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Messages - rabbitoh

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1
General Discussion / Re: Southern Tier November through to Feb
« on: June 04, 2014, 12:20:55 am »
G'day Ken & Jules,

There is a book called "The Crossing" by Martin Delaney which might be a useful guide. He rode the ST west to east, starting November 2002. I think the book is still readily available.

Best wishes for your ride.

2
Routes / Re: Western Express vs. Trans-Am time and suggestions
« on: March 30, 2014, 11:48:18 pm »
Ben, I can offer some comments on the W.E. between San Francisco and Cedar City and especially between Fallon and Cedar City. On this section (Fallon to Cedar City), the towns are approx. 80 miles apart, and it wouldn't make sense to stealth camp in between the towns. It is very desolate country, and there are no fields as such; just desolate grasslands.

Middlegate and Coldsprings Station have relatively inexpensive camping available, as does Bob Scott Summit (just to the east of Austin). I stayed in motels (except for Cold springs) but I was pretty whacked at the end of each day's ride. I was 61 years old at the time and I appreciated the comfort of motels. I also avoided getting snowed on in Austin by being in a motel.

Make sure you know which days the stores in some of the smaller towns are open when you are going through. For example, Baker in Nevada, has only a small grocery store, with limited supplies, and a restaurant which is closed on certain days.

The riding is not exceptionally difficult if you are fit, which you all appear to be, but it is definitely challenging, and you will be carrying panniers.

The country between San Francisco and Cedar City, is magnificent. Enjoy your ride.

3
Routes / Re: Southern Tier Questions
« on: February 14, 2014, 04:25:11 pm »
You don't mention in which direction you are riding, which in my opinion does make a difference.

If you are riding East to West, then my advice would be to definitely ride the ACA route. If you are riding West to East on the ACA route, then you should be aware that all your climbing will be towards the end of the day. However, I would still recommend riding the ACA route. It is beautiful country and the remoteness added to its attractiveness for me.

I rode from Fort Davis to Van Horn and it was 91 miles. The climbing was early in the day out of Fort Davis, up past the Mt Locke observatory. There were no services the entire day, apart from the service station approx. 20 miles out of Van Horn, which is a large service stop. There is nothing at Kent in the way of services.

However, you shouldn't be daunted by any of this. I carried extra water and managed quite ok, although it was a long day in the saddle.

Enjoy your ride.

4
Routes / Re: Grand Canyon Connector in mid March
« on: January 18, 2014, 05:24:38 pm »
Mike,

The North Rim is not open before 15th May (at the earliest).

Regards
Dennis

5
Routes / Re: Southern tier motels
« on: December 11, 2013, 03:42:00 pm »
Thanks a lot aggie. Were hoping to ride from Sanderson to Comstock, 90.5 miles. We have 2 long days, this one and Van Horn to Fort Davis. I'm thinking about getting a camelback and just use it for these two rides. I guess there is no services, between these two rides. I must say, I'm kind of concerned about getting around Austin and San Antonio. I'm thinking about leaving the people I'm riding with and try and make it from La Grange to Katy, where I live. Thanks again for the reply.

George

G'day George,

There are plenty of motels in Van Horn, all reasonably priced.

Van Horn to Fort Davis is indeed a long day, with nothing in between, after the service stop approx. 20 miles out of Van Horn. I cycled it in the opposite direction, carried extra water, and found it fairly challenging. The direction from which you intend coming, will mean that all the tougher climbing will be towards the end of the day. That said, it is really a beautiful ride.

Fort Davis has a motel which also offers camp-rooms. The camp-rooms are quite comfortable, with a wash basin but you need to share shower and toilet in a common facility.

I also camped (really just set up my tent), at Langtry. Comstock is very small so it might be a good idea to book accommodation in advance. In Sanderson, the Budget Inn looks after cyclists. It is at the far end of town from the direction you will be riding.

