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Messages - tonythomson

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General Discussion / Calling locals in Pitsburgh - info please
« on: November 02, 2013, 08:09:48 am »
Hi Guys
planning to ride the two trails to Washington DC in 2014. I have a couple of questions
1. I fly into Pittsburgh (coming from UK) so would like to just get into a hotel straight away.  Would the taxis at the airport take a boxed bicycle?  Or any other ideas.  Don't want to assemble bike & ride straight out after a long flight.
2. What is the best time of year?
3. Along the GA & CO Trail do the motels , B&Bs get fully booked or can one just turn up in most towns and find somewhere?
Appreciate any help

General Discussion / Re: Motivation: why ride?
« on: October 06, 2013, 03:17:03 pm »
because....... (that should be the sum total of an answer) I can't see that as tourist we are any different to the thousands of people who go to the same places as us except that we use a bicycle for transport.  Nothing special, maybe a tad slower, and we have more time maybe but mainly prefer going under our own steam. 

Would I swap all my future trips for a chance to go into outer space, maybe!

Planning to go S to N of Australia next year, crazy certainly not or will be if I don't do the right research and planning.

General Discussion / Re: 2 or 4 panniers
« on: September 25, 2013, 08:58:45 am »
Four without a doubt, enables you to distribute the weight to suit your style and the terrain.  Having space in your panniers gives you flexibility for carrying extra food/water if needed at some particular point in your journey.

Don't get hung up about weight, take the minimum you need relax and enjoy.

General Discussion / Re: riding and camping in thunderstorms
« on: September 25, 2013, 08:47:18 am »
It's all to do with you assessing the situation as things develop. knowing where you are and what you have passed and having researched what's on the road ahead.  For me the biggest fear in heavy rain is vehicles coming up behind you, your hearing is probably impaired and their vision definitely impaired.

But the thing I fear most in being caught out in the open is the wind, you have little control (I'm talking of sudden unexpected strong wind)  and my advice is to get off the bike and lay low.  The worst I ever had was in Australia when I really thought  I had been hit from behind by a truck.  Again the problem here was no control over the bike and the dust and sand dropped visibility down to 5 yds.  Next town lost roofs and trees uprooted. I had no idea this was approaching as it came up from behind. But I recorded the highest speed ever on my computer and not even down hill  :)

Gear Talk / Re: Ergonomic Handlebars for Surly LHT?
« on: April 06, 2013, 04:47:24 am »
I agree it's all about how your bike is set up.  However, there is a similar discussion going on over here in UK

plus Sheldon Brown has some good pointers

Let us know how you get on as I also have LHT and had thought about doing the same.

Gear Talk / Re: Shaving Creme
« on: April 05, 2013, 04:33:24 am »
Here's how real men do it on the road

Hi Goblin,  I'm not meaning to be mean but is all this indecision and questions really masking anxiety about doing an extended tour?  I have toured endlessly and admit that before every trip I have considerable doubts as to whether I can do it? The answer is get on your bike and give it your best shot.

However, before you do that planning is the key.  Know what distance you can ride comfortable in a day and plan within that, this will ensure you enjoy it and are ready to go again the next day. Don't be too ambitious to start with as you need to succeed because anything less will put you off forever.  Don't listen to anyone telling you what they can do in a day etc this is your trip solely for you.

I'd stick to one of your existing bikes and spend some money on tyres and having it tuned up.
If you are worried about food, don't there aren't too many places that are so remote as to the need for carrying days of supplies.  The main thing is water and not getting dehydrated.  I generally carry some nuts & dried fruit to snack on in case I get caught out, no one will starve to miss a meal occasionally.

Go for it BUT be warned cycle touring is addictive.  And have fun.

International / Re: Help! I want to go to Europe.
« on: March 13, 2013, 08:08:17 am »
Hi, never seen those restriction before however, never flown wit AL.  Do they know it's a bike? As airlines usually accept that sports equipment is different dimensions than regular suitcases.  Does that mean no ski's?  The measurements you gave I haven't checked (being lazy) are you able to remove the wheels, fenders (mud guards when you get over here  ;)) racks, drop the handle bars etc to get anywhere near them?

If not fly with someone else.  Little chance of hiring the kind of tourer you want and really you need your own bike as you know it and can carry the relevant spares, tools etc.

