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Messages - staehpj1

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1456
General Discussion / Re: Evening rides...
« on: March 31, 2011, 10:47:25 am »
Several months or maybe years go there was a thread about early morning riding, starting at, like 0300-0400, and stopping at 1200-1400. Benefits are all the same as mentioned, adequate lighting absolutely necessary. Requires resetting your internal clocks, for sure, but the discussion seemed reasonable.
I have done that quite a few times and love those early morning miles in the dark and also watching the sun come up.  Lighting will be more or less of an issue depending on where you are.

I found that on some of the roads in flat country, I knew when traffic approached at least a mile before they got there and the traffic is less than one truck or car per hour, just pulling off when they approached was adequate.  I would have felt pretty safe doing that with no lights.  I did have a rear blinkie and the trucks on the road had a mile or so to spot me so I figured that was plenty adequate.  Also intersections were miles apart and you could see a mile to either side.  In those conditions I didn't bother with my headlamp, but I did wear a very visible vest.  In places where the sight lines were shorter, the traffic heavier, or the intersections more frequent I felt OK with my little Petzl Tikka headlamp and a blinkie.  Truth be told though a high visibility vest works pretty well even without lights out on rural roads and if I had to pick between the vest and the lights I'd pick the vest.

1457
General Discussion / Re: Evening rides...
« on: March 30, 2011, 10:59:57 am »
Wind, heat, ability to find places to stay, and ability to intersperse other activities like short hikes would all be impacted.

Since I am a morning person any way it wouldn't appeal to me.  That said we have split our day and done some riding early and some late where wind or heat dictated.

1458
Gear Talk / Re: Bike Shorts
« on: March 29, 2011, 01:38:49 pm »
Since a few mentioned their experience with Performance brand shorts I will pipe up a bit more on my experience with them.  I used a pair of what I think was their "Century"  model on the Trans America and alternated them with a pair of PI Ultrasensors.  Both were OK wrt the padding and saddle comfort.  The one area where the PIs were nicer was when we all had heat rash after many days of 100+ F weather.  The PIs were better for relief from that.  Otherwise both were nice.

I don't think that year's extreme heat was a very typical condition though and it was the only time I have had that type of rash problem.  Our group of three and some other riders we met all had a pretty bad case of heat rash on that trip.

It does sort of make a case for having two different models to switch between.  Also if you manage to get chafed in a particular spot a different brand will likely hit you in a different spot and therefore give some relief.  That said I usually just wear my PIs.

I will also mention that my future son in law is using the "Elite" model from Performance and seems to really like them.  They appear to be very well made.

When it comes to bibs I really never got what is so nice about them.  I tried them once and only found disadvantages.  I can see where they might be nice for riders so skinny that they can't keep shorts up, for those with a roll in the middle, or for those who for some other reason don't find that shorts fit properly. 

1459
Gear Talk / Re: Bike Shorts
« on: March 29, 2011, 06:51:11 am »
Any ideals on a good pair of shorts w/o spending a half of your tour bank roll? Thanks George :-\ ???
That is a very personal choice.  I like Pearl Izumi Ultrasensor shorts and buy them when they are on sale usually at Performance.  They are comfortable, seem to dry fast and be OK when damp.  I have had cheaper shorts that were OK, usually house brand ones from Nashbar or Performance.  I'd advise avoiding the gel models though.

1460
May might be kind of early for many potential crossing points of the Rockies if going W-E.  Lots of snow pack this year!  You might consider going E-W if you need to start early in the season.

One potential route might be the one Bjorn Suneson ran in 2007.  His site is in Swedish and a lot of it is also available in English (look for the link that says english on some pages).  http://www.suneson.se/karta.php  We met Bjorn when we were riding the TA.

1461
General Discussion / Re: Free Camping
« on: March 26, 2011, 08:00:09 pm »
Biking south from Boston, going it alone with a very low budget. Probably doing a good portion of the Atlantic Coast route, then splitting off. My biggest concern is where to sleep, because I don't want to pay a camping fee every night. Do people just pull off the trail and set up their tent, is it that easy? Tips?

All feedback is appreciated   :)
John said most of what I would suggest.  I have had good luck with some of those options in other parts of the country and managed to stay for free something like half of the time on my tours.  I have not toured the east coast other than a tiny bit at the tail end of our Trans America and we were near friends and relatives there.  So I am not sure how well each of those work on the east coast.

One other thing that I will mention is that, for some routes at least, the ACA maps have lots of suggestions for places to stay, but again I have not done the Atlantic Coast so I can't say for sure how it is there.

