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Messages - RussellSeaton

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General Discussion / Airline Legal Travel Case
« on: May 24, 2006, 12:41:20 am »
Yes, breaking the frame is about the only way its going to fit into a 62" linear inch case.  S&S couplers can be added to metal frames when built at the factory or by many custom frame makers.  And I would guess Calfee could add S&S couplers to a carbon frame too.  Not cheap though.  Other break apart frames include the Moulton bikes, Ritchey/Dahon Break-Away method, Bike Friday, and probably a few others.

If you had a very small compact frame, and 650C wheels, you could probably take the wheels, crank, fork, bars off the bike and probably get it into a 62" case without having the frame come apart.  Lot of disassembly and assembly but if the trip is long enough and not too often and your bike is small enough, this would be economical.

General Discussion / biketouring with diabetes
« on: June 09, 2006, 12:16:49 pm »
"If needed, keep a needle with insulin ready to go in a waterproof pack inside a water bottle."

Why?  You only need to take insulin before eating or if blood glucose levels are high.  Being HYPERglycemic causes debilitating problems gradually.  You have a considerable time, hours to days, to feel the onset of its effects and take action.  Saving 30 seconds by not having to draw up Humalog or Novolog out of a vial with a syringe is inconsequential.  Being HYPERglycemic only causes unconsciousness after a prolonged period.  Its not an acute problem.

Being HYPOglycemic is an acute problem.  Having a Glucagon kit ready would be useful if traveling with others.  But not drawn up into the syringe since it has to be mixed at time of use.  And has to be mixed and given by someone else since by the time you need the Glucagon solution, the diabetic is unable to administer it.  GU gel packets are fast acting and maybe the easiest to use by the diabetic himself when HYPOglycemic.

General Discussion / biketouring with diabetes
« on: May 19, 2006, 12:40:04 pm »
I will assume you are talking about Type 1, juvenile onset diabetes.  Not the increasingly common in the western hemisphere Type II, adult onset diabetes.  Both have the name diabetes, but are completely unrelated diseases.

Main points.  1. Be reasonably healthy, other than the diabetes, before starting a tour.  Follow a diet plan, keep blood glucose measurements within a decent range.  Etc.  Adding the physical exertion of long bike rides to a body that is on the edge is not advisable.  2. Use a blood glucose monitor while riding. Stop every hour or two and test. There are many very compact ones available. 3. Carry emergency food/glucose with you for the times your blood glucose is too low. 4. Reduce your insulin levels. Most likely your basal insulin will need to be cut a fair amount if you are going on an extended bike tour of a week or more. Insulin taken with food will also likely need to be reduced due to the body's metabolism, etc. using glucose without as much insulin needed. 5. Monitor blood glucose after the ride is over. It is very, very common for glucose levels to drop considerably in the hours after exercise is over.  Even after eating a large supper, glucose levels can drop considerably in the middle of the night.  6. Build up to a long tour by riding lots now.  Discover how your body reacts and how much food, insulin, etc. are needed to keep glucose levels in a normal range. Its a learning experience. 7. At my public library they have a book titled something like diabetes and extreme sports. Extreme sports being ultra distance runners and cyclists mainly.  Something you do for 12-24 or more hours continously. It talks about adjustments to insulin levels.

General Discussion / foot problem
« on: June 01, 2006, 01:21:24 pm »
Toeclips?  The edges of the pedal are putting pressure on your feet and causing your toes to go to sleep.  Long, long ago when I used sneakers with toeclips the thin metal pedal edges pressed into the soft soles of the sneakers.  Your Lake sandals do not have too stiff of a sole.  I have those sandals.  You are transferring all of your leg force through the two very thin (1/8") by very short (3") edges of the pedal.  Pretty high psi.

