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Messages - jolobike

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While I've not yet cycle-toured, we travel about 6 mo/year in our RV. We avoid KOA as we find them to usually be one of the most expensive campground options. We use an phone app "RV" and it will list tons of campground options, using your current location or desired destination. Unless you're staying at a really nice campground, we've found their wifi usually is really slow so we have the Verizon MiFi device and it's been great anywhere we've been unless you're really out in the boonies. One camping option I rarely see mentioned is county fairgrounds. Most have camping areas and allow tents, and are generally pretty safe/secure. Also, website lists campgrounds that are managed by various government agencies. They are usually inexpensive, and while may not have all the luxuries of private campgrounds, many do have power and water at each site and bath/shower room. Good luck! Sounds like a great adventure!

General Discussion / Re: Crossing Mexico North-South on Gulf Side
« on: June 09, 2014, 12:58:33 am »
You might find some useful info here:

We haven't traveled on the eastern side of Mexico but have done the central colonial cities (NW of Mexico City) and lots of the Pacific Coast.

I don't have any suggestions for biking as I've only recently gotten interested in touring so last time we were down there I wasn't looking at it from that angle. Is there a particular reason why you want to do the east coast?

It just occurred to me that you might find good road info from some of the Mexico RV forums. Some of them are full of cartel horror stories but these might offer info from a more reasoned source:

Good luck! I'd love to cycle mexico/central/south america!

General Discussion / Re: Crossing Mexico North-South on Gulf Side
« on: June 02, 2014, 05:59:22 pm »
There are several recent accounts of biking into Mexico on

Have fun! We've traveled a fair amount in Mexico in our RV and love it down there!

Routes / Re: Sacramento-Auburn, CA route advice please.
« on: November 24, 2013, 12:04:04 am »
So which route did you take, and how was it?? We visit the area often.

General Discussion / Re: My New Touring Bike
« on: July 31, 2013, 11:48:38 pm »
Good score on the bike!

Gear Talk / Re: First Touring Specific Bike
« on: July 31, 2013, 10:27:19 pm »
Nice looking...great color! I'll be looking forward to your review... Have a great trip!

General Discussion / Hint for using Craigslist...
« on: July 29, 2013, 11:05:04 pm »
As I posted in Gear Talk, I recently found a great deal on a bike on Craigslist and I think I owe it to the Craigslist app on my phone for helping me find it. So, I thought I'd share this hint. If you have a smart phone, download the Craigslist app that allows you to enter the item you're looking for, then it continually does the search for you. You can select up to 10 Craigslists for it to watch. Then, when that item is newly listed in any of those regions it alerts you. On my iphone, the app has a purple and white logo. "Craigslist +" is its name.

I had been spending 1-2 hours every couple days checking out all the various lists within 6 hours of our location. I missed really good listings a couple times. The bike I bought this last weekend was listed on Friday, on a list 3 hours from my town, and he had 3 calls within the first couple hours. I was the first one to show up. The app saved me the time on the computer and I was alerted immediately when the ad was placed.

I hope this hint helps someone else find a good deal!


Gear Talk / Re: My "new-to-me" bike!
« on: July 29, 2013, 10:42:12 pm »
Pat, seems like many of the best nicknames come from those kind of experiences!

I like the flat pedals too. I'm not sure I'll switch back to the clips but I live in an area where there are awesome mountain rides so I just wonder if they'd help on those kind of day trips or weekend tours. The flat pedals I bought are nicer -- bigger surface area and more "grippy" -- than those on my hybrid so I think I'm really going to like them! We'll's all part of this new adventure!

Gear Talk / Re: My "new-to-me" bike!
« on: July 29, 2013, 10:10:27 pm »
Thanks FatCloud,  (BTW I'm dying to know the story behind that name)

I've replaced the saddle--the covering was lifting/peeling back.
I've removed/replaced the "clip" pedals, at least temporarily, until I'm used to the bike. A road bike is a big change for me from my old hybrid.
I've replaced the old 700x28 tires and tubes with Panaracer 700x32s that I'd bought intending to put them on my hybrid.

Tomorrow I go to the LBS for a fitting as I really want the handlebars adjusted a little higher. I've done one around the neighborhood ride and it feels great! Can't wait to take a real ride after the fitting!

I have noticed the high prices on used 520s.

"Ride it far!"... same to you!

Gear Talk / Re: My "new-to-me" bike!
« on: July 28, 2013, 11:22:39 am »
Thanks Dave. I'll work on that today!

Gear Talk / My "new-to-me" bike!
« on: July 28, 2013, 01:35:50 am »
I just have to share with someone who can share my excitement, besides my husband, how excited I am about my new bike! I found this beauty on Craigslist for $400. It's a 2002 Trek 520, used by it's one owner for about a year, then parked in the garage for the last 9-10 years. It's in almost new condition. I'll be taking it to my LBS for some fitting on Monday. I'm simply THRILLED!

Gear Talk / Re: Can I change the chainrings/crankset?
« on: July 27, 2013, 09:07:25 am »
Thanks Dan! Sorry I missed this.

Gear Talk / Can I change the chainrings/crankset?
« on: July 26, 2013, 10:01:47 pm »
I'm new to the whole touring bike world, and really am just getting into cycling. I've been doing tons of research and know just enough to be dangerous.  ;) I'm looking at buying a 2003 Trek 520. This is from the vintage when Trek was using the Shimano 105 Triple, 30/42/52. It's got an 11-32, 9 cogs on back. While I don't plan on doing loaded touring anytime in the near future, I live in a very hilly region and I think I'll be wanting lower low gears. So, will I be able to just swap out the crankset? Is this something that a LBS will need to do, or can a reasonably mechanically minded person do it? Assuming it can be done, what do you recommend I look at, and about how much $$ would this upgrade cost?


Gear Talk / Re: newbie saddle question
« on: June 22, 2013, 11:55:34 am »
Thanks for the input. It sounds like I'll just have to experiment and see how it goes. I know the stock saddle will need to be replaced but just wondering where to start. I'm sure I'll be back with more questions but in the mean time, I'll continue my saddle research.


Gear Talk / newbie saddle question
« on: June 21, 2013, 12:37:16 am »
I'm planning to buy a touring bike (either a Trek 520 or Surly LHT) and have a very basic newbie question. The only bike I've ever had is a 27-speed hybrid. It's got a pretty comfortable saddle and I never have worn padded bike shorts. Do I just need to plan that I'll always have to / need to wear cycling shorts with the tour bike as they all have the narrow "hard" saddles? The LBS has some narrow saddles with gel cushioning but do they still require padded shorts?

I intend to use the bike for general riding but do plan to build up my rides to 4-5 rides per week, including one long ride--40-50 miles. Thanks for any education you can offer about saddles, shorts, etc.

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