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Messages - PeanutButterShammyCream

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Hey! I rode through 6 countries in Europe, and made a movie about it! I rode through the golden hills in Tuscany, crossed the Swiss Alps, followed the Bright Blue Rivers in Austria, rode along the Medieval Castles in Germany, and ended in the bicycle capital of the world (Amsterdam). This film features massive mountain passes, stealth camping, hitch hiking, and fast downhills! I have been a lurker on this website for YEARS, and I appreciate everyone sharing their experiences. Enjoy the film!

Routes / Re: Question about Katy Trail and rain
« on: July 28, 2018, 10:13:32 am »
How long would you say it takes to dry out after a couple days of rain?

Routes / Question about Katy Trail and rain
« on: July 28, 2018, 01:12:50 am »
I am going to be on the Katy Trail tomorrow, and it is supposed to rain for  the next three days. I am carrying 65 pounds of gear, and my tires are not good in dirt. Do you guys think that the trail will get soft and difficult to ride, considering the forecast? Also, are there roads that go parallel to the trail that I could ride on? Thanks!

The section between Leoti and Scott City is extremely dangerous!!!!!! There is no shoulder, and semi trucks are driving on this route constantly. I had to pull over whenever there was a Semi Truck coming because there is no room for cyclists. Several locals told me that there have been a couple of cycling deaths during the last couple of years on that road.

My advice is just pull over whenever you see the trucks coming...... it will slow your pace a little, but it might save your life.

Routes / Need advice about riding through Kansas
« on: July 13, 2018, 01:30:21 pm »
I am currently in Leoti, Kansas. I am planning on picking up the Katy Trail one Windsor, Missouri. I was thinking about leaving the Trans Am and going straight across to Windsor, instead of cutting south with the Trans Am. If I do that, am I missing out on the most beautiful part of Kansas???? I know there is the Prairie trail that starts in Iola and ends in Ottawa as well.... thoughts?????

General Discussion / Wildfires in Colorado
« on: June 16, 2018, 04:21:14 pm »
I am currently in Utah, riding the Western Express route. Does anybody know if the current wildfires in Colorado will affect the Western Express route that goes through Colorado? Thanks a lot!

General Discussion / Re: Newton Bike Shop hostel/rest stop (TA Trail)
« on: April 24, 2018, 06:27:03 pm »
They made part of the shop into a hostel?

General Discussion / Re: Weather apps
« on: April 24, 2018, 06:26:27 pm »
Weather Underground works great for me.

Routes / Re: Northern Tier: West to East or East to West?
« on: April 19, 2018, 03:10:20 am »
I rode a large amount of the Northern Tier from Portland, Oregon to New York city in the summer of 2014. During the majoirty of the trip, the wind was coming from the East. Everybody told us that we would have a tail wind because we were riding from the West, but that wasn't the case.

We all agree that wind can be extremely frustrating at times, but in my opinion, the best thing to do on a bicycle tour is to realize that the weather is TOTALLY OUT OF OUR CONTROL. When you get frustrated with the wind/rain/heat, it just makes the trip worse.

Some days the wind will be at your back, and some days it will be in your face. It is out of your control my friend :)

Routes / Re: July & August to Cycle Europe: Where should I go?
« on: April 03, 2018, 09:08:39 pm »
Thanks, everybody, for the great insights here! To clarify my OP, by 'destination city' I meant starting point in Europe...apologies for the confusion.

 I`m getting closer and closer to my trip, and have settled on flying in to Rome to start my tour, in the first week of July. My plan is to ride north from Rome through the Dolomites, and play it by ear from there! If anyone has additional feedback on bike travel in the Balkan countries I`m strongly considering heading in that direction (something like Munich, Vienna, Budapest then south & west towards the Adriatic)

Before July, I`ll be biking around the USA, starting San Francisco to Los Angeles in California, then roughly following the ACA Underground Railroad route from St. Louis MO to Cincinnatti OH, then on to Philadelphia PA. If you want to follow along I`ll be posting updates on Instagram @funngabe

Thanks for all the suggestions & insights, hope to see you on the road!

