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Messages - dracolytch

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Gear Talk / Re: Seat posts
« on: June 22, 2010, 12:16:06 pm »
Ok, since we got a couple thudbuster fans here: One bike shop guy said that the thudbuster isn't something you'd really have fore a lifetime, and because of all of the moving parts it requires some level of maint. every year or two. Fact? Crap? For now, I just replaced with a $25 basic aluminum post.

Fenders! First time I did a trip, I ended up buying them along the way: Big help with road grit.

I also had a fleece which I had put in a trashbag to keep it dry for the end of the day, that was a godsend. I ended up getting some knee warmers on the trip too, because my legs had gotten cold. A windbreaker at a minimum, and a breathable raincoat if your trip is long enough that you want to take it with you (some are heavy).

Riding in the rain = wet (either from sweat or rain)
Wet = cold
Riding cold = sucks

Minimizing the amount of riding in the rain you do will minimize your misery. Also, your body burns a lot more calories to stay warm, so remember to keep yourself fueled. Cold rain will constantly be stealing heat from any exposed skin, so do your best to cover up.

Gear Talk / Re: Packing Thermarest
« on: June 21, 2010, 10:19:03 pm »
How do you secure and weatherproof your large items?

Bungie cords and trash bags. Take a couple extra of both. Last year I ended up riding through the remnants of hurricane Danny (ugh). My sleeping bag and thermarest were only damp(double-bag so there's no opening), whereas anything else not in ziplock was soaked. Even stuff in purported "weatherproof" bags.

Gear Talk / Seat posts
« on: June 16, 2010, 09:46:31 pm »
I've been having LOTS of problems with my seat posts. Since it's a comfort bike, it has a shock in the post itself. First, I had an issue with the fact that my seat, over time, kept going down. I replaced the post quick-tightener with a old-school clamp... That helped (readjusting weekly instead of every couple of hours).

Next, I bent the bracket that holds the seat on the post... It was a cheap steel one that came with my first post... So I replaced the seat post with one that has a much more sturdy mounting bracket.

Now, the gasket/seal/something at the top of the shock on my current seatpost is broken, and it's only a couple of months old.
At 225lbs I'm a big guy, but not huge... This is getting a bit crazy. Thoughts? Tips? Tricks?

Sounds good for on-bike. I mentioned the google maps partly because I found them handy to share with friends/family whilst planning my trip. That way I could see WHERE in MD you'll be, and if I'm close enough to be any help. ;)


Unfortunately, I'll likely be out of town the days you'll be in my area. That said: If your possible routes allow for the C&O canal, take it... It's certainly a welcome break from riding streets. Do you have a map set up with your expected route? I did one of these on google maps, and found it time well-spent:

Litespeed: My first tour was in Maine last summer. It was (other than being something of a comedy of errors) an awesome ride. Friendliest drivers I ever had to deal with. Ever. Gorgeous terrain. Awesome food. Late summer (Right after labor day) was is THE time to go, because the tourism slows down. Send me a message if you want the URL which as full trip notes / gear notes / etc.

General Discussion / Re: attaching a flag on my bike with panniers
« on: June 15, 2010, 03:48:27 pm »
Johnson and Mustride are both right:
A flag is a good supplemental visibility tool.

From personal experience: If you can get a single-piece flag, do so. Far too frequently, I've had to backtrack for the top half of my flag after snagging it on a bush, or similar.

General Discussion / Re: Cycling Trip Planner
« on: June 15, 2010, 03:45:23 pm »
The conversation at convinced me... Spare tire should at least be on the "consider" list for a multi-day trip.

General Discussion / Re: The Freegan Bike Workshop is in need!
« on: June 14, 2010, 10:04:19 pm »
Just a heads-up: The word "freegan" can have a lot of negative connotations. While freeganism can mean different things, many people associate it with individuals focused at collecting/consuming discarded food (which is taboo in westernized culture).

This is not a judgement of the freegan culture, just an observation that you're running the risk of confusing the heck out of your potential audience, or inadvertantly alarming folks that would otherwise be interested in your group.

General Discussion / Cycling Trip Planner
« on: June 14, 2010, 09:40:29 pm »
Hey folks,

Last summer, I went on my first real touring trip (You can read about it here: I went unsupported / camping, and I learned about how to properly prepare, how much food / water I needed, and more.

As I'm starting to train up for my next trip, I decided to put some of the things I've learned (from the gear list on the above page) into an interactive planning page. I've put a prototype of the page up here:

Is there anything y'all think I'm missing? Other advice that should go with this (Maybe a list of training commandments along the lines of "Thou shalt not eat spicy food before exercising")?

Gear Talk / Re: Bicycles for off-road riding
« on: March 24, 2010, 09:43:18 pm »
My dad actually mentioned a recumbant bike might be good, and I think he has an interesting idea. Does anyone know where I can get reliable info on recumbants? Thoughts, suggestions, experiences, etc?


Gear Talk / Bicycles for off-road riding
« on: March 24, 2010, 04:33:34 pm »
Ok, so I'm thinking about upgrading and getting a new bicycle. I'd love some thoughts as to what folks are using, and have found to be good/bad.

I do a lot of off-road riding. I'm not a mountain-biker who's hopping logs or doing any crazy-pants downhill suicide runs, but I'm also not happy just sticking to pavement. I'm often doing unpaved bike paths, rail trails, canal towpaths, and such. Sure, I run into the occasional mud-pit or fallen tree, but that's really a small fraction of my cycle time.

I'm currently using a Raleigh comfort bike which I've given more rugged tires. It's a 24 speed, and I use the entire gear range. Last summer I rode 250 miles in Maine, and it did pretty good. I'm fairly happy with it, though I'm NOT happy with the number of stock pieces I've had to replace (The tires had an issue on the bead line, my bike shop had to replace so many spokes at no charge, that they eventually just gave me a new rear wheel).

I'm just over 6" tall, and so I've been considering getting a 29" bike. However, I'm a bit concerned about the body position for long rides, plus the lack of available parts when I'm riding in more rural areas.

My bike seems to be a decent fit for the riding I do, but I sometimes get the feeling I'm at the upper-end of my bike's capacity/durability. Does anyone have some thoughts or experiences that might be enlightening?

General Discussion / Prep for my first trip
« on: July 24, 2009, 12:34:53 am »
Ok, I'm planning my first trip of significant length... From Bar Harbor ME to Boston MA or so. I'm in pretty good shape, and I've started increasing the length of my daily rides to get ready for the trip. I'm a bit under-trained I think, but I still have some time, and I am actively working to make sure I'm not training whilst on the trip.

Bike's been looked over, and I have a solid camping gear list, with some bike bits thrown in. I already have a trailer, I'll be picking up the Adventure Cycling map soon.

The BIG question I have is this:
Since my start point is not my end point... What do I do with my car, and how do I get back to it?


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