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Messages - solsrch

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Urban Cycling / Re: commuting by bike
« on: May 03, 2012, 03:44:27 am »
I've been commuting by bike 2-3x per week from Mount Vernon up to DC (Foggy Bottom) - just over 16 miles one way.  I'll use studded tires in the winter to deal with ice and light snow.  Once the temps hit the low teens, I jump in my Jeep but that doesn't happen much around here.  In the past I've commuted in Monterey, CA, Newport, RI, San Diego, CA (my favorite) and outside Manama, Bahrain.  I tend to go through stretches where I bike and then periods when I drive depending on what is happening in my life.  The bikes and cars change, but so far, I still come back to my bike eventually.  Getting ready to retire from the Navy and hoping to find a job that allows me to keep up this great way to get in some regular miles, reduce stress, and reduce my environmental impact.

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Routes / Re: Tent and Southern Tier
« on: May 01, 2012, 05:36:29 pm »
The stretch going into Silver City looks the worst, given the climbing required when going east.  The maps make it all look easy but a run from Sanderson to Comstock looks doable from here (given here is a dining room).  Thanks for the food comment too.  We're planning on taking the guts of 6 MREs between the two of us, specifically to get through those stretch days. 

As far as visitors at night, I may just be overly sensitive from walking around the desert/shooting when I was younger.  We were pretty far off the beaten path, but I ran into things I wouldn't want to wake up next to.  Probably not an issue near major roadways.

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Routes / Re: Has anyone done the tidewater potomac ADA route?
« on: May 01, 2012, 04:22:50 am »
I haven't done it, but I ride part of it to commute and know parts of the area fairly well.  Any specific questions?

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Routes / Re: Tent and Southern Tier
« on: May 01, 2012, 04:20:32 am »
The picinic table would work well.  My main reason to take a tent was to keep anything that crawls or slithers and might seek heat at night away from me.  I think a table could do that just as well as a tent.  I've got a couple medium weight inflatable pads and some light weight (1/4") foam pads, so we'd choose between those.  Just taking the pads might be a reasonable compromise.  Given the time of year, we were planning to leave bags at home, figured we could bundle up in our clothes if it came to this.
Definitely not our primary plan.

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Routes / Re: Tent and Southern Tier
« on: April 30, 2012, 06:29:39 pm »
We're starting out west, and as you say, that is the part I'm concerned about.  Probably better to take the extra 2-3 pounds per person and not need it than the reverse.  Just hate taking extra ballast on a long trip.

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Routes / Tent and Southern Tier
« on: April 30, 2012, 05:18:21 pm »
Flying out Friday to start riding the ST with my son on May 6th.  Our intent is to shoot for an average of around 70-80 miles per day and stay in lodging, of any sort, each night.  We had planned to take a tent and two mats as a precaution.  Given the amount of water we need to carry, and the desire to reduce weight as much as possible, we're considering leaving the tent and pads at home.  Any thoughts?  I don't want to be foolhardy but I also don't to carry along anything other than some spare parts and medical stuff that I don't intend/hope to use.

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Routes / Re: Late start to ST
« on: February 15, 2012, 02:45:07 pm »
We've been able to make some adjustments.  We moved the start date up to 13 May and now it looks like we may be able to start one week earlier, departing San Diego on 06 May.  I know we'll still have to deal with the heat, but I'm hoping that this earlier start (with a projected finish by June 20th) will help mitigate the worst of it.

Now if I can just get rid of these wrist issues by adjusting my handlebar and decide on Schwalbe Marathon + versus Supremes, I'll be all set.

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Gear Talk / Re: Bike Mirror
« on: December 17, 2011, 04:55:23 am »
Personally, I'm off and on with the mirror.  If I'm using a mirror I like my small one that attaches to my sunglasses.  I don't know if it is one of Chuck's or not, it is small, lightweight, easy to adjust and I bought it in the early 70s.  I like lights or mirrors that remain oriented to my head/vision in a consistent way even as I move or look around.  Just my 2 cents.

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GPS Discussion / Re: Touring with the Garmin Oregon 450
« on: December 14, 2011, 06:11:13 pm »
I'll be using a 450 for a trip this summer and hope to load the info over the next 2-3 weeks using your info.  I'll let you know how it goes.

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Routes / Re: Late start to ST
« on: December 13, 2011, 08:48:43 pm »
I'll let folks know whatever my final decision is and then you keep you posted on progress.  I can't wait to get started.

