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Messages - Spokey

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General Discussion / Re: Gators in FL
« on: March 02, 2010, 03:08:40 pm »
Nah, the pineys are the ones up here to watch out for.

'Course all this is cake compared to where you are.  Never tried to bike it, but driving the Schuylkill is the most deadly thing in this area I know of. ;D

General Discussion / Re: Gators in FL
« on: March 02, 2010, 01:15:04 pm »
what do you think about camping?  My idiot brother wants to do this.  I'm thinking that is OK as long as we do it above the Mason-Dixon line and seek indoors below it.  I figure that is safe as the MD line actually hits southern NJ  :D.

General Discussion / Gators in FL
« on: March 02, 2010, 09:28:37 am »
My brother and I are planning a ride this summer from central NJ to Key West. 

The original idea was to take a ride and have a margarita afterward. 

This has developed in to seeing the final shuttle launch on 9/16 and getting to Key West to have a couple margaritas to celebrate my coming retirement.  Or my birthday.  Or perhaps anything else I can think of.

We will be riding through the Delmarva Pen., then over to Williamsburg, and then joining up the AC route in that area. 

I am somewhat concerned about gators.  I have heard that they can scoot along for short distances at 30 mph. 

Is there reason to be concerned?  If we see one on the side of the road, should we turn around and run?  I certainly don't plan on stopping.  I suppose if it were as bad as my imagination is currently blowing it up to be, I'd hear more attacks or perhaps there wouldn't be any humans left in Florida.

Words of wisdom from Florida residents would be appreciated.

General Discussion / Re: maximum weight
« on: February 26, 2010, 09:29:20 am »
A couple years ago I weighed my bags.  Don't remember the distribution but it was about 55 lbs.  If I add tent weight, that probably brings it up to about 60.  This is on a comotion which is a pretty tough bird with a 48 hole rear and 40 front. 

The racks are Jandd.  Expedition rear and Extreme front.  I think they are rated on the Jandd site.

General Discussion / Re: Front Rack Help
« on: February 26, 2010, 09:23:31 am »
I've used a Blackburn on my old Cannondale.  It is not the one with the hoop over the front wheel.  It is in two separate pieces that attach to each fork.  On the bottom, it attaches via an eyelet.  It has two sort of arms that go on either side of the fork so is only useful for bikes like the T700 that have a hole all the way through the fork rather than the one threaded hole.  Sounds like your fork might the same.

On my comotion, I use an Jannd Extreme.  I find that a very good rack.  It has a couple positions so you can hang your bags (I have an 8 or 9 year old set of Arkel GT24(?)s for the front) higher or lower.  It also has a platform like the typical rear rack to put stuff on top.  It is perfect for a 6-pack by the way.  The mounting on that is a braze on down by the axle.  It has a plate for the upper fork mounting that has a slot in it that should allow alignment with many forks.  This sounds like it should work with your fork too.

GPS & Digital Data Discussion / Re: GPX File Contents
« on: February 26, 2010, 09:12:43 am »
I'd carry my laptop too if I were in a car.  But I think mine is six pounds and I'm not willing to carry that much weight on the bike. 

I've had the Droid for about a month and a half and I'm fairly please with it so far.  There are a number of GPS uses to it.  I have a pure GPS app on it that is similar to my Garmin.  It has the usual compass like screen with longitude/latitude, altitude speed etc.  The altitude is pretty far off according to my NOA maps, but then so is the garmin.

My garmin is probably 10 years old so the comparison might be unfair, but I'd stay with the Droid.  It integrates with google maps.  It has navigation that works as well as my wife's garmin nuvi and the routing is almost the same most of the time. 

The Droid battery life is better than the Garmin but again my Garmin is 10 years old.  It only lasted about 10 hours on a pair of AA batteries.  Not sure about the Droid yet, but it seems to be longer.   The Garmin did not have an external power feature so in a car the Droid is a less of a problem there.

GPS & Digital Data Discussion / Re: GPX File Contents
« on: February 24, 2010, 05:43:16 pm »
You should be able to edit your post using the Modify Message link in the upper right of your message.

Let me know if that doesn't work for you.


Yes, it is there.  Missed it.

Ah, can I blame my rare eye condition?  Really, I do have one.  Think some characters here are wrong but idiopathic juxta or parafoveal telangiectasis. 

Actually, I think I didn't notice it because it is just small words.  I also run a couple SMF forums and I think mine stand out better.  I attached a snapshot of that in case you guys are interested.  I thought this was a standard option but maybe I installed something.

GPS & Digital Data Discussion / Re: GPX File Contents
« on: February 23, 2010, 01:07:14 pm »
oops, forgot to mention.  I am swabbie.  I didn't like the first ID and put a second one up.  I figured I would wait a couple days and reply to posts under this new ID before taking the swabbie one down.  Had to reply to myself for this as it looks like the moderators have editing your own post turned off.

GPS & Digital Data Discussion / Re: GPX File Contents
« on: February 23, 2010, 01:03:29 pm »
MapSource still lets us enter and edit the comment, but not the description, so that is where the data will stay. There is no standard practice in this area. Having the two fields was, I believe, a nod to other vendors who called their extra data "description."

Perhaps putting the description in both <desc> and <cmmt> would work better for everyone?

