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Messages - aggie

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31
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. 

32
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.

33
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.   

34
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.

35
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.

36
Gear Talk / Re: Schwalbe tires
« on: March 29, 2013, 10:30:41 am »
I've been using the Marathon Plus tires on the bike I use to commute to work for the last year as well as run various errands.  I've been happy with their performance and haven't had a flat yet. 

37
General Discussion / Re: Cycling US = Crazy?
« on: March 24, 2013, 10:46:05 am »
Sounds like you've been riding in the Los Angeles basin. 

If you are in Banning you should proceed on east Ramsey st until it become an on ramp and crosses under the freeway (I 10).  The last time I checked a map you are allowed to ride on the shoulder at least a short distance (next off ramp).  However if you see a break in the fence there is an unmaintained old road between the freeway and the railroad tracks.  It's a little rough but has virtually no traffic.  Follow this east bound (it changes name to main street after a traffic circle and becomes a better maintained road) until it ends.  You enter the freeway shoulder but exit on Hwy 111 towards Palm Springs.   Follow 111 towards Palm Springs until you get to the road that goes up to the Tram.  Make a left on W. San Rafael Dr. and follow it to N. Indian Canyon Dr.  Make a left.  Go North on this road until you get to Dillon Rd then go left.   Dillon will take you to 29 Palms Hwy (lots of traffic).  Make a Right.  Follow this until you get to the signs that will take to you to Joshua Tree National Park. 

In 29 Palms you can take either Godwin Rd, Utah Trail or Adobe Rd  north to Amboy Rd.  Make a right (east) and follow Amboy Rd (you will be going through a desert area with absolutely no services) until you get to National Trails Hwy.  Go right (east)    When you get to Kelbaker Rd make a left (north).  Follow Kelbaker Road all the way into Death Valley.  The only services on this route are at 29 Palms and Baker.  This is a desert area that is very lightly traveled.  Carry lots of water.

Once you get to Death Valley you can take several roads east to connect with the Hwy 95 or 160 that will take you into Las Vegas.  Unfortunately there isn't a good way to get from Vegas to the Grand Canyon.  The most direct way is to find you way east through Vegas to Henderson.  Then you can get on Hwy 93 that goes through Boulder.  Follow Hwy 93 (wide shoulder) until you get to Interstate 40.  That will take you to Williams and the road that goes up to the Grand Canyon. 

Most of the area is a desert.  Be prepared to carry lots of water and food as there is NOTHING between towns.  Most likely you won't have any phone service either. 

Good Luck.

38
You can get some water at the visitors center at Natural Bridges Monument.  It is a short detour off hwy 95.  The 276 has some good scenery but be aware that you will be climbing all the way to the 95.  It is a very slight rise and virtually no shade. 

39
Routes / Re: Southern Tier - Texas
« on: March 09, 2013, 06:28:37 pm »
I rode from Van Horn to Marfa and Alpine along hwy 90.  It's a good ride with a wide shoulder.  Make sure you have food and water for this part because there aren't any services between these towns.  Valentine has a post office, small school, and little else.  If you are planning to stay in hotels you will have to travel from Sanderson to Comstock.  There are no hotels/motels between these two towns.  The previous description of Langtry is right on.  The store doesn't have much in the way of supplies.  Restroom there was a little iffy.  The museum is open from 8 - 5 and it has a working restroom.  No restroom is available at the community center as you only use the yard to camp.  The community center is a converted school house and is locate behind some homes just south of the museum.  I'd avoid going through the park in Bastrop. (If open).  They charge even if you are just passing through.  Once you get to Del Rio services and places to stay are easier to find.  The weather should be pretty good at that time of the year.  You could get a cold front but when I did the trip at that time of year the weather was very pleasant.  I'd follow the ACA maps until you get to Baton Rouge.  Then you may want to look at taking the Mississippi River route south to New Orleans. 

40
Connecting ACA Routes / Re: Western Express - North Lake Powell Lodging
« on: February 27, 2013, 10:59:55 pm »
There is a hotel and restaurant at Bullfrog.  It is a little pricey these days.  They also list some trailers in Hite but not sure what they are like or what services are available.  The road into and out of Bullfrog has very little traffic.  Most of it consists of pickups pulling boats.  There isn't much between Bullfrog and Blanding so take lots of water.  Its very dry but a nice ride.  You can make a reservation at https://reservations.ahlsmsworld.com/LakePowell/Plan-Your-Trip.

41
Gear Talk / Re: Bob Yak Trailer? XCountry tour, thoughts?
« on: February 17, 2013, 06:20:47 pm »
I did the ST using a BOB.  No problems and would do it again with a BOB.  Check out the other threads for opinions on trailers vs panniers.

42
Sometimes the train has a baggage car that looks like a passenger car.  I've been able to put my bike in there because it usually empty but it's not available with every train.  If you can take your panniers off easily (I'm assuming you are using panniers) the bike will fit in the rack and you can put the panniers in the luggage storage area.  If you can take as late a morning or early afternoon train as you can.  They tend to be less crowded. 

43
Routes / Re: Grand Canyon to Joshua Tree to Los Angeles
« on: October 26, 2012, 10:04:19 pm »
Take a look at going to Flagstaff after visiting Grand Canyon.  You can then take 89 to the 71 to then join up with the Southern Tier hwy 60.  Once you get to Hope you can take the 72 up to Parker.  From Parker you can take 62 through Twenty Nine Palms onto the north part of Palm Springs.  Other than a small stretch of I10 you can then take surface streets into LA.  There isn't much in the way of services from Hope to Parker and then Parker to 29 Palms.  You can camp at Joshua Tree National Park.

44
Southwest / Re: Monument Valley experience?
« on: October 20, 2012, 12:21:42 pm »
Public roads with the best scenery are the 261 and the 163.  If you take the 261 from the 95 it takes you south towards Monument Valley.  It's a pretty good road with little traffic.  There's also little in the way of supply stops.  This road has a spectacular view of the valley of the gods just before it drops down to meet hwy 163.  163 has more traffic and not much of a shoulder.  Shortly after joining the 163 (going south) you'll run into Mexican Hat.  It's a very small town with a couple of motels and a convenience store.   Not much there.  As you travel further south you'll start to see the "monuments" of Monument Valley.  There is a small campground and store near Gouldings lodge which is near the entrance to the monument valley tribal park.  Further south you run into Kayenta which is a small town with a couple of motels and a grocery store. 

You'll be able to dry camp along the 261 as most of it is BLM land.  Once you get into tribal lands your camping options are limited.  The campground near Gouldings is ok.  Not sure about anything else. 

45
California / Re: Palm Desert, CA Hwy 74
« on: August 07, 2012, 11:07:48 pm »
I haven't ridden it on a bicycle only driven it.  There wasn't a great deal of traffic but the road wasn't in the best shape and there is virtually not shoulder for a lot of the ride.

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