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Messages - jrswenberger

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General Discussion / Re: Lube when long distance touring
« on: June 13, 2020, 11:22:39 pm »
I use to do the hot wax thing too, but I got tired doing it, but at the time that's what everyone did, until TriFlow came out, so I tried it and liked it better than the hot wax method.

I might try the Dumonde Tech Lite or Original Bicycle Chain Lubrication.  According to Dumonde the Original and the Lite is the same thing but Lite is diluted version of the Original so why use the Lite? why not use the Original but less of it vs the Lite?

A number of years ago, I settled on the Dumonde lubes for all of our bikes. I don't believe the Lite is diluted, just uses a less viscous carrier. Here in western Oregon, I use the Original (more viscous) throughout the winter and spring and then switch to the Lite when things are drier. Predictably, the Original formula is stickier and messier, but stays in place for quite a long time in daily rainy weather. The Lite formula is much cleaner to apply and attracts much less dirt but isn't as long lasting. This is true of just about any combination of wet/dry lubes from any manufacturer. I have found Dumonde to be a bit pricier than many lubes but I really appreciate how well they work.

On tour, I'll just carry the Original bottle that I have open. If I have to fly, I'll usually pick up whatever is cheap during the first week of a trip.

Enjoy the ride,

General Discussion / Re: Stopping vs Rolling Thru Stop Signs ??
« on: June 05, 2020, 10:03:37 pm »
Gas tax:

Auto registration fees:

Federal highway trust funds:

Yes, property taxes do pay for paths, but since roughly 13% of the American adult population rides bikes and use path and lanes, then that means that a huge majority of homeowners are paying property taxes for bike lanes and paths that they don't ever use.  Is that fair for homeowners?  Especially considering that a lot of public schools, police and fire agencies are suffering financially, and they rely on homeowner taxes to get funding.

This is why I suggested a one time registration fee, a fee by the way that some states are beginning to do, a fee that would help defer some of the cost of cities to install and maintain those paths and lanes.

A good bit of my property taxes go towards schools, libraries and other services I don't use...I'm calling it even!!!

General Discussion / Re: Stopping vs Rolling Thru Stop Signs ??
« on: May 17, 2020, 08:37:26 pm »
The bikers here are getting Berated for ignoring stop signs. There are some riders who blast thru, which is both rude and illegal. Most of us slow, maybe tap a foot on the pavement and roll thru with no traffic. I've always felt it was safer than all the starting & stopping, particularly with more than 25 stop signs for a 20 mile ride. I'd heard yrs. ago that 3 states permit rolling stops for bikes. Does anyone know of any research on this that's available ??

I don't know of any research but Oregon recently passed it's own 'Idaho Stop' law. Cyclists are now allowed to continue through stop signs when it is safe to do so. This does NOT apply to stop LIGHTS however...just thought to clarify for the Darwin candidates out there!

Enjoy the ride!

General Discussion / Re: Emergency Helicopter Evacuation insurance
« on: February 18, 2020, 12:06:39 am »
I recommend checking into one you may not have thought of: DAN, the Divers' Alert Network. Started to cover scuba divers for emergencies and evacuations in remote areas, but they have broadened out and are a great choice for a wide variety of activities now. Quite a few of my colleagues in wilderness medicine swear by them. (My wife and I go with the Alpine Club of Canada's plan, but it doesn't sound like you live up here.)

I second using DAN. My wife and I have used this on a number of trips, including a year-long multi-continent trip. If I remember correctly, the cost was very reasonable as well.


General Discussion / Re: Dealing with boredom on long bicycle trip
« on: July 06, 2019, 03:08:46 pm »
Maybe that's the problem...we are in 'training' mode and waking up, having breakfast and then biking 20-25 miles and then back in the house by 9:30 AM, before it gets too hot and really not taking breaks, along the way......It seems to me  my body doesn't like stop and go and stop and go and stop and go.....I might need an attitude adjustment

I think this is significant.

