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Messages - bobbys beard

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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.  :)

Routes / Re: Southern Tier in March of 2013
« on: November 12, 2012, 08:36:09 am »
yeah, i ride fully loaded too. the southern tier especially, means you have to carry loooooots of water and food. never have ridden with fenders, so i can't say if they're better or not. but i figure that rain comes down too, so i'm getting wet whatever happens ;)

Routes / Re: Southern Tier in March of 2013
« on: November 11, 2012, 07:58:08 am »
i don't think fenders make a big difference to tourers. you probably have a rack and rear panniers anyhow, which do a good job of keeping you dry.    and i did the southern tier without a light at all, so i wasn't tempted to ride at night. a lot of those deep south drivers are even crazier after dark..... ;)

the more elaborate your equipment, the more you have to lose or break.

Routes / Re: Pacific Cycle Route tour suggestions for visiting Brits
« on: October 29, 2012, 09:07:31 am »
north of san francisco is an amazing route. the winds are nowhere near as bad as people say. if you're used to biking uk winters, you'll be wondering what the fuss is all about ;)

and i'd recommend actually not buying the aca maps. route 101 was really easy to follow. i just took a cheap compass and made sure i was headed north-ish. there are cheap campsites everywhere and moels even more so.

Routes / Re: Atlantic Coast Questions
« on: October 29, 2012, 08:50:43 am »
i did it last june and tended to pull up at the roadside most nights, then get a motel once or twice a week as a treat. there are almost always logging forests to hide in and plenty of abandoned building sites too, which made great free camps.   the couple of occassions i did pay for camping, it was really expensive and certainly not worth it. i'd suggest taking a hammock as well as a tent :)

Routes / Re: Route from California to Canada - WIND DIRECTION?!
« on: September 27, 2012, 07:33:33 am »
i biked south to north twice last year and it was fine. a lot of people will tell you tales of 80mph winds etc, but really if the conditions are that bad, you're not going to be riding in either direction ;)   in my diary, i only noted two days of strong wind and many other days when the wind was from the south and oncoming cyclists were struggling.

it depends what you're used to i guess, but cyclists like to beef everything up i've found. the miles they've done, the mountains they've climbed and the wind they struggled against. blah blah. it's just nature, get on and do it :)

General Discussion / Re: Looking for help planning my trip.
« on: September 27, 2012, 07:27:44 am »
go on and do it!! my first trip was across america on my own and i'd only been cycling for 8 months previous to that. i'd recommend being able to perform basic bike repairs and take a compass :)

General Discussion / Re: Near miss with truck on Trans-Am
« on: August 13, 2012, 07:13:41 am »
this was a fairly common event on my tour of the states. the road didn't seem busy, but isn't it always the way that when you encounter an oncoming vehicle, there will usually be one passing from behind?  if you value your life, it's not too much trouble to anticipate this and have a quick glance over the shoulder.....

noone is 100% right in this clip, but as someone pointed out.... the laws of physics dictate that you are going to bounce a loooooong way if that thing hits you from behind. i met a lot of truckers in florida especially, who claimed to despise cyclists sharing their road. you can't rely on everyone keeping to the rules. your own safety comes first and that starts with realising you are made of meat and the truck is made of metal.   

a bike brakes much quicker than a speeding truck. get off the road when the horn sounds and you'll live to ride another day :)

Routes / Re: Ideas from San Fran??? End of tour advice needed please.
« on: August 02, 2012, 03:48:32 am »
i highly recommend heading north along the coast for a week. i biked 9000 (ish) miles last year and the coastal section north of san fran was one of the most beautiful rides i've ever had. in fact i did it twice!! you can get transport to wherever you like from oregon :)

Routes / Re: Starting the Southern Tier in June
« on: June 15, 2012, 04:16:18 am »

Thanks bobby! Or your beard. I'm just looking at the ACA map now and am comforted. There seems to be indoor options everywhere... except that stretch you just mentioned. 3 gallons sounds great to me- however what did you do for food? Between palo verde and Blythe there are 3 camp sites and one outpost sort of town in Glamis that I've been to and would hardly rely on to be open. If it isn't open, ACA indicates no supplies for those 100 or so miles

there are often gas stations. normally at least one a day (per 100 miles or less) even in remote places. i normally stock up on muffins, bread and tinned fish so i always have reserve food and they don't take up too much space. there's not too much to worry about in that respect, but just remember that an extra 30 miles feels like a looooong way in 110 heat!!   the owner of the glamis outpost told me it is always open, despite what the locals say. it was in august. but you'll pay a fortune for anything, so just use it for a rest and push on before the sun gets you. the sand dunes are just after here and they were a bit of a climb.  there is zero shade on that route though, so don't rely on the campsites there. they're literally just open desert with a toilet. i urge you to get up very early and do that section in one go.   also, it's a good idea to visit the sherriff and let him know what you're doing. they'll drive by a couple of times. there were a lot of trucks on that road, so you'll never be completely alone.

Routes / Re: Starting the Southern Tier in June
« on: June 14, 2012, 05:10:21 pm »
i did the desert sections in august last summer and really enjoyed it. you need to be a certain type of person, but if you're already considering it, you probably are, haha.  i took a rug with me, so i could sleep on the ground under the stars. amazing :)

i found some of the outposts on the aca maps to be long gone and also a lot of businesses (especially motels) shut down for the summer. you won't meet many bikers either. a lot of rv parks let me stay for free out of sympathy though. a shower is a big deal when you're that hot!

the section between blythe and brawley was the toughest. it hit 116 when i was there. i took 3 gallons of water. and drank lots before i set off. i'd used it all up by 1pm and hadn't gone to the toilet once!

if you think you're up to it, then do it!!!  don't push yourself beyond your limits. plan your days and carry loooooots of water.

the amazing thing about choosing the hot time of year is that you get so much of it all to yourself! i went back in the winter and it wasn't nearly as much fun.

enjoy :)

Routes / Re: UK Rider. Recommendations.
« on: January 16, 2012, 07:30:10 pm »
"but keeping it open enough to improvise and follow locals recommendations and directions. "

ha, the one thing i would wholeheartedly recommend NOT doing in the states, is following the locals directions and recommendations!!!  You'll see........ :D

.....and yes, steinbeck makes a superb travel companion!  :)

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