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Messages - TCS

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Gear Talk / Re: Showers Pass Transit CC versus Elite 2.1
« on: October 28, 2021, 09:38:27 am »
My 'top rated' Showers Pass rain jacket is the one without an outside flap over the zipper.  Water  and cold wind come right through.

The Burley rain jacket I had previously and wore for years and years until the Gore-Tex layer disintegrated was really great, with flaps and vents and thoughtful touches, but, and it's a big but, the Velcro-ed neck opening was only about 80% as large in circumference as my neck - and I don't have a big neck.  My wife's women's model of the same jacket also had a too-small neck opening.  I've always wanted to see the models Burley used to tailor these.

Sigh.  And cyclists have been riding in the rain for 140 years.

General Discussion / Re: Panniers from Bike Nashbar? Look twice.
« on: October 26, 2021, 01:37:34 pm »
You bought a black raincoat for the bike?

Nope, but I've seen plenty.

General Discussion / Re: Panniers from Bike Nashbar? Look twice.
« on: October 25, 2021, 12:14:08 pm »
I bought a 'top rated' rain jacket that had neither outside nor inside flaps over the front zipper.  While out riding, cold air and rain go right through that zipper. 

And flat black rainwear - could the designers choose a worse color for riding in low light, low contrast conditions?

Connecting ACA Routes / Claypool Tunnel, Old US 60
« on: October 24, 2021, 11:04:55 am »
Hey, juuuuust wondering:  Adventure Cycling Southern Tier, Section 2, US 60 between Superior and Globe - is Old US 60 and the Claypool Tunnel still bikehike-able?

This section of US 60 and the Claypool Tunnel were replaced by the Arizona Highway Department with the Queen Creek Tunnel in 1952 and the whole shebang was routed around by Adventure Cycling with a long detour through Jake's Corner and Punkin Center to, I was told, keep from riding through the Queen Creek Tunnel (which seems like a worthy goal).

Information on the 'net dating from 2015 indicates the Claypool Tunnel route was bikehike-able.

General Discussion / Re: Best book you've read on bicycle travel
« on: October 23, 2021, 02:34:14 pm »
I guess I need to reread Miles From Nowhere.  I read it right after it came out 38 (!!!!!!!!!) years ago and my impression then was for a journey of global exploration and personal enlightenment, it sure seemed to written in a minor key.  Hmph.  It must be a classic; it's stayed in print all these years.

I really enjoyed The Boy Who Biked the World by Alastair Humphreys.  The pages are filled with such a wide-eyed sense of joy.

Gear Talk / Re: BOB cargo trailers discontinued
« on: October 13, 2021, 06:10:12 pm »
The similar Weber Monoporter also seems to be gone.  The Extrawheel trailer, which is almost but not quite completely different, still seems to be on the market.

Speaking of discontinued models...

...I had an original cargo-version Cannondale Bugger!  (Fun fact:  It was sold in the UK under the same product name.)

General Discussion / Re: 29er tire search
« on: October 03, 2021, 09:51:02 am »
Bike tires' rolling resistance and puncture resistance measured and rated:

General Discussion / Re: Hillbilly dogs
« on: August 25, 2021, 02:06:04 pm »
Thanks for that!  (Though I'm not sure ebikes are quite as bad as motor cars...)

Oh, no-no!  Ebikes are great!   :D  It's just that when you ride to the base of a big climb and dial up the assist, well, that's a different experience.

General Discussion / Re: Hillbilly dogs
« on: August 24, 2021, 09:18:00 am »
As for hills, I can't remember all the "contours of the land" quote -- perhaps someone can help me here?

"It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them.  Thus you remember them as they actually are, while on an ebike in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle." - Ernest Hemingway

General Discussion / Re: C&O trail
« on: August 05, 2021, 07:58:11 am »
Then you would write off this entire thread as Aggie's lack of due diligence?

General Discussion / Re: C&O trail
« on: August 04, 2021, 09:00:32 pm »
I think the some of the disappointment/frustration has its roots in considering the C&O a bike trail that is expressly maintained for cyclists...

