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Messages - tsteven4

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91
General Discussion / Re: Airplane Travel
« on: August 11, 2010, 09:17:26 am »
I agree about keeping the box reasonably light, but my reason is to make it easier to handle.  I hope that a light box will be treated more carefully than a heavy one.  The items I suggested loading in the box do not add much weight.  

The rules are covered in the airlines "Contract of Carriage".  You can get these from the airlines websites.  Sometimes they are a bit ambiguous.  I would recommend you are familiar with the Contract of Carriage for your airline as i) ticket agents usually are not and often tell you erroneous information ii) to help resolve any issues with a gate agent.

For SWA their website says:
Quote
Non-motorized Bicycles, including Bike Friday and Co-Pilot, will be accepted in substitution of a free piece of checked baggage at no additional charge provided the bicycle is properly packaged and the box containing the bicycle fits within the 62-inch sizing limit and weighs 50 lbs or less . (Maximum weight is 50 pounds and maximum size is 62 inches (length + width + height) per checked piece of luggage). The handlebars, kickstand, and pedals must be removed and placed inside the box. A $50.00 each-way charge applies to bicycles that don’t meet the above criteria. Bicycles packaged in a cardboard box or soft-sided case will be transported as a conditionally accepted item.

The contract of carriage in section 7(g) makes an exception for bicycles:
Quote
g. Special Items
The items listed below shall be acceptable for Carriage as Checked Baggage upon the Passenger's compliance with the special packing requirements and payment of the applicable One-way charge.
(1)
Bicycle (defined as nonmotorized and having a single seat) properly packed in a bicycle box or hardsided case larger than 62 inches in total dimensions will be accepted as Checked Baggage. Pedals and handlebars must be removed and packaged in protective materials so as not to be damaged by or cause damage to other Baggage. Bicycles packaged in cardboard or softsided cases will be transported as conditionally accepted items as outlined in Section 7h.

We used to check the remainder in a cardboard box, but now as I mentioned we carry it on.  I feel it is one less thing for the airlines to lose.  I have done box/carry on method I outlined many times (10 times post 9/11) without difficulty, other than a damaged bike 1x, and two lost bikes 1x.  The lost bikes were found after two hours.  The location of the lost bikes was resolved in part because I had seen them loaded on the plane, I think it is worth watching from the gate.  My only concern with this method would be the carry on size restrictions and your ability to meet them (or slide by).  For SWA this is
Quote
Southwest Airlines limits carryon bag dimensions to 10x16x24 inches.
 IMO this is the best argument for the extra box/suitcase method, but it has never been an issue for us.  As a back up you likely could gate check your panniers, but on some airlines their will be an additional charge.  We have never had to do this.

Wearing your helmet on is a great conversation starter with passengers, TSA, etc.  It explains why you are appear a bit odd, and people generally respect/admire/envy you for your adventure.

A box that is a bit bigger will make a large difference in how hard it is to pack.  For example uline has a 56x10x32 box,  http://www.uline.com/Product/Detail/S-15111/Corrugated-Boxes-200-Test/56-x-10-x-32-FOL-Side-Loading-Corrugated-Boxes-275-lb-test  They are a bit pricey considering the minimum order and shipping, but it is a nice size.  Be aware that some airlines have an upper limit on L+H+W.  The upper limits I have seen are in the range of 109-114 inches.  SWA does not appear to state an upper limit for bicycles.

Here are some examples of the bike in the box.  The wider box makes it a bit easier on the front wheel.  Note the home made wooden spreader through the front wheel, the fork spreader, and the removed rear derailleur.








92
General Discussion / Re: Airplane Travel
« on: August 10, 2010, 08:37:46 am »
After many years we arrived at the following system.
We put the sleeping pad, tent poles, pot, stove, knife, any liquids in bottles > 3oz, stove, non-cycling shoes (e.g. crocs), water bottles, pump and a nearly empty front pannier in the bike box.  Make sure everything is tied or taped in in case the box gets ripped open.  Everything else, including sleeping bag and tent, goes in the rear panniers, which are snapped to each other.  Tools that aren't sharp under 7" can be carried on.  A strap that we normally use to tie stuff to the rear rack is used so the panniers can be carried over the shoulder without your hands.  This is our "carry on".  The other front pannier, which is also nearly empty, is our "personal item".  We wear the helmet, cycling shoes, rain jacket and a fair amount of our non-cycling clothes.  You CANNOT take any fuel for your stove.  While this system has not caused any issues with any airlines SWA did manage to drop one of our bikes exploding the box and bending a wheel on our most recent trip.  Good Luck.