I cycled from Rome to Amsterdam in 2016. I rode through Tuscany and then cut east towards the Dolomites. I always wanted to cycle "The Stelvio Pass", and rode over mountain pass that to arrive in Switzerland.

Then I cycled West into Central Switzerland. Switzerland was my favorite country to ride in. After taking a break in Switzerland, I rode east into Lichtenstein and Austria. The cycling infrastructure was GREAT!

After checking out Austria, I took a train to Frankfurt, Germany. From there, I followed the Rhine River north and arrived in Amsterdam.

Besides parts of southern Italy, all of those countries' infrastructure was GREAT for cycling.

The Swiss Alps were BY FAR the best riding I have ever done. Those mountain passes were incredibly beautiful. Austria was the biggest surprise of the trip, because it was a lot more beautiful than I imagined. Personally, Germany was just OK. Nothing really stood out to me, and if I could do it again, I would have skipped Germany.

I used google maps for most of my routes, but it DID pay off to ask the locals about any bike paths. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask!

General Discussion / Re: Let's talk injuries!
« on: March 29, 2018, 03:27:50 am »
Different sort of pain.  Hard to describe but just a sharp shooting pain in the front and side of  the knee.  I was OK when walking but the pedaling action was killing me. I've ridden a lot since then and it hasn't bothered me in the least.

It is interesting that you say that, because that was the EXACT same pain that I felt in my knee before my surgery. I only felt it while riding, and I was able to walk just fine.

General Discussion / Re: Let's talk injuries!
« on: March 28, 2018, 11:27:18 pm »
In the summer of 2016, I started out on my dream tour from Portland, OR to Savannah. 14 months earlier I had  complete knee replacement surgery on my right knee.  After a year of rehap and exercise, it appeared to be good as new. I'd skied on it that winter, biked a couple of centuries and had the OK form the doc. Long story short, after biking fro Portland to SF and across the  Sierras via Yosemite, things were great. Then at about 2000 miles, in the middle of the  Nevada desert, my knee began to give me excruciating pain to the point I couldn't stand it. I ended up having to abort the trip and taking a bus home.  Terribly disappointing.  At home, I went back to my surgeon and told him my sad story,  After he examined me and x-rayed the knee, he could find no obvious problems and concluded that I had just pushed myself and my knee too much. I was doing 80-80 miles a day in Nevada over numerous  mountain passes (Nevada is not flat) with a fully loaded touring bike. Since then I have recovered totally, I think, and have had no problems with the knee at all. That's my story. I'm currently 69 and if things fall into place, plan on taking a cross country tour again this summer from Portland to Savannah but I'm staying out of fricking Nevada, thank you very much.

Thanks for your response. So when you re-injured yourself, what exactly what it that you were feeling? Was it just really bad soreness? Was it the same sensation that you had before having a knee replacement?

General Discussion / Re: Let's talk injuries!
« on: March 28, 2018, 11:25:16 pm »
Are you able to ride now? how's it going. What was the cause of IT Band problem? Improper bike set up may contribute to IT band problems. Try to find therapist/Sports MD with bicycle knowledge. Sometimes slightly lowering saddle will relieve IT band problem but check with someone bike medical experience.

Thank you for asking! It has now been 10 months since the surgery. I am about 90% healed. My physical therapist thinks that I should be able to make a full recovery. It has been A LOT of hard work to get to this point though. For the last 10 months, every single day has been dedicated to strengthening and stretching my left leg.

The cause of the IT band problem was a muscular imbalance. Without knowing it, I was over-using my lateral (outside) quadriceps muscle, and neglecting the medial (inner) quadriceps.

I have been working with a bike fit professional, and he put me in an ideal position. Thanks for chiming in!

