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Messages - ray b

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Routes / Re: Cambridge to Boston?
« on: September 30, 2022, 09:32:30 pm »
I know 2012 feels like a long time ago, but it wasn't that long ago.  ;)
That is because time speeds up for old farts like us  ;D .  In elementary school, it seems forever for the day to end.  Now a year passes and I am wondering where it went.
Right - those days in second grade that went on forever.

Thanks John, for covering my otherwise unexplained math error.

Routes / Re: Cambridge to Boston?
« on: September 22, 2022, 04:36:02 pm »
I assume that after 20 years, mforrington has found his way home.

That said - more recent Boston bikeway maps here:

General Discussion / Re: Shifting gears: I have 27 and use 4
« on: September 17, 2022, 01:44:42 pm »
A provocative thread title. Yes I spend a fair amount of time on a single speed geared fairly low. Just watched The History Guy's rake on the 25th infantry trip from Missoula to St. Louis - 55 pound Spalding single speed bicycles geared to 68 inches. (Considering the roads and railroad tracks used, those guys were monsters.)

That said about how few gears with which one can get the job done, when I'm pounding it in the mountains with an 80 pound rig, I'm thankful for every gear I have (14).

An argument for not using all the gears is minimizing chain angle - always good to keep the chain running as straight as possible fromthe front chainring to the rear cluster. If one eliminates the extremes, i can see using 12 of 27 gears in a 9X3 and only 8 of the gears if I never have call for the small chain ring. In that context, 4 gears seems reasonable..... Just remember to change out the rear gears when they wear out.

General Discussion / Re: Gravel Bike for CX
« on: September 12, 2022, 11:31:10 am »
It's an Orbea Terra H40, 38c Vittoria Terreno Dry tyres but also have a set of WTB Nanos for when the conditions get muddier. Will these choices do I should i get some more specific CX tyres?
A great way to get started in racing. CYclocross is all about aerobic fitness, and would be a great test for any natural talent. If you can keep up with any of the riders who've done it before, you might have a furture.

That said, there's significant time throwing your bike around, and the lighter the better.

I agree with John, check out the racing fora - you might even find someone willing to lend you their old tires for a race.

General Discussion / Re: I intend to do the GDMBR next summer on an e bike
« on: September 04, 2022, 06:14:42 pm »
Those are big panels. The mathemetician in me would' like to see the calculation of how much usable power they generate compared to the amount of power it takes to get them to the top of Indiana Pass.

Note - a bigger dog might help on the uphill sections.... And right, hawk bait, cougar bait, coyote bait..... Pretty sure by now, your dog has seen enough miles to stay close in the mountains.

Depending on your schedule, if you haven't done the GDMBR, you might make the first go without the e-bike - either on your current ride, or, if short on time, motorcycle or car. Take notes, photos, and plot the recharges.

Sounds like you have the background and resources to do the math, do the ride, and as I mentioned, write the book for others to follow. Good luck.

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General Discussion / Re: I intend to do the GDMBR next summer on an e bike
« on: September 04, 2022, 11:02:26 am »
I could find no way to solve the problems with any degree of satisfaction until I realized that I could solve them by losing 30 lbs. of body weight.
What most people do not understand is that a bicycle is really a flimsy contraption designed for maximum energy efficiency and not for places to store things or to carry much weight.  Now you hang batteries and electrics on the flimsy contraption, and you just made the problem of space and weight carrying capacity worse.
I like the way you think.
Less body mass solves a lot of problems, but I have to note that for most e-bike riders, it also solves many of the problems that the e-bike serves to address in the first place.
I should note, that unless you are a good trials rider, there are sections you will want to hike with the bike just to avoid mechanical damage. That said, the weight loss will revive knees and your ability to handle those few sections.... Just thinking now about how a battery assist walking up a couple of rock gardens might improve one's mood.

Hope you pull this off. Looking forward to the book.

General Discussion / Re: Finding closures on forum
« on: September 02, 2022, 12:38:49 pm »
I also assume Eureka, MT.

Agree, a button that automatically sorts posts by most recent would be helpful. One can sort topics by date.

I usually put "great divide" or GDMBR nto the search function.

