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Messages - sspeed

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Connecting ACA Routes / Re: Denver, CO to NW Iowa, two alternatives?
« on: January 10, 2013, 11:56:11 am »
Thanks, I ordered the paper maps from Colorado, Nebraska and Iowa.   I tried printing what they had on their site, but it was awful tiny and I was constantly scrolling on my screen trying to look at it online.

What I planned to do was get a general route from the suggestions.  Look at it on the printed maps and then put it in to Tyre.  Tyre is like Google Maps in that it let's you drag and change routes, etc.  It also will export a GPX file which I could upload as a route to my Garmin Edge.  It also lets me share the GPX file in case I want to send it to anyone for a sanity check.

Oh, planned date is probably end of June.

Connecting ACA Routes / Re: Denver, CO to NW Iowa, two alternatives?
« on: January 09, 2013, 02:16:14 pm »
Thanks John, I suspected that.   I was going to go over the route with the printed state maps and refine it out... I was using Google mostly just for the general outline.  Do you use a better program that would allow me to map it out nicely using the suggestions in this thread?  I'd found one at one time, but can't think of what it was for the life of me now...

EDIT: The program I'd found was "Tyre", but I don't know if that is a great one or not, it's just one I found.

Connecting ACA Routes / Re: Denver, CO to NW Iowa, two alternatives?
« on: January 09, 2013, 12:48:21 pm »
Thank you Jamawani!  That is excellent feedback!

Take a look at this map:,+Denver,+CO&daddr=Yuma,+CO+to:Arthur,+NE+to:Broken+Bow,+NE+to:Sargent,+NE+to:Yankton,+SD+to:Hull,+IA&hl=en&ll=41.418015,-100.50293&spn=7.32261,14.27124&sll=41.885921,-98.85498&sspn=7.269751,14.27124&geocode=FagRXQId86K_-Slh_yPNmYdshzG7B4rgoiEcxw%3BFWA3ZAIdpong-Snj828ueaJzhzGedW1sgr5nMA%3BFUZVegIdU0_w-Sl5_0A_7hV3hzHr-QA6Wh1Wwg%3BFbu9dwIdeJgP-inzdT8zhluchzFx1IYQKbKzuw%3BFXJiewIdMLcT-ikX0HxNYY-chzFruqYqDMRy2Q%3BFUUpjgId39Ux-ilRw2-uCKGPhzETxHG087Mx7g%3BFXABkwId_x1F-inTYHCXlTmMhzFB5sy2sP4p-g&dirflg=b&mra=ls&t=m&z=7&lci=bike

What if I head out of Denver on the mentioned county roads towards Yuma, CO?  An alternative might be US 36 to Bennett and Last Chance.  I've been on that road before and it's very sparse traffic, although that puts me a little south....

Frum Yuma, go up towards Arthur, NE and do the Broken Bow, NE sand hills route you mentioned.

Connect that to Sargent, NE and Yankton, SD because otherwise it's trying to send me through Sioux City (no way).  Once to Iowa I know the roads there and that looks ok...

The only unknown here is if any of the roads mentioned are gravel, don't really want that...  The jump up to the sandhills adds some mileage, but it seems worth it.

Connecting ACA Routes / Re: Denver, CO to NW Iowa, two alternatives?
« on: January 08, 2013, 11:23:30 am »
That's a great link Jennifer, thank you!

Connecting ACA Routes / Re: Denver, CO to NW Iowa, two alternatives?
« on: January 07, 2013, 04:41:30 pm »
After reading up some more, looks like the Cowboy Trail is terrible and poorly maintained.  Looking at other options still.

Connecting ACA Routes / Re: Denver, CO to NW Iowa, two alternatives?
« on: January 07, 2013, 03:55:21 pm »
Thanks John,

I'm looking at this again today... Avoid Highways with Google Maps puts me on what look to possibly be some very busy roads, such as Hwy 30 across Nebraska, Hwy 75 in Iowa (which I know is a 4 lane 65mph road).  I wonder if they've change avoid highways to just mean avoiding interstates?

I went back to their bike routes, it suggests the "Cowboy Trail"... It looks like it could be promising as I've heard that mentioned elsewhere, but I also see it going on what I know are gravel roads, which I'd like to avoid.

I think I'm thinking way too much about my possible route... :)

Gear Talk / Re: MTB tires
« on: November 09, 2012, 04:38:44 pm »
Schwable Racing Ralph could do dual-duty as light mountain bike tire and somewhat smooth rolling road tire.

Gear Talk / Re: Chain Maintenance on Tour
« on: November 09, 2012, 04:24:39 pm »
A few hours of interesting searching and reading will take you to Lonnie Morse's blog about WD40 and using no lubrication at all. It's a fascinating concept and I'm a bit more than one thousand miles into it myslef. My chain has been dry and clean. The whole transmission sparkles because there is nothing on it to attract or hold dirt.

Looking up Lonnie's blog will lead you to videos of lab tests and to engineering papers on chain lubes. Everything you think you know about this topic is wrong.

I understand this is opening up a can of worms.  Have you noticed any changes to your freewheel?  Being a water displacer and degreaser I'd worry about it getting in to the hub innards and breaking it down over time?  We used to run WD40 on motorcycle chains as kids, granted we rode the heck out of them and didn't care much about maintenance, but we had several bound links over the course of time.

Rocky Mountain / Re: Bike shop in Denver area
« on: October 17, 2012, 03:23:50 pm »
Salvagetti Bike Shop in the Highlands has a Long Haul Trucker and a Disc Trucker on hand.  I doubt they rent them though...

