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Messages - aggie

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General Discussion / Re: Getting back to where you started
« on: December 01, 2009, 12:56:12 pm »
I've used Amtrak several times and always had a good experience.  As Staephj1 mentioned check the route schedule to see which stations have baggage service.

Connecting ACA Routes / Re: Washington DC to San Diego CA
« on: December 01, 2009, 12:53:05 pm »
There are several ways to get to San Diego from DC using Adventure Cycling (ACA) maps.  You take the  ACA Atlantic Coast route and then connect to the Southern Tier route in St. Augustine, FL.  Or you could take the TransAm route to where it connects to the Great Rivers route.  Then follow it south until it connects to the Southern Tier route.  Or you could take the TransAm route to the Western Express.  Then take the Grand Canyon Connector to the Southern Tier.

I would recommend going on the Southern Tier in the middle of the summer.  It is hot and humid in the south and can be very hot and dry in the west.

Routes / Re: Southern Tier weather
« on: November 30, 2009, 10:38:10 am »
In Southern California February is in the rainy season.  Fronts come down from Alaska with rain and cold.  If there isn't a front coming through the weather in the lower elevations should be rather mild - lower to mid 60's.  At elevation it is possible to encounter snow or at the very least some relatively cold days and nights.  This also includes the elevations in AZ and NM.  That said it is always possible the weather will be clear and in the 70's or wet and in the 40's and 50's.  March tends to be a little drier and warmer. 

Connecting ACA Routes / Re: Southern Tier onto Route 66
« on: November 29, 2009, 11:43:07 am »
There are a number of ways you could connect to route 66 from the Southern Tier route (ST).  Perhaps the simplest is to take the the ST until you meet the Grand Canyon Connector (GCC) route in Wickenburg, AZ.  You then take this route (GCC) north to Ash Fork, AZ where you can connect to route 66.  Some of route 66 is part of Interstate 40 so you will need some good local maps if you want to avoid traveling on the interstate as much as possible.  You are permitted to ride on nearly all this interstate in AZ and NM.  These two web sites should be helpful for planning your ride through AZ and NM:  and

You will have some climbing.  Generally the interstate has more gentle grades than other roads.  To avoid as much climbing as possible you will need to take a more southerly route than the ST.  You could continue on Interstate 8 until it meets up with Interstate 10.  Then follow Interstate 10 into El Paso.  I've driven those interstates but haven't ridden that route so I can't speak to the conditions you would find or what alternative routes to use to avoid the metropolitan areas.

Routes / Re: I would like some info on the souther tier
« on: November 27, 2009, 11:33:32 am »
Temperatures (high's) were in the mid 70's.  Early morning temps were in the upper 50's.  Very little humidity and no rain.  I also opted to take hwy 90 out of Van Horn, TX to Marfa, TX to avoid the steep climb up Mount Locke (observatory) and into Fort Davis.  The road has a nice wide shoulder with little traffic and a gradual climb.  The only disadvantage is that there aren't any water stops between Van Horn and Marfa (about 70 miles).  You might be able to find some water in Valentine but there weren't any open stores when I went through.

Routes / Re: I would like some info on the souther tier
« on: November 22, 2009, 07:25:46 pm »
I've taken the train into and out of San Antonio (I live near LA) without difficulty.  You could take the train from SF to San Antonio then take the train from San Diego to SF.  It isn't hard to connect to the Southern Tier from San Antonio.  I was heading west to east and rode on hwy 90 from Del Rio.  It is a pretty good road (Texas uses chip seal almost exclusively on all its roads).  I rode in early April from El Paso to San Antonio and the weather was excellent.  You should be able to find several camp grounds until you hook up to the ACA Southern Tier.  I used hotels so I can't speak to the availability of showers except to say that if you stop in Langtry you will have to camp at the community center and there aren't showers or toilets.  Toilets are at the Judge Roy Bean state park.  It is open from 8am to 5pm along with everything else in that community. The community center does have a water faucet outside that you can use.

Gear Talk / Re: Bike Friday Travel Case and Traler Used
« on: November 05, 2009, 11:25:08 am »
Check out this web site.  I hope this is what you are looking for.  

Corridor 66 Implementation / Re: West End of NBRS Route 66
« on: October 19, 2009, 07:47:04 pm »
I'm not aware of any SART north of the dam.  It is possible there are some short sections.  If you can find the book "Bicycle Rides - Inland Empire" by Don and Sharron Brundige it might have some other river sections.  I don't think there is a continuous trail that is easily followed.

I'll look around to see if I can find any maps of trails in the inland empire.

Update.  Take a look at this website.  It should show a google map with a 21 mile trail that goes from Tequesquito Arroyo Park in Riverside to Waterman Ave in San Bernardino.

Also found this one.  It seems to connect the two sections of the SART.

Update 10/23/09  I just rode by the SART at Gypsum Canyon Road.  When you come up to the bridge you will notice that the center lines direct you either to the right (and under the bridge) or go straight seemingly to the intersection.  As you pass the chain link fence and gate you will see a small sign on the bridge indicating the trail goes right and over the bridge (and the Santa Ana River).  There is also a Bike Route sign on the first light pole. 

Corridor 66 Implementation / Re: West End of NBRS Route 66
« on: October 19, 2009, 03:48:51 pm »
The SART trail crosses over the river at Gypsum Canyon Road.  The relatively new bridge has a very wide sidewalk separated from the roadway.  Don't follow the path under the bridge.  Go over the bridge at the light.  Then bear right to follow the path into the park.  The path bears right and then goes under the bridge.  The SART then parallels Hwy 91.  SART then ends at the Green River Golf course.  If you follow the road it will take you over hwy 91 on Green River Rd. 

If you then take a left on Palisades Dr (just after the storage units) it will end on Serfas Club Dr.  Take a left and follow Serfas Club for about 0.3 miles.  Take a right on the frontage road just before hwy 91.  This will empty on 6th st. in Corona.  This street becomes Magnolia and takes you into the city of Riverside.  At that point there are a couple of different ways you could get to Devore. 

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. 

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.  

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.

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.

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.

Routes / Re: Riding on Interstates
« on: September 16, 2009, 12:30:31 am »
Here is a link to the AZ Dot on roads.  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.  I wouldn't want to try to ride the interstate in a city with high speed traffic and lots of on and off ramps.

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