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Messages - litespeed

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Gear Talk / Re: Bar End shifters vs
« on: July 16, 2012, 05:18:16 pm »
I have barends on my touring bike. I'm thorougly used to them. One disadvantage is that I occasionally bump them with my leg while horsing the bike around and get an unwanted shift. Barends are said to be more reliable but I have Shimano 105 brifters on my knockaround/training bike that are about 35 years old and have had very heavy use and little care or maintenance. They still work fine.

Gear Talk / Re: Best touring tires
« on: July 16, 2012, 05:07:58 pm »
I use 700x35 Schwalbe Marathon Supreme touring tires on my custom touring wheels (Rhynolite Sunrims). They wear longer and flat less than the Continental 2000's I used to use. I use Mr. Tuffy tire liners.

Routes / Re: Need Route and info from Georgia to San Diego
« on: July 16, 2012, 04:40:25 pm »
I assume you are leaving from Savannah. If so, I'd recommend going down to US90 and taking it through the Florida panhandle at least. Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana are full of bad roads and bad food. This will avoid those states as much as possible. Avoid US190 across Louisiana at all costs. Except for the far western portion it is a very bad bicycling road - two lane, shoulderless and heavily trafficked. As far as I know the only bicycle trail in Louisiana is from Slidell to Covington. Once you get clear of the eastern third of Texas you will start getting proper shoulders on the roads.

MacKenzie Pass is not to be missed. I went over it east-to-west. It is one of the most scenic spots in the country - really beautiful with great views of the surrounding peaks. If you go that way plan to spend some time at the top and get some pictures. I was lucky it hit it on a clear, sunny day. The climb from Sisters was pretty mild. I didn't even work up a sweat.

General Discussion / Re: Pacific Coast September 2012
« on: June 24, 2012, 11:18:24 pm »
Along about the middle of October you run a good chance of foul weather - storms rolling through. I left Petaluma about October 22 a few years ago and slogged through two miserable storms before I got to San Simeon. If I were doing it again I would try to get at least as far as Santa Barbara by October 15.

For your Idaho-Florence route I would recommend taking 26/126 between Vale and Sisters instead of 20. You climb over a lot of passes but it is more scenic with a lot more services, less traffic and a number of fine little towns with plenty of places to camp, sometimes for free. The traffic count is really low. Most of the time you have the road to yourself. This is one of my favorite bicycling roads.

General Discussion / Re: Cycling Yellowstone
« on: May 03, 2012, 04:16:30 pm »
As pointed out, a bicycle is a fine way to skirt the numerous traffic jams. Also, don't let the "Campground Full" signs turn you away from the campgrounds. They usually have room for a bicycle tourist. Everyone should see Yellowstone at least once.

General Discussion / Re: Bike weight
« on: April 19, 2012, 10:35:01 am »
"Most people take too many clothes."

Indeed. Most beginners take too much clothing and wind up discarding a lot of it or mailing things home. Some clothes, like outer MTB shorts, can do double duty and it's easy to wash bicycle clothing in a sink or shower.

It's also easy to pack too many tools. I carry tools and repair items I have never used but the day might come....

Your weights don't seem high to me, especially if you pack food and cooking gear. I don't pack either one and push upwards of 80 pounds down the road.

Routes / Re: Which Route to Take
« on: April 11, 2012, 06:42:06 pm »
Right. I corrected it.

Routes / Re: Which Route to Take
« on: April 11, 2012, 04:43:15 pm »
As a general rule the further south you cross the country the less climbing you will have. If you really want to avoid climbing you can follow interstates 8 and 10 (ride the shoulders, frontage roads and parallel roads) across CA, AZ, NM and TX then go along the Gulf coast. In New Mexico the continental divide on I-10 is just a sign on a flat stretch of highway. This route is also about the least scenic way to cross the country.

« on: April 10, 2012, 03:42:36 pm »
$400 for a fairly short ride in a van? Doesn't surprise me. Jasper-Banff is about the most spectacular scenery in the world but the place is a tourist trap. $5 to change money (although most places accept US dollars). No water fountains anywhere but plenty of expensive bottled water for sale. High prices for most everything. Plan ahead. If I go again it will be in the shoulder season - maybe just after they go back to school or before they get out.

