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Messages - Bclayden

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I understand riding in/out of central Louisville can be a challenge. I rode in from the North last year. Now I will continue my coast-to-coast ride and must head out to the SE to join the Eastbound Trans Am.

I've found some helpful sites and KY cycling maps that are useful but wondering what the locals would recommend.

I would prefer to make more eastbound progress as I work my way toward the TA. 1st overnight in Lexington, KY to join the TA downrange at about Richmond, KY the next day would be ideal but options are many and can't be sure of a suitable route. Any ideas? 

If that's not advisable then would head more due South to join TA about Borea, KY. 

Any advice is appreciated. 

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Routes / Re: Pfeiffer Bridge at Big Sur work around
« on: March 22, 2017, 12:17:19 am »
There is a good paved route that bypasses the road closure. I have done it several times. It includes one of the most scenic and spectacular descents I've ever seen. 

Disclaimer: I have not done the route since the wet winter of 2017 has caused so many road closures so best to check conditions.

Also this route will add about 50 miles (and perhaps a day) and, although mostly remote and very scenic, has substantial climbing in parts but it's paved the entire way with little traffic. It will get you around Pfeiffer on paved roads and is only way to do this as far as I know.

From Monterey/Carmel take Carmel Valley Rd/Aroyo Seco Rd to Greenfield. Metz-King City Rd to King City.  Jolon Rd to Fort Hunter Ligget (Army base that allows thru traffic) to join Naciamento-Fergussen Rd which takes you back to Highway 1 and the coast about 25 miles south of Pfeiffer.

There will still be plenty of Highway 1 Big Sur type scenery to enjoy heading South.

You will never forget the long, steep and spectacular descent from the high ridge to the coast on Nac/Ferg Rd. Simply amazing.

3
Good for you Slowroll. Cycling adventures are full of challenges and rewards. For me, the best rewards are the memories and the feeling of accomplishment which never gets old. You will see.

I spend a lot of my time zipping back and forth from coast-to-coast at 37,000 feet but now when I look down on those "fly over states" I see them a lot differently than I ever had before. It's a nice feeling.

Good luck to you.

4
Gear Talk / Re: How to know tire size
« on: March 01, 2017, 07:12:03 pm »
I don't know about Ohio.  Could be. I discovered Katy Trail during my Coast to Coast ride. I crossed Missouri on the trail and was initially a bit sceptical about 200 miles on an un-paved road with skinny 100 psi bike tires but it was sublime. Southern Illinois has many miles of rails-to-trails, mostly paved, too.

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Gear Talk / Re: How to know tire size
« on: March 01, 2017, 09:49:49 am »
You might take Katy Trail you say?  Last May I rode most of the Katy Trail (Boonville-Machens) on 700X24, stock Trek Madone road bike, Mavic Cosmic wheels, approx total weight 250#) and found the Katy Trail to be fine. Dry weather helped of course but it did rain for several days just prior to my arrival in Boonville and I found only a few soft spots for 2 days/200 miles of trail.

Pro tip: With about equal effort as your paved road pace plan to average 2 mph pace slower on KT.

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General Discussion / Re: How to transport bike box?
« on: December 08, 2016, 07:22:58 pm »
Some good advice above. I'm often challenged with this sort of thing and have had much luck with cardboard bike boxes and shipping via BikeFlights. No bad experiences so far.

I always begin my touring rides at a hotel near the airport so I ship to the hotel.

What I've found works best for me is packing the bike up myself at home then shipping the bike (via BikeFlights and FedEx Ground) to the hotel at the start of the ride to get there a few days ahead of me. Marriott at least has always been accommodating with this sort of thing. Not sure about other brands. This requires self-assembly after unpacking but if you're up to that then you won't have to coordinate your arrival during bike shop business hours and it will save some $.

If you're cool with some dissembly/re-assembly there are some good YouTube vids showing how to pack a bike properly for shipping. There's more to it than simply throwing the bike into the box but it isn't difficult.