I've pulled up maybe a half dozen articles this afternoon encouraging riders to tour 'the GAP and C&O from Pittsburg to D.C.'.  Only one mentioned that the two different paths under the auspices of two different managers are very different.  Pity the poor cyclist who leaves Pittsburg on their sport touring bike and winds up bounding over roots and ruts on the C&O double track.

Concrete, asphalt, crushed and packed stone...soft sand, mud, chunky rock, endless miles of tribulus terrestris - I've ridden them all, mostly without any more advance official information than a picture of a short section showing the very best of the surface.  To mitigate 'disappointment/frustration', promoters (government entities, non-profits, magazine/web authors) of paths/trails need to do a much better job of describing the physical nature of the trails.

General Discussion / Re: C&O trail
« on: August 04, 2021, 04:07:40 pm »
'removed trees'

During the canal's active years there would have been no trees or shrubs or bushes between the sidepath and the canal due to the clearance requirement of the tow ropes.

General Discussion / Re: C&O trail
« on: August 04, 2021, 09:34:21 am »


I'll ask what the baseline is?  1924, when the canal fell into disuse?  1831, when this industrial transportation conduit was first opened?  Shall we tear out the locks, restore the land to how it was in 1491 and require limited-issue back country permits for use?

'...places where the trail is really rough with roots, ruts, & rocks...'

I'm unsure what historical era that is supposed to be replicating and preserving.  That's certainly not the way it was when mules were pulling barges along the canal.  The historical images I find show that after they went to the trouble and expense of digging the canal and building the locks, they built a really pretty decent pathway alongside, as one would expect for efficient equine draft.  During the active years of the C&O the mules and teamsters weren't slogging through deep mud and stumbling across rough terrain.


$3,500,000,000,000 and we don't have the money?    ;D

General Discussion / Re: C&O trail
« on: July 31, 2021, 02:05:28 pm »
It's not like any of we individuals can effect this, but...

Having looked into this (for entirely different reasons) I've learned that generally the roadbed/pathway with the lowest environmental impact and lowest long term maintenance cost is an improved surface with engineered drainage.  For light weight traffic like pedestrians and cycles this includes surface improvements like a drained roadbed topped with crushed&packed stone, biopolymer stabilized soil or stabilizing hollow grid pavers.

The problem of unimproved (dirt) roadbed/pathways with unimproved drainage is the low (muddy) spots get deeper (passing through the mud) and wider (going around the mud) with traffic/time.  Short the capital to improve the surface, the alternative is endless maintenance in the same problem areas.   

Rail trails are generally fortunate to have an existing improved, well drained roadbed.  Canal paths...not so much.  We interact with the pavement and often overlook the drainage, but the drainage is easily as important as the surface.  Near me several cities have built concrete paths without paying for drainage preparation.  The result is the paths are under water (in a few places quite a bit of water) after rains.

So, back to the C&O.  I've heard the "the NPS doesn't want to change the historical surface' reasoning.  Uh, folks hiking and riding on the path is changing the historical surface.  The choice is how it will be changed.

General Discussion / Re: Deciphering AMTRAK
« on: July 27, 2021, 12:48:18 pm »
Because other forms of transportation in America get more subsidies?

That would be a good reason...if only it were true.

America's 7 Class 1 (freight) railroads operate without subsidy.

Pre-COVID, air travelers received subsidies averaging 1.1¢/mile.  Most of this went to small airports under Congress's 'Essential Air Service' vote-buying scheme.

Highways are paid for mostly by user fees in the form of fuel taxes.  Still, if you add in various high-cost 'bridge to nowhere' pork-barrel projects, there's overall around a 1¢/mile general taxpayer subsidy for automobile, intercity bus and heavy truck transportation.

So, Amtrak subsidies were 36 cents per passenger mile pre-COVID.  Amtrak is currently carrying about 0.11% of this country's passenger traffic, and basically 0% of the country's freight.  If Amtrak were totally and completely shut down this afternoon, the impact would not even be able to be measured on next quarter's GDP.

My question stands:  Can someone give me a compelling reason why I should ask the American tax payers to subsidize my adventures?

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