I always cringe a little when people talk of training for a bike tour, because it normally means following a training regime that is all about mileage.
I prefer to think in terms of practising. Doing the things I will be doing on tour, only some of which is cycling.
To me cycle touring is not about the distances - it's about what happens in between.
In my experience the part of the body that needs to be most prepared is not the butt or the leg muscles (although it obviously helps if they're road ready), but the brain.

I think on some level you're recognising this. Yes, you probably do need an attitude adjustment simply because for the few weeks of your tour, your normal life, and it constraints are very different. That deserves a different attitude to make the most of it.

Instead of getting up early and clocking up 25 miles, take breakfast with you and cycle somewhere specifically to have a nice picnic breakfast. Or in the evening. Or overnight to an inn or a friend. It might mean less "cycle" training, but more "tour" practising.

I refer to it as my "touring head". When my "touring head" is on, everything is different. The differences is particularly noticeable in the decisions made with my "Touring head" on as opposed to off.

As to your original question, I've never been bored when away on the bike. There is always something to do, even if that is nothing except taking a moment to appreciate where I am. Some people find that very hard to do.

Travelling with a Significant Other can be great when you are both on the same wavelength. I've had wonderful days cycling with someone - sometimes long, hard days, other very short where the afternoon was spent having a few drinks and playing cards.

Time on the bike varies. I stop every hour, hour and a half. That might be 5 minutes, it might be an hour or longer. It all depends on what I want to do at that time. I reckon my average "riding time" in a day is probably 5-6 hours, but I'm en route for maybe 8-10 hours. That works for me. The trick is to find what works for you.

Good luck!

Exactly!!!  For me, being in 'touring mode' changes the bike from the object of the activity, i.e. training, to the locomotive means of experiencing life outside of my daily routines. Many people focus on their daily distances, the number of hours they typically ride, or how much they've climbed. I stopped using a cycling computer decades ago and it changed my focus to everything else that was happening, the sights, sounds and people I met along the way.

This has worked for me but it won't for everyone. There is no 'right' way to go on a tour, only 'your' way. As Hobbs so eloquently stated, spend your training time focusing on all of the other activities of a tour as much as the bike riding. I'd bet you'll end up enjoying your trips more and boredom won't even creep into your thoughts.

That said, it's also important to choose your routes in such a way that you won't likely to be bored at all. I've spent a week or two following large rivers along beautifully maintained bike routes and couldn't wait to get back into the mountains. Those that have ridden for hours or days into a headwind across endless flat terrain can imagine the same.  Each of us has our own likes and dislikes and I'd recommend planning your first tours to maximize the types of terrain and off-bike activities you'll most likely not be bored with.

Enjoy whatever riding you do but don't forget about taking in all that your tour can offer you.


General Discussion / Re: Power bank issues with multiple devices
« on: June 05, 2019, 08:05:11 pm »
The issue is not with what charges the best. The issue is that Garmin warns not to charge their devices at more than a 2.0 amp rate. Above that, you could damage the device. A lot of the power banks mention 2.5 to 3 amp output so my confusion as to how to cut the amperage down to not burn up the Garmins.

The output ratings for these power banks are maximums. The charging current drawn is a function of the device receiving the charge. The power banks don't know what device they are charging or what charging profiles are ok for that device. Unless the power bank is defective, the receiving device determines the rate of charge up to the capabilities of the power bank. There may be other issues involved with charging Garmin devices. It sounds like Garmin wants to blame their poorly designed recharging circuits on the devices providing the energy.

What is generally the "prevailing "wind in the Columbia River gorge? I'm planning an West to East ride in August.

Prevailing wind is always a 'headwind'...   ;D

Gear Talk / Re: Jones handlebars
« on: February 15, 2019, 08:13:43 pm »
I've toured extensively on drop bars. After a year long tour, I recently swapped in a Jones H-Bar to try out. It's been a bit over two years and I absolutely love riding with these bars on my LHT. I really didn't use the drops on drop bars and the H-Bar replicates all the hand positions I need and more. On road tours are comfortable, off road I have even better control.