General Discussion / Re: WiFi in Kansas, Missouri, Kentucky?
« on: August 29, 2022, 05:54:54 pm »
We are sure to have
some mobile services But what do you find there with wifi?

As I'm fond of saying, "See comments from John Nettles, above."

Depending on your service plan, if you need relatively consistent and daily connection to the internet, cellular service should be your Wi-fi.

For Verizon, only a little spottiness outside of Eminence and Scenic rivers area of SE Missouri.

That said, you should check coverage for your speficic plan and address any questions you have about mobile Internet connections with them.

Gear Talk / Re: Bluetooth speaker
« on: August 24, 2022, 10:12:58 am »
Agree - the life expectancy of a rechargeable battery has gotten better, but 5 years is pretty good. If expensive, a replacement battery is the way to go, if it can be done without disrupting the electrical shielding for the speaker. In the case of your $30 speaker, I'd recycle the old one and buy the new technology; the cost of procurement and installation of a replacement battery is too high.

This thread is a reminder that wind noise from cycling can take a toll on our hearing.
I recall that wind noise at 15 MPH is good for 85 decibels (dBA) - pretty loud and sufficient to cause damage.

As a musician, I've been sensitive to the noise issue. Since the 70s, I have routinely sported ear plugs while training. In my dotage, as I try to avoid eventual need for hearing aids, I've added noise cancelling headphones with microphone ($25) for downhills, headwinds (which always seem to be more prevalent than downhills), and the rare phone call or need for a tune to keep the cadence up.

I'll note that a lot of the fellows with whom I ride motorcycles prefer custom fitted, noise cancelling ear plugs, but I always found the sweat on a bicycle to limit my comfort with this rather expensive soluton.

(And like a lot of us, I just can't keep those expensive little earbuds in my ears if I start to grimace on an uphill - no matter how well they are fitted while relaxed. Right - nice thing about a speaker attached to the bike - it's not going anywhere.)

That's not to say I don't occasionally carry a high quality speaker for some mood at day's end. I simply recommend one consider whether they want to add to road and wind noise while riding.

(And before the safety police jump in, consider that with a 30 dBA reduction in noise, I still have plenty of room to distinguish between a Jeep and a Chevy coming from behind - which I confirm with my large-ish helmet mirror - now a must for detection of smaller EVs.)

Ride on.

Routes / Re: How Early Is Too Early? Eastbound from Oregon/Washington
« on: August 22, 2022, 09:23:43 pm »

So - - -
When is the best time to start an eastbound cross-country trip from the Northwest coast?
What has your experience been?

All depends on who we are and how fast we travel. I like cold and snow, and one should always be ready for some in the high Rockies.

My philosophy - always easier to wear more clothes. Cold means no bugs. No leaves on the trees - better visibility. Only downside to fall trips are the shorter days. (As we saw this year, spring floods can bring a whole other need for flexibility.)

That said - for those who like to sweat, Late July has seemed good. Rockies in August, Applalachians in early September..., depending on one's speed.

There's always going to be a temperature differential between 11,000+ feet of elevation in Colorado, and the humidity of Missouri and Kentucky.

General Discussion / Re: Bicycle pump that works as advertised.
« on: August 14, 2022, 10:27:21 pm »
That first website is the same website I gave earlier, and I think that website's testing protocol was pretty darn close to being correct of what you would find in the real world.

I don't think though, that a pump manufacturer should be using a robotic system to say they can reach 160 psi when the reality is that a human wouldn't be able to pump that high.  Of course, I know that there isn't a soul on earth that is putting in anywhere near that much psi into their tires, but the point is making sure truth in advertising exists.  Heck, even a track bike will only see about 119 psi, but they're not going to be using mini pumps to do that.

Right - followed that post in July, and should have remembered. Will acknowledge in edit. Thanks for stimulating the process.

If they don't spend the money on a robot for quality testing of a design, you can bet that when it come to maximal attainable pressure, no manufacturere is going to test their pump with a 90 pound rider with 70% slow twitch fiber. They're going to go to the local gym and make it a contest.   :)

Urban Cycling / Re: Bike tracks like this one?
« on: August 14, 2022, 09:44:34 pm »
Hi lads
... id like to improve my bike skills.
I live in London UK.
A lot of the pros will tell you that mountain biking is a great way to improve your skills. I've found that almost everything on dirt transfers well to the road. I mean, if you're concerned about safety loaded up and flying downhill on a sketchy surface, than simple low friction mountain bike trails are the way to go.

