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Messages - geegee

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61
General Discussion / Re: Gross maximum trailer weight
« on: August 14, 2012, 09:01:07 am »
I've towed about 100 lbs of canoe/kayak and gear over fair distances and it is not so bad especially if the trailer spreads the weight between two decent sized (18-20 inch) wheels. On the flats, you have inertia on your side so if you work up to a speed it is not hard to maintain it. On the downhills, you'll wear out your brakes a lot faster so bring spare pads, and you need to brake gradually or in quick rapid pulses to prevent jack-knifing. Of course, it's the uphills that are a lot more work!

62
Tout Terrain makes a really cool USB power system:




It looks like they offer an extra power pack boost, so I imagine adding a solar charger to recharge those batteries is somehow possible

63
Routes / Re: Need Route and info from Georgia to San Diego
« on: July 18, 2012, 08:31:00 pm »
I saw that in someone else's blog.  Luckily, the route I am looking into turns south and goes thru Gila Nat'l Forest and approaches Globe on 70 from the south east.  Thanks for the location of that tunnel - I've been wondering if I would see it or not.  Not is better!

So how are you planning to get from Bylas to Mesa without passing through that tunnel?

64
Routes / Re: Need Route and info from Georgia to San Diego
« on: July 17, 2012, 04:30:06 pm »
Many who have done the ST have nightmares of this road : http://goo.gl/maps/LCf6 Beautiful area but that stretch of highway left me in a pretty foul mood. Heading east it's a nasty climb, heading west you'd be coming down a 6% grade hurling towards a narrow tunnel against the guard rails with possibly some dump trucks carrying copper ore from the mines on your tail. I personally would never ride that road again until they've improved it

65
Routes / Re: Trans Canada trail or Trans Canada highway?
« on: July 17, 2012, 03:13:45 pm »
If you are starting from Vancouver, most cyclists leave around June to early July, with an August/September end date. May weather can be iffy, it was quite wet and cold out west this year, but some years are great.

66
Routes / Re: Trans Canada trail or Trans Canada highway?
« on: July 16, 2012, 10:13:45 am »
Much of the rural portions of the Trans Canada Trail (TCT) are really rough and more suitable for full-suspension mountain bikes and hiking. In some parts they are sections of rails-to-trails, the well maintained ones are gravel paths, the ones that are not are chockfull of roots and rocks. In urban areas, they are often paved, and offer a good way in and out of the cities. Many parts of the TCT are still under development or even still to be determined.

The Trans Canada Highway (TCH) is very much automobile-centred, in most of western Canada it is OK for cycling, in central and eastern Canada it is often too busy and there are better alternatives. Cycling the TCH all the way would be a noisy, fume-filled route, sometimes convenient but not always the best.

My recommendation for a cross-Canada route starting from Vancouver would be:
BC: Hwy 7 out to Hope, TCH (Hwy 1) all the way to the Alberta Border and Calgary
AB: from Calgary find your way out to Hwy 9 via Drumheller to the Saskatchewan border (Alsask)
SK: from Alsask, highways 7, 15, 44, 19, 42, 2 to Moose Jaw; THC to Regina; highways 33 and 13 to the Manitoba border;
MB: Hwy 2 aka "Red Coat Trail" to Winnipeg; TCH (Hwy1) to the Ontario border. Note: the roads in Manitoba are the worst you'll encounter, none of them have shoulders. Hwy 2 likely has less traffic than the THC or the Yellowhead Highway (Hwy 16)
ON: with its good and bad portions, Hwy 17 all the way to Petawawa; small county roads into Ottawa (message me if you want exact details)
QC: from Ottawa, cross the river and follow Route Verte (RV) 1 to Montreal, RV 5 to Quebec City, cross ferry to Lévis and back on RV 1 to Rivière-du-Loup (for inland route or Mont Joli—Matapédia for coastal route.
NB: inland route – at Rivière-du-Loup QC, take the TCT aka "Petit-Temis" trail to Edmunston NB, take Hwy 105 to Fredericton, 112 to Moncton; 134 to Shediac. Coastal route -  enter NB at Campbellton; Hwy 134/11 to Shediac; coastal road from Shediac to the Confederation Bridge, bridge shuttle to PEI.
PE: The Confederation Trail and associated rail trails can take you across the island from Borden to Wood Island; Wood island-Caribou ferry to Nova Scotia
NS: Hwy 4/104 to North Sydney for the Newfoundland ferry. Check ferry schedule to make sure your arrival is synched with a sailing day
NL: Long Way – ferry to Port-aux-Basques TCH to St. John's; Short Way – ferry to Placentia, highways 100, 13, 10 to St. John's

67
Routes / Re: Need Route and info from Georgia to San Diego
« on: July 12, 2012, 01:58:48 am »
I took a look at your proposed route, and I recommend taking US 70 between Roswell and Las Cruces (via Ruidoso and Alamogordo) and then following the I-10 corridor (sometimes there are small roads parallel to the interstate) to Phoenix. This should cut down your distance a bit more and avoid the steep climbs on shoulder-less roads in this portion of the ST.

68
Depending on your pace, it is possible to do 2 of those 3 areas in two weeks if you take the train in between. My favourite area was the southwest (Dingle and the Ring of Kerry), a bit hilly but not so tough. In contrast, riding through the Glens of Antrim is fairly flat along the coastal road.