93
Routes / Re: Sierra Cascades - anyone done it yet?
« on: August 05, 2010, 02:43:02 pm »
We did part of Sierra Cascades section 2, from Hood River, OR to Prospect, OR on our way to Los Angeles via the California Coast.  On this section of the Sierra Cascades we didn't have issues with finding camping spots except on the 4th of July weekend.  Hiker biker sites are very rare but there are lots of forest service campgrounds.  Twice we had entire campgrounds to ourselves.  We did use our water filter.  There are some long sections with minimal services as mentioned on the map (but not nearly as devoid of services as the Western Express).  We love climbing and thought the climbing in this section was moderate.  On July 3 we camped off Hwy 138 in the "forest" north east of Crater Lake at about 4700 feet elevation, it was 26 degrees F when we woke up, our water bottles were partially frozen.  Typically it was much warmer.  Altitudes on this section topped out at Crater Lake at about 7700 feet, quite a bit above the level of the lake.  Crater Lake is spectacular.  Although other sources probably exist I wouldn't count on finding isobutane cartridges on this section except for Bend, OR.  You can see some pics here:  http://tsteven4.qwestoffice.net/gallery/index.html?albumid=5499862873170692689&si=1 and get a google earth file of any of the ACA routes here http://tsteven4.qwestoffice.net/index.html

94
General Discussion / Re: Camping in Pismo Beach?
« on: July 27, 2010, 08:42:37 pm »
I just returned from the Pacific Coast route.  I would recommend Morro Bay State Park, which has a nice hiker biker site.  I thought the Morro Bay area was much nicer than the Pismo Beach/Grover Beach/Oceano area.  The Pismo/Grover/Oceana area was densely populated with motorized RVs and campgrounds to support them.  From Morro Bay we rode to Lompoc in one day.  In Lompoc the city campground is fairly nice, not a destination but more than adequate for a night.  The Lompoc city campground has hiker biker sites.

We found almost all state park campgrounds on the coast in CA were full (except for hiker/biker), so I would definitely recommend aiming for the ones with hiker biker sites.  In CA this was from 7/5/10 to 7/23/10 N to S.  This was very different than  the Sierra Cascades section 2 which we did immediately before hand.  On SC section 2 we had entire campgrounds to ourselves twice!

95
As of June 20, 2010 Windigo Pass, and thus the Windigo Pass alternate, is impassable due to snow.  This does NOT effect the main route.

96
General Discussion / Re: Sierra Cascades - how tough a route?
« on: May 30, 2010, 09:08:51 am »
You can see all the adventure cycling routes on my web site at
http://tsteven4.qwestoffice.net/

The western express is a beautiful route but deserves significant respect due to remoteness and temperatures.

97
Wayne's original route link is broken.  He has the alternative (Reedsport, Crater Lake, Crescent City) available at

http://ridewithgps.com/routes/49433

Thanks Wayne.

98
Routes / Sierra Cascades Online
« on: April 30, 2010, 11:12:16 pm »
I have added online maps for the new Sierra Cascades route that you can view with a geographic browser (e.g. Google Earth) or your web browser.  These files were generated from the Adventure Cycling Association National Bicycle Route Network GPS Data.  They are intended for browsing, not navigation.  I recommend the official paper maps when it comes time to get on the route in the real world.

They may be found on the main page
http://tsteven4.qwestoffice.net/
or a direct link for the geographic browser file is
http://tsteven4.qwestoffice.net/maps/sierra_cascades_route.kmz
and a direct link for the web browser map is
http://tsteven4.qwestoffice.net/maps/SierraCascadesRoute.html

Thanks to everyone who made this route a reality.

99
Gear Talk / Re: Click driving me nuts
« on: April 02, 2010, 07:09:54 pm »
This happened to my wife.  She would have a creak, one around with the crank, under stiff climbing.  It ended up being a small rock covered in old chain lube that had wedged itself between two of the chainrings.  It appeared to just be another glob of chain lube/debris between the rings, but when I finally went to clean that out I discovered it was a rock.  Fixed!

