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Messages - PeteJack

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My wife, who is not really a cyclist, and I did the Natchez Trace from S to N and stayed in some delightful B & Bs. It's a great intro to bike touring for a tyro. There was one stretch where we ended up camping but with better planning you could avoid that. We used and they were great, we booked one day at a time so we didn't have to commit to a schedule which can be hard on a beginner if you overestimate your abilities. I highly recommend it. The booking service is quite picky about who it recommends and we found them excellent value for money.

At Hazelgreen MO (Map 22) on the ACA route on Hwy AB there is a sign saying "Road closed 3 miles ahead" and signs diverting Route 66 travelers onto the adjacent freeway, there's also a map addendum to that effect put out by the ACA. If you can lift your bike over a couple of two foot barriers there's no need to go on the freeway and you'll be rewarded with a several miles of traffic free road. If you stay on route here's what you'll find.

This is the bridge over the Gasconade River. That barrier is all of two feet high and you can ride to a similar barrier on the other side. When I got there I noticed pedestrians on the bridge (there's a swimming hole nearby) and there are no notices telling peds/riders to stay off. If the state really wanted that they would have put chain link fence up etc., but it is very much closed to motor vehicles.

i checked this out because several times I've come across road closures where a pedestrian or cyclist could easily get through. At worst I would have had a six mile round trip to satisfy my curiosity.

Edit. I've only just noticed the skid marks going right up to the barrier. I suspect someone was diriving under the influence.

Routes / Re: El Nino impact on Sierra Cascade route this spring?
« on: April 21, 2016, 10:18:06 am »

This was on July 1 attempting to cross Elk Pass near Randle WA. The slushy snow was up to the hubs. It was in the 80s in the valley. This is a FS road which are not plowed like regular roads thanks to budget cuts so check with the FS before attempting passes on their terrain. See I ended up making a very long detour to get back on trail at Cascade Locks. ( Some kind correspondent with local knowledge told me I couldn't have picked a worse route to the Locks. See the correspondence in the CGOAB article.)

You'll probably be able to get across Crater Lake NP but not be able to ride round the lake if it's a heavy snow year. That's what happened to me.

(Edit. Sorry my pic doesn't display. Dunno why, it did in the preview before. Go to my CGOB link to see pics)

General Discussion / Re: Bike shops near Seatac airport
« on: March 23, 2016, 09:36:38 pm »
I've decided to take the ferry from Seattle to Bremerton and follow the "Pacific Coast" route to a point just west of Anacortes.  It looks like a nice ride (with the exception of down town Bremerton) with lots to see and some camp grounds along the way.

Your snap of the Washington Pass ascent reminds me of what I'm in for - Both fun and not so much fun.
Should be nice. On the ferry keep your eyes peeled in Rich Passage on the way to Bremerton. If you're lucky you'll see orcas + Bald Eagles (America's emblem) are to be seen thereabouts.

Stock up on food in Concrete; there isn't a supermarket worth the name until you get to Winthrop. Newhalem has a store but it's not up to much. if you're a reader Tobias Wolff's This Boy's Life is about growing up in Concrete. A redneck in a Concrete cafe told me "Some people round here not too keen on Tobias Wolff" When I mentioned his name. It's a great read and you'll see why he caused a stir. But I digress.

Here's Back Street Bike Repair.

You can see where the name comes from. I was there today. They seem a very good outfit. Plus they stock the Compass Tires that I'm planning on fitting for my next tour.

Edit: Oops. If you modify Photobucket (in my case delete some pics) it messes up the locations of all the other pics it seems.  :-\

General Discussion / Re: Rain gear in the summer: Why carry it at all?
« on: March 21, 2016, 03:02:42 am »
OK, it seems that I have been EXTEMELY lucky during all my trips in the US.

You certainly have. I took rain gear from Jasper to Portland last summer with blazing sun all the way and not a second of rain. The guidebooks did say you could get snow in June on the Icefields Parkway ( the name gives a hint). I didn't regret taking it, it's just the cost of safe touring IMO. I got hypothermia in the North Cascades when rain turned to sleet and my rain gear was defective (Gore Bike Wear actually replaced it) Never again

General Discussion / Re: Bike shops near Seatac airport
« on: March 21, 2016, 02:43:56 am »
I use Photobucket, it's free if you don't have too many images. Load images you want to show here into Photobucket then copy the text labelled IMG that Photobucket provides for your image and just paste it into your text. Don't use use the insert Image icon thingy above the text box.  At least that's how I do it and it seems to work 8)

Here's Frankie the 15 yr old greyhound and his trailer that I met on the same trip. Just to make sure the above i correct.

