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Messages - staehpj1

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1
General Discussion / Re: Safe to cycle the USA? Things do happen.
« on: September 18, 2014, 03:31:55 pm »
Yeah a better title would have been "Safe to go in McDonalds? Things do happen". 

2
General Discussion / Re: General Advice- TransAm Route
« on: September 12, 2014, 05:59:51 am »
Why not leave as late as you can in April and do the entire TransAm east to west. Then if you'd like you can ride back down the pacific coast.

With your proposed route you'd be riding the least scenic part of the pacific coast, picking up the less than stellar scenery on the Southern Tier, and then missing the best part of the TransAm. Just my thoughts. Let's see what others have to say...

Especially since the OP apparently lives in the west, that is very good advice in my opinion.

You would probably have decent weather other than some rain in the east.  You could arrange the long distance (air?) travel ahead of time.  That works out easier because it is much easier to know the date you will start than the date you will finish.  An open ended schedule is a big plus IMO.  Set schedules (and budgets for that matter) can suck a lot of the joy out of a tour.

I also like starting out at the far end of a tour and riding toward home.  That way you are automatically more committed from the start since you have no good options for bailing on the tour and by the time you are anywhere near home you are very road hardened and in the groove.  Seeing family and friends again is a nice motivation to finish and if you are lucky friends and family can meet you at the end of the tour.  We had family and friends meet us and throw a nice picnic at the finish of the TA.  We were joined on the ride for the last half day or so by family members.  It was a wonderful reunion.

Also, I agree on the relative merits of the various sections expressed by Miller.

I'd advise seriously considering the early start in the East.

3
General Discussion / Re: Can scooters ride the routes?
« on: September 09, 2014, 06:27:46 am »
I think the OP is using bike "route" and "path" interchangeably.
That is my impression also.  I don't think she is planning to ride on bike paths.  I think she is referring to AC routes as bike parhs.

Motorized bicycles, bikes with a motor driving one of the wheels, are a different matter.

In many places motorized bicycles are not a different matter and are also banned from bike paths.  Probably varies with location though.  Personally I agree with sbear55 that if it has a motor it isn't a bike and many jurisdictions treat it as such wrt bike paths.

I do think that AC routes are for the most part pretty suitable for someone wanting to ride a scooter.  They may have short sections of interstate of bike path in them but in the case of the bike paths I have always seen a reasonable alternate route.  Just me, but...  On the relatively rare fairly short section of interstate where there is no alternative, I'd be willing to take a chance with riding the shoulder on the interstate.

4
General Discussion / Re: Can scooters ride the routes?
« on: September 08, 2014, 06:55:52 am »
Sounds like fun.  Have a great trip.

5
General Discussion / Re: Can scooters ride the routes?
« on: September 07, 2014, 06:29:26 am »
What routes are you considering and are you talking about a motorized scooter or non motorized one?

For the most part yes you can since most of the way on the AC routes you will be on public highways.  There are some sections of some routes where bike trails are used, and motorized traffic would not be welcome, but you can easily take alternate routes in those few cases.

I can't think of anywhere I I have been on an AC routes where you couldn't go with a non-motorized scooter.

For cross country, I have ridden the Trans America and the Southern Tier and see no reason you couldn't do either route on either type scooter.

6
Gear Talk / Re: Straight up Noob bike/gear advice.
« on: September 05, 2014, 07:11:37 am »
Pick your gear first.  Then pick the bike and type of baggage that will best haul it.

Not sure how much you carried when backpacking, but you should be able to go lighter than 30-40 pounds.  Spares and tools can be pretty minimal (a pound or so including spare tubes).  Even in relatively remotes parts of the US you can typically stick out your thumb and catch a ride to the next town pretty easily.  I have done that a couple times and have ridden with others who did it a lot more and I think the longest wait for a ride was 20 minutes.

I'd suggest that you shoot for 20 pounds or less and for sure stay below 30 pounds or gear.  You can usually buy food daily so don't need to carry much.

