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Messages - ray b

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General Discussion / Re: Warm Showers
« on: March 12, 2022, 02:37:38 pm »
Many thanks to all.

Not really off-thread, as the answer to the posted question is no longer a simple, "Yes."

Gear Talk / Re: Shorts, Liners, Tights
« on: March 07, 2022, 11:07:35 am »
.... I've taken to wearing G-Force cycling shorts with padded hips and a decent chamois.
What is the purpose of padded hips?  In case you crash???  I'm getting up in age but maybe there is something I get to look forward to in later years?
Most cyclists - racers in any case - have a slightly lower bone mass than say, competitive marathon runners. I most recently reviewed this information a few years ago while waiting for a trauma orthopedist to wire my distal humerus back together after high-siding my track bike on the way home from work.

Newer armor is relatively thin, but quite effective at energy dissipation. I'll do whatever I can to avoid a broken hip - not in case I crash, but when I crash.  (And yes, I now also wear elbow/forearm protection.)

Gear Talk / Re: Quad Loc Phone Holder?
« on: March 06, 2022, 08:10:17 pm »
While a bit bulkier than the Quad Loc, Ram Mount makes a holder for all kinds of things, including phones.  I have used them for about a decade and have had no issues whatsoever with their products.  The thing I like about that is that all their parts are inter-changable and that they are super super secure, i.e. motorcycle trail riders use them and the phones stay on. 

Tailwinds, John
Ditto - though this has two levels of security to keep it from popping out. If I'm using the camera for photos, I'll often bring my Garmin eTrex to keep me on route.

Gear Talk / Re: Shorts, Liners, Tights
« on: March 06, 2022, 07:44:47 pm »
What are you wearing? What features do you like? Advice on buying welcome.  Thanks.
An old guy, who like a lot of cyclists carries less bone mass than non-cyclists, I've taken to wearing G-Force cycling shorts with padded hips and a decent chamois. (Well not really leather, but we still talk like it's the days of wool and leather.) They also have a version with coccyx protection if needed.

Although not well known, they have pads made in Rhode Island and they ship out of a building here in St. Louis..., though I've only seen them in retail stores in Colorado....

Gear Talk / Re: Chair
« on: March 06, 2022, 07:25:23 pm »
Does anyone else carry a chair with them while on tour?
I also have a Zero that I carried once on the bike on the flatness of the KATY trail. It's now relegated to motorcycle and ski camping.

Saw a few chairs on the GDMBR this summer..., well, two. One was carried by a pretty strong rider in a very purposeful, no-hurry mode, along with his ukulele and flip flops.

Gear Talk / Re: Sleeping pads
« on: March 06, 2022, 07:17:37 pm »
Out of curiosity, does anyone use the black closed foam pads anymore?  I rarely have an issue with my NeoAir and I always tour with several Tear Aid patches but have thought about going back to the foam pads.
Memory lane. Still have a couple of thicker pads for use in the snow, but they haven't found their way onto my bike in years.

Gear Talk / Re: Tread type
« on: February 09, 2022, 08:57:50 pm »
No tread needed for coarse gravel....
It's the fully loaded downhill into the 90 deg turn on an exposed dusty or muddy road bed that demands some knobs on the side wall.

Always fun.

I don't like the vibration of knobbies on pavement - so if the ride includes pavement, I run street tires including 42 mm slicks.

Remember, they call it adventure cycling....

Gear Talk / Re: Breaking in Brooks B17 Imperial
« on: February 04, 2022, 07:27:37 pm »
Is it the saddle you break in, or your rear end?
Good point.... I had a Brooks Professional that felt great after the first 10,000 miles, but as it remained rock hard for 10 more years without requiring adjustment, I suspect it didn't change a lot during the "break in."

I've also seen guys with the same B17 for a couple decades. They claim it's been comfortable all that time, but given that the shape changed gradually from a straight line to a U-shape without change in comfort implies some accommodation by the rider.

About 15 y ago, I found a synthetic make and model that fits me out of the box and will never change shape, and I have now gone that route. 

General Discussion / Re: Amtrak Bike Travel
« on: February 04, 2022, 12:32:33 pm »
I will be taking Amtrak in June but because of Covid they have made changes that make it more difficult to bring my bike.  I will be traveling through Portland, OR to get to Whitefish, MT.  The train to Whitefish from Portland no longer provides bike service so I will have to box my bike.

When you say "no longer provides bike service", do you mean roll-on (unboxed) bike service? If so, the Empire Builder from Portland to Spokane never offered this.

When Amtrak started to do roll-on service on the Empire Builder a few years back, they only did it for the Seattle segment.

Under the category of what goes around comes around, I'll point out that my first big cross country trip included a ride in May of 1979 from Chicago to Seattle on the North Coast Hiawatha (with a layover week of training in Missoula) and then down the coast to LA. (FWIW, '79 was the last year for the Hiawatha, hitting the Congressional cutting block in October.)

I rolled my fully loaded Bob Jackson crit bike (Messina) over to the baggage car at Union Station where a Greek-American baggage handler rolled it onto the baggage car and secured it.  Rolled it off and on in Missoula and Seattle, and off in LA. Worked like a charm, and the tips didn't seem mandatory. I suspect that with fewer personnel, less care in loading, and more complaints of damaged equipment from cyclists, the move to mandatory boxing followed.

General Discussion / Re: Does size matter?
« on: February 02, 2022, 01:29:01 pm »
Really - not much difference in feel - especially with the bigger tires we tend to use these days.

