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Messages - bogiesan

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Gear Talk / Re: Straight up Noob bike/gear advice.
« on: September 05, 2014, 10:15:40 am »
I urge all newbies to find a supported tour, four to six days, and see if this bike touring thing is for you. Then try a self-supported group tour, maybe a week. Borrow any gear you don't already have from backpacking.
Bike? That's not as difficult as you think. You don't need a tour-specific bike. Anything you're comfortable on will get you where you want to go but a better bike will do it more reliably and more comfortably. People ride around the world on singles, fixies, unicycles, trikes, mtn bikes, recumbents, folders and homebuilts.
Can you ride your bike of choice 100 miles and then get up the next day and do it again? Can you fix the regular stuff on it that goes wrong, goes flat, or breaks? If so, that bike will work fine.

General Discussion / Re: Quick fixes for cyclist's palsy?
« on: September 02, 2014, 11:49:05 pm »
The advantage of the recumbent is not having any of those issues from the start. Not any. Not at all.

You come across a bent rider on your journey and you ask him or her how they feel, how's the road treating their body, how's their ride? They don't ever say anything like, "I can't wait to get off this bike so my arms/neck/wrists/hands/butt can stop aching/hurting/twitching/numbing."

While the cure for cycling palsy is to never get it, the way to never get it is to have a bike that has the affliction designed out of it.

Just my opinion, of course, not really part of this discussion. I have a seat that is four inches thick, a backrest and a headsup riding position that is relaxed and natural; high definition cycling, a bike designed with the behind in mind.

I put about 5,000 miles on my bike in a year mostly because it's so comfortable.

Gear Talk / Re: handlebar bag
« on: September 02, 2014, 11:33:26 pm »
The market for handlebar bags is huge. REI alone lists about a dozen; Adventure Cycling has four or more, Sierra Trading even more. What do you want in a bag?
Simple buckles and straps attachment or some proprietary click system?
Map window on the top?
Cellphone holster built-in?
Solar panel attachment available?
Convertible to a shoulder bag or waist pack?
Mesh side pockets for bottles?
How complex is the inside? Lots of pockets and divided spaces or just a bloody big bag?
Free hanging or internal frame?
Totally waterproof or an attached cover?
Expandable or modular attachments?
Price range?

The trade off between price and utility must be considered along with the weight/utility ratio. Is a four pound handlebar bag with all the features that much better than a plain ol' two pounder?
You can waterproof any cheap bag with a selection of ziplocks so you don't really need totally waterproof construction and zippers (and all of that additional mass). Any fancy attachment system is likely to break at the worst possible time.

General Discussion / Re: Sour clothing - after washing!
« on: August 28, 2014, 11:15:00 pm »
I'm beginning to think that the recommendation for washing out at the end of the day and air drying is probably the best solution.  No more plastic bags loaded with unwashed clothes for me.

Oh, yeah, simple wins almost every time. Careful what you use as a soap and how much you use; more is rarely better. A few drop of Bronner's peppermint can do a whole day's laundry.

I don't do self-supported tours so I usually get into the shower truck wearing my bike clothes. If there's a line for the showers, I can soap my jersey and shorts and rinse them in about 90 seconds, strip them off and do another, more complete cycle on skin and hair under 2 minutes. I take much more time if there's no one waiting for a stall.

I have a mesh bag for the wet clothes. I stand where I won't spatter anyone and whirl the bag over my head. This spins out a lot of water. I roll up the wet clothes in a towel and wring it, expelling more water. the towel gives you more leverage. I have some line and a few clothespins. On Cycle Oregon we can have three days of stupid hard and horizontal rain and nothing gets dry.

General Discussion / Re: Quick fixes for cyclist's palsy?
« on: August 28, 2014, 11:00:08 pm »
Get a recumbent.

The various forms of nerve stress and possible damage are not easily diagnosed, as your research indicated. Far too many individual factors and there's no way for a doctor to see what's going on with your nerves. However, a good sports-specific MD can assess your bike and your riding position and, based on your symptoms, make a pretty good guess about what might prevent it next time.

while I know people who are enamored of bike fit shops, those proprietors usually are working on standard forms. They' generally not physical therapists.

That's where I'd start but the guy I see is a marathoner and tri. He understands bikes. He even understands my recumbent.

General Discussion / Re: Sour clothing - after washing!
« on: August 20, 2014, 11:57:06 pm »
To treat the smell you must identify the source. The list of recommended treatments presents means to attack several different causes or sources. Some odors are gases released by living organisms. Some are from the biproducts of dead and decaying organisms. Some fabrics hold onto these chemicals and gases  at a molecular level and nothing you can do will break those bonds. Some organisms will survive by going dormant and come back to life when presented with heat and sweat and create a new crop of odors. Sometimes you simply throw the garments away.

