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Messages - geegee

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Routes / Re: First trip in the USA
« on: April 04, 2013, 07:19:01 pm »
Despite the longer plane ride, the Pacific Coast from Seattle (or Vancouver) down to San Francisco is probably one of the nicest summer rides in the USA, and a great experience for Europeans. Camping is plentiful and cheap, and the camaraderie among cyclists along the route is fantastic.

Closer to you, I agree the Adirondacks and the northeast offer a bit of a wilderness experience that is hard to come by in the eastern seaboard. If you can arrange flying into one airport and out another, starting in NYC woud be fine, cycling up the Hudson Valley to do the Adirondack loop, then catching the Erie canal route towards Niagara Falls and ending in with a short foray into Canada, to Toronto, which has lots of flights back to the Netherlands. Some resources for you for this, besides the ACA routes: NY State Bike Routes, Erie Canalway Trail and Ontario's Waterfront Trail

Routes / Haida Gwaii
« on: March 31, 2013, 01:06:23 pm »
Has anyone here cycled Haida Gwaii? I'm contemplating doing my second trans-Canada trip and I would like to begin from these islands. Ideally, I'd like to start off from kilometre 0 of the Yellowhead Highway in Masset, but the airport is in Sandspit (YZP) at the other end near the ferry to the mainland. I could either ride north to Masset and catch a hitch back to the ferry, or take a bus and ride from Masset to the ferry. Are the prevailing winds here the same as the rest of the Pacific coast, from north to south? Any other tips or experiences worth sharing would be appreciated.

Routes / Re: Transamerica Cost
« on: March 30, 2013, 12:25:49 pm »
If you are travelling solo, expect your costs to be higher than many people who travel in pairs or groups who have the advantage of sharing the cost of a campsite or motel room, or buying larger quantities of food. Although I try to keep costs down, I do budget and save up for about $40-50 a day average when I travel alone, and if there's any left over it just goes toward the next trip. I free camp once in a while when I have to, but I also like taking rest days in towns where I can take in some local culture and food. Those days might be expensive, but they are worth it to me, as the are the main reason I travel to different places.

Routes / Re: El Paso to San Diego via Tucson
« on: March 29, 2013, 11:16:44 pm »
There is Holtville and the Imperial Valley and Ocatillo,CA and 8 from there to hysteric highway 80.

That certainly made me laugh.  :)

General Discussion / Re: What should I name my trip?
« on: March 28, 2013, 04:29:46 am »
You're going to Los Angeles. It's not one story, it's going to be a bunch of stories or angles, just like a bike frame.

"Charlie's Angles:D

Too bad the ferry from Yarmouth NS to Maine is no longer running, I would have suggested going along the south coast of Nova Scotia, which is probably the most picturesque coast in the Northeast. You can still do it and go around to Digby (or get there via the Annapolis Valley) and take the ferry to Saint John NB.

It has been a while since I've cycled the Fundy coast of  New Brunswick, before they 4-laned NB1, so I don't exactly know what's happening there. Seems like the secondary highway routes have been segmented, and I don't know if they will let you use short sections of the freeway to get from one to the other (I don't see any "no bikes" signs at the on-ramps on Google street view)

I personally found cycling in Maine a bit uninteresting, you rarely get a view of the ocean because the highway is inland among the trees, but the roads have good shoulders.

General Discussion / Re: Touring Question
« on: March 26, 2013, 06:15:59 pm »
I'm self employed in the creative field and I've been lucky that in the last 20 years, I've allowed myself at least a month every year to go off on a bike trip. Six weeks is the longest I've been gone, and that took me across continents. I could go for more, but I find after 40 or so days i miss being productive. Knowing that another good trip is in store the next year, I don't really anything much lengthier. My clients have gotten to know me well and even ask when I will be away.

Being debt free definitely helps, the average person pays thousands of dollars in interest fees a year. Not being in debt was another life priority for me, and so many things become affordable after that, especially when you maintain the same discipline that gets you there. Having said that, I actually splurge when I ride.

General Discussion / Re: Cycling US = Crazy?
« on: March 25, 2013, 07:59:03 pm »
Actually there are areas in the USA where the cycling is better than Europe. Some of the new state roads are wider and built to better standards. Bike routes in the urban areas are rarely straightforward, and it's most likely you missed them because they are not obvious. Once you get out of the big cities and in to the open country, you'll have a an easier time.

Please help me.

I'm 22 years old. I know if I did this- it would change me. Period. How the hell do I do it?

Such a trip might change you, but if it does you'll find out that change comes from within you and not from some external source.

