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Messages - Patco

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Gear Talk / Re: Tools / parts to carry on tour
« on: May 16, 2024, 11:53:28 pm »
What I have developed to take on my tours is generally based on what has happened to me on previous tours. A big "for instance" is on one of my first tours I had a rear rack fail at the seat post connection (while staying attached at the wheel), causing the rack to pivot down and scrape away about six inches of rubber on the tire, leaving a thin layer of rubber covering the tube. And about 70 miles to a bike shop for a new tire. I didn't make it, which is another story. But that resulted in carrying a spare tire, which I have had to use on one other tour. Last several tours I have foregone the extra tire and I now just carry several tire boots. Of course that incident made me now check all bolts, screws and fasteners before the start of every day. Also, I carry three spare tubes because of another story that resulted in significant angst. Now that I think about it, most of my problems on tour have been tire related

I have had both knees replaced. The right knee in October 2019 and the left knee in July 2020. The recuperation for both knees was approximately the same. As has been noted, the healing process will be markedly better if you are diligent in performing your physical therapy. Do not let the physical pain overwhelm the pain drugs. My first knee I was attempting to minimize how often I took the prescribed oxy. Big mistake. I was miserable. Second knee I took the oxy as prescribed and the PT and sleeping went much, much better. Since one tends to forget the process, I asked my spouse whether I could have done a three week tour four months after the operation. Nope. Also, my expectations for how long it would take to fully recuperate was driven by what others had said. And since we humans tend to forget what actually takes place, their timeline was far too short. My expectations were more realistic the second time. I had my bike on a trainer and it was very difficult to swing my leg over the top tube. And it was very painful, in the beginning, to just be able to make one pedal revolution. My spouse reminds me that it was about three weeks before I could actually make one revolution. Prior to that I was close but the pain to take it over the top stopped me. You cannot expedite the healing process. All that said, I would rather have been able to NOT have the knees replaced but my quality of life would not be as good. And remember, when walking up or down steps while healing, it is up with the good leg and down with the bad leg.

Gear Talk / Re: Shorts, Liners, Tights
« on: March 09, 2022, 11:22:23 pm »
John Nettles mentioned the bunching around the waist of "all shorts/tights/bibs", making them uncomfortable. I will not disagree about the shorts and tights, but within the last two years I switched to bibs, and rides have become incredibly more comfortable. Now, if I can just find a saddle that equals the comfort of the bibs. 

General Discussion / Re: Maximum/minimum speeds
« on: October 20, 2020, 02:51:37 pm »
When you watch the Tour those riders will routinely do 50 on a downhill, and neither they nor their bike are heavy, but they are aerodynamic. When I reached my maximum it was a longish downhill, with a crosswind coming from the right (off the ocean). I had rear panniers, I weighed 175, and I was touring on a Miyata. And I did everything I could to be aerodynamic - nearly flat to the top tube with my butt hanging behind the saddle and my chest on the handlebar, knees in, elbows in, and feet even to each other with toes slightly down. I think I could have attained another one or two miles per hour with a little more time in the tuck but the crosswind, especially as it impacted my panniers, unnerved me, so I brought my chest off the handlebar and I immediately lost five mph. I believe it is all about being aero.

General Discussion / Re: Maximum/minimum speeds
« on: October 11, 2020, 10:38:46 pm »
My fastest speed was 53.9 mph descending Cape Sebastian on the Oregon Coast. I was in a severe tuck (ass hanging behind the seat with my chest on the handlebars) and I had to pull out of the tuck when the buffeting from the wind off the ocean became concerning. While I was in the tuck, taking the center of the traffic lane, I was thinking...this is soooooo stupid. Have not even come close to that speed since because it was sooooo stupid.

Gear Talk / Re: Touring capable road bike
« on: June 26, 2020, 05:47:43 pm »
My wife switched from a Trek Pilot 2.1 WSD (woman specific design), which had an aluminum frame with carbon stays, to a Waterford, which is a steel bike. She enjoys riding the Waterford far more than the Trek, particularly when loaded.  With the Trek she felt like she was being bounced around, particularly on rough pavement, but with the Waterford the ride is far more stable and her control is enhanced. Not all steel bikes are the same.