You can search sites like Martha Stewart for tested and approved odor treatments for a wide range of fabrics and possible odor sources. Many of these treatments are simple but multi-step and involve commonly available chemicals like borax, vinegar, bleach, soaps, detergents and sunshine. Just follow the directions carefully. For instance, more detergent does not do a better job than a wee bit of detergent. In heavy concentration, detergent cannot be rinsed away so it causes rashes or, since it resembles food to some bugs, creates a Petri dish for growing things that smell.

"Sour" is usually associated with mildew but you need to decide if it's mildew or mold or a yeast. 

I have the hot spot problem with my right foot only.  I fixed it by inserting an old credit card (expired) into the shoe between the cleat and insole, raised numbers down.  After resetting their location a couple of times when they slipped, a couple of small pieces of duct tape to hold them in place worked quite well.  Worked for me.

Guess that would be a shoe boot..

Gear Talk / Re: trikes
« on: August 12, 2014, 11:09:27 am »
Visit and hang out on There are probably a couple of trike-specific forums on the interwebs and the major suppliers should have customer-focused forums on their sites. There you will find hundreds of posts on how to choose a trike and what to expect when you get out on the road. You will be surprised at the variety of wheel configurations, componentry, countries of origin, and prices. An entry level Chinese-made trike can be under $1,000 or you can get a suspended ti or carbon unit from Australia or Germany for $6,000 and up.

I have toured with (not on) several trikes and the owners are universal in their praise of the form factor. Some of these guys have gone totally self-supported across the country more than once so, anecdotally, there are no downsides to touring on a tricycle.

The tandem trike is one of the coolest touring machines I've ever seen. Long and stable, these things are fast and the stoker has a fabulous seat.

Rocky Mountain / Review of Ride Idaho 2014: 6 out of 10
« on: August 11, 2014, 11:34:24 am »
Bottom line:
Will I be back next year? Sure. But I have no objectivity here. I was on the committee that planned three of Ride Idaho's events so I enjoy watching it evolve and I love to see my home state at low speed from the comformt of my recumbent.
Would I recommend this event to others? Sure. But you've got realize Ride Idaho is an average event. Most of its good to great features are offset by avoidable mistakes. So it ends up being no better or worse than other fully supported rides designed for 200-500 riders.

See for their promotional puffery, route descriptions, entertainment listings, luggage limits and the other information you will want to know before considering Ride Idaho 2015. The 2015 route will be announced in January. Considering they failed to sell out their 10th anniversary gig, we are speculating they will go back to Northern Idaho.

Review of Ride Idaho 2014, Tenth Anniversary , August 2-9 (A fully supported bicycle tour for 350 but fewer than 250 riders signed up this year.)
Theme: Biblical Rain
Highlights: Most meals, rest stops, sag crew, camping sites, shower truck, mechanics, anniversary party, entertainment, and the fabulous route that ran across Idaho's high desert plateau (spectacular, wide open, endless vistas, sagebrush, fragrant, farms, dairies, soybeans, potatoes, sugar beats, alfalfa, canyons, rivers, springs, hot springs, thunderstorms, sunshine, trains!)
Low points: Maps, some meals, camping sites, RAIN, desert course (some called it boring). Did I mention the rain?

The good news and the bad weather:

On Day One, as we were pedaling east, trying to hydrate in the withering 100 degrees, invisibly behind us, a huge volume of cold, moist air was colliding with super heated air rising off Idaho's desert. Phones started squawking as flash flood alerts came in. About the time we arrived at camp, a tremendous thunderstorm was dropping 2 inches of water on the city of Twin Falls, Idaho, 80 miles behind us. Rain moved in and pounded our camp at Castle Rocks State Park a few hours later. The storm tracked us for three days. It was a one hundred year event that tested Ride Idaho.

There is no way to predict weather this rare and severe so there were no contingencies in place. Ride Idaho's management scrambled to get us to the next campsites. They located fairground buildings and a gymnasium for those who wanted to escape the waves of rain. Reactions to the weather ranged from resentment to resignation to acceptance and even some relief. Heat was not going to be much of a problem on this ride after all but cycling Idaho's crowded two-lane highways in thunderstorms left many feeling anxious. Some folks brought their rigs in from Twin Falls and went home while others strained the capacities of the staff to sag them along the route.

Those who rode the entire distance have earned bragging rights; stories will be told for decades about the deluge that was Ride Idaho 2014.

On the other hand, how many touring cyclists can you feed with seven dozen eggs?

No one could have anticipated the excitement RI had to cope with (and, all things considered, they did a fine job of dealing with the weird rain), but it's the fundamentals—stuff like good and plentiful food, garbage and recycling, communications, and legible and accurate maps—that just keep slipping through RI's grasp.

