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Messages - bobbys beard

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General Discussion / Re: Cycling Pants...
« on: May 15, 2013, 02:42:01 pm »
in the summer, i just wear a comfy pair of shorts. endura mtb cargo style shorts are really good if you want the best of both worlds.  they can be used with a clip on pad or worn without.

pads are down to preference. i don't tend to wear one and your butt gets used to it after a while.

for cold weather though, the full length lycra comes out :)

General Discussion / Re: Do we need to do any training?
« on: May 14, 2013, 08:52:50 am »
my first tour, i got baaaad butt sores! mine was caused by getting straight on a brand new saddle. it's similar to blisters you can get  from new shoes i guess :) 

General Discussion / Re: Bears
« on: May 14, 2013, 07:49:19 am »
i only encountered one bear in the states while stealth camping. i was in woods, less than 50 yds from the road and in georgia of all places! never expected to find bears in the south.

it was just walking through and probably wouldn't have stopped if i hadn't started making noise and shouting. it came over to take a look at me for what felt like forever, then calmly sloped back off into the woods. i slept in the same spot and had no more encounters all night.

i had a far scarier encounter with a coyote on a proper campsite in california though. it ended up ripping my rucksack to pieces and carrying off a bag of food i had in there. that was terrifying as i was in my tent just by it.

but the biggest problem of all was raccoons. they NEVER give up!!! :)

always a matter of personal opinion this subject. there's a guy on another thread who intends to take a chair with him.

i took a camelbak last time. i didn't use it for water, but it made a good day pack for days off the bike. you would get used to riding with a pack on, but it does get sweaty in the summer....

personally i think an air mattress is very unnecessary. i tend to take a rug for cowboy camping (nothing like sleeping under the stars) and some bubble wrap for under my sleeping bag on colder nights. i doubt you will have too many cold nights on your trip though.

water depends on services and heat. for one desert section of the southern tier in august, i took about 3 gallons. i like to have at least 3 quart bottles on me all the time. going thirsty can be dangerous and at the very least uncomfortable.

i do take a bike lock for urban areas. never bothered with bag locks though. noones ever stolen anything from me, but i hear it does happen. actually a raccoon once managed to open my ortliebs and steal some cookies.

to charge electronics, i checked into a motel or "proper" campsite every few days. it's a nice treat to look forward to a shower and some comfort too :)

General Discussion / Re: Do we need to do any training?
« on: May 13, 2013, 05:05:21 pm »
as a few have metioned, no matter how enthusiastic, young and fit you are, your backsides will indeed benefit from a bit of extended saddle time prior to your trip.   anyone who has ever had to cycle long distances with saddle sores will never forget the experience!

in august it will be hot and that makes a big difference too. a bit of training (though not essential) would be sensible and just make your trip a whole lot more enjoyable.

General Discussion / Re: first big bike tour
« on: May 08, 2013, 06:44:28 pm »
i've been sitting on my ortliebs for 3 years. they make a great seat and the mud washes off.

a half body length of bubble wrap is still half your body length regardless of how tall you might be ;) you don't need it for your legs. i've camped many times in minus freezing and stormy conditions and i find bubble wrap is amazing under a down bag. plus it weighs nothing, packs very small and costs very little.

i guess i camp differently to some. i wouldn't consider taking most of those things, but as i said it's a matter of preference :)

General Discussion / Re: first big bike tour
« on: May 08, 2013, 08:14:49 am »
@cycleone-  a matter of preference of course, but that's a LOT of unnecessary equipment. i wouldn't be so concerned with the weight, but the space you have is the big issue. you need space for water, which doesn't squash down.

plus, you have to pack and unpack every day, which is a chore and sometimes you just need to set off quickly and early.  there are many easy, cheaper and efficient ways to find the comfort you're looking for.

your panniers make for a comfy dry place to sit if you really need one. and a half body length of bubble wrap makes a great sleeping pad, while taking less valuable space.

you're absolutely right that comfort makes for a better trip, but all that excess gear will prove annoying once you toughen up a bit to life outdoors.

Routes / Re: Route through or around Los Angeles.
« on: April 30, 2013, 07:56:04 am »
i went through camp pendleton after a local bike shop told me the only alternative was back into the desert (i was headed north) if i'd have known i could bike on the interstate, i would have done that instead, because i got lost on the camp and clocked up about 8 bonus miles, aswell as getting cross examined by a marine. i always feel quite safe on the interstates.

you must have a cycle helmet to go on the base too.

i didn't take a map for the pacific coast and opted to follow route 1 as closely as i could, which took me past LAX and some pretty stressful situations for a few hours. i'm sure the coastal route is much nicer though.   south of malibu, heading out of LA, i thought the road was very narrow in parts, with heavy traffic, but there were a lot of local bikers, so it probably isn't as bad as it seemed.... and i'm here to tell the tale :)

between there and san diego is fairly straightforward. it takes you through some nice beach towns.  san clemente being the highlight for me. nowhere near as nice as route 1 north of san fran though.

Routes / Re: Route Suggestions
« on: April 24, 2013, 07:32:07 am »
i encountered a few aggressive drivers in south oregon, but i don't have any memories of bad traffic in california, aside from LA and San Diego, but cities are always a bit stressful.

 the coastal route is sometimes narrow and steep with blind corners, but it's also peaceful and you can usually hear an oncoming vehicle a long way off.

go for it. the northern cali coast is one of my favourite rides :)

Routes / Re: Southern Tier
« on: April 13, 2013, 02:02:15 am »
you'll get used to the camping. i took a rug and slept under the stars most nights (when it wasn't raining)  it was too hot to be in a tent.

actually amenities aren't as far between as you might think, but it's a good idea to carry extra rations and water at all times. don't rely on the aca maps for service locations, as many are closed.

Routes / Re: Southern Tier starting April 17th, Tempe to Austin.
« on: April 09, 2013, 10:16:00 am »
its pretty hot out there in arizona right now (90+ at midday) but i think if you set off at sunrise you will be quite comfortable in the desert. it takes a little while to adjust to heat, so don't push yourself too hard right away. make sure you have plenty of fluid and just be sensible about your daily ambitions. 

on the plus side, camping out will be quite comfortable this time of year, so you should be able to sleep well ;)

plan each day just a little bit and you'll be fine :)

Routes / Re: El Paso to San Diego via Tucson
« on: April 01, 2013, 01:38:53 pm »
wonder if ACA would consider printing this as an alternative route on their maps.? i have to say that phoenix was by far my least favourite days cycling of the southern tier. yuck. i promised myself to skip it if/when i bike the ST again......

Routes / Re: ST Border Safety
« on: March 07, 2013, 03:14:02 am »
i had a great time and not once felt threatened on the border. the only part of the southern tier i ever felt remotely threatened in was the florida redneck section ;) 

Routes / Re: Southern Tier Connection Advice (LA & NM)
« on: November 15, 2012, 01:10:47 pm »
don't skip the gila wilderness loop in NM. it's easily the toughest climb of the whole southern tier, but by far my favourite section :)

Routes / Re: Cycling in the U.K.
« on: November 12, 2012, 07:44:53 pm »
the classic north-south ride is john o'groats to lands end. loooooads of resources if you google that specifically'groats+cycle+route&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en&client=safari

when i bike long distance over here, i take an a-z road map, a cheap compass and my ipad so i can google map if i get too lost.  :)

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