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Messages - aggie

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Gear Talk / Re: trailer for a telescope?
« on: July 07, 2012, 10:45:41 am »
I have and use a trailer but I'm not sure it I'd want to carry something as delicate as a telescope.  There is only 1 trailer I'm aware of that comes with a shock to help absorb bumps.   This trailer (BOB Ibex) may (with enough other padding) keep the mirrors from shifting. 

Since you are flying Virgin on the way out with the bag, just have something in writing from them that it's ok to use the bag on the way back.

Unfortunately due to overblown security concerns its rare to find an airport in the US with any kind of luggage storage if you need to bring a box.   Your best option may be to rent a night at a hotel the day of your arrival and day before departure.  You can then ask the concierge to store you bike box.  Most will be happy to do it since you are staying at the hotel.  Make sure you let them know the time frame so it doesn't get treated as forgotten luggage. 

Routes / Re: Credit Card Touring the Western Express
« on: June 29, 2012, 10:46:44 am »
I don't recommend staying in the town of Baker.  It is small and the restaurant owner is definitely anti-bike (personal experience).  I recommend the Border Inn which is on the Utah/Nevada border on Hwy 50.  It has a restaurant and a very small selection of other items.  I've stayed there several times and although it's nothing special it served my needs. 

General Discussion / Re: What do you use for sunscreen?
« on: June 28, 2012, 10:18:31 am »
I either use a long sleeve shirt or a titanium/zinc oxide sunscreen.  I can't wear most of the recent formulations of sunscreens.  They have added something that gives me hives.  I don't like the sunscreen I can use because of the stickiness, etc but it's better than a sunburn.  I do put a little on my nose, ears, face and neck and then use a wipe to remove them after the ride. 

My next step is to see a dermatologist to find out if there is a non-sticky sunscreen I can use.

Update.  I just bought two sunscreens by Neutrogena.   The firs is their "pure & free" liguid.  The actives are Titanium and Zinc Oxides.  It doesn't have a greasy feel and seems to disappear into the skin.  I also have their "Sensitive Skin Sunblock Lotion".  It says it is non greasy but I find it leaves a very slight greasy feel to the skin.  It does disappear so the skin doesn't take on the white zinc oxide look.  Both are a little pricey.

General Discussion / Re: Arm, Leg or Bike?
« on: June 26, 2012, 12:23:12 pm »
Not sure how much it would cost to ship to Ireland but you should be able find several bikes that should suit your needs that are within your price range.  1000 euros is about 1200 dollars.  Check out for the bikes they sell.  They list the Surly long haul trucker (backordered) that has gotten good reviews.  They also have their brand (Novara) touring bike that has also gotten good reviews.  Their web site shows Ireland as a shipping destination but you can check with them just to make sure.  You can do a search of the forums for opinions on various bikes.  Check out the Gear Forum.

Routes / Re: Help - Is there a safe route from Portland to the sea?
« on: June 26, 2012, 10:15:10 am »
I've taken Hwy 30 from Portland to Astoria following the Luis and Clark Trail.  It is busy is spots but there is usually a wide shoulder.  There are also a number of places to stop and eat or rest.

You could also take the shuttle from Portland's Amtrak station to Tillamook.  It runs twice a day.  Their web site is:

Routes / Re: Starting the Southern Tier in June
« on: June 13, 2012, 07:25:43 pm »
At the start of your trip the hottest parts will be between El Centro, CA and Wickenburg, AZ.  In Wickenburg you join up with the Grand Canyon connector.  At which point you will start climbing and it will cool off.  It will still be dry.  It is possible to stay in hotels each day (I've done it).  The heat isn't for everyone.  I hate being cold more than I dislike the heat.  I also like the scenery (many writers find the scenery boring) and observing how the life in these areas has adapted to survive.  If you don't mind a few days (4-5) of hot you should be fine.  (The eastern part of OR and WA are also hot and dry.) There are plenty of places along the way to get food.

Whatever you decide have fun and enjoy.

