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Messages - aggie

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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.

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. 

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.

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