Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.


Messages - Pat Lamb

Pages: 1 2 [3] 4 5 ... 74
General Discussion / Re: Transamerica trail temperatures
« on: February 26, 2017, 01:29:22 pm »
As Dave said.  Plan on a week of 100F, and it'll freeze at least once in the mountains of Colorado and Wyoming.

General Discussion / Re: Map update
« on: February 25, 2017, 03:15:38 pm »
11 maps = 295 g.

And I may have understated the cost of postage, depending on how old your "forever" stamps are.

General Discussion / Re: Map update
« on: February 25, 2017, 01:21:31 pm »
11 of the 12 weigh 285 g on my food scale.  (I suspect the last one is similar, but it ran and hid when I went looking for it!)  If that's too much, you can mail them home (or to a trusted friend) for $0.44 each as you finish each one, and you'll end up with an ounce on the last map.

IIRC, each map is normally updated separately.  You can check the latest dates on the addenda pages at
It looks like they may have all been updated in conjunction with the digital data edition ACA put out last year, since all the ones I spot-checked were updated the second half of 2016.

General Discussion / Re: Application for keeping a journal
« on: February 21, 2017, 11:12:19 am »
Before you commit to a blog, it's worth stopping to answer the question, "why?"  If you're trying to convey the experience of the trip to your family and friends, that takes a fair bit of dedication (read: time).  If it's just to let one or two people know you're all right, it can be a simple "Made it to Owl Creek, doing well" email.  A daily (or almost daily) phone call to say "Safely off the road" may be an option.

Lots of cross-country blogs turn into a photo dump -- pretty cool for you, pretty dull for the audience.  I'll stake out the position that very few photos stand on their own; most pictures need some context.

A well-written blog, with descriptions of highlights, pictures with captions, and references to those pictures in the narrative, takes me 30-60 minutes a day.  (At least I hope my blog was well written!)  It takes time to sort through pictures, think about what you're going to write, pick the picture and write around them.  You have to choose whether to dedicate that time, or spend it doing something else.

On the other hand, I can remember the trip I blogged better than the trip I sketched notes for, and that one I remember better than the trips I just took pictures of.

Gear Talk / Re: Rohloff Speedhub
« on: February 17, 2017, 09:49:05 am »
Design-wise, if you add a second chain ring to the Rohloff, you're going to need a front derailer and shifter.  Then you'll have to add a chain tensioner to take up the slack at the rear (it looks like half a rear derailer).  Functionally, at that point, it seems like you might as well stick with an all-derailer system.  Work on learning to spin at high cadence instead.

Of course, if you're interested in pushing the envelope, Sheldon Brown style, go for it!

Gear Talk / Re: How to know tire size
« on: February 16, 2017, 08:43:12 pm »
I think the best "rotate the tires" advice is to move the front to the rear when the rear tire wears out.

Every now and again I bother to do just that.

Gear Talk / Re: Newbie Needs Advice
« on: February 16, 2017, 04:38:58 pm »
Also  nothing wrong with getting your wheels tensioned as was suggested but I seriously doubt you're going to have spokes start breaking within the first 500 to 1500 miles - that's probably more of the worst case scenario.

I guess I'm worst case then, because my stock Randonee started breaking spokes within 1,000 miles.  Another cheap wheel set on a different bike only went 470 miles before it started breaking spokes.  OTOH I've got about 18,000 miles on a wheelset that was checked out thoroughly before the bike left the store.

Gear Talk / Re: Sources for Ultra Violet Protective Clothing
« on: February 16, 2017, 04:35:17 pm »
Call me old-fashioned, but I have had a farmer's tan pretty much every summer I've spent on this earth, and to the best of my knowledge, I've never worn any ultraviolet protective clothing until the last two years.  I tried some sun sleeves (Pearl Izumi and Voler), and they worked.  I'll note that when the temperature gets over 80-85F at home (where it's humid), sun sleeves are too warm for me so they come off and sunscreen goes on.

So, IME, just about any shirt or shorts block UV to the point I don't get sunburn or even tanned.  The only exception is a shirt that had holes punched in it for ventilation; but even with that, the holes were small enough, and the shirt flapped enough, that it was more of a very light tan than a burn.

Bottom line: UV protective clothing is marketing hooey.

Gear Talk / Re: Newbie Needs Advice
« on: February 16, 2017, 09:39:28 am »
First, you'll never see me writing that the weight limit thing on REI bicycles is bogus.  No, siree!  That would open me up to too much liability.  But since I bought my Randonee before they put a weight limit on it, and I regularly ride that old bike with up to 50 pounds more than the weight limit on the new bikes, I do wonder what changed that made REI add a weight limit.  It doesn't look like anything changed on the bike except when they went to more gears.  It may be that the Safari is similar in having a weight limit added almost artificially, but I don't know nothing about that.

