to put them in.

I don't have any problem keeping them clean, but I'm persnickity about keeping my glasses clean anyway.

Another thing that works for me is to have a supply of one-day contact lenses that you use for cycling.  You can then wear any sunglasses you like.  I don't do this for commuting to work since I can't see up close as well with contacts as with my progressive lenses, but riding with ordinary sunglasses is great.  So I also picked up a pair of Coyote lenses from Nashbar for about $20 on sale.  (Our Adventure Cycling friends want $50 for 'em, hmmmm.)

Good luck to you.


General Discussion / Biking in the Northeast vs VA Trips
« on: April 09, 2004, 09:09:57 pm »
Contact Rubel Bike Maps for five bicycle maps of Massachusetts.  These include Eastern Mass, Central Mass, Western Mass, Cape Cod and Cape Ann, and the Boston Bikemap.

The maps show trails, as well as roads ranked by cyclists for suitability and as through routes.  They also show bed & breakfasts, hostels, parks and points of interest, bike shops, and ice cream shops.  (Mmmmm ... ice cream!)

These are the best bicycle maps I've ever seen.  I only wish Andy Rubel could work faster!  He's currently busy on Connecticut, and I believe that New Hampshire is next.

Their website is at

Tom Revay
Dedham, Massachusetts

General Discussion / looking for advice
« on: January 07, 2004, 02:18:36 pm »
In 1998, I rode from Charlottesville to Williamsburg, Virginia, and back.  My route back to C'ville was the Transamerica Route, with the exception of going through Richmond instead of circling around it.  The route east was one of my own development that crossed the James and then followed the Appomattox River east to Petersburg.

You might find the eastword route useful to ride in reverse.  Be aware, however, that Southside Virginia is very rural, and while that makes for a pretty ride through tobacco and grain fields over roads traveled by Phil Sheridan in pursuit of Lee's Army in April 1865, you won't find many places to stay.  I camped at a place called Bear Creek Lake State Park in Cumberland County, and it was the only place I could find for miles around.

My home-made cue sheets are on my website at .  Look at the menu on the left for "Cue Sheets," and click on the Civil War item.  (I'm one of these guys who's nuts about the War Between the States, and I love riding around battlefield areas.)

I've developed a route for another Civil War bike tour that begins in Washington DC and ends in Richmond, getting there via Harper's Ferry, WV, and Winchester, Harrisonburg, Roanoke, Lynchburg, Appomattox Court House and Amelia Court House, Virginia.  I haven't had the time off from work to do this yet, however, and I also don't have a good route to get into Richmond from Amelia.  Richmond is sprawling all over the place, and roads that only a decade ago were country lanes are now multi-lane, divided thoroughfares, which aren't pleasant to ride on.

The rest of it, from Amelia to Roanoke, might be useful to you.  If you'd like what I have for this route, drop a line back here.


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