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Messages - indyfabz

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811
General Discussion / Re: Getting Starting: Self Contained Touring
« on: July 29, 2010, 09:08:56 am »
one does have a triple crank for climbing.

Climbing loaded or unloaded?  You might want to calculate your gear inches.  Whiterider can give you more technical information than I can.

Also agree about the wheels.  Depending on what you have now, you might want to beef up at least the rear wheel.

812
Gear Talk / Re: Converting my suitcase to a trailer
« on: July 23, 2010, 09:03:34 am »
I test rode both and went with the BF NWT.  I wanted something I would push a little harder.  Riding the Brompton made me feel like I should be tooling around the English countryside at 12 mph.

813
Gear Talk / Re: Bicycle Shipping Cases
« on: July 21, 2010, 09:14:31 am »
Crateworks makes some good products.  I have more expensive the "plastic" one.  Good alternative to a hard case.  Have taken 5 trips with it and it's still going strong.  And there is a lot of extra space for things like your helmet, sleeping bag and even tent.  Shipped it UPS ground from the east coast to Montana last year for about $45. That was through my LBS, so maybe I got a cheaper business rate. I have also flown with 4 times and have never been charged any more than the airlines' standard fees for a bike.

As with most boxes, you will have to remove the wheels, seat post, bars and pedals and turn the stem.  I also un-bolt the rear derailleure to prevent bending the hanger.  I don't consider my self to possess extraordinary bike mechanic skills, and I can re-assemble the bike from this state in about 20 min.

Agree on the Amtrak box.  It's the easiet.  I have shipped bike via Amtrak more than a half dozen times and have never experienced any damage.

814
General Discussion / Re: Cycling and Lodging in the Tuscany of Italy
« on: July 19, 2010, 08:49:08 am »
There are plenty of tour companies but if you want to do your own thing, the best way to start is with a Michelin regional map, they highlight all the scenic routes.

That's how I planned a two-month tour of Andalucia.  The Rough Guide travel book was a great companion resource.  I figured out where I wanted to visit and then used the map to connect the dots.

At the time, Spain had a national tourist office in New York City.  The staff was very helpful in providing free, printed information (by region) on lodging, including camping, hotels/hostals and rentals.  Maybe Italy has something similar.

815
Routes / Re: PA Route G
« on: July 13, 2010, 09:36:06 am »
Hven't ridden any of it so I won't opine on road conditions, but I am somewhat familiar with the area around Wellsboro and Ansonia.  The latter area is home to the "Pennsylvania Grand Canyon."  (A real stretch, IMO.)  There are state parks on either side of the canyon.  The larger one is Leonard Harrison State Park and the other is Colton Point.  Both are shown on the Route G map.  I spent a night at the former back in 2003 or so.  Decent place with an observation deck that offers views of the canyon.  You can also make the steep trek down to the base of the canyon, which was carved by Pine Creek.  if you find yourself needing inside accomodations, the Colton Point motel on U.S. 6 just west of the center of Ansonia is a friendly, relatively inexpensive place.  In that area, U.S. 6 has a good shoulder and usually not much traffic.

Now...While the offical route follows roads, there is an alternative.  There is a rail-trail called the Pine Creek Trail that starts in the Ansonia area and runs along the Pine Creek for over 57 miles to Jersey Shore, PA:

http://www.visittiogapa.com/railtrail.html

The map shows camping areas along the trail.

Another source for commecial campgrounds is:

http://pacamping.com/

There is an interactive map that allows you to view places by area.

816
General Discussion / Re: Sierra/Cascades Route
« on: July 12, 2010, 04:50:34 pm »
You could encounter snow/ice/very cold temperatures at Crater Lake.

817
General Discussion / Re: TransAmerica: Which direction?
« on: July 12, 2010, 09:15:52 am »
We had one hell of a day in Wyoming when the headwinds picked up -- 50 mph by one local's estimate.

Forgot about Wyoming.  When I was on part of the TranAm heading east I met a local cycling east to his job at the Sinclair plant outside of Rawlins.  He said it took him something like him 20 min. to get to work and 45 min. to get home.  Two days before I stayed in Jeffrey City at the in(famous) J.C. Motel.  I had to lean into the wind wealking west to the cafe in town.

