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Messages - John Nelson

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General Discussion / Re: Stopping vs Rolling Thru Stop Signs ??
« on: May 17, 2020, 09:34:41 pm »
In Colorado, the “Idaho Safety Stop” is law in Breckinridge, Dillon, Summit County, Aspen and Thornton. There is considerable research (from a number of organizations — mostly cycling advocacy groups) that show this improves safety, but not everybody buys it (clearly). A number of other states have passed similar laws.

General Discussion / Re: Flats while touring
« on: May 08, 2020, 10:27:56 pm »
Flats per tour? 0 to 3
How many tubes? 2
How many spare tires? 0 to 1
Patch or replace or both? Both
Beef up the flat protection? No

Carbon forks usually don't have mount points for a rack, and it is not recommended to use any kind of clamp on carbon.

There are some front racks that don't require fork mounting points. I'm not sure how well they work. You might check them out. Look into the Tubus Smarti, although I'm not sure they still make it.

Because you have a carbon fork, the use of a front rack is discouraged. Not entirely impossible, but not necessarily a good idea.

So that suggests you go with rear panniers only. The chainstay length on your bike is shorter than on most touring bikes. That means that you may have trouble with heel strike. If you shift the weight to the rear to eliminate the heel strike, you may then unweight the front wheel and thus have trouble with steering and handling. So you will need to make every effort to keep your gear weight down and as far forward as you can without creating heel strike. All of this suggests that if you decide on panniers, you will need to try it out thoroughly in a variety of conditions, especially steep uphills and steep curvy downhills.

Or consider a trailer instead of panniers. Or see if you can find a safe solution for front panniers on a carbon fork without stressing the fork.

Do you plan to camp? Do you plan to cook? Are you considering the plains (warmer) or the high country (colder)? I'm trying to get an idea of how much gear you will need.

The bike looks good. It seems to have mount points for a rear rack. Not sure about a front rack. The gearing is fairly low, not as low as most touring bikes, but it should be okay for a young, strong rider.

Routes / Re: 1,000 Mile tour recommendations
« on: May 01, 2020, 10:50:29 pm »
You’re in the right place. Low traffic secondary roads is what the ACA is all about. But I would avoid routes with a theme that constrains the choice of roads. So scratch off Route 66. Scratch off high population areas too, so that eliminates the Atlantic Coast and the southern half of the Pacific Coast. Also avoid very sparsely populated areas, because they have few roads and few services. So scratch off the Northern Tier.

My recommendation would be the middle third of the TransAm or the northern half of the Pacific Coast.

I avoid MUP like the plague. Cars are safer than people.

Routes / Re: Safety of Rte 66 in California?
« on: April 28, 2020, 02:38:04 am »
My original post was more of an inquiry about the overall safety or lack of  within the section of ACA rt 66 where the northern tier meets Route 66 at Odell Illinois, s to Marshfield MO where it meets the trans am trail.

It’s hard to generalize about any 600 miles of a route. There are always going to be parts that are more safe and parts that are less safe. But I would say that the safety of that section is “average.”

Gear Talk / Re: Opinions on first budget touring bike
« on: April 23, 2020, 12:16:47 am »
If in good shape and it fits you well, the 2003 Trek 520 is a fine touring bike. Its specs aren't that far off modern touring bikes. Parts for 9-speed bikes are readily available. In fact, the modern Trek 520s are still 9-speed. One difference is that many modern bikes have disk brakes, and the 2003 has rim brakes. But that's not a big deal, especially if the rims on the bike you're looking at aren't all concave. Another significant difference is that in 2003, Trek was still using a 52/42/30 crankset, whereas they have been using 48/36/26 since 2010. So you won't get as low of gearing. That's a bigger issue the older you are, the more gear you tour with, and how hilly your tour will be. Hint: all tours are hilly. If you find the 52/42/30 too high, you can swap it out.

Routes / Re: Safety of Rte 66 in California?
« on: April 22, 2020, 04:51:12 pm »
The ACA route through St. Louis is on a Main Street which has a large bike lane and was safe to ride. Why route around it ? The ACA route takes you right past the gateway arch - are you going to miss that to route around St. Louis ?  How do you know your route around the city will be safer ?  To be honest there are some sketchy parts of St. Louis outside the downtown area which you may unwittingly ride through. To the best of my knowledge the ACA routes through a city are made with the most bike paths and bike lanes how will your routing around this be safer ? I can see if a local rider gave a specific route that would be better but just avoiding the ACA and making up your own route doesn’t seem wise. That’s just my humble opinion but I do speak from experience - I rode the ACA route and had no problems whatsoever.

Good to hear that they have rerouted through St Louis on safer roads. It sounds like Chouteau Avenue and Clayton Road are much friendlier roads than Manchester Road, which was a nightmare when I rode through St. Louis on the ACA route as it was in 2015. I think maybe the ACA was trying too hard to stay true to the original Route 66 when they chose Manchester.

Routes / Re: Safety of Rte 66 in California?
« on: April 22, 2020, 12:33:08 am »
Wallybeagle, that section includes St. Louis. There is no safe way to ride through St. Louis. Don’t ride it at rush hour or in poor weather. Unfortunately, I did both.

General Discussion / Re: ACA Maps & 2-lane Highways - how often?
« on: April 18, 2020, 11:06:40 pm »
I wonder if AC could annotate places like that, so we could avoid busy traffic times?
I don’t know about most people, but if I happen to be at a spot on Saturday, I’m not likely to sit around very long because I think it might be safer later. Most uncomfortable places probably aren’t much more than an hour long, and I won’t change my plans over an hour. I usually adopt a “let’s get it over with” attitude.

Routes / Re: Going to the Sun Road
« on: April 16, 2020, 12:14:56 am »
I rode it eastbound on Sunday, June 25, 2012. Start as early as you can. I started at first light from Avalanche Campground. There was zero traffic until 8:00 am, and then traffic increased gradually for the next two hours. The cars weren't much of a problem by themselves, but the closer I got to the top, the worse the visibility got and the road was hemmed in by 15-foot walls of snow on either side. For the three miles on either side of the pass, visibility was near zero. I was worried that the cars wouldn't be able to see me, and there was nowhere that I could go to get out of the way. Take a very powerful taillight if you can. Obviously I survived.

I was greatly disappointed to discover that the visitor center at the top of Logan Pass had no heat. Boy I was hoping for heat.

Having said all that, Going to the Sun Road is the greatest cycling road in the United States, IMHO. Unless Going To The Sun Road is closed when you get there, don't even consider using Marias Pass instead. That would just be silly.

As already mentioned, Rising Sun will never be full for a cyclist. And it's only 29 miles from Avalanche.

General Discussion / Re: transam june 20
« on: April 03, 2020, 12:11:29 pm »

You pass right through the middle of most of the towns in Kansas on the TransAm. For many of the towns in Montana on the Northern Tier, they are to your left or right, so you don’t see much of them unless you make a point to go off route a bit. I liked Kansas better.

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