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Messages - Pat Lamb

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16
Gear Talk / Re: Breaking in Brooks B17 Imperial
« on: February 07, 2022, 09:27:51 am »
Is it the saddle you break in, or your rear end?

Uh-huh.  :)

Actually, I think it's the saddle more than the rider.  I say that because I've put new Brooks saddles on bikes, and even though I've been riding similar saddles on other bikes regularly, it takes a few hundred miles for the new saddle to feel like it's disappeared.  That "disappearance" is how I know the new saddle is broken in.

17
General Discussion / Re: Does size matter?
« on: February 03, 2022, 02:46:25 pm »
That Prudhoe to Vegas sounds like a monster ride, the kind that you can justify buying the perfect bike for it. 

I'm inclined to avoid something that monumental, in part because I don't care to tempt fate with a couple months of starchy, fatty foods since I fell through the cardiac patient trap door.  I'm also thinking about a new bike (without the trauma of having my old one stolen!).  The two faces thing is attractive, but I'm wondering (1) will I ride enough dirt/bad pavement to make the second wheel set worthwhile, and (2) would something more road oriented (but with clearance for low-40s tires) be a "jack of all trades, master of none" compromise?

Do you have any insight on how a "fatty" bike is going to ride with relatively skinny tires?  For instance, would you put 32 tires on where you'd normally put on 28s, to give you some shock absorption in the tires you won't get from the fork?

18
General Discussion / Re: Does size matter?
« on: February 03, 2022, 09:52:40 am »
More accurately, I want the capability of wider tires.  If doing an all-paved route, 35mm is fine.  It is when I get off onto gravel with heavy loads that I want wider tires.  I am looking at a few different models.  The Co-Motion Divide, the Tout Terrain Blueridge Xplore GT Select 22.1 (name is way too long), the Koga WorldTraveller, Van Nichols, among others.  Each of the bikes have their pros and cons.
 

Just out of curiosity, is the Tout Terrain wheelbase as long as the name?  :)

Back on topic: are you thinking about one bike, two faces, and you pick one face for each tour?  Or would you expect to switch mid-ride?  I'm thinking back to my Trans-Am ride.  For 3,000 miles starting in Virginia the 32-35 setup would be perfect (well, maybe 2,500 miles until I hit the expansion joints in eastern Colorado).  Would you swap tires, or even wheels, in Silverthorne so you could take the dirt mountain road to bypass Kremmling?

19
General Discussion / Re: Visiting a TransAm rider
« on: January 31, 2022, 05:43:39 pm »
Without a car, she might be able to fly into West Yellowstone and the two of you could take a day or two to tour Yellowstone NP by bus.

Most other places she'd want her own ground transportation (rental car).  Jackson has spectacular views of the Tetons but without transport, you only get one view.

Tri-Cities (near Damascus) and Roanoke would be a couple alternatives in the Appalachians; Richmond or Newport News near the eastern terminus.

20
Routes / Re: Route ideas for touring in my 5 northern missing states
« on: January 19, 2022, 09:04:28 am »
One, Mississippi ... Two, Mississippi ... Three, Mississippi ...

But But but...

When you get to fifty, you've still only counted one, Mississippi!  :D

For me, I try to count it as I had to sleep in the state for 2 nights, not necessarily back to back.  The only state this has not worked out for me is Rhode Island.  I guess I could do circles or take a rest day (cheating on the intent), but generally speaking, I have to be in the state for 2 nights.  The reason is then it is a full day in riding in it.

For the NT Idaho panhandle crossing I mentioned, the "full day" riding would still apply (since we camped in Clark Fork the night before), but I'd still fail the two nights because we crossed the border into Washington that afternoon.

The 2 nights makes sense, and it's an easily applied, concise criterion.  I guess my own is something like "substantial riding in a state" which I'll admit is a bit fuzzy.  Most states are clearcut, a few have a mental asterisk by them, and then there's a couple that I'm not sure how they fall in the ridden - not ridden characterization.


21
Never heard of Magene, so I can't recommend them.

I've had good luck with Cateye products for the last 15 years or more; no leakage and I can normally change the battery just by looking at the fading display.  From their current product list, I'd buy a Velo 9 wired, or perhaps a Padrone.

I used Sigma before that.  It was good, but died in a rainstorm after a few years.

22
Routes / Re: Route ideas for touring in my 5 northern missing states
« on: January 18, 2022, 09:24:06 pm »
If I may circle back to the question of "Do you count a state ...?"

How do you count states you've cycled in?

I met a couple on tour some years back; the lady was firmly of the opinion that it didn't count unless they had ridden at least 100 miles in that state.

I kept my mouth shut, but I was wondering, "What about Idaho?"  The only time I've cycled (or even been on the ground) in Idaho, we crossed the state up at Sandpoint.  I mean: We. Crossed. The. State.  But I've only cycled about 60 miles in Idaho -- so should it count?

Of course, an answer to that question might leave open Michigan (rode 1.5 miles off route into the U.P and back) and West Virginia (rode around Harpers Ferry and back across the river to Maryland).

23
General Discussion / Re: What "riding buddies" do you take on tour?
« on: January 18, 2022, 09:46:22 am »
If I rode with one, it'd be my stuffed Dust Bunny that (I hope) is safely sitting in my office.  That I hope I'll get to see sometime this year.