General Discussion / Re: Good workout supplement to cycling?
« on: April 06, 2012, 08:00:29 pm »
I once demo'd the first two stories of a three story building by myself while living on the top floor. We couldn't rig a chute so I had to carry everything by hand down to the dumpster. I filled three 30-yard dumpsters. Endless stair climbing, half carrying loads.

After a week's rest I got on my bike and really flew. I was amazed at how strong I was. So I guess stair climbing is good cross training.

Greg Lemond used to do cross country skiing to keep his legs in shape in the winter.

For a few years I did 100 slow crunches every morning. It pretty much eliminated all backaches. I also spent most
Saturdays for a few years mixing cement with a hoe. This really built up the core and arms but is clearly not an activity available to most people.

Routes / Re: St. Augustine, FL to Washingston D.C. total miles?
« on: April 06, 2012, 07:51:28 pm »
1050 miles, more or less, using my route.

Routes / Re: Jacksonville, FL to New York City, NY
« on: April 03, 2012, 04:47:35 pm »
I have ridden US9 a number of times and never had a bit of trouble.  In fact, I recommend it to everyone. Plenty of shoulder, lots of services and all the traffic is on the GSP. In fact 9 is virtually deserted for long stretches. I used to ride it all the way to South Amboy until they stopped the ferry there. I also used to ride the shoulder of the GSP for the 2 1/2 miles that it is also US 9 over the Mullica river until they began the new bridge construction. Now I get off on 50 at Seaville and ride 50 through Mays Landing and Egg Harbor City and continue on 563 and 542 back to New Gretna and US9.

Incidentally, I am a native New Jerseyite - Morris County. We had a few acres in the woods with goats, chickens, horses, etc. I had to be home every day at 5:00PM to milk the goats (my father milked them in the morning) and feed the chickens. I graduated from Morristown High School in '58.

Routes / Re: Jacksonville, FL to New York City, NY
« on: April 03, 2012, 03:08:06 pm »
Here is my route, perfected over 5 trips, from Jacksonville to New York City: US 17 to almost Savannah. You can skirt around Savannah by taking Dean Forest Road, SR307, to Port Wentworth and go over the old bridge. From Hardeeville SC continue on US17 and the old highway alongside the interstate until it ends. Then go over I95 and up through Yemassee and Hendersonville to Walterboro. From Walterboro go out 17 a few miles to Sidney's Rd. and go up it to 61. Ride 61 into Charleston then left on 17 and over the bridges. Immediately after the Arthur Ravenal Bridge turn right on 703 to Rifle Range Road and take it through Mt. Pleasant.

This all sounds a bit roundabout but the stretches of 17 and 17A south of Charleston and Summerville and 17 through Mt. Pleasant are truly bad stretches of road - high speed narrow two lane, totally shoulderless and heavily trafficked.

After Mt. Pleasant get back on 17 and follow it to North Carolina. You can avoid the worst of Wilmington by taking 211 to delightful Southport and taking the ferry. Then go up through the beaches to Oleander Drive and skirting around Wilmington to the east. At Jacksonville NC finally get off 17 and take 24 and 12 to the ferry at Cedar Island. Try to arrive for the 3:30 ferry so you don't get in Ocracoke after dark. Avoid the crummy overpriced motels in Morehead City by staying at the fine Forestry Service campground at Cedar Point.

I go up through the Outer Banks to the bridge back to the mainland after Kitty Hawk then up to the ferry at Currituck. From Knotts Island I take back roads into Virginia Beach and the Chesapeake Bridge-Tunnel. They like you to call ahead for a ride across in a maintenance truck. I stop at the Greek diner a block west of the toll plaza and call from there before eating. You pay the toll.

US13 lacks shoulders after Accomac so I get off around there and ride back roads to the east up to Snow Hill MD. Then you can either take 113 up to Millsboro and over to Lewes or 50 to Ocean City and up the coast. Take the Lewes ferry to Cape May. From Cape May just go up US9. The Bridge over the Mulica River near New Gretna might not be finished necessitating a detour on 50 to the west through Egg Harbor. Otherwise just ride the shoulder of the Garden State Parkway for the 2 1/2 miles.

At Toms River get off 9 and angle towards the coast. DON"T take 37 east. The long bridge does not allow bicycles on the roadway. You can get into New York City by riding the ferry from Atlantic Highlands or, on off hours and weekends, take the train into Manhattan from Long Branch.

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