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Messages - geegee

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Routes / Re: Dedicated Across America Bicycle Path
« on: February 20, 2009, 10:54:26 am »
That's one of the problems with having bicycle paths that are parallel to roads — the make motorists believe that cyclists don't belong on the roads in the sections where the paths do disappear. These types of paths also resemble sidewalks (and often merge into sidewalks) and confuse cyclists with what the rules really are. I especially hate the ones that switch to either side of the road every few miles.  I like dedicated bike paths, but I think they should be built on their own as special routes away from highways. As part of a highway, I prefer wide shoulders or bike lanes.

Routes / Re: Prague to...
« on: February 19, 2009, 08:52:20 am »
I used the Michelin map and it seemed to have all the campgrounds marked on it.

General Discussion / Re: Is it worth installing a kick stand?
« on: February 17, 2009, 12:44:14 am »
I have one of these double kickstands and they are great:

They are particularly useful when you have to change a flat tire since the bike can stand up with only one wheel on. It is also great for fine tuning your shifting/derailleurs as you can lift and spin the rear wheel easily by tipping the bike forward. It's almost like having a repair stand on the road.

Gear Talk / Re: Winter cycling — pawls freezing
« on: February 16, 2009, 05:53:13 pm »
I brought the bike inside the other night and that seemed to do the trick in getting the pawls to spring back and engage with regularity. I've had it outside all winter, including during a couple of cold snaps when temperatures dropped down to  -30˚C (-22˚F), so the grease must have really gelled up. I'll try putting some oil as you guys suggest.

Although I have done a bit of winter cycling before, this is the first winter I've done it extensively with studded tires, and I really enjoyed cycling through a couple of snow storms. We had a public transit strike during the months of December and January, so many of us in Ottawa were left to taking up cycling through the worst of the Canadian winter. I've kept it up even though the buses have started running.

Gear Talk / Winter cycling — pawls freezing
« on: February 14, 2009, 04:08:20 pm »
Anyone here into winter cycling? I wonder what you do about pawls freezing in your freewheel hub. I am also thinking about getting a bike with an internal hub — are these immune to freezing?

Routes / Re: Planning a Route verte trip this summer
« on: February 14, 2009, 10:49:15 am »
Most of your route via Sherbrooke will be on dedicated bike paths, some on old rail trails. One of the things about that route is it goes deep into "poutine country" and several towns along the way (Warwick, Victoriaville, etc) claim to be the origin of the greasy snack . I guess with all the riding you'll be doing, you can afford to sample and judge for yourself who makes the best recipe :)  There is also more refined cuisine to sample in this area -- it is home to many excellent artisan cheesemakers, and duck/goose farming. Look for local duck confit or foie gras.

General Discussion / Re: passport/CAN/US
« on: February 09, 2009, 09:08:16 am »
As of this year, a passport is required for travel between the USA and Canada. The US also issues passport cards which are easier to carry but is only good for travel to Canada and Mexico

General Discussion / Re: Cycling in Vancouver
« on: February 09, 2009, 08:59:21 am »
Vancouver has decent bike routes crisscrossing the city and the cycling community is very active there. I have issues with the routes switching from bike lanes to dedicated paths to shared sidewalks, which as a visitor you might find a bit confusing at times. Finding a place to stay in the area south of downtown would probably be convenient as a base for exploring.

As for ferries to Vancouver Island, the one to Nanaimo is easier to get to by bike, while the one towards Victoria involves a tunnel prohibited to bikes and you'll have to get on a bus to cross it (they have bike racks but you have to remove all your panniers). Victoria is a great place to visit on your time schedule.

General Discussion / Re: Long distance cycling and supliments
« on: January 28, 2009, 04:54:24 pm »
I usually take ordinary multi vitamins that are geared for active people, like Centrum Performance. I find it does help my energy level from day to day while touring. I've heard creatine does not really do much for cardio-vascular exertion, and may demand extra hydration from your body, something that is already in short supply when you are sweating a lot. I've taken creatine when doing weight training and it does have results when taken in short concentrated periods while doing targeted muscle-building exercises. It does little for endurance and may be hard on your kidneys/liver when taken over long periods especially when you are on a strenuous schedule like long distance cycling.

