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Messages - ray b

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Gear Talk / Re: Bar talk
« on: May 12, 2022, 08:51:09 pm »
Have fun - I've tried a bunch of options - Jones, Surly, etc.

This is my favorite, but involves a slightly longer steerer than you might have, an old unfashionably short and straight Easton handlebar, some Ergon bar ends, and a Fred Bar to mount the carbon aero bars. You'd need to mount thumb shifters. (This rig runs single speed or Rohloff.)

General Discussion / Re: Bear safe food storage
« on: May 11, 2022, 08:20:18 pm »
Right - important to remember, the unfortunate USFS officer has been the only casualty to a bear of someone actually riding a bicycle. Creaky cranks and other trail noise presumably keep the bears out of the way..., most of the time. The trick, as well noted above, is to not smell like something good to eat while you're trying to sleep.

I've bombed a few downhills with fresh grizzly scat in the middle of the trail. I assume my whoops and shouts helped keep the trail free.

As regards the cannister/bag debate..., lots in other threads. I've always been a bag guy - well except Alaska where they have no trees.

That said, a lot of the US national parks have started to require cannisters, and a whole market has developed with certification by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee. (To be certified, a food-filled canister needs to last in a grizzly bear enclosure and sustain at least 60 minutes of bear contact without failing.)

I saw an engineer last summer with a nice, lightweight cannister that fit well on his rack. See photo below. It takes the uncertainty out of where to store any food and toiletries in bear country. I looked into it further. Like everything else associated with our sport, I found a nice carbon fiber version I liked (at about 600 grams) for over $300....

By the time one get's south of Pinedale, Wyoming, the threat of big brown bears (grizzlies) gives way to the hassles of smaller brown bears (black bears) - and the bags don't need to be hung near as high (though the smaller bears do climb better). I've heard that javelina (native pigs) can wreck food-ridden camps in New Mexico, but I have never seen any sign of them. (But, I don't bait them, either.)

I'll note that, if staying in USFS campgrounds, the hosts often have bear-proof boxes for use by tenters - if boxes are not provided in the sites.

Have fun thinking about this, and realize that just by thinking about it, you've probably prevented any significant interaction with our Ursus arctos horribilis.

Now, let's talk about mountain lions....

New England / Re: Green Mountain Loop Vermont
« on: May 04, 2022, 03:34:20 pm »

(My opinion)

If the knee is not a problem riding, I would make sure I had a second opinion. If you haven't seen a sports medicine-oriented academic guy who focuses only on knees, it might be worth a trip.

Right - only 2 gears needed in the Netherlands. (With the wind and against the wind.)

As an old guy, without the power I used to have when I raced, I'll admit to running more than recommended ratios on my Rohloff. This summer past, I ran 32/13 (chain) (ratio 2.4) on a fully loaded back country tour without problem. 

That said, I have a great respect for the kind of damage one can cause with that kind of power advantage to gears, frames, and wheels; I did my share of walking. (Or, to paraphrase Matthew Lee, "You'll know when to get off and walk."

On the other hand, it was nice to have that super-low ratio toward the end of a long day with camp still waiting over the pass.

Try to have fun with this. With an eccentric bottom bracket, you can probably have 3 or 4 usable combinations of chainrings and sprockets to use for different geography and logistics.

Take care.

And there you have it - folks usually have to pay for that kind of customized information.

I also run Rohloff's with a much lower ratio - especially if I am running 80 pounds of water, food, gear, and bicycle. (For me, the incline does not have to be much to require much lower gearing.)

I agree - your next stop for information might be the experts at Koga. I'm sure they've played with this issue in the shop, if not on the road. If you haven't put any miles on the bike, they might even trade out your gearing and belt as an even exchange.

GPS & Digital Data Discussion / Re: GPS or ACA app, or both?
« on: April 24, 2022, 07:47:56 pm »
I have downloaded the entire map set onto my phone and I'm very impressed, and it's already useful.
I don't ever use a GPS here in the UK when touring, I just use OSmaps, Google or my nose lol.
I'd rather not add to the pile of expensive things I've already bought, so my question is, would it be advised to use something else as well as/to back up my phone and the ACA maps?
Everyone's different. Every ride has different demands. If you're on a budget and if you don't wear a belt and suspenders at the same time, you'll likely find the phone sufficient for the TAT.

