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Messages - mucknort

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1
General Discussion / Link to this forum is buried, why???
« on: January 22, 2014, 02:37:05 pm »
I don't understand why a direct button link to this forum does not exist at the top of the newly designed main page, as there was previously. Seems ACA would want to make it prominent to internet users there is a discussion forum, instead of "hiding" the link down at the bottom of the page.

2
General Discussion / Re: shipping bikes
« on: January 21, 2014, 06:28:29 pm »
Another vote for shipbikes.com! They use fedex ground, but their rates are better. They also do international.

3
General Discussion / Re: Hosting - WarmShowers
« on: January 21, 2014, 10:41:17 am »
Been a host and a guest many times. Been great every time.

Regarding advance notice: every single no-show (6) has been someone that has contacted me a couple of days to several weeks in advance. Invariably, their plans have changed by the time they get to me. I put on my profile that 24 hour notice is nice, but last minute may be accepted. If I can't host, I say I can't host.

Regarding background checks: the beauty of war showers hosting is you are never required to accept anyone. If it will be an inconvenience or something smells fishy, you say "Sorry, not available that night". Every time I get a request, I look that person up on warm showers and read ratings. (WS allows you to rate guests and hosts. Please use it for the benefit of others.) if I ever saw any questionable rating, I'd say no. I also usually google the person's name. If some Fraternity party scandal or other shady things came up, I'd say no. Most of the time, the person' strip blog comes up, which helps as well. (I don't see why it would take 48 hours to do those 2 simple background checks)
I find what others have written about guests and hosts to be the most beneficial info regarding who you end up hosting or guesting.

4
General Discussion / Re: recumbent steering tiller versus linkage
« on: March 20, 2013, 01:32:39 pm »
I can't help you with your question (I've seen photos of Lightfoots linkage steering and it looks cool), but I can say that I ride and tour on a Stratus XP, which is very similar to the Lightfoot. Much has to do with experience. At first, slow speed steering (especially when climbing) may be twitchy, but after many miles you learn how to overcome that. At least, I have.

5
General Discussion / Re: Touring Question
« on: March 20, 2013, 01:28:23 pm »
We were very much in the minority regarding bike tourist statistics. We were Mom and Dad in late 40's with 11 year old son. Seems most bike tourists are either college grads/early 20s or retired folks. We could do it because I'm a stay-at-home/homeschooling Dad and wife is a professor that went during her sabbatical. Choose the life style that works for you!

6
General Discussion / Re: Lost Camera on the MRT on 15
« on: March 09, 2013, 01:02:10 pm »
Best wishes on recovering anything! This is why I use a number of smaller memory cards while on trips, instead of one huge one. I also try to frequently upload photos, while on tour, to something like Picassa.com or photobucket.com in case of camera loss.

7
General Discussion / Re: Beginner out and back camping in NW?
« on: February 25, 2013, 11:27:25 am »
I'm in the same predicament, except for the early retirement thing.  I wish I knew that area.  I'm in SoCal, so we have lots of options, but lots of traffic too.  Good luck with your search.  I'll be watching this thread with great interest.

Motoman32,
If by "same predicament" you mean that you'd like to take your wife on a simple overnight tour, here's some thoughts. Don't know where in SoCal you are, but there's a series of excellent bike maps available online or from most bike shops. They are called Franko's Maps, and there's a guide for Orange County, LA, San Gabriel, and other parts of CA. http://www.amazon.com/Frankos-Map-Orange-County-Trails/dp/1601901712

They show decent bike routes on streets, but also note the many dedicated bike paths in SoCal. I would pick one for a day trip or even for an overnighter. For example, you could drive to the trailhead for the Santa Ana River Trail at Yorba Park in Anaheim, bike the 25 miles or so with your wife down to the ocean, then head left or right along the coast and stay at a hotel in Newport Beach or Huntington Beach, next day bike back up to your car. Lots of other similar trips using other river trails that would keep you from much car traffic.

