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Messages - ray b

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Sure - send a PM when you get close to St. Louis. I will be out riding for 3 of those weeks, but if I'm in town, and you haven't made other connections, we'll get through the city.

Routes / Re: Which bike for the GDMBR?
« on: May 05, 2021, 04:58:04 pm »
Thanks for the input. It sounds like suspension isn't something that makes or breaks a bike, and that I should focus on which bike will be easier to climb with. Is there any advantage you've found to the suspension.

Do you have any input on handlebar roll and frame bags are vs 4 panniers (especially with my front panniers completely above the front skewer?). I've heard having most of the weight in the frame bag to be best for the bike, but if this is going to be almost entirely smooth-ish dirt roads, I would think it wouldn't matter so much. I know the pannier set up has a slightly larger base weight with the racks and possibly pannier bag weight, but I already own them and they are super easy to load and unload.
Many ride the GDMBR with panniers, but the biggest trick with packing is to make sure that everything will stay in place at 25 mph downhill over washboard....  Though you might want to beef up how your panniers connect to the rack, and make sure they are not full, you should be fine. Spend the money you save on having a good time.

Make sure the racks are well mounted and secure. (Some say threadlock, which seems like a good idea, though I haven't yet found the need.) I add zip-ties to secure my small rear panniers to the rack.

Personally, I think the emphasis on "bikepacking" bags is marketing and stylishness. Everyone tells you to pack your weight as low as possible..., and then they proceed to stick the kitchen sink in their seat and handlebar bags. As with a lot of cycling, we look to the racers for an example of how we should look. As you know, there is a lot of difference between the 10-20-pound packs (minus food and water) used by the racers and the 45 pound packs used by tourers. My lightest set-up was 8 pounds - more than half of which was tools and parts. I now feel uncomfortable with anything less than 30.

The bikepacking set-ups are great for racing light, but not if you want to bring an extra tire, computer, camera, nice tent, and other things that keep you comfortable and relaxed.

Not happy with things hanging from my handlebars or seat, my current off-road "bikepacking" long-tour set-up includes a Surly porteur rack up front with a small Lone Peak Shorty bag, frame bags for water, food, and tools, and a rear Tubus rack with an Arkel rack bag and small, old Arkel or Jandd panniers. In addition to my MSR bladder in the frame bag, I also have a couple of water bottles low on the front fork.

If it were me, I'd say water will represent most of the high density luggage. I'd throw a couple of oversized water bottles in the frame and give myself permission to use the panniers to keep the rest of the weight as low as possible.

I'm 65 and have been riding a carbon fiber road bike for years. I want to do some medium to long road trips and also want, at this point in my life, something easy just to get on in the morning and put in 20-30 miles; no fancy clothes clips or paraphernalia for just a morning ride. Any suggestions for a good all round touring bike with easy availability in the US.
Everyone has made good points, but as a 65 year-old who is 35 y and a lot of touring miles down the road from racing, I'll add my two cents.

The body gets used to what it gets used to. If you've been riding a carbon fiber road bike in a traditional aerodynamic body position, be careful about sudden changes in seat, crank, and bar position. If you're touring by credit card and are easy on your equipment, your current bike might be a good way to start. On that first overnight, you can make a list of all the things you would change if you could.

If you can afford it, a modern bike fitter might be the place to start looking for a new bike. He can take a look at where you'd be most comfortable and make some recommendations. Easier to fit the bike to you than you to the bike.

That said, if your current bike is comfortable, and you want to make the move from carbon to something more easily maintained on the road, then a steel frame in a similar size that gets your bars up a couple inches might be all you need to get going. I recommend you don't cut the steerer down all the way to the bars in case you later want a slightly higher
bar height, or want to add the increasingly popular Fred Bar/aero bar set up an inch or 2 above your regular bars.

If you want the most reliable, bullet-proof bikes available, take a look at those that sport Rohloff hubs (or Pinion gearing) with Gates belts.

Most important recommendation - don't overthink this; get out and ride.

