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Messages - dancingcyclist

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General Discussion / Re: Loaded Tour Bike Handling
« on: June 05, 2015, 05:48:41 pm »
Chainring is 30/39/50

General Discussion / Loaded Tour Bike Handling
« on: June 05, 2015, 04:23:04 pm »
I just completed building up a bike and doing a two day/one night local ride of 120 miles. I'm riding a Raleigh Sojourn with an Arkel Low-rider front rack with Ortlib Classic front and rear panniers. Approximate total weight with food, clothes, camping gear 3 water bottles, and the rest needed for multi-day touring including bike is about 90-95 lbs. Split up roughly as follows: Front panniers 13-14 lbs., Rear 30 lbs., Seat bag 2-3 lbs., Bar bag 5 lbs., This ride was for learning and testing out everything in prep for longer tours later.

Problems I ran into and was surprised to find after spending many months researching, as I never read about this occurring. When standing up to pedal the bike became very hard to maintain a straight line. With the rocking motion from pedaling the bike would veer off left and right making it very dangerous and almost impossible to handle. I also noticed that when standing even only just enough to relieve seat pressure the bike would start to shimmy in the front, the more forward I leaned the worse it got. This made it difficult to continue riding after 50-60 miles having to stay seated continuously. This included taking short off-bike breaks.
I had to mount the front rack at an angle leaning back due to disc-brake caliper clearance, if that's makes a difference.
Are these handling problems normal??

My other problem I ran into was gearing. While building up the bike I had the bar-end shifters changed to STI for better control while shifting on Non-Paved Rail-Trails. My bike shop told me the lowest cog I could use with the STI shifters would be 32 tooth as opposed to the 34 that came with the bike. As I found out the hard way this is not a low enough gear as I ended up walking a number of hills with about a CAT 5 rated, 2.1% grade. I'll admit I'm not in the shape I once was @ 195 lbs., 63 years old but I do ride a road bike 2-4 times a week 30-40 miles per ride.
Is this correct info about the gearing and I just need to get in better shape or??

Thanks for the help.

Gear Talk / Retiring, getting into self contained touring
« on: February 16, 2014, 10:42:11 pm »
Looking for input. Been road riding for years, ready to start touring and looking into bikes. Right now I'm leaning towards a Raleigh Sojourn or a Jamis Elite, or ???. Any and all help is welcome.  :)

I've got two, a light weight one from Canari, bright yellow, I got from REI a couple years ago and a medium weight one from illumiNITE which is blue with the reflection dots. Both have front pockets and one back pocket, all zippered. The Canari also has a strap connected inside the back pocket so you can put the jacket inside the rear pocket and wear it as a fanny pack. I've strapped it to the front of my drop bars so I still have access to my jursey pockets when on a extra long weather changing rides.
Here in the Pacific Northwest these jackets are the only way to go for 9 months out of the year.

Gear Talk / Disc or non-disc brakes
« on: April 21, 2011, 11:11:09 pm »
I'm looking into buying my first touring bike and am considering disc brakes, I'm not planning out-of-the-country trips at this time or in the near future. Any opinions? Hydraulic or mechanical?

Routes / Re: cascade rail trail
« on: September 10, 2010, 12:17:23 am »
How true, the winds do come from the west most times, but not at those speeds normally.

Routes / Rear Vier Mirror
« on: September 04, 2010, 02:23:36 am »
I've done most my riding without using a mirror but with starting to get into touring I was thinking of using one.

I've tried the glasses mounted style a few years ago and had an impossible time adjusting and using it. Not to mention every time I bumped the glasses I had to readjust it, and getting the head tilted just right. I gave up when I lost my glasses and have gone back to riding without a mirror.

Many people in my bike club use them, like them, and refuse to ride without one, but I'm not impressed for when riding around locally. One of my planned trips is the west coast and I know from driving it that it can be dangerous with the number of vehicles on it.

I was thinking of the bar end style mirror but remember my motorcycle days of the vibrations which made them next to useless at times.

Any opinions?

Routes / Re: cascade rail trail
« on: September 04, 2010, 01:35:15 am »
This may be to late for your trip but I've ridden both many times since I live in Skagit Valley and the S. Skagit Hwy. is a much better ride. The old highway takes you further away from city sounds (hwy20) and puts you in farmland, riverside views and the hillsides. The Cascade Trail has a lot of stops for roads and driveways not to mention some dogs on the large and mean size. The Cascade Trail is also crushed gravel, no pavement anywhere, and had a MAJOR WASHOUT, the Skagit river floods multiple times a year most years) that had not been repaired the last time I road it which was two years ago. The first time I rode it the same place was washed out and that was in 1999. Due to the way budget cuts have been I would find it hard to believe it's been fixed. S. Skagit Hwy. on the otherhand is chipsealed but well packed down and in good shape with little traffic, no loose gravel. You can connect with Hwy. 20 just outside Concrete about 1 mile west. Well marked intersection. I just road it this last July on a loop from Burlington through Arlington to Darrington, Concrete and Sedro. No shoulders to speak off but as I said before little traffic, and NO DOGS.
Keep in mind I usually ride a road bike with 700-23 tires. In the winter (wetter weather) when on the old mountain bike I'll use the Cascade Trail, it's also great for jogging and even in some years skiing.
Hope this helps

General Discussion / Help getting started
« on: August 08, 2010, 12:50:04 am »
Looking for someone to help with getting started in self touring. Plan on buying a BOB Yak but could use help and company on a few short (2-3 days) trips to work out the bugs.
Have a number of questions and have never done any overnight trips by bike. I'm 58 and laidoff. I ride about 5000 miles a year w/centuries under 6 hrs. BUT this is with no extras on the bike. Live in Skagit Valley, Washington State.

General Discussion / Getting Starting: Self Contained Touring
« on: July 29, 2010, 01:31:26 am »
I'm been thinking of self contained touring and am looking the best way to get started. I was thinking of buying a touring bike and raks, bags and so on, lately I've started thinking about buying a trailer. Money's extra tight, got laid off in June. I currently have two road bikes, both are lightweight with aluminum frames, one does have a triple crank for climbing.
My question is can these be used with a trailer SAFELY, or do I need a heavier built bike? If these bikes can be used, should anything be changed or updated? I was thinking about going to at least 700x25 tires at minimum if they'll clear.
I plan on using my Mountaineering outdoor gear from my climbing days (tent, sleeping bag, stove, etc.) so I don't have any other real expences.

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