eBent Recumbent Cycling

A Bent Look at Self Contained Touring

Archive for May 2006

Quieting the Slipstream

with 3 comments

CIMG0001.JPGThe 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.


Written by Roland

May 30, 2006 at 1:11 pm

The Rub

with 5 comments

udderly_smooth.jpgWhat 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.

Well the classic answer is vassoline jelly to protect those raw spots and give them time to heal. But I'm from New Hampshire and we think of two things "Udderly Smooth" and "Bag Balm".

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 bag_balm.jpgthat 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.

Both are available in most drug stores in Quebec, New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont. But you can also buy them on line, Bag Balm and Udderly Smooth

Written by Roland

May 30, 2006 at 8:30 am

Montreal Bike Festival

with 2 comments

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

Written by Roland

May 28, 2006 at 9:49 am

Longbikes Slipstream / Ryan Vanguard Comparison Part 2

with 30 comments


 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.

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Written by Roland

May 27, 2006 at 3:24 pm

Why Jeanne will be buying our next router

with 3 comments

belkin_pre_n_desktop.jpgI 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.

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Written by Roland

May 27, 2006 at 1:15 pm

Posted in Rant, Uncategorized

A Wireless Router with Reach

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belkin_pre_n_router.jpgeBent 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.

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Written by Roland

May 27, 2006 at 12:21 pm

Posted in Rant, Uncategorized

Which way does the wind blow?

with 9 comments


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:


Today's winds:


Winds and other weather predictions for 4-7 days into the future:



Those are great tools for planning a tour.

Thanks …. Roland

Written by Roland

May 24, 2006 at 9:11 am

Posted in Tour Planning