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Messages - BobG

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note- I deleted my previous post because it did not address the OP's question.

I sure wouldn't count on it. I've led the ACA TransAm tour now four times so I'm quite familiar with the route. I'm now restricted to local riding on an ebike due to a physical disability. I also will carry a second battery occasionally for extended range and I might be lucky to get 60 miles total on an UNLOADED bike in hilly terrain. I don't even think you'd find a motel every 60 miles on the TransAm.

Keep in mind that a second battery means a second charger unless you want to get up at midnight to plug in battery #2. . If you're lucky enough to find one available outlet at a city park in Kansas you'll be competing with every other cyclist who wants to charge a phone.

General Discussion / Re: border crossing
« on: February 27, 2018, 08:06:31 am »
Heh! A few years ago I was staffing a Cycle VT and I was on the morning crew that drove ahead spraying the chalk arrows along the route. In Derby Line VT I decided that one intersection needed extra arrows to clarify the turn. I made several left hand turns to go around the block when suddenly all of the signs were in French! I had inadvertently crossed into Quebec without passing a port of entry.

I had to do some explaining upon my return through the proper route. I suspect that the residential side street route has been blocked off by now!

I've cycled the sleepy crossing at E Franklin VT/Frelighsburg QC many times in the past with no issues. Perhaps times have changed... I've never crossed at N Troy.

General Discussion / Re: Interested in 'electric assist' touring?
« on: April 26, 2017, 09:34:29 am »
I'm only 68 but I recently had to ad an e-assist to my touring bike due to a permanently disabled femoral nerve that has grounded me for the past 3 years. As much as I'd like to resume bike travel again I don't think it will be possible unless battery range is greatly improved in the future.

I have the largest BionX D-500 kit with an 8 pound, 557 watt hour battery. It allows me to ride like a 25 year old again........for about 45 miles. It does not make me lazy. It's torque sensor rewards me more the harder I ride, thus I ride fast and hard again to reap the benefits. I use just moderate levels of assist with occasional higher level blasts over steep hills.

But 45 miles is just not enough range to embark on a loaded bike camping tour. I'm guessing that range would be even less after adding 25 pounds of gear. I'd need to find accommodations at that interval with electricity every night. That would mean no state parks, no USFS campgrounds, no hiker/biker sites and no stealth camping. I doubt that one would even find a motel every 45 miles. I'm hoping that regular riding locally with the assist will strengthen my leg so I can go back to unassisted cycling. My doctor says that will not happen.

Jack, I wish you the best and I'll be following your log to see how you make it happen.

edit: after reading canalligator's link I am a bit more encouraged. Limiting the assist to level 1 along with the BionX regeneration feature seemed to add a lot to that rider's range. That said, he was traveling light on a credit card trip and had a place to plug in every night.

Gear Talk / Re: Electric Assist Kits
« on: March 05, 2017, 06:44:11 pm »
Jack, I just found your thread in the archives. Bumping it just because I'm now in the same situation as you. I've toured across the US E to W four times, N to S once and S to N once. Suddenly at 68 I have a permanently damaged femoral nerve from a fall. I've been nowhere on my bike for the past two years aside from short rides in and out of town.

I've installed a BionX D-500 retrofit kit on my Bruce Gordon Rock'n'Road in an effort to get back into the game. Requires 135mm MTB rear axle spacing but your Safari may well have that.

Only a few test rides so far as I bought it back in November just before the snow came. I ride around town and up the White Mt hills now like a 25 year old!

I'm guessing that it will have a range of up to 50 miles with judicious use of the higher assist levels on hills combined with lower assist levels on the flats. A 25 mile loop from home with several steep hills using high assist consumes just over half a battery. That's without the added weight of touring gear. Manufacturer says it has a range of 55-75 miles but that would happen only using the lowest level of assist on the flats.  My battery is 48 volts, 11.6 amp hours= 556.8 watt hours. Motor is 500 watts. The assist is seamless and almost instant when the pedals are turned. "Mountain Mode" is like turning on the turbo charger but will drain the battery fast.

Based upon the above estimate I would expect on tour to need overnight lodging with electricity every 40-50 miles or so. Sooner carrying a lot of gear. Further if able to ride on the old fashioned way with an empty tank, unassisted with an extra 17 pounds of motor and battery. I'm still learning it's range. Will report back with updates in the Spring.

General Discussion / Re: Full Time Tour Leader?
« on: October 03, 2016, 06:49:58 am »
Evan, I've taken the ACA Leadership course and have led several several tours for them including four TransAms in the '90s and 00's. Nobody leads trips "full time" for ACA. If you are selected for a long trip, that may last for 2-3 months. Some veteran leaders may lead several shorter trips in one season that don't conflict in dates with one another.

The ACA "pay" for leading tours is more like a volunteer compensation. The last tour I led in 2009 it was $50/day plus the tour, food and also re-imbursement for getting home from the trip. I don't think you will consider that "a reasonable amount to live on" beyond the duration of the tour itself. Certainly not if you are paying rent, taxes, mortgage, or in your case RV expenses while on tour.

ACA leaders are not employees but at $50/day it's hard to consider oneself as a serious "contractor". We sign a contract with ACA that states that they will not hold us liable for unforeseen events however that contract does not cover any future problems between leader and individual group members. Leaders are expected to be good enough mechanics to get a rider to a bike shop. Often this requires road side wheel removal and brake work, thus there is some risk  leaders must assume hoping the rider doesn't have an accident resulting from his/her mechanical work then holding them personally responsible. $50/day does not pay enough for leaders to have private insurance unless they have income from other sources. That said, I've never heard of leaders having legal action taken against them by participants.

