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Messages - Pat Lamb

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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?

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.

True, it's 300 miles, but there are some hills between hither and yon.

If you have to ask, I'd recommending going with John's lower end estimate of 40 miles per day, for 8 days' riding.

If you can get a motel room in Cincy, you can probably leave the bike there while you're touring locally.  Or take the front wheel off the bike and put it in the car -- leave the car locked if you go inside.

How are you going to get the bike home?  Fly with it or ship it?

Gear Talk / Re: Higher quality racks
« on: November 17, 2021, 08:31:13 am »
I’m not trying to be a snob, I just think there is a place for a higher quality rack where the customer doesn’t have to go to a custom builder.

A higher quality rack would support the entire pannier, provide a bomb proof attachment system, have attachment points for lights, allow internal wiring for lights, and other features.  Of course, this increases the price of entry, but why put a feature limited rack on your dream bike?

Am I the only one that has pondered this?  Is everyone else happy enough for what is now available?

What features would you want in a high quality rack that isn’t available today?

Just MHO, but Tubus racks are plenty good for me.  They're "just" production racks, but they're designed to hold the top of the panniers, prevent pannier "flop," and have rear mounting for rack lights.  The pannier interface has been standard for a while; it's up to the pannier manufacturers to attach to that standard rack.  There's also room, and attachment points, for loading the center rack between panniers.  And they're rugged as all get-out.  There are also other production racks, but mine's Tubus, so I mention it by name. 

I'll admit that I don't share your complete wish list, but it seems that if you have custom requirements, it's time to go custom.

General Discussion / Re: Cooking on the Road
« on: November 12, 2021, 11:24:23 am »
I don't generally eat freeze-dried meals, but I usually carry one. Occasionally you find yourself in camp with no other food, no food sources nearby, it's already dark, and you thought you were going to pass a store or restaurant in the last 20 miles of the day but you didn't. In those cases, that freeze-dried meal is heaven.

Same here -- except I'd stop at "welcome" rather than "heaven."  :)  Freeze-dried meals are more of an emergency ration that'll get you through another night than planned nutrition.

General Discussion / Re: A weighty question
« on: October 25, 2021, 04:06:43 pm »
Of course, there is always asking for directions.

I'm a guy -- how's that "asking for directions" thing work?

Back to O.P.  The first thing I'd try would be to consolidate segments.  A.C. maps usually have 20-25 miles per panel, which is about a third of a letter size page.  From what I could see of your top page, it looks like Adventure Cycling would get about two or three of your pages onto a third of a page.  That'll shrink your pile!

Next, as you suggest, would be double-sided printing.

Finally, if you have a friend or family who would be willing to help, you could ask them to mail you additional pages as needed.  Figure out where a small town is that will still have a full time post office, and call them to mail the next packet about a week before you get there.

Either of those might work out OK.  IIRC the stretch from Solvang to Santa Barbara on 154 is about 30 miles.

PMFJI, but heading to Solvang to take 154 is precisely what Carla recommended against.  Imagine a four lane divided highway being closed, and re-routing all four lanes of traffic onto a winding, two-lane road.  That's 154, San Marcos Pass Rd from Solvang to Santa Barbara.  It was interesting in a car the (one) time I drove it.

The fire is also impacting Amtrak, so Lompoc to Santa Barbara is not currently viable on a train.  Inciweb reports closures are likely at least until the weekend, so you might roll the dice there.

I suspect the further north you turn east, the less problem diverted traffic from the 101 will be.  I've never been on 58 or 166, nor on 33 down through Ojai, so I can't give you on-the-ground reports on those routes.  You might be able to catch a flight from Santa Maria down to LAX.

Good luck!

2. I'm in the pro-kickstand camp.  John's tip about a golf ball glued to the bottom is spot on.  I wore through my Greenfield rear kickstand's rubber bottom on tour; it was half pathetic, half hilarious watching it sink into the grass.

3. I use a similar 10' coated cable and combination lock when I want a little extra security.  It's hard to beat a locked motel room for more security.

4.  I have the Ortlieb handlebar bag.  When I go shopping, it goes with me.  When I go to sleep, it sleeps in the tent with me.  I don't worry too much about the rest of my gear most of the time (except when my Scooby-sense is twitching), but with camera, wallet, cellphone, and GPS (when applicable), all my high value high mobility gear stays with me.

Routes / Re: US bike route 21 Atlanta to Chatanooga
« on: October 04, 2021, 05:00:20 pm »
Ridewithgps has some routes that go all or part of the way between Nashville (usually Brentwood or Franklin) and in the direction of Chattanooga.  I believe this is one I've ridden part of the way, and the route builder(s) did a good job picking roads:

This one does a loop down by Tims Ford, good place to camp if that's your plan.  Beware, though, U.S. 41 between Nickajack and Wauhatchie has been under destruction, I mean construction, for a year or more.

