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Messages - roadrunner

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31
Routes / Re: Joshua Tree to Prescott?
« on: March 24, 2011, 10:52:30 pm »
I'm assuming you're referring to Joshua Tree National Monument in California.  I don't know anything about routes from there to the Arizona border, except that either California 62 to Parker, AZ, or I-10 to Blyth, CA, have little in the way of civilization and will be very hot and dry until late fall. 

I can provide some information on the Arizona part of your question, based on routes I've ridden from Blyth to the Grand Canyon.  From Blyth, ride I-10 frontage roads and shoulder (legal in AZ) to US-60 to AZ-71 (that route and on to Wickenburg is part of the Southern Tier).  If you take California 62 to Parker, ride AZ-72 to US-60.  Take AZ-71 to US-89, with a heck of a climb up "Yarnell Hill) en route to Yarnell.  US-89 is a very scenic ride through Prescott to Ash Fork on I-40.  Ride the shoulder of I-40 to Williams, then AZ-64 and US-180 to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.

32
Gear Talk / Re: GEAR - It's adding up! Where can I compromise?
« on: March 03, 2011, 12:30:11 am »
The comments by Staehph1 and John Nelson are right on the mark, especially that going with top-of-the-line pricey items is usually not necessary.  Also consider that you’ll be carrying everything on your list for the 5+ months you’re planning to ride.  You’ll probably find, like most bike tourists, that you’ll soon be shipping many items home after a few days or weeks of riding.  The thinking changes from “what if I need this” to “what do I have to have.”
A few thoughts:  Why 4-5 tent ground cloths?  I used one of plastic sheeting for many tours.  It’s easy to get another if necessary.  Maps and questioning locals can replace the GPS.  Other items I’d skip: rain pants, brake pads (they last a long time and can be bought if needed), rolls of tape (wrap a couple feet of duct and electrical tape around your seat post).  If the degreaser is for hand cleaning, sunscreen does an acceptable job.  A Bic lighter will serve to light your stove and “survival” fire starting; if you want a backup, dip matches in candle wax and place in a film canister with a few vaseline-soaked cotton balls.
At the expense of adding a few ounces, I’d replace the small pump with a full-size one, preferably the Topeak morph with a gauge. 
One category you do not list is off-bike clothing.  I wouldn’t want to spend several weeks, not to mention months, wearing nothing but riding clothes and the same pair of shoes.  Consider adding a long-sleeve and short-sleeve shirt, a pair of nylon zip-off pants, a cap and some footwear (Crocs, flip flops, sandals).  The pants also serve as shorts, cold weather riding pants (over riding shorts), and swimsuit.

33
Routes / Re: St George to Flagstaff
« on: March 02, 2011, 10:55:53 pm »
Adv 911 -- I did a tour from Salt Lake City to Flagstaff (including a spur detour to Zion National Park) that included much of the area you're planning to cover.  Unless you've already ridden in Zion, I'd recommend taking Utah-9 through Zion, rather than Utah-389 (which I have not ridden).  The auto-free riding in Zion Canyon is spectacular, offset somewhat by the stiff climb at the east end of the park and the need to hitch a ride to get a bike through the tunnel.  (Getting a ride was no problem.)  I rode Alternate US-89 to Jacob Lake, which is a long climb, but not as difficult as I anticipated.  Then I took Alt 89 to US-89 to Cameron to the South Rim (another long, hot climb).

After a half day on the South Rim, I rode AZ-64 to I-10 to Flagstaff.  I chose AZ-64 over US-180 to avoid the heavier traffic and climbing on 180.  I don't know if that was a better choice, since 64 is a steady climb on a rather bland road to I-10.  I camped at a marginal Jellystone Park campground in Valle.  I rode the I-10 shoulder to Flagstaff (legal in Arizona).  Later I rode a much more interesting route -- old Route 66 which is present between I-10 Exit 167 (2 miles east of the AZ-64/I-10 interchange) and Flagstaff.  Whatever route you choose will be great.  Take sufficient water and sunscreen.

34
Gear Talk / Re: Biking Shorts/Pants
« on: December 20, 2010, 10:29:21 pm »
For utility (pockets), comfort, and my own preference for not wearing lycra on tours, I've settled on wearing biking briefs under nylon zip-off pants.  In warm weather, I ride without the "legs," when it's cool I zip on the legs.  At the end of a day's ride, I change from the biking briefs to regular skivies and wash out the briefs.

This combination reduces the amount of clothes needed.  One pair of zip-offs, a pair of regular nylon shorts, and two pair each of biking briefs and regular skivies is all I need, as far as pants go.  Nylon shorts can also be used as a swimsuit.

35
General Discussion / Re: DIY Tips
« on: December 20, 2010, 10:14:47 pm »
We can probably all benefit from others' experience and ideas.

Finding multiple uses for items cuts down the amount of stuff (and weight) to carry. 
a. Sunscreen does a decent job of removing greasy chain-residue from hands and legs.
b. A small squeeze-bottle of dish soap works for bathing and washing hands and clothes.  Refill it with hand soap in restrooms.

A 7" spike is handy for making holes for tent stakes in hard ground (using a rock as a hammer).

