Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.


Messages - Dr. John

Pages: [1] 2
1
Urban Cycling / Phoenix
« on: November 20, 2013, 06:33:08 pm »
I’m tour and after a few thousand miles am working my way east on the Southern Tier.  I’m spending a few days in Phoenix to take care of business.  I must say this is the worst city I have ever cycled through.  Parts of the Southern Tier are on bike paths, but when you have to ride on the streets look out.  I have never seen so many *&*^%$ in my life.  And most are on their cell phones as they spin their wheels to get by you: Young and old, rednecks worst, others not much better. –Dr. John

2
Routes / Re: On tour, jumping to Pacific coast by Amtrak
« on: October 16, 2013, 06:32:54 am »
Thanks jamawani ,  I'm thinking I will do something like that.  It looks like I will head to San Jose and start south.  Where would be a good place to head east? Any good ideas on routes to Anza Borego, or even a detour towards Death Valley?  And yes, it is a little hard to plan with the government shutdown.
-John

3
Routes / Re: On tour, jumping to Pacific coast by Amtrak
« on: October 15, 2013, 01:21:59 pm »
Thanks for the info Pat.  Actually I am technically homeless as I sold my house in Colorado, however I have funds to pay cash for a new (modest) home, and have been on tour for 5.5 weeks.  Eventually I plan on looking for a home in the Carolinas or Virginia, but I am enjoying touring so much I don't want to stop.  But the cold weather is on its way here in Appalachia, so I am heading south.

In 2 years I hope to pedal from Northern Alaska to at least Mexico if not all the way south.  So I will hit much of the US west coast then.  It looks like I might be able to get to San Jose by Amtrak, I'm not certain how hard it will be to get to the PCH from there.  But it sounds like fun to hit a .few beaches on the way

4
Routes / On tour, jumping to Pacific coast by Amtrak
« on: October 15, 2013, 10:42:42 am »
I am in western NC on tour and will likely ride to Greenville, SC and catch Amtrak to the west coast, and maybe later pick up the southern tier.  Any ideas on where to get off this time of year and how to pick up the Pacific Coast route would be helpful.  I have S&S couplings and could break down my bike to carry onboard, but it would be easier to stop at an Amtrak station with checked luggage.  I would love to see the Redwoods near the CA/OR border, but suspect it may be getting too late.  Detraining at San Francisco might be a better option, but I have spent little time on the west coast so I need advice. -Thanks

5
GPS Discussion / Re: Run Garmin Oregon 450 off external power?
« on: June 21, 2013, 06:19:38 pm »
You probably know the answer to this by now but... I have an Oregon 450 and use an external battery to run it.  The Oregon screen stays on.  The battery I have can be charged via USB.  I have just received my generator hub and a Bright-Bike Revolution charger.  I'll let you know how it works out, but I'm not expecting any problems.

6
General Discussion / Re: Guide to Poor Woman's Cycling
« on: February 19, 2013, 09:46:30 pm »
Forgot one other thing -  I've seen people get a work-for-stay at hostels (especially small, unaffiliated ones) and occasionally mom and pop hotels - it can't hurt to ask.

7
General Discussion / Re: Guide to Poor Woman's Cycling
« on: February 19, 2013, 09:28:50 pm »
Jasmine, I’ll drop you an email in a few days but here are some more ideas which might be useful to others too. 
Try this link for cheap rain gear:
http://gossamergear.com/wp/tips/tip-of-the-week-make-a-hooded-tyvek-rain-jacket-and-chaps-for-under-10
also, hit the tab for Tips and Tricks on this page.
If you are ambitious you can try making your own tent.  I have seen the Tarptent (retail version) on many of the long distance hiking trails.  Here’s a link if you want to try to make your own.
http://www.tarptent.com/projects/tarpdesign.html
Or you might just use a sheet of Tyvek as a tarp.  Tyvek can be purchased at Home Depot, etc. but you might be able to bum some for free off of a construction site or a friend in construction.  I thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail one time with just a tarp – it works pretty well, but can get buggy - but it is light!
Another idea for a stove just uses twigs for fuel – you would need to keep a few in your panniers in case of wet weather.  N. Nomad is a bit of a legend in the hiking world and this is what he made:
http://www.nimblewillnomad.com/stove.htm
Backpackers are known to Yogi food (as in Yogi Bear and Jellystone Park) when passing thru picnic areas, i.e. sit at a table next to a group grilling hamburgers etc. and drool :P (we do this usually because we want a break from trail food).  Often someone will offer you some food.  I knew one girl who would just walk up to picnickers and ask if she could buy a hamburger off them – almost invariably they would just give her one.
Once when going to town to resupply on the A.T., I stopped in a bar and met another hiker.  He was hiking on the cheap.  While having a beer with him he asked the bartender if she knew if anyone had any work, and told her he could paint.  She made a few calls and found someone who needed their house painted!  I know it is more difficult now, but in the past it wasn’t that uncommon for people to work their way along on the journey.  I think the trick is to mention a skill – perhaps cleaning(?)  And certainly you know you can leave the violin case open for tips.
You can’t go wrong with a LHT, but whatever you get, make sure it is the right size.  I am long-legged, 6’1” and a 58cm frame fits me well.  By the way, I am trying to learn Liszt’s version of La Campanella on the piano - can you play Paganini’s?  It just might take me as long as it takes you to pay off your student loans :'(!



