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Messages - Pat Lamb

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General Discussion / Re: Shifting gears: I have 27 and use 4
« on: September 12, 2022, 03:19:55 pm »
I don't qualify to answer since I'm happy with my 3x9 shifting system.  I get a lot of wear on the middle cog of my cassette.  I'm still happy to have the rest of the gears available. but here goes anyhow.

Where have you ridden?  If you've stuck to fairly flat tours, such as rail-trails or coastal routes, you may be unhappy if you ever try to climb a mountain.

Are you OK with the idea of getting off to push?  Or being limited in how fast you can go on a slight downhill?  If you answer "yes," maybe a one-by system will make sense.

What do you see as the downside to a triple?

Personally, I'd stick with what you've got until you wear out a cassette (and change your chains as needed to keep that from happening).  Why?  Because it still works, and I'm too cheap to buy a new cassette, shifter, chain, and crank until the old one is worn out.

Routes / Re: Western Express versus TransAmerica
« on: September 07, 2022, 01:56:53 pm »
FWIW, the Big Hole (Dillon to Wisdom to Sula) felt like the most remote part of the TransAm I remember.  Scenery is very nice (if you don't have smoke when you go through there) as well.  To be honest, I don't know what I missed through Idaho and Oregon on the original TransAm, as I went north to Glacier and then took the Northern Tier to the coast.  Glacier was worth the detour IMHO!

Speaking of which, the NT is a great way to go west.  Five passes in four days on WA Rte. 20, and all of them felt different.  Tough, yeah, but after you've ridden all the way from Virginia, it shouldn't be a big deal.

For LouisB specifically, you might not care about the Virginia tidewater and piedmont regions if you're not interested in American history and if you're in pretty good shape when you arrive.  Have you considered riding the W&OD rail trail/bike route out of Washington, then make your way to Front Royal, and take the Skyline Drive (Shenandoah N.P.) to the Blue Ridge Parkway above Waynesboro to pick up the TransAm there? 

As I said above -
I've had the misfortune of riding and hiking Glacier a dozen or more times.

You said that, and I can't quite figure out if "misfortune" is a sardonic introduction or whether you really don't like it but keep going back.

General Discussion / Re: extremely new to cycle touring
« on: September 06, 2022, 08:39:34 am »
If your finances can handle it, you might look into packaged bike tours in Europe.  It's not hard to find supported tours of 30-50 miles per day in France, Italy, Germany, etc. that will also rent you a bike (saves shipping across the pond and back).

That just leaves you finding a bike to train on before you leave home.  Without the touring constraint, it should be easy to walk into a bike shop, try some out, and buy the one you like to ride the most.  (It's harder to buy a good touring bike just because it's such a small slice of the bicycle market.)

Routes / Re: Western Express versus TransAmerica
« on: August 31, 2022, 02:55:28 pm »
Didn't see any bears in Glacier, but when we were walking from the campground over to the shuttle stop at Apgar, a wolf was chasing a deer.  (Didn't know my daughter could walk that fast in flip-flops!)

A dozen years later, I'm still trying to figure out how to go back there and take my wife to see Glacier.  It's that beautiful.

Classifieds / Re: STOLEN Co-Motion Americano
« on: August 20, 2022, 04:45:44 pm »
Supposedly horse thieves were hanged in the old west because they kept a man from being able to work without his horse.  There's some debate on whether or not a bike thief deserves the same punishment.  But taking off with your Frogs?  Hang 'em high!

FWIW, if your insurance company wants to keep the bike, you might ask if they'll sell the remnants to you.  You might score a scratched up and poorly frame for $200 or so.

Routes / Re: Western Express versus TransAmerica
« on: August 12, 2022, 08:59:30 am »
When you're looking at temperatures, remember that it's going to be warmer than the listed highs roughly half the time.  (And Murphy's Law says you'll be riding there during the half the time it's hotter!)

If you're thinking about going to Missoula, you might thing about a two or three day jog up to Glacier National Park, and then take the Northern Tier west.  If you do that, when you're sweating across eastern and central Washington, congratulate yourself on being 700 miles north of the WE in Nevada!

A few more thoughts.

First, the points about pannier drag and wind are spot on.  My unladen terminal velocity on a 6% downhill is probably over 50 mph, but I hit the brakes when traffic or crosswind buffeting has me wondering if I can control the bike at that speed.  (So my lifetime max is only 49.4 mph.  Sniff.  It was glorious!)

I've rarely exceeded 40 mph with panniers.  Maybe I need an 8-10% grade where I know there's a nice runoff at the bottom?