I lean toward belt and suspenders, and can somehow justify the expense of a Garmin eTrex, the ACA phone app route, and paper maps.

If you like to look at maps, you might find the paper maps informative, fun to look at, and a reassuring backup to digital technology.

General Discussion / Re: Skinny tires on gravel?
« on: April 22, 2022, 01:37:41 pm »
It's not the geometry that allows or disallows 28mm tires, it's the fork and the width of the rear stay, but mostly the fork, that will allow or disallow wider tires. 
I was specifically thinking of my old crit and track bikes - the short wheel base put anything more than a ~25 mm tire into the seat tube. Width on my old Bob Jackson Messina was fine, and I dropped from 700C tubulars down to 27X1.25 (32 mm) tires for my first transcontinental ride in the late 70s.

General Discussion / Re: Skinny tires on gravel?
« on: April 21, 2022, 11:09:59 pm »
As above. Usually once these pros reply, not more needs to be said.

If not said, I'd note that if your bike's geometry is so tight you cannot slip in some 28 mm tires, then your frame might be a little stiff for a comfortable tide.

I'll also note that a popular mtn bike set up sports a bigger tire on front then back.

If you can successfully take your creative notions on the road, you'll have some inexpensive fun.

And as I'm fond of saying, it's good to keep the adventure in adventure cycling.

Classifieds / Re: STOLEN Co-Motion Americano
« on: April 01, 2022, 08:42:16 pm »
Good news.

Thanks for setting the good example at several levels. Many of us would still be whining and grieving.

So - perhaps not the right thread - but how did you search for your replacement bike?

General Discussion / Re: Grizzlies in Yellowstone and Glacier
« on: April 01, 2022, 08:37:46 pm »
I said, while riding.

I came through Ovando a short time after that incident. The unfortunate adventurer was in her tent with her food. After the bear visited the tent the first time, she moved the food to the "jail," where folks can sleep (hard shelter), but underestimating the danger, she stayed in her tent.

General Discussion / Re: Grizzlies in Yellowstone and Glacier
« on: March 30, 2022, 07:34:37 pm »
Excellent refresher as the bears start a new year.
As I recall, only one cyclist has been killed while riding - that was a ranger out fishing, who literally ran into a grizzly.

Gear Talk / Re: Touring on 24 spoke wheels.
« on: March 21, 2022, 10:14:57 pm »
Only thing I noticed is if I stood up to put power down there was some extra flex (felt like in the wheels). But all told the bike held up fine.

On the Trek website they state the Domane can handle a rider weight of 275lbs. My weight combined with gear will be around 220-230lbs.

So. Should I just spend the extra couple hundred bucks (budget is already tight) and get new wheels, or y’all think I’d be ok riding the stock wheels.
Extra flex might suggest spokes generally looser than desired. Of course, it might also have been flex in the stays....

Before every long trip, I put the wheels in the stand and check spoke tension and rim integrity. Especially with only 24 spokes, even distribution of force is critical and your variation in spoke tension should be small.  If the rim's damaged, you'll find some spokes carrying an extra load.  Spokes can also loosen as they start to deform and pull through the rim. (A clean rim might show some early stress fractures.) You should be able to look up your rims and determine what the manufacturer recommends for tension.

If you don't have a way to measure spoke tension, I suggest you get a professional opinion. If I have doubts about spokes or rims before an epic trip, I usually take a couple extra hours to rebuild the wheels along with some peace of mind for those hair-raising downhill runs.  (Anyone catch the winning descent at Milan-San Remo last weekend?)

General Discussion / Re: Di2 on Supported Southern Tier trip
« on: March 19, 2022, 01:55:28 pm »
Plenty of old threads with information.

As an old human performance guy, I've always recommended getting measured out by a pro bike fitter or specialty physical therapist, and then looking for a frame and set-up that will accomplish what you want.

Routes / Re: Route ideas for 300+ miles in May
« on: March 19, 2022, 01:50:03 pm »
Not clear where you live. You might have the convenience of routes out your back door. (I always prefer trips that begin and end in my basement shop.)

For what it's worth, I have a paper version of the ACA Arkansas High Country Route maps in front of me. If you're up for a 50% gravel ride, the loop out of Bentonville is great - though the combination of gravel and hills might make this more of an epic than desired, the lack of traffic is a plus.

Your note suggests you already know - if you hit the internet, you'll see a ton of Arkansas cycling on tap.

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