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Messages - staehpj1

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I found that to work OK.

I will add that a good middle ground between free standing tents and those that require several anchor points are are tents that can be staked out with only two points anchored.  I found that my Eureka Spitfire 1 works well in that regard.  I also have an MSR Fling and leave the ridgepole home in favor of using it in a similar manner.  There are probably lots of other two hoop tents with pointy ends that only require two tie out points.

Routes / Re: Tips for a Rollerblader going coast-to-coast
« on: May 02, 2015, 07:00:17 am »
And that's a great idea about mailing, does that just work by getting a friend to Fedex a package to one of their offices in a town I know I'll be in?
I'd skip FedEx and UPS in favor of the US Postal Service for that.  They are available in most towns, even small ones and it is easy to have a package forwarded along if you happen to be in town when the PO is closed.  Using General Delivery they will hold packages for 30 days.

The addressing goes something like:
Joe Blow
C/O General delivery
Smalltown, USA 12345

A search will turn of numerous discussions of it on this forum.

Routes / Re: Tips for a Rollerblader going coast-to-coast
« on: May 01, 2015, 07:44:29 pm »
The paniers on the legs for instance sound like they'll take about three minutes for you to figure out they won't work cross-country

Agreed.  I'd be happy to be proven wrong, but I think that has very little chance of working.

A shakedown trip is a good idea and highly recommended, but learning on a long tour is also possible, especially on a multi month trip.  It helps if you have someone who can mail you things and that you can send things that are not working back to.  Receiving things via general delivery is great in this regard.

Carrying gear will likely be one of the most difficult issues.  I know that when looking into a possible coast to coast run I found a number of coast to coast runners who found even a very light backpack to be problematic and had to adjust.  The two most likely solutions are to pack extremely light or to pack merely very light and use a baby jogger.

If you pack light enough you might be able to get by with one of the larger Mountainsmith fanny packs.  If you go with the baby jogger you might want to trick it out a bit with nicer wheels, better brakes, and also by removing everything unnecessary.  You may find the brakes on the baby jogger are actually helpful on some of the very long descents.

General Discussion / Re: Which shops stock ACA maps?
« on: May 01, 2015, 03:10:26 pm »
Yes, the postmistress at Lolo, MT pulled that on me, and waited until the forwarding request came back through channels before she would send it on.  I missed the package, and it was returned to sender about 6 weeks later.  :(

That stinks!  I hope it isn't a common occurrence.

General Discussion / Re: Which shops stock ACA maps?
« on: May 01, 2015, 05:59:13 am »
True, but if you do it from a different post office you may run into a stickler who'll route it through someplace in Missouri (St. Louis, maybe?).  It can take a week to ten days before the receiving post office will get the notice and forward the package.

I have probably only done this a dozen or so times, but I forwarded those packages that way with no issue.    Sometimes we decided that we weren't ready for a package and just bumped it down the road, sometimes more than once for the same package.  I always felt more comfortable talking to a live person face to face rather than leaving a note.  It seemed a safer bet to me at the time.  Besides, I don't get how a note would make them less likely to just forward it directly than a face to face request from another post office would.  They always seem to require seeing a picture ID so the note would have seemed less safe to me.

That said, they have always been super helpful at small to medium town post offices, so my guess is that problems are unlikely either way.

I never heard of forwarded packages being routed through Missouri is that official USPS policy?  Have you actually had that happen to your package?

Edit:  I just realized that you were saying that the request was forwarded through Missouri not the actual package.  Is that correct?

General Discussion / Re: Which shops stock ACA maps?
« on: April 30, 2015, 03:09:01 pm »
If you miss it (package not there yet, or post office closed when you come through), leave a signed, written request at the post office for them to forward the package to West of Nowhere, KY, 32109. 

For what it is worth...  You can make these arrangements to forward them at any post office, not just the one the item was mailed to.  Personally I'd just buy the maps all up front unless your plans are likely to change.

General Discussion / Re: Which shops stock ACA maps?
« on: April 30, 2015, 01:50:40 pm »
I have seen ACA maps in a store once or twice but never on tour except once on the West coast.  So don't count on finding them along the way.

I typically buy them ahead of time and mail them home as I finish with them.

Routes / Re: DC to CA - which direction?
« on: April 30, 2015, 01:43:45 pm »
One thing to consider...  It is easy to know when you will start a tour and harder to know when you will finish one.  As a result I like to get air travel out of the way up front.  For you, living in DC, that would favor starting in the West.

If flying with a bike, be sure that you check on any bikes as baggage issues before choosing an airline.  Some will soak you for a BIG fee.  I typically fly Southwest for their friendlier baggage policies.  They serve the DC area airports and LAX so they would be my choice.  I have Flown BWI to LAX and ridden right out of LAX a few times and it worked out well.

