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Messages - bobbys beard

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I initially chose riding North, because it linked with the southern tier, but despite what people said, the wind was never a problem. In fact there was never any wind to write home about in either direction. I've been on the PC twice. Once in September and again in October.There was no difference, aside from I didn't have to see the same people every day as they were all heading the opposite way.

People will also tell you that there are no shoulders on the opposite side of the road, which is also not the case. There were just as many shoulders in all the right places and they were just as wide.

Yes, I've fully ridden the southern tier; Atlantic coast and the Pacific coast. Next time I'm planning on riding a similar route to yours, perhaps New York to San Fran..... 

My biggest advice would be to take it slowly North of San Fran. In my opinion one of the most beautiful rides in the world and best enjoyed at a leisurely pace and no more the 30 miles per day! :)


I have to strongly disagree with you RussSeaton. I'm European and have biked across America 3 times, including the Pacific coast. Camping can be very expensive in southern California, but north of San Francisco I found costs to be very reasonable. There were lots of sites that offered hiker/biker rates and state campsites were generally very cheap. Across the entire country, many RV parks let me stay for free.

I didn't think that food was expensive compared to Europe.

And the roads of America are certainly not busier. It depends where you are riding, but I have gone almost entire days in the USA without encountering another vehicle! Never had that anywhere in the world!!

Lastly, I always feel the need to chip in with the North to South debate. I rode South to North and noticed no difference. If you're used to riding European hilly areas, there will be no wind conditions on the PCH you don't already encounter regularly.

The PCH is an incredible ride and one that I will go back to again some time :)

Routes / Re: Southern Tier, highway 78 Glamis to Palo Verde, Ca
« on: December 13, 2014, 04:05:02 am »
i feel the need to weigh in, not to discredit westinghouse, but to reassure others riding the glamis section of the ST. i've been through twice now and not once experienced anything other than courteous traffic in this section. the police on both occassions drove past regularly and it was a beautiful, interesting desert ride, although i only went through during summer when traffic volume is clearly somewhat lower.

many times on the road i've been passed by trucks in the manner westinghouse has mentioned, this can be happenstance or no doubt the odd trucker finds it hilarious to time his passing to scare a cyclist off the road. in the states i spoke to many truckers with a sincere dislike for cyclists, but aside from a few logging trucks in florida, i never felt threatened on purpose. the rednecks however.... yes they will throw items at you and dangersously swerve in front of you. that happened many times!

General Discussion / Re: circumnavigation of the U.S.
« on: November 01, 2014, 09:36:25 am »
i did AC, ST and PC in one trip a few summers ago. i went clockwise starting on the AC and would definitely choose to go clockwise if i ever do it again, but it's a matter of preference of course.

i think the weather is really the biggest thing to consider on this trip. when and where to start, what gear you would need for the conditions etc etc. i reckon you'll want at the very least least 6 months to complete the trip comfortably.....

one piece of money saving advice..l. i would say it's not necessary to buy maps for most or all of the PC. i just got a compass and headed north on as much of pch1/101 as i could. if you have a mobile device, it's easy to stop for a coffee somewhere and plot for a few days via google maps.

General Discussion / Re: Riding on the US Interstates
« on: September 05, 2014, 10:22:23 am »
i can't see that changing the laws will make a lot of difference to road safety. as someone rightly stated, drink driving is already illegal, as is dangerous driving/cycling. there's already a 3ft law i some states as far as i know, which is annoying for drivers who obey it and ignored by most anyhow.

what's needed is more common sense, education and empathy for other road users. people too often forget that the road is for sharing responsibly.

also, it's important to remember that as bikers, we are not without our share of the blame. there are just as many ignorant and arrogant bikers as there are motor vehicle users. nothing beats common sense when it comes to staying safe on the road and there's no law that can police that!

General Discussion / Re: My First Tour (Need tips)
« on: May 25, 2014, 02:12:51 pm »
getting a train through LA would buy you back maybe half a day perhaps, and from the suburbs to San Diego is possible in one day. that leaves a day and a half to get from San Jose, which takes you through Big Sur etc etc. Very challenging terrain for long distance cycling.