1462
Gear Talk / Re: Raingear
« on: March 26, 2011, 05:12:23 pm »
FWIW, I don't use anything on my legs.  Never needed to on summer rides, and my winter rides in the rain are limited by getting to work or home.  Ordinary tights work well for limited cold weather, or much longer cool weather, and it's one less thing to carry.
I forgot to mention that I don't recall ever wearing my rain pants on the bike at all when on tour.  I was happy to have them in camp sometimes though.

1463
Gear Talk / Re: Raingear
« on: March 25, 2011, 03:24:45 pm »
None of the breathable stuff ever worked well for me.  I much prefer coated nylon.  I sweat way faster than breathable fabric can pass vapor if exercising.

Personally I like fairly inexpensive Sierra Designs packable jacket and pants that come in little stuff sacks.  I find that I can ventilate well enough using the front zipper, but I you really want to be dry pit zips and other vents are way more effective than breathable fabrics.  Me I just figure I will be wet when when I exercise rain or not.   So I expect my rain gear to keep me warm, not dry.

On a typical Trans America you will probably only have a few rainy days and some of them will be warm days so I would go with the lightest rain gear you can find.  I know that I really only used my rain gear a few times on the TA.  I did use the jacket a lot as a windbreaker. 

1464
Routes / Re: Bannack State Park
« on: March 24, 2011, 06:09:36 pm »
I slept in the Lion's Park there on June 20, 2010.
Yeah we stayed there too.  Good times. 

1465
Routes / Re: Bannack State Park
« on: March 24, 2011, 02:54:46 pm »
Worst mosquitoes I encountered were in Jeffrey City, but Wisdom was second place.
Just curious... What time of year was that.  They weren't a problem when we were there in 2007 (July 14th).

1466
Routes / Re: Bannack State Park
« on: March 24, 2011, 10:39:56 am »
Hmmm, my post went off into never never land so I'll tray again.

+1 on hitting the Patagonia Outlet in Dillon.  We got some good bargains there and they shipped items purchased home for free for cyclists.

Sorry, but I can't comment on Bannack State Park either.  I will add another place in the area worth checking out if you pass through there.  Twin Bridges is a nice friendly town and has a free cycle camp.  http://www.cyclecamp-twinbridges.com/Cycle-Camp-project.html

The camp wasn't built yet when we passed through in 2007, but it sounds pretty cool.  We stayed in the fairgrounds then and found the town nice and friendly.

Edit:
FWIW we got less enchanted with state parks and also less enchanted with going off route for camping more and more as our Trans America tour went on.  We did love the Oregon parks, but after that state parks were just not the best places to stay when there were other options.  We also found planning individual stops more than a day or two in advance was not for us.  You may or may not find the same.

1467
Gear Talk / Re: Touring weight
« on: March 24, 2011, 09:37:33 am »
I don't know.  I will try to remember to weigh them and report back.  They are pretty well worn by now and I don't know how much that will affect the weight.  Also size is a factor.

They were much lighter than whatever else I looked at from REI, but REI may stock other lighter pants that I didn't look at.  The material is kind of like some shirts are made of.

I tried to check but could not find my good scale due to some home improvement stuff going on.  I did put them on a scale designed to weigh heavier stuff and it looked like maybe 8 ounces.  Hefting them in one hand and a one pound weight in the other verified that was in the ball park at least.  If I find the scale I'll post an actual weight.
Edit: It looks like I was wrong they were more like 15 ounces.  They do have a built in brief that probably weighs a few ounces.

1468
Gear Talk / Re: Touring weight
« on: March 23, 2011, 01:18:36 pm »
I use some really lightweight and inexpensive nylon ones (http://www.basspro.com/World-Wide-Sportsman-Hybrid-Angler-Pants-for-Men/product/10210017/-1756810) that have a built in brief so no underwear is needed.
So what do they weigh?
I don't know.  I will try to remember to weigh them and report back.  They are pretty well worn by now and I don't know how much that will affect the weight.  Also size is a factor.

They were much lighter than whatever else I looked at from REI, but REI may stock other lighter pants that I didn't look at.  The material is kind of like some shirts are made of.

1469
General Discussion / Re: Does a bum toughen up?
« on: March 23, 2011, 11:45:47 am »
I ultimately want to just use the one on the new bike as otherwise I would have to fly over with my current saddle and as I am moving to North America to live for a while I am already struggling with luggage space and weight.

In that case...  There are bike shops along the way that will have saddles if the saddle should be a disaster.

1470
General Discussion / Re: Hypothetical question...
« on: March 23, 2011, 11:42:00 am »
I would put racks and panniers on your bike and add weight every week.

Different strokes...

My theory is that :
1. When preparing for a tour, conditioning is mostly about time in the saddle.
2. You will spend more time in the saddle if it is fun.  As a result I think riding an unladen bike is better and if you have a sportier bike than your touring bike for much of your riding so much the better.  I do recommend riding on the bike you will tour on some of the time though.

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