8
General Discussion / Re: Guide to Poor Woman's Cycling
« on: February 18, 2013, 02:31:47 pm »
Hi Jasmine,  I have known so many who have never reached their dreams because they waited until the time was right - it never is.  Check the web for long-distance backpacking - there should be many tips, especially for ultralight backpacking.  I've seen people make tents, groundcloths and even packs out of Tyvek (a house wrap used in construction).  As far as a stove search for alcohol stoves or beer can stoves you can make yourself and use denatured alcohol found in hardware stores, or high-proof isopropyl alcohol from drug stores or Heet from gas stations.  What equipment do you need?  What kind of bike do you have?  I might have something around I  can give you.  I can also tell you that at post offices on the Pacific Crest (hiking) trail as well as hostels on the PCT and Appalachian trail, hikers will have mail drops for resupply and often have too much food which they leave behind.  A blog while your traveling might help raise money. 
Check out these links at Rivbike.com:
http://www.rivbike.com/kb_results.asp?ID=69
http://www.rivbike.com/kb_results.asp?ID=70
I wish you all the best.

9
General Discussion / Re: Bicycle Touring vs Backpacking
« on: February 14, 2013, 03:38:23 pm »
I have not toured in the Southeast, a good deal because of the stories I've heard regarding the intolerance of a large enough number of vehicle drivers toward cyclists.

When I lived in South Carolina, if I was riding in the country and stopped by the side of the road to shed a jacket, get a drink, or I recall once stopping for the few seconds it took to realign the computer sensor on my fork, almost invariably if someone passed by they would stop and ask if I was alright.  This has been a rare occurrence for me elsewhere.

Southern hospitality on the Appalachian Trail is well known.  The number of times I have arrived at a road crossing intending to hitch into town for resupply only to have someone pull over before I even got my thumb out are way too many to count.  I've known people who have had rancher point a gun at them on the CDT in Montana, and I had that happen to me on the CDT in central CO.  A few years ago I was passing thru Grand Junction, CO and stopped at a LBS for brake pads.  I had several people hanging out their windows yelling at me or even throwing garbage at me on the way and told the owner.  The owner told me that CO had just passed the 3-foot law, and a couple weeks earlier during a large (charity?) event, a number of people had situated their vehicles to block the route at several locations in protest.

A woman I met on the AT had traveled all over the world and much of the US, and even been in the Peace Corp, but never to the South until she and her mother drove down from her home in CT to get to the AT.  She was surprised that when driving down a country road other drivers would wave.  She was also surprised at how many old people she saw, commenting that up north when people got old they were often just "shipped away".

Yes there are intolerant people in the South just like everywhere else.  And I have heard horror stories about Florida myself, yet I don't know how common these are.  I haven’t had people try to run me off the road, or point a gun at me in the South.   So don't let your prejudices stop you from touring the South.  From my extensive travels in the US, I must say there are few things as pretty as springtime in the southeast or autumn in upper-New England (I’d move to central Maine if it wasn’t for the cold winters and springtime bug bloom).