(Most of my current riding is commuting on a single speed with flat pedals and sandals. Other than helmet, gloves, and glasses, I don't spend a lot of time on what I'm wearing. Occasionally I get side-tracked on the way home, and take the long way home - up to 60 miles. Although this "around town" bike cost me $45 dollars, it fits, it's well maintained, and water bottles and tools never leave the bike.)

Gear Talk / Re: Touring bike for 80% pavement, 20% gravel/dirt
« on: May 01, 2021, 01:17:04 am »
Are there really zero bikes available? 

I agree with the sentiment of this question. Stock available in St. Louis, and online. As I note above, it doesn't have to be perfect to have an adventure. Think of the fun I had riding dirt on tubular tires.

Gear Talk / Re: Touring bike for 80% pavement, 20% gravel/dirt
« on: April 29, 2021, 08:34:49 pm »
Forget about those conventional touring bikes. A better choice for riding mixed surfaces is the Salsa Fargo.
29x2.1 Vittoria Mezcal tyres will roll very nicely on sealed roads or gravel.
You will have the option of using bikepacking gear or conventional racks and touring luggage. They are very popular and stocks sell out quickly, so get you order in early.

Right. I'll second the versatility of mountain bike frames. The geometry gets the bars up with relatively short steerers (carbon-friendly). The wider stays and forks make for similarly wide selection in rims and tires.

I've gradually replaced my stable with an old Surly Karate Monkey with 3 forks, two stems, and 3 sets of 622mm wheels, 2 sets of which are Rohloff-based - one with narrow rims and one with wide rims. (The other set is a light-weight single speed pair for commuting.)

Forks include the original with steerer cut relatively short, a new braze-on-laden ECR fork with long steerer to accept a Fred Bar with arm rests above my regular bars, and an old Rock Shox Reba air, currently set up at 80 mm travel. Very happy. Packing lightly, I can keep up with just about anyone I meet touring on road or trail.

Have fun with this. And if it's the difference between riding and not riding, don't wait for perfection. My first really big trip was on a criterium racing frame with no eyelets or water bottle bosses, tubular tires, and an 8-pound kit for clothes and camping. What a blast.

I can only think of a few sections of trail that are closed to motorized vehicles - though I suspect e-bikes are subtle enough to avoid being stopped or reported - as long as they don't dawdle or obnoxiously pass a lot of hard working folks.

That said, I agree with the above, laws of physics are against you. You aren't going to find enough electrical energy to keep the batteries on your bike functional for every big hill.

By the time you add enough extra weight in batteries and chargers for remote hilly sections with long distances between services, you'll find that your fitness levels to keep the batteries from becoming fully depleted would be sufficient to propel a lighter load without batteries, the whole way.

If you think the solution to also carry a gas-powered generator, well, then you are ready for a motorcycle.

Gear Talk / Re: Recommendations for thermometers?
« on: April 09, 2021, 11:42:48 am »
The two recent look-a-like posters behave like bots - re-opening long dead threads with keyword-triggered responses.
Not clear we need to respond.

Classifieds / WTB: Surly ECR 29er fork with uncut or long steerer
« on: April 05, 2021, 11:01:13 am »
WTB: Surly ECR 29er fork with uncut or long steerer

The new pedals are VP 565 which sells at the MalWart for $22. I got mine at a coop in exchange for some wheel building. The old ones were the same except for the steel pins. Here is what happens if you crack a ball in half. By the way I carry a 12mm socket which fits on the end of a 10mm hex wrench to adjust pedals.
Ahhh..., the co-op - land of stuff that needs a better than average mechanic with SiN balls.

Don,t need to point out that the capst of the SiN bearings is more than the pedals..., but then I always liked things like  V-8s hidden in a rusted VW bugs, so I'm not being critical.

General Discussion / Re: Pedestrian deaths up again.
« on: April 04, 2021, 12:37:08 pm »
In the first half of 2020 pedestrian deaths went from 2951 to 2957 in spite of the fact that motorists drove 16.5 percent fewer miles. In addition the arrests for people driving over 100 miles an hour has increased though I don't have nation wide data. In the past year I have been hit by a suburban type vehicle. I can't see it was any thing but a murder attempt. 2 people have either tried to hit me or they thought it would be funny to try and scare me. I was in a cross walk and a driver who was on the phone made a right turn in front of me then hit the brakes. He was then rear ended by another driver who was also talking on the phone. The second driver got out and jumped up and down on his hood. I decided to leave rather than get involved in a road rage fight. I now believe cell phones are causing 20 percent of all motorist pedestrian and bicycle deaths.
Smart move.

