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Messages - NoGaBiker

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General Discussion / Re: New Mexico The Bicycle Friendly State
« on: February 05, 2011, 09:29:50 pm »
I don't remember mentioning any other roadway at all except an interstate going E to W  and W to E. I am sure any sensible person would already know NM has roads for cycling other than I-10.

Funny, I am equally sure any sensible person wouldn't ride an interstate for any appreciable amount of time, and if they did so, wouldn't expect anything in the way of accomodations for cyclists.

General Discussion / Re: Cycling through Tucson
« on: January 31, 2011, 10:48:54 pm »
Thanks! I'll check it out.

General Discussion / Re: Must upgrades for LHT
« on: January 31, 2011, 10:47:58 pm »
Thanks for the reply nagabiker, how long did it take you to break in the Terry Ti? I having a hard time, the best saddle I had was a San Marco Seele leather it rode like a dream from mile1.

Hmmmm... no breakin for the Terry -- it's a plastic-base seat, so it pretty much is what it is. If it doesn't feel good to you now (assuming your butt's in riding condition :) ) it probably never will.

General Discussion / Re: Must upgrades for LHT
« on: January 31, 2011, 10:46:38 pm »
As for Vbrakes, don't take it as the gospel that this is a change you need to make. I vastly prefer cantilevers. ..
I'd be very interested in knowing why you prefer cantilevers to V-brakes.  I have a Surly Cross Check with Shimano BR-R550 cantilevers and they do work well and were much easier to set up and adjust than the Deore LX cantilevers I had on an early '90's Trek 7000.  However, I don't see how or why they are better than a good set of V-brakes.  The only advantage I see for cantilevers is they work with STI/Ergo brifters and standard road brake levers without needing a Travel Agent. Othewise, what's the attraction?

I like the brake feel of cantis better. And all my bikes have drop bars and STIs, so v's require travel agents, which tend to make the brakes feel like overboosted power brakes on a car. A totally unnatural feel to me. Jerky and imprecise. But I also prefer cantis on flat-bar road bikes, again for the feel aspect.

General Discussion / Re: Must upgrades for LHT
« on: January 31, 2011, 02:53:49 pm »
As for Vbrakes, don't take it as the gospel that this is a change you need to make. I vastly prefer cantilevers. I built my 2009 LHT from a frame and put on exactly what I wanted. If I had bought a bike and it came with VBrakes, I wouldn't have changed them out, but I surely would choose cantis if I could have whatever I wanted. I have V's on a couple of Bike Fridays and another touring bike from Marin, and I don't like them. Heck, now that I think of it, I DID change the Vs on the Marin to cantis about 2 years ago.

I would definitely remove the tires and replace with Schwalbe Marathon 700x32, keeping the others for around town if you don't want to waste them. Reference point: a friend and I rode 300 miles around New Mexico in November -- he had the stock tires, I had Schwalbes. He had 6 flats, I had zero, riding side-by-side or front-back the entire way.

I too use a Terry Fly Ti on all my touring/commuting bikes. A matter of personal preference, but that's a good seat for sure. I buy them used on eBay now.

General Discussion / Re: Cycling through Tucson
« on: January 31, 2011, 02:39:28 pm »
Hate to hijack the thread, but figured we might have some Tucson natives who check it out and they could help me. I'm flying to Tucson for bidness next Saturday and bringing my Bike Friday New World Tourist, just looking for some fun day rides. Any 1-4 hour loops you locals would recommend?


General Discussion / Re: New Mexico The Bicycle Friendly State
« on: January 31, 2011, 02:36:29 pm »
Wow, sorry to hear this was your experience, original poster. But I gotta say: who judges a state's bicycling friendliness by riding the interstate shoulder from one side to the other? That's plumb insane, as my Pappy would say.

I just spent 5 days covering over 300 miles in southwestern NM and a tiny bit of southeastern AZ. Silver City, Hatch, Gila, Three Way, etc. and I can't tell you what a wonderful place it was. Perfectly maintained wide roads, almost all of which had wide well-maintained bike/emergency lanes, which we didn't even use because the regular car lanes were so deserted. Perfect November weather in the low-seventies, endless blue skies, friendly drivers and friendly restauranteurs, abundant and easily located stealth camping sites. What's not to love.

