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Messages - staehpj1

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1591
Routes / Re: Wyoming and Colorado routing?
« on: December 08, 2010, 10:23:27 am »
The guy we talked to in Kremmling in 2009 said they changed the route because of the lack of services on the Steamboat Springs route.  If the Hot Sulphur and Rand route have bounteous services, it was surely desolate on 14/40!
There wasn't much in the way of services, but we found the route pretty and the road decent.  I actually remember that day (Walden CO to Kremmling CO) pretty fondly.  If you go that route take plenty of water right from Walden

1592
General Discussion / Re: folding bike
« on: December 08, 2010, 09:51:59 am »
A Bike Friday could work, but I'd be inclined to use a regular bike and stay with bike friendly airlines like Northwest or Frontier.
Uh, do you mean Southwest Airlines whose current motto is "Bags Fly Free"?

Even at that a full size bike will pay significant excess baggage charges.  A Bike Friday or S&S coupled bike packs into a case that meets standard size luggage requirements so there is no surcharge.
OOPs.  Yes I'll edit the original post...

On the BF on S&S bikes...  They may work for some, but it depends on how much you fly and whether you start and end your tour in the same place.  For me dealing with a case would be a huge hassle since I seldom would fly to and from the same location.  A 62" (L+H+W) cardboard box would work but getting/modifying/making the right box for the return trip seems like a hassle.

Significant excess baggage charges?  Depends on what you consider significant.  With Southwest I pay a total of $50 for the bike and the rest is free. I consider that a pretty good deal.

All that said it really will vary depending on when where and how often you fly.  For the OP and the TA I would just go with a regular bike.  For someone who often travels with their bike, and for who dealing with the case isn't a big issue, the S&S couplers or a Bike Friday might be perfect.

1593
Gear Talk / Re: Reliable rear hub
« on: December 08, 2010, 07:51:32 am »
Thanks Wittie, some good tips on there that I, until now, was unaware of. I have just recently learned some tricks just by doing it to result in a nice frictionless spin for loose bb hubs. I guess my main concern on the tour is getting dirt and grime in the bearings and having it crap out on me in middle America. Am I being overly cautious to think this? Should I be prepared for something like this somewhere along the tour?
I wouldn't expect any problems for properly adjusted and greased bearings.  They should last the distance of the TA without any attention, but if need be you could easily repack them along the way.

The mode of failure is most often pitted races because the bearings are allowed to run without grease.  This will typically not stop you and leave you stranded.  In most cases you could repack them possibly replacing the balls and continue to ride on them until you can conveniently replace them.  If it came down to it you could ride the whole TA with pitted races.

Other more catastrophic failures are possibly, but not very common.

The bottom line is that even cheap hubs if properly maintained usually last a very long time and that maintenance does not need to be done very frequently.  In all probability your rims will fail before your hubs, but that too is an infrequent occurrence unless you bend a rim in a collision..

1594
Routes / Re: Wyoming and Colorado routing?
« on: December 08, 2010, 07:01:38 am »
Do not take 14 to 40 between Walden and Kremmling (your #1). That was previously on the TransAm, but they changed the route (and the ACA does not change the TA lightly) to use 125 instead.
We did that route in 2007 and didn't find it bad.  I can't compare with the alternates, but I wouldn't rule it out.

1595
General Discussion / Re: folding bike
« on: December 08, 2010, 06:58:10 am »
Is there a really great folding tour bike?  I'm looking for a bike that will do well on the Transamerica route with panniers.  It seems that most folding bikes are more for cross town commutes.  Any suggestions?
A Bike Friday could work, but I'd be inclined to use a regular bike and stay with bike friendly airlines like Northwest Southwest or Frontier.

1596
Gear Talk / Re: Long Two-Person Trip Tent
« on: December 06, 2010, 08:34:59 am »
I don't know what you mean by long.  We have an MSR Hubba Hubba.  While MSR has a lighter version, the gossamer-thin fabric only saves a few ounces and feels like it could be gone in a storm.  And, as I recall it was a hundred bucks more expensive.

I'm 6'3".  This works for us.  It also has two doors with vestibules.  Not as cavernous as the Mutha Hubba, but not as much weight either.
That would be my choice as well.

BTW, I like my MSR Fling for touring with someone that I can tolerate in close quarters.  My adult daughter and I used one for a month.  It gives the feeling of roominess in a smallish tent by having more width and height at the head end.  It is no longer made though.

1597
Gear Talk / Re: Is it worth changing tires?
« on: December 01, 2010, 07:41:30 am »
Personally I'd just replace them when they wear out unless they are pretty bad.  That said I did yank a set of Marathon Pluses after a few hundred miles because the ride was so dead feeling and the weight so high.   I guess it boils down to how bad they are.

BTW I do really like Gatorskins, but have not tried the H2 or the Marathon Supreme.

1598
General Discussion / Re: Tec talk: loose casette
« on: November 30, 2010, 02:07:19 pm »
You might ask a bike shop how much they'd charge to fix it -- I'd guess free to $5, unless they're one that has a $25 minimum labor charge.  (Even then, this is so easy they might do it for free.)
If it happens during a longish tour the odds of them either doing it for free or handing you the tools to do it yourself go way up.  At least that has been my experience.

1599
General Discussion / Re: "Off-season" training
« on: November 30, 2010, 11:55:26 am »
Anyone have an opinion on spinning classes?

My experiences with spinning classes has not been good.  I have yet to go to one taught by a cyclist.  Call me old school, but when I am told to crank on a load and spin at a cadience of 40, I believe that to be foolish and dangerous.  It strikes me as a good way to do soft tissue damage to a knee.