We feel your pain, but you're expending your time and energy on the wrong forum by preaching to the choir.

Recommend you get this experience to all your legislators at local, state, and federal level with a simple, single recommendation to get people off the phone while driving (or riding).

Consider donation to or membership in regional and national advocacy and planning groups to help address infrastructural issues.

Is there a good app to swap money back and forth? Or maybe having a prepaid Visa debit card where both have put in an equal amount of money? Or maybe try to get the hotel upon check out to split the bill and each pay that half?
Agree with above - especially the benefits of letting the spouse enjoy free use of the credit card.

Venmo and other apps are not ready for use in retail.

I like the debit card idea.... I know of some others who've done that for small projects. If you do it for a long trip, let us know how it works.

There is no noticeable wear on the balls I would have went through 5 sets of steel balls in the same amount of time because of rust. The outer race is better sealed than the inner race so you could use ceramic on the inside race to save money. I was unable to get every thing in focus at the same time however the axle cone is the most worn.

Cool technology.

Nice photos, but I agree, I'd like to know (a) what kind of pedals you're using, (b) where you're using them, and (c) why you don't have sealed bearings.... (OK, I did just overhauled a pair of Campagnolo record pedals after close to 50 years of regular use, including racing, touring, and lately commuting, so I understand the concept of loose bearings, but not the unusual wear.)

Also, any photos of what your pedals did to stainless steel bearings for comparison?

General Discussion / Re: carrying a firearm on a tour
« on: March 31, 2021, 12:54:57 pm »
All that said, this thread is about exhausted. The OP's question has been answered and we are now just descending into a political flamefest which has NOTHING to do with bicycle touring.
Tailwinds, John

Agree with you on all points including the last. (The purpose of the thread was to help write a novel, not solve the problems of a litigious and contemptuous populace..., though - back on thread - interpersonal conflict always plays well in books, movies, and internet "news.")

General Discussion / Re: Insulin pump
« on: March 25, 2021, 09:10:24 pm »
Planning a tour from Seattle to Atlanta. Mostly camp. How do I keep insulin at safe temp in warm weather? How can i ship pump / cgm supplies to myself on the tour (warm showers or general delivery thru post office or...)? Can I claim less than my full script of humalog insulin so not to hav too much on tour? Thanks

These are all good questions, and I don't mean to punt, but as an academic endocrinologist, I usually ask my team of diabetes educators (which includes a PharmD) what they think.

I'll note that outside the body, insulin can last a long time at 90 degrees. The bigger risk for potency is freezing. I've camped in the winter with patients with type 1 diabetes who literally keep their insulin on their body at all times.

The current recommendations from the manufacturers, as you know, is that insulin can be stored in unopened or opened vials at up to 86 deg F for 28 days. A simple insulated pouch should do the trick, but as you know, if you are on the mailing lists, there are a lot of companies who would be happy to sell you cooling gel packs, temperature controlled caps, and other things to keep the worry level down. One of my favorites is the small Frio wallet that will hold three vials of insulin and is activated by water.

If you're going to hit Atlanta in the summer, you might want to ask your educators what they recommend. As you know, Atlanta is also the original home of Team Type 1 which is now Team Novo Nordisk. If you're making this kind of a ride, you have every right to reach out to them to ask for advice.

I usually recommend getting prescriptions into a national chain of pharmacies like Walgreens or CVS to allow you to refresh your supply of insulin (and catheters, CGMs, etc.) as often as you want.

Yes, any pharmacist will allow partial fill on any prescription.

General Discussion / Re: Tires for a 29" Fargo
« on: March 24, 2021, 12:06:16 am »
While someone could slap some 28mm wide Marathons on a 29" wheel, I'm guessing that possibility is slim.
(Been there, done that while commuting on  my Karate Monkey - an early model that propelled the 29er fad - which came with fairly versatile 622-19 Salsa Delgado rims.)

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