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Messages - aggie

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It is possible to do 70 miles/day but there will be days when that will be a stretch depending on you average speed due to climbing.  If you leave San Diego on the Southern Tier, it is a pretty much uphill for the first 50 miles with some 8% grades.  Also August is one of the hottest months.  After you leave the mountains outside of San Diego it will be very hot during the day until you get to Colorado.  If you start riding at 6 am (0600) and ride until 1 pm (1300) with short stops you should be able to do 70 miles.  Make sure to carry lots of water, refill every chance you get, and wear a good sun screen (don't forget your nose and ears).  I suggest you obtain the ACA maps (if you haven't already) as they will give you the particulars on the route.

If you want to save a couple of days follow Hwy 89 in Utah north, don't turn off at Mt Carmel Junction, until you join with the Western Express.  It is a pretty good road with several places to stop.  It will save you from making a loop.  You will miss Zion National Park but it will save you some time.

For bike info check out the forum on gear talk.  Lots of info on various bikes.

I've ridden in AZ in July and it is hot but doable if you are willing to tolerate the heat.  I suggest starting to ride at first light or a little earlier if you have a light and then stop for the day around 1 pm (1300).  When you get near the Navajo Nation I highly recommend you do not ride at night (if that is your intention).  I would recommend at least 3 water bottles and a Camelback.  This should allow you to carry enough water to reach a fresh water supply.  I recommend stopping at each location to refill any empty water bottles as there are some areas where the water stops may be 70 miles apart. 

As was mentioned earlier do a search for information that has been previously posted about riding in Arizona (Monument Valley, Grand Canyon, etc).

Routes / Re: Seeking advice, Yosemite to SF
« on: April 18, 2010, 10:21:18 pm »
Some locals may have a better route.  I find there aren't many roads that go east-west from Yosemite to SF and the coast. 

This route might work for you.  It does have some climbing but a lot of it is on low traffic rural roads.  From Yosemite take 140 through Mariposa.  After Mariposa take a right on J16 (Hornitos rd).  Follow this through Hornitos and Merced Falls until you get to Snelling.  Then take 59 until J17 (Turlock Rd.)  Take J17 to Patterson and the I5.  Go under I5 and take a right on Del Puerto Canyon Rd. (130).   This becomes San Antonio Valley Rd and will take you into San Jose.  At this point there are some bike maps that should get you to SF.  A local may be able to give you the best route up to SF.

Gear Talk / Re: What's your favorite 100 mile unweighted bike?
« on: April 18, 2010, 02:28:39 pm »
I've used my Trek 5200 for 100+ non-loaded riding and been very happy.  I'm significantly faster than on my touring bike.

I have couplers on my bike and love them.  I only check them about once a week but once they are tightened the first time I've never had to re-tighten them.  The only down side is riding in the rain.  If you plan to ride in the rain you either need fenders or you have to take them apart to drain the water from the downtube.  I rode in the rain once without fenders and found about 4 ounces of water in the downtube.

Gear Talk / Re: Touring Shoes, Cleat Selection and Toe Clip Survey
« on: April 08, 2010, 11:05:16 am »
I don't notice much of a difference in comfort between my sandals and mtn bike shoe.  It really depends on weather.  When I was biking through TX and LA last July the sandals were far more comfortable due to the heat and humidity.  

Gear Talk / Re: Touring Shoes, Cleat Selection and Toe Clip Survey
« on: April 06, 2010, 02:02:58 pm »
I use specialized mountain bike shoes with spd cleats.  I also use the keen sandals with spd cleats.  If I wear shoes that are too tight I get hot foot.  These shoes allow my feet enough room while remaining snug enough to ride comfortably. 

Routes / Re: San Diego to East Coast Route advice
« on: April 06, 2010, 01:56:55 pm »
While parts of the Southern Tier are desert it isn't unrideable.  I rode through AZ in July and while it was hot I took precautions to avoid any problems.  If you are used to heat then it shouldn't be unbearable. 

Routes / Re: San Diego to East Coast Route advice
« on: April 05, 2010, 02:01:34 pm »
The Grand Canyon connector to the Western Express would be a good route.  You'll have an opportunity to see several spectacular national parks along this route.  If I had the time I'd take the following route: Southern tier to Grand Canyon connector to Western Express to Trans Am to Great Rivers to Southern Tier to Atlantic Coast.  This will give plenty of variety both of scenery and life styles (cultures). 

General Discussion / Re: Monument Valley in July
« on: April 04, 2010, 12:45:24 pm »
Depending on your tires you should be able to ride on the dirt road.  It could be a little rough and sandy in sections.  There are no guardrails and it is a long way down in some sections.  As a note there isn't much traffic on the 261.

Gear Talk / Re: Click driving me nuts
« on: April 03, 2010, 04:48:33 pm »
I get a similar click in one of my pedals especially after I ride in the rain.  It seems some debris finds its way into the pedal threads.  I remove the pedal and clean the threads.  I put some new grease on the threads before I reinsert.  It hasn't failed to stop the click.

General Discussion / Re: Monument Valley in July
« on: April 03, 2010, 04:44:02 pm »
I'm assuming you meant hwy 95.  From Natural Bridges NP until you get to Mexican Hat there aren't any services and as I recall it is about 40 miles.  Also on 261 you will get to a section that overlooks the Valley of the Gods.  It is quite beautiful but the road down the cliff face isn't paved.  It is dirt with loose rocks. 

There is a temporary closure of the southbound S21 (Pacific Coast Hwy/Carlsbad Blvd) until at least 5/28/2010.  The actual closure is from Solamar Dr to Island Way.  There is a well marked detour that has you go left at Cannon Rd.  Make a right in .26 miles to Avenida Encinas.  Follow Avenida Encinas for 2.5 miles, make a right on Poinsettia Ln, in .25 miles make a left turn to rejoin the route.

The northbound side is ok.

General Discussion / Re: Monument Valley in July
« on: April 03, 2010, 12:36:15 am »
Not sure of your exact route but from experience there aren't many services available.  It will be hot and dry.  You'll need lots of water even if you travel at first light.  Hwy 163 from Mexican Hat is a two lane road with little if any shoulder.  During that time expect lots of RV's.  Also you will notice the trail of beer cans and bottles from Mexican Hat to Monument Valley and beyond.  The scenery is great but the road, traffic, and trash isn't.

General Discussion / Re: REI Bikes
« on: March 29, 2010, 06:11:12 pm »
The Randonee has been a good touring bike over the years.  If you do a search for Randonee you will see how many members feel about theirs.  The Safari is fairly new.  To choose between these two bikes I'd say it depends on the type of road you will be doing most of your riding.  If you are going to be riding mostly on paved roads or hard packed trails then the Randonee is a good choice.  If you are going to be doing a lot of single track or loose gravel then you may be better off with the Safari since it will accommodate wider tires and is slightly lower geared.

The nice thing about REI is that if you are dissatisfied with the bike after a ride you should be able to take it back for a refund, especially if you are a member.

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