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Messages - Pat Lamb

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Routes / Re: 3-4 month USA 2024
« on: September 15, 2023, 08:55:39 am »
First comment: Switching from roads (say, Kentucky or Ohio to Colorado) to the Great Divide means you're either overbiked (mountain bike with twice the drag) on the roads, or underbiked on the Great Divide (hope you brought good walking shoes).  Although if you start out on the C&O in April, that might be a good thing.

Second comment: I'd strongly suggest planning on indoor housing in larger cities (hotels/motels or BnB) to secure your gear while you hit the clubs or whatever you want to see.  Budget accordingly; it floors me how much prices have gone up.

Next, airlines are easier in Seattle than most other places in the northwest.  You'd have to go to San Francisco or Salt Lake City to match overseas terminals without small town connections.

Your route choices seem to parallel much of the TransAm.  Are you trying to stay off that route, and if so, why?

Lastly, I'd suggest a couple days' layover in Yellowstone, if you hit it, and a day to see Glacier.  You won't really get to see it like you would in a week, but it's worth the time to scratch just a bit deeper, IMHO.

Gear Talk / Re: Endurance bike advice
« on: August 21, 2023, 08:35:06 am »
I'm still riding two 14 year old bikes and one that, depending on whether you count a warranty replacement frame as new, is either 25 or 17 years old.  Frames rarely wear out, and components can be replaced as needed.  (For instance, only the fork and brakes on that 25 year old bike are OEM; everything else has been replaced.  I'd probably be using the original bars if not for accidents.)

I think that 5-10 years is how long many (most?) people can stand to read Buycycling magazine before they succumb to the lure of new! shiny! upgraded! and buy a new bike.

Westinghouse, what's with the bold, large font on your posts?  Are you having trouble reading on your device of choice?

General Discussion / Re: Picking up the Trans America from DC
« on: June 09, 2023, 04:50:03 pm »
I would suggest taking the W&OD rail trail to Purcellville, Virginia. From Purcellville it is about a thirty-five mile distance to Front Royal, VA, the northern end of the Skyline Drive. You would need to come up with your own route between Purcellville and Front Royal, but there are plenty of tracks on sights such as Ride With GPS where people have ridden between the two.

In Front Royal you can take the Skyline Drive through Shenandoah National Park, a distance of 105 miles. The southern end of the Skyline Drives is the northern terminus of the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Trans-America trail intersects the Blue Ridge Parkway there at Afton, Va.

This is the route I would take, but it seems like O.P. is trying to avoid the Appalachians.  Having grown up as a young boy in southwest Virginia, I can't figure out why anyone would do that.  :) 

Rocky Mountain / Re: Grand Canyon connector Weather
« on: June 08, 2023, 08:48:59 am »
Short answer: check the averages for locations along your route and the dates you're looking at.

Long answer: If you're going to try this, plan on checking in to a motel (or other indoor housing) by shortly after noon every day in southern and/or low elevation Arizona.  You can expect lows of 80F (but it's a dry heat!) and highs around 110F.  It's really hard to drink enough to stay hydrated and cool off enough to sleep at night, and that's before you start cycling, unless you're already acclimated.  And most of the "acclimated" cyclists in the Phoenix area treat summer like most of the country treats winter -- their end of season sales are in April and May.

Gear Talk / Re: Sandals for colder climate?
« on: May 18, 2023, 09:29:23 am »
I've also ridden with sandals and wool socks.  However, I'll take a plastic grocery bag, cut it in half, and wrap a half over each sock before I put the sandals on when it dips below ~50F.  It's a good wind block that keeps my toes warm(er), and also helps against rain (though I have not done a long ride below 40F in the rain with sandals.  Yet?).

Routes / Re: help needed: route selection (June-July)
« on: May 11, 2023, 05:00:09 pm »
Given the four options A, B, C, and D, I'd suggest E: fly into Jackson, WY.  Pick up the TransAm (I'd go up the east side of the Tetons, and go through Yellowstone, but AC has an alternate route up the west side).  When you get to Missoula, go north to Glacier, then take the Northern Tier west.  When you get to Anacortes, WA, make your way down to Port Townsend, then down to Bainbridge Island where you can catch the ferry into Seattle.