Second, practice letting the bike run on your training rides.  I remember one bicyclist who was almost petrified going down an 8% grade, and riding her brakes to keep her speed down to 10-12 mph, wobbling back and forth across the lane as she did so.  The 3/4 mile of traffic backed up behind her was not impressed.  You don't want to be her.  So work your way up to a comfortable 30-40 mph or so in good conditions.

Also remember, if you start getting speed wobbles, (1) relax, (2) don't hit the front brake, (3) if you can, put one or both knees against your top tube.

General Discussion / Re: Tents and panniers
« on: July 05, 2022, 08:44:29 am »
I view my Ortliebs on my bike as the trunk of my car.  They're waterproof, so they can stay on the bike.

The exception, as noted, is in bear country.  Most of the campgrounds on the TransAm in bear country are west of the plains, and most of those have bear lockers.  Use them.  For the exceptions without bear lockers, hang'em high!

For ease of getting dressed or undressed, or latent claustrophobia, or reading or writing in bad mosquito areas, or mosquitoes biting through tents on warm nights, I think the correct tent sizing is n+1, where n is the number of people who'll be sleeping in it.

In addition to John's road condition consideration, I'd add whether or not there's gravel (or rocks) on the road, and whether the road and/or your brakes are wet.  There was one lovely pass where the road was a consistent 6%, but there were occasional 3-6" rocks on the road -- you want to make sure you can safely steer around those!

Also, brake early and often if it's raining so you can clear your brakes.  Rim or disc, if the braking surface gets wet you don't have brake power.  And yes, it can happen with a good rain rate on discs!

Other than that, brake as you need to maintain your speed so you can steer the bike.  Riding the brakes is bad, you're better off either alternating wheels (front for 10 seconds, rear for 10 seconds), or pulsing the brakes (brake hard for 5 seconds, let it roll for 5).  If you think the brake surface is getting too hot, stop and let it cool.  Take a few pictures, have a drink and a snack, squirt some water on the rims and see if they've stopped hissing when you do that.  It's possible to blow even a mountain bike tire off the rim if you overheat it too badly; skinnier tires at higher pressure are closer to blowoff if you ride the brakes.

General Discussion / Re: Bicycle pump that works as advertised.
« on: July 01, 2022, 10:04:14 am »
I usually get tired of pumping one of my Topeak Road Morphs around 75 psi, but that's adequate into 700Cx32 tires for me.  With a heavy load, it takes a little longer to hit 90 psi, but the Road Morph can do it reliably and repeatably.

Routes / Re: Camping on the outer banks?
« on: June 29, 2022, 01:57:58 pm »
November?  I don't know how many campgrounds will be open either on the Outer Banks or on the mainland.

Unless things have changed, there's no camping on the National Seashore land except in campgrounds.  You may (or may not) have better luck in the towns along the road.

Temporary ACA Route Road Closures / Re: Yellowstone Reopening
« on: June 21, 2022, 10:25:30 pm »
I'm not trying to be quarrelsome, but I don't understand why the PPP route needs to detour through Jackson.  According to the text at the east entrance seems to be open, although the map shows some "impacts" on the east entrance.  Why couldn't cyclists go from Grant Village up past Lake and out to Cody?

General Discussion / Re: The road is flat. It's what?
« on: June 14, 2022, 08:53:20 am »
Those who drive mid-range EVs are also generally pretty in tune w/ the subtleties of the road grades in a given area. Speaking from personal experience....

Yes, the current mileage indicator on my wife's hybrid is one of the most sensitive inclinometers I've ever seen.  ;)

Colorado Springs has a number of bike shops, but if he needs a loaded touring bike, I'd say go to the REI.  Their Coop ADV 1.1 is in the same class as the Trek 520, Surly LHT, and Fuji Touring.  If they don't have one in his size, they may be able to locate one in Denver or Boulder, though that might entail a car rental for timely delivery.

General Discussion / Re: US dogs
« on: May 31, 2022, 10:11:04 am »
Now you know why American cyclists post about dogs so much!

I'm another Halt! fan.  "No!" or "Get off the sofa!" at the top of your lungs works on 90% of the dogs I've seen, but Halt gets the 9 of the last 10%.  (The very last 1% will charge until he's six feet away, just outside of the Halt's range, so he's somewhat experienced but probably won't bite you.)

The worst mongrels are the ones who are serious about attacking, and they make no noise until you hear the clatter of dog paws five feet back.  You need to have some way of responding quickly to those attacks -- I personally can't get a water bottle out in the time it takes that dog to close the gap.

I'll add my voice to the chorus saying to stay on the country roads.  It's a lot more pleasant to deal with a dog or two every day than trying to figure out where the shoulder ends, how to merge with traffic to get across a bridge, etc. multiple times every hour.

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