36
Gear Talk / Re: ToUrIng SHoEs
« on: November 22, 2010, 11:49:00 pm »
A differing viewpoint from the "clipless is the only way."  The best pedal/shoe combination I've found for touring and all-around riding is platform pedals with PowerGrip straps and stiff-soled running/tennis shoes.  The straps hold shoes securely to the pedals and are easy to get out of; the shoes are comfortable both on and off the bike, and there are no problems walking in dirt or mud.  I've tried many cycling shoes and haven't found any comfortable for all-day wear or walking significant distances.  With my size 12 shoes, it's nice not to need to carry another pair for off-bike wear.  It's a low-cost combination that's worked well for many multi-week tours.  The combination works with about any shoes (even Teva-type sandles for up to about 30 miles), avoiding the need to put on "riding shoes" for quick jaunts around town.  I made "platform" pedals by adding thin metal plates to cage pedals.

37
Routes / Re: Transamerica - First timers need help
« on: April 30, 2010, 10:36:28 pm »
I would recommend riding theKaty Trail to cross Missouri for several reasons.  A prime one is to avoid the never-ending short, steep hills that cover most of the state; surveys of some TransAm riders have rated Missouri as the toughest part of the route.  Also I found the Katy scenic, and and it's relaxing -- not having to deal with traffic and being able to communicate easily with other trail users.  The trail can get somewhat soft after rains and, when dry, will leave your bike dusty, but it's a great ride.  What ever way you get to the St. Louis area, you might want to take the Great River Road along the Mississippi north from there to about mid-Illinois, then head to your destination.  Southern Illinois is also very hilly.

38
Gear Talk / Re: Touring Shoes, Cleat Selection and Toe Clip Survey
« on: April 09, 2010, 11:18:50 pm »
I've tried several brands/types of touring cycling shoes, none of which were comfortable for walking and off-bike use.  I usually spend more time off the bike than on it when touring and don't want to carry an extra pair of shoes (other than flip-flops) for my size 12 feet.  The solution that works well for me is a pair of stiff-soled tennis shoes (mesh for hot weather, leather for cold) and Power Grips straps.  I added thin metal plates to cage pedals to distribute the foot pressure.  It's a low-tech system, but works great for me -- secure, comfortable, and no worries about mud or sand in cleats.

39
General Discussion / Re: Oregon Trail
« on: December 22, 2009, 02:57:32 pm »
Sidburg -- I did a self-contained tour of the Oregon Trail route in 2001 from Kansas City to Oregon City riding roads nearest the original trail.  It's a great route, with many historical sites, good scenery, and mostly light traffic.  "Traveling the Oregon Trail," by Julie Fanselow, is an excellent reference for touring the trail.  Written for driving the route, it describes the trail's history, has maps of the trail and nearby roads, and lists lodging, campgrounds, and restaurants in towns along the route.  The book is available from Amazon.com for about $10.

If you'd be interested in riding the trail on your own, I'd be happy to e-mail you the itinerary and journal of my tour.

40
Routes / Re: Washington DC to Chicago (or vice versa)
« on: November 20, 2009, 12:13:35 am »
Mitch -- I'm home now.  My e-mail address, which should show up on my profile, is jpwettack3@msn.com.  If you'll send me an e-mail with your address, I'll send you the itinerary and journal of the tour.


41
Routes / Re: Washington DC to Chicago (or vice versa)
« on: November 14, 2009, 08:59:27 pm »
mitch537 -- I'm traveling now, so will send you the information when I get home around November 21st.

42
Routes / Re: SE to NW or NW to SE - ?wind direction
« on: September 15, 2009, 06:01:34 pm »
The following website: http://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/climate/windrose.html (it's easier to Google "wind rose" and select this site than type it in) provides wind roses by month for many cities in the U.S.   A wind rose provides information on the proportion of time the wind is from each direction and and the velocities from each direction.  I've found it handy for planning tours.

43
Routes / Re: Riding on Interstates
« on: September 15, 2009, 05:45:04 pm »
Whoops, hit the wrong key and posted an incomplete reply.  I don't know what the laws are in New Mexico, but I've ridden on I-40 and other interstates there with no problems. 

In Kansas, a polite highway patrolman told a group of us riding on I-70 that we had to get off, because interstate riding was prohibited and could result in a substantial fine.  (I-40 doesn't go into Kansas).

I don't know the legality of interstate riding in Texas, Oklahoma, or Missouri, but doubt that it is allowed.  I've looked into riding old Route 66 in Texas and Oklahoma.  It looks like one could ride across both states on the old route or I-40 frontage roads (in Texas), which would be much more interesting and enjoyable than on the interstate itself.

44
Routes / Re: Riding on Interstates
« on: September 15, 2009, 05:34:45 pm »
Here's a partial answer to your question of riding on interstates.
Arizona: all of I-40 is legal to ride.  Any interstates can be ridden in Arizona except in the Tucson and Phoenix metro areas.

45
Routes / Re: Washington DC to Chicago (or vice versa)
« on: August 15, 2009, 12:51:31 pm »
Eric -- I haven't received your message.  Did you send it to my "jpwettack3" address?


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