General Discussion / Re: Flats while touring
« on: May 26, 2020, 05:20:40 pm »
I have carried a foldable spare tire, and like much of what I now carry when touring, it is because of something that happened in the past.

One afternoon while on tour my rear rack failed at the seat post braze-on. The rack, still attached at the hub braze-on, slid down the rear tire and began scrapping against the pavement. The slide down the tire took about 10 inches of rubber off the tire. It did not expose the tube, but there was not much between the tube and the road. I was able to limp into the nearest town, which was about 12 miles away. This small town did not have any bike tires, but I did find a glue that is used on tennis shoes that I used to layer over the tire gash. Layer by layer (it took me a number of hours because each layer had to dry before I could add another). The nearest town with available bike tires was about 65 miles away. That shoe-gu stuff lasted for about 40 miles, then I began having flat after flat. I had to walk into a town that was about 20 miles from the town where I could obtain a tire. I called the bike shop and they delivered the tire, for a hefty fee.

After that mishap, beside obtaining a new rear rack, I began carrying a foldable spare if my route was to take me where services were spotty. I did that for a number of tours, but I haven't carried a spare for the last several years.

Another tour mishap is also why I carry four spare tubes. Overkill, yes, but it gives me peace of mind, and it doesn't weigh that much.

General Discussion / Re: Security - locking your bike
« on: May 07, 2020, 11:08:11 pm »
I have not taken a lock on my tours. Like many on this forum, when I stop for food I try to keep my bike in sight and what I do is I shift to the easiest gear. So, if there is a possible crime of opportunity they will be trying to speed away with a loaded bike and spinning like crazy, which theoretically should give me time to knock them off the bike. Also, I use speedplay pedals, so it is very hard to pedal without being locked in. Depending on the area, occasionally I have loosened the quick release on the rear wheel under the same principle that under power the wheel will drop from the rear drops and the bike will not be going anywhere, giving me time to recover. So far, no issues. Of course, now that I have said no issues, the bike gods may decide to slap me down.

General Discussion / Re: Need information on Continental Gatorskin.
« on: April 06, 2020, 12:11:37 am »
I have, except for one short trip on Schwalbe's, toured with Gatorskins (hardshell). 700X28. I did not like the Schwalbe tires and I have never, I say again, never, had a problem with Gatorskins. Fully loaded (panniers front and back) and credit card trips with just rear panniers. Also, Continental website considers Gatorskins as a touring tire. Ride what you want.

General Discussion / Re: First timer questions
« on: February 14, 2020, 10:13:08 pm »
I may be repeating what has already been said, but here it goes -
Yes, read the journals at Crazy Guy and the various forums. Good info and fun reads.
Yes, use a route that has already been mapped, such as the Trans Am. Reduce the anxiety.
On my first tour I laid out what I was going to take, packed it, then did some training rides. This helped with ascertaining how a loaded bike would handle. I then revisited, and revisited, and revisited what I might need. I found this exercise very helpful. I still found myself sending stuff home on the fourth day of my tour.
As mentioned, buy food on the road. Determine where you can obtain supplies and plan accordingly. To minimize weight I do not take any cooking gear. What I do bring is a plastic spoon and, for emergency food, two freeze dried breakfasts (Mt. House granola and blueberries - only requires cold water to hydrate).
I have only taken a water filter when my route is devoid of guaranteed water sources and the four bottles of water I COULD carry may not be enough (I always have two full water bottles and two empty bottles that I can fill if I might need to dry camp that evening).
Ride as often as you can to get into touring shape. I have found that being in bike shape makes that first week much easier to take, then you are more able to ride into touring shape. Riding a loaded bike over long distances over a period of time is not easy, and if you find it physically demanding you start thinking about calling it a day. Don't let the mental overwhelm the physical.
Stay hydrated and stay fueled. Bonking (running out of energy) is a terrible feeling and will ruin your day. I carry half a dozen energy bars with me each day and I make sure to not go long without ingesting food, or water.
Embrace the challenge and you will find the ride will be worth it.
Best of luck.