I was just finishing the NT W->E when I took that pic.. So, how are you getting up to the NT route?

General Discussion / Re: Bike shops near Seatac airport
« on: March 20, 2016, 04:19:27 am »
How are you getting onto the NT route from Seattle? there's a couple of options comes to mind. The easy way is to take the train to Mount Vernon, it's about 10 miles from there to Sedro Wooley (love that name) and you can join the ACA route just before SW. There's a bike path shown north of the Skagit River on the ACA map, the official route is to the south. Resist the temptation to try the bike path, it's horrible: soft gravel and pretty much unrideable on a road bike. Unless you go back to Anacortes from Mount Vernon you'll miss the about 15 miles of the whole NT. By the time you get to Bar Harbor you won't miss it.

OR you could go the scenic route to Anacortes. Catch the ferry to Winslow from downtown. Head up Bainbridge Island to the Hood Canal Floating Bridge and thence to Port Townsend. From PT catch another ferry to Whidbey Island and across Deception Pass to Anacortes. The ACA route to PT goes through Bremerton (it's part of the Pacific Coast route from Vancouver BC). There is another ferry to Bremerton but wouldn't recommend going that way; Bremerton is a bit of a dump and the traffic is awful. There's camping at PT and Deception Pass State Park and lots of motels in the towns.

If the weather is hot when you go over the North Cascades make sure you have plenty of water when you leave Newhalem, it's 60 miles before you can get any more, in Mazama. There's a few creeks by the side of the road but you should purify or you takes your chances. Newhalem is where the climbing starts. It's this stretch that will give your legs their first proper workout. The whizz down from Washington Pass is a treat, it's about 15 miles of downhill.  Here's the start of it.

General Discussion / Re: Bike shops near Seatac airport
« on: March 17, 2016, 12:05:14 am »
Riding from SeaTac or Burien Cycles to downtown can be a pain although the light rail would be painless. Send me a PM and I'll take you the Secret Low Traffic Route to Pioneer Square. If you're up for it I'll take you along Alki Beach with its fabulous views of downtown, it's a bit further but nicer riding. After that you're on you're own. Chances are I'll be around because I'm retired. I live about 3 miles from the airport. BTW I highly recommend Burien Cycles. In my experience they are keen competent young guys who charge very reasonable prices.

General Discussion / Re: Found on the road
« on: March 12, 2016, 01:49:22 pm »
I found s cheap Chinese Multitool that was junk, the blade wouldn't cut butter etc. I pounded its spike thing into a tree to hold a guy line. Next morning I left it there for anybody who wanted it, I certainly didn't. About 5 miles up the road a pickup pulls up in front of me. "You left you're tool..."

Gear Talk / Re: Shimano Hollowtech experience anyone?
« on: March 09, 2016, 01:49:09 pm »
Quote from: DaveB
As to just making changes because the machinery is worn out, note that Shimano still makes both square taper and Octalink bottom bracketrs despite the fact that the vast majority of the OEM market has made them obsolete.   
This reminds me of he Bob Newhart skit about General Chariots board meeting. "Do these holes in the chariot sides serve any purpose?" Someone has the temerity to ask. "Yes they serve a purpose: they keep us employed next year" the CEO replies.

Thanks Paddleboy. I suppose they'll go like my old BB with a just perceptible wobble. Interestingly the Hollowtech has fixed what I thought was a problem with the rear derailer. It was jumping gears on the larger cogs, especially when honking. It's stopped doing that now. I believe the wobble in the rings was moving the chain just enough to cause an inadvertent shift. There was I thinking it was the detents on the shifter worn out (one of the very few original components on the bike) Not even Sheldon mentions that as a cause of autoshifting.

Gear Talk / Re: Shimano Hollowtech experience anyone?
« on: March 08, 2016, 11:22:41 pm »
It's an outrageous lie that square taper bb's are no longer available, even from Shimano. Bikes stores that tell you this are quite literally ripping you off. They should be held to account.
Just Google UN55 (the Shimano bb at the most reasonable quality/price point for touring bikes) and you'll find literally hundreds of offerings.
However I have toured many thousands of kilometers on a Hollowtech bb also, with no issues at all.
It is posible that users who ride a lot in wet, muddy UK conditions would experience more issues, but then they probably have more issues even with square taper bb's.
Good point about the UK conditions. Actually it wasn't the BBs but the square taper cranks the man said were unavailable. Because the originals were so old and beat up I was worried about them breaking so I asked him to put new cranks on as well. Thanks for the reassurance Ron. It seems like I'll be OK this year with the Hollowtechs but I don't suppose I'll get 50,000 out of them! I'm rather attracted to the Hope BB not only is it good kit but they are made in a village, Barnoldswick*, near where I grew up in Yorkshire. Hey ho perhaps it's time I got a new bike. You could call the one I've got now The Bike of Theseus.

