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Messages - Gif4445

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Gear Talk / Re: Bar-end mirror & front down tube shifter?
« on: April 27, 2012, 05:39:06 pm »
I have the take-a-look eyeglass mirror and love it.  It did take some getting used to, but by the 3rd short ride my eyes had it figured out.  Again, like you said it's personal preference.  But it's easy and cheap, and for me it was much better than a bike mounted mirror.

General Discussion / Re: Touring Across America
« on: April 12, 2012, 04:32:41 am »
Some really good advice for you in the posts thus far.  I will add my two cents worth.  I was a newby to the scene and purchased a trek 1.2  a couple years ago to take on some 4 day rides doing part of two BRANs and a NUMB (Nebraska rides).  Then last September, I did a 500 mile solo credit card tour (motels) from SC Nebraska to Breck CO (you can read my journal of the trip at )  Basically what all the posters are saying is true.  The trek 1.2 or equivalent is not a great pal on these trips.  You can do it and will have some great memories, but there are better options.  Recently, I bought a Surly Long Haul Trucker to do a coast to coast ride, hopefully in the next couple years.  I have about 400 miles on it and couldn't be happier.  First of all, the ride is some much better.  Wider tires, steel frame and longer wheelbase make it much more comfortable for me to ride.  I don't know your dimensions, but I'm 5-10 and 205.  My extra weight makes the LHT a good choice by itself.   Like previous posters said, if you are taking a lot of stuff, the LHT is a much better choice.  As my journal stated, the trek 1.2 has a shorter wheelbase and I had some issues with heel strike on my rear saddle bags and had to place them farther back on the rack, which created other issues.  The LHT was about $400 more than the Trek 1.2, but IMO this is money very well spent when you are on the road.  The most surprising thing to me about my Surly is that it weighs more than the Trek, but my average speeds are higher.  Probably just me.  Oh, and one more thing.  The LHT tends to be a little larger compared to the Trek.  I was fitted with a 56" trek, but when I test rode the LHT, I was borderline between the 54" and 56".  Good Luck and hope this helps!

General Discussion / Re: Good workout supplement to cycling?
« on: April 10, 2012, 11:11:38 pm »
Thanks everybody for your suggestions.  I do go to the Y and take advantage of their classes in the winter months, but was looking for something to do at home in the warm months when I am much busier and don't have the time to go to the gym. Like a 9-10 at night workout.   I am more physically active on the job in the summer, but I am still concerned about getting a well-rounded workout.

Colorado / Re: Worst experience across the US was in CO
« on: April 06, 2012, 04:43:13 am »
I love Colorado and my family and I visit one to three times a year.  But I basically expect to run across at least a couple bitchy locals each time.  And I prepare myself to hand back as much or more crap than they send my way.  Just the way it is.  Obviously the nice people are in the majority, or I would not be dropping my dimes there.  Eastern CO is a lot like my home state of Nebraska, at least off the beaten path.  People are great.  But get in the places where many tourists go, and expect to feel unwelcome occasionally.

General Discussion / Good workout supplement to cycling?
« on: April 03, 2012, 02:22:14 pm »
Just wondering if anyone has some good advice or direction on a good workout to supplement cycling?  I am really wanting something that can be done at home and focuses on the muscle groups that get neglected on the bike.  If it is in video form, that would be even better.  In absence of that, what do all of you out there do?

Gear Talk / Re: For CC Touring:Trek 1.2 or Surly LHT?
« on: March 12, 2012, 10:28:03 pm »
Took the maiden voyage on the LHT today and I really, really like how it rides.  Very smooth.  Only did 27 miles, and of course unloaded except for a small rack bag, but she's a lot gentler on my body than the Trek 1.2.  The Surly is heavier, but for some reason I rode about .5 to 1 mph above my normal pace.   Love the bike!

Gear Talk / Re: For CC Touring:Trek 1.2 or Surly LHT?
« on: March 11, 2012, 11:47:44 am »
Yes Joe B, the LBS that I use now could order the bike, but I wanted to ride one first and they did not stock any.   The shop where I purchased the bike had several and since my height was a "tweener", I rode a 56" and 54" to see which was the better fit.  The guy that sold me the bike had ridden to work on a LHT and had been on several long trips with it.   I couldn't get that and the advice at my LBS.  I still want to patronize the local, and will every chance I get, but I think I made the right call in this case.

