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Messages - PeteJack

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Routes / Re: Good news about CA coast!
« on: March 31, 2011, 04:26:39 pm »
I recently rode up Devils Slide. At at the start, just out of Pacifica, my chain jammed in the rear wheel. Instant stop with no shoulder. I had to fix it quite literally in the ditch. What a pain. The chain was so tight that the only way I could get enough slack in the thing to even take the back wheel off was to remove a derailer pulley. All while squatting in the ditch and trying not to drop parts. So make sure your machine is in shape before you go there. Actually as hills go it's not that bad if you don't break down.

Pacific Northwest / Seattle to Long Beach info please.
« on: March 31, 2011, 03:58:05 pm »
I'm thinking of taking the train to Centralia then riding Hwy 6 to Long Beach, return from Long Beach via Hwy 4 to Kelso then train back. Should be about 200 miles total. Has anyone experienced these roads or got any comments about accommodation etc.? There's supposed to be a bike trail that goes that way I get the impression you need a mountain bike and a machete to ride most of it. Be nice if I'm wrong. The quick way back would be Hwy 30 on the Oregon side but that would mean crossing the infernal bridge at Longview. On the other hand is the Puget Island ferry a feasible way to avoid the Lvw bridge? Or is this another victim of budget cuts?

Classifieds / Looking for Cycling British Columbia guide book.
« on: March 30, 2011, 01:48:31 pm »
Does anyone have a copy of Cycling British Columbia by Paul Wood to sell?

Gear Talk / Re: Low Rider Front Racks for Trek 520??
« on: March 27, 2011, 11:15:27 pm »
You don't have to sacrifice fenders. Mount the rack (I got mine from the ACA store) on the same lugs as the fender, just get longer bolts to go through both rack and fender mount. I put the rack on the outside of the fender mounts and it works fine. This leaves the slight annoyance of having to change back to shorter bolts when you take off the rack otherwise the long bolts will interfere with the wheel. Make sure the rails you mount the panniers on are level or down slightly to the front. I didn't and my Ortlieb Front Roller pannier clips wore the paint off my forks (I have found some fingernail polish that's a fairly close match)

General Discussion / Re: Wheel help
« on: March 23, 2011, 04:29:32 pm »
Check out Sheldon Brown's article on tire sizing. It may help clear up what you are dealing with Or it may just add to the confusion. The bit I like best is that a 27 X 1.5 is not the same as a 27 X 1 1/2 !!!

Routes / Re: Alaska to Argentina
« on: March 23, 2011, 04:16:15 pm »
I met Jens who is doing this very ride in January in California. You may wish to follow his blog or get in touch

General Discussion / Re: Bike Troubles
« on: March 23, 2011, 12:53:48 pm »
Riding down the Pacific Coast we ran into a lad called Roy from Belfast who had bought a bike over here for his trip. He claimed to have picked up an brand new aluminum frame Specialized of some kind for $400 (which I find hard to believe). Sorry I didn't pay too much attention to it. It was nice enough rig with a rack. Don't forget your pedals, that can save you $80, and saddle if you have a nice one and bring your own panniers. It definitely looks to be cheaper than bringing your own bike. You can spend a lot of money on S & S couplings and get something that will squeeze under the suitcase limits but that's a lot of hassle.

General Discussion / Re: Chain Cleaner
« on: March 03, 2011, 11:02:13 pm »
This is like religion. Chain cleaning a is major waste of time. I buy spendy chains (Connex) and get about 3000 miles out of them before my Park Tool gauge tells me they have stretched too much. I use DuMonde Tech lubricant when I can hear the chain like it says on the bottle. Why worry about rust on a chain? It's the insides of the rollers that wear, rust on the links doesn't affect that. As far as I can see cleaning a chain washes lubricant out of the rollers and only increases wear. Rather than get obsessed with lubing your chain carry a wear indicator and check it every few hundred miles Change the chain when it shows 0.75% wear because it will be at 1% in no time, in my experience in about 200 miles. This way you don't have to carry messy cleaning kit and avoid riding with a stretched chain which will do in your cluster.

I've read people who claim to get 20K out of their chains to which I have two responses (1) disbelief (2) don't you have anything better to do with your time? To me a chain is a consumable.All this cleaning ballyhoo reminds me of a friend who, when I was appalled at him paying to get his oil changed in his car, told me "To me it's worth not having to change my own oil" So toss $20 - $50 into the budget for a new change now and then, it's worth it. What would you rather be doing at the end of a long day, eating or cleaning your chain?