The track that's being built looks like fun, but it's not going to prepare you for that off-camber downhill turn with gravel or sand in the corner.

And if you're looking for fun, as you know, plenty of great mountain biking around London.... Just don't get sucked into the macho, over-your-head runs that might leave you injured and unable to make the trip of a lifetime. Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.

Second thought: Take an inventory of the skills you'll need on the road. Handling a loaded world tourer will seem second nature after the first thousand miles. Bike handling, though important to avoid injury, will come with time and patience. As you know, your loaded mountain bike behaves nothing like an unloaded bike, and there are specific skills you'll only learn on the road. On the other hand, how are your mechanical skills? I was impressed by an astrophysicist I met on the trail last summer who considered a job/internship at a NY bicycle shop an important part of his preparation. Also, have you been camping recently? A couple of weekend overnights will do more to ensure an enjoyable trip than playing on a concrete track with a competive bunch of adolescents, who ride like they don't have to go to work on Monday.

Best of wishes.

General Discussion / Re: Bicycle pump that works as advertised.
« on: August 14, 2022, 09:13:37 pm »
I think most pumps, if not all pumps, would blow apart before they got to 160!
With most plastic pumps with threaded plastic barrels, I agree.

The physics comes down to structure - ability to handle 160 PSI - i.e., wall strength, hose strength, seal strength, and pump valve strength.

Our strength/leverage to push with sufficient force to move air into a tire with 160 PSI also comes into play. And with smaller pump volumes, a certain amount of patience is needed. As noted, I suspect a lot of the testing of pump limits comes from robotic pumping.

The leverage is improved when the pump is engineered to allow a low-resistance side hose and operation as a miniature floor pump.

The number of strokes it takes primarily reflects the volume of the pump body and to a lesser extent, the efficiency of the seal and valve. Fortunately, tires that require 100 PSI are small. Most folks are running lower volume tires at lower pressures. That said - a large frame pump will always test better than a mini-pump if the goal is fewest strokes to reach a pressure goal for a given tire.

The good news is - we can always polish off a high pressure tire with CO2, as we generally don't bother with tire sealants in high pressure road tires.

Larger tires require less pressure, which explains the popularity of larger volume pumps - the difference between MB or MTB designation vs. HP for the higher pressure, low volume pumps.

If you're using a 30mm tire on the road, unless you're loaded, pressures can run less than 80 PSI. If you're loaded up, then higher volume tires and lower pressures make a lot of sense.

Here's a recent post on floor pump maintenance from Bicycling that reviews basic pump components.

I'm not a big fan of online reviews, but here's two fairly comprehensive reviews of mini-pumps and frame pumps from the now arm-pumped Dave Rome at The first was already posted by Froze.

If nothing else, these articles will address a lot of the questions about what's out there, how models for larger volume tires differ, and how they differ in construction.

Of course, this is all at the risk of paralyzing information overload. (When in doubt, go with what you have and get out there and ride.)

There is a website that tested a lot of pumps; the site did the test back in 2019, but I think all those pumps tested are still available today; see:

They only tested pumps they knew would get to 80, the rest they didn't bother with, and even a few of those they did test thinking they could make it failed.

Link for the few remaining frame pumps.

General Discussion / Re: Bicycle pump that works as advertised.
« on: August 13, 2022, 12:48:58 pm »
We're all on the same page.

The problem noted in the original post is the false or overly optimistic advertising for pumps of poor or variable quality - perhaps tested by robots with the strength of 10 men.

A cheap pump that claims the performance of a pump that costs twice as much is probably too good to be true.

General Discussion / Re: Bicycle pump that works as advertised.
« on: August 13, 2022, 08:26:15 am »
@froze - I'm addressing the original post - not yours. Your notes on quality are on the mark. I'm simply expanding on your notes and adding a little anecdotal info.... will remove your quote for clarity

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