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Messages - geegee

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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.

General Discussion / Re: Tales of Calamity and Woe
« on: November 02, 2012, 11:10:16 am »
One of the pins on my rear derailleur broke in the middle of England, causing the whole assembly to crumple towards the wheel. Luckily no spokes were broken and I was able to get a ride into Sheffield to get  a new derailleur.

The brackets that connected my rear rack to the seat stays completely sheared off while riding down a big hill towards Prague. The rack with all my bags pivoted down to the ground and got dragged before I could stop. It wore a hole through the dry seal bag and the tent inside. I managed to secure the rack back with bungie cords and proceeded slowly to the city where I got a new rack.

General Discussion / Re: Advice needed!!!
« on: November 01, 2012, 01:19:44 pm »
For water, I carry a collapsable bag such as the ones from MSR. I have the 4 litre version, and it along with two water bottles is enough for me to get through the hottest and driest stretches. I strap it on with bungie cords on top of the stuff on my back rack, and when there is plenty of water available I just roll it up and tuck it inside my pannier. For a night of camping in the wild, it holds enough water for cooking and a bit of washing up.

The nice thing with the MSR bags is that they hook up nicely with their filtration systems. I rode through the Yukon and Alaska where there weren't any taps for a hundred miles apart but lots of streams and rivers, and I was never short of clean water, nor did I have to carry too much of it. You definitely won't need a water filter on the TransAm though.

Routes / Re: GAP/CO Canal on a folder ????
« on: October 10, 2012, 11:43:46 pm »
On the GAP it would be fine, but the C&O can be a bit challenging for small wheels. I have taken my Bike Friday on rougher trails than the C&O, and taking a bumpy ride on 20inch wheels is not very pleasant past a couple hours.

General Discussion / Re: Winter touring in Canada
« on: October 01, 2012, 03:48:16 am »
There are no alternatives to the Trans Canada Highway through Northern Ontario, even in the summer. The only other route is the railroad, which the railway company absolutely forbids access to. Blasting roads through the tough granite hills of the Canadian Shield has been one of the hardest and costliest links in the country, and I would not take crossing that landscape lightly in the dead of winter.

Only some of the canal locks have camping, but if you ask most lock or liftbridge keepers for permission to pitch a tent at the end of a day, they seldom refuse.

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!

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

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?

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 : 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

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.

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

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.

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

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

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