Routes / Re: Virginia
« on: May 25, 2014, 09:53:04 am »
haha, evey tourer has a story or two involving a hungry dog ;)

i tried many things, but the most frequently effective for me is to slow right down and sometimes even get off and walk for a bit (if it's an ankle nibbler), ignoring the barking maniac until it loses interest or more often than not, tries to become your best friend.

most blogs i've read tell you that pepper spray is the best solution. they're probably correct, but i'm not into causing animals pain and what if it's crazy gunslinging owner sees you spraying his hairy security guard?

General Discussion / Re: My First Tour (Need tips)
« on: May 25, 2014, 07:51:23 am »
which route do you plan on taking? i've ridden 180+ mile days on the atlantic coast where the roads can be flat and straight. but wouldn't relish attempting it on the pch, where the roads are often hilly and winding. if you go inland, it looks like you may have some very big climbs to get to LA which will slow you down and eat into precious daylight hours.

i don't mean to sound quite so negative and i'm sure it can be done if you have the stamina and a good  attitude, but i don't think even at my fittest i could do that in 2-3 days!

good luck :)

Gear Talk / Re: Fixing a shimano shifter.....
« on: April 05, 2014, 06:07:35 am »
thanks bogiesan, i had no idea they were getting rare!  well, the bike only needs to last another month doing 12 miles a day to work, so i don't want to buy anything if i don't have to.....

the shifter actually came off on the road a few days ago, and i had to ride home in the top gear!! so i took the plunge and broke the metal housing and was able to fix it kind of.  only problem i have now is the bolt often comes loose (i take a spanner with me to work) and the shifter doesn't spring back to position, meaning fast changes on hills are difficult, but hey it's still working!

Gear Talk / Re: Disc Trucker + Schwalbe Marathon Deluxe.. rim?
« on: April 05, 2014, 05:59:59 am »
as everyone has said... use the ones that came with the bike. they're decent tyres. i find it useful to swap over the front and back after a while to get more even wear out of them.

i found puncture resistant (very thick)  innertubes worked the best in texas. i got very few flats once i put those in. i'd recommend not getting self fixing inners in hot places as the heat seems to thin the glue so all it does is spit liquid out making it near impossible to fix even with a patch.

the width makes very little differnce to a tourer, as by the time you've got a bit of weight on the back they will be squashed much wider anyhow.

Gear Talk / Re: solo bike security
« on: April 05, 2014, 05:43:35 am »
i used to go into macdonalds for breakfast a lot to use the internet. almost all of them have a railing right next to the entrance which i locked the bike to and then sat near the window.

i kept a small shoulder bag at the top of my panniers with my most valuable items in which could easily be removed and taken with me, but as most people mentioned, there is very small risk in rural areas. even in the cities i left it unlocked at gas stations when i went inside.

never once had a problem in 5 months of touring in the states. i found that people i met on short tours tended to be quite paranoid about theft and safety, but you tend to chill out as you relax into life on the road. :)

and yes those pesky raccoons!! there's a reason they are dressed like cartoon bank robbers!! ;)

Gear Talk / Re: Fixing a shimano shifter.....
« on: March 27, 2014, 09:15:35 am »
it's a "st ef51 8r"  just a standard (cheap plastic) shimano thumb shifter. their is a bolt all the way through, but the ends of the bolts are housed by metal covers. if they weren't there, it would be easy to fix! wonder if i can just prise them off.....  can't put pics up right now.

Gear Talk / Fixing a shimano shifter.....
« on: March 27, 2014, 08:49:56 am »
Hi, my shimano shifter stick has become very loose, which is affecting the gear shifting. There is a bolt that holds the unit together, but i can't tighten it fully with a wrench or pliers because it's housed with a partial cover. Has anyone had this problem or know how to fix it? 

General Discussion / Re: Free camping on southern tier
« on: December 16, 2013, 08:13:44 am »
if you're used to searching out stealth camps then i think you'll have no problem.

as @staephj1 said, it's certainly much easier west of austin and occassionally you might be forced to free camp.

i went across in the summer when a lot of the desert areas were empty. the rv parks would usually let me camp and have a shower for free or at least very cheap. always lots of people wanting to help along that route :)

Routes / Re: Southern Tier timing and direction
« on: July 12, 2013, 05:28:07 am »
i agree with MrBent, the sun at your back makes for a more comfortable ride. apart from that, i didn't think the weather was a factor in which direction to choose....

you need to consider that the mountains might be quite cold and also if you start from san diego, you hit them straight away, whereas from the west the hills don't really begin until midway through texas, giving you some time to warm the legs up a bit :)

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