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Messages - aggie

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Routes / Re: Southern Tier: West to East starting early Sep
« on: August 28, 2010, 11:24:29 am »
Where to take the train to will depend on the scenery you want to see.  I've taken the train to El Paso and gone east from there.  You could also go to San Antonio or Houston.  These stations offer baggage service since you will have to box your bike.  Going to Austin will require a train change in San Antonio.

The humidity after San Antonio is the killer.  I didn't find the heat so much of a problem as the humidity.  I was soaking wet about an hour after I started riding. 

If you are a member of AAA you can get some good state maps and plot out your own route.  I recommend you avoid Hwy 190 as I found it loaded with traffic and not well maintained in many areas.  You said you didn't want to spend the money on ACA maps but they provide a good route with information about potential stops along the way. 

Routes / Re: Bicycle tour from UT to Cal
« on: August 25, 2010, 03:15:20 pm »
The best route may be to take the Grand Canyon Connector to the Southern Tier.  This isn't the most direct route but it will mostly keep you off the highest traffic roads.  Unfortunately there aren't a lot of paved back roads that will get you from St. George to San Diego.

Routes / Re: Amtrek
« on: August 15, 2010, 11:05:35 am »
The following page lists Amtrak's policy on bicycles:  You will note that there are 8 routes that provide racks for bicycles.  Some may require a reservation as described in the policy.  The timetable for each route will also list all the stations that have baggage service.

Routes / Re: Amtrek
« on: August 14, 2010, 11:44:52 am »
I also had a similar experience on the CA Surfliner.  First the station was out of bike boxes so I had to get a box at LA's Union Station (had to go there anyway).  When I tried to get aboard the train all the bike spots were full (surfboards).  The conductor then had me put the bike in an unused baggage area.  It worked out great.

I've always taken my trailer on the train.  I have a BOB and use the Ortlieb Big Zip bag.  The trailer and some gear easily fit in the bag and since it weighs less than 50 lbs they take it as baggage.  Never had a problem shipping it that way.  The baggage car is a little hard on the bag though.  I guess that since the bag rests on the wooden floor and there is a lot of vibration it rubs small holes in the bag. 

Routes / Re: Amtrek
« on: August 12, 2010, 05:31:32 pm »
You should be able to do a search for Amtrak and see what has been said in previous posts. 

I've traveled several times by Amtrak.  I find it easier and more relaxing to travel by train.  Amtrak sells a bike box that makes it easy to transport your bike.  I haven't had any problems.  If Amtrak goes to your destination and you have the time I recommend it over flying.

Gear Talk / Clothing to keep you warm and dry
« on: August 11, 2010, 11:18:08 am »
I was riding in Oregon this summer and it highlighted the problem of finding clothing that will keep me warm and dry.  The weather on the Oregon coast was cool and damp.  While it didn't rain it was so moist that there was a constant drizzle in some parts of the ride.  I can't seem to find the right combination of clothing that will keep me warm and dry.  I have several jackets that are supposed to "breath" and let out moisture but they don't work for me.  I can open all the zippers (openings) and I wind up just as wet inside the jacket as I do on the outside.  At times it was so bad I had a stream of water running down the inside of my arms. 

Anyone have any suggestions for clothing (or combinations of clothing)  that will keep me dry both inside and outside?

General Discussion / Re: Amtrak from Boston to Chicago
« on: August 05, 2010, 09:57:53 pm »
I've traveled several times on Amtrak with my bike.  Amtrak now charges $5 for the box and $15 handling.  As mentioned the box is large and easily accommodates most bikes.  I bring zip ties to secure my handle bars to the top tube and a pedal tool to remove and put on the pedals.  So far I haven't had a problem.  It sure beats the airlines.  I've even heard that some stations even have some tools for bikes but don't count on it.  Since the bike is considered baggage you can only ship and pick up the bike at a station that offers baggage service.

Gear Talk / Re: What trailer???
« on: July 29, 2010, 10:33:08 am »
If you decide to get a Bob Trailer it isn't very hard to ship it.  I use an Ortlieb Big Zip.  It easily holds my Bob with room for other gear.  The bag is easy to fold up and carry as you ride so it is available at your destination.  It can also carry stuff while you ride.

General Discussion / Re: Getting Starting: Self Contained Touring
« on: July 29, 2010, 10:24:25 am »
I rode across AZ pulling a Bob trailer with my Trek 5200.  The Bob uses a skewer so you don't have to clamp the chain stay.  The only time it seemed "off" was when I stood up while climbing.  Keeping the load in the trailer as light as possible should help that.

General Discussion / Re: Camping in Pismo Beach?
« on: July 21, 2010, 07:11:28 pm »
It does appear that Pismo Beach state park doesn't have hiker/biker sites.  They do have campsites available but the price is $25-$35.  Better than a hotel.  The web site does recommend reservations.

Connecting ACA Routes / Re: Southern Tier
« on: July 20, 2010, 09:52:26 pm »
I'm not sure there is a best way to cross the LA basin to get to the Southern Tier.  The most direct route is to get to the Palm Springs area.  In North Palm Springs you can take Dillon Rd all the way to Indio to connect with Interstate 10 east.  That will take you to Blythe where you can connect to the ST.  This isn't a very attractive route.  You can follow the Pacific Coast route to San Diego and connect to the ST there.  It is a much nicer route.  Not sure there are any campgrounds in the Santa Monica area.

Whittierider is right on.  They also make military jets out of carbon fiber (FA-18 is one).  They pull a lot more stress over time than you'll ever see on a bicycle.  

At jury trials experts are bought.  If you are willing to pay I'm sure you can find a Ph.D. to say anything you want.

According to the article there apparently was a manufacturing defect.  No matter what the material if there is a defect it will fail.  That includes metal. 

Rocky Mountain / Re: US 50 in Nevada?
« on: July 09, 2010, 11:24:02 am »
Where will you be located?  Hwy 50 runs completely across the state (420 miles) so to pick just 50 will depend on your logistics.  If you have someone who will give you sag support the section I like the best is the old hwy 50 from Middlegate to Austin.  It has some good climbing and virtually no traffic.  Unless you can carry lots of water you will need a sag wagon. 

If you can find a copy of Bicycling the Pacific Coast by Kirkendall & Spring you will find they a have a pretty good description of most of the campgrounds along the route.  I think it is out of print but it is a good reference book. 

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