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Messages - Jason

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16
General Discussion / Re: Southern Tier transam ride
« on: August 14, 2011, 02:40:54 pm »
I left from the east coast at the end of September, which put in me in higher elevation - N Mexico - in late October.  The weather was perfect.  A few colder evenings in western Az/east CA, but overall it seemed like a perfect time to leave.  You'll have to contend with humidity in the southern states at least until October - maybe evening November, but the air temps will be fine.

Enjoy yourself.

J

17
General Discussion / Re: Your top 5 things to take on tour
« on: July 15, 2011, 01:22:29 pm »
light my fire spork....

seriously, beyond a bike, and maybe a bag or two for cross-country travel, the spork is the best thing I've ever purchased (for bike touring or otherwise...)



18
Routes / Re: Southern Tier East to West beginning in September
« on: June 07, 2011, 09:01:50 am »
I did the ST - east to west - starting on  September 29, 2009.  Amazing weather:  it's a mixture of everything: humid(ish) in the gulf area and cooler in the mountains.  As for snow, it's hard to say.  The week after I went over Emory pass - early november, it snowed.  It can get cold in the mountains almost any time of the year.

But, no question.

September is a perfect time to leave.

J

19
Routes / Re: Border Safety concerns on Southern Tier
« on: May 29, 2011, 01:45:24 pm »
I wouldn't highlight the area in and around el paso as anything beyond what the entire route represents:  a chance to see the country and provide yourself a sense of adventure. Being safe and careful everywhere is important:  my experience in el paso and the ride to it from van horn was amazing - the ride, the people the food.  Plus, in my case, heading west, I could celebrate el paso as having just finished riding across Texas.  So el paso is very special to me for that alone.

20
Man, what would Twain think...

One of the fondest moments of the southern tier was the ferry ride over the Mississippi.  The firm handshake from the ferry's skipper and feeling like I had really crossed into the West are something I won't forget.

Anyway, thanks for the update,

j

21
Gear Talk / Re: Best Brake pads
« on: April 27, 2011, 10:54:18 am »
Another vote for kool-stops.  They work - rain or shine.  Have been using the same pair for about 3 years - on my 20 inch, and the last 4 months or so on the big bike; make sure to toe them in unless you want them to sing - I actually dig having squeeky brakes.

But yes yes yes - kool stops

22
Routes / Re: Advice on leaving NYC, and cycling through the Carolinas
« on: April 04, 2011, 12:04:07 pm »
The stretch from statesboro to Athens allows for more side of the road camping, then say, in a random field - the trek shouldn't take longer than three days, tops.  As a point of reference, it wasn't until i got to the coast that I started staying in actually campsites, or "legal" places.  There's really not much between statesboro and Athens (the rolling hills of south-east GA), so with that, you'll have more than enough places to pull off to and set up a tent.

I agree about the more direct route, though in terms of landscape, etc, you're going to see a lot more elevation changes (especially coming into north GA); while it's loop, as you say, the ride down the coast is really super nice (south carolina is an experience in and of itself - the people are awesome though; and the Virginia/N Carolina coast (outer banks) is nice as well)

Too, the maps for the Atlanta route are good (some spots need some updating) so if you did the coast line to Statesboro, you'll at least have a true set of cycling maps to fall back on.

j

23
Routes / Re: Advice on leaving NYC, and cycling through the Carolinas
« on: April 03, 2011, 04:18:13 pm »
Curious if you're riding the coast to Athens (my current residence - FYI). If you are then camping is relatively simple.  You could ride into statesboro ga then head west toward athens.  There are a fairly good run of campsites along the coast into statesboro.  Heading toward Athens you'll have rural enough areas to allow for camping for free.

Let me know what questions come up.

J

24
Routes / Re: Info Required for First Time Southern Tier
« on: March 27, 2011, 09:58:52 am »
35 days should definitely be doable. 

I did it in 42 days back in 2009 - single speed.  If you pack smart (e.g. Like your riding a bike and not driving a truck - remember not to take everything you own (times 2)) you'll be fine with 100 miles per day.  There are few places in Texas where you can do well over 100 mpd - van horn to el paso comes to mind. 

Louisana is "rolling" to us aca's term - not flat but not new
mexico either.   Florida is generally flat, same with the south western portion of alabama.