Marathon has a hostel which is at no cost to cyclists although a donation is the correct etiquette. I didn't stay there. There is a motel and hotel in town.

I stayed in many motels on my ride last year and found the majority of them to be quite affordable, clean and comfortable. I never stayed in a dud one.

Have a good ride.

6
General Discussion / Re: Need advice for my trip this summer
« on: December 09, 2013, 04:01:12 pm »
G'day Tim,

I can give you advice specific to the Grand Canyon, having cycled to both the South & North rims last year.

I cycled the ACA's Grand Canyon connector out of Wickenburg, so south to north. I deliberately planned my ride so that I would be at the North Rim on 15th May, which is generally when that road (Route 67) in, opens, although I believe that this date is not necessarily set in stone and is dependent on weather conditions.

It is beautiful riding and of course the scenery is magnificent especially along Route 64 between Grand Canyon Village and Desert View & all the way between Desert View to Cameron to Jacob Lake to the North Rim.

I know you will enjoy your ride and best of luck.

Dennis


7
Sounds like an interesting research project for someone with a whole lot of free time.

Last year, I rode a combination of the Southern Tier/Grand Canyon Connector/Western Express.

On the ST I met 13 touring cyclists. Some (7) were riding the whole route and the rest were riding only part of it and some were riding parts of it in subsequent years ie. I met a couple who were riding the Del Rio to St Augustine section, having ridden from San Diego to Del Rio in one or two previous stages.

On the GCC, I met 4 touring cyclists, 2 of whom didn't have ACA maps, and were simply doing their own tour. I met those 2 cyclists at the North Rim of the Grand canyon. I did see another 2 touring cyclists riding into the North Rim, but never got to meet them.

On the WE, I met 5 touring cyclists. I kept getting told that there were 2 touring cyclists a day's ride ahead of me, but I never caught up with them.

All the cyclists I met, bar 2 on the ST, were coming the other way to me, which is obviously the reason I got to meet them.

In 1991, I cycled the Northern Tier. On that ride, I either met or saw 69 touring cyclists. 60 were coming in the opposite direction and 9 were riding the same way as me. Of course, I never got the full stories of all 69 riders, however 69 over an 11 week period was surprisingly high I felt.

As I said, it would make for an interesting project, but it would never be 100% accurate.

8
Routes / Re: Southern Tier / Grand Canyon Connector / Trans-Am
« on: August 13, 2013, 12:22:15 am »
Falconetti,

I rode the Grand Canyon connector out of Wickenberg last year, but I was at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon on 11th May. This was deliberately planned (I had ridden the ST from St Augustine) so that I could also visit the North Rim. The road into the North Rim doesn't open any earlier than 15th May, and only then if weather permits.

Even if you started your ride the first week of April, you would be at the South Rim in under two weeks, so a visit to the North Rim would be out of the question which, in my opinion, would be a pity.

I had no issues with the weather but it was a whole month later than your intended ride.

Riding up to the South Rim is something you will never forget.

Regards

9
Routes / Re: Southern Tier Route in winter???
« on: July 29, 2013, 11:27:04 pm »
There is a book written by a Scottish cyclist who rode the Southern Tier W-E, in the winter (2002). He was on Emory Pass about 10 days before Christmas where he had snow, and on the Davis Mountains on Christmas Eve, where he again had snow. He appears to have had cold weather for most of his ride.

His name is Martin Delaney, and the title of the book is "The Crossing" if you are interested.

10
Routes / Re: Riding west to east along the northern tier
« on: June 14, 2013, 05:06:01 pm »
A mid-May start lends itself to riding East to West. That way, you get plenty of miles into your legs before the big climbs and also, Going-To-The-Sun in Montana and the passes in the North Cascades are less likely to be closed.

I have cycled the NT East to West and started mid-May.

Unless your heart is set on riding W-E, riding in the opposite direction could be a consideration.

Either way, it is a spectacular ride.

Enjoy!

