Archive for May 2006
The Slipstream is an excellent bike but it does have few annoyances (this is how we make the bike our own). One is the way the front brake cable rattles against the top stay. This could have been easily fixed by adding a few rubber beads on the cable.
I would have fixed it that way if I could have found a source for rubber beads but I couldn't. If anyone knows of a source for these rubber beads please let know. Instead I used a piece of 3/8" split cable wrap from Radio Shack.
What do you do when the tender bits get rubbed raw by wet bike shorts during a long ride? You are on a multiday ride and taking a day off isn't a good solution.
They are both udder cremes and they have worked for years helping to heal chapped and raw cow udders. But they are also very different. Udderly Smooth is a clean white lanolin creme that won't stain your clothes. Bag Balm is a foul looking and smelling, nasty orange/yellow grease that looks like something a mechanic would use.
A friends from Georgia tells me that introducing him to Udderly Smooth at the local drug store saved his tour and works great.
Personally, I don't find it strong enough. When I get rubbed, I am really rubbed. I use the "High Test" of udder cremes Bag Balm.
I am hoping to see a lot of recumbents at this year's bike festival in Montreal, Le Tour du Montreal.
Montreal is one of my favorite places to bike. It is the food, the beer, the wine, the outdoor cafes and the bicycling.
Did you notice the Beer Festival is going on at the same time in Montreal? Beer Festival Link
Contunued from Longbikes Slipstream First Impressions.
After, almost a year of riding the Longbikes Slipstream I am still very impressed by the Slipstream. This is a great long distance, self contained touring bike. As I get ready for my first long ride (>1000 miles) on the Slipstream, I find myself discovering nice touches that I’ve missed before.
In Part 2 of the Slipstream/Vanguard Comparison I will be discussing how the Slipstream addresses the Vanguard weaknesses. The Ryan Vanguard is a great touring bike and the Longbikes folks seem to recognize that. They have maintained what was great about the Vanguard, comfort, reliability, and stability. But they have also recognized the Vanguards weaknesses and improved the bike significantly.
I am happy again. I now have a working wireless internet connection in my office. The last few days while my router was out have been mean days. I couldn't feed my addictions and it made me an evil person.
I spent my time seething about "Why Jeanne should buy the new router." and "Why I should be the one with an internet connection today.". So when I put a new router in I also installed a wireless NIC in my desktop.
I picked the Belkin Wireless Pre-N because I was so impressed by their router and because the Linksys I tried didn't have enough range to work in my office.
Belkin uses their PCMIA wireless card in a PCI motherboard for desktops. It a neat arrangement and works like a charm if you don't make the mistake I made. I inserted the PCMIA card in what seemed like the obvious way with the writing up and nothing happened. My PC didn't see anything.
eBent has been quieter than usual for the last few days because my router failed on Thursday. Jeanne had web sites to get up so I couldn't do much except plug her directly into the cable modem on Friday. Meanwhile I was doing a little homework on what to buy as a replacement.
I have used several generations of the Linksys 54G series and always felt Linksys was the leader in home office routers. A router in my house seems to last about 2 or 3 years. I am not sure why they fail that soon but possible some type of cross linking with the power line is bringing surges in.
However, I have never really happy with wireless LAN in my house because the range with my Averatec 3700 laptop was only about 30 feet (the Averatec is know to not have much range so I always partly blamed the Laptop) although speed on the latest version was much better than in the past. That limited range meant poor coverage in the bed rooms and no coverage on the deck or in my office. My lab, where I keep the meters I'm working on and work with beta software, the room above the room with the wireless router has always had marginal reception using a Mirosoft wireless PCI card.
Everyone has an opinion on which way the wind blows but Dave Rusin sent me the following message:
>1. Which direction does the wind through the Columbia Gorge blow. I hear it
>can be quite windy but get conflicting word on direction.
Planning for my own bike trip this year I found this site:
You can choose from hundreds of cities in the US and can see a
wind rose for each month. (That's a graphic that shows how often,
or how strong, the winds have been from each direction.)
Also useful: a text listing of similar data:
Winds and other weather predictions for 4-7 days into the future:
Those are great tools for planning a tour.
Thanks …. Roland
My Ryan Vanguard is hard on rear tires (26 X 1.5 typically) especially when loaded for self contained touring. The worst situation I’ve encountered was while touring in Newfoundland and Labrador.
I started the 1000 mile ride with more gear than usual because of the weather (July is typically low 60′s during the day and high 40′s at night with a wind you can’t believe unless you have been there). I had been riding on Avocet Slicks and knew they wouldn’t last too long loaded so I brought 4 spares (2 Avocets and 2 Hutchinson Top Slicks) with me and 8 tubes.
My gear was heavier than normal about 60 pounds (I still had a 7 pound tent and a Holofil Sleeping Bag). Of course, we hit rain the first day and what started out as 60 pounds of gear probably weighted around 90 pounds. I am not light about 220 at that time. Combine a ton of wet gear with a heavy rider, a heavy bikes (about 40 pounds with faring), and the Vanguard’s poor weight distribution, you have a plan for rear wheel disasters.
Some thoughts on the transition from riding a diamond frame to a LWB USS recumbent:
1. Stop pulling with your arms. Yes, this was useful on your other bike but it is not useful if you have under seat steering. Learning to relax your arms and upper body is a key to comfortable riding.
2. Yes, you need to spin like Lance. Spinning saves your knees and gets you up steep hills. I know you think you were spinning on your old bike but you have just moved up to the big leagues of spinning. 80 revolutions per minute is OK but you should be shooting for a 100 now. You won't be able to stomp on the pedals and go over a hill for quite a while.
For touring cyclists, Randy and Nancy Fay, the Hobo Bikers, have set up a site to share showers and a place to spend the night. They currently have 2648 members world wide on the Warm Showers list.
If you can, join the list and welcome bicyclist to spend the night camping in your yard or in a spare room at Warm Showers.
Randy and Nancy are Adventure Riders. You can follow their latest ride fron North of the Artic Circle to Denver at Hobo Bikers.