If you are at all inclined toward going a bit minimal on the gear I suggest going really light 10-15 pound gear weight is fairly easy to achieve and I have not found any great loss of comfort or convenient.

I have done long and longish tours with loads ranging from 45 pounds down to 11 pounds or so (not counting food or water).  I found the lighter loads, lack of stuff to sort through and keep track of, and just simplicity of living with very limited items to deal with to be a joy.  I was able to maintain cooking and camping capability and comfort just as well with the lighter loads.

BTW, there are other choices besides a trailer or panniers.  Stuff sacks strapped on work well with lighter loads and there are also rackless "bikepacking" systems available if you are so inclined.

7
Gear Talk / Re: Does it make sense to replace just one tire with treadwear?
« on: September 01, 2014, 03:54:15 pm »
Have you ever had a front tire blowout while going downhill at speed?

Short answer...  yes.

Long answer...  In literally hundreds of thousands of miles of bicycling over a 55+ year period I have had sudden flats on the front and on the back some of them on fast descents.  Since the rear wheel carries more weight, far more flats were on the back than on the front, probably by a factor of 3 or 4 to 1.  None of them resulted in crashing, not that I haven't crashed quite a few times especially in my road racing and mountain bike racing days.  The crashes were never the result of a flat though, and the flats were generally not at all spectacular.

Besides, if I thought a tire was worn to where it was unacceptable risk on the front why would I run it on the rear wheel, especially since flats are far more common on the rear.  If I trust a tire, then I'll happily run it on either wheel.  If I don't trust it I won't run it at all.

8
Gear Talk / Re: Does it make sense to replace just one tire with treadwear?
« on: September 01, 2014, 06:15:10 am »
According to Sheldon the tire that is least likely to fail should be on the front. Sheldon's words on tire rotation are as follows: "The idea is to equalize the wear on the two tires, but this is a serious mistake, don't do it!"
I happily break that rule regularly.  I don't see it as all that likely to be a problem.  I never found handling in slippery conditions to be a problem with a more worn front tire and the rear tire is always more likely to fail even when the front is more worn due to the fact that it is carrying more weight.

I consider that rule to be mostly a case of over thinking things and looking for a problem that really doesn't exist.  It is one of very few issues where I disagree with Sheldon.

9
General Discussion / Re: Riding on the US Interstates
« on: August 26, 2014, 05:12:03 pm »
Many US states allow riding in the interstate.  None in the east but quite a few in the west.

Most folks have a strong preference for avoiding the interstates.  I kind of like riding on the interstate sometimes, but am not convinced that it is much if any safer due to having to cross merge areas at the intersections.

10
General Discussion / Re: Busiest ACA or other trail intersection?
« on: August 25, 2014, 02:00:05 pm »
Like any endeavor involving humans, there is the chance, maybe even a likelihood, that poor behaviors of the odd individual can ruin a good thing for the rest of us. I'll be curious about what Gillian has to say. I will try to contact her.
There was an article in Adventure Cycling.  My memory is foggy on the details but I think there may have been an open letter from her.  Here are a few things I recall about her, her hospitality, and her falling out with the cycling community.

1. She had a long history of offering hospitality to cyclists.  She was super nice to us when we stayed there and we greatly enjoyed our stay.
2. The time we stayed with her she had already hosted 80 cyclists that summer.
3. I recall that she had a wild fire sweep through and burn her house and outbuildings to the ground.  There was an outpouring of help from the cycling community with folks sending checks and I think there were folks that went and physically helped out.
4. Some time later (a few years maybe?) she reported that folks manners had gotten worse and worse and that guests were not cleaning up after themselves and expected too much in the way of hospitality.  She complained that they didn't offer to help by doing some work around the place.  I confess that I didn't either.  We did clean up after ourselves, thanked her, and tried to have generally good manners.  After the fire the three of us kicked in and sent her a check.  We think of her as a friend.

