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Messages - RussSeaton

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16
Hey Russ. I was looking to average between 50-100 miles a day. So early to mid June might
Be ok you think?

50-100 miles.  Lets average that to 70 miles per day.  Riding East to West.  So you have 60 riding days on the 4,228 mile Transam trail.  You could easily leave mid, late June, early July and have fine weather all the way across the USA.  Except for heat in the middle.  And add in 10-15 off days too.  You would get to the west coast by mid September.

17
Does anyone think starting out E to W on the
TransAmerican to late?

The Transamerica trail is 4,228 miles long.  If you figure a 60 mile per day average, you get 70 days.  If you average 50 miles per day, you get 84 days.  Riding days.  Add a few no ride days for fun.  So if you left the east coast on July 1, you would get to the west coast at the end of September.  Riding the 50 mile a day pace.  You would cross the Rockies in early September and Sierra Cascades in late September.  95%+ you would be fine and happy and no problems in the mountains.  Maybe you would have a setback on one day.  Maybe.  You can leave the east coast in early July and be fine riding to the west coast.  I consider 50-60 miles per day to be easy days.

18
General Discussion / Re: It Ain't Summer in the West
« on: May 10, 2017, 02:51:47 pm »
It Ain’t Summer in the West

Actually, it ain't summer anywhere in the USA.  Summer does not start until June 22.  May is officially Spring.  Its 50s, 60s, and rain where I live.  Typical, normal, regular Spring weather.

19
Gear Talk / Re: front rack questions
« on: May 06, 2017, 01:00:33 pm »
I had an old Trek 520.  Used Blackburn braze on lowriders in front.  Worked perfectly for thousands of miles.  Always best to put as much weight as possible in the front lowriders.  Least in rear panniers.  I tour sometimes with only front lowriders.  No rear panniers at all.  Handlebar bags are up around the bars and stem.  Unless you have a front rack with a platform and have it piled high with gear, I don't think a front rack will interfere with a handlebar bag.

20
General Discussion / Re: Bike touring safety... USA...
« on: May 03, 2017, 10:11:17 pm »
10
I'm from England and have cycled in over 60 countries
Only in the States ..., speeding is enforced, you have wide shoulders (Ok the East coast is lacking) need I go on?

Being from England I can understand why you don't know anything at all about the USA.  Speeding is more common than not speeding.  Yes speeding tickets are given out by the cops, but its a tiny, tiny fraction of the speeders.  The vast majority of the USA roads have no shoulders at all.  Some have shoulders, but most do not.  Interstate highways and other big speedways have wide shoulders.  But its not legal to ride on those roads.  Shoulders and riding are somewhat opposite.  If there is a shoulder, its probably not a good road to ride.  If there are no shoulders, its probably a good road to ride.  Shoulders are generally only put on big major high traffic roads.

Regarding the original question, riding a bicycle in the USA is fairly safe.  Some roads and/or places are not safe.  Don't ride there.  But most roads and places in the USA are safe for bicycling.

21
Since you believe you need a unique bike geometry that cannot be found on any bike made, why don't you buy a custom frame using the measurements you got from your two bike fittings?  That seems pretty obvious to me.  Gunnar makes steel frames.  Subdivision of Waterford.  You seem to want only steel.  They offer a custom loaded touring frame for around $1400 or so.  Plus a fork.  For $1600-1800 you could easily have a custom made loaded touring frame that matches your exact measurements you have.  That does not seem too complicated to me.  If you want to spend a few hundred more, Co-Motion and/or Independent Fabrications also offer custom loaded touring bikes in steel.

22
If I had to guess, figure on getting across Idaho by the end of September,

Please you would have to explain a little further re Idaho etc as im a complete newbie to touring especially in the US as i live in London.

Being in London, you do not know what mountains are.  Maybe you have visited the Alps in the summer.  Idaho has the Bitterroot mountains.  100 km east are the Rocky Mountains.  200 km west are the Sierra Cascades.  Its very easy to have snow in these mountains in late September.  Usually early September is fine.  Usually.  Imagine suggesting to someone from the very far north of Scotland, on the North Sea, about going on a bike tour in late September.  I'd guess that person would beat your head with a hammer for saying something so stupid.  Riding around the Rockies and Bitterroot mountains in late September is about the same thing.

23
Food Talk / Re: to cook or not to cook?
« on: April 20, 2017, 11:32:31 pm »
Breakfast at diners, or even at fast food places, are cheap and quick.  For lunch we get a sub.  For dinner we typically get something at a grocery store along the way, and eat it at camp.

Every diner I have ever eaten in has been expensive.  $5 minimum just to get a bare minimum of food.  Not enough to get you more than 20 miles down the road.  Fast food places are cheap, but not plentiful in small towns in rural America.  Subs are $5 plus at official restaurants and at convenience stores too.  Maybe $1 cheaper if bought at a grocery store.  Not cheap.  Good though.  Your grocery store dinner can be cheap.  But the breakfast and lunch options you mentioned will run you $15 total.  Does not fit my idea of cheap.