RI's meals are prepared and served by community organizations in each venue along the route. Evidence suggests no one from RI double checks the menus and ingredients for quality, quantity, or caloric delivery. No one from RI vettes the food prep and serving plans so the locals can forget or ignore whatever advice and specifications provided by RI. The rest stops, however, are run by cheerfully enthusiastic volunteers who spread a wide variety of high calorie goodies. Still, I'd like to see some proteins added to their selections. It's a good thing the rest stops are so well done; grab and stash some goodies in case the next planned meal is a disaster.

We had three spectacular dinners, three superb breakfasts, and three excellent lunches that were prepared by skilled and caring people who obviously love to eat. As usual, though, we had many more uninspired, inadequate or totally inexcusable meals, including these three bummer breakfasts:
1. "We can't open two serving lines because we're afraid we'll run out of food." (They ran out of food.)
2. "We started with 7 dozen eggs! They were gone in ten minutes!" (Duh. Fifty of 300 people ate that morning.)
3. "Ya'll are gonna need to be patient, there's just the two of us here cooking and one of us is handing out silverware." (Most of us hit the road hungry.)

RI's maps are, umm, funny. Expect many typos, weirdly inaccurate distances, non-referenced profiles that use a different vertical scale every day, and unnecessary icons that obscure the route. Even with a great marking crew, folks managed to wander off the course.

Your foot is hot all over or is the pain isolated just to the ball? Real medical orthotics or inserts from Costco?
Many of us can pretend to be orthopedists but all we are capable of is relating our experiences. A doctor can evaluate nerve or tissue issues for you but if you have tried hard road shoes, sandals and mountain bike shoes with no change in your symptoms, only a doctor can figure it out for you. I went through several pedals and shoes before finding a good combination. I hope you figure it out but it could get complicated and expensive. Tandems rule. Recumbents are the best way to travel.

Gear Talk / Re: A folding bike for touring?
« on: July 24, 2014, 10:41:00 pm »
Rhetorical question or serious?
Bike Friday has used Cycle Oregon for their Coming Home event several times. Touring veterans from all over the world came and rode their Fridays with us for 350 miles. I see several Bromptons and Fridays on tours or out on the roads, panniered and bagged, rigged for travel. Not so many Dahon folders.

General Discussion / Re: Fighting off boredom?
« on: July 17, 2014, 09:18:59 am »
Now that I am typing this, I am thinking perhaps that taking a tablet with a metric !@#% ton of books might do the trick. What do you fine folks think, or what are your experiences with the psychology of riding cross country solo?

Not to push the point too far and be accused of retrogrouchery but tens of thousands of folks road much further and longer than you're planning without any electronics (or disk brakes) at all. A paperback and a notebook/pencil can keep you company for a long time and you can trade the book with another adventurer along the way.

Modern contrivances are luxuries; fun and interesting and stimulating and reassuring but unnecessary in the bigger scheme of what you want and need on a crosscountry solo ride.

Enjoy your trip and take whatever you think will make it more enjoyable or safe.

Gear Talk / Re: Packing a DSLR?
« on: July 17, 2014, 09:07:30 am »
alternative opinion:

I make my living behind a camera (and then in front of my Macintosh). I stopped carrying my big gear on vacation decades ago unless, of course, someone is paying me to work. Three reasons: I'm on vacation; that stuff is stupid heavy; I have a phone that takes 8mp photographs. Most of the 12-35mp snapshots my friends take with their big cameras are converted to 720pixel jpgs for uploading or email anyway. Terrible waste. 

The best camera one uses is the camera one has available. (This is not a commercial for Apple, most of the current phones have similar features or better.) My 5s is wrapped in an Otterbox and sits securely in a holster on the dash of my recumbent. A click and it's at my face, a touch of my thumb and the camera is activated. I get embedded GPS, face recognition, many levels of autommatic organization in Apple's software and I have Adobe Lightroom onboard if I need it. It shoots 10-image bursts, slowmo video, has a little flash, does panos, squares, some silly filters effects, uses voice annotation, has a bit of zoom, image stabilization and a nominal f/2.2 sensor.

I take way more photos on bike tours with the phone that I ever did with the big iron.

General Discussion / Re: general advice on making a tour happen
« on: June 28, 2014, 10:28:02 pm »
Knees, back, wrists... I run recumbent, these are not issues for me.

Urge all newbies to participate in several charity metric and full century rides. You learn how to ride, how to hydrate and fuel, take care of flats and minor mechanical issues and you can always bail.

Then sign up for a few week long fully supported tours. You learn how to pack, pitch and strike camp, deal with downtime, and you will meet dozens of experienced tourers. 

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