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Messages - Stevenp

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General Discussion / Re: Planning Route - NO Shoulders...common?
« on: May 16, 2011, 05:46:52 pm »
Ok, that makes sense. I am trusting google to show me the right path. I like the option of getting the sky view of the roads, that helps.

Thanks guys for the input!

General Discussion / Planning Route - NO Shoulders...common?
« on: May 16, 2011, 02:51:12 pm »
I am in the process of planning my route from SC to KY where I will be picking up on the TA for the rest of the way. Now, I am using Google to map sections at a time with the bicycle route option. After google gave me the route, i have looked at the street view for sections of the road and am finding that there are long sections where there is no shoulder.

Is this something that is normal in planning routes and something I will have to deal with, or should i be looking for roads that always have a shoulder? Google seems to do a good job except for a few places where there are no shoulders and I just find it hard to imagine cycling for all that long on the edge of 1 of the 2 lanes for miles.

I would appreciate your input.

Also, any particular website good for locating camp sites along the way?

Thanks guys!

General Discussion / Re: Surly LHT: Adjustments needed to fit me...
« on: May 15, 2011, 12:43:36 pm »
I tried the email but it bounced back to me. Mine is stevenp(at)integra(dot)net. Feel free to email me.

Inseem Length 32.25"
Torso Length 25.375"
Arm Length 27.875"
Reach Length (finger tip - finger tip is 71"

Let me know if you need anything else. I'm also posting photos of the bike.

The photos are not showing for some reason...?
Here they are:

General Discussion / Re: Surly LHT: Adjustments needed to fit me...
« on: May 15, 2011, 09:18:43 am »
The adjustable stem sounds like a good idea. I also purchased a Selle Italia Max Flite Gel seat. It was a bit expensive, but I can always go down from there if I need to exchange it again. I've done my homework and that seemed to be the best option. I also think that tilting the seat backward will help too. I tried tilting my handlebars back a bit but the cradle didn't feel right then either, I think I overdid it trying to find the solution. I'm going to visit the bike shop as soon as I get the new saddle. My stem already has 4 collars on it. I used all four that came with the bike. The shop owner said that nobody ever uses 4, but I asked him to put the 4th one on because it felt better.

Also, I bought the bike in MN and now I'm in SC, so I can't go back to the same shop.

What is a good price for fitting a bike?

Thanks guys for all your help!

General Discussion / Surly LHT: Adjustments needed to fit me...
« on: May 14, 2011, 01:08:03 pm »
I am trying to save money by not paying to have the bike fitted to me. Initially I had the store where i bought the bike get the seat height set and the saddle set forward and all, so it's been adjusted somewhat. But I had never really ridden bikes so I don't know what it feels like to have a bike fit me just right.

Now that I have been riding for over a month I am beginning to notice things that don't seem right. For instance, I feel like I'm leaning over to much and it puts too much pressure on my hands. It makes me want to lock my elbows for support, which then causes my hands to go to sleep.

I feel like an adjustment that is needed is to bring the handlebars closer to my body. Like buying a new stem, although I don't know what the part would be that I need. Help?

When I purchased the Surly LHT, I was right inbetween a 54" and a 56", and I was advised to go with the 56". It does feel a tad big on me (I'm 5'll, 170lbs). My arms are a bit shorter than normal i think. So it causes me to reach more than usual.

I'm looking for some suggestions to help me. I do know of the option of deciding to have the bike fitted to me, but I am looking for alternatives to that.

Thanks for your help.

Gear Talk / Re: Brooks Saddle - Some helpful tips before I purchase
« on: May 10, 2011, 08:01:46 pm »
Good input!

It's my sit bones that are a bit uncomfortable. It's not like I'm in terrible pain, i just don't want to hurt at all when I am riding the bike across the country. I know I'm a bit late on getting a saddle, and if I had to stick with the one I have it wouldn't be the end of the world. I'm going to check out, that's helpful.

Thanks for your input once again!

Gear Talk / Re: Brooks Saddle - Some helpful tips before I purchase
« on: May 10, 2011, 11:47:20 am »
It's all a guess at this point. The only thing that I know is that I don't like the stock saddle that came with the LHT. I haven't ridden bikes much either so I have no past experience, so I'm trying to go on borrowed experience from others who have experience. I realize this isn't fool proof, but I come in to it knowing that and based on others experience, I can make up my mind.

Any thoughts on the Brooks B66 with the springs?

Also, I realize that everyone's butt is different and that it's not the same for everyone, so no need to tell me that, but I would be interested in hearing about your trial and error.

I have about 1 month before the trip where I plan on riding 10-30 miles a day, every day. I also weigh about 165 and do not have a big butt, just in case that makes any difference.

Thanks for the input.

Also, never mind the handlebar question, I'm sticking to what I got. I found that if I tilt the handlebars back a bit, it helps a lot.