It's spring here already and we are snowed in.  :-[

You'll have fun enjoy your trip.  Pm me if you get any problems over here I'm in the south of UK

Routes / Re: Southern Tier Tour: Bubba Verus ACA Routes
« on: February 25, 2013, 08:45:39 am »
Hi this is approx route that I took and really a little bit of planning - as with any tour - and you will be fine.  I don't remember ever being that far from some kind of service.  Near the border I pitched my tent as close to the Border Patrol check points as they would let me. 
Really had no problems at all.  Loved it.
Good luck

General Discussion / Re: Bike For Heart Health
« on: February 21, 2013, 05:04:08 am »
+1 for what John has said , I will never donate to anyone using the donations to fund their trip.  In UK there are endless charities offering adventurous cycle rides all you have to do is raise £2000 ($3000 approx) to pay for the trip first and after that any further money goes to the charity.

However, I hope I'm not doing you a mis-service but you haven't made it clear if you intend to fund the trip yourself.  What ever you decide I wish you good luck and you'll have a great time.

Yawn, sorry but just read her article and it's the same old popularist rubbish that gets churned out by someone who has nothing new to say. Same in the press over here in UK. Short on ideas for a column this week, let's wind up the cyclists and the minority of bigoted motorists who all feed on this garbage. Always get's a response and then we can point out to our advertisers how popular this rag is.

I see the same stuff on the home town forum in Celebration Fl. (meant to be a modern forward thinking town) the canal boat forum in UK and hate to think what's on any of the motoring forums.

The one thing I agree with MC is for sure I don't want to share a road with her as a motorist "fuming" is certainly not a safe motorist and maybe if she gets help with her anger then cyclists might not be such an anathema to her and we can all safely share the road and look at the real problems of mixed traffic.

Will read her article again as having touble going to sleep yawm yawn.

Routes / Re: Toll roads in Florida...
« on: January 25, 2013, 07:00:00 am »
Hi Jennifer
take the 192 out of  Melbourne all the way to Kissimmee keep on the 192 until you reach Avalon Road, turn right and go all the way to Winter Gardens were you join the West Orange Trail.  Part of the Florida Connector.

Once you reach the outskirts of Kissimmee I would suggest using the side walk as the roads get really busy. There are hundreds of motels along this road, again I would suggest getting closer to Disney as the first ones you come to are not always very nice.  If visiting the attraction choose one with free shuttle to the parks.  Visit Celebration - amazing town and the restaurants are not the chain - take a ride round.  I saw more wild life in Celebration than on my whole trip on the ST. You can go through Celebration and miss out a really bad part of the 192.
Also plenty of places to stay in Winter Gardens and good eating - take the W Orange Trail out, give me a wave or call in for a cuppa (I'm English)    If you want more info let me know.

I would also suggest that from Winter Gardens you head on down by the trail to Oakland pick up the 50 all the way to the Withlacoochi Trail.  One of my favourate trails. 
Have fun it's agreat ride

Routes / Re: Canada mortorists
« on: January 25, 2013, 06:25:34 am »
Hi, I cycled a lot in Canada and for me in the touristy places it was the big RV Camper vans that worried me most. I use a mirror and if concerned about the vehicle coming up behind either get off the road or take control of the lane.  Although many would argue it's the guys coming from behinds responsibility and it is.  I just want to be in charge of my own destiny.
Good luck and it's agreat place to cycle.

Routes / Re: Englishman Orlando FL to DC trip
« on: January 25, 2013, 06:17:45 am »
Hi Howard
just wondered where you are in the UK. I'm down near Winchester.  I also live part time just outside Orlando (Winter Gardens) 500m from the W Orange Trail which is part of the Florida connector.  If I'm around when you fly in you would be welcome.  Or if you are down south UK happy to catch up and give some info.  I did half the trip you are planning 2 years ago (had to be cut short for business reason) Some pics here
If not all the best and you'll have a great time.

Gear Talk / Re: 2 people, 6 panniers for a cross country tour. Bad idea?
« on: January 03, 2013, 10:51:08 am »
My only addition to the above is to ensure that you have enough space left in your panniers for the times you need to carry extra food and water, the latter especially as you may be encountering hot weather.  Although that said there are very few days on the ST where you will not find something and that was me doing 50 miles per day.  Knowing what's ahead is the key and these days with Google Earth etc there shouldn't be too many surprises.

Have fun it's a great ride.

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