Second, the biggest worry for clydesdales like us is the wheels.  Your bike came with some stout parts in the wheels that should be able to carry your weight.  (If only they were well-built!)  At the Safari price point, the wheels are machine built.  They're probably not tensioned adequately and may start breaking spokes within 500-1,000 miles.  If you know a good wheel builder (not just someone who knows how to true a wheel, but someone who knows how to tension and stress-relieve the spokes), get him to work over your wheels.  If you don't know that wheel builder, ask for recommendations among your local groups, or study and apply the methods in "The Bicycle Wheel" by Brandt.  With the wheels set up to carry a load, you should be ready to hit the road for thousands of miles with only flat tires for problems!

Gear Talk / Re: How to know tire size
« on: February 15, 2017, 04:40:46 pm »
The absolutely best way to figure out what size tire fits in a given frame is to try successively larger tires until you find one that doesn't fit.  Then back off a size or two because not all models that say 35 on the side are the same size.  (They should be, but in the real world, well ...)

I've ridden my 2009 Randonee with up to 37 Panaracers, and there was still room for more.  If there haven't been any recent floods, a 35 width tire should be plenty cushy for a crushed gravel trail like the Katy.

Trolled again.

If you don't believe me, look at the posting history, even on this thread.  Dead as a doornail for six weeks, nobody cared for five more weeks, and now, he's back!

Let's see, can we leave this thread alone for another six months?

Routes / Re: Best/easiest route from the Pacific to Michigan
« on: February 11, 2017, 10:24:19 pm »
I think 60 days is a reasonable estimate for a direct X-USA trip. 2 days to stage, 56 days/8 weeks to ride, and 2 days to return.

Not knowing the physical shape of Denise or her 14 year old son, I'd suggest adding another couple weeks to this estimate.  Of course, if he's already a starting linebacker for his high school football team (some kids physically mature much younger than others), and if you're both in shape, 60 days might work.

Gear Talk / Re: Rim advice - dynamo build
« on: February 08, 2017, 09:45:08 am »
Have you had any problems with your current setup? 

Dynamo hubs are just a different hub.  I wouldn't change anything just for that.  You might want to replace the rim if it's worn, or if you want an extra front wheel.

General Discussion / Re: Bike security - Southern Tour camping trip
« on: February 06, 2017, 02:16:00 pm »
Primary bike security on my trips has been eyeballs on bike at night, and some degree of isolation at night (i.e., do camp in a campground or the back of a picnic area; don't camp in a field behind a casino parking lot next to an interstate exit!).  Backup plan is a 1/4" or 3/8" cable with a good lock.  In larger towns, we usually get a motel room for better bike security while eating out plus ease of doing laundry.

After a week or so on the road, you'll start to develop "cyclist radar" where you can sense a situation that might be a little off.  Pay attention to that radar.  For instance, in one small town one of us stayed with the bikes and gear while the other did grocery shopping; in most other places, we felt comfortable going inside together.

Gear Talk / Re: Should have learnt the easy way.. some advice guys
« on: February 05, 2017, 11:22:45 am »
Danny, unfortunately, you're going to lose as a cyclist in any impact with a 2,000 pound (plus) motorized vehicle.  I doubt there is any protective gear that is going to change that fundamental truth.  If you add elbow pads, you'll face plant on your nose.  Wear a face shield, you'll land on your shoulder, etc., etc.  The initial finding that helmets protect your heat have never been replicated in any good scientific study (you note that your elbow took the impact in your crash).

So what to do?  First, learn to ride safely.  Read John Allen's Street Smarts, John Forester's Effective Cycling,, or sign up for a class.

Second, make sure you're visible.  It's hard in this age of distracted drivers, but brightly colored clothing is one good start (in addition to the proper road positioning you learned in step 1).  Bright green shows up better than black or dark gray, unless you're surrounded by new deciduous tree leaves in early spring.  In dark (overcast or night) conditions, or fog, lights are your friend.  Lights plus reflectors give you a chance at being at night; many of us find we get more space and respect at night with a good set of lights.

Finally, and most important, stay alert while riding.  You'll soon develop a feel for how most people drive.  Driver glances left (in the U.S.), stares right, and keeps inching forward?  She didn't see you and is about to pull out in front of you.  Pickup coming at you and is weaving a lot?  He's drunk or texting, get ready to dive for the ditch.  Use that developing feel for traffic to stay safe.

Pages: 1 2 [3] 4 5 ... 74