818
General Discussion / Re: TransAmerica: Which direction?
« on: July 09, 2010, 09:42:39 am »
There are lots of reasons why you might choose one or the other direction.  Here are a few.  Some assume the actual Trans America Route, but if your route is substantially different one or more may not apply.
  • Do you want the sun in your eyes in the morning or evening?
  • If you live on one coast or the other, do you want to ride away from or toward home?
  • Do you want to follow the direction US history followed?
  • Winds...  Contrary to popular belief prevailing surface winds favor E to W.  In the Summer prevailing winds in the plains come out of the SE and the TA heads SE in that area.
  • Climbing...  Want to get the worst out of the way early or save it until you are road hardened a bit?  Strangely the hardest climbing IMO was in the Appalachians
  • It is real nice if family and friends can meet you at the end so finishing near home is nice.
  • Do you want air travel out of the way in the beginning?
  • Flying to the farthest point commits you more to the ride and makes bailing less of an option.

Did the Northern Tier west to east and then rode home down the Atlantic coast.  +1 on all applicable points.

Don't discount the hills in the east.  The only climb I thought I might have to walk part of was in Vermont.  Crossing the Adirondaks wasn't a piece of cake either.

It was nice to get the travel out of the way at the start and a blast to ride directly to my front door.

We had some nasty headwinds in ND, MN, IA, IN and IL due to flows out of the southeast.

Starting in late May meant some cold, wet days in the west.  Even had to contend with snow on two days.  On a trip the following year using part of the TransAm route, Yellowstone was very cold at night even in late June.

819
Routes / Re: Columbus, OH to Monroeville, IN?
« on: July 08, 2010, 09:37:28 am »
That's good news.  I stayed there during ACA's Northern Tier trip in '99.  It was an incredibly hot summer in the midwest.  The day before it hit 107 degrees in Huntington.  The place was a godsend.  Healthfully airconditioned.

As for Staggers, I would post a photo from our visit but I am sure it would violate the forum's guidelines.  :)

820
Routes / Re: Columbus, OH to Monroeville, IN?
« on: July 06, 2010, 09:11:23 am »
When in Monroeville, assuming they are still there...

Stay in the town community building.  Nicely cooled.  When I was there  in '99 there was a man who kept a journal with the names and home town of all the cyclists who passed through.

Pop into Staggers bar.  Good local color.

821
Routes / Re: Rock Springs, Wy to Craig, Co
« on: June 29, 2010, 09:56:47 am »
We're in pinedale now, still looking for info about south of rock springs, any info is great.

Ask around town for John Godfrey (a/k/a Santa Claus).  I am almost certain he lives in Pinedale.  Tell him that a fellow railroader and one-time participant in one of his training sessions referred you for info.  No guarantees, but it's worth a short.

822
General Discussion / Re: Expected daily mileage on hills
« on: June 29, 2010, 09:47:40 am »
Hope you are not planning on taking the Garden State Parkway to get to A.C.

823
General Discussion / Re: Have any of you gotten sick on tour?
« on: June 24, 2010, 09:23:19 am »

What should I do if I got this sick in the middle of a tour?

Has anyone out there been in that situation?

What did you do?

How did it work out?

What you should do is seek the proper treatment.  That could be as simple as a couple tabs of Imodium A.D. (worked for me one year on Cycle Oregon) or as complicated as a trip to the hospital, which I needed when I cut my palm making a repair.  (Ended up getting 3 stiches put in by a doctor wearing cowboy boots.)  Unless the latter is obviously needed, I would try a day of rest and any appropirate OTC meds.

I got a sinus infection while touring in southern Spain due to the climate change.  I took a day off in a hotel, rested and started a course of prescription antibiotics I had gotten from my doctor "just in case."

If you are too sick to ride and are nowhere near anything, you can try hitching.  On my group X-country trip a guy had to do that early on when he took ill just before the Cascades.  (The consensus among the group was that be blew himself up trying to impress everyone during the early days of the trip.)  He ended up getting a series of rides until he reached a town where we would be taking a day off, making an ER visit along the way.  That afforded him several days to rest in a motel.

824
General Discussion / Re: Camp Stove - Fuel
« on: June 21, 2010, 11:27:34 am »
Your likelihood of success with a stove on an airplane is largely a function of which airport you use.  Phoenix is very strict.  We lost a Coleman peak II there.  They have a large number of folks doing the Grand Canyon.  So they know to ask.[/quote]

That's what I was told by a TSA employee in Kalispell when I asked about flying with stoves.  Basically, "If we catch you we take it."  It's not the smell.  It's the fuel and burn residue.  Stupid, I know, since the thing is harmless, but for this reason I will not fly with my dragonfly.

Two options:

1.  If you are shipping your bike FedEx, UPS, etc., pack the stove and empty fuel bottle with the bike.  That's what I did last year for a trip.
2.  Ship the stove abd bottle to yourself in Buffalo.  Some (all?) FedEx locations will hold packages for pickup.  If you use general delivery mail, make sure the Buffalo post office it goes to is accessible.

825
Routes / Re: Sierra Cascade journals
« on: June 17, 2010, 10:25:56 am »

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