It is annoying that there isn't some kind of standard pattern routinely used for the holes in both that would allow most lights to bolt to most racks without any tinkering.
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A number of places have already declared that they allow camping. On ACA routes, the maps will identify these places. If you go to one of them, you can certainly camp there. That would always be my first choice. Some are free. Some charge.
I have set up in city parks without asking. It usually works fine.
This is a situation-by-situation thing, and you have to use your best judgement and experience. Watch out for hazards: sprinklers, dogs, bulls, falling trees, floods, etc. In all situations, leave no trace.
There are many articles on panniers vs. trailers on the web. A Google search will yield articles that address pretty-much all the pros and cons there are. A good measure of personal preference is also involved. For touring bikes, I think panniers work best. For non-touring bikes, a trailer would often be a better option.
Pete, do you think your dislike of the Southern Tier has anything to do with your mileage on it? If I'm not mistaken, you averaged more daily miles on that tour than on your other rides. You found food and people (experienced off the bike) interesting, but scenery (most of which you presumably saw on the bike) dismal. MIght you have enjoyed your trip more if you'd taken more time?
Has anyone followed ACA's maps before?Since you are posting on the ACA site, I would guess that most of us have used ACA maps. They aren't the be-all and end-all, but they are useful. Having used a lot of them, I would state their pros and cons as follows:
- They keep you on the safest roads in the area. Be advised, however, that not everybody would consider all the roads as "safe." The roads don't all have shoulders and they aren't all bike paths. But they are mostly on low-traffic roads.
- They are very useful for finding campgrounds (and free places to stay), which of course is only useful if you are camping and/or willing to sleep on a couch.
- Although they avoid big cities as much as they can, they are useful for safely getting you through one when necessary.
- They save you a ton of planning time.
- They generally show you where you can get food and water.
- Many of the roads are incredibly gorgeous, and without the ACA maps, you may accidentally ride a busier and less-scenic road nearby.
- If you have a particular starting and ending point in mind, they probably don't go there.
- If you like to see big cities, they generally won't take you there.
- If you want to (or have to because of construction) venture off route, they are useless.
- They aren't kept up to date as well as I'd like, and you will sometimes find the information out-of-date.
- They have more mistakes on them than you would think for a map used by a thousand people before you.
- If you want the shortest or fastest or flattest route between two points, these maps are not that--not by a long shot.
Of course Heine doesn't like the Rohloff!Not knocking those who like it, but it isn't hard to find reasons not to like it.
A bit heavy, yes. But we HAVE ridden over just about everything with no flats or other troubles!That is the trade off I guess. Me, I'd rather fix a flat once in a while than ride with tires that stiff and heavy. Between the weight and the stiff sidewalls I couldn't stand the Pluses. I found they sucked a good bit of the joy out of riding. I took them off after a couple hundred miles, but if for you, flat resistance and long wear trump light weight and a lively ride I guess they are just the ticket.