Enjoy it, the route is amazing

j

25
Routes / Re: Outer Banks
« on: March 02, 2011, 08:40:42 am »
Lori,

I was there in march en route to Richmond.  As most have commented, there's reason to be causally aware of the sand, etc, along the road.  But, beyond that, it's awesome.  Drivers are usually pretty good - I can't remember the speed limit right off, but in my experience there, no one uses NC 12 as a major highway (generally speaking, anyone driving along the OBX is out for a scenic drive.) 

(One point of Caution though:  The bridge leading into/out of Kitty Hawk is one were you're going to want to stay AWARE.  If I remember correctly, the shoulder is large leaving Kitty Hawk, than coming in (I was heading out.)  It's not something to avoid, just stay alert as you come across: it's a long bridge.  In April the traffic maybe steady.)

I think you'll really enjoy yourself. 

26
General Discussion / Re: New Mexico The Bicycle Friendly State
« on: February 05, 2011, 09:49:35 am »
I'm glad more than a few people have chimed in supporting NM.  And too, taking an interstate and saying it's poor for bikes sounds compleltely obviously, and all the more reason to follow aca's direction.

NM is awesome - people, food, scenery, and roads.  In fact the trek out of las cruces toward errey (following the mapped route) was an amazing ride - it's very much what represents the southwest.

Since it was put out there, ABSOLUTELY avoid westinghouse's opinion: nm's badass.

27
Gear Talk / Re: Reliable rear hub
« on: December 08, 2010, 08:58:11 am »
For what it's worth, I used a formula hub in excess of 5000 miles - Along the southern tier and up the east coast.  It was sealed but so very basic (in addition to being only a single speed hub.). I would certainly agree to all the points made about the shimano variety hubs, but I think you'd be fine with what you've got.

28
Routes / Re: Distance between places to get water - southern tier desert
« on: November 20, 2010, 06:37:15 pm »
As noted on the ACA map, there's a section between Sanderson and Marathon Texas that say clearly no services for 65.  And, in all seriously, there are no services.  However, this is a nice flat section of travel - and one that I enjoyed.

As for being completely without water, you're not going to be.  I saw too many people on my way out that were packing what like it was Egypt - and packing their bike like they were riding to the moon (which is a whole other thing.)

Yes, it's in the desert, but not the "desert."  You can embellish the story of your journey with lack of water stretches, etc, when you get back, but in truth, I didn't take any more water along this section then I did anywhere else.  Both Sanderson and Marathon are solid small towns - food, the whole nine.  Others may have their varying opinions, but it's not that big of deal.  Too, by the time you reach this stretch - either coming east or west - you'll have a good handle on how much of what you'll need.

29
Gear Talk / Re: Soma Steel Frames
« on: November 20, 2010, 06:29:53 pm »
Soma's are nice bikes for the $$$.

They are distributed through hawley company (almost a house-brand), much like Surly is with Quality (QBP.)  Basic frames, nice quality, smooth riding (as is the case with steel frames.)  I would argue in terms of quality, they are very much on par with anything from Surly.  A guy a work has a Soma Smoothie and I have a Surly Cross Check.  While different in terms of geometry, etc, the build seems to be identical.  Since you're asking the question on a forum dealing with bike-touring, you're going to get probably too many comments in favor of a Surly this or that.  I have one, I like it, but I also wanted a bike able to handle single speed touring, so Surly was really it in terms of frames competitively priced.

The Soma touring frame, the Saga, specs out to be in effect a Long Haul Trucker.

j

30
Routes / Re: camping and the southern tier route
« on: October 26, 2010, 12:42:56 pm »
I camped all the way across the ST, short of four days - where I stayed in hostels (major cities.)

As for an average price, I would say on average, you'll looking at $20.00.  In Florida I paid close to $30.00 a few times, and in New Mexico and parts of west Texas, paid about $9.00.  When you look over the ACA maps, you'll notice that the majority of the referenced campsites are privately owned, or at least a smaller variety state/county park.  All of the private parks are more than familiar with cyclists coming through, some going so far as to have cyclist as part of their business model (separate, well kept, flat, grassy areas...)  It goes without saying that you're not going to require the standard RV hookups, etc, so a plot of land for a tent is easy to accommodate.  Either way, most of the camping services referenced are well priced.

Arizona, especially just east of the CA border, has plenty of places where you can camp out with no trouble (pull off on the side of the road, etc...) Eastern CA is much the same (Octillo for example...)

Enjoy the trek, it's unbelievably amazing

j

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