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Messages - staehpj1

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General Discussion / Re: Motel/hotel discount
« on: July 20, 2009, 02:54:56 pm »
On recent tour I used hotels & motels, had I been a member of AAA I could have got a discount - just wondered if anyone has ideas on how to get discounts as coming from UK and not member of AAA I had to resort to fantasy reasons ie senior (actually thats not not a fantasy) being a member of SOLMOB (Silly old man on a bike) even when I explained what it meant and that I was the only member having made it up I did get some discounts.  One time a receptioonist said it didn't matter as long as I was a member!  and being a veteran but not from a USA conflict - we have plenty of our own. 

Seriously does anyone know if we get discounts beinga member of ACA?  If not maybe they could take it up.
We often got discounts on campsites and while we didn't stay in motels much the one time we did they gave us one.  We did this just by saying that we were riding bicycles coast to coast and asking if they had a cyclists discount.  Even if they didn't have a policy that said they did, they usually offered one anyway.

Gear Talk / Re: Head Lamps at Campsite ~~ Annoying?
« on: July 18, 2009, 10:13:06 am »
A headlamp can be directed down just as easily as a flashlight can be pointed down.  The problem isn't that they had headlamps, but they they were rude and/or clueless.  They probably would have been just as bad with a hand held flashlight.

Routes / Re: TransAm shortcut
« on: July 17, 2009, 04:54:51 pm »
1. What will I miss if I choose to do this route apart from ice cream in Missoula and Yellowstone.
2. Would it be a big mistake to take this route because its not very pleasant for example? If the published route is ALOT nicer than this route then I'd rather do the extra 400miles and run the risk of not getting to the other coast, a pleasant journey is much more important than the final destination.
1. There was a lot of good stuff on the section you would be missing.  I personally would not want to miss Yellowstone or the Tetons.  I would also hate to miss Togwatee Pass  We enjoyed lots of other places too.
2. I don't really know your proposed route so I won't speculate on how it compares.

I will say that 70 days isn't an unreasonable amount of time to finish.  We took 73 and we started off real easy in the beginning since my companions had no opportunity to train before the tour and neither had been riding at all until just before the tour.  They trained as they went and got in shape pretty quickly, but still it cost us at least a few days.  I prefer to allow some extra time so as not to be against a deadline, but 70 days is very do-able.

Starting in Florence helps a bit.

Routes / Re: Chesapeake Bay
« on: July 16, 2009, 06:58:14 am »
i was thinking about the 'upper' chesapeake.  there is a map i've seen that is about 335 miles.  but the roads aren't really mapped out.  thanks for your help.
Start by getting a copy of the free Maryland Bicycle map.

I don't know a preplanned route around the upper bay but I can probably help with the western shore part if you have specific questions.  There are a lot of choices to make.  To start with figure out how you will cross the bay bridge and where you will cross the Susquehanna (Rt 40, Rt 1 at Conowingo dam, or Rt 372 near Holtwood).

General Discussion / Re: Touring Nutrition
« on: July 15, 2009, 09:35:11 am »
It is amazing how your body exactly tells you what you need if you only listen. so perhaps you shouldnt worry about the balance of carbohydrates, fat or protein but just listen to your gravings.
I found that on a long tour my body craves what it needs.  I just need to listen to it.  Sometimes it takes a few weeks for things to sort out though.  I lost weight for 2-3 weeks before my body adjusted on my longest tour.

Routes / Re: Chesapeake Bay
« on: July 14, 2009, 11:24:03 am »
It is 500+ miles if you go around the whole bay.  That seems like a lot for a long weekend.  If you have a general idea of a route I might be able to help with parts of it.

Gear Talk / Re: Bicycle Head Light ?
« on: July 14, 2009, 07:19:45 am »
I just use a backpacking headlamp and a cheap blinkie on the back.  It seems adequate to me for use on tour.

Bikecentennial / Re: Wish I was there
« on: July 07, 2009, 11:44:25 am »
I hope some folks post their experiences.  I wanted to go, but it didn't work out.  I finally rode the route (now the Trans America) in 2007 with my daughter and a friend.

Gear Talk / Re: Brakes dont work with fenders
« on: July 02, 2009, 02:51:46 pm »
I have Cantilever low profile brakes on a 26in mountain bike. My brakes doent work with my fenders. I really want to keep my fenders and tried new brakes and it still wont fit. I really need some help I have to go out tonight.
What is the problem?  Lots of bikes have low profile cantis and fenders, is it a clearance thing or what?  Can you post a picture?

General Discussion / Re: Cycling and camping in bear country ? !
« on: June 29, 2009, 05:02:18 pm »
Hey, folks! Let's put the bear risk in perspective.

Good points Fred.

Bears  are a small enough risk to not lose sleep over them, as long as you take reasonable precautions.

General Discussion / Re: Cycling in TN
« on: June 29, 2009, 04:56:31 pm »
If going to Cherokee sounds right, consider heading west from there to Tennessee via the Cherohala Skyway, the less-known cousin of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Just as beautiful and just as challenging.
That sounds interesting.  I will have to check it out.  Have you ridden it?

General Discussion / Re: Cycling in TN
« on: June 28, 2009, 02:29:46 pm »
The Tennessee roads are nice as is the scenery.  There isn't anything attraction-wise that I personally would detour off of the TA for, but if you have plenty of time the Blue Ridge Parkway is nice as are the Tennessee roads in general.  Services and places to stay on the parkway are scarce though and if you leave the Parkway, you have massive climbs to get back to it.  Plan you stops carefully if you do the Parkway.

I generally avoid larger cities when on tour so places like Nashville don't especially appeal to me.  If seeing Nashville is a big plus for you, and you have the time, go for it.

General Discussion / Re: Bike Related Skin Rashes -- Please Help!
« on: June 21, 2009, 04:30:55 pm »
Bike tour related rashes I have had responded instantly to a night with Balmex or other zinc oxide based diaper cream.

Gear Talk / Re: Lightweight Wrench for the cassette lock ring
« on: June 16, 2009, 07:57:05 pm »

At the top of the first page above they have two tools designed to undo the lockring on a cassette using the chainstays and turning the cranks/wheels backwards.  I have the original Pamir Hypercracker mentioned on the page and it works perfectly well.
The other one (the Unior) works fine too

Routes / Re: Great things to do on TransAm trail
« on: June 12, 2009, 04:34:13 pm »
The rafting in Idaho...what river out of what town?  Also, was it a one day raft trip?
In our case a day trip on the Salmon river while we were in Riggins ID.  It would have been better with higher water levels, but was still fun.  I think there are multiday options depending on the time of year and the water levels.  A local said to use a particular company, but I forget the name.  It was out of town a few miles to the east.  They were very accommodating and had a place to lock up our stuff.

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