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Messages - Jason

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Gear Talk / Re: Old Touring Bicycles
« on: March 23, 2012, 04:18:55 pm »
One of my most favorite possession - EVER - was a 1986 Dave Scott Centurion, which was more than capable of takign me 6000+ miles (Southern Tier, and 75% of the Atlantic and Pacfic Coast.) The addition of Old Man Mountain Racks front and back quickly turned it into a full-on Single-speed touring bicycle.

Take Paddleboy's advice to heart; and, too, have the bike looked-over completely.  Something "new" isn't necessary better - something "old" isn't necessary worse.


Routes / Re: Southern Tier- Route Safety/Hazards
« on: December 25, 2011, 07:49:29 pm »
Saying "go and don't worry.." is the best advice I can give.

      Safety concerns are minimal at best.  Tires?  Marathon pluses ALL DAY LONG.  Heavy slow and absolutely amazing.  I uses them on the ST and had no issues - rode everywhere and anywhere.  True riding about 80 miles each day I'd sometimes convince myself that the weight/etc was too much...  Still, flatless is not something to take "lightly."

Regarding the two questions, the answers would be yes and yes...

Only I guess it just depends on why - maybe specific to question 2 - you'd be thinking about not taking a tent.  Granted, the climates' a little dryer in/around CA and AZ where I didn't use a tent, but that's hardly the case as you move further east.

As for Emory Pass - if your decision to "pass" on that portion is in part because of weather (and no tent) I would say buy a tent for EP then send it back home if you still think you won't need it.  The trek up/over Emory Pass is amazing - times 100,000,000...  I met more than a few people heading east when I was in AZ who decided (before getting there) that it was "too high, too far... too this, too that..."  (mind you, based only on ACA's elevation descriptions...) Yet, funny - they asked me 50 questions about what it was like.... 

A "tent" isn't the only option.  It took a little while, but I've finally gotten more than comfortable in a bivy sac - something you might want to look into.


Routes / Re: Southern Tier in 36 days?
« on: November 22, 2011, 03:09:56 pm »
yes, it's doable - even singlespeed... :o

There are several - well depending on how you see it - portions of the ST that allow for a comfortable, more than doable 100-plus days.  I averaged about 96 , with lay over days, and finished in 45.  At no point did I feel like I was missing anything or going too fast, or was too rushed at one point or another.  It's an adventure, which means a 1000 different things to 10,000 people.

If you go 1 mile, or 100 per day - just make sure you go and ENJOY it.


Routes / Re: Southern Tier Re-route through Texas
« on: November 20, 2011, 03:53:08 pm »

It would be well worth your time to search the forums on this topic - it's been asked and addressed more than once.  There are some interesting opinions, but I think you'll find that no one is going to suggest you avoid the border or any other part of the route as formally mapped by ACA.


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.


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...)

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.


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.

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,


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

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.


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.


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


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

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. 

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