General Discussion / Re: Planning to go Portland > EAST somewhere
« on: July 30, 2018, 08:16:34 pm »
Advice? Wisdom? I am not sure what follows is either, and as someone who uses a bike for transportation this may be old news, but some random thoughts...when travelling, don't pass up an opportunity to use a blue room...take advantage of all downhills. That advantage may be free-wheeling to take a break (although on long downhills, I still turn the cranks, slowly, so my legs don't forget their job) or to increase your average speed by bombing downhill, but regardless, I always consider downhills as free miles and a reward for the uphill...where possible, take the road less traveled so long as the services you need or seek are still available...when necessary because of the route, and where allowed, riding the shoulder of an Interstate is not terrible (definitely not the road less traveled) but it comes with the potential for small punctures from tiny steel wires from blown radials, and they are tough to find so as to patch, so carry at least one spare tube...speaking of spare tubes, on one trip I took two spares and within five days I was without a spare. Faulty valve stems were the culprit. I was unable to locate the sized tube needed in the town I found myself. Unusual, yes, but since then I take four spares. Extra weight and space but it helps ease my before your are hungry and drink before you are thirsty, you do not want to bonk. I make it a point to eat something about every twenty minutes while riding to keep my energy levels not lose focus when riding. Enjoy the sights and sounds but as soon as you lose focus you will hit that broken pavement or chuckhole or glass or whatever. So stay vigilant. Enjoy the journey and welcome to the bike tourist world.

Gear Talk / Re: Newbie Road Touring Need Help with Gear Questions
« on: May 31, 2018, 07:08:41 pm »
Similar to those who have already responded, I travel with but one pair of shoes, and those are MTB shoes with Speedplay Frogs, which are a recessed, walkable cleat. MTB shoes are not as stiff as road bike shoes, which, for me, makes it easier to walk when off the bike.

As for the headlight, I do not travel with one but my spouse wants me to begin since there are so many distracted drivers she believes a headlight will help keep me visible. I am considering adding the headlight because I have had numerous instances of panic braking when someone turns in front of me (even though they make eye contact, sometimes they just see through you) and then there are the people who are traveling against you and decide to pass a car when you are in the oncoming lane. A light may make that event less frequent.

General Discussion / Re: Custom touring bkie vs. mass produced
« on: April 01, 2018, 09:53:06 pm »
I toured for a number of years with 'mass produced' bikes, and it was fine. About 10 years ago I decided I wanted a custom bike on which to tour. I now tour on a Waterford, as does my spouse. I wouldn't go back. My spouse said it well...its like driving a BMW compared to a truck. Different strokes for different folks. I didn't ask anybody what they thought since I did not care. If you want a custom bike then just ignore the noise and purchase a custom bike. Also, when I purchased our bikes I also obtained touch-up paint for any eventual scratches.

As to your question on what do people use when mapping a ride when not using ACA maps, I obtain, when available, bicycle maps from the states in which I intend to travel (most states still have a bicycle coordinator or someone similar in the related highway/traffic department, and there are maps that reflect shoulders, traffic volume and bicycle routes). I map out a ride and then I use Google Earth to check out elevations, shoulders, etc.

Routes / Re: Seattle to Astoria
« on: September 13, 2017, 10:45:54 am »
In my rides from Seattle I have taken the the ferry to Bremerton and I have also taken the ferry to Southworth. I like the ride from Southworth much better than from Bremerton. From Southworth I took route 160 west to SW Lake Flora Road to State Route 3. I followed State Route 3 through Shelton to U.S. 101. A short time on 101 then I took State Route 108 to McCleary and then followed the McCleary/Elma road to Elma and the Monte/Elma road to Montesano (those roads parallel U.S. Highway 12). From Montesano I took State Route 107 to U.S. 101 to Astoria. Not much traffic, small towns. A nice ride.

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