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Messages - Pat Lamb

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General Discussion / Re: TransAm Stats?
« on: March 03, 2022, 09:54:12 am »
Another consideration may be if you prefer to ride into the sun or have it at your back.  I personally strongly dislike riding into the sun and am an early rider.  Therefore, I tend to prefer W>E if wind is not an issue.  If you are an early rider, when you ride into the sun, cars behind you may not see you as easily in early mornings due to being blinded by the sun.  If you ride away from the sun, you may have less skin cancer (a major issue with me). However, the reverse is true if you depart camp late and ride until evening.

Typo there?  Riding away from the sun in the morning, don't you mean east to west?

General Discussion / Re: Free Air
« on: March 02, 2022, 09:29:52 am »
This "free air" discussion sounds like a nice hypothetical.  Most of the places I've been lately, if a gas station (or more likely, convenience store) even has a pump, it'll cost 50-75 cents for a spin.

That said, floor pump FTW!

Routes / Re: Route ideas for 300+ miles in May
« on: February 28, 2022, 09:03:32 am »
Re: Natchez Trace, I've only driven/ridden the northern half (Tennessee River (in Alabama) to outside  Nashville.  Grades are moderate, hills increase as you go north.  To paraphrase an AC article, the scenery is nice middle Tennessee, not Rockies or even Smoky Mountains.

Be aware that the Park Service is finally funded to do some road maintenance.  Some of this is more road re-building than re-paving; the current closure, for instance, involves 30 miles of off-route detours.  When they get to the Tennessee River bridge, the detour will be longer and busier.

Don't look for many name brand motels along the NTP.  However, there are usually campgrounds and water sources appropriately spaced for bicyclists.

With the exceptions of Tupelo and Jackson, the NTP is great for cycling.  Low traffic, generally good pavement, good sightlines, and even the steepest parts aren't THAT steep!

Routes / Re: Traffic in Yellowstone on the Parks, Peaks & Prairies route
« on: February 22, 2022, 12:32:46 pm »
A few notes.

First, you're going to be climbing to get to/through Yellowstone.  Not much flat, but the good news is there's about as much downhill as there is uphill.

Second, I agree strongly with John Nettles about timing in Yellowstone.  Ride early, park or find a camping spot or room, go see the sights all afternoon.  Most of the traffic starts picking up around 10:30-11:30, except for the half hour after Old Faithful erupts when the O.F. parking lot erupts.

Third, while I'm not sure how you're arranging transportation, I'd suggest adding a couple days on the end of a west-bound trip.  Divert to see the Firehole River and all its thermal features (including Old Faithful), then go over the divide and south to Jackson.  There's a long downhill going from Yellowstone to the Tetons, and yes, they're worth seeing for yourself.  A day from West Thumb to Jackson Lake, then another day through Tetons N.P., and you'll find it easier to make air connections out of Jackson, WY than you would West Yellowstone, MT.

I'm not quite clear on the question.  Is OP asking about brifters, cranks, or derailers?

Tiagra triple anything is going to be an expensive hunt for the New Old Stuff (NOS) needle in the ebay haystack.  If you put used gear on an new build, good luck.  It may work fine, or you might find why the seller took it off and replaced it.  Shimano stopped making the rubber hoods that fit Tiagra triple brifters a half dozen years ago, so there's a good chance you'll have to hack something together to keep them usable.

Concur on the Sugino cranks and Deore derailers, at least for the rear derailer.

Microshift has rescued 3x9 systems with new shifters and derailers, at least.  They feel stiffer to me than Shimano, but they're usable and available (or as much as any bike components are right now).

Gear Talk / Re: Best Water Bottle?
« on: February 07, 2022, 09:29:36 am »
If I haven't finished drinking a couple water bottles in 2-3 hours, I haven't been drinking enough in the summer.  Since I usually have to resupply every couple hours anyway, an insulated bottle that keeps its contents cool for that long has done its job.

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.

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?

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?

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.

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.

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.

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).

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?

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!!


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