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Messages - Pat Lamb

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Classifieds / Re: STOLEN Co-Motion Americano
« on: August 20, 2022, 04:45:44 pm »
Supposedly horse thieves were hanged in the old west because they kept a man from being able to work without his horse.  There's some debate on whether or not a bike thief deserves the same punishment.  But taking off with your Frogs?  Hang 'em high!

FWIW, if your insurance company wants to keep the bike, you might ask if they'll sell the remnants to you.  You might score a scratched up and poorly frame for $200 or so.

Routes / Re: Western Express versus TransAmerica
« on: August 12, 2022, 08:59:30 am »
When you're looking at temperatures, remember that it's going to be warmer than the listed highs roughly half the time.  (And Murphy's Law says you'll be riding there during the half the time it's hotter!)

If you're thinking about going to Missoula, you might thing about a two or three day jog up to Glacier National Park, and then take the Northern Tier west.  If you do that, when you're sweating across eastern and central Washington, congratulate yourself on being 700 miles north of the WE in Nevada!

A few more thoughts.

First, the points about pannier drag and wind are spot on.  My unladen terminal velocity on a 6% downhill is probably over 50 mph, but I hit the brakes when traffic or crosswind buffeting has me wondering if I can control the bike at that speed.  (So my lifetime max is only 49.4 mph.  Sniff.  It was glorious!)

I've rarely exceeded 40 mph with panniers.  Maybe I need an 8-10% grade where I know there's a nice runoff at the bottom?

Second, practice letting the bike run on your training rides.  I remember one bicyclist who was almost petrified going down an 8% grade, and riding her brakes to keep her speed down to 10-12 mph, wobbling back and forth across the lane as she did so.  The 3/4 mile of traffic backed up behind her was not impressed.  You don't want to be her.  So work your way up to a comfortable 30-40 mph or so in good conditions.

Also remember, if you start getting speed wobbles, (1) relax, (2) don't hit the front brake, (3) if you can, put one or both knees against your top tube.

General Discussion / Re: Tents and panniers
« on: July 05, 2022, 08:44:29 am »
I view my Ortliebs on my bike as the trunk of my car.  They're waterproof, so they can stay on the bike.

The exception, as noted, is in bear country.  Most of the campgrounds on the TransAm in bear country are west of the plains, and most of those have bear lockers.  Use them.  For the exceptions without bear lockers, hang'em high!

For ease of getting dressed or undressed, or latent claustrophobia, or reading or writing in bad mosquito areas, or mosquitoes biting through tents on warm nights, I think the correct tent sizing is n+1, where n is the number of people who'll be sleeping in it.

In addition to John's road condition consideration, I'd add whether or not there's gravel (or rocks) on the road, and whether the road and/or your brakes are wet.  There was one lovely pass where the road was a consistent 6%, but there were occasional 3-6" rocks on the road -- you want to make sure you can safely steer around those!

Also, brake early and often if it's raining so you can clear your brakes.  Rim or disc, if the braking surface gets wet you don't have brake power.  And yes, it can happen with a good rain rate on discs!

Other than that, brake as you need to maintain your speed so you can steer the bike.  Riding the brakes is bad, you're better off either alternating wheels (front for 10 seconds, rear for 10 seconds), or pulsing the brakes (brake hard for 5 seconds, let it roll for 5).  If you think the brake surface is getting too hot, stop and let it cool.  Take a few pictures, have a drink and a snack, squirt some water on the rims and see if they've stopped hissing when you do that.  It's possible to blow even a mountain bike tire off the rim if you overheat it too badly; skinnier tires at higher pressure are closer to blowoff if you ride the brakes.

General Discussion / Re: Bicycle pump that works as advertised.
« on: July 01, 2022, 10:04:14 am »
I usually get tired of pumping one of my Topeak Road Morphs around 75 psi, but that's adequate into 700Cx32 tires for me.  With a heavy load, it takes a little longer to hit 90 psi, but the Road Morph can do it reliably and repeatably.

Routes / Re: Camping on the outer banks?
« on: June 29, 2022, 01:57:58 pm »
November?  I don't know how many campgrounds will be open either on the Outer Banks or on the mainland.

Unless things have changed, there's no camping on the National Seashore land except in campgrounds.  You may (or may not) have better luck in the towns along the road.