Here's a link to further info on the Santa Ana River Trail: http://www.santaanarivertrail.org/trail-user-guide/interactive-map.html

8
General Discussion / Re: Traffic conditions around the ACA routes?
« on: February 25, 2013, 11:00:29 am »
Regarding the Coal Truck comments. While riding a modified Northern Tier route, my family and I always waved to the logging trucks driving toward us in the Northwest. Since these truckers are usually driving a loop these these same trucks that would be approaching from behind in a little while.  It seemed that this behavior led to trucks giving us wider room when passing, and often we'd get honks or waves from the passing trucks. I feel that by giving friendly waves to oncoming trucks, they possibly were noting our presence on the road through their radio communications to other trucks. If nothing else, I think we might have been spreading good karma for other cyclists. We certainly got positive responses from the oncoming truckers.

9
What I found interesting was the high number of "comments" posted that trash her opinion/position. In many other instances, the opposite is true.

11
I've had good luck and good coverage with Tracfone also. Study their phone choices carefully. I bought the LG800 that includes triple minutes for the life of the phone ($20, 60 minute time purchase buys 180 minutes, etc...) without looking up a promotion code.

The LG800 is my current phone. It works great and I love the triple minutes. Looking up a promotion code always gives 30-60 minutes of additional minutes.

12
General Discussion / Re: Bicycle Touring vs Backpacking
« on: February 14, 2013, 12:15:14 pm »
Wow, what a can of worms!  What I've noticed of people in general is a tendency for westerners to ..... and easterners to feel ......

Well, I've toured extensively in the NorthEast-MidWest-West. Yes, there are differences regarding availability of camping, types of roads available and their quality, but I've mostly found that  vehicle drivers are tolerant to welcoming of cyclists on tour. 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. For me, this is a much bigger issue over campsite availability/road quality/etc.
Comments?

13
General Discussion / Re: Bicycle Touring vs Backpacking
« on: February 12, 2013, 11:10:24 am »
What a great question!
I really can't choose one over the other.
-Backpacking is slow, Biking covers more ground.
   -Still, compared to driving, biking is slow/ hiking is much slower. You explore your environment in either enhanced or super enhanced.
-Biking allows you to have access to civilization (if needed), Hiking removes you from civilization. (Both can be good.)
-Biking allows you to connect with other human beings in a very personal way along the journey, Hiking can cut you off from human contact completely. (Both can be good.)
-Both are human powered and are excellent for body/mind/spirit. (But no more so than kayaking/canoeing.)
-Both should be required subjects in all elementary/high schools. (In my humble opinion.)

14
Yes, as someone that grew up B.C. ( Before Computers or Before Cell phones) I also lament the demise of pay phones.

But, as mentioned, the cheapest/most simple option is to buy a Pre-paid phone/minutes. There are many available, but I have been very happy with Tracfone. They are available online or from many U.S. department stores. A basic phone costs around $20 and then you buy a minutes/time length card. Typically they give you 90 days of usage and 60 or 120 or 200 minutes of talk time. If you use up your talk time (or your usage time) you just buy another card for more time/minutes. The cards cost from $20 to $40 and you can get bonus minutes if you google "tracfone promo codes". If you are traveling from outside of the US, they don't ask for any personal or citizenship questions. Pretty simple and I found their coverage is very good over most of the U.S..

http://www.tracfone.com/get_a_tracfone.jsp
http://www.google.com/#hl=en&sugexp=les%3B&gs_rn=2&gs_ri=hp&cp=11&gs_id=16&xhr=t&q=tracfone+promo+codes&es_nrs=true&pf=p&tbo=d&sclient=psy-ab&oq=tracfone+pr&gs_l=&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&bvm=bv.42261806,d.dmQ&fp=b10553b1cd972faf&biw=1373&bih=855

15
Youth Bicyle Travel / Re: taking the family across the country?!?
« on: February 08, 2013, 01:04:07 pm »
According to bill's profile, he has not logged into this site since 23 minutes after he made his one and only post 11 months ago.

Always a bummer when we get hit and run posters, asking their one big question and then seeming to disappear. He did say he was thinking of doing this trip next year or the year after or the year after or... (I guess that's part of the package with long distance bike touring, something that many dream of, but few ever actually do. When I'm touring, I always get comments like, "Gosh, that's something I've always wanted to do." or, "I was gonna do that with my kids, but then they got too old."

I saw it had been a while since his only post before I posted, but took the time to write anyway, hoping/thinking it might benefit some other reader planning a family bike tour. It's not like our replies are only seen by the Original Poster of each topic.

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