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Messages - PeteJack

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Gear Talk / Re: tourning with different size tires front and back
« on: September 27, 2011, 06:48:03 pm »
I expect your 5:30 AM explosion was due to the tube not being properly installed, not the size disparity.

Who knows? You could well be right. The guy in the bike shop installed it. I didn't check his work, I assumed he knew what he was doing. I had done 50 miles on it the previous day. Why would incorrect installation wait until the next morning to manifest itself? Probably we'll never find out.

Gear Talk / Re: Your Portable Repair Kit - What's Inside?!
« on: September 19, 2011, 11:45:49 pm »
I've never had to do this but I think it will work: if your freehub fails use zip ties to lash your largest gear to the spokes and you will have a sort of fixie to get you to the nearest shop. Theoretically you will be able to change gear provided you don't try to use the gear the zip ties are wrapped round.

Gear Talk / Re: tourning with different size tires front and back
« on: September 18, 2011, 11:09:47 am »
I did the Transam E-W as far as Dillon Montana with two Schwalbe Marathon 700 X 28s. The rear tire had worn out, I was getting frequent flats and the only tire the bike shop had was a Panasonic 700 X 32. I was surprised to find that I liked this combination and now use it all the time. It is more comfortable and there is no perceptible increase in drag. One caveat: tubes. You can use one tube for 700 X 23 through 700 X 28 but you can't use the same tube for 700 X 32s. That was how I got an explosive flat in a motel room at 530 am!

Gear Talk / Re: info overload, help!
« on: September 10, 2011, 10:50:19 pm »
When I was looking for a bike I went to my LBS and said "I want a steel touring bike" (I'd read that steel had a more comfortable. "You need a Trek 520" said the man. 28000 miles later which includes a TransAm, the Sierra Cascades this summer and a bunch of other stuff. I'm pretty sure he was right. It is a heavy bike and on club rides you are sometimes struggling to keep up but by the time you are loaded with touring gear your total weight is not much less than with any other bike. Hurtling downhill and on rough roads or both the stability of the 520 is reassuring. The only time I've ever experienced wheel shimmy was on my Specialized Roubaix

Some suggestions: (1) get a really small granny ring, mine's 24T (2) when climbing don't be coy about using your smallest ring. Staying too long in your middle ring is tiring and hard on your knees.(3) get a professional fitting to get your saddle and bar height right. Mine was all wrong until I paid for a fitting. It was like getting 5 lbs taken off the bike!

Now having said all that I'm sure the LHT is a fine bike as are others. Just pick one and get out there.

Gear Talk / Re: Sleeping pads
« on: September 08, 2011, 12:48:29 am »
I did the Sierra Cascades using a Thermarest ZLite. Don't use one. It insulates just fine but is as hard as concrete. I'll never use it again.

General Discussion / Re: Bike Friday or S&S Couplers
« on: September 07, 2011, 07:25:36 pm »
I'm agonizing over the same thing. I did part of the Serra Cascades with two riders on Bike Fridays and they loved 'em. one of the few people I met also doing the Sierra Cascades had ridden from San Diego to Mt Shasta on Bike Fridays and seemed happy enough. But I've met people with coupled bikes who poo poo Bike Fridays. Is this Coke versus Pepsi or are there some significant considerations?

Gear Talk / Re: Your Portable Repair Kit - What's Inside?!
« on: August 25, 2011, 09:08:10 pm »
What I won't leave home without is a tiny multitool with needlenose pliers. MY latest is a Leatherman Squirt PS4. Just the thing for pulling those slivers of steel from old truck tires out of your tires or even in lieu of tweezers for pulling wood slivers from your fingers.

Gear Talk / DEET dissolves helmets
« on: August 25, 2011, 08:48:29 pm »
Climbing up to Sequoya a cloud of flies gathered round my head so I sprayed Jungle Juice all over my head and neck including of course my helmet. The stuff worked. It kept the flies off. When I got to the campsite I noticed black sticky stuff on the collar of my jacket like dirty bike chain oil as if I'd tossed my jacket over my bike and the collar had rubbed on the chain. Then I saw the sticky stuff was on my hand and coming from my helmet. The DEET was dissolving my helmet into black sticky goo. One of my co-riders had done the same as me with a different repellant containing DEET and was having the same problem. So don't spray DEET on your helmet.

I washed the stuff off with water and the styrofoam looked like it had acne; REI was good enough to exchange the helmet which was a relief it was only about six months old

General Discussion / Re: Amtrak Bus and Bikes
« on: June 06, 2011, 10:43:17 pm »
Martinez is a manned station with baggage check facilities. You will  be able to get a bike box from Amtrak there for $15 or free if they have a used one you can reuse. The boxes are huge, take off your pedals turn the bars sideways and you can roll your bike into it, no need to remove seat or wheels. You'll have to tape it up yourself but Amtrak provides the tape.  I was planning on taking my bike on an Amtrak bus from Seattle to Mt Vernon, the staff said I could take it on (under) the bus as long as it was boxed. The box cost more than the ticket! Looks like you are out of luck with Eureka. No baggage help at Eureka. They may take it if you get a LBS to box your bike. Knowing the way these things work you'll probably have to put it in an official Amtrak box at Martinez

General Discussion / Re: Spring Snow in the West
« on: May 29, 2011, 01:04:28 am »
Jeffrey City is not to be trifled with with or without snow.

I had a Pearl Izumi jacket with removable sleeves. I now have a Pearl Izumi gilet. I lost the sleeves somewhere in Montana. If you come across a pair of sleeves without a jacket, send them home please.

Gear Talk / Re: Rain
« on: May 24, 2011, 07:20:34 pm »
Some good advise here. I agree with pretty much everything said. One thing I will add. Overshoes, I don't care which brand, will help keep your feet warm they will not keep them dry. Like others I recommend Smartwool socks, cotton is worse than useless in the wet. I used to use long nylon overpants and got as wet under them as if I hadn't bothered. Interestingly on a tour round Washington State on the third downpour I decided not to bother with overpants, strange to say my feet were noticeably warmer without overpants. I don't know what was going on but it worked that way for me. Possibly the pants were catching rain and diverting the water to my feet somehow. Unless you plan on touring in winter I think bare legs are best. Oh and yes, forget the bike cleaning. If you have to have a clean bike it may be best not to tour.

Gear Talk / Re: new OFF product
« on: May 21, 2011, 12:48:12 pm »
Has anyone come out with a product that combines DEET and sunblock?

Routes / Re: Pac Coast: CA Park Closures Slated for later 2011
« on: May 18, 2011, 04:58:31 pm »
I'm hoping to do the Sierra Pacific route later this year. Is there anything I should know?

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