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Messages - John Nelson

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1
Routes / Re: Kentucky and Virginia trans am shortcuts
« on: August 16, 2014, 12:52:27 am »
We weren't against a deadline and did that section in 12 days, so it should be doable with a little time to spare.
Are you sure you counted right Pete? I just took a look at your journal, and you left Sebree (25 miles west of Utica) on August 8 and arrived in Yorktown on August 22. Isn't that 15 days? Jacob seems to have 13 days available to do the same distance (less 25 miles). I do agree with you that it should be possible to do it in 13 days if he can do about 75 miles a day.

Anyway, my general advice is that changing the route is risky. Be sure to find roads with good shoulders if you do, because changing the route will almost certainly result in higher traffic, and on high-traffic roads, you're going to want a shoulder. MY preference, however, would be to stick to the route and up your daily mileage.

2
Lot of people start the TransAm in Yorktown in April. Yes, May is better, but April is workable. It might be pretty cold and wet in the Appalachians, but it won't kill you. It will also likely to be cold in the Rockies, and there's a chance you'll have to wait out a snowstorm to cross Hoosier Pass. And there's a pretty good chance McKenzie Pass in Oregon will be closed, but there's an alternative.

Lots of people fly into Washington DC to do the TransAm. There are a wide variety of options to getting to the start of the TransAm, including the train to somewhere close, one-way car rental, or just riding your bicycle there. If you take Amtrak, just be sure to pay attention to where the baggage stops are, as they won't let you unload your bike at all the stops. The closest airport to Yorktown is Newport News, which is easy riding distance from Yorktown. That's where I flew into, and the price was quite reasonable for me (coming from within the US--coming from overseas likely makes it much more expensive).

As Pat says, if you fly into Norfolk, you won't be able to ride your bike directly to Yorktown (the tunnel doesn't allow bikes), but you can ride to Jamestown and backtrack (or not). There are some friendly folks in Norfolk, however, who frequently give cyclists a ride to Yorktown.

3
Connecting ACA Routes / Re: Options along the TransAm in Kansas
« on: August 14, 2014, 04:36:29 pm »
I think it'd be nuts to take US50, for more reasons than I have time to list.

4
General Discussion / Re: Bike / Hike Campsites on southern PCR
« on: August 06, 2014, 12:02:35 am »
The ACA addenda warn of possible closures, but last week I looked up 47 state parks along the California coast and only found two of them (Dry Lagoon and Benbow Lake) who had closed their campgrounds. That still leaves a lot of options.

5
General Discussion / Re: Cardboard Box for Bike as Checked Baggage
« on: August 05, 2014, 05:37:03 pm »
I also do not understand the concern with removing the rear derailleur. I've always thought that this is a job you couldn't possibly screw up, since it only goes on one way. I also can't imagine why you would need to adjust anything after putting it back on, because you didn't change any adjustments when you took it off. Maybe those of you that have had trouble with this have a different derailleur than I do.

6
General Discussion / Re: Difference on maps?
« on: August 02, 2014, 10:01:13 pm »
Which section specifically are you looking at (1-5)? Most of the PC sections are from 2012. There is one updated in 2014 (Section 1), and another that will be updated very soon (Section 3). Section 5 is still from 2011.

I'm not exactly sure what you're missing. I have the TransAm set, the Northern Tier set and the Pacific Coast set (just acquired a few weeks ago). They all have the same information as far as I can see. I'm not exactly sure what you mean by a "mileage chart", but every panel of my set has a little graphic that shows you the scale (i.e., how far is a mile). Are you missing something else?

7
General Discussion / Re: brooks saddle break-in how long
« on: July 29, 2014, 02:58:18 pm »
I guess it depends on what exactly is meant by "broken in". I found it pretty comfortable right out of the box, but then it seems to get more comfortable as time goes by. When does the breaking in stop and the breaking down start? Hard to say, but I would say that my saddle got progressively more comfortable throughout the first 4000 miles.

8
Classic hot foot--it's very common. There are dozens of possible solutions, and all are expounded on various web sites. You may have to try them one at a time to see which one works for you. For me, the solution was metatarsal buttons.

Here's one web site to start with:

http://www.roadbikerider.com/injuries/how-solve-painful-hot-foot

9
Gear Talk / Re: Panniers vs. BOB?
« on: July 25, 2014, 07:41:46 pm »
If you believe in the wisdom of crowds, use panniers. Far more touring cyclists do.

10
Gear Talk / Re: A folding bike for touring?
« on: July 25, 2014, 12:21:42 am »
Lots of Bike Fridays on the TransAm.

11
General Discussion / Re: [California] SF to SD Biking Trip
« on: July 23, 2014, 11:48:58 am »
I don't think I'm going out on a limb too far by assuming that SD is San Diego rather than South Dakota.

The ACA Pacific Coast route shows 607 miles from SF to SD. Of course, that could vary a lot depending on where in SF and where in SD. Assuming you have the full 14 days available, that's about 43 miles a day.

San Fransisco to Santa Barbara is gong to be hilly. And this is at the beginning of your trip. These two factors will make it challenging. Santa Barbara to San Diego will not be as hilly and you'll be in a little better shape by then (if the first half of the trip didn't kill you).

For an avid cyclist, this would be a piece of cake. For a 65-year-old "casual biker", this would probably be a big stretch. But for a 22-year-old casual biker, my judgement is that this will be challenging but doable. Have fun and try to ride as much as you can between now and August 17. Start this afternoon! Assemble your gear, keep it as light as feasible, and take some of your rides with all your gear.

As far as planning, I'd buy the ACA Pacific Coast maps for section 4 and 5. Then just do what it says.

For further advice, please provide further details. What kind of bike do you have? What other outdoor activities do you do? Are you overweight? How tight is the budget? Are you planning to camp? Cook? Do you have camping experience? Are you known for your perseverance? (Actually, only the last question is important, and the answer must be "yes".)

12
Yeesh...seems like someone figured out cyclists have money.
I don't think they are considering cyclists at all. They set these prices based on big RVs with big boats, and they don't see any need to offer reduced rates for people with smaller footprints.

13
YIKES ...who'da' thunk camp grounds are $40?
Some are $50, and they're nothing special. Cost does not seem to correlate with how nice they are.

14
Here's an off-the-wall idea. I think, by not paying for hotel rooms, you will save enough money that you can afford to occasionally and infrequently lose stuff to thieves. Make sure your key information is backed up in the cloud and encrypt your hard disk. Buy a really good tent, one you're comfortable in long term. Many campgrounds limit your stay to a week, but that sounds like it will work okay for you. You'll need to choose campgrounds with WiFi and/or 4G, plus power, so that will limit your options a bit. Carry a long extension cord. Start in your own country until you establish a comfortable routine, and they you can branch out to other countries. Organize your route to be some place warm in the winters. Showers aren't that hard to come by--a lot of campgrounds have them--or maybe you can go swimming in a lake each day. Security isn't too hard when you're in camp. Take you most valuables with you when you leave camp.

Sounds like an interesting idea.

15
Routes / Re: Underground RR trail
« on: July 21, 2014, 08:02:08 am »
Rides like this are done by solo females all the time. You'll be fine. Have a great time!

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