At the other end of the journey I have found it best and easiest to end at a bike shop who can pack and ship the bike for me and I make the BikeFlight arrangements and print shipping label for them (at the hotel) so I'm sure it's done right.

I've never tried to check bike as luggage on the airlines but have heard TSA has been known to pull the bike out of the box and not repack properly. I have avoided checking via airline.

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Routes / Re: Louisville, KY-Virginia Beach,VA route advice.
« on: October 31, 2016, 11:10:16 am »
Thanks for the helpful advice so far folks.  I will see what else rolls in and make my plan in the New Year.

Pete, yes, I remember chatting with you about the WE route crossing NV in 2012! So glad your ride went well and that you've had other great adventures since. Since 2012 I have covered many miles on other touring rides, some ACA routes but most home-brewed,  but my Coast-to Coast ride has become a multi-year project. I've managed, so far, to balance life and touring successfully as I have a family and a job to attend to.  Logistics getting back and forth to the start/end points have become a challenge...I caught the train home from SLC after the first week, thought it sounded fun, but now it requires an entire day on the airlines to get to/from... I've been able to enjoy the ride for 4 years! 

I live in Santa Cruz, CA along the Pacific Coast ACA route..give me a shout (leave a message on this board) if you are out my way. 

-Ben

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Routes / Louisville, KY-Virginia Beach,VA route advice.
« on: October 30, 2016, 09:52:53 pm »
Spring 2017 I will complete my coast-to-coast ride. Due to work and family obligations I have been making my way across the country in phases (1 week at a time). It's taken me 4 weeks to get from California to Louisville, KY.  1 more week will complete the trip at Virginia Beach, VA.

I am in the beginning planning stages for this last week from Louisville-Virginia Beach. I don't camp but stay in motels to help keep my load light and my daily mileage high (100+). I could pick up the Trans-Am route about midway across Kentucky or I could blaze a trail directly across Kentucky, W. Virginia and Virginia. I prefer to keep to the quiet country back roads.

I guess my question is why does the Trans-Am meander from Kentucky down to the N. Carolina border then NE again to Richmond, VA and SE once more to Virginia Beach and why is this the preferred route?  I understand the Appalachians must be crossed but there seem to be other options.

Apart from this being the traditional route is there a good or practical reason to follow it?  I have made my way 2800 miles by blazing my own trail (except portions of Western Express crossing NV and Louis and Clark crossing MO), I enjoy the detailed planning and the routing has been great so far. I'm happy to keep going on my own but curious what others have to say about TA.

Any advice as to pros and cons of this portion of TA is appreciated.  Thanks in advance for your replies.

-Ben

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Routes / Re: Latest possible date to start northbound Sierra Cascades?
« on: October 03, 2016, 08:09:41 pm »
You don't say how many miles/hours you expect to be riding each day but June is a good time to get a very early start..begins to get light at 5am..and after 6-7 hours in the saddle it is only noon and your done!  Viola!  I used this technique crossing Nevada in June a couple of year ago and covered 100 miles each day but finished by early afternoon.  Hot?  Yes...but only for the last couple of hours.

Also, the early start can help to avoid the daily afternoon gusty desert winds and possible T-storms.


10
Connecting ACA Routes / Re: Salt Lake City to Kansas City
« on: June 28, 2016, 02:29:10 pm »
There is a 5-10 mile stretch on I-80 leaving Evanston..not too bad...otherwise all good backcountry and mostly quiet highways.
The route I mapped out (day 1) left SLC up Emigrant Canyon Rd. Joined Rte 65, Echo Dam Rd, Chalk Creek Rd (several miles packed dirt) into Evanston, WY. The next 2 days: Rtes 189/28 to Lander where you can meet the TransAm.

Midway Between Kemmerer and Lander is the very small community of Farson, WY which offers 1 rough motel and a diner next door.  That's the only overnight option for 150-200 miles as I recall.

