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Messages - BikePacker

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General Discussion / Re: Atlantic Coast Bicycle Route USA
« on: November 21, 2015, 02:04:20 pm »
JustinR - Will be monitoring your progress via your posts from now allllll the way to your 2019 completion. 
While I will be of little value with advice (have not personally ridden that ACA route) I wanted you to know that you certainly have a "fan"  :- ). 
On the outside chance that you have not already gotten into your possession and already started studying the ACA maps ....
for speed, here is the link:
  ... for well updated documentation of most all the various places to stay and re-provision, etc., etc.
After you purchase a map ACA provides an on-line update link so that whatever map revision date you have you can then download last minute updates just before you launch. Updates are sent in by cyclists who travel the routes and then are verified by ACA HQ.
Where topology variation is significant the ACA maps typically include elevation cutaways.
Meanwhile .... I have searched for your UK "Bespoken" brand trailer and found that there are many popular designs ... when you have a chance could you kindly post a link to the one it sounds as though you already plan and/or have already employed in your previous runs ? - Thank you.

General Discussion / Re: Getting in shape for touring
« on: November 15, 2015, 09:16:11 am »
Bobcat - My 2 cents on fitness prep that has worked for me is that I train to:
1. Roughly the same topology/route conditions, IF possible (the C&O, as I understand it is largely not paved?).
2. 25% of my actual anticipated/desired daily route mileage.
I do not train with a weight loaded bike.
It IS better to do more than I do per above; however, the realities & demands of life I have found restrict me to the above ..... one other thing I have learned with regard to me, even though I am a planner and, most would say, too detail oriented: While I always think that I am going to train right up to a day or so before departure, there seem to typically be last minute To Dos that truncate my training the entire week before leaving .... for whatever this observation is worth :- ).
When I get 'out there' I DELIBERATELY take the first two days at half the desired distance.  It usually isn't til the 4th day that I feel physically/mentally FULLY dialed in.
Btw, while I have never ridden the C&O what I have found on other unpaved routes is that when it has rained it is at least 30% more effort/energy demanding.  What I am saying here is that is that IF you get some rain don't let your reduced distance covered frustrate you too much.
- Best wishes for a great tour.

South Atlantic / Re: Traffic on the AC
« on: November 08, 2015, 03:29:47 pm »
I'm considering bailing on this ride, I feel scared much of the time.
Right ... it can be dangerous ... particularly with all the folks driving + simultaneously texting today.
If you have the time, while over here on the east coast, and interest I would encourage you to consider the Blue Ridge Parkway/Skyline Drive: 
No commercial traffic. 
Arduous (clearly you are good with steep climbing :- ).
Max speed 45 mph. 
Beautiful (a different kind of beauty than out west).
600 miles (Blue Ridge Parkway = 500 & Skyline Drive= 100) ... "seamlessly" connected.
Here are two of many links:
- Best travel wishes.

South / Re: Cycling The Natchez Trace
« on: November 08, 2015, 03:03:33 pm »
I have no knowledge of this person but I would contact Downtown Karla Brown in Natchez.
Thank you for your time & thought posting the above.
This looks to be very promising.

South / Re: Cycling The Natchez Trace
« on: November 07, 2015, 03:18:10 pm »
I am looking at cycling the N.T. next year and am wondering if anyone knows of any shuttle services anywhere along the route such that one can park a car at one point, cycle north or south, and after a few days of travel be shuttled back to his/her car???
- Many thanks.

I did the Northern Tier (N.T.) on an old all-terrain type (no front shocks/hardtail) fully loaded/self-contained and loved every bit of it.  I did have the above mentioned end-bars mounted and did use them from with some frequency.  The fat tires on your MTB'll give you the greatest freeeeeeeddddooooommmm to get of the pavement whenever you want (watch for the spurs) to explore.
Btw, regarding down hill speeds, also mentioned above, at least on the western side of the N.T., the bike shop owners will alert you that there are now enough coyotes out there to be a problem at high speeds....they can not hear you coming & will just wander out in front of you.... at high speed you have less control to avoid them than at low speed.  Go slower and enjoy the view, I say  ;).  Best wishes on a great trip.