24
Odd questions.  I have taillights with me whenever I ride.  I have one hanging on the back of my helmet.  Zip ties through the rear vents of the helmet.  Two more hang on the back of my saddlebag.  I always have them.  Whether I use or need them isn't a question I even ask.  For a headlight I always carry a small flashlight with me when touring.  I use it to see at night in camp.  It has one of those mounts that allows you to mount it to handlebars.  Can't remember what the brand of that mount is.  But it lives on the flashlight so its always available to use if need be.  Again, I don't even ask the question.  As for a mirror, I use a Take A Look mounted on my sunglasses.  I like having it.  Don't really care about other people's opinions.  As for using a mirror to see cars getting too close, it does not work that way.  You don't look in the mirror constantly.  You have to look ahead to see where you are riding.  You only look for a second or two in the mirror.  Cars coming up behind you will generally not swerve to the side until they are close to you.  You will not be watching them the entire time they are behind you and watch them swerve out.  The mirror just allows you to know a car is coming behind you and make you ready.  If a car is going to run you over, there really isn't anything you can do about it.  Except dive into the ditch whenever you see or hear a car behind you.  Irregardless of whether it is going to hit you or not.  Think about rear view mirrors in a car.  Seeing a car behind you with the mirror does not tell you if a car is going to rear end you.  It just tells you a car is coming up behind you.

25
Gear Talk / Re: Packing Techniques for Ortlieb Front Roller Classics
« on: April 04, 2017, 04:33:26 pm »
If I am feeling fancy and highfalutin, I will use official Ziploc brand Ziploc bags.  Clear so I can see what is in the bag.  But usually I just grab a whole bunch of the white plastic bags I get from the grocery store.  Put two or three around stuff and everything is waterproof.  I carry extra grocery bags for extra wrapping too.  Dirty clothes, etc.

26
General Discussion / Re: Bike Safety
« on: March 31, 2017, 02:26:50 pm »
On my longer tours, 3 months, two weeks, few days, I never carried a lock.  Vast majority of that riding was in smaller rural towns and countryside.  A few medium towns too.  At night I always put the bike inside the room or building where I stayed.  When going into stores I just lean the bike in front of the store.  Make it obvious the bike is there.  Don't hide the bike and gear on the side in an alley or behind.  Make it visible right where everyone walks and sees.  I do the same thing riding around my hometown.  I park the bike on the sidewalk below the window in front of the convenience store.  Not hidden and secluded.

27
Gear Talk / Re: Advice on Lower Gearing
« on: March 26, 2017, 06:34:43 am »
I remember those shoes from 30 years ago.  Have not seen anyone wearing them in recent decades.  Down tube, stem, and bar end shifters were the only way to shift a 5 or 6 or 7 speed freewheel back when those shoes were popular.

28
Gear Talk / Re: Advice on Lower Gearing
« on: March 25, 2017, 11:51:28 pm »
I bicycled 4 times across USA and circled Australia with normal leather boat shoes.

You will have to provide a better description of what "boat shoes" are.  Maybe a web link.  As for preferring your "boat shoes" over SPD shoes and clipless pedals, I would guess there are one or two million times more people who use SPD shoes than use "boat shoes".

29
Gear Talk / Re: Advice on Lower Gearing
« on: March 24, 2017, 04:43:56 pm »
two feet on the ground pushing the bike up the hill.  Make sure you've got cleat covers if you're using road pedals.

Eeeek!!!!  I HOPE every bicyclist tourer with clipless pedals is using SPD or Frog or Bebop pedals/cleats.  NOT road pedals.  A concealed, small cleat on the bottom of shoes that is unobtrusive and easy to walk in.  I can walk miles and miles on almost any terrain with my SPD shoes and sandals.  I could easily survive and thrive with no other shoes except maybe flip flops on any tour of any length from one week to one year.

30
Gear Talk / Re: 48 tooth gear on a triple chainring?
« on: March 23, 2017, 03:33:19 pm »
If you go back in history to the first years of mountain bikes, you will find many triple cranksets on mountain bikes with 48 teeth.  Back then 13 teeth was the smallest cog on the cassette or freewheel.  A high gear of 48x13 was considered a good gear for bombing down mountain trails.  Its a trail, not a smooth paved road so in theory you should go slower off road.  But things changed.  Cassettes began to be offered with 12 and then 11 tooth cogs.  So a chainring of 44 or 42 with a 11 or 12 tooth cog was the same high gear.  And then the 29" craze began and people became obsessed with going down mountains at 99 mph.  So even the 44 chainring isn't really big enough now.  Now some cassettes come with 10 tooth cogs.

Derailleurs have capacities.  Front derailleur can only have so much difference between big and small chainring.  Otherwise the chain will drag on the back of the front derailleur if the inner chainring is too small.  Bad shifting and riding.  The rear derailleur is sized for wrap.  Difference in big and small cogs and difference in big and small chainrings.  Add them together to get total wrap.  Rear derailleur should cover this wrap.  You can exceed all these capacities by a little bit on most bikes and all is well.

If you make a mountain bike using a Bike Friday.  Then you will probably want bigger chainrings on your crank.  Because Bike Friday uses 20 or 16 inch wheels.  So you need bigger chainrings and smaller cassette cogs to get the same gearing as a 700C wheeled bike.  Gear inches is Chainring / Cassette Cog * Diameter of wheel.  You can change any of these three parts so you more or less end up with about 100 gear inches on the high end and about 20 gear inches on the low end.  That range will be good for about every up and down on earth.

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