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Messages - fastrog

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General Discussion / Re: Custom touring bike vs. mass produced
« on: April 19, 2018, 03:19:58 am »
Well, I think a custom built bike is an unnecessary luxury. But over-the-counter bikes may not meet your needs. As some people alluded to above, I went with something in-between, after a lot of research. An excellent frame from Surly, and them working with my regular bike-shop guys on the build. Got the major components on-line, for best pricing, and saved by using things like my REI 20 percent off member coupon. Ended up with a great bike, with better components than the stocky Surly. Spent more than a stock Surly, but think I got a bike comparable to the  customs -- for less money.

General Discussion / Re: e-thical issue
« on: February 11, 2018, 05:51:34 pm »
thanks for the thoughtful response.

General Discussion / Re: e-thical issue
« on: February 11, 2018, 04:23:21 pm »
Well, I don't think anyone who can pedal 4,200 miles from Yorktown, VA to Florence, OR under their own steam has anything to be ashamed of, and any "purist" who thinks so can kiss my selle. I think my cardiologist and/or my wife would lock me up if I proposed slapping 60 pounds of gear on the bike. I see no shame in her willingness to drive the camping gear and hang out and work on her latest book to be anything but a bonus for both of us.

General Discussion / Re: e-thical issue
« on: February 07, 2018, 07:18:38 pm »

General Discussion / Re: e-thical issue
« on: February 05, 2018, 07:25:31 pm »
thanks to everybody. my goal is still to use my own steam, but you have all helped with my e-bike considerations.

General Discussion / e-thical issue
« on: February 05, 2018, 04:35:46 am »
Background: Have done marathons, ultras, mountain climbing, moderate bike tours (up to 129 mile day on Oregon coast). planned for years to do the Transamerica this summer. "Silent" heart attack in 2017 (at age 68), with some heart muscle loss and two MD scripts and a couple of naturopathic doc tablets. Planning 60 miles per day, supported. Upping the training and still believe I can do it. leaving mid-June. The dilemma: What if mid-May arrives and I see i cannot average 60? Time is not an issue, but snow is. To save my dream, I'm wondering about electric. I know that when I'm puffing along at 12 MPH and an electric bike flies by it bothers me a little. I certainly can't find too many bike-club and speedier riders who feel anything but disdain for e-bikes. But then some roadies and MTB types are hopeless snobs. I have found fellow Adventure Cycling folks to be much less so. Finally, the questions: Part of the reason I want to ride Transamerica is for the camraderie along the road, lunch picnics, campground beers, flat tires, etc. So, first question: On an e-bike, would I be a pariah along the route? Second question: Any recommendations for an e-bike with minimal weight as well as minimal assist? I do not want to ride a motorcycle, just maybe get a little boost with the headwinds and the steeper climbs. See you out there. And thanks.

I don't know the brand, but when elderly drivers tried to ignore me on the roads of Florida, I got a boat emergency air horn. It's plastic, so not heavy. The air can is bulky -- bigger than a beer can -- but the horn really wakes them up.

General Discussion / Heart for TransAmerica?
« on: November 26, 2017, 10:10:16 pm »
I've been planning for years to ride the TransAmerica next summer. But this summer, was diagnosed with congestive heart disease. I'm still planning to go. Any advice from other heart patients who have done it? My wife is driving support, so will have a minimal load. Related topic:  If you have the time, or think maybe you don't want to ride all the way, we might take you on as a companion. You could jump in the van as you wish. East-west, leaving first week in June and taking as long as it takes. To discuss details, answer here or

Gear Talk / Re: Tent ground cloth?
« on: August 06, 2017, 02:23:40 am »
It is a matter of wear and tear (literally) on your tent floor, as well as some water getting through. Adds life to
 the tent.

Gear Talk / front gears
« on: August 06, 2017, 02:15:36 am »
I'm thinking about having a Surly frame built up locally because I do not like the stock bar-end shifters. My mech thinks I would do well with an electronic 11 or 12 in the rear and zippo in the front, partly because I have never been one to be a stickler and use all  my gears. Have done tours in Oregon, Washington, Montana and other hilly places. Plan to do Transamerica next year. Can I survive with such a gear setup? 68 years old and in moderate shape. Hope to be better by next year's ride -- well, better condition but not younger. Supported, by the way.

General Discussion / Re: have a heart
« on: July 27, 2017, 03:46:55 pm »
thanks for the advice. the odd thing is i was riding 20 or 25 or 30 daily at about 10-12 mph, AFTER the attack, since i did not know it had happened. had no problem on the bike, but had shortness of breath climbing a ladder or unloading groceries from the car. had to talk my doctor into an EKG and echo because he thought i could not have a heart issue since i cycled so much. the ne saw the results of the echo ... quick stress tst and now to the hospital tomorrow for heart catheterization.

General Discussion / have a heart
« on: July 27, 2017, 05:10:55 am »
Just found out I had a "silent" heart attack with some muscle damage. Some tests still to be done. Was planning to do Transamerica next summer. Hoping not to give it up. Any heart patient/tour riders out there with advice/encouragement? Thanks.

General Discussion / Re: internal hubs
« on: May 13, 2017, 01:23:00 am »
thanks, everybody. good thing i have more than a year to prep on the new bike after i decide. seems more likely i will stick with traditional deraulliers. any other thoughts on surly versus other frames?

General Discussion / internal hubs
« on: May 12, 2017, 01:02:50 am »
Planning to ride the TransAmerica Summer 2018. I'll be 69 by then, and am planning to have a Surly built at my local bike shop by two mechanics who ride Surlys. Am thinking about an internal hub. Enough range for Hoosier Pass? Going supported this time, but plan to use the same bike for light-to-loaded touring also, before and after Transam. Thoughts?

General Discussion / Re: ?How easy are SPD pedals to get use too?
« on: January 24, 2017, 02:20:41 am »
I have an update on SPDs. I used them for years, but seemed to get pain in the ball of the foot and toe. I tried road and mountan pedals and some with metal/alloy and plastic on a horizontal footbed. Still pain. MD took xray. no damage. Sent me to podiatrist who after discussion asked to see the pedals and shoes. She applied some foam inside the attachment area. Said if that didn't work, got back to old style clips. Helped some,  but back to clips. tried those for a year. felt like i was losing power and still having more pain than necessary. Recently switched back to SPDs, with a footbed running parallel with the shoe, plus a more "casual" shoe. Less pain. I also upgraded to a $120 pedal, compared to the 50-60 pedals of the past. This combination seems to be working, and I am also amazed at how easy it is to click in and out. I do not know if it is the years that have gone by or "you get what you pay for," but these new pedals are amazing. I'm hoping to keep it painless.

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