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Messages - aggie

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271
Routes / Re: Suggestions For Our Next Trip
« on: October 19, 2009, 11:48:28 am »
Take a look at the Pacific Coast trail from San Francisco to LA.  It can easily be done in your time frame and you could fly into SF and leave from LA and could camp every day except for the last day in LA.  The route goes right by the LA airport.  If you want to fly in and out of the same airport you could fly into SF and then take the coast route to either San Luis Obispo or Santa Barbara then take amtrak back to the bay area. 

272
They don't provide any padding.  So far I haven't had any problems without any padding.  I now use the cardboard roll from the center of a roll of paper towels.  (You could even use a couple of rolls from the center of toilet paper.)  I cut it on one side it so it will slide onto the top bar.  When I zip tie the handle bars to the top bar I make sure it is very snug.  This holds the cardboard roll in place.  When I do this I haven't had any problems with the bars coming loose or scratching the top bar.  It usually takes 3 zip ties.  Make sure the zip ties are long ones or you'll have to put a couple together to fit around the handle bars and top bar.  The only tool I use to disassemble and reassemble the bike is a multi-tool I always carry with me.  

273
I'm 6' tall and my bike fits without lowering the seat but I don't have the extra water bottle cage.  It appears to me that your bars will fit.    I remove my bars from the stem and zip tie them to the top tube.  I then replace and tighten the stem bolt to keep the spacers on the stem.  My cables are just long enough to allow it to work.  I place a cardboard tube from a roll of paper towels around the top tube to keep from scratching it.  I've done this about 5 times with no problems.  You will have to remove your pedals.  It only takes me about 10 minutes to prep the bike and have it ready for shipping.  I suggest you try removing your handlebars at home to find the best way to secure them to the top bar.

The Coast Starlight has a baggage car (I've taken it from LA to Oakland). Remember if you box the bike you can only get it at stations that offer baggage service.  Check the Amtrak schedule for the train you want to catch to see which stations offer baggage service. Amtrak will provide the tape to close up the box.  (The folks at the baggage center in LA are pretty nice.  If you box it up in LA you need to go to their baggage office which is upstairs.  Take the elevator in the alcove next to the car rental desk to the second floor.  Go to the baggage office and ring the bell to be let in.)  Amtrak charges $15 for the box and $5 shipping for a total of $20.  You can get insurance if you want up to $2500.

274
California / Re: San Luis Obispo to Palm Springs
« on: October 05, 2009, 07:43:03 pm »
Your best bet to avoid climbs will be to get into the LA Basin (Santa Monica) following the coast then work your way over to Palm Springs.  The 58 near San Luis Obispo has at least 1 long climb.  Then you will have another out of Bakersfield.

It might be a little out of your way but if you follow the coast route until you get to Huntington Beach you can then catch the Santa Ana River Trail.  That will take you into Corona.  Then you could work your way over to Riverside and then go into Palm Springs.  This route will minimize the climing.

275
California / Removing Bike lanes in Placentia, CA
« on: September 26, 2009, 09:24:17 pm »
If you need an example of car-centric thinking look no further than Placentia, CA.  They removed the bike lanes near two intersections so that they could install left hand turn lanes.  They say it was done to comply with the county's master traffic plan.  The removal creates a definite hazard for cyclists on these heavily traveled intersections.  One intersection is about two hundred yards from an elementary school.  (The safe routes to school program is for naught.)  The city did place signs near the intersection that say share the road with a bicycle emblem (their first).  Instead of creating an environment conducive to people riding their bikes they make it more of a hassle.

At this particular intersection I was cut off by one driver after they were able to pass.  Before that this driver repeatedly honked their horn.  Imagine my surprise when I called the Placentia police department to report an aggressive driver.  I was told that it wasn't against the law to cut off a cyclist or to repeatedly honk the horn.  I was told they only way the police would take a report was if I was struck by the car. 
I was also informed by the city that bike lanes were a privilege and not a right and that state law only requires that bicycles be "considered" when planning a project.  It is not mandatory to include bicycle lanes on new construction. 

This is yet another example of Southern California being in love with cars and inhibiting people from using alternative transportation.

276
Routes / Re: Riding on Interstates
« on: September 16, 2009, 12:30:31 am »
Here is a link to the AZ Dot on roads.  http://www.azbikeped.org/maps.htm  According to their maps it is legal to use I40 all the way across AZ.  Here is the web site for NM roads.  It appears that I40 is ok everywhere but Albuquerque.  http://nmshtd.state.nm.us/main.asp?secid=15679  I wouldn't want to try to ride the interstate in a city with high speed traffic and lots of on and off ramps.