Routes / Re: Handcyle with wheelchair
« on: January 24, 2009, 01:46:17 pm »
I've seen several kits to convert wheelchairs into handcycles, but you're probably aware of them already:

Best of luck on your adventure. Don't fret too much about dogs, most of the worst behaved dogs are usually tied up or fenced. Plus, although you are lower to the ground, your three-wheeled set-up is more stable and you'll probably be able to reach for defense easier than an upright cyclist could.

Routes / Re: Prague to...
« on: January 23, 2009, 11:37:24 am »
I went right across the Czech Republic as part of a longer tour from Hamburg-Berlin-Prague-Budapest then on to Ljublijana-Venice-Innsbruck-Munich in 1999. There are some gems to the south of Prague, towns like Ceske Budejovice and Cesky Krumlov. If you want to stick in the Czech Republic instead of heading into Austria along the Danube (which is an overly trodden and touristy route), you could wander like I did though Telc, Znojmo and Mikulov which are really pretty historic towns. The rural roads along there go through interesting rolling landscapes, lined with apricot and plum trees (which I snacked on frequently, as they seemed to be on public land and fruit was just falling on to the road). At the time I went there things were ridiculously cheap -- Hotel rooms for $10 and full course meals including beer for less than $5 -- but I would imagine things have gone up with closer integration with the European Union. That year I also chased down the  total solar eclipse in the middle of Hungary along the shores of Lake Balaton which had a lot of western Europeans visiting the east.

Gear Talk / Re: Xtracycle
« on: January 21, 2009, 01:06:14 pm »
I have a Xtracycle Free Radical on my old mountain bike, but I've never used it for long tours because the gearing is too low and it is bulky. It's really comfy to ride (like a stretch limo) and it is great for shopping. I once loaded it with four cases of beer -- that's "96 bottles of beer on the bike, 96 bottles of beer" -- and it carried them like a champ. It's really great for heading into the city centre if I have to haul stuff, or going off on picnics and surprising friends by carrying a folding table and chars or even a portable barbecue :)   I'd consider taking it on short weekend relaxed local tours.

Routes / Re: Orlando FL to Houston TX
« on: January 17, 2009, 11:31:55 pm »
Thanks again for the extra tips. My travel arrangements are made and I'm all set for the end of February. I'm so excited that I've started to pack my panniers even though it's more than a month away.

I've decided to stick close to the Gulf coast and head into New Orleans because I've always wanted to see this part of the States. Here's my route, I'd like to know your opinions:
From Orlando, I've mapped out a route though mostly rural roads north past Gainesville (High Springs). From there it's US 27 to Perry (looks like good shoulders), then US 98 to Pensacola. I'll follow the ACA route south of Mobile bay via Dauphin island then US 90 into New Orleans (seems like it's the only way in). I really don't mind riding in considerable traffic though Biloxi if there are adequate shoulders. From New Orleans I'm planning on taking a combination of US 90 and LA 182 and connect with the ACA route at Opelousas.

I've got a bit of a tight schedule since I have a set event to attend in Houston. The nice thing about this route is that I'll be close to Amtrak service just in case I fall behind in my itinerary and if I need to make up one or two days riding at the end. I'll be completely out of shape at the start -- I've been trying to get as much winter riding where I am, but even with studded tires, the extreme bitter cold lately (-30˚C/-20˚F!!) and frequent snowstorms have limited my outdoor activities.

General Discussion / Re: How do you like the new forum?
« on: January 12, 2009, 04:00:58 pm »
I'm liking it. The old one used to time me out after a few minutes of writing a post. This one even remembers me when I return.

Routes / Re: Atlanta to New Orleans
« on: January 10, 2009, 11:28:25 am »
I was reading someone's blog on this route.

I'm contemplating cycling into New Orleans from the east in March. It seems like US 90 is the only way in, as the other bridges are not suitable for cycling.

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