Would like to hear from people who have first hand experience.
Have done the N.T. solo/self-contained.
Am a guy.
Didn't knowingly have any close calls.
However,  please permit me to add that when I was in locales that I thought, sensed, or had been out right told could be trouble I always wore my REI Bear Spray on my belt.

Gear Talk / Re: Solar Panel - Yea or Nay?
« on: May 08, 2014, 05:48:06 pm »

Gear Talk / Re: Novara Safari to LHT 2013 project
« on: May 02, 2014, 12:57:36 pm »
I had an '07 Safari that was stolen, replaced with an '08. I hate the '08 frame.
I would, also (re: above identical inquiry from a different 'ACA Forum-ee') benefit from learning why you dislike the '08 frame??? .... I have an earlier model ('01) and would like to stay current on the design changes because my inclination could be, at some point, to purchase another Safari to replace my present well loved/used one.

Routes / N.Tier western ND Question...
« on: April 27, 2014, 08:29:34 pm »
Does the current (not the prior US Rt. 2) N.Tier route in western ND actually take one on I-94 between Dickinson going east to Bismarck? Thx. 
I knew there had been a change and why there needed to be .... I had just never tried to take a close up look at what the revised route had become.

General Discussion / Re: Hello from Twin Bridges, Montana
« on: April 27, 2014, 08:10:21 pm »
Hi, my name is Adam and I am the Library Director of the Twin Bridges Public Library.  Since we are on the Transamerica Trail I figured I would pop in and let your community know a few things about our town.
Many thanks Adam  :) !

Anyone had any 1st hand tour experience traveling from along The Silver Comet Trail (GA) / Chief Ladiga Trail (AL) south to anywhere along the Gulf Coast, safely....meaning some hope for shoulders and/or low traffic with avoidance of larger towns (e.g., Columbus, Auburn, Montgomery, etc.). 
'Total dream fulfillment' :- ) would be to find a route to Apalachicola, FL vicinity, however, I'd be elated to learn how to just get my toes in the sand/surf anywhere along the Gulf, as requested.

General Discussion / Re: Logistics of shipping equipment for touring
« on: April 17, 2014, 05:58:45 pm »
 Pete didn't say that they didn't do it; he just said he didn't like the terms under which they did it.
J.N. - You are right.

General Discussion / Re: Logistics of shipping equipment for touring
« on: April 17, 2014, 02:54:10 pm »
And to think that was before the Great Corporate Takeover and Warranty Reduction of 2013.  Somehow, I doubt REI will have improved in the last couple of years.

Yeah the only reason I suggested verifying was because I had it only from one person in one store.  If he was correct, which seems likely, it is a slam dunk that their policy hasn't changed for the better.

While recognizing the above originators closure on this his/her's string, BUT because of 'staehpj1' prudent encouragement for recheck :- ) ...... I did so.... I rechecked on this with one of the 3 stores in metro-Atlanta.   I simply asked (no mention made by me, of course of this forum or string within) if they were fully willing for the right amount of money to pack/ship from their REI to any other REI and the Bike Dept. Mgr. said an unreserved "Yes."  I did NOT ask if they or other stores would reassemble. 
Soooo, at least some stores, but maybe not all stores are back on board.
Thanks 'staehpj1' for your emphasis on the recheck.  Stuff keeps changing doesn't it :- ) ?

General Discussion / Re: Logistics of shipping equipment for touring
« on: April 16, 2014, 07:44:57 pm »
Can't speak to how this approach would 'cost compare,' however, I have dealt to my satisfaction with both your stated matters (fenders,, + empty fuel containers) by simply giving my entire rig (bike, panniers, & then some) to REI at one location and had them pack/ship from one REI location to another REI location close to my tour start point.  I have taken this approach at least 3 times and will continue to do so IF, of course, REI locations are  in proximity to my tour start and stop sites.  I saved more time on 1 or 2 of those occasions by paying REI to reassemble/test out my bicycle, as well.  Coming home I always had the option of having them pack/ship straight to my house.

Last time I tried that they said the policy had changed.

That was in 2012 at the Denver store.

Have you shipped that way since then? *

Wow.  Your update is important.   Thx.  * Nope .... my last was just before 2012.  At that time I did one of the Atlanta REIs to Spokane REI. 

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