General Discussion / Touring in November 2006
« on: May 01, 2006, 02:12:11 pm »
Sounds a little like me in late Oct early Nov 2000.  I was between jobs at the time, new job was starting mid Nov, so I decided to take a bike trip.  I wanted exotic, not my own country.  So I looked at airfare to New Zealand or Australia, $2400, and quickly decided that was outrageous.  Then I looked at airfare to Seville Spain, $1500.  Then I looked at airfare to Lisbon Portugal, $750.  I decided Seville and Lisbon were close enough.  At times southern Portugal and the part of Spain that borders the SE corner of Portugal were a bit cool for riding.  And a bit wet.  But not unpleasant.  Not much traffic due to that part of Portugal being full of tourists in the summer.  Lagos Portugal in particular.  No big mountains or infamous tourist things to see.  Just the olive trees and fields and farms and towns and the normal stuff.  Suited me just fine.

If you are considering Europe, I'd say southern Portugal, southern Spain, or southern Italy would all be splendid for November biking.  I'd let airfare determine which.  And if you have a month, you can start in Lisbon, cheaper airfare, and get to all of southern Spain easily.

General Discussion / Right bike for mtn biking and one TransAm trip?
« on: April 17, 2006, 06:58:45 pm »
As mentioned by cyclesafe, the "29" inch mountain bike tires are actually 700C tires.  So if your road/touring/hybrid bike has clearance at the fork crown and chainstays, you can put these "29" inch mountain bike tires on.  Almost certainly your road bike does not have clearance for these 2" wide "29" inch mountian bike tires, but they will go on the same rims.  Bruce Gordon sells a 700Cx43mm tire that has a fairly mountain bike looking tread.  Most likely these would fit your road style bike.

General Discussion / How to survive weather on the Northern Tier
« on: April 03, 2006, 10:03:53 pm »
"the greatest precipitation in the Midwest and the East occurs in June, July, and August"

This is why crops can grow in the middle of the midwest without expensive irrigation.  Irrigation is common in parts of Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Wisconsin, and Illinois.

Thunderstorms usually happen at night when you are sleeping in your dry tent.  I'm sure there is some danger of getting hit with lightning or more likely a tree falling on your tent from the winds.  But it is a small, small chance.  After all only one person on RAGBRAI 2005 was killed by a tree falling on their tent in the very bad storm on Sunday night.  And the tree did not kill the two people sleeping on either side of the deceased.  Just killed 1 of 3.  And none of the other 5,000 people in tents that night were killed.  So your chances of dying in a thunderstorm are very remote.

Most of the rain in the midwest is just rain.  No terrible lightning or winds associated with it.  You get wet.  Not pleasant to ride in the rain but it does not hurt you.  And if its been hot the cool rain may feel great.  Greatest danger would be the slick roads and lower visibility of car drivers and the greater likelihood to not expect bicyclists to even be on the road.

It does not rain for lengthy periods of time or all that often.  You could just not ride when it rains.  If it stops and there is daylight left, then ride.  Or if you are riding and it starts raining, stop as soon as practical.  You are on vacation so should not have a timeline to meet.

Don't worry about your steel bike rusting away.  Rust/water does not destroy steel that quickly.  If you have been riding in the rain all day, you can take the good precaution of taking the seatpost out of the frame at the end of the day and turning the bike upside down to make sure the water drains out of the bottom bracket.  Assuming you do not have a drain hole in the bottom bracket shell.  Decent hubs and bottom brackets and headsets like most made in the past 20 years can take rain OK without losing much of their grease.

General Discussion / shake down ride
« on: March 21, 2006, 12:17:52 pm »
To prevent the dreadful chain drop onto the bottom bracket shell when shifting into the inner chainring, get a chain watcher device.  Third Eye Chain Watcher, Deda Dog Fang, Redline Chain Watcher, N-Gear Jump Stop.

My ride shakedown for a summer long tour of Europe in 1992 was to put the four panniers on the Trek 520, put a gallon of water in each pannier, and ride about 15 miles to test the handling.  That was the only bike riding I did before the tour that year.  Having ridden many miles in previous years, I knew the physical challenges of riding all day were nothing to worry about.