Routes / Re: Starting the Southern Tier in June
« on: June 13, 2012, 02:51:17 pm »
I've ridden the Southern Tier through AZ in July.  I didn't find the heat unbearable (I do like it hot and dry though).  A couple things I did so it wasn't that bad.  First thing is I started to ride as soon as it was light enough to safely ride.  Carry more water than you think you'll need.  It's dry and you lose a lot of moisture without feeling it until you're parched so drink alot.  I stopped riding around 1 so I got in about 6 to 7 hours of riding.  Wear sunscreen.  I was actually more comfortable wearing a loose fitting long sleeved shirt.  (It kept the sun off.)

There are small towns along the route between Blythe and Phoenix so there are places to rest and restock on water.   Once you get to Wickenburg there are plenty of water stops all the way into Phoenix.  I didn't camp during this section (stayed in a couple of cheap motels) so I was able to stay in an air conditioned room during the heat of the day.

Good Luck.

It's doable if you don't mind the heat and carry a good supply of water (refill at every opportunity).  You might want to check out the following website for info on where you can ride a bike on I15 in Utah.

California / Re: San Fran to Santa Barbara
« on: May 30, 2012, 05:58:28 pm »
You should be able to make it in 6 days.

You can take Amtrak from Oakland to Salinas.  Then you can ride over to Monterey to join up with the PC route.  Not sure of the fare but the bike boxes are $15 each with $5 shipping.  There are a number of posts about Amtrak.

Routes / Re: Nevada and Utah 2011 ? Advice & tips please
« on: May 27, 2012, 10:03:25 am »
As I've traveled this area I don't remember many places where you could use a water filter.  I always made sure I stopped at any place that had water to refill any empty water bottles.  There also shouldn't be any insect problems.  I have Verizon and they have pretty good coverage in the area.  However many parts of the area are pretty remote and you won't get any cell phone coverage.  The closest bike shop to the airport is Bike World.  Haven't used them so can't say how good they are.  Don't know about your stove but there are a few towns along the way and many have stores that carry hunting and camping stuff.   At the higher elevations (Bryce Canyon) it will start to get pretty cold so you should be prepared for some cold nights.

Routes / Re: Credit Card Touring the Western Express
« on: May 14, 2012, 11:19:02 pm »
There is an option if you don't mind traveling for several miles on a dirt road through Capital Reef.  I driven the road but haven't ridden it on my bicycle.

In Boulder, UT take the Burr Trail Rd (1668).  The road is paved until you enter Capital Reef National Park.  Then is is hard packed and graded dirt.  You'll come to a tee and you'll want to go right or south towards Glenn Canyon National Rec Area.  In Bullfrog there is a hotel with a restaurant.  Then take the ferry across the lake and follow the paved road to Hwy 95 (near National Bridges National Monument).  Then go east (right) on 95 to Blanding.  The road after the ferry is good and has virtually no traffic.  (I've ridden it on my bike.)

 I forgot to mention that you could also stay on paved roads by taking the 95 south from Hanksville and then taking 276 to Bullfrog.  I've ridden this route and it was a pretty good road (276) with minimal traffic.  Most of the traffic consisted of pickups pulling boat trailers.  I stayed in Torrey and then rode to Bullfrog.  Easily doable in one day.  Just have a good water supply since there isn't much between Hanksville and Bullfrog.

The website for the park says there are trailers for rent in Hite.  The NPS site says there is a store at Hite that is open except for the winter season.   

Routes / Re: Tent and Southern Tier
« on: May 01, 2012, 10:21:37 pm »
Two things really slowed me down going into Langtry.  The first is most of the roads are chipseal and in places it looked like half inch size gravel.  The other was a strong head wind.  The two made for a long day.

Routes / Re: Tent and Southern Tier
« on: May 01, 2012, 08:02:19 pm »
There are a couple of spots where the distance between towns and lodging is more than your estimated mileage.  These are Sanford, AZ to Silver city, NM and Sanderson to Comstock/Del Rio, TX.  I had to stop in Langry (between Sanderson and Comstock) and use my tent.  Make sure you take something to eat with you on this stretch.  If you stop in Langtry don't expect to find any food. (Carried a couple of MREs for just this occasion.)

Routes / Re: Astoria to Portland non-ACA Route
« on: April 27, 2012, 05:56:57 pm »
If you haven't already, check out this website

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