If there are any ACA Tours staff in the audience, please correct me if the above information has changed since 2009.

Day to day? You share the same wonderful trip as your group is experiencing and the camaraderie of that group becomes intense on the longer tours such as the TransAm. After dinner you can't relax as much as the others as you need present a brief summary of the next day's ride and you need to be constantly on the phone planning ahead. You also need to enter and balance the day's expenses into an account book. There is a certain level of stress being on duty for 93 days continuously.

General Discussion / Re: Bikes into Newport News Airport
« on: September 29, 2016, 06:55:26 am »
I flew from Eugene OR > Portland > Atlanta > Newport News once via Alaska/Delta. No problems with my accompanying bike on the smaller connection flights.

Routes / Re: New England to the Atlantic Coast Route
« on: September 24, 2016, 07:05:41 pm »
Thanks for the photos! Brought back memories of similar trips I took in '13, NH to VA. First attempt was in June, N Tier to Orford NH then south to Brattleboro. Picked up the ACA route at Granby CT and continued to Poughkeepsie. Camped at Riverton, Millerton and Staatsburg. I aborted trip there due to weather and fitness and took Amtrak back to Boston via NY then bus home.

Second try in the Fall was same week after Labor Day as yours with perfect weather. Successful all the way to VA using the same ACA route you took through NY and NJ. That trip I modified the route through CT and rode from Westhampton MA to Bantam Lake CT and then to Highland NY. From there continued on ACA route south to DC with an alternate route from Riegelsville to French Creek SP where I re-joined the ACA route as far as MD, then continued on my own route.

Didn't take many pics so I enjoyed yours!

Gabor, If you are coming to Colorado directly from Hungary it will take some time to adjust to the altitude. You may not enjoy the first few rides. Even at night you may wake up gasping for more air. Denver is at 1610m, Pikes Peak is 4302m, Mt Evans is 4340m.

General Discussion / Re: Largest tire to put on a 17mm rim?
« on: July 21, 2016, 07:08:06 am »
Here's Sheldon Brown's chart that addresses the width issue more specifically than canalligator's link above. Scroll  down to "Width Considerations"...

For a 17mm inside rim width it recommends a 25-37mm tire with the following note...

"Note: This chart may err a bit on the side of caution. Many cyclists exceed the recommended widths with no problem."

"Although you can use practically any tire/rim combination that shares the same bead seat diameter, it is unwise to use widely disparate sizes.

If you use a very narrow tire on a wide rim, you risk pinch flats and rim damage from road hazards.

If you use a very wide tire on a narrow rim, you risk sidewall or rim failure. This combination causes very sloppy handling at low speeds. Unfortunately, current mountain-bike fashion pushes the edge of this. In the interest of weight saving, most current mountain bikes have excessively narrow rims. Such narrow rims work very poorly with wide tires, unless the tires are overinflated...but that defeats the purpose of wide tires, and puts undue stress on the rim sidewalls."

General Discussion / Re: Largest tire to put on a 17mm rim?
« on: July 20, 2016, 02:36:17 pm »
The manufacturer of your rims (Alex?) may also have a suggestion. Here's that page for Velocity...

A 700c Dyad, for example, has an outside width of 24mm, inside width of 18.6mm. Recommended tire width range is 25-38mm.

Connecting ACA Routes / Re: Northern Tier Route to Portland Maine
« on: June 01, 2016, 07:48:43 am »
The above suggestion is the most direct, somewhat bike friendly route to Portland. If your date falls between June 25 and Sept 5 a more fun way to get to Portland is to follow the NT all the way to Brunswick ME. Leave the route there and ride 15 miles down a peninsula to Bailey Island. Catch the Casco Bay Lines boat for the 1.75 hour cruise back to Portland. I did this one year when I finished the NT with a group and I had to retrieve my vehicle at the Portland Jetport. You may want to call ahead to confirm space for a one way trip.

Connecting ACA Routes / Re: Northern Tier Route to Portland Maine
« on: May 31, 2016, 06:34:01 pm »
-Leave the Northern Tier Route at Conway NH.
-Turn right (S) on NH 153 at the light in the center of  Conway
-Follow 153 to Freedom NH
-Just beyond Freedom turn left (E) on NH/ME 25 to Westbrook  ME
-Continue straight onto ME 25 bypass to avoid downtown Westbrook
-Turn right on Stroudwater St which becomes Westbrook St.  Follow to ME 22, Congress St.
-Turn Left onto Congress St. See map details to ferry terminal

NH 153 is a rural country road past a couple of lakes. NH/ME 25 has traffic but also a good shoulder all the way. Avoid ME 113 from Fryeburg. Disappearing shoulder with lots of oil and Poland Spring Water trucks.

Walmart did stock Coleman branded "MSR" style isobutane cartridges on the shelves for a few years but apparently no longer.

Bumping this thread for an update. I found Coleman branded isobutane canisters back on the shelves at my local Walmart. I searched a few random Walmart locations on the TransAm. Many stores list them in stock.

« on: May 16, 2016, 07:10:04 pm »
Google Maps comes up with this 2010 photo of the Skagit General Store in Newhalem. Possibly the one that indyfabz refers to. You may want to try finding a phone number to learn if it still is in business.

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