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Hiking & Biking

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    • Traffic Jam wrote:

      I’m making plans for the C&O in July. Can’t wait to start training, thinking about buying a trainer.
      Just so you know, the surface of the C+O isn't nearly as nice as the GAP. As long as you've got reasonably wide tires you'll be just fine. And if you're planning to camp along the way the official camping spots are only about 5 miles apart.
      Kathy and I have talked about doing the C+O together but we haven't decided when or if we'd bike or hike.
      It's good to have a goal, enjoy the ride TJ.
    • Since I can't ride right now, due to my foot problem, I've decided on a bicycle project. Kathy and I have an old tandem bike that we haven't used in years. We got it so we could ride with a blind friend, but she died years ago, and we haven't used it since. I plan to completely disassemble it, clean and inspect every part, strip the paint from the frame so I can inspect the frame, and then reassemble it with new parts where needed. It'll be fun to ride around together. :)
    • LIhikers wrote:

      Since I can't ride right now, due to my foot problem, I've decided on a bicycle project. Kathy and I have an old tandem bike that we haven't used in years. We got it so we could ride with a blind friend, but she died years ago, and we haven't used it since. I plan to completely disassemble it, clean and inspect every part, strip the paint from the frame so I can inspect the frame, and then reassemble it with new parts where needed. It'll be fun to ride around together. :)
      Sounds great! It helps to have multiple hobbies that you are passionate about and make you happy. If you’re sidelined with one, just throw your energy into another.
      Lost in the right direction.
    • My wife and I are visiting our son, and his wife, in Ohio. Today we rented bicycles and did a 36 mile ride on a local rail trail. The trail was pretty flat, making it easy but the bicycles were of a design that was very uncomfortable. The crank was too far forward making the bike hard to get off when stopped and hard to get going again. The brand was Electra and model Townie 7. Good enough for a trail side rental but nothing I'd ever buy.
    • LIhikers wrote:

      My wife and I are visiting our son, and his wife, in Ohio. Today we rented bicycles and did a 36 mile ride on a local rail trail. The trail was pretty flat, making it easy but the bicycles were of a design that was very uncomfortable. The crank was too far forward making the bike hard to get off when stopped and hard to get going again. The brand was Electra and model Townie 7. Good enough for a trail side rental but nothing I'd ever buy.
      That’s a lot of miles! Good for you.
      Lost in the right direction.
    • Kathy and I did something new over the last couple of days. We put panniers on our bicycles and loaded them up with the stuff we'd need for an overnighter at a local campground. It was only 14 miles to the park with the campground but the bikes handled differently. We got there late morning and spent the rest of the day lounging around. We were one of few tents as most people were in trailers and motorhomes with bright lights and noisy generators. Had a good night sleep despite the noise. Then this morning we packed back up and rode home. Even though google said it was 14 miles it took us twice as long to make the ride as google said it should.
      I think google doesn't account for traffic lights and traffic.
    • I rode an old bike this morning for a couple of hours because it has plain, flat pedals. It was quite different from my usual bicycle that is equipped with toe clips and straps. I definitely like the toe clips better for road riding. I've also decided not to go with clipless pedals as a couple of people have told me that you can expect to fall over a few times while you learn to disengage your feet from the pedals. Anybody here have thoughts on the subject of pedals for road riding ?
    • A few thoughts…

      I’ve been using clipless (why are they even called that when you ‘clip in’ and ‘clip out’?) for a long time and they are second nature now. They are more efficient than regular pedals or toe clips and make a person feel “one with the bike”… but it was very hard for me to learn. Like everything I do, I struggled with them and it took a long time to get comfortable. You are an experienced cyclist so may take to them much faster than I did. However, as we are both older folks, the risk of a fall and injury has serious consequences and shouldn’t be discounted. Given your cycling aspirations, I think it’s worth a try but err on the side of caution.

      When I started riding a bike as an overweight, out of shape adult, I was told to buy the clipless pedals and shoes. I could barely ride yet had to figure out how use them without killing myself. All I could think of was to ride around a big parking lot and practice with one bike shoe and one regular shoe. I practiced clipping in and unclipping and used the unclipped shoe as my safety net.

      I’m currently on the hunt for clipless sandals and may try to make my own. I think they’d be great for touring.
      Lost in the right direction.
    • Boy did I make a bone head move today while Kathy and I were out for a bicycle ride. For years I've been riding with toe clips and straps on the pedals. When I stop I leave my left foot on the pedal and pull my right foot out of the clip and strap and put it down on the ground. To make that easy I make the right strap loose enough that I can get my foot out easy. Well, we were about 8.5 miles into a 12 mile ride when we had to stop at a corner to let some traffic go by. I don't know why but I attempted to get my left foot off the pedal, instead of the right foot. Since I keep that strap tighter I didn't get my foot out in time and wound up falling onto my left side. I was able to get up and checked over me and the bicycle, no damage done. I sure did feel foolish laying on the road and looking up at my wife while she asked "are you OK ?" After I got up and checked myself over the answer was "I'm fine". No harm done, but I sure feel foolish.
    • LIhikers wrote:

      Boy did I make a bone head move today while Kathy and I were out for a bicycle ride. For years I've been riding with toe clips and straps on the pedals. When I stop I leave my left foot on the pedal and pull my right foot out of the clip and strap and put it down on the ground. To make that easy I make the right strap loose enough that I can get my foot out easy. Well, we were about 8.5 miles into a 12 mile ride when we had to stop at a corner to let some traffic go by. I don't know why but I attempted to get my left foot off the pedal, instead of the right foot. Since I keep that strap tighter I didn't get my foot out in time and wound up falling onto my left side. I was able to get up and checked over me and the bicycle, no damage done. I sure did feel foolish laying on the road and looking up at my wife while she asked "are you OK ?" After I got up and checked myself over the answer was "I'm fine". No harm done, but I sure feel foolish.
      Glad you are OK.
      Probably help you remember for the next time.
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • Traffic Jam wrote:

      One other thing….my pedals are flat on one side so I can wear regular shoes if I want.
      A caveat to the flat-on-one-side pedals.. they have a small profile and would not be comfortable for long rides. I only use them for short distances when it’s not worth donning my bike shoes. Like a spin around the neighborhood.

      Also, they require doing a blind flip with the toe of your shoe when you want to clip in. What I mean…usually my pedals will flip to flat side up so I have to flip them over with my toe when I want to clip in. It takes some practice to do this without glancing down at your feet.
      Lost in the right direction.
    • Spent a few days on the New River Trail…biked nearly 50 miles and had tons of fun. I got to use my Tenkara rod but alas, no bites.

      I’ve discovered the Greenbrier River Trail in WV and plan to bike it soon. Can’t wait! Has anyone done this trail?
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      Lost in the right direction.
    • I had an "interesting" thing happen during a ride the other day.
      Since the forecast for this week was rain everyday except Wed. and Thurs. Kathy and I decided to do an overnighter at a local county park that has a campground. We loaded our gear into panniers on our bicycles for the 12 mile ride to the park on Wednesday. 9 miles into the ride we stopped at a town park to eat our lunch and when we set off after lunch my bicycle had a mechanical failure. One of the arms of the rear derailleur that supports the jockey wheels broke into 2 pieces and the chain flew off. No matter what I did I couldn't make the bike rideable and faced a long walk home. Kudos to my wife Kathy who volunteered to ride the 9 miles home and come back with the car. I waited for what seemed like hours, but wasn't, and she came back with a car. I noticed she had put her panniers in the car so once we got the bicycle and all my stuff in we continued to the park. We spent the night and were in no rush to get out the next morning. We drove to a local bagel shop for coffee and bagels and then went to a nearby hardware store for a few things I wanted. During the drive home we stopped at a local bicycle shop and I dropped off my Surly Disc Trucker for a derailleur replacement. While the bike was there I figured a new chain was in order with a new derailleur and I knew my brake pads were just about worn out so I had them replaced too. Normally I'd do all that myself but felt like having a pro do it this time. The only reason I can think of for the failure is that a small piece of tree branch got caught in the chain and was pulled into the derailleur. I'll never know for sure but that's my best guess. We are AAA members and I thought of trying their bicycle rescue service but then I'm sure I would have had to wait longer than I did for Kathy to rescue me. All in all I didn't let this inconvenience ruin what turned out to be a good time. And sure enough the rain started again late Thursday night.
    • LI Hikers, and rain it did!

      I did not know AAA had a bicycle rescue service. That's a new one to me. That's why I always read these posts, because I'm always learning something new.

      It has been so rainy this summer and fall, I feel like I have not accomplished much. It has been good for the slugs, and for turning me into a slug. I did manage a two mile walk in the neighborhood this morning, and picked up a few mushrooms fr lunch along the way.
      “Of all sad words of tongue or pen,
      the saddest are these, 'It might have been.”


      John Greenleaf Whittier
    • Yesterday was my first bicycle ride since the doctor gave me the Ok to start easy activities. Boy am I out of shape! There was only 1 real hill on our route to the post office and I had to walk up the last half of it. Even on the flats I had to use low gears to keep the force on my leg low. I have a feeling this is going to be a long recovery.
    • A long recovery is better than no recovery. Good on 'ya for getting out and giving it some movement. As the PT's say... "Motion is lotion."
      Trudgin' along the AT since 2003. Completed Sections: Springer Mountain to Clingmans Dome and Max Patch NC to Gorham NH

      "The days I keep my gratitude higher than my expectations...those are pretty good days." Ray Wylie Hubbard
    • Today was a blue sky, sunny and warm (mid 40s) day so Kathy and I rode our bikes over to a coffee shop we like. Sat there sipping our drinks and enjoying a slice of banana bread while we talked with each other. It made for a simple, but enjoyable date. Sometimes I feel like the luckiest guy in the world. :)
    • I got curious last night and wondered what my bicycle weighed. Just like in hiking, lighter is better, to a point. Back in 2019 (I think) I bought a Surley Disc Trucker as it's a bike made for long touring rides, and I plan to ride across the country. It's got a steal frame, robust wheels and a triple drivetrain. I equipped it with fenders, lights, rear view mirror, pump, computer and a rear rack. I used to use it to commute to work but now I ride it for fun and excercise. It also has a trunk bag on the rack which carries a spare tube, patches, and a few tools. I hung the whole thing from a 0 to 50 pound fish scale and found it all adds up to 39.5 pounds ;( That's pretty heavy before it's all loaded up to go for a long tour.