Urban Cycling / Re: Touring in New York City?
« on: May 10, 2023, 09:02:17 am »
depending on your panniers, Ortlieb offers what they call „anti-theft“ devices:

They are really more like „theft-delay“ devices, the wires can probably be cut easily with a Leatherman - still, they might keep the occasional burglar off.

I suspect the Ortlieb "anti-theft" wires are more appropriate for popping into a store in Owl Creek, MO, than they are for day touring NYC.  Remember that 3/8" cables aren't recommended for NYC because bike thieves carry cable cutters to handle them (and lightweight U-locks).  What chance does the much thinner Ortlieb have against those cutters?

Gear Talk / Re: rear lighting
« on: May 10, 2023, 08:58:05 am »
I've been able to clip a rear flasher to either the tent bag or the bungee net I use to strap the tent to the rack.

Routes / Re: Cycling the Parkways from Washington DC to New Orleans
« on: May 10, 2023, 08:55:27 am »
I don't have any experience cycling in downtown Nashville, so I won't make any recommendations either way.  Getting into and out of a metro downtown is usually the biggest problem IME, because at some point the subdivision developers get ahead of the road planners and you end up with roads appropriate for rural drivers, but with suburban traffic loads, that are not much fun to ride on.

The routes I spliced together were developed for randonneuring with the aim of scenic, low traffic riding.  I'd suggest contacting the Harpeth Bike Club if you want recommendations for riding into, and out of, Nashville proper.

Routes / Re: Cycling the Parkways from Washington DC to New Orleans
« on: May 05, 2023, 04:20:43 pm »
I put together a route a few years ago borrowing liberally from the RUSA regional brevets from near the Trace over to Robbinsville, NC.  Leipers Fork school is about a half mile from the Natchez Trace, and the route skirts metropolitan Nashville.  Robbinsville is some 40 miles from Cherokee, the southern end of the Blue Ridge Parkway.  If you ride the tail of the dragon, you can stay on NC 28 and skip Robbinsville, but you might like some services about then.  You'll still have a few miles on the 19/74 racetrack, but the shoulders are pretty wide through there.  Either way into Robbinsville, from Tallassee or Tellico Plains, take lots of water -- there's one bar on the northern route, a campground near the bottom of the southern, and plenty of climbing.

Disclaimer: I've cycled maybe 40-50% of that route, and driven perhaps 25% more.  I have no qualms recommending what I've biked.  The Pikeville-Daytona stretch was still being widened when I last crossed Walden's Ridge there, so I don't know what it's like now.

Gear Talk / Re: Rear Bike Rack - curved up or flat
« on: May 03, 2023, 09:48:03 am »
Like John Nettles, the curve up at the front of my rack keeps things from sliding forward.  In my case, that also keeps stuff from bumping the cantilever brake cables, so it's doubly welcome.

Urban Cycling / Re: Touring in New York City?
« on: May 01, 2023, 10:01:40 am »
If you can arrange a hotel room (call ahead to make sure they'll have a place for your bike if they won't let you keep it in your room), you can leave the bike there and take the subway all over to explore the city.

Routes / Re: Just one more thing to worry about while riding
« on: April 18, 2023, 03:07:45 pm »
Oh, great.  Now I'll have to find the picture I took from my bike of a (black) bear looking over a down tree trunk 25 feet off the road.  :)  I'm not sure I ever digitized that, it was probably a slide.

Isn't it funny, though, how the things we don't deal with normally are scarier than ordinary (for us) things?  Rationally, I'd be more worried about the yappy dog that kept trying to bite my ankle this morning.  That's far more likely to cause an infection, or even rabies, than a grizzly that I saw once in (fill in the blank) decades was to harm me, or a black bear I might see every two or three years if I'm lucky.  And the thought of a mountain lion gets my blood pumping even though I had to look Alpine up on a map -- never been there.  But a little yapping dog is just a minor annoyance.

General Discussion / Re: Lip Balm
« on: April 18, 2023, 11:17:16 am »
Chapstick has SPF 15, IIRC.  I've been using up some freebie (benefits fairs) and various "destination" sticks for years, and they have similar SPF.  With those, I can usually apply some in the morning, or maybe after a midmorning snack/"nature" break, and after lunch, and that will keep me from blistering.

Beware of "all natural" lip balms, though.  Those I've looked at did NOT have anything for sun.

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