Gear Talk / Brooks Saddle - Some helpful tips before I purchase
« on: May 10, 2011, 09:59:35 am »
Hey guys,

I'm about to purchase the brooks saddle and wanted to make sure I get the right one. I know I've heard the B17 suggested many times but I want to make sure that it will fit my setup.

I have the Surly LHT with everything stock on it. I don't like the saddle it came with even after trying it for about a month so I want to get a saddle that will be comfortable for the ride across the country. Another consideration has been whether to change the handlebars on my bike. to something more comfortable. I can't imagine I will be leaning over all that much while riding across the U.S., but maybe I'm wrong.

So, Brooks saddle and what handlebars do you like.

Thanks again!

General Discussion / Re: ACA Maps
« on: April 26, 2011, 01:47:33 pm »
Yeah, I'm convinced.

I think I may just have to go some figuring on what parts of each of the routes that I will be using. I know I will be on most of the TA, about half of the PC and part of the WE, so maybe I just purchase those segments, but I think that sounds great to know everything about the upcoming towns while i'm on the road.

Thanks for the input!

General Discussion / ACA Maps
« on: April 26, 2011, 09:16:45 am »
Hey guys/gals,

I'm looking for information on the ACA maps. I will be traveling across the country and will be following much of the TA and PC routes. One of my ideas is to simply look at the waypoints, copy them down, and do google maps step by step. I would simply buy them if they weren't so expensive but thought I'd get your feedback on a few questions:

First, would you say they are necessary?

Second, do you want to sell yours?

Third, are the gps waypoints all there for me to simply download and upload onto a gps device for free?

Fourth, anything else you have to say about them?


General Discussion / Re: National Parks PASS - Other PASS for camping?
« on: April 24, 2011, 09:16:18 pm »
Really great info! Thanks!

So, I also anticipate staying in churches along the way. How do you usually get in contact with a church, or some place like that? Is this part of being organized a day or a couple of days ahead of time, or do you just appear and work out the agreements?

I am anticipating planning most every night what my next day will look like, including having a good idea of where I want to stay. Is that being too optimistic about my planning abilities (or just naive to the reality of the trip) or am I right about the planning that is involved with staying on top of things the night(s) before I arrive?

General Discussion / Re: National Parks PASS - Other PASS for camping?
« on: April 24, 2011, 12:22:12 pm »
So, what are the most common types of camping sites I am going to come across while crossing the country? Are parks with a fee the most common or are small campsites the most common?

Of course I will be stealth camping along the way also, but what will I be running into most along the way in terms of types of camping and prices?

I'm trying to get an idea of what I might be encountering. Mind you, my budget is not the loosest, so price will be a high priority when looking.

Ideally I would like to camp in places where there are others camping, but where I won't be spending $20 a night.


General Discussion / Re: National Parks PASS - Other PASS for camping?
« on: April 21, 2011, 03:54:37 pm »
I saw that, but I'm not there yet. :) I wonder if AAA has something that would help with camping?

General Discussion / National Parks PASS - Other PASS for camping?
« on: April 21, 2011, 12:14:51 pm »
I am considering purchasing the America the Beautiful National Parks Pass with the idea of camping more in those parks. Now, I guess this particular pass does not cover camping.

Does anyone know of any pass that can be purchased that would help with the idea of camping in safe, nice campsites in parks? Is there any sort of pass like that?

Also, what are the general fee prices for national parks? Is it far more expensive or would it be worth it if I had the America the Beautiful Parks Pass?

Thanks guys!

General Discussion / Re: Complete Newbie Considering Touring
« on: March 31, 2011, 09:09:46 pm »

I have been in your exact spot. Well, I say that because 3 months have passed now and I have been learning so much that I don't really feel as much like a newbie like I did when I first began. That said, I have never been a cyclist and have never known much about the cycling world, and it was in this state of being that I decided to take a cross country bicycling tour across the U.S.

For the past three months I have been an animal for information related to the tour and bicycles and everything related. This site you are on has been the number 1 site in educating me in SO much. ACA is truly awesome and the people here seem eager to help. I have also learned that there is absolutely no question that can not be answered online somewhere.

Just be yourself and ask every question that comes to mind, and then, start logging everything you learn and building your "Touring" folder which will build to be a wealth of information.

For instance, the question of whether to use panniers (which I had no idea what they were) or a bob sled. There will be several people who will tell you that the topic has been discussed umpteen times and that you should do a search, and then there will be a few who will feed you some great information. I can tell you that I am utterly convinced about using panniers, now that I know what that is. :) but that's just me.

I also did a ton of research about what bike to buy for a tour. My research once again, began with questions on these ACA forums. I bought a Surly LHT and it's perfect.

My point is that these forums are gold, so ask away and start learning.

Go ahead and message me if you want to learn a lot of what I have learned. The learning is a blast. It sounds like it's a whole new world to you, just as it was to me. It's a fun world, I can tell you that!

Contact me if you want to.

Have fun!


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