That said, I made a rule early last year while rebuilding wheels on some older hubs - all wheels in the house needed to be 700C (/29er) to avoid duplication in tire purchases. (Of course, while I was on my last trip, my wife picked a chromed aluminum mountain bike out of the garbage for me to rehab for her..., with 26 inch wheels.)

Up to you whether you wait. All depends on whether you have another bike suitable for touring while putting in the waiting time.

The few times I've lost bikes to thieves or accidents, I've always had long mourning periods where I sat back and looked at all the new technology and weighed carefully what the replacement should look like.

(I mean, do you consider Pinion gearing an improvement over Rohloff? You might if you want to run different rim sizes without investing in multiple Rohloffs as I have. Is shaft drive the wave of the future?)

You're one of the few guys I don't need to remind to have fun with this - and if it's not fun because it's too close to the loss of your favorite bike, hold off for a bit until a new bike feels more exciting.

Have a good year.

Classifieds / Re: STOLEN Co-Motion Americano
« on: February 01, 2022, 09:54:48 pm »
Thanks.  We are going to have a pretty cold snap on Thursday (8*) so I plan to go by the homeless shelter and see if I spot the bike.  Hopefully, I will find it.  Heck, I got so many bikes, some good, some not so good, that I may just give the "owner" another bike.

Anyway, thanks again, John
My condolences as well.
A reminder yet again, that our adventures with bicycles are not limited to the road or trail. Good luck.

I was starting to look for a budget but still good bike computer.
Is it a good option for beginner and amateur rider to choose Magene? Or do you have any recommendations for the budget bike computer with multiple functions? 
Thanks for your answers.
Magene - good chinese products. comprehensive line. inexpensive. essentially disposable if they break. Certainly acceptable for those who need a bike "computer." with cadence, heart rate, odometer, etc....

I currently use my phone (and a HR and cadence monitor) if I really need that information to keep me honest when training.

The phone GPS is fairly accurate if all you want is an odometer.

General Discussion / Re: GPS navigation apps/info?
« on: January 23, 2022, 02:05:03 pm »
Any preferences/opinions/insights as to what to use? ... We'd like to go with phones if possible instead of adding another piece of gear.
All the thoughts above are good.

I spent a couple months doing the GDMBR this summer past. In addition to paper maps, ACA phone app on my Samsung Note 8, and ACA GPS on my small-screen, Garmin Etrex 22x, I also carried a small Surface Go2 tablet. 

I used them all for different purposes. The Etrex 22x kept me on track. En route, the phone came out to update me on estimated distances and travel times to various services. In towns or crossroads with cell signals, I'd take the phone out of battery-saving airplane mode to click and make calls directly to businesses listed in the ACA app. The big maps were great at the beginning and end of the day to review the big picture, which somehow, always sticks in my mind better when using big paper. The computer/tablet also provided additional mapping capabilities, but a free state highway map might have done the same thing for about the same weight. For one of the updates to avoid logging, I used by RWGPS and a direct download to the Garmin. My preference was for the Garmin, but I could have gone either way.

Did I have a preference at the end of the trip? Well..., no.

If I had to pick only one, then I would still go with paper - less risk of malfunction. 

If I was in a hurry (as you will likely be with an August departure) and had to shed weight, I'd probably go with the GPS, using paper as a back-up.

We all feel the need to carry a phone - so I'd have no problem using the ACA app in navigation mode on my phone as primary - and have done so on road trips (such as the Lewis and Clark) with the phone firmly attached to my stem with a motorcycle-quality mount.... Hobbes' comments on problems mounting a phone for the GDMBR are on the money. Presumably, once shock-proof phone-mounting systems improve, Frontpack improves the platform for ACA maps, and power management for phones improve, we'll all be using the ACA phone app. Right now - not quite ready for prime-time in the back country.

Gear Talk / Re: The shoe dilemma
« on: January 16, 2022, 06:50:50 pm »
What do you use for shoes?
No rules. Figure out what you want to do, and get the right shoes and pedals out of the bin.

Long tours with gravel lots of hills and consistently long days - walkable natural foot shape mountain bike shoes (Bohn) with a pair of Keen closed toe sandals. (My favorite pedals are those I'm used to - Speedplay Frogs, but I suspect I have the few remaining unsused pedals and cleats. I've been using a pair of Crank Brothers pedals for some long weekend rides to get ready for a transition.) Ran into a lot of single-sided pedal riders this summer, who switched between flip flops and shoes depending on their mood.

No gravel - cleated cycling sandals instead of shoes. Backup sandals for walking.

Not in a hurry - Keen Sandals and large platform pedals. No additional footwear.

Snow and/or backcountry single track - Keen hiking boots and platform pedals. Backup sandals optional.

Have fun - I wouldn't waste a lot of time on this. The only bad combinations are those that involve poor shoe fit, or hiking in cleated shoes. And famous last words - "I'm really excited about next week's trip; I even invested in a new pair of shoes and pedals suggested by an expert on YouTube!"

Gear Talk / Re: Solar battery/charger?
« on: January 09, 2022, 07:31:21 pm »
Has anyone considered a dynamo hub? It could charge a battery pack while you ride.
Works well, if you can turn the wheels fast enough - upwards of 8 mph for 700C wheels; less for a Brompton....

But as I suggest above, the point is, this is a better alternative than trying to run a modern ship on solar power.

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