If you have a choice, look into flying into Shannon and out of Dublin (or the other way around) so you can experience more without backtracking

69
Routes / Re: southern tier route
« on: July 02, 2012, 11:26:24 pm »
What do you mean when you say you will have much harder climbs later on? Are you talking about specific areas on the southern tier?

The climbs east of Superior AZ and onwards to New Mexico are definitely tougher. I found the ascent from San Diego wasn't so bad because, for the most part, road conditions and traffic levels are quite relaxed in the California leg of the trip, and one is likely to have a tailwind heading east crossing the coastal mountains.

If I recall correctly, by the time I got to Ocotillo on my second day, the cumulative vertical climb was more than 7,000 feet over 90-some miles — a bit ambitious for me to do all on a first day. San Diego to Alpine was good first day for me, I stayed at the Ma-Tar-Awa campground at Viejas. Even though I don't gamble, I took their free shuttle from the campground to the casino area to grab a bite to eat. If you do the same, make sure you get a free card from the casino's hospitality desk to take advantage of the significant discounts at the restaurants

70
Routes / Re: Starting the Southern Tier in June
« on: June 15, 2012, 11:39:00 pm »
That's odd- the ACA says palo verde has a population of 236 and quartzite 3400. Guess that shows the unpredictability of the desert. Brawley to Blythe is ~140 miles- only town between them is palo verde. Did you stay at camp sites?

The only thing between Brawley and Palo Verde is Glamis which isn't much except for a store which was closed when I went through and the campsites there are all dry. I ended up sleeping in the wild 25 miles short of Palo Verde because the sn was  I started the day in Ocotillo and kept going past Brawley. I stopped at the campground at Palo Verde the next morning for some water but it tasted truly disgusting and I spat it out despite being super thirsty. Luckily the store is just a few miles down the road.

71
General Discussion / Re: fitting tents into rear panniers
« on: June 15, 2012, 04:48:30 pm »
I use a 20-litre dry sack strapped to the top of the rear rack. In it I stuff the tent, an inflatable sleeping mat and a 6'x8' tarp. I pack the the tarp last so it's easy to access as an emergency shelter in case of a sudden storm, or as a ground sheet for picnic lunches and quick naps.

72
Routes / Re: Starting the Southern Tier in June
« on: June 15, 2012, 12:56:39 am »
A lot of places close for the summer in the desert in CA and AZ, so be prepared for the already limited services to have erratic hours of operation. Definitely do not leave Brawley without stocking up on water and food, you may not find anything until Palo Verde. I rode through this area in early May and most of the snowbirds had already packed up and left places like Quartzsite, which seemed like virtual ghost towns.

73
Gear Talk / Re: Bike Shorts
« on: June 07, 2012, 10:43:02 am »
With a nicely broken in Brooks saddle, I haven't used padded shorts on my last 5 long tours. I've been using mesh-lined running shorts or swim shorts with no problems or pain/sore issues. They wash and dry so much easier and faster than padded bike shorts.

74
Routes / Re: Across New Mexico on US70/380 then onward to Dallas TX
« on: May 30, 2012, 03:39:59 pm »
I just got back from my trip and I thought I'd report on this route just in case someone searches this thread.

From Las Cruces I took US70 towards Alamogordo ,Tularosa, Ruidoso and Roswell; US380 from Roswell to the Dallas area. Road conditions are really good for most of this route that I think it should seriously be considered a candidate for the USBR 84 corridor. The only uncomfortable stretch I went through was the short distance getting across Denton TX, (almost ironic that a road called University Drive would be so unfriendly to bicycles) but I'm sure alternatives could easily be found. Services were sometimes a bit lacking but there were always food, campgrounds and motels every 40 to 60 miles. The longest distances without services was Roswell to Tatum NM (60+miles) and Post to Jayton TX (50+ miles)

A summary of the route in pictures:

The Organ Mountains look daunting from Las Cruces but crossing over them really wasn't so bad


The road up to San Agustin Pass starts out very gradual and has decent room all the way to the top


View of the White Sands Missile Testing Range from the top of the pass. Occasionally they may temporarily close the highway during tests


These have got to be the widest shoulders I have ever cycled on, about 2 car lanes in width, probably for moving missile parts


A few miles of seeing this


a nice break before continuing on to Alamogordo


Past Tularosa, a long climb up towards Sierra Blanca through the Lincoln National Forest, but not steep and on very generous shoulders


The summit is a bit anti-climatic, I did most of the climb on my middle gears


On the other side of the hump the descent is also nice and gradual, coasting though a very scenic region. Ruidoso is a cool town


Ridin' through the same area as the Kid


Beautiful scenic road though the Hondo Valley


Ran into a bad storm on the high prairie west of Roswell, I thought it was going to spawn a twister


A few ups and downs across the valleys


Clear sailing into Texas. The wind was mostly from the south so depending on the slight twist in the road the cross wind was either with me or against me


A few days of cycling through this monotonous landscape...


...with road construction sometimes forcing you into a dark corner :)


75
Gear Talk / Pitching a tent along the western Southern Tier
« on: April 11, 2012, 01:09:20 pm »
I'm heading off on the Southern Tier route from San Diego to Texas in a couple of weeks, my first time in the Southwest. Just wondering if the ground is mostly sandy and if I should take along beefier spade-type tent pegs instead of my thin ultra-light ones.

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