Gear Talk / Re: Tablets/IPad or laptops
« on: October 14, 2012, 08:49:54 am »
Another nice lightweight option for journal-type emails is a bluetooth keyboard.  I have one that connects to the droid phone and ipad that actually makes typing bearable.  It probably wouldn't make blogs with photos much easier.

Connecting ACA Routes / Re: Denver, CO to NW Iowa, two alternatives?
« on: October 13, 2012, 03:38:49 pm »
Thank you for that feedback!

The route you mention is the route I am leaning towards.  I considered the Adventure Cycling route for two reason, first was the ease of finding food and camping vs going out looking for it.  That gives a bit of peace of mind on a first major trip.

The second was, being on the TransAm route, there's a better chance of running in to other cyclists, which can be a real mind-saver sometimes.  On the other hand, it could be super annoying as well depending on who you run in to..

Gear Talk / Re: Tablets/IPad or laptops
« on: October 13, 2012, 02:27:02 pm »
I've been debating this topic as well.  I don't want a laptop or tablet along to blog or check email or anything like that, I can see wasting way too much time doing that and missing out on other cool opportunities.  I just want to save a GPS log of my entire ride and upload it every now and then.  Call me nerdy, but I love being able to go back and look rides over from that perspective.

I have a Garmin Edge 500 and I'm not sure (I'll have to check, maybe it has much more capacity than I realize) that the memory would support 3-4 days of 6-10 hours of riding without clearing it out.

I guess I also have a Garmin eTrex Vista HCX that supports a memory card and I could record out to that instead, which would solve my problem.  It also has better routing functions if I wanted to supplement the paper maps.

Connecting ACA Routes / Denver, CO to NW Iowa, two alternatives?
« on: October 13, 2012, 01:02:44 pm »
In the spring I plan to take about two weeks to go from Denver, CO to NW Iowa.

I'm considering two options:

1) Map my own route NE across Colorado and Nebraska using Google bike routes and state biking info, about 600 or miles.

2) Denver, CO to Ordway, CO, pick up TransAmerica route, ride that 2/3 of the way across Kansas, then snake NE up to Lewis and Clark trail and follow that to NW Iowa.  Definitely longer route, but maybe better amenities?

Still deciding which way is best, obviously following the Adventure Cycling routes for part of it would be easier to find food and camping, it's also quite a bit more out of the way and may be more than two weeks can handle.

Any thoughts?

Gear Talk / Re: Which Schwalbe
« on: October 13, 2012, 08:49:42 am »
I know this is old, but Bicycle Quarterly did some controlled tests which showed speed can vary by as much as 20% (all things being equal) with just tire selection.

Copy and paste of the summary:

Some test conclusions will be particularly enlightening if you’re riding on narrow, high-pressure clinchers seeking more speed via lower rolling resistance. Your skinny tires may not be as fast as you think.

For the full eight-page report on tire performance, order the Vol. 5 No. 1 issue from The test included nine 700C tires, seven 650B tires and two tubulars. The protocol and results were reviewed by industry experts. These are eight findings:

—With roughly the same power output, the rider’s speed can vary by as much as 20% depending on tire choice. For example, the rider on the fastest tire [in this roll-down test] moved down the road at approximately 16.4 mph (26.2 kph) while the same rider on the slowest tire went approximately 13.6 mph (21.7 kph).

—Many longtime riders believe tires with a cotton casing are faster than modern casings made from nylon. Testing seems to confirm this. The best-performing tire in the test, the Deda Tre Giro d’Italia 700×23C (actual width 24.5 mm), has a cotton casing.

—Tire pressure has only a small effect on the rolling resistance of most tires. Narrow 23-mm tires seem to roll fastest at pressures of 105 psi (7.2 bar) or more. However, running these tires at 85 psi (5.8 bar) for improved comfort increased the test times only 2%. Wider 28-mm tires are as fast at 85 psi as they are at higher pressures.

—Tubular tires perform worse at very high pressure. At 130 psi (9 bar), the narrow Clement Criterium rolled slower than it did at a more comfortable 105 psi. The wider Clement Campione del Mundo rolled slightly faster at 85 psi than at 105 psi.

—Wide tires do not roll slower at lower pressures. In fact, testing indicated that a wide tire at lower pressures rolls faster than a narrow tire at high pressures, if all other factors remain the same. Even narrow tires can be ridden at comfortable pressures with only very small concessions to performance.

—Tires rolled slightly slower with Michelin’s relatively thick latex tubes than with butyl tubes. Thinner latex tubes, like used in tubular tires, may offer better performance, but when used in clinchers they are more prone to punctures caused by friction between tire and tube. Latex tubes do improve comfort.

—Perhaps the most important result of the test is that tire pressure does not significantly affect rolling resistance. Wide tires in particular do not need high pressures to roll fast. But because many current wide tires are designed to handle high pressure, they have strong casings that lack suppleness. This results in higher rolling resistance than necessary.

—The test’s findings point to a new direction for performance bicycles. For most cyclists, wide, supple tires at low pressures offer more speed, better comfort, increased versatility and improved safety than today’s narrow high-pressure tires. However, this type of wide, fast tire currently is not available. Hopefully, these test results will help persuade manufacturers to produce them.

Gear Talk / Re: Best touring tires
« on: October 11, 2012, 02:03:34 pm »
Thanks for the info on goathead plants, I never knew quite what those plants looked like. 

Adventure Cycling sells a couple of Schwalbe Marathons I was considering...

Marathon Supreme HS 382

The Marathon HS 420

The 420 seems to get great reviews.  The 382 *looks* faster rolling and it's a little lighter, but the reviews on the site aren't as good.  Any thoughts on those two?

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