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Messages - BobG

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1
General Discussion / Re: Full Time Tour Leader?
« on: October 03, 2016, 06:49:58 am »
Evan, I've taken the ACA Leadership course and have led several several tours for them including four TransAms in the '90s and 00's. Nobody leads trips "full time" for ACA. If you are selected for a long trip, that may last for 2-3 months. Some veteran leaders may lead several shorter trips in one season that don't conflict in dates with one another.

The ACA "pay" for leading tours is more like a volunteer compensation. The last tour I led in 2009 it was $50/day plus the tour, food and also re-imbursement for getting home from the trip. I don't think you will consider that "a reasonable amount to live on" beyond the duration of the tour itself. Certainly not if you are paying rent, taxes, mortgage, or in your case RV expenses while on tour.

ACA leaders are not employees but at $50/day it's hard to consider oneself as a serious "contractor". We sign a contract with ACA that states that they will not hold us liable for unforeseen events however that contract does not cover any future problems between leader and individual group members. Leaders are expected to be good enough mechanics to get a rider to a bike shop. Often this requires road side wheel removal and brake work, thus there is some risk  leaders must assume hoping the rider doesn't have an accident resulting from his/her mechanical work then holding them personally responsible. $50/day does not pay enough for leaders to have private insurance unless they have income from other sources. That said, I've never heard of leaders having legal action taken against them by participants.

If there are any ACA Tours staff in the audience, please correct me if the above information has changed since 2009.

Day to day? You share the same wonderful trip as your group is experiencing and the camaraderie of that group becomes intense on the longer tours such as the TransAm. After dinner you can't relax as much as the others as you need present a brief summary of the next day's ride and you need to be constantly on the phone planning ahead. You also need to enter and balance the day's expenses into an account book. There is a certain level of stress being on duty for 93 days continuously.

2
General Discussion / Re: Bikes into Newport News Airport
« on: September 29, 2016, 06:55:26 am »
I flew from Eugene OR > Portland > Atlanta > Newport News once via Alaska/Delta. No problems with my accompanying bike on the smaller connection flights.

3
Routes / Re: New England to the Atlantic Coast Route
« on: September 24, 2016, 07:05:41 pm »
Thanks for the photos! Brought back memories of similar trips I took in '13, NH to VA. First attempt was in June, N Tier to Orford NH then south to Brattleboro. Picked up the ACA route at Granby CT and continued to Poughkeepsie. Camped at Riverton, Millerton and Staatsburg. I aborted trip there due to weather and fitness and took Amtrak back to Boston via NY then bus home.

Second try in the Fall was same week after Labor Day as yours with perfect weather. Successful all the way to VA using the same ACA route you took through NY and NJ. That trip I modified the route through CT and rode from Westhampton MA to Bantam Lake CT and then to Highland NY. From there continued on ACA route south to DC with an alternate route from Riegelsville to French Creek SP where I re-joined the ACA route as far as MD, then continued on my own route.

Didn't take many pics so I enjoyed yours!

4
Gabor, If you are coming to Colorado directly from Hungary it will take some time to adjust to the altitude. You may not enjoy the first few rides. Even at night you may wake up gasping for more air. Denver is at 1610m, Pikes Peak is 4302m, Mt Evans is 4340m.

5
General Discussion / Re: Largest tire to put on a 17mm rim?
« on: July 21, 2016, 07:08:06 am »
Here's Sheldon Brown's chart that addresses the width issue more specifically than canalligator's link above. Scroll  down to "Width Considerations"...

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/tire-sizing.html#iso

For a 17mm inside rim width it recommends a 25-37mm tire with the following note...

"Note: This chart may err a bit on the side of caution. Many cyclists exceed the recommended widths with no problem."

"Although you can use practically any tire/rim combination that shares the same bead seat diameter, it is unwise to use widely disparate sizes.

If you use a very narrow tire on a wide rim, you risk pinch flats and rim damage from road hazards.

If you use a very wide tire on a narrow rim, you risk sidewall or rim failure. This combination causes very sloppy handling at low speeds. Unfortunately, current mountain-bike fashion pushes the edge of this. In the interest of weight saving, most current mountain bikes have excessively narrow rims. Such narrow rims work very poorly with wide tires, unless the tires are overinflated...but that defeats the purpose of wide tires, and puts undue stress on the rim sidewalls."



6
General Discussion / Re: Largest tire to put on a 17mm rim?
« on: July 20, 2016, 02:36:17 pm »
The manufacturer of your rims (Alex?) may also have a suggestion. Here's that page for Velocity...

http://www.velocityusa.com/tech/rims/

A 700c Dyad, for example, has an outside width of 24mm, inside width of 18.6mm. Recommended tire width range is 25-38mm.