277
Routes / Re: Reno, NV to Las Vegas, NV
« on: September 15, 2009, 11:08:17 am »
There isn't a good direct route from Reno to Las Vegas.  Any route you take really depends on the weather (time of year) and what kind of scenery you prefer.

During the winter you can work your way over to Hwy 95.  This will take you all the way to Vegas.  The road isn't too bad but it does have a rumble strip in the shoulder so you will be riding close to the white line.  There are a few places where you won't have any stops for water or supplies for more than 60 miles.  It can be a little desolate and in some areas there is very light traffic.  It is definitely desert nearly the entire route.

During most of the rest of the year you could take Hwy 395 to just south of Lone Pine.  Then you can take Hwy 136 and 190 through Death Valley and continue on to Beatty, NV.  Then take Hwy 95 south into Vegas.  There are many more places for food and water and the scenery is much better.  There is more climbing than the Hwy 95 route.  There are a couple of passes over 8000 feet so they can get quite a bit of snow in the winter.  I wouldn't advise going through Death Valley during the summer (unless you like 115 degree days) or Hwy 95 during the summer.  It does get really hot and it is very dry.

278
Routes / Re: Devil's Slide Hwy 1
« on: September 14, 2009, 11:06:08 am »
I rode through mid morning during the week and there was only moderate traffic.  At that time I avoided most of the traffic for folks going to work and it was too early for the RV crowd.  There shouldn't be as many of those since the summer season is over. 

279
Routes / Re: Biking across America this fall: doable?
« on: September 06, 2009, 02:35:53 pm »
You might make it before the snow starts to fall in the Rockies.  I'd check the weather history for the passes to see when the first snow starts to fall.  I don't know what the weather in the east will be like but I'd bet it will be cold and possibly wet. 

280
Routes / Re: route from Jacksonville to Pensacola
« on: September 06, 2009, 12:01:18 pm »
ACA map of the Atlantic Coast, Section 6, has a spur that goes by the Jacksonville airport.  You could use this map to get to St. Augustine and connect to the Southern Tier.  You will then need section 6 and 7 of the ACA Southern Tier maps.  

If you want a more direct route I'm sure someone from Florida could tell you which roads to take to connect.  

Using the ACA maps it's about 50 miles to St. Augustine from the Jacksonville airport.  Then it's about 520 miles to Pensacola.  

281
Routes / Re: US Coast to Coast
« on: September 02, 2009, 10:51:46 am »
I do not recommend the Southern Tier for the Summer.  It is hot and dry in the west, the roads in Texas are like an 800 mile rumble strip, and it is hot and humid (like soaking wet with sweat in 1 hr) in the east. 

282
Routes / Re: Western Express late June
« on: August 13, 2009, 04:39:07 pm »
As was said the trip is doable.  It is actually better in June than July or August.  I do a supported ride across Nevada in September and it can be hot during the day as well as cold at night and in the mornings.  It will be hot in the basins but as you climb up the ranges it will cool off a couple of degrees.  The good thing is that the days are long.  Leave as early as possible and stop at available water stops to rest and rehydrate.  It will also be as hot in Utah as it is in Nevada.  There isn't much between Baker, NV Milford, UT.  Also there isn't a great deal of traffic on the main route.  If you take the alternate 722 out of Middlegate there is virtually no traffic.  The last time I rode this section I saw 3 vehicles and there are no services available.

283
Farm Road 1155 is closed to repair a small bridge.  The NB option is to make a left on 105.  The SB option is to continue on 105 to William Penn Rd.

284
Routes / Re: Leaving Portland Mid April - Best X-country route?
« on: August 04, 2009, 03:11:03 pm »
Another option is to take the train to San Diego and do the Southern Tier.  Even in the high elevations of New Mexico shouldn't be too bad.  If they are you can detour around them.  It is also a good time of the year to go through AZ.

285
Routes / Re: Leaving Portland Mid April - Best X-country route?
« on: August 04, 2009, 09:57:27 am »
If you decide to take the Western Express route you should be ok in mid to late April.  That said when you cross a mountain range you can never be too sure about the weather.  It might be cool at the higher elevations but as you descend into the basins the weather should be ideal.

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