However, I REALLY miss having a good sized handlebar bag sitting in front of me, ready with nearly everything I might need while pedaling. I REALLY miss it. Since my LHT has cantilever brakes, the front brake cabling greatly restricts my options. So does the market since most of the under bar bags and attachment systems are designed with disc brake cable routing.

While using the wonderful, but comparatively tiny handlebar bag from Randi Jo Fabrications during a recent 3 week tour in New Zealand, I decided to return to drop bars and the limitations of the Ortlieb mount. I'll still tour on and off road, as I've done for nearly 40 years, but for general, all-around riding, I'll miss the H-bar a good deal.


General Discussion / Re: How long before touring after knee replacement
« on: November 28, 2018, 12:26:22 am »
The stronger you are BEFORE the surgery,  the better the outcome tends to be.

From a purely selfish cyclist perspective,  I hope it doesn't get fixed for a long time.  This short stretch of car-free roadway on the Oregon Coast is such a nice respite from motorists in a hurry to stop at their next photo op.

GPS & Digital Data Discussion / Re: GPS Advice
« on: October 14, 2018, 02:14:00 pm »
I'd also throw in my recommendation for the etrex 30. We've used ours around the world without much difficulty. There are multiple online sources of maps you can download to the memory card and it takes normal AA batteries. I have no use for turn by turn directions so that's not an issue. We don't using it that often but, for us, it is just to make sure we're heading in the generally intended direction. It's really nice when you get off the pavement and away from people, especially since many times the 'help' you get from locals isn't really that helpful.

The only issue we've had was from our original 30, after a few years of backpacking and touring with it. We were caught out in the open by an incredible rain and windstorm shortly after entering Turkey from Bulgaria. There was no available cover and the microburst flooded the road with over 1.5in of rain in about 15 minutes. There was significant wind and water damage to the next town we came to. I didn't even think about the GPS at the time and the seals must have failed. It powered up fine but the display was ruined and no amount of drying helped. We had a replacement shipped to Istanbul and have been using it since.

Enjoy the ride,

General Discussion / Re: Cheap tires cost more than expensive tires.
« on: September 18, 2018, 10:38:48 pm »
I've been touring and commuting on Schalble Marathons for years.  I can honestly say that I've never had a flat. I do replace them after the tread is getting thin but that's after 4-5 thousand miles.

Definitely a good investment.

Yep, we have 10,000+ miles of fully loaded touring on 2 pair of Marathon Mondials, no flats, no problems, rear tires only show moderate wear, front tires much less wear. For mixed conditions or unknown conditions, I can't imagine a better tire.


My wife and I have ridden the closed route fairly regularly since the closure. While Adventure Cycling can't officially recommend it, we certainly can!

General Discussion / Re: Warm Showers Reliability
« on: July 06, 2018, 12:28:15 am »
We've used WS all over the world and have hosted many. Every experience has been positive. As John said, you can't always find someone available where you'd like to be so don't count on WS your primary option. Besides, WS wasn't set up as a point-to-point chain of free places to stay every night. Lately, lots of new folks feeling entitled to a 4 star experience from someone offering their personal hospitality and home for free. It's probably just a sign of current attitudes for many.

Enjoy the ride,

Connecting ACA Routes / Re: Netarts Hiway Detour
« on: March 19, 2018, 10:06:45 am »
While we haven't ridden this alternative route, my wife and I have ridden the Cape Meares Loop a number of times recently.

Yes, it is posted as a closed road. There are a couple of places where the pavement has slid making passage by car impossible. This has not, however, affected bicycle passage in the least. It does make for a very quiet and peaceful climb up from Bayocean Rd. By not having another way out, there is only local traffic on Bayocean while all the cars heading to the coast continue on Netarts Hwy.

If you want to visit Cape Meares or ride the loop, don't let the signs put you off. A support vehicle can take the available route to the coast and meet you anywhere beyond the lighthouse at Cape Meares.


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