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Messages - aggie

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I was at Pfeiffer Big Sur on Labor day weekend and didn't have any problems.  I doubt you'll have any problems.  The (warm)showers at Big Sur take quarters and it sure feels good after riding.  You should get in fairly early (based on your plan) so take a look at the hiking trails.  A couple of miles south of the park is Deetjen's Big Sur Inn.  I had a great breakfast there. 

I found it was pretty easy to go from Big Sur to San Simeon without stopping for the day. 

The ACA map lists two campsites near Lucia: Limekiln Beach State Park and Kirk Creek Campground (USFS).  They also list a campsite near Pacific Valley: Plaskett Creek Campgroung (USFS).  Bicycling the Pacific Coasts lists also lists these campgrounds.  They state that Limekiln has hot showers but the other two do not.

Gear Talk / Re: Which pedal?
« on: July 04, 2010, 06:37:32 pm »
I had the 324's but found I didn't really need them.  I ride with either Keen cycling sandals or a mountain bike type of shoe.  The cleat is recessed so it is still easy to walk around.  I found the these were the only shoes I needed on a tour so I switched to M540's.  They are about 1 lb lighter than the 324's. 

Routes / Re: San Francisco to San Diego
« on: July 01, 2010, 10:25:41 am »
I've found the heavy traffic begins in Malibu.  Nice homes and cars but idiot drivers.  There is a wide shoulder but since the hollywood types don't want their servants parking in their driveways they park on the shoulder so you have to take part of a lane.  The bike lane along the beach (if you use the ACA Pacific Coast map) from Marina Del Rey to Torrance can be a real pain depending on when you use it.  The lane says it is for bicycles only but everyone uses it so you have to go slow but during rush hour it is better than the paralleling roads.  Personally I would rather follow the ACA route from Torrance to Long Beach.  PCH has way too much traffic and noise.  Once you get to Long Beach the ride along the beach is rather pleasant.  Once you get to Seal Beach PCH is pretty good all the way to Newport Beach.  You will generally have a tailwind all the way from SF.

There are numerous state parks from SF to Santa Barbara where you can use the hiker/biker sites to camp.  The fee varies up to $10.  I especially liked the site at Big Sur state park.  There a plenty of motels along the way.  Weekend rates tend to be higher than mid-week and there will be more traffic on weekends and holidays.

You could also use a trailer.  It will hold more stuff than the other options but just don't overload it. 

Connecting ACA Routes / Portland, OR to Pacific Coast Trail
« on: June 28, 2010, 09:58:03 pm »
Plan on taking Amtrak to Portland and then riding south on the Pacific Coast Trail.  What is the best way to get from Downtown Portland to the trail?

On Google Maps it looks like you can turn south of Hwy 61 on Prospect Ave in Norco.  The levee has a service road that turns into the Mississippi River Trail.  

You may want to check out this web site:  It is on the Mississippi River Trail.  You might be able to get some maps that will take you along the river and avoid the major highways.

The best way maybe to take the Southern Tier from San Diego to Baton Rouge.  The ACA maps have a large number of hotels and campgrounds listed.  From Baton Rouge to NO you may want to take hwy 61.  Haven't taken that road so I can't tell you what it's like.  You may want to get a LA road map and route yourself on some of the back roads.  I found hwy 190 to be just like a freeway as it parallels I10.  It may be that way with the 61 as well.

I had to spend the night camping in Langtry, Tx as the next town was too far away due to strong headwinds the time I rode it.  If you get there after 5 everything in town is closed.  There isn't much anyway.  The small store (converted gas station) sells a very limited supply of food and is on the corner where you turn to go into Langtry.  You can camp at the community center but the only facilities is a water spigot on the side of the building.  It is the large white building surrounded by a large dirt "parking lot".  Restroom facilities are in the State Park building (Judge Roy Bean) and its open from 8 to 5. 

In LA you might be tempted to use hwy 190 as a more direct route into Baton Rouge.  It's just like a freeway.  Where it crosses the Atchafalaya there is a 5 mile or so section that is just like a bridge with no shoulder and the traffic is high speed.  Definitely not fun.

