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Messages - Pat Lamb

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General Discussion / Re: A musty item -
« on: August 25, 2020, 12:08:15 pm »
I knew it was there, but I didn't realize how musty damp clothes could get in three days.  In my defense, there were sporadic showers the last two days -- impossible to get them dry.

General Discussion / Re: A Bicycle Chain
« on: August 16, 2020, 09:39:46 pm »
Pete gets some freakishly high mileage out of his chains -- at least compared to my experience.  I start getting nervous around 1,500 miles on a chain, and if I let it go past 2,500 miles I often need to replace the cassette.  2,000 is about average for me.

Many experienced cyclists have chain miles that vary tremendously.  I'd love to see a systematic study of why.

Food Talk / Re: Recovery time when cycling across USA?
« on: August 16, 2020, 09:36:15 pm »
On a related note, the further across the U.S. I got, the more likely it became that I would fall asleep as the sun went down, and wake up about dawn.  I probably averaged an extra hour to hour and a half's sleep each night compared to sleep habits at home.  The hills of Kentucky and Missouri were still tough, but I was able to recover and enjoy the next day's ride -- at least until the temperature topped 100F.

General Discussion / Re: A Bicycle Chain
« on: July 31, 2020, 04:21:01 pm »
I've been using the Park CC-3.2 as an early warning indicator.  It's easier to use than getting my bifocal-assisted eyes down to chain level.  At the 0.75 level, it's easy to check three places around the chain; if the checker falls in to any of those three, it's time to get out the steel rule.

Just poking around, the Park CC-4 looks like the old (out of production?) Shimano CN40/41.  Anyone tried the latest Park?

General Discussion / Re: The Truth about $8.00 Walmart Break Pads.
« on: July 31, 2020, 11:38:14 am »
Which wheel was each brake pad on?  IME front brake pads last 2-3 times longer than rear.

Gear Talk / Re: Bag volume, weight, cost for touring/bike packing?
« on: July 23, 2020, 07:09:59 pm »
You might also want ask, how durable are the bags, how long do you plan to use them, and are they waterproof?  If you ride through rain (and you will unless you limit yourself to desert trips in the dry season), you'll have to have extra weight in the form of rain covers or waterproof containers inside the panniers.  Cheap panniers cost less than half of my Ortielbs, but the Ortliebs have lasted four times as long as the cheap ones did and still counting.  One-time one week trip?  go cheap.  Not sure if you'll want to do more? go cheap if you can afford to throw some away.  Pretty sure you want to do a month long trip every summer for the next 20 years?  Buy the good stuff up front, it'll pay for itself over the long run.

Gear Talk / Re: Bike buying advice
« on: July 21, 2020, 09:56:01 am »
The Diverge is a nice bike.  It's on my list to look at seriously, if only a bike shop would stock my size and open so I can take a test ride.  From what I've seen (too small for me to ride, though), it looks like it could be a great choice for bad road surfaces (or dirt or gravel, not that there's too much around here -- except for road construction!).  It may suffice for your needs, or maybe not.

First, when you "become consumed with spontaneity  or boredome take it all the way across the US," how are you going to do it?  If you're going to throw a change of clothes and some rain gear in a small bag, and plan on sleeping in motels or B&Bs, the Diverge will probably be a great choice.

Second, what route are you going to take?  Are you going to seek out steep and scenic mountain roads?  If you're fresh and lightly loaded, you can probably ride the Diverge up reasonably graded roads.

The downsides are mostly gearing and load carrying.  In the Appalachians, and the Ozarks to an extent, I made good use of a 20 gear inch low -- and walked a fair bit when it was too steep for that.  The DIverge gives up two low gears compared to my touring bike 20 gear inch.  As it's been said, what you don't have in your legs you'll need to have in your gears.  I'll add that gets worse when you're tired from a long day's ride or fatigued from many consecutive days of riding.

For load carrying, I've used the traditional two racks and four panniers setup.  That would be difficult with the Diverge.  If you're going to be packing a sleeping bag, cooking gear, food, tent, on top of the minimum cool weather clothes, rain gear, and water, you'll either have to assemble a bikepacking setup, with ultralight gear and funky packs; or put everything into two enormous rear panniers which will affect your weight balance; or perhaps pull a trailer with the load.  All of those are possible, but I don't have experience with any of the alternatives.

Routes / Re: Southern Tier this Fall--departure date?
« on: July 18, 2020, 03:17:53 pm »
I have more trouble with the heat, so I'd try to push it back a month.  Leaving around October 1 might be better for a few reasons. 

First, you've probably got until mid to late November on the ST before you need to start worrying about frost in the mountains of Arizona.  If you can finish in 30 days, you've likely got a buffer.