Routes / Re: US bike route 21 Atlanta to Chatanooga
« on: October 04, 2021, 09:01:09 am »
Chattanooga (to Cherokee, NC, & then on) to Asheville, NC ~
As i am certain that you already know, Google by Bicycle wants to take you via US 74.  Could be treacherous for cycling? .....,+Tennessee/Cherokee,+NC/@35.0872724,-84.8768185,9z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m14!4m13!1m5!1m1!1s0x886060408a83e785:0x2471261f898728aa!2m2!1d-85.3096801!2d35.0456297!1m5!1m1!1s0x8859431093d68437:0xa39957b8c6be1696!2m2!1d-83.3205859!2d35.4770574!3e1

Will say this with certainty about a nearby section of road that IS a suicide ride ....
know that US 441 between Cherokee, NC and Gatlinburg, TN is, so sadly, not built for bikes ...
if there are any shoulders, it is by accident ...
RVs passing by each other in opposite directions on the curves leave little to no room even for themselves,
e.g./i.e.  I say sadly, cause it does have lotsa beautiful scenery when one has a chance to take a gander.

O. M. G.

64/74 from Ocoee to Murphy is kind of fun in a car, if you've got that stock car racing gene.  441 between Gatlinburg and Cherokee would be preferable to 64 over that stretch on a bike.  64 has the same shoulders as 441 (none), trucks and high speed traffic vice RVs and 25 mph traffic (speed limit's 45 on 441 but, you know, traffic!).

Concur on Blue Ridge Parkway from Cherokee into Asheville.  Take lots of water!

I'm not sure how I'd get out of Chattanooga going northeast.  I might go north via Suck Creek towards the Sequatchie Valley, and look for a way to hook up with a Tennessee River crossing further north.  Perhaps U.S. 70 east to Kingston (most of the traffic is on the interstate), south on TN 58 to TN 72 over to Vonore?  I think there're a few viable ways to get across the Appalachian crest on the state line; Cherohala Skyway out of Tellico Plains, U.S. 129 to Robbinsville/Stecoah, and U.S. 25/70 from Newport to Hot Springs. 

I know one guy who's actually ridden 441; by leaving Gatlinburg at 7:00 in the morning, he had time to get to Newfound Gap before the tourist traffic ate breakfast and loaded up their cars and RVs, and he noted a bicycle can go as fast downhill as a car heading into Cherokee.  He's a stronger rider than I am, though, and I haven't ridden it myself.

General Discussion / Re: The best music for touring
« on: September 30, 2021, 03:55:09 pm »
The J.S. Bach Brandenburg Concertos.

Some of the best classical earwigs out there.

Going down the Blue Ridge (of not-west Virginia) I spent a week trying to remember all the lyrics to John Denver's Take Me Home Country Roads.

Gear Talk / Re: 1X, 2X, or 3X
« on: September 27, 2021, 10:38:45 am »
Not sure how old your 105 and Deore were, but I have a 105 from 2013 and a Deore from last year, so far so good.

Oh, so pretty new.

Obviously it's not a common problem.

I could not find one incident concerning either Deore or XT breaking.

How did your derailleurs fail?

Interestingly enough, I had a Deore break last summer after about 30,000 miles.  Old or only 5 years' full-time usage?

The lead mechanic at the bike shop, when I described the symptoms, hollered over, "You need a new front derailer.  The spring rusted out.  That happens a lot, and your symptoms are what happens when it does."  He was right!

Routes / Re: going up north from Atlanta into Tennessee
« on: September 20, 2021, 08:50:19 am »
IIRC, there's a bike route 27 that connects into the Silver Comet rail-trail.  BR 27 then goes into Chattanooga.
 That might be preferable to 411 to get out of Atlanta.

awesome. Thanks so much . Any advice on connecting to that out of Atlanta?  Looks like (blue)  RT 175 is an interstate , looking at the BRAG map , so I assume that's a no-no?

Take a look at -- FWIW, it's USBR 21 vice 27.

Routes / Re: going up north from Atlanta into Tennessee
« on: September 16, 2021, 06:19:46 pm »
IIRC, there's a bike route 27 that connects into the Silver Comet rail-trail.  BR 27 then goes into Chattanooga.
 That might be preferable to 411 to get out of Atlanta.

FWIW, 411 in Tennessee is lovely where they've rebuilt the road, with wide, paved shoulders.  Where they haven't rebuilt yet, it's zero shoulders, and the same heavy 60 mph traffic.

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