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Messages - PeteJack

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General Discussion / Re: 2 General Questions
« on: March 26, 2014, 10:57:40 am »
   Regarding how far in advance to arrange for motels[/b] (can not speak to campsites), when I was riding thru eastern Montana and western N. Dakota, which I did in the earlier/beginning days of the oil/gas boom, I could find no/zero motel openings even 4 days in advance.  Now that the 'boom' has grown.... hopefully the motel capacity has as well.
Last summer (July) I rode the new ACA route through ND and MT that avoids the oil/gas nightmare, didn't book ahead, and had no trouble finding accommodation. Big chunks of Section 4 of this route are on I94, the ACA route offers alternatives, some people prefer to stay on the freeeway thinking it's quicker but I don't recommend it. On one frontage road I did 18 miles and saw one car and a lot of cows, far nicer than navigating freeway rumble strips and debris.

General Discussion / Re: Starting the TA in mid August...
« on: March 16, 2014, 01:39:44 pm »
Now, is the sun in your eyes THAT much of a problem going w to e?
Depends on what time you like to start riding in the morning. If you typically start riding an hour or two after sunrise (like me), then it's no problem at all. If you typically like to start riding before sunrise, it might be a problem on some days for just a little while.
+1 My only memory of sun-in-eyes being a problem was on heading S on the Sierra Cascade route! The road out of Big Bear City heads due E for a few miles, has no shoulder and a huge drop off of 10 -12 inches in places I was blinded by the sun and went by the few feet of road I could see by lowering my head and getting a bit of shade from my helmet visor. I should have stopped and waited for the sun to move round but like a chump I bashed on to where the road turned S. All the while I was doing this I was thinking that traffic behind me was equally blinded. So enjoy a lie in.

Mineral is entirely forgettable.
True. Unless you're feted by the VFD there ain't much there. On the other hand it's the "forgettable" places that are the real USA. Like Oxford Junction Iowa where I spent last 4th of July. The OP is coming from the UK remember.
Note the vintage firetruck of the VFD.

General Discussion / Re: Cell coverage - phone type?
« on: March 16, 2014, 01:01:46 pm »
In my experience T-Mobile is one to avoid. on the Sierra Cascades there was no coverage in WA S of Mt Rainier (confirmed by the locals) and I went for 500 miles in California with no signal. People with other networks were doing OK. Mind you I had T-Mobile on the Northern Tier last summer and it was quite adequate.

General Discussion / Re: ACA maps and crummy areas in big cities?
« on: March 16, 2014, 12:42:43 pm »
we were warned to keep our bikes locked inside.
Reminds me of a motel in Port Angeles the only place I was specifically not allowed to take my bike into my room (they did have a locked garage I could put it in). That was the place where I was quoted "$100 with a view" I asked how much without a view? "There aren't any." This was on the ACA list I believe. FYI If you go further inland to where no view is available prices drop dramatically.

We rode down the Atlantic Coast route to joint the Transam in Mineral Virginia.On the way we stayed overnight in Fredricksburg, site of three civil war battles. If you're lucky you get to crash at the fire house in Mineral and learn about Volunteer Fire Departments in the US, an important institution little known in the UK. In small towns VFDs rule. If you need to know where to camp e.g. go to the VFD. They'll often let you stay in their firehouse or right next to it. Since I was there they've had an earthquake in Mineral, very rare on the E coast.

General Discussion / Pleae help me watch the Tour
« on: March 11, 2014, 01:07:42 pm »
I got rid of cable and satellite TV but still have one of those 'smart' TVs that lets me watch Youtube and Netflix. Now, how can I watch the Tour de France with Phil Ligget's commentary and all that for a reasonable cost? Is there something I can subscribe to on the internet? It's a big deal for me as the first stage goes within 5 miles of my house in the UK.

FWIW this stage goes through some of England's most exquisite countryside - the Yorkshire Dales.

Routes / Re: NT or L&C Going West from Missoula?
« on: March 08, 2014, 12:40:18 pm »
the four passes on the NT route might result in me being pushed in front of a logging truck.
??? I did it last summer and didn't particularly notice logging trucks. It's a long way from Kettle Falls to Sherman Pass, make sure you have plenty of water because there's none on the way.

Routes / Re: Portland Maine to Portland Oregon
« on: March 06, 2014, 12:36:52 pm »
I'm not sure about leaving as early as May 1, weather wise. It might be better to leave a bit later if you can.
+1 I left Bar Harbor on the NT in May last year and ran into a lot of heavy rain on the E coast.

General Discussion / Re: ACA maps and crummy areas in big cities?
« on: March 06, 2014, 12:18:28 pm »
Thanks John.
2.) The route should be designed to follow “corridors of attraction,” i.e., scenery,
cultural/historic points of interest, varieties of geography, terrain, and inhabitants.
I suppose this helps rule out most high crime areas.

Gear Talk / Re: Bob Yak Trailer? XCountry tour, thoughts?
« on: March 05, 2014, 01:48:51 pm »
FWIW I've been told this by a rider who says he saw it happen. If you go fast downhill with a single wheel trailer they can start to bounce and there's a danger, if you don't brake very carefully, of a crash caused by the trailer jacknifing.

I have to say I'm biased I like to go fast downhill and my 520 with four paniers descends like it's on rails. Last summer I started to get the slightest shake going down Going to the Sun. When I got back to my LBS it turns out I had a worn out headset.

General Discussion / ACA maps and crummy areas in big cities?
« on: March 05, 2014, 01:25:44 pm »
I love ACA maps and I get the impression that they route away from undesirable areas in big cities, at least I have that impression from going through Philly and Cleveland and I further believe that ACA maps in this respect are superior to, say, Google maps which will pick the most direct route from A to B. Am I right or not? I realize this may be a sensitive topic for some but I have just advised a young lady to stick to ACA routes to avoid potential trouble on the Southern Tier.

I take silk pajamas to sleep in and for modesty when walking across a site to the facilities or down someone's corridor. Much easier and quicker than pulling on day clothes.

Never slept under a car - how did that go?!
Grim. the slightest head movement brought a shower of rust and grease into my eyes. When I finally did get a few minutes doze I woke and tried to sit up...

Gear Talk / Re: Retiring, getting into self contained touring
« on: March 03, 2014, 01:34:28 pm »
Congratulations on retiring and getting into touring. You'll wonder why you ever bothered with work and if you're like me you won't miss it. I ride a Trek 520 that I love dearly solely because the guy at the bike shop said I should. I don't have any recommendations but at the Bike Expo yesterday I saw some front wheel drive recumbents, a new one to me, the man selling them said they were as good as uprights for climbing. Anyone know about these? They don't look very practical for touring. A trailer perhaps?

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