General Discussion / Re: How much water to carry?
« on: April 30, 2015, 01:27:58 pm »
On the TA, I used two bottles in the cages and supplemented with extra water in the panniers when I needed to.  I did also carry a Platypus two liter bladder for when I needed extra, but  I mostly re-used sport drink bottles for the extra capacity when I needed it.  That way I could pick them up or discard them as needed.

I prefer to do it that way rather than add a bunch of extra cages and bottles that won't be needed most of the way.

Years later on the ST, when I had started packing ultra light and no longer used panniers, I started carrying the extra water bottles in a backpack or sometimes just in a jersey pocket.  Given that it was  only a day here and there that I needed to carry a full days worth of water I found it worked out well enough.

Routes / Re: Tips for a Rollerblader going coast-to-coast
« on: April 30, 2015, 01:12:54 pm »
Also note that road construction could throw a serious monkey wrench into your plans. While riding both the TransAm and Northern Tier routes I encountered long stretches (I am talking miles) where the pavement had been ripped up for resurfacing, leaving only dirt and/or gravel, and there were not alternate, paved options. Bring some good walking shoes just in case.

Yes, roadwork that requires at least a few miles of walking is definitely likely.  I'd also expect you might do some walking up mountain passes, how much will depend on how steep of a grade you can skate up.

You might find Björn Suneson's trips interesting and maybe glean some useful info from his pages.  He has done a number of US coast to coast trips running and carrying some gear in a baby jogger.  He is quite a good athlete and has generally taken 100 days plus or minus a bit to cross the US.  I wonder if his baby jogger approach might be suitable for rollerblading.

Routes / Re: Tips for a Rollerblader going coast-to-coast
« on: April 30, 2015, 08:41:24 am »
Most of the Adventure Cycling routes I have done are almost 100% paved unless billed as otherwise.  Some may have some pretty rough pavement.

Do you have a rough planned amount of time or expected daily mileage?

Are you planning to camp along the way or motel it?  Either way my suggestion is to go very light since carrying a heavy backpack will get really old really fast.  I have found that I can be pretty comfortable with a fairly minimal load.  I went coast to coast camping and cooking with 15 pounds of gear and definitely wasn't packed as light as I possibly could.  I figure that if I was carrying the weight all on my back I'd definitely pack even lighter.

I avoid really high dollar gear, eschewing Cuben fiber and the like, and still could easily get below 10 pounds of stuff, while maintaining fairly good comfort and the ability to camp and cook.  A similar approach would seem ideal for what you are proposing.

Some of what I did with ultralight bike touring might be worth checking out for your blade tour.  I documented my quest for a lighter load at:

Routes / Re: Earliest to Leave on Trans Am - West to East - 2016
« on: April 29, 2015, 03:59:10 pm »
I know most folks go east to west but I grew up in Washington DC and would like to end there in an August time frame.

Actually I think about half of the people riding the TA go West to East.  We took 73 days riding every day, but not doing super long days.
Have a good trip.  It is a great route.

General Discussion / Re: TransAM Newbie w/ Questions
« on: April 28, 2015, 06:22:08 pm »
1) How many other TransAmers did you meet along your summer TransAm route ? How often did these cycler interactions occur? --- I'll be traveling solo so it will be nice to meet people.
We met other tourists every few days, sometimes mor often sometimes less.

2) I have the ACA maps, but does anyone have a resource to determine the best campsites along the route? any info or link helps.
We found that the ACA maps, asking local folks, and talking to riders going the other direction gave us enough info.  We never had any problem finding a place to stay, especially in the plains.

Routes / Re: Getting bikes to Canada from California
« on: April 23, 2015, 06:59:10 am »
We don't have the money to fly so I was wondering if anyone knows of a bus that goes up that far or if you can take a train with a tandem.
Are you sure the train is actually cheaper?  I have often found flying to be cheaper, so don't rule it out without checking.  Be sure to check on the airlines bike in baggage policies though as they vary widely in price.  I try to fly Southwest for their more reasonable baggage and bicycle policies, buy they don't fly to Vancouver.

Shipping the bike using something like might work for you with whatever mode of transit you use to get there.

Routes / Re: Idaho Hot Springs Loop 2015
« on: April 10, 2015, 02:23:52 pm »
I suggest you call the national forests listed on the main route map in the USING THIS MAP text. They will be able to give you a good idea of snowpack. It sounds a bit early to me but some parts of the northwest have had a mild winter.

The National Forest guys there are super helpful so definitely ask them.  If it is open all the way in May or even the first week of June that would be super early.  Also they still may get more snow between now and then.

A good resource is:;jsessionid=wF0KxWzI-yh7BX82aXLsVvgA?report=Idaho&format=SNOTEL+Snowpack+Update+Report

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