Since you mentioned your phobias and situation candidly, allow me to read between the lines and suggest that you letting far too many external factors dictate things in your life. Seems like that is the true barrier you need to get over. If you go away and come back to the same situation you will still need to face these issues again.

So my advice is, whether you get to go on an epic trip soon or not, find a way to make peace with or slay your internal demons beforehand. And then when you do go (and you will if you really want to) you'll have a much better time.

Routes / Re: Canada motorists
« on: January 23, 2013, 10:48:25 pm »
Unfortunately much of Ontario's highways have narrow or no shoulders. Highway 17 along this route has about foot-wide shoulders. Traffic is not very heavy and most drivers are courteous but my advice is make sure you have a really good rear view mirror that is well positioned to allow you to check it at a glance (one reason I've switched from drop bars to bullhorns). If there's an on-coming truck and I see another behind me, I'll pull out on the gravel if I sense the vehicle behind is not slowing down — better safe than sorry.

Traffic is pretty light on the 6 through Manitoulin Island, and the scenery is spectacular. The weathered-smooth granite formations here are unique and iconic of the Georgian Bay region. Along the Bruce Peninsula, traffic might be busier on weekends when people from the city come up, but otherwise the southbound traffic will have waves of traffic using the ferry. I would stay off the main highways south of Owen Sound, there are a lot of quiet county roads that offer better alternatives.

If you have fatter tires that can handle some off-road riding and don't mind a slower speed there are several rails-to-trails you can take some of the way.

If you are in Elora on a hot day, you might want to try tubing on the river. Guelph is a quaint-looking town

General Discussion / Re: Which cycling maps for U.S. and Canada?
« on: January 10, 2013, 11:27:42 am »
For Canada, MapArt prints some decent scale maps which you can buy at almost every gas station. The "Southern Alberta Range Road" map shows practically all the rural roads, and the one for BC is not bad. The corridors through the Rockies and the Cascades are pretty well limited to the roads shown (most have decent shoulders), with the exception of the rail trails such as the Kettle Valley Railway (KVR) trail. These trails can be quite rough, sometimes you need to negotiate around landslides and washouts, so if you are hauling a lot of gear it can be tedious.

Natural Resources Canada will be launching a new website called GeoGratis soon ( ). When it comes into service sometime this winter, you should be able to download detailed topographic maps of any region in Canada for free

GPS Discussion / Re: best way to get use a Garmin 800 for cc trip
« on: December 30, 2012, 05:21:24 pm »
The ACA data is just waypoints and the associated routing, so you will need some detailed base maps. Garmin's City Navigator maps work well. Beware if you get hold of older versions of the USA Topo maps, routing does not seem to work properly for some states.

Routes / Re: Southern Tier Connection Advice (LA & NM)
« on: November 30, 2012, 12:01:50 am »
I rode through Mescalero last May on my way to Dallas from San Diego. I used US380 to cross Texas, it's a good road throughout most of its entire length, with the exception where it goes through Denton (avoid University drive within the loop if you decide to take this route, use McKinney/Oak to get across this city). It gets pretty remote west of Bridgeport. Stock up on water in Tatum NM, there won't be anything to drink until Roswell.

US70 is awesome through Ruidoso and Mescalero. There are ample shoulders all the way to Las Cruces where you can hook up to the ST or opt for the I-10 corridor.

A few years ago I also rode from Florida to Houston via New Orleans. I used US90, and it was good with some short spotty sections through Mississippi. In downtown N.O., I took the ferry at the end of Canal Street to cross the big river and cruised along the levy pathways to connect back on to US90 towards Lafayette. I continued up to Opelousas and then went on US190 towards the Texas border, which has good shoulders except for a few miles through Kinder (which is not so kind :). I crossed into Texas at Deweyville.

If I were to connect my two tours, I would probably continue on US190 to Jasper, and then head for Lufkin, Tyler, Mineola and then hook up with US380 at Greenville. I would avoid cycling into Dallas/Fort Worth, unless you like bike-averse urban sprawl.

GPS Discussion / Re: Touring, mapping GPSR from Garmin, which to choose?
« on: November 15, 2012, 12:36:31 am »
I have an eTrex but I'm saving up for a Montana 600. I like the large touch screen and the dual battery flexibility.

General Discussion / Re: Advice on Heading South in Winter
« on: November 14, 2012, 06:42:47 pm »
I would pack up the panniers and and things you don't need on the train into one box and check it in. You probably have to transfer in Chicago, and if you have a few hours of layover, it's not much fun if you have to lug around or worry about stuff.

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