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Messages - Pat Lamb

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General Discussion / Re: Eating ... not IF, but HOW
« on: December 16, 2010, 05:03:11 pm »
Gatorade was mentioned, and can be a very helpful source for what you will need while riding.  Keep in mind, though, that it is high in sodium.  While a little extra is good when sweating a bit, a build up through the day of high amounts of sodium can have negative affects as well. 

While it depends on the individual, no doubt, my daughter and I learned to consume all the sodium we could find on our cross-country ride.  More than once we were dragging until we had more salt.  Nuun pills were good to add to water, and if you pour a lot of salt on scrambled eggs, you just need to drink enough water to balance it.

Strangely, if you start reading the labels, Gatorade isn't that high in sodium; orange juice and chocolate milk have more.  I think Gatorade is just a sweet drink the makers can sell for lots of money -- think Kool-Aid in a bottle.

Gear Talk / Re: Biking Shorts/Pants
« on: December 15, 2010, 10:41:05 am »
Once I started thinking of the lycra shorts as athletic gear, I found I didn't care anymore.  I need the support on the bike just like I'd need swimming trunks, golf shoes, or shin guards (for soccer).  If I felt the need to take off bowling shoes before getting some nachos, then putting the shoes back on before bowling the next frame, I might feel the need to change shorts before popping into a store or gas station to get a snack or drink; but I don't, in either case.  Most of the people I run into in those establishments don't seem to care if I don't care.

Two things might help.  First, I normally wore some kind of high-visibility jersey on tour -- that eye-searing green, yellow, or orange attracts the eyes of the clerks and other customers.  If you're still shy, I tried to get out of the shorts as quickly as possible after the day's ride for crotch hygiene.  That means most of the people you deal with in a day, at a campground, restaurant, library, motel, or grocery store, will see you in looser clothing.

General Discussion / Re: photography and cycling
« on: December 12, 2010, 04:42:55 pm »
Even if photography isn't the goal of your trip, it's sometimes a good idea to take a point and shoot camera along.  If you're climbing a long, steep slope, and you need to take a break, pull out the camera.  Everyone going by will assume you stopped to take a picture.  If you don't have one, passing motorists and cyclists will ask, "Are you all right?," sometimes so many times you can't catch your breath from answering, "Oh yes, I'm fine."

Not that I've ever done such a thing.  Especially on SAG'ed century rides.  No, I just power straight up to the top.

Routes / Re: Wyoming and Colorado routing?
« on: December 08, 2010, 08:47:33 am »
Do not take 14 to 40 between Walden and Kremmling (your #1). That was previously on the TransAm, but they changed the route (and the ACA does not change the TA lightly) to use 125 instead.
We did that route in 2007 and didn't find it bad.  I can't compare with the alternates, but I wouldn't rule it out.

The guy we talked to in Kremmling in 2009 said they changed the route because of the lack of services on the Steamboat Springs route.  If the Hot Sulphur and Rand route have bounteous services, it was surely desolate on 14/40!

Gear Talk / Re: Anyone been touring on the Salsa Vaya yet?
« on: December 06, 2010, 02:49:10 pm »
At the very great risk of confusing this perfectly good argument with facts, let me add some data.

I looked up the weight (mass) of Sun CR-18 rims, as I know these are available in both sizes.  26”, 440 g.  700C, 484 g.  Add to these the mass of some Schwalbe Marathon tires (available in many sizes, and popular with tourists):  559x40 (26x1.50”), 600 g; 622x32, 580 g; 622x40, 720.  I think the 700Cx40 is much wider than many road tourists, use, but it’s there if you want to get picky about equivalent widths.  Making a few simplifying assumptions (like massless hubs and spokes), I calculated the energy, in Joules, required to accelerate these components to 10 mph:  26”, 10.39 J; 622x32, 10.63 J; 622x40, 12.03 J.  So to accelerate these wheels to 10 mph, you’d need 2.3% more energy for the 32 width wheels, and 15.7% more for the 40 wheels, over the 26” wheels.