I had mixed feelings about the news of her stopping hosting cyclists, which she obviously had every right to do.  On one hand I was saddened that folks were rude and left her place a mess.  On the other I thought it odd that she expected folks to do things like work on the roof or what not.  I know that about the time we rolled into Ordway we were dog tired and the next in a hurry to make time.  The guests that have stayed with me have all been the same in that regard.  In general expecting much more than guests being thankful, polite, and cleaning up after themselves can only lead to disappointment.

11
General Discussion / Re: Busiest ACA or other trail intersection?
« on: August 25, 2014, 06:18:19 am »
You might consider how needed the service is in the location.  That might be more important that volume of bike traffic.

I'd say that somewhere on the Trans America would have enough tourist traffic and need.  I know that back when we did the TA somewhere like the home Gillian in Ordway had plenty of folks stop and it was an oasis to them.  I believe Gillian has since had a kind of falling out with the cycling community though and no longer hosts cyclists.  If it was me, and given your criteria, I'd pick a small town on the TA similar to Ordway.

You probably have quite a bit more bicycle traffic volume on the Pacific coast route than anywhere else I have toured.  The need might be less for most of it though because there are lots of great state parks with cheap hiker biker sites.  You might be able to attract a lot of folks there if you pick the right location though.

12
General Discussion / Re: Sour clothing - after washing!
« on: August 22, 2014, 03:59:20 pm »
I'm beginning to think that the recommendation for washing out at the end of the day and air drying is probably the best solution.  No more plastic bags loaded with unwashed clothes for me.

Yeah, when possible that is the way to go.  If you have to bag wet clothes try not to leave them wet too long.

Not for everyone, but I find that I am OK with very little in the way of clothing.  That way there is very little need to stow damp stuff.  I take one set of on bike clothes and one each of any other clothing article.  My off bike shorts (1 pr) are running shorts with a built in brief, so no underwear needed.  I carry tights (1 pr) for cool weather.  One tech tee is sometimes my only warm weather shirt.  For cooler weather I use a windbreaker over a pile shirt or a puffy shirt.  If it might be really cold I may take both, but not usually.

I find that I don't mind putting things on while they are still damp when needed and also find that going a few days without washing clothing isn't that bad.  Turning things inside out and hanging them out for an hour of sun does wonders for killing whatever grows there.

13
Routes / Re: before I'm 70
« on: August 20, 2014, 06:19:44 am »
Not too sure what to say about that route, since I don't know what your criteria was, but it looks like you are hitting a lot of urban areas that I would avoid.

In any case I doubt that the AC maps will cover much of that route.  The AC maps are narrow strip maps of particular routes.  I'd be more inclined to just pick from the AC routes rather than follow your route unless you have a special reason to prefer that route.

14
General Discussion / Re: Sour clothing - after washing!
« on: August 18, 2014, 03:03:00 pm »
Hot water wash and liquid Tide (I like Tide Sport)

15
I'm thinking about biking from Oklahoma City to San Fransisco next year, but I really don't know where to start as finding good routes or general travel issues I may not be aware of, as well as picking gear. I have a fairly cheap Raleigh right now that I ride everywhere (I don't own a car), but I don't know much about bikes and know nothing of long distance biking. Obviously I'll need a much better bike. I know I need to be getting into shape and familiarizing myself with far distances before doing this, which I will be doing this entire next year. I also know it will take about a month for me to get there at 50 miles a day, and I'm thinking about taking camping gear with me and just staying at campsites along the way. I don't know much else besides this though, and I'm figuring there's a lot I'm not considering... so any tips on this would be greatly appreciated. :)
A better bike isn't a slam dunk.  Pretty much any bike in good working order would be capable of the trip.

It is really easy to take too much stuff so I'd advise taking pretty minimal gear or at least carefully thinking out what you need trimming where you can.  Figure out your camping gear and clothing first, then decide what baggage is needed to carry it, then decide if the bike is up to the task or you need something else.  You will find that you actually need very little.  I personally find that it is really easy for excess gear to detract from the trip both from a weight perspective and a simplicity of life on the road perspective.

There is a lot of good info on the crazy guy site.  I have a couple articles there that might be helpful.
https://www.crazyguyonabike.com
http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/Ultralight
http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/frugal


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