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Messages - ray b

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General Discussion / Re: The road is flat. It's what?
« on: June 25, 2022, 04:45:11 pm »
I often ask directions from locals, and then double, or triple, check them with other locals.
Bike touring has been a powerful spur to learn my local geography so I don't appear as gormless as some I have met.
It's the Adventure Cycling Association.

As anyone who can use gormless in a sentence will understand, the definition of adventure implies an element of the unknown.

I always feel it's best to simply push on and ride. As social as it is, all the banter in the world is not going to change the lay of the land or how much weight I'm hauling.... Sometimes best not to know.

I like @Galloper 's view of our chosen task.

General Discussion / Re: Recent Vermont Trip
« on: June 24, 2022, 03:34:08 pm »
I lost some respect for Vermont drivers during this trip.
Even when the plates are not NY or Mass. - the area you are riding has been over-run with narcissistic urbanites, who always wonder why they are not accepted by the natives....

For what it's worth, he's been on the road for a week and has made it to Rochester.

General Discussion / Re: Ride for a day on the Great Divide?
« on: June 16, 2022, 12:16:37 pm »
One observation - you have an aggressive schedule for someone who is concerned about riding solo.  Racers do it all the time, and I can think of a dozen spots off the top of my head, where a mechanical issue or wrong line could cause a nasty spill.

Remember to keep a little flexibility in your schedule to allow time for your body to adapt, unexpected delays/long slogs, and a chance to smell the roses.

You need to be strong and smiling at the end of the trip.

Have fun.

General Discussion / Re: Northern tier crossing end of June!!
« on: June 15, 2022, 12:52:07 pm »
... yes, I'm definitely starting end of June....
And then people mention bears.. What? Which kind?....
So I am hoping to get some help and solutions once i start.
Great approach. Get on the road - that will alleviate a lot of anxiety about the unknown.

Relish the freedom of solo travel. You'll find lots of fellow solo travellers along the way. Enjoy the opportunity to set your own pace without need to prove your fitness to anyone else. Too many trips end early when excited, overloaded groups push too hard and don't allow for recovery of everyone in the group. That also leads to bad group dynamics with frustrated, physically endowed riders feeling like they are held back, and frustrated, less aerobically inclined riders hating every hill.

Even when hoteling it, I usually carry a small bivuoac sack - just in case I need to sleep outside, and need an extra 10 deg. F of comfort and/or to keep the bugs off.

If you're not sleeping outside at night and not doing a lot of riding after dark, - no worries about bears and other critters on this route. They are not as silly as we, and usually are not overactive during the day. (Only mad dogs and Englishmen....) As you might have noted from other threads, if you do sleep outside in bear country, don't sleep with your food.

Have fun. Sounds like a great trip.

Always sorry to hear of a trip to the American west that starts on a bad foot.

How certain is the airline that it is permanently lost or stolen?
Sometimes, and especially with international and budget flights, bicycles travel "standby," and eventually show up....

General Discussion / Re: What's your strategy to stay dry?
« on: June 13, 2022, 10:53:16 am »
Last I checked, the skin's pretty waterproof.

That means the discussion is really about thermal regulation - wind protection and loft of garments. (Of course, dry garments have more loft.)

I'm sure I'm not the only one who has stripped to his shorts in a low-altitude, summer thunderstorm - throwing his jersey and all else into a dry bag with the spare shorts. 

As noted in other threads, unless it's near or below freezing, I usually get by with a superlight, waterproof jacket and a pair of oversized, cut-off plastic rain pants I can throw on without taking my shoes off.
(If I need them, I am usually in a hurry.)

Gear Talk / Re: Pre-Built wheel with dynamo for Trek 520
« on: June 08, 2022, 03:54:00 pm »
..if you haven't done so, you might post this in the Want to buy section of the forum.

Gear Talk / Re: Pre-Built wheel with dynamo for Trek 520
« on: June 08, 2022, 01:59:48 pm »
If you haven't done so, the first place to check is your local shop. They can source things far more efficiently than we can, and a custom wheel build is only a couple hours of shop time.

Urban Cycling / Re: cyclist friendly hotel near JFK ?
« on: June 03, 2022, 04:01:03 pm »
Have fun.

NY is just another big city.... I lived there for a while, and still enjoy riding around. If you haven't seen the town by bicycle, and if you have the time and money, you might want to spend a few days to shed the jet lag and explore.

Unless you plan to save money and join the homeless, "urban campers" at one of their "campsites" around the city, there is little reason to load up with fuel until you are out of the city.

If you decide to go into Manhattan, there's a big (really big) REI (Recreational Equipment Incorporated) co-operative store not too far from any of the bridges mentioned. Take your bike inside. They'll have fuel cartridges and liquid fuel. If you go, try not to leave any room in your panniers for all the stuff for which you suddenly find a use..., but will regret buying on that first really big hill.

If you don't have much time, you can stop at REI (which also has a shop that can take a quick look at your bike, if there are any questions), run north through Central Park, and then cut west to the Hudson River Greenway and take that north to the George Washington Bridge to cross into NJ and the rest of the country.

Urban Cycling / Re: cyclist friendly hotel near JFK ?
« on: June 02, 2022, 05:04:36 pm »
Is your bike in a box or will it travel the old-fashion way, in a plastic bag and fully assembled?

If in a box, will you assemble your bike at the airport? Or, would you consider a hotel with a free shuttle, and assemble your rig in a hotel room? (Most hotels near the airport will not notice your bike either in or out of a box, but not all shuttle buses can accommodate a fully assembled and loaded bike.)

I know of no hotels that are bike-friendly to the extent they have a community build-up stand in the basement - though I would love to be corrected by someone more up to date than I.

I prefer assembly at the airport; the first day of a trip, I'm always anxious to get on the road and put in a few miles - jet lag or no. That opens up quite a few options on which others should comment.

(Don't miss the iconic Brooklyn Bridge ride into Manhattan - well recently updated to less than iconic. Manhattan Bridge and Williamsburg Bridge are good alternatives.)

General Discussion / Re: Mountain trip with the kid
« on: May 31, 2022, 01:32:51 pm »
7 is a tough age. The novelty can wear off suddenly.

For multi-day trips with adults and older children, I had my youngest on a trail-a-bike or tandem until age 8 or 9.

Gear Talk / Re: Noseless Seat Experience?
« on: May 30, 2022, 08:44:34 pm »
you'll need to try it.
I could never make it work for me, but then on tour, uphill, downhill, I'm all over the saddle.

General Discussion / Re: Mountain trip with the kid
« on: May 30, 2022, 08:42:20 pm »
The simple answer - it needs to fit. They'll be comfortable from the first pedal stroke.

Although you don't mention the age, my philosophy is to never make a child carry more than required to replace an inner tube.

I recall some great trail trips with a couple young sons and a BOB trailer.

General Discussion / Re: Ride for a day on the Great Divide?
« on: May 30, 2022, 08:34:42 pm »
Almost everyone I ran into on the GDMBR last summer was riding solo.
If you're a fair mechanic, have basic bike handling skills, and are a bit of an outdoorsman/outdoorswoman, statistics are with you.

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