It sounds like you're saying I should find every route waypoint in the waypoints?  If so and I can remove these duplicates, that would cut down the size considerably.

Please let us know how the Droid works out on the road.

Having read a bit on this, I am starting out trying to conserve battery life.  There is a power widget that I have put on the desktop.  So I normally leave the gps, blue tooth, and wifi off and turn the desired feature on with one tap.  The 3G is always on.  In that mode, I can get a couple days out of it in standby mode.  Less than my previous cell phone, but respectable. 

I don't plan to keep it on all the time.   We'll probably use my brother's cell phone for the telephone and leave mine as the portable computer.  I plan to buy a spare battery so that I have emergency backup.  As we will be going during the height of hurricane season and we're trying to coordinate seeing the final shuttle launch, the Droid will be more a browser for the space center and weather channel.  Of course there are also the neat apps like the google sky  so we can star gaze.

Of course there is email and such.  I'm not sure how much of that I will use. I set up my main google account and a separate account that I share with my brother specifically for this trip, but none of my comcast, yahoo, etc accounts.  I currently haul the laptop I bought in 2006 around for that stuff. 

As an aside I really like the Arkel laptop bag.  I pack the widescreen laptop, papers, sometimes a couple external hard drives etc in to the thing.  It has to go on the front rack and I need to be careful about the wheel turning and toppling the bike over but it works pretty well.  I considered getting Verizon mifi and bringing the laptop, but decided it was much too heavy.

I think the battery life will be better than my garmin unit.  It is an Etrex Vista from about 10 years ago.  That unit uses 2 AA batteries and lasts about 10 hours.  I took that on the TransAm and only used it when needed. The Droid definitely last longer than that with GPS on and locks many more satellites and much quicker.

The navigation is 1/2 planned assistance and 1/2 toy.  We are buying a new set of AC maps that will provide the main navigation.  The google / mapping comes in if/when we are off route either on purpose or because of detours or some such thing.  For example if we go off route to visit Charleston, using the google maps and droid navigation should help get back on route the best way.

Based on usage, I will most likely pack the Droid.  I used the Arkel large handlebar bag on the TA route, but found my hands were killing me.  Since then I have taken the handlebar bag off and put on Profile Aerstryke bars.  That makes life a lot more comfortable when my hands start hurting but obviously is a loss when off the bike.  Probably like most, I used the handlebar bag as a pocketbook with cellphones, wallets, journals, cameras,etc.  So losing that would be a loss.  I have a lot of external pockets on my panniers so the Droid is likely to go there during good weather.

Mid-Atlantic / DelMarVa to Williamsburg to AC route
« on: February 22, 2010, 10:49:45 pm »
My brother and I are traveling to Key West beginning late August from central NJ.  We are planning to take the Lewes ferry onto DelMarVa.  Originally we were going to go all the way down and across the bay tunnel, but have changed to going across at the Tangier / Smith Island point.  From there we will go to Williamsburg and from there on to the Atlantic Coast route all the way to Key West.

It looks like we can get boat travel over to the mainland.  I would appreciate thoughts from anyone who has done this or lives in the area and is familiar with getting across the bay.

General Discussion / Re: advice for setting my bike up for touring
« on: February 22, 2010, 09:42:31 pm »
My daughter has my old Lemans 12 and hasn't gone that distance but uses it for commuting and 1-2 day rides.  This one is mostly OEM.  I had replaced the original shifters with down tubes and replaced those original safety lever brakes.  I also replaced the wheels with a set  of cheap Nashbar wheelset ( 36 front / 40 rear) in the late eighties / early 90s when I tacoed my OEM front.  I put a blacburn rack on the rear.  It came with a plastic covered clamp that connected the rack to seat stays. 

I would guess that I often carried about 40 lbs on it. 

I'd want better gearing these old days for my poor old knees but my 27 year old daughter seems fine with it . 

General Discussion / Re: Best Cell phone coverage across US???
« on: February 22, 2010, 09:31:54 pm »
On the Trans America when we didn't have a Verizon signal we generally didn't have a signal at all.  The one exception I noticed was the Riggins Idaho area and the carrier there was another one of "the national mega-telecom companies" (AT&T).

I think that was my experience in 2003 on the TA.  But I'd emphasize the no signal areas were everywhere.  I'd say large part of middle/eastern Oregon and much of Idaho.  Maybe coverage is better now but Verizon still colored most of the northwest as covered.  Not really the case.

That being said, I just got a Droid to stick with Verizon.  I would have gotten an iPhone if that was on Verizon but there are a few iPhoners in my family.  They all have problems here in the NE.  If AT&T can't provide coverage in the area of its former world headquarters, what would I expect in areas where it never had a strong presence.

General Discussion / Kennedy Launch
« on: February 22, 2010, 09:24:59 pm »
Has anyone here ever gotten to see a launch at the Kennedy Space Center while on tour.  They tell me we can't bike in on launch day.  So I guess we'll have to rent a car.  They also insist on FedEx delivery of materials.  It looks like we'll be well on our way before the tickets are for sale (last shuttle launch in september) so we'd need to figure out how to get that stuff to us.

Or anyone see launches from outside?  Where?  Any info is welcome.

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