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Messages - LouMelini

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General Discussion / Re: Flats while touring
« on: May 21, 2020, 04:36:32 pm »
John: my exact reasoning for using the Schwable Supreme. I use the 35C as I can't find the 32C. I can buy through Quality Bike Parts due to my volunteer position at a non-profit bike shop, but QBP doesn't stock the 32C. That is why Julie rides Continental Gatorskins in the 32C size so that her wheel set-up is a little lighter than mine.  When we did the TransAm with one flat, on a very hot day on a steep descent.

General Discussion / Re: Flats while touring
« on: May 20, 2020, 06:53:40 pm »
John Nettles and Froze:  Thanks for the prompt. I procrastinated doing it for too long.

General Discussion / Re: Flats while touring
« on: May 20, 2020, 09:23:23 am »
Thanks John;  I've wondered about that when I got a rash of spam email earlier this year.

General Discussion / Re: Flats while touring
« on: May 20, 2020, 08:50:56 am »
1. How many flats: my wife and I have had 4 flats in the last 6,000 miles (12,000 when counting both of our miles)- both of mine occurred in a campground on the gravel road (thorn)
    I use schwable marathon supreme and Julie is on Continental gatorskins.

2. I carry 4 spare tubes for the 2 of use in case we run into a patch of thorns or other road debris.

3. We carry a spare tire, used it on two separate occasions due to a badly cut tire and a broken tire bead

4. We replace, patch at the end of the day

5. Tires seem to do well, no need to use added protection- We carry Park Tool tire boot, used it once .

General Discussion / Re: Tire pressure
« on: October 01, 2019, 10:24:57 pm »
I agree with the companions of staehpji. On the TransAmerica last year (Schwable marathon supremes) I ran my tires at 75-80 psi (max 85 psi) I knew when the tire pressure dropped below 65 psi as the bike felt sluggish. I don't subscribe to lower pressure equals lower rolling resistance-it depends.

General Discussion / Re: fordstown, ky
« on: May 30, 2019, 02:14:52 pm »
I heard of others having the good fortune of staying in the fire station. My wife and I stayed in the county park last year, a park that we would not recommend to others. Good luck with your travels.

Gear Talk / Re: Most compact UL down quilt or sleeping bag?
« on: January 28, 2019, 01:13:07 pm »
I like bags from Western Mountaineering

General Discussion / Re: Carrying a spare tire on tour?
« on: January 28, 2019, 01:09:06 pm »
My wife and I have used our spare tire twice in approximately 13,000 miles of touring since 2005. Once was a badly cut tire and the other was a broken wire bead on the tire. We carry a light weight folding tire for that rare need and peace of mind. We also carry tire boots. We have not had to use the spare since 2009 perhaps due to better tire selection at the beginning of our trips. 

General Discussion / Re: Statistics on cross country tourers
« on: September 19, 2018, 09:09:01 pm »
At this time no one can say if 200 people ride coast to coast or 2000. Maybe the number is 3000. Currently one can register their ride on the the ACA website, but I don't know what the ACA does with that data. As I envision it, and I could be completely wrong, but a simple email to the members asking "Did you ride coast to coast in the past 5 years"; If so "what year". Did you ride the Northern or Southern Tier, The TransAmerica route, or another route that took you from one ocean to another". From that, a ballpark number of cross country riders could be obtained, not perfect but at least a figure to work with.  From that group further data could be collected such as age, gender, direction of travel or whatever one wants to ask such as "did you intend on riding cross country but were unable to complete the ride". The largest hurdle would be getting people to respond. A small response rate would be disappointing, and probably misleading. With regards to the Appalachian Trail, people seemed excited to register their thru-hike, there was a level of excitement, therefore the AT numbers are fairly credible. One receives a "2000-miler" certificate from the Appalachian trail Conservancy for registering your hike plus a couple of small patches that could be sewn to your backpack.

General Discussion / Re: Statistics on cross country tourers
« on: September 18, 2018, 12:48:28 pm »
John: one more statistic and opinion.  There are 11 National scenic hiking trails. These are "protected" trails and I believe receive some funding from the Government as a result of the National Trails System Act of 1968. The Appalachian Trail is one such trail. Wouldn't it be nice if the TransAmerica trail, the oldest Adventure Cycling bike route, could be designated as a "national scenic trail" under the Act of 1968. Statistics and number of users would need to be obtained.