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Gear Talk / Re: shoe covers for cold weather
« on: December 11, 2011, 04:50:15 pm »
I'll commute down to the teens, so below that I don't have any advice.  I'm with the 10 degree band theory.  I'm not a big fan of the neoprene booties, although I used them for years since I didn't see many options.  I was forced out of them when I started using mtb shoes and have shifted to the Gore covers that are insulated but don't have a sole.  A lot of heat gets sucked off the bottom of my feet (although less with the mtb soles than my old road ones).  To combat that, besides the smart wool heavier socks I shift to a "warmer" insole.  I got them at a sporting goods store - they're intended for boots.  Anyway, they aren't too thick to fit my shoes and they cut down on the heat loss through the bottoms of my feet.

Still waiting for the first snow here in DC to try my new tires.  Got my first studded bike tires in 1992 and they changed my life.

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Routes / Re: Late start to ST
« on: December 11, 2011, 03:40:34 pm »
Lots of thoughtful inputs, I appreciate them all.  This next week I'll map out approximate waypoints and look average/record highs and lows for the time I'd be passing through.  There is a possibility of moving departure up by about a week, and while that isn't a lot, I'll also look at those dates to see if it makes a difference. 

Assuming I stick with this, I'll definitely plan to use motels as frequently as possible for the A/C and showers, so I can get some real rest. 

I hadn't thought about the motorist and their vision when choosing to start in San Diego.  My intent was to get through the worst of the desert heat in May, when I'm pretty sure there will be sizable windows where the riding temps will be reasonable.  I'd rather end in SD since it is my adopted home and I know that area and have friends/relatives there.  I may look at the temps in reverse to see if the heat would be less of an issue than I expect.

I want to do a N/S run, preferably the pacific coast, but kind of have my heart set on the horizontal run this time.  Besides, my understanding was it was best to stay off the pacific coast route from Memorial Day through the rest of the summer due to traffic.

Thanks again.

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Routes / Re: Late start to ST
« on: December 06, 2011, 10:29:46 am »
Great point, I'll track the record highs and lows too.  I'm probably a bit less enthusiastic about switching to the TA route since that basically increases my mileage by 40%.  Given that I can work to adjust the temps some by choosing time of day, but mileage is a fixed item, that kind of jump is clearly non-trivial.  I will go from 67 mile average days to daily centuries if I want to take even 2-3 days off.  Clearly a balancing act.

The LAX to DC option, even biking on to the Maryland shore would still be under 3600, so that is a lot more tempting.  Unfortunately, then I'm off the ACA routes for a good bit and I think the eastern end would involve a lot more climbing (but lower temps).

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Routes / Re: Late start to ST
« on: December 05, 2011, 04:14:25 pm »
Especially with morning starts I can see an advantage to going E to W but trying to take advantage of the perhaps minor difference in winds.  We're hoping glasses and helmet visors make riding into the rising sun reasonable.  While I'm sure it would be fun to see other riders, I have to admit that isn't a major positive or negative for me.  If I was planning on camping I think I'd be more attracted to the idea of finding like minded folks, but mostly I'll be looking for a shower and comfortable place to sleep if possible.

I ordered the ST maps a bit ago.  As soon as they get here I'll guesstimate our progress and then check the daily temps.  If I start finding multiple days with an average high over 100 we'll find another route - LAX to DC or something.  Until I get a chance to work that out I'll keep looking for input but I don't think I'll make a final decision.  I kind-of have my heart set on ST but don't want to be stupid (too old for that).  I can sure respect a July August transit; makes me feel a little silly for worrying about about a May June attempt.

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Routes / Re: Late start to ST
« on: December 04, 2011, 08:20:04 pm »
Yikes, you're so right, that is exactly the time frame, route, and basically same ages.  I think we'd be slightly better prepared - not trying to make this with road bikes, we'll be using Surly LHTs that we're used to riding.  Those 98 degrees, 90+ humidity days are the ones I can't stand.  Lots of advantages going LA to DC; I'll look over that route carefully.  I'm sure you're right, it would be considerably cooler.  As mentioned, it has us finish by our home.  I haven't looked in detail but I ride the GW parkway through Alexandria on my commute to work, so probably literally on the route.

Still, I got to admit there is a part of me that wants to see Austin, etc.  Regardless, I can start at the most one week earlier.  The timeframe is set and I'm going to take a shot at cross country somehow.

Thanks again

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