Temporary ACA Route Road Closures / Re: Yellowstone Reopening
« on: June 21, 2022, 10:25:30 pm »
I'm not trying to be quarrelsome, but I don't understand why the PPP route needs to detour through Jackson.  According to the text at the east entrance seems to be open, although the map shows some "impacts" on the east entrance.  Why couldn't cyclists go from Grant Village up past Lake and out to Cody?

General Discussion / Re: The road is flat. It's what?
« on: June 14, 2022, 08:53:20 am »
Those who drive mid-range EVs are also generally pretty in tune w/ the subtleties of the road grades in a given area. Speaking from personal experience....

Yes, the current mileage indicator on my wife's hybrid is one of the most sensitive inclinometers I've ever seen.  ;)

Colorado Springs has a number of bike shops, but if he needs a loaded touring bike, I'd say go to the REI.  Their Coop ADV 1.1 is in the same class as the Trek 520, Surly LHT, and Fuji Touring.  If they don't have one in his size, they may be able to locate one in Denver or Boulder, though that might entail a car rental for timely delivery.

General Discussion / Re: US dogs
« on: May 31, 2022, 10:11:04 am »
Now you know why American cyclists post about dogs so much!

I'm another Halt! fan.  "No!" or "Get off the sofa!" at the top of your lungs works on 90% of the dogs I've seen, but Halt gets the 9 of the last 10%.  (The very last 1% will charge until he's six feet away, just outside of the Halt's range, so he's somewhat experienced but probably won't bite you.)

The worst mongrels are the ones who are serious about attacking, and they make no noise until you hear the clatter of dog paws five feet back.  You need to have some way of responding quickly to those attacks -- I personally can't get a water bottle out in the time it takes that dog to close the gap.

I'll add my voice to the chorus saying to stay on the country roads.  It's a lot more pleasant to deal with a dog or two every day than trying to figure out where the shoulder ends, how to merge with traffic to get across a bridge, etc. multiple times every hour.

Routes / Re: camping on the Northern Tier
« on: May 25, 2022, 08:17:54 am »
The compression of the map profile makes the climb look worse than it is in terms of steepness (IIRC, the steepest part is right after you leave Colonial Creek), but it is long.  I recommend picking up an extra plastic bottle and filling it with water to be on the safe side.

Two really good points here.

The first climb out of Colonial Creak may freak you out; take a deep breath and enjoy the next half a mile slightly downhill.  The grade isn't bad from there up to Rainy, maybe around 5%.  Another deep breath, drop 300', and climb Washington Pass.  Now that your 30 mile climb is done, drink all but a couple swallows of the extra water you brought, and enjoy the 15 mile downhill.  By the time you get to Mazama you can stop for food and water and decide whether you want to stop there for the night or push on into Winthrop.

Only original addition I'll make to this thread is to stop a couple times below Washington Pass to look back and take some pictures.  It's a fixture in Adventure Cycling publications for a good reason.  The temptation is always to stop on the uphill and fly downhill, but the pictures you can get below Liberty Bell avalanche zones are worth stopping.  You'll be back up to speed in 100 yards when you restart downhill, anyways.

GPS & Digital Data Discussion / Re: Elevations on ACA GPX Data maps
« on: May 24, 2022, 06:22:27 pm »
OP, can you tell us which Garmin device you're using?  The newer generation comes with maps already installed.

Even with all the problems the Post Office has been having, it's still a touring cyclist's best friend.  Load up (not too much) and get started.  After five days or so, look at your load and what you have and haven't been using.  Stop at a P.O. and get a flat rate box (medium or large usually work best), fill it up, and mail it home (or to a friend).  Repeat two weeks later.  You probably won't get down to a Pete Staehling ultra-light load that way, but you'll get to a tolerable load pretty quickly.

Gear Talk / Re: Trek Domane AL5 Suitable for Touring
« on: May 04, 2022, 09:07:29 am »
That's a weird place for a frame to break, how did it happen?  I'd have expected that the seatpost would have reinforced the seat tube to prevent such a break, unless you'd ignored the minimum insertion mark on the seatpost.

IIRC the Domane comes with a carbon fork; I would not recommend P-clamps on a carbon fork.  You probably don't want to put 70 pounds on the front, but the OMM rack aggie recommended would be an option.

Could you clean up the seat tube near the break to the point that you could use a seatpost collar (e.g. to ride the old 520 frame?

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