Of course, you’ll need to accelerate yourself, the bike, and the luggage if you don’t want to watch the wheels rolling off down the road.  If everything else weighs 250 pounds, that’s 1133 J.  Total energy to accelerate you and your loaded bike is remarkably similar across the wheel differences: 0.02% more for the 32 wheels, and 1.4% more for the 40 wheels, again compared to the 26” wheels.

I’d call that 0.02% negligible.


Cycling Events / Re: Los Angeles to New York June to August 2011
« on: December 05, 2010, 10:22:36 pm »
Not to mention, if you ride from LA to SF, you'll be back-tracking south to get to the Grand Canyon.

Although I don't have a clue how you'd get out of LA cycling east!

Gear Talk / Re: Anyone been touring on the Salsa Vaya yet?
« on: December 05, 2010, 10:17:13 pm »
Checking on the weight, the LHT is about 2 pounds heavier than the Vaya, assuming the Vaya weight includes the fork.  (Otherwise, it's a wash.)  That would indicate to me a 2 pound difference, maximum, if the equipment is similar.  My guess is that the rest of the components are heavier (for loads or price savings) than your Waterford.  Most loaded touring bikes seem to weigh about the same; 26 +/- 2 pounds without racks or fenders.  You either have to sacrifice durability or load-carrying capacity, or pay handsomely, to cut 4 pounds off the weight.

Most of that 2 pound difference is static weight.  The important weight is weight that rotates, so look at the crank and the wheels.  Cranks have a small diameter, so I would be surprised if resulting moment of inertia was that big.  I guess I could see where the moment of inertia from the wheels would equate to the tankiness of the LHT.  Lots of people love their LHTs.

Sorry if I wasn't clear.  I was comparing the weight of the frame and forks, so all of that 2 pound weight difference is what you're calling "static weight."

I think you're getting carried away with the distinction between static and rotating weight, though.  Some 20 pounds of the LHT is not frame and fork.  I'd be very surprised if the wheels averaged 10 pounds each.  The point I was trying to make, apparently with little success, is that all the other components (other than frame and fork) can be selected for weight, weight bearing and longevity, or cost.  The OP (and his Mrs.) will have to select two out of three.

re: Raybag, I don't know where the OP's family plans to tour, or their strength, so I can't state definitively whether a compact double with 11x36 cassette will be sufficient.  If they're going to ride in mountains, I doubt it.  I'd plan on replacing that double with a triple, with a 24 (prefered) or 26 (passable) small crank.

General Discussion / Re: folding bike
« on: December 05, 2010, 09:55:41 pm »
Is there some reason you need to have a folding bike?  You can likely either take the bike with you to the start (or from the finish), boxing it at the airport or train station, or have a bike shop near you ship it to an LBS near the start if you feel mechanically challenged.

Other than the BFs, an S&S coupled bike ( is a standard answer.  Somebody else came out with a folding bike last year, but I can't remember who it was and I don't think it was intended for touring.

Gear Talk / Re: Long Two-Person Trip Tent
« on: December 04, 2010, 03:44:04 pm »
FWIW, I always add one to the number of people who will use a tent before looking for the tent.  One person, two man tent.  Two people, three man tent.  When we took the girls camping, the four of us used a six man tent, and there wasn't much extra room.

Kind of like cars, if you think about it.  Six people in a six person sedan works well if four are short and slim, and the other two are children just out of car seats.

General Discussion / Re: Surly Cross Check Touring Bike?
« on: December 03, 2010, 04:05:57 pm »
I was talking about getting a bike up to speed, and that has to be moment of inertia.  This is the whole flywheel effect. 

So I think it comes down to what you define as zippy or tanky.

We are talking about touring, right?  Where you have 20-50 pounds of luggage on the bike?  If that's the context, I don't see how a few ounces are going to be noticed when you start riding.  Zippy doing a crit start out of a gas station driveway isn't going to matter much compared to a 3-6 mile, 6% climb.

(And for the engineers/mathematicians, how does the rotating weight [~r^2] compare to the rotational energy and angular velocity [~w^2] for a smaller wheel?  Without real numbers, my gut instinct is it'll be a wash!)

