Just discovered this site and am jumping right in.
After eons away from biking, I'm making the transition to double-digit gears. Want to prep for trips along the Mississippi and around Cape Breton Island next summer/fall. Am currently trying to decide between a Specialized Sequoia Elite and a Trek 1200C for daily workouts, weekend, and week-long trips. ANY advice on the bikes or the trips would be much appreciated!
Easy access to miles of paved road for riding is a bit of a problem given my location. I live/work as a writer far from any town in NW Wisconsin's jackpine-savage country, where the landscape is mostly lakes, forests, and sandy logging trails. The nearest paved road is a two laner, with soft sand shoulders, and shared 15/7 in good weather with heavy logging trucks. But the scenery is fantastic and rides are often exciting. Have had cougar, bear, badgers, and innumerable deer cross in front of me. So, as you can guess, a swift bike AND good brakes are much appreciated.
Winters here are, however, a bit of a bummer for cyclists! Am limited to an indoor Airdyne until I learn to ride on frozen water. But once the Specialist vs. Trek issue is decided [other ideas are also welcome], I figure "have bike, will travel."
Cape Breton has some of the steepest roads I have ever seen.
You want crazy low gearing. I saw a woman pedaling a loaded bike
up one especially steep climb, her face was red and puffed up. It looked like it might blow right off her shoulders. Like I said, steep.