General Discussion / Dog Tags anyone?
« on: February 15, 2006, 12:02:04 pm »
Medic Alert would work very well even if you have no medical conditions.  They advertise this use.  Every ambulance, police, and hospital knows Medic Alert, unlike other tags and identification.  Ambulance personnel always check for Medic Alert necklaces and bracelets.  I've asked.  If you have some other unknown necklace that looks like a fake dog tag or shiny gold and silver jewelry, they may not even bother to read it when they first find you.  They are into speed.  They might read it hours or days later when someone else checks you for identification because they don't know who you are.  This is one of those instances where staying with the market leader, Medic Alert, will help to idiot proof any situation where the identification will be used.

General Discussion / FIRST BIKE TO IRELAND
« on: June 01, 2006, 01:35:05 pm »
I've always used cardboard boxes for airplane trips to Europe.  Picked up at the local bike shop before I started and discarded when I assembled the bike at the other end.  Check with airlines so you know they will have them in stock when you ride/hauled back to the airport at the end of the trip.

In Rome I took the bike in its box on the train into town from the airport and assembled it at the train station right on the main floor.  Then rode it out into the Rome night looking for a place to stay.  At the end of the trip in Brussels I planned my route to the airport the day before and made sure where to get a box.  Next day I rode the bike to the airport and boxed it up at the airport.

On another trip my bike came a day after I arrived in Lisbon due to TWA leaving my bike in NY.  So they hauled my bike to my motel in downtown Lisbon when it arrived the next day.  Otherwise I would have assembled it at the airport and ridden it out.  On the return I again rode my route to the airport the day before departure and picked a motel that was close to the airport and made sure they had bike boxes.  Next day I rode the bike and baggage to the airport and boxed it up right on the floor of the airport.

Make sure to have plenty of tape for the box.  Its also nice to have a bike that is not too fancy because TWA dumped my bike out of the box on the return trip from Lisbon.  Obvious when it arrived at the final airport.  Nothing hurt on the bike though.

For traveling in cardboard bike boxes, about the only thing to disassemble is the seatpost must be taken out, front wheel maybe removed, handlebars turned or removed, pedals removed, and for extra protection it would be a good idea to undo the rear derailleur from its hanger.  Not too much and not too many tools required.  If you do not know how to do this now, a biking friend can probably teach you well enough before you go.  And practice.

General Discussion / Best gearing for touring?
« on: January 24, 2006, 06:52:15 pm »
As others have mentioned, get a smaller inner chainring.  For loaded touring, get the smallest your crankset will handle.  24 tooth in your case.  However, STI shifters do not seem to like huge jumps between gears.  STI just throws the chain down when you click it.  No easing to STI downshifts.  If you have STI, then consider changing the other rings to smaller.  Expensive though.  And getting a chain watcher device.  Get one no matter what.  If using bar end shifters, then you can sort of ease the chain down to the small innner ring.  Still get a chain watcher.  With the 52-42-24 setup, you would have with a new inner ring, your rear derailleur will not wrap up enough chain to keep the chain from drooping in the inner ring and the smallest 2-3-4 or so cogs.  Not really a problem since you don't use these.  But something to keep in mind.  Going to a bigger cog in back, 12-34 or 11-34, will not get you much lower of a gear.

General Discussion / Mountain Bike for Travel/Touring
« on: January 18, 2006, 01:17:43 pm »
A full suspension might be great for pure off-road, singletrack, rough touring.  Although Adventure Cycling recommends a hard tail mountain bike with suspension fork for its Great Divide route.  Probably due to the numerous miles of gravel and dirt roads and the extra reliability of hard tails and simple elastomer forks over oil/air forks on the full suspension bike or higher end forks.