The spinning classes I have gone to have been taught by at best runners and at worst, graduates of some spinning program (but still non riders).  Your experience may vary, but mine have been all bad.
I've never done a spinning class but do have a few friends who manage to stay in impressively good shape by way of spinning classes.

1600
General Discussion / Re: Tec talk: loose casette
« on: November 30, 2010, 11:39:24 am »
Tools are cheap and easy to use for removing and replacing cassettes. For home use, you'll need a lockring tool ($8-10) and a chain "whip" ($15-20). Good to have them to fix spokes, clean the cassette and the hub, etc.
If the budget is tight it is pretty easy to make a chain whip.  You can also improvise one pretty easily with a chain and some kind of clamp or vise.

1601
General Discussion / Re: Tec talk: loose casette
« on: November 30, 2010, 09:06:52 am »
While in the middle of an 800 km ride last week I noticed a repetative slight knocking coming from the rear cogs - specifically two of the mid-range gears which get quite a bit of use when I'm loaded up.  Wouldn't go away and no visible evidence of anything wrong until I tried wiggling the cogs with my fingers while stationary and with the chain tensed.  What I found was that with the chain in the lower gears - the smallest cogs - I could move the entire upper cassete back and forth by about 3 cms each way.  If I put the chain up into the largest cogs I could do the same with the lower part of the cassette.  Note: this only was possible with the part of the cassette without the chain holding the tension.  When I returned from the trip - nothing bad happened except the continuing knocking - I compared with my mountain bike and I can't get that kind of movement on that cassette.  So what's going on in there?  I have no tools for dismantling the rear cassette and/or tightening it and wouldn't know how to go about it anyway.  It looks serious and fortunately I wasn't all that far from home, but if I'd been in the middle of Tibet!!!!  I can take it to my local bike mechanic but would like to hear what others might have to say. In all other respects it changes gear smoothly.  It's Shimano Deora XT and only a year and a bit old so you'd think it wouldn't just fall apart.
It sounds like the lock ring that holds the cluster on the freehub is loose to me.

The screw that holds the cluster together when you take it off usually does not attach the smallest two cogs, so it would make sense that they would move separately.   So that screw is probably OK, but if it isn't sometimes it can protrude from the cassette and damage spokes.

If it was me, I'd take the cluster off be sure the screw that holds the cluster together is tight and reassemble and tighten the lock ring.

Another possibility is that the cluster was assembled without one of the spacers.  If that were the case it would have been that way from the get go.  I think that is unlikely as it would probably have never shifted right from the start.

Edit: I carry a Unior Cassette Cracker to remove or tighten the cassette on the road.  I think it weighs less than an ounce and would allow fixing this pretty quickly.

1602
General Discussion / Re: Yellowstone for up to 4 days
« on: November 29, 2010, 09:49:51 am »
One other thing I forgot to mention...
There are a lot of nice places to stop and get off the bike and hike for a mile or two.  There are a variety of waterfalls and geothermal things to see.  Getting even 100 yards off the road is usually enough to get away from the crowds.

I also remember a bike trail that took us off the road and allowed a short hike to Fairy Falls and a hike up a short hill to a great view looking down on Grand Prismatic.  The view was spectacular and we used it as a lunch shot.  We really didn't like the bike trail much (sandy hard to ride surface) and would rather have been on the road except that the hike and overlook made it worth it.  There is a visitor center before entering the park and it is worth stopping to ask questions there and any other places you can corner a ranger.  They will sometimes point you to things that most folks would be unaware of like the the overlook of Grand Prismatic.

1603
General Discussion / Re: "Off-season" training
« on: November 29, 2010, 09:37:14 am »
"Off season" training? Not a problem. Move to Florida as I did 35 years ago.
Wouldn't work for me since I like the cold much better than heat and humidity.

1604
General Discussion / Re: "Off-season" training
« on: November 29, 2010, 08:34:37 am »
One answer is some kind of cross training.

What I worry about is weather as bad as we had it last year with two feet of snow that stayed around for weeks. I live "in the DC area" but more specifically, I live in the outer fringes of the suburbs where the roads aren't as well taken care of as they are closer in to the city - and those city roads weren't taken care of very well anyway! And our roads out here have no shoulders and we have no bike paths so I have to share the roads with the traffic. Normally not bad unless I'm on a back road where it has been plowed to only about a lane-and-a-half wide ...

Yeah, but that certainly isn't typical of the area.  Odds of having another year like last year any time soon are pretty slim.

That said I usually just trail run rather than ride most of the time when not on tour.  Possible options for when there is 2+ feet of snow on the ground are XC skiing, running in the tire tracks on back roads, and snow shoeing.  Last year we got 50" in the same week and I didn't miss a run, but did have to run on roads rather than trails some of the time.  This year I plan to snow shoe if we get large amounts of snow.

Besides ... haven't you ever looked out the window when it's 35 degrees and drizzly and just said "nah ... no riding today"?

Yes, but that is great trail running weather, so I just go for a run.

When I have (very rarely these days) used some kind of indoor trainer (usually rollers or a rowing machine) I just put on a movie or caught up on some taped or DVR'ed TV.

1605
General Discussion / Re: Yellowstone for up to 4 days
« on: November 28, 2010, 04:30:19 pm »
We found that in Yellowstone crowds started to clear out early sunday afternoon and remained lighter in the early part of the week.  It might help if you can hit it then and avoid Fri-Sun morning.  That or maybe plan a hike those days.  Also any day of the week the RVs seemed to not hit the road too early so the morning seemed better to me traffic wise.

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