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Messages - litespeed

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Routes / Southern Tier May-June
« on: February 20, 2007, 02:50:17 pm »
That sounds like a good time of the year to do the southern tier. If you don't like the heat you might consider a bit earlier. But not much.
Theoretically you should have more tailwinds going west to east but you never know. I once fought light-to-moderate NE winds crossing Texas west-to-east and SE winds sometimes blow off the Gulf. But I have also fought fierce headwinds while going east-to-west across the Texas panhandle. Going west-to-east across southern New Mexico I had blissful tailwinds for a couple of days.

This message was edited by litespeed on 2-20-07 @ 10:57 AM

Routes / transamerica
« on: February 11, 2007, 12:45:12 pm »
In the high mountain passes you can get snow as late as June but it's unlikely to really stop traffic or be much below freezing. Since you want to start as early as possible I would suggest May 1 as a good starting date from the west coast.

Routes / Northern Tier
« on: February 08, 2007, 11:48:27 pm »
Go to the Glacier Park web site - and put "camping" in the search box. You'll get all the information you could possibly want. It's a great web site.
This will be a real detour for you but the Going-to-the-Sun Highway is one of the scenic wonders of the country. I'll do it again one of these years.

Routes / Going through Canada
« on: February 06, 2007, 11:11:23 am »
It's ALWAYS a good idea to have a passport.
And to take it with you whenever you travel anywhere. You never know what's going to happen. I know many people who've missed out on going somewhere good because they didn't have a passport or couldn't get one fast enough.

Routes / Northern Tier into Portland, OR
« on: February 03, 2007, 05:41:30 pm »
30 days from Michigan to Portland OR is certainly doable. I have done similar distances in a month but I am used to 100+ miles a day. I would recommend the ferry from Ludington MI to Manitowoc WI then right across the middle of Wisconsin. You can roughly follow US14 across southern Minnesota, on to Pierre SD, the Black Hills and Yellowstone. You will have the climb (and descent) of your life over the Bighorn Mountains.
Then, after the obligatory stop in Missoula, you can either climb over Lolo Pass (shorter route) or take the easier Hiawatha Trail and tunnel to the north. Then it's US12 to the Colombia River. You can either fight the headwinds down the Gorge or stay on 12 to Portland.
This trip covers a beautiful part of the US. You'll have a fine trip.

This message was edited by litespeed on 2-4-07 @ 6:53 AM

Routes / Northern Tier into Portland, OR
« on: February 03, 2007, 11:58:03 am »
I've crossed the northern part of the country east to west twice. Different routes. Both times I finished up in Oregon - once near Portland and once in Florence. I don't use ACA routes. The route through MI, WI, MN, SD, northern WY, ID and Oregon was the more interesting. It takes in The Black Hills (Mt. Rushmore) and Yellowstone.
Going south of the Great Lakes and on through Iowa, Nebraska and southern Wyoming isn't nearly as pleasant or interesting. Iowa, with its bad roads (unpaved shoulders) should be avoided.
Brace yourself for fierce headwinds in the Colombia River Valley. It isn't called the windsurfing capital of the country for nothing.

Routes / Tuscon, AZ to Grand Canyon May or June?
« on: February 03, 2007, 06:16:16 pm »
I know you can ride the shoulders of Interstate 8 but not (very heavily trafficked) Interstate 10. Interstate 10 has good parallel roads but going east to 79 and through Florence would probably be a lot more scenic and peaceful.
Bicycling in May would run a higher risk of getting caught in snow and cold at higher altitudes and June would be hotter. It's a matter of what worries you most.

This message was edited by litespeed on 2-4-07 @ 6:48 AM

Routes / San Francisco to San Diego ride
« on: January 22, 2007, 10:46:42 pm »
I forgot. Get a copy of "Bicycling The Pacific Coast" by Tom Kirkendall and Vicky Spring. A good, comprehensive guide.

Routes / San Francisco to San Diego ride
« on: January 22, 2007, 10:43:33 pm »
I assume you are talking about going down the coast - beautifully scenic and plenty interesting but the weather during the winter can be rough with storms rolling through. There are plenty of state parks for camping but the further south you get the more obnoxious, stumbling winos you'll encounter. They love the state parks too and can be hard to ignore although they will do you no harm.
The motels just south of Hearst Castle compete vigorously and are surprisingly cheap by California standards. You might treat yourself to a night there and a tour or two at the Castle.

Routes / saddles for touring
« on: January 26, 2007, 11:56:26 am »
I wouldn't use anything but a Terry Gel Touring saddle. And I'm not alone in this opinion. I've met a lot of people using them and they are unaminous in their praise. They are very comfortable and last forever. You can get both men's and women's models. It's the only saddle I've used that doesn't cause me pain or numbness.

Routes / Road tourists: gravel roads?
« on: December 09, 2006, 11:44:45 am »
For non-paved bicycle travel it's best to have tires no smaller than 28mm. I have 37mm tires on my touring bike. It will go most anywhere. If your rims are too small a set of custom wheels are a good investment.

Routes / Circling nj
« on: February 17, 2007, 09:48:15 am »
I don't recall riding the Garden State Parkway near Gretna or how I got across the Mullica river there. I might have ridden the shoulder of the Parkway for the 2 miles or there might be another  bridge. I don't really remember but I don't recall any problems there. I did ride 9 all the way from Cape May to South Amboy where I got the ferry to Manhattan. It gradually turns into a freeway after Toms Ferry but is perfectly rideable. I recommend this route all the time.

Routes / Circling nj
« on: December 07, 2006, 12:05:13 pm »
Google "bicycling new jersey". There is a ton of stuff available. I recommend US9 from Cape May to South Amboy or at least to Toms River. The southern portion below Toms River is great cycling with big shoulders and plenty of facilities. You can avoid the Newark area by taking the ferry from South Amboy to 34th St. in Manhattan, going up Broadway (Easy. Just get in the bus lane and hammer) to the George Washington Bridge and crossing over to 9W - a good cycling road with little traffic. There is a bicycle trail on the Pennsylvania side of the Delaware River in the Frenchtown/Trenton/Phila. area. Brace yourself for some fairly tough climbing in the Greenwood Lake (on the NY line) area and along the upper Delaware River. New Jersey is a fine bicycling state. You'll have a fine trip.

Routes / So Tier San Diego to Phoenix
« on: December 02, 2006, 09:19:47 pm »
I've done El Centro CA to Tuscon AZ. I just rode the shoulder of I-8 when I had to and parallel roads when I could. I don't know the AC route but there isn't much alternative to this. It was a pleasant enough ride although 2004 was a rainy year. Interstate 8 is lightly travelled but don't even think about I-10 between Phoenix and Tuscon (Illegal for bicycles anyway). Non stop heavy traffic day and night. But you will probably be getting off at Gila Bend and going up to Phoenix. I went this way because it was late in the year and I wanted to stay as far south as possible. You shouldn't have any trouble finding motels.

Routes / Safety of Pan American Highway
« on: November 05, 2006, 10:19:57 am »
I wouldn't worry too much about safety in Mexico. They'll think you're a little screwy but no one will bother you. You don't say how much of the Panamerican Highway you plan to do. Alaska to Tierra del Fuego or just south from Arizona? The nice thing about Latinamerica is that you can get a bite to eat and lodging most anywhere as long as you're not too fussy. Most people skip Colombia - fly from Panama City to Ecuador. In Centralamerica Guatemala is the most interesting country, Cost Rica the most pleasant and Honduras the poorest.

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