7
Connecting ACA Routes / Re: Northern Tier Route to Portland Maine
« on: June 01, 2016, 07:48:43 am »
The above suggestion is the most direct, somewhat bike friendly route to Portland. If your date falls between June 25 and Sept 5 a more fun way to get to Portland is to follow the NT all the way to Brunswick ME. Leave the route there and ride 15 miles down a peninsula to Bailey Island. Catch the Casco Bay Lines boat for the 1.75 hour cruise back to Portland. I did this one year when I finished the NT with a group and I had to retrieve my vehicle at the Portland Jetport. You may want to call ahead to confirm space for a one way trip.

http://www.cascobaylines.com/schedules/bailey-island-schedule/

https://goo.gl/F28HMz

8
Connecting ACA Routes / Re: Northern Tier Route to Portland Maine
« on: May 31, 2016, 06:34:01 pm »
-Leave the Northern Tier Route at Conway NH.
-Turn right (S) on NH 153 at the light in the center of  Conway
-Follow 153 to Freedom NH
-Just beyond Freedom turn left (E) on NH/ME 25 to Westbrook  ME
-Continue straight onto ME 25 bypass to avoid downtown Westbrook
-Turn right on Stroudwater St which becomes Westbrook St.  Follow to ME 22, Congress St.
-Turn Left onto Congress St. See map details to ferry terminal

NH 153 is a rural country road past a couple of lakes. NH/ME 25 has traffic but also a good shoulder all the way. Avoid ME 113 from Fryeburg. Disappearing shoulder with lots of oil and Poland Spring Water trucks.

https://goo.gl/1Jquje

9
Walmart did stock Coleman branded "MSR" style isobutane cartridges on the shelves for a few years but apparently no longer.

Bumping this thread for an update. I found Coleman branded isobutane canisters back on the shelves at my local Walmart. I searched a few random Walmart locations on the TransAm. Many stores list them in stock.

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Coleman-Butane-Propane-Mix-Fuel/20595064

10
General Discussion / Re: GROCERY STORE NORTHER TIER
« on: May 16, 2016, 07:10:04 pm »
Google Maps comes up with this 2010 photo of the Skagit General Store in Newhalem. Possibly the one that indyfabz refers to. You may want to try finding a phone number to learn if it still is in business.

https://goo.gl/TBP0Ha

11
General Discussion / Re: Michelin Maps or Google Maps for Europe?
« on: April 16, 2016, 06:22:54 pm »
I purchased the 1:400,000 map for Italy. I want to ride the Green routes, which are scenic, and less traveled (I think)?...

My goal is to ride on mostly quiet, scenic roads. I don't see any street names for the GREEN ROUTE of this map. For example, the map shows the Green Route going along a freeway, but it doesn't give any detail on the name of the street. Do you think this map will give enough detail to help me stay off the main roads? Or should I purchase the 1:200,000???

The 1/400,000 details look pretty good in the online samples. They are a bit smaller in physical size so that would be an advantage. 48"x39" vs 61"x39" for the 1/200,000 scale. They are both fairly large to deal with on a windy day. Possibly cut it in half to be more manageable. The old style 1/200,000 was 18"x42", much more convenient.

Maybe use the 1/400,000 and go online to the Viamichelin or Google sites to zoom in for more detail when needed? Or if it's inadequate replace with the larger scale when you're on the road. In France you'll find them in every town newspaper shop/book store. Not sure about Italy.

I've only travelled in France and I avoid the red roads and freeways even when they're designated "scenic" with the green highlight. I link up the little, squiggly white and yellow roads using a red road only for short connectors.

12
General Discussion / Re: Michelin Maps or Google Maps for Europe?
« on: April 16, 2016, 09:27:43 am »
I find the 1/200,000 scale to be the best for cycling. It will show the smaller (white and yellow) roads in more detail. Also in France it will display a triangular symbol at towns with municipal campgrounds. The above (reply 4) Michelin screenshot is about at that scale. You will ride off the map quickly if you're traveling in the short dimension of the rectangle, but at least in France you will find the local maps at any Tabac or Presse shop in the next town. I also carried a 1/1,000,000 scale map to have an overview of the entire trip.

You can view the paper map graphics of Michelin maps online by clicking on the Michelin Man face icon in lower right corner at my black arrow. If you zoom in closer than 1/200,000 it will return to the more electronic graphics.



http://www.viamichelin.com/web/Maps

edit: I just looked at current versions of Michelin paper maps. The 1/200,000 maps are a lot larger than when I used them. They used to be fairly small quadrangles, now they each cover a wider region. The good news with that is you will buy fewer maps and ride off them less often. Bad news is they will be more cumbersome to unfold on the road.

13
General Discussion / Re: Michelin Maps or Google Maps for Europe?
« on: April 15, 2016, 06:55:48 pm »
By all means use Google Maps as a supplement but pick up the paper Michelin Maps as you travel to see the big picture as suggested above. Also available online. There is no comparison when it comes to the artistic detail of the Michelins.

Michelin...



Google...



Click to enlarge

14
Routes / Re: Century day along the TransAm route
« on: March 29, 2016, 01:21:59 pm »
On a 1993 ACA TransAm tour our entire group of ten rode 104 miles from Scott City KS to Eads CO. We started out with a slight head wind with Tribune KS as our planned stop 46 miles away. As we approached Tribune the wind started swinging around towards our backs. We all arrived by lunch time and agreed to push on another 30 miles to Sheridan Lake CO. At Sheridan Lake we re-grouped and at this point the wind was howling right at our backs. We took a vote and said "Lets go for it!" and rode the final 28 miles to Eads and rewarded ourselves with a motel stay that night!

15

We did have trouble finding canisters from Pueblo to Virginia.  I know others claim Walmart has them everywhere but we did not find that to be the case. 

Yes, I posted this info a few years ago. Walmart did stock Coleman branded "MSR" style isobutane cartridges on the shelves for a few years but apparently no longer. Now they only sell Primus/Optimus cannisters through Walmart dotcom. That means you'd have to order in advance to have one waiting for you. Alternatively, find one at an outdoors store which may be scarce on some sections of the route.

http://goo.gl/wLqIJ5

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