Southern hospitality on the Appalachian trail is well known.  The number of times I have gotten to a road crossing intending to hitch into town for resupply only to have someone pull over before I even got my thumb out is way to many to count.  I've known people who have had rancher point a gun at them on the CDT in Montana, and I had that happen on the CDT in central CO.  A few years ago I was passing thru Grand Junction, CO and stopped at a LBS for brake pads.  I had several people hanging out the window yelling at me or even throwing things at me on the way and told the owner.  The owner told me that CO had just passed the 3-foot law, and a couple weeks earlier during a large (charity?) event, a number of people had situated their vehicles to block the route in protest.

A girl I met on the AT had traveled all over the world and much of the US, been in the Peace Corp, but never to the South until she and her mother drove down from her home in CT.  She was suprised that when driving down a country road other drivers would wave.  She was also suprised at how many old people she saw, commenting that up north when people got old they were often just "shipped away"

I'm sure there are intolerant people in the South just like everywhere else.  And I have heard horror stories about Florida myself, yet I don't know how common these are.  But don't let your predjuces stop you from touring the South.  From my extensive travels in the US, I must say there are few things prettier than springtime in the southeast or autumn in upper-New England.

10
General Discussion / Re: Bicycle Touring vs Backpacking
« on: February 14, 2013, 02:33:07 pm »
The West certainly has a lot more mountains

The East used to have a lot more mountains.  I saw a few years ago that the coal companies had leveled over 650 mountains in the central Appalachians :'(

11
Any scientists out there know if Homo sapiens have been reclassified as colonial organisms?

12
General Discussion / Re: Bicycle Touring vs Backpacking
« on: February 14, 2013, 11:17:32 am »
Wow, what a can of worms!  What I've noticed of people in general (not specifically bike tourists) is a tendency for westerners to feel claustrophobic when traveling back east with all the trees, and easterners to feel exposed and vulnerable when traveling west (although I've certainly met many easterners who are in awe of the grandeur of the mountainous west).  Personally I like both except for large, flat, expanses of sage etc.  What I can say is that I very much prefer the small towns back east.  Small western towns seem to me to either be completely void of any charm and/or ridiculously expensive.   I can say pretty much the same as far as cities go, but I usually try to avoid cycling in cities anyhow.
One thing I find odd is the availability of cheap bike camping in the Pacific states, e.g. ~$4 at many CA state parks, or free on BLM land etc., yet when backpacking it seems you almost need a (often fee-based) permit to take a leak!  And there have been proposals in the CO legislature to require a fee to climb 14’ers in the state, similar to CA.  I’ve seen fees charged just to walk into many western Wilderness Areas, yet never back east.  And I must carry a campfire permit in CA just to use my Jetboil (I will admit, given the number of morons I’ve met when it comes to fire, that may not be such a bad idea!).

13
General Discussion / Re: Bicycle Touring vs Backpacking
« on: February 12, 2013, 11:31:21 am »
I like tensors myself.  I have noticed that many thru-hikers have advanced degrees - certainly at a much greater rate than the general population.  I suspect this is partially due to having both the time and money, not to mention if one makes a living doing physical labor, one might be more inclined to want to rest.  But I also suspect that the same personality trait which would drive someone to push their brain might also cause them to push their bodies.

14
I bought a Surly Trucker Deluxe a year and a half ago and their backpack softcase.  I love it.  I hate (commercial) flying and love train travel.  It is so nice that I can carry it onboard Amtrak, get off at a station in a small town, reassemble it in about an hour, and carry the case on top of my rear rack.  And if I am certain of where I will end up, it is easy enough to send the case to a post office via General Delivery, and save a little weight.  I live in CO and I can get to Lake Tahoe for about $105 one way, for example.  I'm guessing thats about what it costs to check a regular bike on an airplane, and then you have to buy your own ticket, and if you want to get to a less populated area.....  I'm gathering my courage to try Greyhound for access to more lightly populated destinations - wish me luck :o

15
General Discussion / Re: Bicycle Touring vs Backpacking
« on: February 08, 2013, 08:36:13 pm »
"Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving." - Albert Einstein

"To get to know a country, you must have direct contact with the earth. It's futile to gaze at the world through a car window." - Albert Einstein

Would dear old Albert have been jealous of us all? Would (or did?) he prefer backpacking or bike touring? It is curious to ponder that many great physicists and mathematicians love to walk.

Pages: [1] 2