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Messages - John Nelson

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General Discussion / Re: Cycling around the Grand Canyon Area
« on: February 24, 2017, 10:18:28 pm »
do some cycling in and around the Grand Canyon
Around, yes. In, no.

Gear Talk / Re: How to know tire size
« on: February 22, 2017, 01:19:21 pm »
I see no advantage to tire rotation on a bicycle. It makes sense on a car, but those reasons don't apply to a bicycle. I treat each bicycle tire individually. When a tire wears out, I replace it. The algorithm could not be more simple. Sometimes a tire seems to go from okay to not okay overnight, so I recommend keeping a few tires on the shelf so that you can replace a "not okay" tire immediately.

General Discussion / Re: Application for keeping a journal
« on: February 21, 2017, 01:40:04 pm »
I'll second Pat's thought that a well-done journal takes more time than you think. Nevertheless, I think it's worthwhile. It provides me with three things: (1) a way to reflect on my day and cement it into my memory, (2) a way to keep my friends and family informed, and (3) a keepsake to look at in the future. But I'm often struggling to finish each days entry before falling asleep. It is important to me to make a journal entry at the end of each day while the details are still fresh.

General Discussion / Re: Application for keeping a journal
« on: February 20, 2017, 06:12:33 pm »
I use crazyguyonabike, and I do it all with my smartphone. Because some of my friends prefer Facebook, they have requested I put a link to each day's crazyguy journal entry on Facebook. Facebook doesn't suck time if you don't read anything there. Just make your post and get off. Takes me just a minute.

If I'm without Internet access, I just make notes in my Notes app and copy it to crazyguy when I get access.

General Discussion / Re: Recommendations for a tour beginning in Chicago
« on: February 18, 2017, 08:30:47 pm »
I recommend Bicycle Route 66. It's a great route.

Just curious, how do you plan to get home from the first chunk, or get back to your car from the other chunks? And won't you need a travel day on both ends, no matter which route you do (except for the starting end of the first chunk, if you start from home)? In fact, when you're doing, e.g., the chunk in Arizona, you probably need two or three travel days on each end. The logistics of a segment bike tour are tricky, just like the logistics of an AT segment hiker. I have a buddy doing a segment hike of the CDT, and he spends almost as much time traveling as hiking.

Routes / Re: Hi Everyone! First Timer Cross Country Rider - ROUTES NEEDED
« on: February 18, 2017, 06:53:06 pm »
So what do you all do?
You pick the most out-of-sight place you can find and hope for the best. It's incredibly unlikely that you would get arrested, even if discovered. You might be at more risk from a bull.

Gear Talk / Re: Newbie Needs Advice
« on: February 16, 2017, 08:23:21 am »
Upgrading a brand-new bike is throwing money away. It's much more cost-efficient to buy the bike you want in the first place. For now, just wear out what you already have and then replace things as they break or are worn out. If you want better replacement parts, you can get them then.

General Discussion / Re: Trans-America Camping Options
« on: February 14, 2017, 03:18:34 pm »
I just tried this method for my location (where I live), Juneau, Alaska, and it identified all the campgrounds I am aware of in this area.
There are a number of advantages of using the camping identified on the ACA maps. The two I find most valuable are: (1) they list places to camp that aren't campgrounds, and thus would never be identified by Google, and are mostly free, and (2) they don't list campgrounds that do not allow tents, and that's a lot of campgrounds that you don't have to waste time going to and getting turned away from.

I don't patch tubes and I use new Continental 26x1.75-2.5 42mm Presta Valve Tube only $6.99 from
I patch tubes and it costs me 10 cents. And I've never in my life spent as much as $6.99 for a new tube.

Routes / Re: How to get home. Anacortes to NJ
« on: February 14, 2017, 09:46:53 am »
Check out the Bellingham airport too. It's 50 miles closer than Seattle and sometimes flights from small airports are cheaper than flights from larger airports.

Routes / Re: Pacific Coast route
« on: February 12, 2017, 07:42:11 pm »
1. Yes. A road bike is the correct tool for the job.
2. Yes, but not me. I started at the Peace Arch and followed the regular route. Logistics are much simpler (for someone living in the US) if you don't actually cross into Canada (well, you can go 100 yards into Canada from the Peace Arch without going through Canada customs and immigration, just to be official). Flights to Canada from the US are much more expensive than flights to Bellingham. Bellingham is actually a very easy and inexpensive place to get to, and the small airport gives you plenty of room to reassemble your bike. If you're a completionist (like me), it's an easy ride up to the border from Bellingham.

40 would be too small for me for road touring. YMMV.

Gear Talk / Re: Ultra light sleeping bag, tent and pad?
« on: February 09, 2017, 04:08:12 pm »
We had a friend who cycle-camped using 2 or 3 layers of bubble wrap for a pad.  How we laughed.  It was uncomfortable and cheap.   He reckoned he could have made a 5ft thick mattress of bubble wrap for the cost of our Neo-Air.

Didn't the "popping" every time he turned over keep all the others awake?
One of the MANY disadvantages.  I suspect he became progressively less comfortable as the trip went on...  though he'd probably argue he could simply visit the local Mailbox Etc to replenish!
The sheer volume of that form of pad would be discouraging to me. How are you going to carry it?

General Discussion / Re: Trans-America Camping Options
« on: February 09, 2017, 04:05:00 pm »
You can try the places you mentioned, even if not listed on the ACA maps. The fact that it's not listed only means that the ACA has not yet gotten official permission to list them. My experience is that most of the time, it works fine, unless there are signs specifically prohibiting your presence (which is rare). I prefer to ask if there is somebody to ask, and that works some time and doesn't work others. If there is nobody to ask and no signs, I've generally had good luck just laying low until dusk, setting up quickly and leaving early. You may or may not have access to bathroom facilities, so you might want to scout possible places before you need them. You need to do your own survey of potential hazards (e.g., sprinklers, dogs, teenagers, poisonous plants). Only once have I been challenged by the police, and even then they let me stay. Several times I've been "caught", and then offered breakfast or some other hospitality.

Be sure to also investigate Warm Showers.

General Discussion / Re: Training program recommendations
« on: February 05, 2017, 09:19:38 pm »
Asking for saddle recommendations is fraught with peril, but I'll jump in anyway. It may or may not be for you, but the Brooks B-17 is at least worth a try. About half of touring cyclists swear by it, so it clearly warrants your consideration.

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