For those of you who carry something like this, do they stay out in bad weather, or do you duck them safely into a pannier or bar bag when it rains?

24
General Discussion / Re: Hillbilly dogs
« on: January 12, 2022, 08:40:10 am »
Just remember that our fears sitting at home are often far more vivid than on the road.

You obviously need to spend more time watching cable news.  Be afraid!  Be very afraid!!

:D

25
General Discussion / Re: Hillbilly dogs
« on: January 10, 2022, 05:29:58 pm »
Missing the dogs is part of what the TransAm Eastern Express addresses.
It does.  I wouldn't choose it if that were the only reason though.  That isn't to say that someone else might.  That said I may ride it sometime for other reasons.

While I've never cycled across southern Ohio or Indiana, it's hard for me to believe dogs in the rural parts of those states are uniformly well controlled and behaved just because they're not in Kentucky.  Not to mention the escort one hound gave us across southern Illinois -- although he turned out to be a well behaved pup out for a long (4 mile) run, I lost count of how many coyotes he chased off for us.

Sometime I might take a week and ride C&O and GAP, but I suspect a couple days looking at the trees and river would be enough for me.  The southern Appalachians, though, I have a hard time getting enough of those mountains!

Of course, YMMV.


26
General Discussion / Re: Hillbilly dogs
« on: January 10, 2022, 09:20:04 am »
I had a can of Halt! riding the TransAm; only got to use it three times, and only once to good effect.

It seemed that the dogs on the route had been trained by previous cyclists.  See a little white can with a red nozzle?  Stay six feet away!  It was a little frustrating -- I couldn't spray the mongrels, and they'd stay 6' back, just out of spraying range, until they got bored and let us go.

I'm not sure how you would re-route around dogs.  Kentucky roads reminded me of the classic "Adventure" computer game -- "You're the middle of twisty little roads, all different," and despite the built-up dog lore, most of those twisty little roads won't have a loose dog when you ride through.  Even if you did, dogs could as easily be on your re-route, and not having been exposed to touring cyclists, they wouldn't know to avoid getting too close.

27
Gear Talk / Re: Breaking in Brooks B17 Imperial
« on: January 03, 2022, 09:15:34 am »
Another vote for "ride it on the trainer" here.

My bikes are set up so my position is similar on all three.  However, on the rare occasion I've moved a saddle from one bike to another, it takes a few rides (maybe 50-150 miles) before I don't notice "this feels a little different."  But the big change happens in the first 500 miles or so, to get dimples on the saddle.

FWIW, I've broken in 5 B-17's and one Team Pro, and I've never done anything more than apply Proofhide to the top and bottom of the saddle and go ride.

28
Gear Talk / Re: Using a gravel bike for C2C ride - what am I missing?
« on: December 13, 2021, 08:55:36 am »
I didn't see any mention of tires, so let me throw in my two cents' worth.

Most of us old-timers are used to riding the roads on 28-35 width tires.  I'm guessing on your gravel bike you'd be starting with 35s and going up?  That's fine, with two caveats.  First, you don't need or want much tread on the road.  Second, unless you're hauling a heavy load on the bike, you probably don't want stiff tires.  (If your total load, including bike, rider, and gear, is north of 300 pounds, you'll probably have the tires pumped up high enough that doesn't apply.)

One other thing.  When you're tired, a weather front is coming, and you want a bed in a motel, the elevator will be out (or non-existent) and you'll have a room on the second or third floor.  (Capt. Murphy wrote a law about that kind of thing.)  I had a hard time getting a bike and luggage up the stairs under those circumstances; adding a trailer would not help things, just add another trip up and down while hoping no one takes off with what's left downstairs.

29
General Discussion / Re: The more expensive tires are the least expensive.
« on: December 10, 2021, 10:30:26 am »
I get twice as many miles and one tenth the number of flats out of tires that cost twice as much. And I don't want to waste time in Gaastra, Michigan looking around to see if I can find suitable replacement tires, which you won't be able to.

While I agree with the sentiment you and Westinghouse advocate, I wonder where the guidance breaks down.  $20 tire twice as good as a $10 tire?  No argument.  $40 tire twice as good as a $20 tire?  Maybe.  But is a $100 tire twice as good as a $40 tire?  Hmmm...

And for some of us, flat resistance and longevity aren't the only criteria for comparing two tires.  Some tires achieve flat resistance through thick rubber and extra belts.  Those work; but IME they compromise the comfort of the tire (like rolling on wood with a little give), and if such a tire does have a flat, good luck getting that sucker off the rim!

So do you accept those trades, or is there a sweet spot somewhere in the middle price range or the middle weight range?

30
General Discussion / Re: Is a TransAm Ride Coast-to-Coast
« on: December 07, 2021, 09:46:36 am »
My ride started in the York River estuary in Virginia downstream of where the Navy loads ordnance into its ocean going ships before deployment.  The trip ended on the ocean side of where oil tankers deliver crude oil off the Puget Sound in Washington.  If some nay-sayer were to argue that's not coast to coast because there are land masses further out to sea, I'd counter that if they ended a ride at, say, Cannon Beach in Oregon, I'd point out that, per their definition, they'd have to carry their bike and swim out to the outer rock to make it a coast to coast ride.

I think whether a ride is coast to coast or not might better be discussed without beer or wine, unless you just like to argue about something that's not politics or religion.

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