Not trying to argue, but I hope nobody reads this thread and crosses NM off their list because the interstates aren't particularly fun to ride.  ;D

General Discussion / Re: looking for a new bike
« on: July 23, 2010, 03:02:17 pm »
Well, actually, if you like all the components you can just upgrade the frame. :)

That's what I planned to do when I built my Surly LHT this spring -- just buy the frame and transport the parts off my Marin commuter. But I got all sentimental about the Marin and realized it would be nice to have a spare touring bike to loan a friend (all my friends only ride race bikes), so I just bought another set of the same mostly-used parts off eBay and built the LHT from that. So now I have two.

But in theory it would have worked, but been a lot of trouble!

General Discussion / Re: Need to transport luggage in Provence
« on: July 23, 2010, 02:57:34 pm »
I toured the Luberon region (including Mt. Ventoux) last September and had outstanding service from the attached company. We rented our bikes from them (carried our own luggage.) They showed up at the Avignon train station with a large van and both bikes. Helped us get all set up (we had brought our own seats and pedals and computers and they helped with the install. The gentleman who drove the van was great, and we actually ran into him on the road outside one of the towns we went through, where he lived. He stopped and chatted with us awhile, checked the bikes over, and offered to help us with anything we needed.

Even though we didn't use them for the sort of service you are proposing, they were so helpful and willing to do whatever we needed I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them for what you are proposing. If you haven't rented your bikes yet, they have fantastically well-cared for offerings. We got two Lynskey titanium race bikes, but they have more relaxed choices as well.

They have a Canadian (Paul) on staff who deals with English-speakers. Jean-Michele and Jean both speak English also, but there's a lot of pointing that goes on. :)

When our tour was over there sat Jean-Michele at the Avignon TGV station at the appointed hour, ready to load our bikes and wish us a speedy return to Paris. He had even kept up with my Thomson seatpost, which didn't fit the Lynskey so I had left it with him.

Perfect experience.


General Discussion / Re: Bike security when touring in the USA
« on: July 23, 2010, 01:44:41 pm »

Many people might think bikes are stolen by stealth, and many are in fact stolen that way, but there is also the grab-and-run method by which the thief knows where you are inside, and even if you may be seated and watching, he will guage how far down the road he can get before you are outside and trying to stop him. Sure, you might see him take your bike, but he is 100 feet away and accelerating by the time you are off your duff and over to the curb. Call immediately and the police might arrive in forty-five minutes. Meantime, Scudgemo has himself a $1500.00 bike in the trunk of his car and he is careening through the outskirts of town. The lesson here is this. Even if you can see your bike from your place in the restaurant, keep it locked and keep your most valuable possessions with you.

One way to combat this specific problem: As you coast to a stop in front of the restaurant, store, etc. shift all the way to the smallest cog on back. Then shift as far back up towards the big cog as you can, BUT DON'T PEDAL. Leave the bike like that. Snap your helmet strap through the rear wheel. If somebody jumps on the bike and tries to snatch it, the helmet will slow them (has to be unsnapped and removed for them to pedal); and when they try to pedal they'll get that awful grinding that comes when you try to shift way up from a very low speed. Might serve to scare them off the bike, but if not it will definitely slow them down.

General Discussion / Re: STI vs BarCons
« on: May 12, 2010, 11:52:43 pm »
Don't forget; if your only reason for riding BarCons is the fear STIs will break somewhere on the back side of the moon, two thoughts spring to mind:

1) in 10,000 miles with them I've never had one break, and
2) if I'm really going so far into the unknown that it's critical, I can carry a DuraAce downtube shifter or two. Pop off the Cable Stop Converter on the side of the broken STI, install DT shifter in its place, trim cable length down to fit, begin using broken STI as brake lever only. The DT shifters probably weigh five ounces and take up 2 cubic inches of space. Problem solved.

So, if your prefer STI shifting, it's not worth settling for BarCons for the supposed greater reliability.

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