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Messages - JimF

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Had a similar problem on the TransAm after a run-in with some mud in Kansas: contaminated the innards of the hub. A cleaning and re-lube solved it. Do you have the maintenance pamphlet? If not, download from their web site. Also, they have a video on lubricating the hub which is instructive. Two 5 mm Allen wrenches are all the tools needed. It's a simple job. Good luck.

General Discussion / Re: transam advice needed
« on: May 29, 2009, 10:13:36 am »
Many (majority?) start in the east. One reason is you reach the mountains of the west later in the summer when winter-like conditions are likely done. Prevailing winds, I found, are too variable to be a factor. As for road grades, most T-A's would likely say that the mountains and hills of Virginia, Kentucky, and Missouri pose more of a challenge (lots of up and down's) than the long, but steady grades of the mountain west. Either way, it's a tour of a lifetime. Enjoy.

Gear Talk / Re: Help on choosing rain gear
« on: May 23, 2009, 08:44:46 am »
Hi, Agnes:
I like a rain cape on tour. There are a number of manufacturers designing for cyclists. One is . My wife and I have used this cape on numerous tours and find it very effective. Coverage is excellent and it provides plenty of ventilation, and important feature. Enjoy your tour.

Gear Talk / Re: touring wheels
« on: May 12, 2009, 11:06:42 am »
Hi, Robo:
My touring bike (loaded) has Mavic A719 rims. They have about 7,000 miles (11k km) on them, and have held up well. I further "bombproofed" the rear wheel with a Chris King hub (when I ended up in mud during a Kansas storm, the easy cleaning and lubing of the hub mechanicals was a savior.) The miles include mostly road, but have a portion on unimproved roads, trails, and, unintentionally, road warning strips (not fun). Anyhow, I pay attention to spoke tension (Park has a valuable tool for that for those who ride a lot and/or rough on wheels) and wheel truing. Good luck.

Routes / Re: Sierra Cascade Route
« on: May 07, 2009, 09:57:47 am »
Did you contact the ACA in Missoula directly? My guess is that they would have the route out before the cycling season begins next year. When you get a reply, please post. From the description in their fund-raiser letter earlier this year, it sure looks like a very interesting route.

Gear Talk / Re: Tough Touring Tire
« on: March 29, 2009, 04:15:58 pm »
The Schwalbe Marathon Plus likely would meet your criterium. Not a single flat on the Transam. I haven't replaced them after an additional two years of riding, still--knock on wood--without a flat. Expensive, though.

General Discussion / Re: Which Mobile Phone Service for TransAM?
« on: March 19, 2009, 09:42:49 am »
One possibility is TracFone:

I used it on my TransAm back a couple of years ago and found the coverage quite good, as they had contract services with a number of service providers. You may want to run a web search for other prepays, as some of the majors now provide them, including some of the internationals. Good journey.

Gear Talk / Re: Considering New Handlebar Setup
« on: March 12, 2009, 11:04:20 am »
Hi, TulsaJohn:
I have three bikes, an MTB with straight bar, an old Peugeot racer with drops, and an Atlantis tourer with a mustache bar, my favorite. I'm a senior. I find the more upright, curved geometry of the mustache to be comfortable on longer rides (including a TransAm back a couple of years ago.) It also mates well with bar ends.

General Discussion / Re: I will need help planning my route
« on: February 22, 2009, 01:20:30 pm »
Sounds like a memorable trip for two important organizations. I'm sure you'll get good advice on possibilities. You need to provide the hotel chain or other info so possible route(s) can be determined for the communities that you'll be passing through. Most state DOTs have bicycle coordinators. I'm sure they can help with routes through their states, paying particular attention to your needs, e.g., roadway shoulders. The folks at ACA may be able to help, as well. I'm personally not familiar with the area you'll be passing through; however, I do have gps mapping software that can use the bicycle as the vehicle, using parameters that are important to cyclists (avoiding toll roads, major highways, etc.) It's not perfect, but it may give you some possibilities combined with other advice you'll get from this group. You can message me directly if you'd like me to run some routes. Good luck and God bless.

GPS & Digital Data Discussion / Re: General GPS How To Sticky?
« on: February 14, 2009, 01:54:05 pm »
Take a look at

A primer on GPS for cyclists. Be patient. The sophistication of these newer units (Fred referenced) requires same. Good journey.

General Discussion / Re: April too early? (Westbound TA)
« on: February 11, 2009, 09:39:28 am »
Don't ignore the weather in the East that time of year either.  The TransAm goes through western VA and the higher elevations in Kentucky and parts of Southern IL.  All of these areas can be cold, rainy, snowy or all three in April. 

An important piece of gear is a NOAA-tuned weather radio. The dedicated units can be programmed for local geographic areas as you pass through. Good journey.

GPS & Digital Data Discussion / Re: Hello to Fred Hiltz
« on: January 31, 2009, 08:43:29 am »
I'll second that! Thank you, Fred. Your help to all who ask is one of the reasons ACA is a valuable asset to the the cycling community.

Hi Fred.

I've been away for a while, busy on other cycling issues. Thought I'd check in, and am thrilled that you are here helping folks with GPS issues.

For you newbies, Fred is a fountain of GPS info. The ACA is privileged to have such  dedicated members.


I'm not familiar with the 350 (I have a 60CSx); however, if it's interface is similar, try: Before you activate the loader, connect your GPSr via the USB, turn the receiver ON, (if you can turn off the satellite finder, do so); don't activate the computer interface. Then try the loader on your PC. The screen for the PC on the GPSr is used when you want to copy/delete files from the unit using the PC transfer tools, e.g., Explore. Hope this helps.

General Discussion / Re: How do you like the new forum?
« on: January 11, 2009, 05:09:25 pm »
Appears to be a more efficient program. Good work.

Connecting ACA Routes / Pueblo CO to Minneapolis, MI
« on: September 23, 2008, 03:01:53 pm »
Following up on colobikenut, most, if not all, the states you may consider crossing to your Minnesota destination will have road maps available with designated bicycle-friendly routes. State departments of transportation may have bicycle coordinators, too, to assist you. You can contact each via the web. Enjoy.

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