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Connecting ACA Routes / Re: Salt Lake City to Kansas City
« on: June 28, 2016, 10:48:26 am »
An alternate...Not sure if this is much help but I covered your route entirely without riding along any ACA routes and it was excellent. From SLC on the Emigrant Trail my route went up into Wyoming and picked up the Platte Rivver to cross Nebraska, met the Missouri River at St Joseph and then down to KC. Nice riding conditions, no major climbs once past the Wasatch Range but most riding in WY above is 7000' msl...crossing Continental Divide would have been unnoticeable if not for the sign marking it. 

Each riding day at 90-120 miles with motel overnights in Evanston, Farson, Lander, Alcova and Douglas, WY... Scottsbluff, North Platte, Kearny, Nelson, NE...and Marysville, KS. 

My goal was to follow, from Sacramento, CA-St Joseph, MO, the historic 1860s Pony Express horseback mail route hence its roundabout nature. The route also follows several emigrant trails, Oregon Trail, Morman Trail, etc., which typically followed the easiest path across the vast American West.  Not direct but without major obstacles.

Some of the towns in WY are quite far apart but this route offers solid and safe riding conditions if you enjoy solitude and long days in the saddle.

12
Routes / Re: Katy Trail riding conditions?
« on: May 24, 2016, 09:10:07 am »
I am the OP. This is a follow up message:

I just completed about a 200 mile stretch of Katy Trail. Spent 2 days between Boonville and Machens, MO.  Conditions were excellent but for the last 14 miles east of St Charles.  Heavy recent rain had me concerned but even after only 24 hours of dry weather trail conditions were excellent.

I tour on a Trek Madone road bike with skinny/100 psi 700x25 tires. Some said not do-able on Katy Trail buy I say no problem.  Totally rideable even on skinny tires...and fun!. Expect a slightly slower pace though. I covered 110 miles between Jefferson City and St Charles in a day, took an additional hour, and legs were more tired than usuall.

Katy Trail is a unique and awesome riding experience. Thanks to all whom contributed to this thread..it really helped.

13
Routes / Re: where can I buy aca maps.
« on: April 23, 2016, 01:01:20 am »
I have purchased ACA maps to download to iPad which I tour with  You can get them at the speed of light. In my experience the electronic version not as easy to use out on the road as a proper map (I used the electronic version on the Adirondack Loop route) but at least it's available to anyone, anywhere.

14
Routes / Re: Fort Knox,KY restricted?
« on: April 01, 2016, 09:40:40 pm »
Thanks for the input. I actually have to end up at the Louisville airport and you are correct, Google map sent me along Dixie Highway. I will avoid Dixie and make the Brandenburg crossing as suggested. Sounds much better. 

To be faiir, while I don't use Google map to navigate it can be a useful tool in initial route planning. Fine tuning with street view, asking questions on this forum and of local cyclists while on the fly and a bit of luck have helped but Google map can be a good place to start. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area and sure, I know my local routes better than Google (who doesn't?) but it can get you a rough idea of an unknown route.  Of course any prudent traveller will confirm this route with other resources however.  Trust but verify.

Thanks again for the routing advice. I will avoid Kentucky 31W and Dixie Hiway.

15
Routes / Re: My route for cross country 2016, ideas?
« on: March 20, 2016, 01:16:59 pm »
Looks like you plan to take the ferry to cross San Francisco Bay.  Certainly a fine way to go but if you would rather cycle across there is one bike friendly bridge: Dumbarten Bridge/Rte 84 at the south end of the bay.

Also your route crossing San Juaquin Valley could be simplified and more scenic. Have a look at this...my favorite way to cross the Big Valley:

After crossing Sierra Nevada make your way to Turlock.  Cross the valley to Patterson and join Del Puerto Canyon Rd to Mines Rd to Livermore. Remote and very scenic. From Livermore you can find your way to 84 and Dumbarten Bridge any number of ways.  Check it out.

Word to the wise... As with any metro area best to avoid cycling during commute hours. Not fun and way more treacherous.  SF Bay Area has some nasty traffic so once in Livermore or wherever you arrive in the Bay Area and all the way to SF you will be subject to thick traffic if you don't plan to avoid. Weekends always good and weekdays between 9am and 3 pm is manageable. Otherwise DANGER!

Have a great ride! 

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