Gear Talk / Re: Ortlieb Front Roller City Panniers
« on: February 16, 2011, 07:02:05 pm »
This is quite interesting. I have a pair of regular Front Rollers that are splendid. My only gripe is that they slide back on the front rack and the clip rubs against the fork chafing it down to bare metal. Fortunately it's a red paint job so I should find some fingernail polish to match. Any suggestions for preventing this short of sacrificial electrical tape around the fork? Hmmm... should rattle a bit less that way.

I agree that small panniers enforce a discipline with your kit. Do I really need that tent peg hammer?

Gear Talk / Re: Fenders for touring
« on: February 15, 2011, 10:58:33 pm »
My vote is for SKS. The 'breakaway' device really works and could save you from flying over the bars. Beware of assumptions about only small stuff getting jammed in there. Your wheel can be locked up in the blink of an eye.

I recommend a long flap on your rear fender. Also a flap on the front fender keeps a lot of crud off you and your chain.

Long flaps on rear fenders are known as Buddy Flaps for a reason. They keep your buddy following you in the rain from getting soaked by your rooster tail. Experience tells me that in this respect the flap on PB fenders is worthless.

Gear Talk / Re: Squeaky brakes
« on: February 14, 2011, 11:57:10 pm »
My Trek 520 front Vee brake was deafening using Kool Stop high friction pads (orange). I changed to regular Kool Stops (black) and they were a bit better but not much.  I cleaned the rims with alcohol using a Scotchbrite pad and that helped a smidgin more.

Kool Stop recommend no toe in which is why I haven't tried it yet. Before Kool Stops I used Jagwire pads that were silent but Jagwire pads seem to be hard to come by these days.

I agree Kool Stops do not seem to collect pieces of metal like other pads do. I guess I'll live with the noise

Gear Talk / Re: Panniers
« on: January 07, 2011, 04:02:32 pm »
Personally I have four Ortlieb panniers, two Sportpackers and two Front Rollers which I like a lot. They are a bit on the small side which is a good thing, you end up toting less. I also have a Lone Peak bar bag I would not recommend. Even with a rain cover everything gets soaked. I've noticed that rain covers fill with water, apart from soaking everything in your non-waterproof pannier this adds a bunch of weight. But it's a religion thing really, whatever you do will be the right decision some days and some days it will be the opposite. Don't talk yourself out of going because you can't get the perfect gear especially for the first trip. I've met a guy who had rode across the country with all his gear in a black plastic bin bag held on with bungy cord. Mind you he told me he'd found his bike, a Schwinn 8 speed, in a ditch. About as "value-oriented" as you can get.

Gear Talk / Re: Uncomfortable seats
« on: January 07, 2011, 03:40:40 pm »
$150 for a fitting sounds about right, Gregg's charged me $200 when I got a new bike a couple of years ago. Cycle U 3 years ago was $120. You will be surprised how much goes into a fitting. Be prepared for a serious workout. Wear the clothes that you intend to tour in. They get you well and truly warmed up before taking measurements and making adjustments. Which makes sense if you think about it.

Gear Talk / Re: Fenders for touring
« on: January 05, 2011, 07:13:10 pm »
Pop-out vs breakaway is a distinction without a difference as far as I can see. OK OK nothing actually breaks.

And PLEASE be aware there is nothing gradual about what happens when you get a small branch between your wheel and fender. The first time it happened to me it destroyed the cheap front fender in the blink of an eye. If the fender had been stronger the resultant jam would have had me over the bars. The second time the struts in the SKS breakaway device popped out. I stopped and popped them back in without getting off the bike. I don't think there's much likelihood of the fender struts going in the wheel, when they pop out the struts spring outwards i.e. away from the wheel. Just don't ride any more than you have to with them out.

Living in the Northwest we may get more tree litter on the roads than other parts of the country. It's surprising how big a piece of tree can ride up into your fender. Of course the thing to do is to avoid said pieces but after a windstorm that can be almost impossible, especially on trails where there's no auto traffic to purge the debris to the side of the road.

Gear Talk / Re: Uncomfortable seats
« on: January 05, 2011, 03:18:46 pm »
For touring a sprung Brooks may be the way to go This guy, who appears to be an expert on everything, swears by them. My Brooks B17 has seen me across the US and a lot more besides but I'm probably lucky, the cheap plastic thing that came with my bike never gave me any trouble apart from being sweaty in hot weather. I'd be leery of gel seats. The guy I rode across the country with had a broken saddle he replaced it with a used gel thing and ended up taking painkillers to get himself across.  But opinions are like you know what.... Have you had you're bike fitted? I rode my Trek 520 for several years before going to Cycle U (Magnuson Park if you live in Seattle) and getting a fitting. A tremendous investment for me; it was like getting a new bike. I thought the saddle was too high and the bars too low. In fact it was the other way round! Also the guys doing the fitting may have some insight into your problem. I'm sure they have more experience in this area than most of us. Worth checking out before you buy a recumbent.

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