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Tales from the Log of the Ruptured Duck

oldsparkey

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Aug 25, 2003
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Central , Florida
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It is a handier size for us geezers, by golly! Would it be OK to use that?
No geezer problems here , great vision since the eye operations in July. As the one doc told me , we are going to put glasses inside your eyes. Damed if they didn't. Really fine print gets me now. You know like the stuff ( disclaimer ) on the bottom of a package where they really don't want you reading it.
 

Kayak Jack

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Aug 26, 2003
13,798
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Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
...... and one day, Charlie got all excited. He was pointing, jumping around, and hollering, “Bear!! BEAR!!!”
Getting excited myself, I asked, “Really! He doesn’t have any clothes on?”

That’s about the last thing that I remember.
 

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
13,798
136
83
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
SHOULD A BIKE FOLD?
An answer is, “that depends”. I’m not pretending to be an expert here, just an “informed consumer”.

I’ve ridden bikes from about the age of 5. My first bike - a hand-me-down that was already close to its last ride - was all that was available to me in the summer of 43. The wheels were 10”-12”, had no chain guard, routinely snagged my pants leg, and had no brakes. The pedals were directly attached to the rear wheel WITHOUT a coaster brake. If the back wheel was turning, the pedals were turning. And, the tires were what is known as “semi-pneumatic”. Meaning, no pressurized inner tube. Instead, they had a hollow tunnel inside of a hard, rubber tire. They were only slightly more shock absorbing than a cast iron wheel with a tread consisting of two, thick coats of paint.

Fortunately, we moved a lot closer to town in the summer between my first and second grades, and I was given a “real” bike. I rode that Columbia bike for seven years, and then got a Whizzer motor bike for my freshman and sophomore years. Following a long gap of years without pedal bikes, I got one again about 12-15 years ago. It’s a folding bike.

If your riding always starts from home, and you return back to home before the the end of day, there probably isn’t much advantage in having a bike that bends in the middle. Similarly, if you have a way to handily transport a bike from home to somewhere else, a folding bike isn’t much of an advantage. There are other conditions where a folding bike isn’t advantageous.

Some of the advantageous conditions include riding in areas that aren’t near your home. This could be something like trail riding a half hour’s drive - or several hour’s drive - away from home. Now, getting a full sized bike out there can be a problem. Also, if you would like to have a bike along with you on an extended trip, it could be a problem. If you have a pickup or a large van, that can help. If you have a bike rack that attaches to the rear of your vehicle, that can help. A cartop rack can help too. Otherwise, a folding bike is a handy answer.

We both drive SUVs, and the cargo area in the rear easily carries a folded bike. In fact, we can carry two, folded bikes in a Toyota RAV4. Easily, as it turns out. A 2’X3’ piece of foam pad in between the two bikes helps keep them from attacking each other. I use a chunk of the blue, closed-cell sleeping pads from WalMart. Another part of carrying bikes back there, is to tie them down so that they stay put. In an emergency, I don’t want to be rapidly slowing down from, say, 70mph, and have a steel or aluminum bike hit me in the back of my head.

A folding bike can easily multiply the places that you can reach and ride. For me, it pays off. It may for you too?
 

oldsparkey

Well-Known Member
Aug 25, 2003
10,259
90
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Central , Florida
www.southernpaddler.com
John Depa carried a folding bike on his sailboat when he did that 3 month trip from Jersey to south Florida. Then to the Bahamas and back into the Gulf of Mexico. Made a loop in the gulf and then back to Jersey.
We even used it as ground transportation in Everglades City ( Florida ) to get supplies when we meet him for a week in the 10,000 islands area. The folding bikes are handy critters.
 

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
13,798
136
83
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
Mine is a 26” bike. I’ve carried 2 on a sailboat when going to Toronto. It was a big boat, and we had room. Smaller boats can be fitted with smaller framed bikes. Say, 10’ wheels.

Bikes are the most efficient machine to convert human energy directly into transportation. Even a cheap bike that hasn’t been well cared for can be ridden 4 miles using the energy to walk only 1 mile. Mid priced bikes, say $300- $700, that are well adjusted and cared for, will do 6-8 miles on that energy.

Riding bikes is great for us kids. Albeit some of us have been kids for over 80 years.
 

oldsparkey

Well-Known Member
Aug 25, 2003
10,259
90
77
Central , Florida
www.southernpaddler.com
Been checking out the fat tire ( 26 x 4 ) electric bikes. Narrowed my choice between three different ones. Now , I have to get it down to 1.
The electric motor gives a person several different levels ( 5 ) of power assist when peddling or just get lazy and use the throttle. You can also just peddle it if you are so inclined since most have the 7 speed Shamano gear setup.
The distance on the peddle assist ( full charge on the battery ) varies from 45 to 100 miles , average around 60. Just with the throttle anywhere from 30 to 60 depending on the manufacture of the bike.
 

oldsparkey

Well-Known Member
Aug 25, 2003
10,259
90
77
Central , Florida
www.southernpaddler.com
Would your riding be on terrain where a fat tire is an advantage?
A big advantage. The fat 4 inch tires will float better over the sugar sand then the 2 inch mountain bike tires. The peddle assist will help with the peddling if it's wanted. If the inflation ( PSI ) is lowered on the tires they will adsorb or cushion a lot of the bumps , roots and other teeth jarring items. A real assist to the shocks on the front fork of the bike.
It's a old Rail Road fill which has both hard packed embers from when the train ran on it. ( Henry B Plant & Flagler Rail Road 1912 ). Then stretches that are only Florida's sugar sand from when this state was a sand bar sticking out into the Atlantic. A mix mash of just about everything including a few low spots which are mud.
It starts out nice in the upper areas , then gets worse as you get lower in the swamps. Improves again leaving the low area. Approaching the River , sandy graduating back to dirt and mud and eventually back to sand by the river. Cross the river and clime up to the high ( dry ) prairie area.
All of the mountain biking areas in the local State Forest are mostly sandy or muddy.