Gear Talk / Re: Brooks B17 - Standard or Aged?
« on: December 01, 2010, 09:37:32 pm »
I've been shopping around for a saddle that has a cut-out to supposedly relieve that discomfort.

Some of the Brooks saddles I've looked at have that cut-out. For those without the cut-out, is it just that the leather eventually "deforms" to fit your body during the break-in period? ... I'm confused and don't want to drop $100+ on a saddle that doesn't agree with me.

To start from the end, as somebody noted up-thread, buy the Brooks from and if it doesn't work, you can get your money back.  Note he also re-sells those returns at a discount, but if there's a model you're interested in on sale, buy it pronto, because they don't last.

The leather will stretch slightly so the saddle cradles your sit-bones.  It will continue to stretch IME, and you'll need to tighten it slightly on occasion.

The two things that make a Brooks less than comfortable for me are stretching and getting the tilt slightly wrong.  I've converted all but one of my bikes to a two-bolt seatpost so I can do fine adjustments on the tilt.

Two other things to note (see rec.bicycle.* archives for details).  Reputable bike shop owners and mechanics have stated that you don't need a cut-out if your saddle fits you and is adjusted correctly.  Also, there are some butts that seem not to fit a Brooks saddle.  (That last is hard for me to believe, since mine fits quite well!)

Gear Talk / Re: Tires ?
« on: December 01, 2010, 09:27:52 pm »
Some people seem to like the Vittoria Randonneurs.  Not me.  I had some wire break and pop out of the sidewall on tour, ruining the tire and my day (when it took four tries to find what was flatting my tire!).  The replacement, another Randonneur, lasted 2,000 miles.  Its replacement, a Specialized Armadillo, has lasted that long and looks like it has another 1,000-2,000 miles left on it.

Gear Talk / Re: Is it worth changing tires?
« on: December 01, 2010, 09:25:04 pm »
Comparing an LHT with touring tires to your lightweight road bike?  Like comparing a pickup truck to a sports car, maybe!

If you're intent on turning the LHT into a sporty ride, it may be worth changing tires to something light (and flat-prone).  It won't feel like the Lemon, but it's a step in that direction.

General Discussion / Re: Tec talk: loose casette
« on: November 30, 2010, 03:04:55 pm »
You might ask a bike shop how much they'd charge to fix it -- I'd guess free to $5, unless they're one that has a $25 minimum labor charge.  (Even then, this is so easy they might do it for free.)
If it happens during a longish tour the odds of them either doing it for free or handing you the tools to do it yourself go way up.  At least that has been my experience.

That's another reason to go E-W -- it's cheaper in small towns in the west, IME.  :)  Changed out brake pads in Clark Fork, ID, for $3 and a quarter of a pack of Fig Newtons, and trued a rear wheel AND relubed Frog pedals in Missoula for $8.

Gear Talk / Re: Anyone been touring on the Salsa Vaya yet?
« on: November 30, 2010, 02:59:38 pm »
No personal experience here, but a few observations.  I assume you're going to switch out the (compact) double crank for a triple.  It really looks like Salsa's spec'd the Vaya as a cross bike, rather than a tourer.

I'd ordinarily dis the Vaya for 32-spoke wheels instead of 36, but given your wife's height, and making a favorable assumption about her weight, that may not matter.

It looks like the Vaya has eyelets for a rear rack, which is good.  There's nothing similar in the front mid-fork, which isn't so good, and I don't know how easy it would be to add a front rack to this disk-equipped fork.

Checking on the weight, the LHT is about 2 pounds heavier than the Vaya, assuming the Vaya weight includes the fork.  (Otherwise, it's a wash.)  That would indicate to me a 2 pound difference, maximum, if the equipment is similar.  My guess is that the rest of the components are heavier (for loads or price savings) than your Waterford.  Most loaded touring bikes seem to weigh about the same; 26 +/- 2 pounds without racks or fenders.  You either have to sacrifice durability or load-carrying capacity, or pay handsomely, to cut 4 pounds off the weight.

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