Second, at least in Arizona, a lot of businesses are closed until the snowbirds come south.  Later is better.

Finally, delaying looks like a wise move for the politicians to start listening to the doctors and epidemiologists and start implementing productive protective measures.  No guarantees -- who ever heard of smart politicians? -- but there are a lot of dumb ones blathering on right now.  It would suck to come down with a nasty case in the middle of a tour, and suck big time if you ended up in a parking lot because the local hospitals were full.

General Discussion / Re: Lube when long distance touring
« on: July 13, 2020, 04:43:31 pm »
Fairly standard practice with many (most?) chain lubes.  Apply lube to chain, use rag to wipe excess off.

I usually stopped at a local eatery a couple times a week, so it was not a big deal to take 2-3 paper napkins from one of them once a week.  I hadn't considered using real cloth rags; it's a nice idea, especially with Emily's "acquisition plan."

General Discussion / Re: Greater Yellowstone Trail
« on: July 12, 2020, 03:55:21 pm »
I'd never heard of it.  Looking at the web site, it looks like somebody had a great idea a while back, but no news for the last three years doesn't sound promising.  OTOH, if google maps' bike directions are accurate, you'll be on trails for half the 120 mile distance.  Note this route bypasses Yellowstone National Park.

As for bicycling in the park, have you read the Park Service's page on it?

I believe you're generally restricted to roads you'll be sharing with motor vehicles.  Leave as early as possible every morning; the tour buses pull out of motels around 8:30, but the bulk of tourists driving cars, trucks, and campers, won't start rolling until 11:00 or so.  You'll want to be comfortable taking your lane to ride in the park itself.

Gear Talk / Re: A must item
« on: July 12, 2020, 10:18:42 am »
Way over budget ($30): Swiss Army knife.  Opens cans and bottles (and wine bottles, apparently), cuts tough meat and tent cords or clothesline, tweezers, and scissors to trim fingernails and open recalcitrant energy bar packages.

Forgot to add, brightly colored so you have a chance to find it when you drop it in grass or leaves.

Routes / Re: TA Route Missoula to Tetons/Jackson
« on: July 11, 2020, 03:56:43 pm »
Took me 8 days going the opposite direction from Jackson Lake into Missoula.  Add a day or two for the extra leg into Jackson, and maybe for sightseeing in Yellowstone.  You'll have a big climb from Sula up to Lost Trail Pass I got to go downhill on :) and a big downhill coming out of Yellowstone I had to climb; the rest pretty much evens out.

BTW, don't count on cell coverage except in the towns through there.  It's beautiful and remote.

GPS & Digital Data Discussion / Re: GPS query
« on: July 08, 2020, 12:36:47 pm »
The first response is usually a clarification question.  In this case it is, what do you want to do with a GPS?

If you want to pre-plan your trip, particularly a trip on roads and streets, one of the Garmins is the way to go.  Pick your roads, lay out the route, put it on the Garmin (I started with an 800 and it still works well, but the 830 and 1030+ are improved from that), and follow the route.  The maps are on the GPS.  No need to worry about rain or battery life if you've got a power pack.  As John Nelson noted, you can go a week with a decent auxiliary battery pack; then treat yourself to a night indoors (B&B, motel, etc.), do your laundry, have a hot shower, and oh, yes, recharge everything.

Forest service roads or trails?  I don't know, perhaps the Montana or 62 John Nettles referenced would be better.

I personally like to find places there's no cell phone service.  That usually means traffic is lighter, and the scenery is superior.  It also means if I need some kind of navigational help, you better have downloaded the map and saved it before you left.  The GPS, if you didn't lay out a route, will have roads and road names (usually, depending on the map), and a dot to show where you are.  If you forget to download a map and get into such a zone, your cell phone will have a "You are here" dot on a blank screen.  Not very helpful (BTDT).

Routes / Re: Natchez Trace Parkway
« on: July 05, 2020, 03:51:49 pm »
Double-check the fine print on your airline travel voucher.  I tried to rebook a canceled trip a while back, and found out (too late) the travel had to either start or be completed by the date on the voucher.  Like you're thinking now, I had thought I only had to book it by the expiration date.

Expensive lesson learned.

Cycling Events / Re: Missoula to McCall Idaho?
« on: July 01, 2020, 08:19:45 pm »
Looking at gurgle maps, my initial thought is "You can't get there from here." 

It looks like the most "direct" route would be to follow the TransAm route "west" of Missoula (map3?), then head south after Lolo Pass from Kooskia and pick up U.S. 95.  I have no idea what that stretch of 95 is like.  An alternative might be 93 south past Sula (next TransAm map "east) to Challis, then work your way west from there.  93 up to the pass has pretty decent shoulders, and you won't be slowing traffic coming down from the pass much.

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