General Discussion / Re: TransAmerica
« on: March 28, 2018, 11:19:38 pm »
Well, I’m not “everyone,” but I am about the same age (65 last fall) and have just gotten back into unsupported long distance touring over the last two years.  I have cycled 3,600 miles/5,800 kilometers down the Atlantic coast from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Key West, Florida in 2016 and 2,400 miles/3,850 kilometers down the length of the Mississippi River from Lake Itasca, Minnesota to Venice, Louisiana out on the delta in the Gulf of Mexico last year.  This year I’ll cycle round trip on the Natchez Trace Parkway from Nashville, Tennessee to Natchez, Mississippi and back in April- about 950 miles/1500 kilometers- and from Washington, DC to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania via the C&O Canal towpath and GAP trail then down the Ohio River to Cairo, Illinois, up the Mississippi to St. Louis, Missouri, then across Missouri on the KATY trail wrapping up in Kansas City Missouri- a little less than 2,000 miles/3,200 kilometers.

I was not physically fit when I started in 2016.  I had not been on a bike in 15 years and weighed about 350 pounds/160 kg (I’m 6 foot 4 inches/193 cm tall).  My weight has fallen to around 300 pounds/135 kg and I have been able to maintain it there for a year and a half.  Cycling has radically improved my health in other ways, too.  My A1C has fallen to 5.1 and I no longer have to take diabetes meds.  I am also off cholesterol and blood pressure medication.

Finding a bike presented me with a significant challenge- largely because of my size and weight, but also because I had two major back surgeries in 2012-13: a laminectomy of L1-L6 (I have an extra lumbar vertebrae) and S1, and a laminectomy and fusion of C3-C7.  Due to these surgeries I have to ride in a more upright position in order to be able to look ahead down the road.  Leaning forward for extended periods of time on a bike is also very uncomfortable.

I ultimately settled on a Surly Disc Trucker, which appeared to be one of the few touring bikes that could handle my weight and still tour fully loaded.  It is the disc brake variant of the Long Haul Trucker noted above and is a steel-frame bike with traditional (flat top bar) diamond frame geometry.  It is a long wheelbase bike and I have found it extremely comfortable to ride over long distances.  The bike cost me around $3,500 fully set up for touring, including racks, front and rear Ortlieb Classic panniers, and a Brooks B17 leather saddle.  Because if the physical limitations I’ve described above I went with a flat MTB bar with bar ends, which allows me to vary my hand position sufficiently to avoid numbness when riding all day.  I had 36 spoke wheels built on Velocity Dyad rims running 700x38 Schwalbe Marathon tires.

This combination worked great on the rides noted.  I asked for “bulletproof” and that’s pretty much what I received.  The major failure was the rear rack, which was aluminum (Bontrager) and broke on a ride here in Alaska (where I live).  Other problems were minor- I had the bottom bracket fail after about 7,000 miles/3,175 km but that is normal wear life for that item, which came from Surly as part of the frame purchase. 

This winter I went for a major upgrade and replaced the racks with Tubus steel racks, had a substantially heftier bottom bracket installed and, the best for last, completely replaced my derailleur-based drivetrain with a Rohloff Speedhub, which is an internal hub that allows shifting into 14 evenly spaced gears and eliminates the front chainrings.  This, along with tube and tire replacement and other regular maintenance items, set me back another $2,800.  So I’m well into the over $5,000 “fanatic”range noted by another commenter.  Best money, though, I’ve ever spent.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Hey man, I just want to let you know that you have an inspiring story! Great work!!!!!!

General Discussion / Re: Hotel/motel vs camping
« on: March 21, 2018, 05:45:04 pm »
In my opinion, camping is a HUGE part of what makes the bike touring experience special. I believe that it really connects you with the land that you are riding through, and it FULLY ENGULFS you in the bike touring experience. Plus, camping is makes the bike tour more difficult, which helps you grow through those difficult situations.

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