11
Routes / Re: Southern Tier - Texas
« on: March 09, 2013, 03:31:21 pm »
G'day rolpin,

I cycled most of the ST last year, albeit in the opposite direction to your planned ride.

I was mainly staying in motels and had little problem in finding accommodations, with only a couple of exceptions. From your post, I don't know what your preference is with regards to motels or camping.

I personally, would recommend sticking with the ACA route out of Van Horn through to Fort Davis. It is a challenging ride, especially riding W to E, and there are no services available at Kent, however the country side is spectacular.

There is a cyclist's only hostel at Marathon, and information is available at the pizza place on the main street. There isn't much available between Sanderson and Comstock. I couldn't find any store open in Dryden when I passed through. You will need to time your arrival at Langtry if you are relying on stocking up with provisions. The only store is on US90 which wiil be on your right hand side, before you head down into Langtry. There is nothing in the town iteslf, other than the Judge Roy Bean museum. It has clean rest rooms and wi-fi. You can pitch a tent alongside the community centre hall, but there are no amenities, other than a water hose. There is a donation box where you can drop in a couple of dollars. There is also a trailer where cyclists can stay, but I never saw the owner, and I am not really sure of the protocol.

Comstock is very small but does have a motel. I didn't stay in Comstock.

Road 334 out of Bracketville (ACA maps Section 4, maps 52 & 53) has a rough surface, but the surface improves once you turn onto Road 55. There are no services between Bracketvill and Camp Wood, so you will have the best part of 50 miles without services. The hills around Leakey and Vanderpool are challenging.

Out of Bastrop, the ACA maps take you through Bastrop State Park(ACA maps Section 4 map 61), but these roads were closed when I came through last year, so maybe you might want to check with them beforehand. No big deal and I rode state 71 for this section.

There is no shoulder on State Rd 150 between New Waverly and Coldspring (ACA maps Section 5 map 67) and there was lots of traffic when I rode that section. It was early morning out of Coldspring so it might have been early morning commuters.

There is no shoulder on Country Rd 363 between Kirbyville and Bon Weir (ACA maps Section 5 map 71) and this road is used by trucks.

If you have ridden SF to SLC solo, this section of the ST shouldn't cause you any concerns.

It really is a lovely ride and I hope you enjoy it.

Regards

12
Routes / Re: Directional recomendation for Feb 1 start on ST
« on: February 06, 2013, 09:47:12 pm »
Gif4445

I cycled most of the ST last year E-W, but started mid-March. I encountered very little headwind riding this direction during that time frame, and I also had good weather along the way. Starting in Florida was also a good way of getting miles into my legs on relatively flat terrain, and building up endurance before the tougher hillier sections.

I kept a journal on CGOAB.

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?o=1&doc_id=9886&v=r8

And here is another link to a CGOAB journal of a W-E rider who I met up with in Alabama. This particular rider started out on 1st March 2012.

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?o=1&doc_id=9857&v=RG

Whichever way you ride, I know you will love it. It is spectacular country.

Good luck.


13
Pete Staehling (who also posts on this forum) has written an article and a journal packing light on the Crazy Guy On A Bik website. Pete rode the ST early last year.

Here are a couple of links.

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?o=1&doc_id=9676&v=Fw

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?o=1&doc_id=9738&v=EF


14
Routes / Re: Grand Canyon to Joshua Tree to Los Angeles
« on: October 22, 2012, 01:08:51 am »
Luke, have you tried searching on Crazy Guy On A Bike?

Here are a couple of links which migh be useful.

 http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/jabantik2006

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/betweenmylegs

You can do further searches on that website. There are plenty of results for Joshua Tree.

15
Routes / Re: Death Valley
« on: September 04, 2012, 12:00:21 am »
Here is a link to a fairly authoritive journal on Crazy Guy.

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/DeathValley2011

It does describe a particular route, but has a conclusion page with much useful information.

Dennis

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