*Bet you pronounce it wrong, a lot of people in the UK do too. They also make Rolls Royce jet engines there, that's what the B in RB211 is.
** Since I first wrote this I've googled "pronounce Barnoldswick" and most of the results it comes up with aren't even close to the way the denizens pronounce the name!

Gear Talk / Re: Shimano Hollowtech experience anyone?
« on: March 08, 2016, 06:38:41 pm »
Early failures on Hollowtech II bottom brackets can be caused by poorly faced, out-of-alignment bottom bracket shells.  If those reporting the early failures have badly aligned frames, it would explain a lot as no bearing will tolerate much of that.
Thank you Dave that makes sense.

Let me say something about how 'improvements' come to market. It's budget time and Mr S is at the head of the table on his one hand is Mr HT who has developed the Hollowtech product on his other hand is Mr ST who oversees square taper manufacturing. "So" says Mr S to Mr ST "what are your requirements for next year. Mr ST says "our machinery is worn out and we need some spendy new specialized plant, broaches etc. Those square tapers are quite tricky"
Up pipes Mr HT "We're ready to go now with our new line, and we use cheap off the shelf hardware i.e. a piece of tube that we can machine a spline on with any one of a hundred CNC machines we already have. Thanks to this we can sell at lower unit cost and higher margins and no big capital investment" Then Mr S says "Mmm the racers like HT. Looks like a no brainer. Tell the marketing boys to sing Hollowtech's praises".

NB No discussion of whether it's a better product for the average Joe It all boils down to making the most money

I've no idea whether Shimano operates like this but over a lifetime in manufacturing I have sat in similar meetings.

Gear Talk / Re: Shimano Hollowtech experience anyone?
« on: March 08, 2016, 05:40:40 pm »
No I have no personal proof and I didn't come to that conclusion, other people did. As for personal proof, of course not, that's why I've raised this question. Check the link to the CTC website. In particular TrevA who says I got sick of replacing the bearings on the Hollowtech every 2-3000 miles. The general opinion there is that Hollowtech BBs don't last as long as STs. Russ I've as much reason for taking TrevA at his word as I have for taking you at your word.

Why are you wasting the time asking these questions?  You don't want to believe this other person you cite on the other forum, and you don't want to believe my opposite opinion.  I suggest you resolve this conflict by flipping a coin.  Heads this bottom bracket/crank, tails the other.
Because questions had been raised as to Hollowtech durability I came here to get the experience of people who have actually done some touring with these things. Yes, judging by the tone of the only responses I got it was a waste of time

Gear Talk / Re: Shimano Hollowtech experience anyone?
« on: March 08, 2016, 12:16:27 pm »
Curious how you came to this conclusion that "ST BBs last much much longer than Hollowtech."  Do you have any actual personal proof?  Or are you just making up stuff off the top of your head?  I am aware most science and rebuttals of science are done this way now days.  Testing, proof, observation is so out of date.
No I have no personal proof and I didn't come to that conclusion, other people did. As for personal proof, of course not, that's why I've raised this question. Check the link to the CTC website. In particular TrevA who says I got sick of replacing the bearings on the Hollowtech every 2-3000 miles. The general opinion there is that Hollowtech BBs don't last as long as STs. Russ I've as much reason for taking TrevA at his word as I have for taking you at your word.
Quote from: DaveB
I don't know who told you about 2,000 mile failures  but that seems absurd unless they criminally abused their bikes.
Again, check the link.

Sorry I can't get the link to work the second time.

Gear Talk / Shimano Hollowtech experience anyone?
« on: March 08, 2016, 11:13:49 am »
My LBS talked me into replacing the original square taper (ST) bottom bracket in my 520 after 51000 miles with a Shimano 105 Hollowtech BB by saying that new ST cranks weren't available (it seems that it's only Shimano ST cranks that aren't available). Now, from the CTC forum it appears that Hollowtech BBs don't last very long, < 2000 miles some people are saying. This has got me worried, it seems that ST BBs last much much longer than Hollowtech. I've got a Route 66 tour coming up. Should I be looking for an ST BB or possibly replacing the Shimano with a Hope BB or am I looking at replacing a BB somewhere in New Mexico ( I was going to write NM but that's overdoing the initials  ;D)

Right now I'm leaning towards doing a preemptive replace of the Shimano with a Hope because I like the feel of the Hollowtech setup and the changing is superb. Waddya think?

At the least I can take a spare Shimano BB with me, they are only $20 at REI and don't weigh much.

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