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Messages - Pat Lamb

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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.

Gear Talk / Re: Best Water Bottle?
« on: September 15, 2021, 02:33:07 pm »
I didn't have any problems with the Platypus leaking.  Of course, it only came out of the pannier to be refilled or to fill up the water bottles.  Stuffed in the middle of a sleeping bag, it kept the water cool, too!

South Atlantic / Re: Road Trip Suggestions
« on: September 15, 2021, 09:14:22 am »
Any chance you could turn your trip around and drive/ride south from Maine?  That might extend the time you're in "peak leaf season" territory.

General Discussion / Re: Hillbilly dogs
« on: September 15, 2021, 09:07:10 am »
In Alabama we yelled "Get off the damn couch!" which seemed to work.  ;D

It's kind of funny; the smarter dogs give you a look like "but I'm not ON the couch!"  I can usually get away from them while they slow down to think about it.

Gear Talk / Re: Best Water Bottle?
« on: September 15, 2021, 08:59:20 am »
I'm an unabashed Polar fan.

My experience is that if I load the bottle with ice, then top it with water, the ice will last 60-90 minutes on a 90 degree day.  By the end of two hours, water temperature is approaching ambient.  Also at the end of two hours, I'm ready for a short break which is a good time to reload my two water bottles.  FWIW, my hand strength is enough to squeeze water out of them.

If there's no water refill source within a couple hours' ride, I've used collapsible water bladders in my panniers or a hydration pack on my back.

Camelback insulated bottles have a different closure, though again I don't normally pack full water bottles in a pannier.

Gear Talk / Re: A couple of clothing questions and comments
« on: September 01, 2021, 04:05:27 pm »
I take a rain jacket on tour, but most of its use has been for extra warmth.  As you've noticed, you'll get wet from sweat or from rain if it's warm (>50F or so).  But there have been a few noteworthy thunderstorms, mostly on the high plains, where a rain jacket worked well to protect me from (gasp!) rain.

General Discussion / Re: Hillbilly dogs
« on: August 24, 2021, 02:53:52 pm »
As for hills, I can't remember all the "contours of the land" quote -- perhaps someone can help me here?

"It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them.  Thus you remember them as they actually are, while on an ebike in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle." - Ernest Hemingway

Thanks for that!  (Though I'm not sure ebikes are quite as bad a motor cars...)

General Discussion / Re: Hillbilly dogs
« on: August 23, 2021, 08:46:35 am »
Well, you get to decide what you're going to do.  I think it'd be a pity, though, for 20 seconds of video to deter you from the TransAm route because of dogs.

Pete mentioned Halt! and I carried some on my TransAm trip.  Rather than daily, on the worst part of the trip, I probably pulled the Halt! spray twice a week or less, and used it perhaps a half dozen times.  There was half a can left at the end of my ride.

As for hills, I can't remember all the "contours of the land" quote -- perhaps someone can help me here?  I relished conquering the contours of the Appalachians as an obese, middle aged, and overloaded man.  If that sounds too tough, take the 2% maximum grade on the Eastern Express instead.  (Or you could do it younger, slimmer, and less loaded, but where's the fun in THAT?)

Poking around the track John posted, I noticed Cottonwood Wash Rd. heading up the west side of the wash.  It connects to Elk Mountain Rd. a few miles north which goes into Blanding.  I can't tell from satellite view if the roads are paved, but except for some shaded switchbacks, it looks passable.  Adds about 6 miles to the normal route.

General Discussion / Re: Staying out of the breakdown lane; staying safe
« on: August 17, 2021, 10:01:15 am »
John answered the small town questions, and I have nothing to add to his answers, so I'll go back to what he skipped.

Chain lube?  Once or twice a week, depending on rain en route, whenever it starts squeaking.  (If other people can hear it, go ahead and lube it; you'll hear it soon enough!)  If you grab a couple extra paper napkins from a diner at lunch, you can wipe the chain off, re-lube, and wipe it again.  No need for excessive cleaning.  If you're using a decent lubricant on the chain, it'll work on the derailers and shifters as well -- wipe the excess off with yet another paper napkin.

The only time I went into a bike shop on tour was when I needed something.  Couple times to check wheel true, once for a new tire, once to change brake pads.  I could have done the brakes and wheels myself, but hey!  I was on vacation!

Just a couple ideas:

1. Fly to Wichita and pick up the TransAm heading east.  You'd have a chance of hitting some early leaf color by the time you get near the Blue Ridge; or you could loop south from Damascus towards the Blue Ridge Parkway and take that north toward Waynesboro/Afton to pick up the last part of the TransAm, with the chance of more fall leaves in the process.  (Just be careful about the BRP closure near Roanoke, I don't know if they've finished rebuilding that section.)

2. Take one of the last flights of the year into West Yellowstone and head east on the new Parks Peaks and Prairies route.  From the end of that you could cobble a route south toward St. Louis on the Northern Tier and Great Rivers routes. 

I suspect, as John hinted, trying to get motel reservations might be a challenge (especially behind option #2).  It'll be a double whammy if you're trying to balance reservations with the need to be flexible to avoid snow in the mountain passes.

Gear Talk / Re: Does anybody sell a bicycle cargo trunk like this?
« on: August 06, 2021, 10:58:18 am »
Wow, that is one interesting way to put in disc brakes.  Was this bike a butchered caliper brake model that you added the discs to?

I would think your added rear shelf would have limited commercial appeal.  The traditional packing with bigger panniers on the rear and smaller panniers on the front gives a lot of packing volume.  When that's not enough, a bar bag and perhaps a bit more on the front is the traditional way to carry even more.

I'm not a good one to give advice to cut down your load, since I probably started my longest tour with over 75 pounds of gear (excluding bike and racks).  But a better approach, for most people if not for you, would be to carry less gear.  If you're going to more remote places or if you're going to be gone for more than 2-3 months, you might want to carry everything you've sketched out.  But that goes back to the "limited commercial appeal."  There's not many people who hit the road for more than six months at a time, and they often figure things out on their own, and change how they pack as they go, so a mass produced (even in low volume) specialty rack isn't going to be a best seller.

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