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Messages - LouMelini

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1
General Discussion / Re: Advice for Newbies about the Weather.
« on: December 21, 2020, 06:27:44 pm »
Thanks for the thoughtful words and it applies to me; a newbie planning a summer cross-country ride. Four panniers will be used, so I should have plenty of space for extreme weather gear.

Do you think my Big Agnes Copper Spur Bikepacking tent will hold up in pounding rain, or should I take a tarp as well? If a tarp is recommended, how does one use it?

Hoverbird:  Julie and I have been in some nasty weather while tucked inside our Big Agnes Copper Spur. We bike tour with a 3-person tent and it has worked for us. Make sure that you get the fly taut. No sagging. Hobbesontour especially and the rest of the responders gave good advice

2
General Discussion / Re: Average Weight Loss/Gain on Cross Country Tour
« on: December 17, 2020, 01:51:08 pm »
My wife Julie lost over 40 pounds during our 6-month Appalachian Trail walk (176 days) in 2016 and 22 pounds on our TransAmerica ride (71 days) in 2018, all gained back. She ate well on the trips. I went out of my way to eat and not lose weight on the AT. On the TransAmerica ride I also kept my weight stable without trying to overeat. I was 65 for the AT and 67 for the TA, Julie was 55 and 57. Congratulations to HikeBikeCook on your AT thru-hike.

3
General Discussion / Re: Kickstands - Love them or leave them?
« on: December 17, 2020, 01:41:17 pm »
I have a 2-legged kickstand (mounted to a kick stand plate).  the one positive use for the kickstand that has not been mentioned is to have a built in work stand to clean and make adjustments to my bike. The crankarms spin freely without jamming on the kickstand.
On the negative side, the bike will fall over on soft ground and in windy conditions so the kickstand is useless in those conditions.

4
General Discussion / Re: Pedals and Shoes for the TransAmerica
« on: December 14, 2020, 02:09:00 pm »
I have heard that complaint. the pedals work well for Julie and I. I have a size 8 (Euro 41) shoe size. I don't know if a smaller shoe size works better. I have not used other pedal systems as I like the ease of entry and exit of the frogs.  I'm not sure if that is an adequate answer.

5
General Discussion / Re: Warmshowers now charging.....everyone!
« on: December 14, 2020, 01:07:47 pm »
From 2012 to 2015, I was on the Board of Directors of Warmshowers.
 Regarding the sexual predator comment- during my time, anyone that was suspected of any criminal behavior had their profile eliminated on the website. There was an active "Trust and Safety" committee that primarily looked at any negative feedback reported by a guest or host, in addition to any other complaints that would potentially involve the trust and safety of Warmshowers. The comment "it's not our job" is, to say the least, is inexplicable, should not have happened. One post to this forum stated that the person had positive feedback but that person would have had their profile taken down simply due to potential risk.  I assume this incident occurred after my time as I am not familiar with the situation. I do not have any knowledge of how problems such as the report of a sexual predator is handled since I left the board. Given the mission of Warmshowers, it is, in my opinion, imperative that trust and safety of hosts and guests be maintained. I could go on regarding the other comments, perhaps another time.


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General Discussion / Re: Pedals and Shoes for the TransAmerica
« on: December 14, 2020, 12:25:08 pm »
Like John Nettles; Both Julie and I use Speedplay frog pedals; easy entry and exit; Julie would not be clipped in if frogs did not exist. I have Sidi mountain bike shoes.

7
General Discussion / Re: What are the top 3 things we like about touring?
« on: December 08, 2020, 09:39:38 am »
It has been interesting to read the posts.
1. My first tour in 1975 changed my life with each subsequent tour refining who I am.
2. The simplicity of bike travel, the interactions with who you travel with and the kindness of strangers that you meet. 
3. The relaxation of camping. Having a cup of camp coffee on a chilly morning


To hikerjer: I will soon be 70. Slowing down for me, as you wish to do, has come with age, but only enough to keep it fun.

8
General Discussion / Re: It's the time of the season.
« on: November 09, 2020, 07:11:36 am »
After reading my reply to you, I realized I could have done better to make my point. Without digging myself into a deeper hole I should won't belabor any further response. My eyes also deceived me as I thought I saw a link to a video, not just youtube. Thank you for your response. I should have done better. Your response is appreciated.

9
General Discussion / Re: It's the time of the season.
« on: November 02, 2020, 08:29:11 pm »
Westinghouse:  My wife and I hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2016; we did the TransAmerica bike route in 2018 (my second cross country ride) Going light weight is admirable. I always try but I am not always successful. On the AT I watched people hike over Mt. Rogers in shorts and T-shirts in a snowstorm on May 5th because they sent their cold weather clothing home in Damascus, Va (we were warm and dry in our rain jackets and pants on what unexpectedly turned out to be an 10-hour 20-mile walk that day). Many smelled badly from wearing the same t-shirt for many days. I watched guys eat Top Ramen after soaking in a zip lock back and cold water for 5 or ten minutes to save the weight of a stove. I also saw people with light weight packs sagging down to their butts,  irritating the skin of their shoulders, then claim their pack was less than 20 pounds. Despite what I just said, I will watch the video you posted. Thanks for sending.

10
General Discussion / Re: Max speed unavoidable critter crashes?
« on: October 22, 2020, 10:29:21 am »
I’ve hit squirrels, prairie dogs, snakes and dogs, but what scares me are deer. I look for them diligently.

I had a friend and neighbor killed by a deer last May. I understand you concern. Moose are in the same category of concern.

11
General Discussion / Re: A Bicycle Chain
« on: September 30, 2020, 10:45:36 am »
Figaro, your method probably works. I could go longer on a chain, even fully loaded. We did the TransAm in 2018, swapping chains in Newton, KS. Probably not needed but peace of mind. Two replacement chains does seem a bit excessive.

12
General Discussion / Re: Bike Touring/Camping
« on: August 26, 2020, 06:46:40 pm »
Currently the closed campgrounds in Yellowstone include Norris, Fishing Bridge and in the Northeast, Slough creek and Tower falls. The campsites with hiker/biker sites are open. (madison, Grant Village and I believe Canyon campgrounds) When I went through Yellowstone in July, the showers at Grant Village were turned off.

13
General Discussion / Re: A Bicycle Chain
« on: August 25, 2020, 05:18:26 pm »
I use SRAM 1071 or 1051 (971 or 951 on Julie's 9-speed cassette) chains and run them up to 3000 at most, changing the entire drivetrain (cassette and chainrings) every 5th chain.

14
General Discussion / Re: A musty item -
« on: August 25, 2020, 05:14:43 pm »
Everything smelled musty from the heat and humidity of Kentucky and Virginia on the TransAmerica. I soaked the panniers in a mild bleach bleach solution when I came home. My panniers (ortlieb) smelled more musty than Julie's non-waterproof Lone Peak which brings up another discussion of pannier type in wet vs. dry areas of the country.

15
General Discussion / Re: Are you postponing a tour to 2021?
« on: July 23, 2020, 03:11:55 pm »
I agree; I don't mind vehicles using the sites as long as touring bicyclists have a guaranteed spot. There was plenty of room at the Colter Bay hiker/biker area for overflow cars. In Colter Bay, the hiker/biker sites are individual sites with a parking stall so it is easy to put cars there and make the area more efficient. At Madison campground in Yellowstone NP there is simply a plot of land with several picnic tables designated as the hiker/biker area. This set-up would not accommodate cars, though perhaps a motorcycle or two.

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