General Discussion / Re: Statistics on cross country tourers
« on: September 18, 2018, 11:38:24 am »
Are you talking about the AT or bicycling?  If bicycling, what number do you believe is way off other than my joking of 1,298,074?  Again, what is your number based on, i.e. JUST the TransAm, ALL cross-country routes (border to border), or ?
If AT, I have no knowledge of that other than to say that I think AT hikers are tougher than TA bikers.  I would not like to go days without a shower. :)

I was referring to the statistics presented in reply #2 regarding the Appalachian Trail.  With regards to the TransAmerica or all cross-country routes, the Adventure Cycling Association could set up some guidelines. For example, on the TransAmerica bike route maps there is a statement that one can "report your ride completion if you rode 90% of the TransAmerica bike route". Or perhaps a "cross-country" ride would be counted if one rode "x" amount of miles across the country, with "x" being and arbitrary number such as 3600 or perhaps 4000.

The several days on the AT without a shower was not to our liking either. And another yes that the AT was more difficult than the TA but that may be in part due to the time difference- 176 days for the AT; 71 days for the TA.

General Discussion / Re: Statistics on cross country tourers
« on: September 18, 2018, 09:32:01 am »
My wife Julie and I thru-hiked the Appalachian trail (AT) in 2016. We were 2 of approximately 900+ hikers that thru-hiked the trail that year,(a 20-25% completion rate of those that start). The number reported on this forum I believe is way off the mark. The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) uses a volunteer registration and reporting method to obtain statistics; 1. the number that have hiked the trail even over several years 2. the number of thru-hikers having hiked the trail within one year of starting which is approximately the number of "2000-milers". The ATC currently states in the FAQ'S that 15,000 people have ever hiked the AT in their estimate. The numbers are further broken down by age, sex etc. For example, I hiked the trail at age 65 knowing that 3% of the thru-hikers are over 60. Given that the AT is part of the National Park system, I do not know if the statistics help with funding. In 2018 Julie and I biked the entire TransAmerica (TA) bike route. In Virginia it is requested on the TA maps to sign a register in Virginia that would help gather numbers to help with funding in that state. A voluntary reporting system would be interesting for the Adventure Cycling Association to initiate.

General Discussion / Re: What state is your favorite to ride in?
« on: June 13, 2017, 10:55:09 pm »
We have traveled in Washington, Wisconsin, Utah (where we are from), Idaho, & parts of western Montana.  Wisconsin has the most bike friendly population with rural roads sparsely driven by cars. Washington is good, with Utah, Idaho and Montana good choices depending on the road one travels on.

General Discussion / Re: Bike touring safety... USA...
« on: April 28, 2017, 10:59:09 pm »
Chris: You live in Wisconsin the most bike friendly touring state, at least in my opinion. My wife is originally from Manitowoc, Wisconsin. We have traveled over 2000 miles in Wisconsin during 2 tours. Do a tour there before your cross country trip to gain confidence. Your 1-10 scale would be at an 8 in our experience that would also include trips in Washington, Utah, Idaho, Montana and the Canadian Rockies. We sleep well at night. In Wisconsin I would rate touring a 10. I use Adventure Cycling Association maps as the "backbone" of most of our trips. Though there are no guarantees, you may find them helpful to put you on safer routes. You will also run into other cyclists using these routes which will provide a bit of comfort knowing others are on the same route. That's my 2 cents. Congrats on your Appalachian trail thru-hike. Julie and I completed a thru hike of the AT in 2016.

Louis and Julie Melini

Gear Talk / Re: Touring without fenders - big mistake?
« on: September 04, 2015, 08:14:31 pm »
Sorry, I am a bit late with this reply but I had to bring up that fenders help with stuff on the road besides rain. Coming over a Montana summit my wife and I smelled something horrible. As we crested, the 3rd trailer with cows entered the road spewing a lot of excrement. Fortunately they turned off the road after about 1/2 mile, but it was a nasty riding 1/2 mile. With cars coming in the oncoming lane, there was little to do but try to (impossibly) avoid the mess. I spent quite a bit of time cleaning the underside of the fenders, and little else.

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