On the day I got water in my downtube I was on a supported tour.  I had just crested a summit and it started to rain, hard.  It was about 3 miles downhill to the rest stop so I rode as fast as I safely could.  I was throwing up quite a roostertail.  No one was expecting rain so we were without rain gear or fenders.  Lets just say me and the bike were wet and dirty.  After that I got fenders for the bike.  That ended the problem. 

Routes / Re: Riding out of LA or San Diego in July
« on: June 08, 2010, 01:30:10 pm »
It is possible to get to NYC from LA in July.  He just has to be prepared to ride through a desert in the summer.

The easiest may be to follow the Pacific Coast route from LAX to the start point of the Southern Tier.  Then follow it to one of of the other ACA routes.  He could also work his way to Indio then follow I10 until he connects to the Southern Tier.  (From Indio to Blythe is about 90 miles.  There is a stop at Chiriaco summit with food and water -25 miles.  Then there is 1 rest stop with water and a small town called Desert Center - don't know of any services there.)  This wouldn't be the most scenic route and depending on the route taken will go through a lot of urban areas. 

Hwy 33 is a pretty good road since most of it doesn't have a lot of traffic.  However it does have quite a bit near PCH as it is a limited access hwy that doesn't permit bicycles.  You might want to look at using hwy 150 to connect to 33.  Near PCH it is Rincon Road.  I haven't ridden it but it will save you from going further south on PCH to connect to 33.   Once you get on Lockwood Valley Road there is even less road traffic.  When you get to I5 there is a frontage road that you can take (going south) until you get to hwy 138 that will take you Palmdale. 

Routes / Re: Cycling around Lake Tahoe
« on: May 29, 2010, 10:28:30 am »
It is approximately 70 miles by road around Lake Tahoe.  It can easily be done in one day and there are plenty of places to stop for refreshments.  I like to travel in a clockwise direction.  This prevents having to make a left across some busy highways (especially hwy 50).  The weather at that time of year should be pretty good.  The mornings will be cool, low 40's, but the afternoon should see temps in the 60's or 70's. 

Gear Talk / Re: Sunscreen
« on: May 22, 2010, 09:17:11 pm »
I can't use anything other than a zinc/titanium oxide cream.  Anything else including Water Babies and I get hives.  I found a brand in CVS pharmacies that works well.  Offhand I can't remember the name but it has a blue lizard on the front and says it is for sensitive skin.  I didn't find that it was overly difficult to wash off. 

I've tried just about everything that says it is for sensitive skin but they don't work for me.  I was fine when they had PABA but the new formulations just don't work for me.  The last time I used one that was for sensitive skin I had hives so bad I ended up at the doctors office. 

I'm not familiar with the Woods Line state trail so I can't comment on it.  I'm familiar with the 395 from Reno to Southern California.  When I drive up to Tahoe I like to take the 395.

Between Reno and Carson City you may want to check out the following website to see where bicycles are prohibited  South of Carson the road is pretty good and it generally (but not always) has a wide shoulder (although the state has installed rumble strips).  There are several campgrounds along the way and in other areas you could probrobly camp out of site of the road and no one will bother you.  The scenery is pretty good until you get close to Ridgecrest when it really becomes what is called high desert.  You will also find at least 2 good sized climbs.

There is one 30 mile stretch I don't recommend because of high traffic and no shoulder.  That is between Kramer Junction (Hwy 58) and Victorville.  

I would take the San Gabriel River Trail up to Foothill Blvd.  Then head west on surface streets until you get to Hwy 2.  The river trail is pretty good but I'm not familiar with the surface streets needed to get you to the 2.

Your other option is to take the Santa Ana River trail (with detours) until you get to San Bernardino and then take the 330 up Big Bear.

In the west riding on the interstate is generally permissible outside of urban areas.  Usually as you approach an urban area there will be a sign directing cyclists to leave the interstate.  Here are a couple of web sites for New Mexico and Arizona where you can find some info on the state's roads.

I know Nevada has a site but not sure what of the address and I'd bet that Utah has one as well.  On a personal note I wasn't too impressed with the roads in Utah.  They use a lot of chip seal and it makes for a very rough ride.

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