Here is a idea of what it's like.

Scroll down to Images for the Little Big Econ State Forest ( Pictures past ( Down from ) the 4 YouTube ones. ) and click on a picture , it will bring them up on the left side and you can use the arrows to scroll threw the pictures and a detailed map.
 

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
13,798
136
83
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
Well there’s that. Soils here in the Great Lakes are often whatever the glaciers scraped down from .Canada, and left behind them As they melted and their ends retreated. Muck soils are not real common, constituting maybe 1%-2% of the total. Sandy soils are maybe 15%-25%. Clays, marls, and loams are primary soil types. Most trails are old RR beds, so are solid and well drained. If it’s soft, friable loam - it’s probably a farm
 

oldsparkey

Well-Known Member
Aug 25, 2003
10,259
90
77
Central , Florida
www.southernpaddler.com
While you had the glaciers we were a sand bar out in the ocean with sharks swimming over us. The hills down threw the center part of the state are nothing more then ancient sand dunes. They eventually got covered with decayed vegetation that created the top soil.
Dad had a guy ( Pa. Arie ) drill a well at one of the fields we had. He got the well dug/drilled , then dropped a couple of sticks of TNT down it and set it off. Next thing was a geyser of fresh sweet spring water that was full of sharks teeth. After the shower of sharks teeth and debris that well had the best water for could even hope to find.
 

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
13,798
136
83
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
The “stuff beneath the ground” is often interesting. There is a large, granite bowl under Michigan. It also underlies Lakes Michigan and Huron, and extends up into Canada. When a well is drilled here, if it’s shallow, say, less than 50 feet in most locations, it is still in gravel, and is labeled as a gravel well. The best wells go further on down, nearing or surpassing 300 feet, until they contact that granite bowl. Water doesn’t go through the granite, and is pooled there. They are rock wells. Most of that stuff hasn’t seen sunlight in 10s and 100s of thousands of years.
NOTE: that’s only slightly older than Chuck. Just slightly.
 

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
13,798
136
83
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
And, the Lewis and Clark expedition turned me around, and changed my life. Over 200 years ago, Cap’n Merriwether taught me to be honest, and tell the truth. I can proudly say that I have ever since!
 
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Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
13,798
136
83
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
INNER TUBES FOR BIKES
I may have written about this before? Shucks, no matter. I’d like to read it again anyway.

As a school kid, I rode a bike to school all year long. In the snowy winters as well as in the summer. And, to continue being truthful, it was up hill only one way, at a time. The terrain shifted once a day - at about noon.

I’ve had my current bike about 9 years now. It does not get ridden nearly as much as my previous bikes. And, it gets ridden more “sensibly”. I’ve lost track of the flat tires I’ve experienced, and estimate at least 8-12 failures. Here are a few of things that I’ve learned.
1. Inner tubes today Re much flimsier than they were 70 years ago.
2. “Bargain” tubes are no bargain. Those stocked and sold by most neighborhood hardware stores, and box stores, will usually be of this ilk.
3. Green slime does not patch a hole in an inner tube. It does, however, mess up your pants.
4. Inner tubes with rubber valve stems are sometimes (often?) susceptible to blowing up in use. And, sometimes, while just sitting there, doing nothing. It’s a marvelous, little explosion. It’ll make you mess your britches!
5. Go to a real bicycle shop, and buy ONLY tubes that have threaded, steel valve stems. They will cost more. That’s because you’re getting more. DUH.

Though my tire says 65 psi on it, the unmarked “bargain” tubes get severe indigestion at that pressure, and blow up. I don’t put over 50 psi into the “bargain” tubes. If your bike tires are larger diameter than 1 3/4” tires, even less pressure.
 

oldsparkey

Well-Known Member
Aug 25, 2003
10,259
90
77
Central , Florida
www.southernpaddler.com
Jack.......
Two things cause flats , loose spokes rubbing on the tube and nails or foreign objects from the road.
1... There is a sleeve you can put in the rim to protect the tires from any spokes puncturing the tube. It is basically a rubber band that fits against the inside of the rim. It's between the ends of the spokes and the tube.
2... Then there is the tannus armour tire insert which fits between the tube and the tire. It help to protect the tube from anything entering the tire. Think of it as a bullet proof vest for the tube.
 

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
13,798
136
83
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
I partly agree. Those two things cause flats. And your suggested fixes are effective for each malady respectively. Additionally, I’ve had tubes blow up BANG! while hanging on the wall. Defective design and manufacture.