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Messages - aggie

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The WE also includes the national parks of Bryce and Capital Reef.  With short detour you can also see Zion (spectacular) and Natural Bridges.  You also travel through Grand Staircase National Monument and a small part of the Glenn Canyon National Rec Area.  Another detour could take you to the valley of the gods with its wonderful views.   You'll be hard pressed to see so many different parks and landscapes in such a small area anywhere else in the US.  The climate isn't for everyone but if you like it warm and dry this may be the best area to ride.  Just depends on the type of scenery and environment you want to travel through.

If you start in SF you will most likely be doing the Western Express route.  This route will take you through Nevada on hwy 50 and into Utah.  I really like this route however in July this part of the route will be very hot and dry.  There aren't many places to get water so you have to plan on taking enough to go 60 to 70 miles between towns.  If you start early in the morning you can get in a number of miles before the hottest part of day. 

Routes / Re: Route Ideas
« on: July 12, 2013, 08:23:18 pm »
The route out of SF is most likely the Western Express.  June and July wouldn't be the best times for this route as you go through Nevada and Utah.  It will be hot and dry.

Gear Talk / Re: Recommended Long-Sleeve Touring Shirts?
« on: July 07, 2013, 05:47:04 pm »
The ACA store sells a Canari long sleeve jersey with a SPF of 30.  They also sell a club ride jersey but no SPF is listed.  The club ride jerseys have two zippered pockets but don't know if they will hold water bottles.

Gear Talk / Re: Recommended Long-Sleeve Touring Shirts?
« on: July 07, 2013, 01:28:28 pm »
There is a company called Club Ride that makes a good looking long sleeve shirt called Go Long that may fit your needs.  Not sure if a LBS will stock them but you can order online. 

Gear Talk / Re: Solar Panel - Yea or Nay?
« on: July 02, 2013, 05:38:02 pm »
Like mdxix I tried a Solio.  It just never seemed to get a full charge while I was riding.  If I stopped for a day and left it out I got a full charge.  This particular one may not be the best for charging on the back of your back.  I use an AA battery charger when I can't find an outlet to recharge my stuff.

Routes / Re: Bus from Portland to Astoria
« on: June 29, 2013, 06:51:11 pm »
The folks in the Amtrak baggage claim are pretty accommodating.  Since you are shipping your bike by Amtrak they may hold on to your panniers for a couple of hours.  Just show them your claim check (bike) and explain that you are catching a later bus.

Routes / Re: Bus from Portland to Astoria
« on: June 28, 2013, 06:50:58 pm »
You'll find the bus stop just outside Amtrak's baggage room so at least in Portland you don't have far to go with your bike. 

Routes / Re: Bus from Portland to Astoria
« on: June 28, 2013, 10:55:55 am »
They use the "big" buses and bikes are stored in the regular luggage compartment.  It may be best to leave it boxed although they say you can have them unboxed although transporting a boxed bike might be a bit of a hassle from the airport.  As I recall Portland has a light rail line that runs from the airport.  Not sure if you have to make a connection to get to downtown but you can check their website.  Portland has an extensive bike trail/lane system and if you have time you may be able to ride from the airport to the Amtrak Terminal.  I haven't taken that bus but it looks like a comfortable ride.  The bus stop is on the side of the terminal outside the Amtrak luggage area.  You will see a number of different bus lines that go to different cities. 

General Discussion / Re: Which telephone company?
« on: June 25, 2013, 11:45:01 am »
I think if you do a search you'll see that others have asked similar questions.  If I recall correctly it seems that Verizon overall has the best coverage but there are spots where it isn't so good.  I used my smartphone on the ST and there were only a few isolated spots where I didn't have coverage.

If you are taking Amtrak you can ship your bike with you.  Amtrak has a nice bike box that requires very little prep (handle bars and pedals) to use and it is very inexpensive compared to other shipping methods.  Your panniers will serve as you luggage which you can either check or you can carry them on.  I recommend that you get a small room.  It will cost more than a regular ticket but you can keep your panniers with you plus you'll be able to get a good nights sleep as well as the fee includes your meals for the trip. 

Having ridden the Nevada portion of the Western Express I'm not sure riding in November is a good idea.  The passes will be cold and there is a good possibility of snow.  Even the valleys can be very cold.  If you do it bring gear to keep you warm.

General Discussion / Re: The importance of always wearing a helmet
« on: April 25, 2013, 10:30:21 am »
I agree that everyone should weigh the pros and cons of wearing a helmet and then except the consequences either way.  I don't like wearing a helmet but I personally find it a necessary evil.

I was on a tour a number of years ago and was coming down a mountain road.  As I entered the last hairpin curve at about 20 mpg my front tire went flat.  Needless to say me and the bike did a somersault.  I wound up with a broken collarbone, three broken ribs and a bad case of road rash.  I don't remember hitting my head but my helmet was broken in 5 places.  Now I never leave home without one.   

Routes / Re: Southern Tier
« on: April 13, 2013, 01:08:28 pm »
There were only a few places where I found services to be few and far between.  You may want to try a couple of detours from the ACA route.  One is from Safford, AZ to Silver City, NM.  Instead of the ACA route follow hwy 70 all the way to Lordsburgh, NM.  The road is good and there are limited services in Duncan along the way.  Then take hwy 90 up to Silver City to rejoin the ACA route.  The other detour is taking hwy 90 from Van Horn, TX.  The road is good with little traffic but there aren't any services between Van Horn and Marfa so carry everything you need for the approximately 75 miles.   As was mentioned earlier there are few spots where you will travel more than 40 miles between services and those are indicated on the ACA maps.

Gear Talk / Re: Schwalbe tires
« on: March 29, 2013, 01:20:28 pm »
On my "touring" bike I use Gatorskins.  However for my commuting I prefer the Marathon Plus.  I only ride about 7 miles each way and I don't have time to change a flat at 4 am when I'm on my to the train station.  They may not be "lively" but for this short ride I don't care.  I've used Gatorskins and have gotten flats on trips to the grocery store.  It's a royal pain to unload my groceries to fix a flat.  As with most things it is all about personal preference.

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