For riding on the road, where most tours take place, suspension is not necessary.  It slows you down because it takes energy to squish those coils/struts/forks/etc. together.  Energy better used to get you up the mountain or to your campsite against a headwind.  Most people who use hard tail mountain bikes for touring put on skinny, slick, high pressure tires to reduce rolling resistance compared to lugged mountain bike tires.

I think if you are touring loaded, the urge to ride a loaded bike through or across anything will be seriously diminished.  When you have 50 pounds of stuff on your bike, or pulling a trailer with 50 pounds piled on it, you quickly learn to avoid riding through or across anything without considerable thought.  One reason is a loaded bike or one pulling a trailer is not very maneuverable.  You don't just power over things or quickly swerve around them.

My suggestion would be to try a 2-3 day tour with the full suspension mountain bike and see if it works for you.  The extra effort required may not matter much to you.  Getting a new official road touring bike is easy if you have the money.  There are many that work very well.

General Discussion / anyone biked across the US in 15 days or less?
« on: January 11, 2006, 11:45:16 pm »
To the person who posted the question of riding across the USA in 15 days:

1.  How many double centuries did you ride in 2005?
2.  Did you complete your local randonneur brevet series?  What were your times?  Did you complete one of the four 1200k brevets held in the US in 2005?
3.  Are you an active participant in UMCA events?

Unless you can answer yes and provide positive numbers to all of the above questions, you're not going to ride across the US in 15 days.

Get the long distance bicycling experience as described in the above three questions.  Then consider crossing the US in 15 days.  Or plan on taking 30 days.  Still too fast to enjoy it in my opinion.  But 30 days is very doable, and realistic.  Or just ride as far as you can/want in 15 days and stop.  Then start from that point the next summer.

I don't mean to discourage you, but talking about riding 200+ miles a day and doing it are very different.  Riding 100 miles a day does not prepare you for 200+ miles a day.  Riding 150 miles a day does not really prepare you for 200+ either.

If you have the motivation, Texas Hell Week is March 11-18 in Fredericksburg.  You can ride 8 straight days of 100+ miles.  And a double century option too.  There will be lots of long distance cyclists there to ask questions of.  A good way to decide if riding high mileage day after day is for you.

General Discussion / anyone biked across the US in 15 days or less?
« on: January 08, 2006, 04:56:20 pm »
There is an advertisement in each issue of Adventure Cycling for a recumbent manufacturer, Easy Racer.  In the ad they detail the accomplishments of a loaded tourer on an Easy Racer who has ridden many multi thousand mile loaded tours averaging 100-150 or so miles a day.  To me this does not sound like touring.  But I think the point of the ad is to brag about the comfort of the recumbent and how you can travel 100+ miles day after day.  Find a copy of Adventure Cycling and the company, Easy Racer I think, and see if you can contact the person in the advertisement.

But your plan of doing a 15 day crossing means about 233 miles per day on average.  Loaded.  Very lightly loaded hopefully.  If you are an ultra distance rider now and regularly complete double centuries, then you can maybe do it.  Basically it is riding 4 or 5 Paris Brest Paris rides consecutively.  The PBP riders I know, and I know several sub 60 hour riders, thought doing it once was enough and were not ready to turn around and do it again.  And again, and again, and again.

General Discussion / Cycle America
« on: January 03, 2006, 12:56:40 pm »
I rode Pedal the Peaks with Cycle America a few years ago.  A long challenging ride in Colorado.  Campgrounds were high schools.  Bathrooms and showeres and breakfast were inside the school.  Camping on fields or lawns around the schools.  All you can eat great food for breakfast and lunch.  No complaints.  Frequently saw the sag trucks on the road.  Campgrounds were fairly quiet.  I suspect this was partly due to the challenge of the ride and the seriousness of the riders on the ride.  Cost was about $600 a few years ago.  Not cheap but acceptable.  About 650 riders I think.  I would definitely consider doing a Pedal the Peaks version again if it fits my schedule and goals for that year.

Since Cycle America runs a variety of rides, I am presuming all are of similar quality.

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