Good Luck

100
Routes / Re: Jasper to Banff Alberta Canada
« on: March 30, 2010, 09:21:45 am »
We took the Brewster Calgary to Jasper Airporter (a bus).  In 2007 it was C$113 per person one way.  It is a long day as the bus stops many times to let people off and pick people up.  When we bought the tickets they assured us the bikes would be able to travel with us.  When we got to the Calgary airport they told us the bikes would be able to go, but maybe not the same day.  They said bikes were low priority luggage and it depended on how many other passengers they had and how much luggage they had.  In the end there was plenty of space and the bikes went with us.  We just left them in the boxes from the flight.  There is a recycling center in Jasper were you can recycle your bike box.

There are lots of bed and breakfasts in Jasper that you can book online.  You will get to Jasper late.  The driver was kind enough to stop the bus in front of our B&B to let us off saving us lugging the bike boxes around town.

We camped on the parkway.  Some of the water in the national park campgrounds required purification, you may want to bring a filter.

Enjoy, the scenery is incredible.

101
Gear Talk / Re: Bicycles for off-road riding
« on: March 25, 2010, 06:05:48 pm »
It is amazing what you can do with a little skill and a 700c touring bike with larger (x35, x38) tires.  For example we did the Cinnamon pass 4WD road last summer on our Bruce Gordon BLTs with 700cx37 tires fully loaded.  You can always walk a little.



Lately I picked up a used BG RNR EX, the 26" tires should make this sort of thing easier and reduce the probability of taco-ing a wheel, but I have some concern about the highway sections with the 26" tires.  Time will tell.

102
General Discussion / Re: Bike Cover
« on: March 25, 2010, 05:53:44 pm »
A disposable hotel shower cap works great on the seat for keeping the rain off when the bike is parked.  We keep one readily available in a pannier pocket.  They are very light and very small.  Keeping the rain off helps keep your shorts dry, which helps keep your rear healthy.  I like getting out of the goretex as soon as possible, certainly before the seat would have a chance to dry.

I can't imagine carrying a bike cover.  The bike is going to get wet while you ride it anyway.  My bias is bike cover = brick, but to each his own.

103
Routes / Re: Going To The Sun Highway
« on: March 09, 2010, 07:53:15 am »
We went in the morning E to W.  Due to the conditions on the summit shown in the background of http://tsteven4.qwestoffice.net/ we rode to the top from the west on a rest day we took at Lake McDonald.  Again, we rode in the morning.  It is worth doing twice in a row!  You can see other photos here http://tsteven4.qwestoffice.net/gallery/index.html?albumid=5094829015672537185&si=1 dated 2007-7-19 and 2007-7-20.  Nice hiker biker setup at Sprague Creek on Lake McDonald.

From http://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/gttsrfaq.htm

"Can I ride my bicycle on the Going-to-the Sun Road?
Yes, but there are some exceptions. From June 15 through Labor Day, the following sections of the Going-to-the-Sun Road are closed to bicycle use between 11a.m. and 4 p.m.:

    * From Apgar turnoff (at the south end of Lake McDonald) to Sprague Creek Campground
    * Eastbound from Logan Creek to Logan Pass.

Due to ongoing road rehabilitation on the Going-to-the-Sun Road, portions of the roadbed may not be paved. Bicyclists should use caution riding on gravel portions of the road."

104
Gear Talk / Re: loose spokes
« on: December 02, 2009, 07:42:21 pm »
I once had a new hand built wheel that did the same thing, and it is annoying!  I took it to the shop, and they put a small drop of low strength loctite on the threads of every spoke by the nipple and tensioned all the spokes.  The use of loctite on the spokes seems to be a bit controversial, but the wheel has worked fine for over ten years of loaded paved and unpaved touring with no further problems.

105
General Discussion / Re: elevation website?
« on: November 29, 2009, 08:12:44 pm »
Here is another method.

1) create driving directions in google maps (http://maps.google.com, Get Directions, ...)
2) click the link icon on the google map, copy the  contents of the  "Paste Link in email or IM" box (http://maps.google.com/...)
3) paste the link into the page at http://www.gpsvisualizer.com/profile_input in the box "Or provide the URL of data on the Web:"
4) select "From best available source" in the "Add DEM elevation data"
5) push the "Draw the Profile" button.

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