Gear Talk / Re: For CC Touring:Trek 1.2 or Surly LHT?
« on: March 11, 2012, 04:28:39 am »
Well, I did the deal.  Bought a Surly LHT.  Had to go to a bike shop 130 miles away, but I believe it was worth it, as I got to test ride a couple.  The guy at this shop was an avid tourer himself, so I went with his advice.  Easier to do when it jives with the info gleamed on this forum.  Don't really like to bypass the LBS, but they don't carry these bikes and it is not their main area of expertise.  Now to get some miles in.  Thanks all for your input, I sure appreciate it!

Gear Talk / Re: For CC Touring:Trek 1.2 or Surly LHT?
« on: March 07, 2012, 10:08:36 pm »
Paddleboy, maybe I am looking for validation.  Thanks!  Probably should just get one and see?   Pdlamb, you mentioned the condition of the roads in eastern CO.  I looked back on my post to see if I mentioned the location of my tour.  You must have ESP, as I traveled from SC Nebraska to Breckenridge CO (soon to be published on CGOAB)  They really weren't that bad compared to parts of highway 2 in north Central NE.  Actually ruined 3 tubes on a 200 mile jaunt.  And my body felt like I had been in a fight.  Interested in reducing that.  Gearing (not an expert here) on the Trek.  Cassette 11-15, 17,19,21,23,25   Triple is 50/39/30.  Loveland pass kicked my butt, but I was probably the bottom hole in the bucket on that.  I was told that 25's were the widest I could put on the bike.  It now has Armadillo 23/25s on.   And thanks for the rack advice.  JoeB, building a bike interests me.  I know I don't have the expertise to do it now, but I read a post somewhere that, in the opinion of the author, the LHT components have been on the cheap side for the last few years.  Interested in what components you went with.

Gear Talk / Re: For CC Touring:Trek 1.2 or Surly LHT?
« on: March 06, 2012, 09:38:22 pm »
Thanks everyone for the advice.  I need to clarify some things.  My cycling nomenclature is flawed.  It wasn't long ago that I first learned the term "pannier".  I just thought they were saddle bags, until someone called them panniers.  And I ran wild with it.  For the record, I carried about 25 lbs of stuff on my rear rack, including the Bontrager interchange unit and two SADDLEBAGS.  Sorry for the confusion.  But I really spent too much time on the  carry-on and not enough time explaining what my real question is.  With that amount of load, I know I can use my Trek 1.2.  But I'm curious to know how much better (if any) the Surly LHT would ride with a load like that?  (BTW, I'm currently 210 lbs and shrinking, so that may be a factor.)I'm talking the wear and tear on my body from road cracks, bumps etc.  I know the LHT can be loaded down and performs nicely.  Maybe I've got it wrong, but CCT to me means the bike selection is in the category of "tweener".  I guess we all like to classify things.  Thanks indyfabz for bring that to our attention.   And thanks Russ, for destroying all my cycling confidence.  At least until I figure this all out.   Just kidding, I appreciate all of your input.  I've at least learned to use resources other than the LBS.  I thought with my limited experience I could count on theirs.  Most of the problems I had on my short tour were the result of that "advice".  Rack, saddle bags, inferior tires.  But it was a hell of a good time anyway.  Keep the suggestions  coming!

Gear Talk / For CC Touring:Trek 1.2 or Surly LHT?
« on: March 05, 2012, 09:37:28 pm »
For credit card touring, what would be best?  Trek 1.2 or a Surly LHT(or equivalent).  I currently have a Trek 1.2 that I took on an 8 day CC tour, covering 500 miles, last summer.  The experience taught me some lessons and made me aware of some of the shortcomings of the Trek.  The short wheel base was a little bit of a problem when my heel struck the panniers.  Repositioned and panniers caught the spokes.  The rack was a Bontrager interchange unit, that didn't protect the spokes adequately.. Used 2 rear panniers mounted on that rack.  About 25 lbs or so on the rear.  Nothing on the front.  Carried an adequate amount of gear for a CCT.   Just wondering if the ride would be improved significantly with a steel bike and longer wheel base, like the Surly LHT could provide.  I am looking at doing the Trans Con (hopefully CCT) within the next few years if that is a deal maker or breaker.  Thanks

General Discussion / Re: Pacing on a long distance ride
« on: February 07, 2012, 05:32:03 pm »
Everybody is different, but for me, I have to resist the temptation to go from point A to point B as fast as possible.  My most enjoyable days touring are when I stop more frequently than I feel I should, and talk with locals, see the sights, smell the roses etc.  And actually those turn out to be my most productive days mileage wise.  It probably holds me back a little and I don't burn out too early in the day.

General Discussion / Re: Southern Tier March and April 2012
« on: December 25, 2011, 11:19:29 pm »
I will be leaving El Paso around the 20th of February and traveling west to Mesa AZ.

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