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Messages - John Nelson

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1
General Discussion / Re: Bikes into Newport News Airport
« on: September 28, 2016, 11:45:46 pm »
I flew into Newport News, but I shipped my bike via FedEx to a church in Yorktown. The pastor's wife picked me up and took me to the church. If you fly with your bike, it's a quick ride into Yorktown. Flights to Newport News use fairly small planes with limited cargo room, so they can't guarantee they'll have room for your bike.

2
Gear Talk / Re: Getting bike and gear to start of tour
« on: September 27, 2016, 11:37:07 am »
The Amtrak web site allows you to check actual arrival times for a station and route for the past week. I suggest you monitor that for a while to get an idea of the range of possibilities. When I went to Chicago on the California Zephyr last summer, I noted that the train typically arrived anywhere from 1 hour to 15 hours late. Armed with that knowledge, it allowed me to plan what I would do if I arrived at 3 in the morning. But, as mentioned, it depends on the route and time of year. I note that right now the California Zephyr has a pretty good track record for the past week. Long-haul passenger service takes a back seat to freight, and many factors are hard to predict and outside of Amtrak's control.

On a positive note, Amtrak is almost certain to get your bike there without damage. Unlike air and bus travel, your bike travels upright with no other stuff stacked on top of it.

3
I was not strong enough to lift my bike over the barriers with the panniers on. So I had to unload my bike, lift it over the first barrier, ride to the second barrier, lift it over the second barrier, and then walk back for my panniers. Nevertheless, it was worth it.

I can understand why the ACA cannot officially endorse this alternative as it is not strictly legal.

4
General Discussion / Re: Restricted Items on Amtrak ("flammable" etc.)
« on: September 21, 2016, 05:13:43 pm »
put them in your checked baggage to keep the hazards out of the passenger area
I don't know how Amtrak feels, but the airlines require you to keep permitted potential fire hazards (e.g., lithium batteries, matches) in the passenger compartment and not in the baggage compartment. I think the theory is that a fire is more easily handled in the passenger compartment.

On the other hand, potential weapons are restricted to the baggage compartment, so I'd put my tools in the checked baggage.

But, as has been said, on Amtrak, nobody is looking.

5
General Discussion / Re: Bike all lower 48 states
« on: September 21, 2016, 04:47:06 pm »
With three years to get this done, not a great deal of planning is necessary. Before it gets too hot, head north. Before it gets too cold, head south. If it's just right, head east or west.

6
General Discussion / Re: Restricted Items on Amtrak ("flammable" etc.)
« on: September 20, 2016, 11:44:00 pm »
I've taken chain lube, cooking alcohol and a multitool on Amtrak.

7
General Discussion / Re: Bike all lower 48 states
« on: September 19, 2016, 10:13:05 pm »
Do you mean you want to hit all 48 in one continuous trip? There are lots of web sites that suggest car routes. E.g.,

http://www.trekamerica.com/tours/grt.html

These routes usually zigzag up and down across the country. Timing depends a lot on your miles per day. The best route depends on how much time you have. You'll likely need to be able to tolerate heat and cold. I'd probably go across the north in the summer and the south in the winter and then fill the middle the next summer.

8
I hate raccoons.They are particularly bad at Kirk Creek and Half Moon Bay. But you won't see a cougar.

9
AAA are inexpensive and readily available. I don't see any reason to use rechargeable unless you have a high-power light.

10
Rocky Mountain / Re: Cycling in Yellowstone and Tetons
« on: September 17, 2016, 04:15:52 pm »
I cycled through Grand Teton and Yellowstone and greatly enjoyed it. Make sure you take the bike path from Jenny Lake to the south.

Yellowstone is huge, so it takes some distance go get through it. A home base lodge is a good idea because the nighttime temperatures will be cold. Make your reservations soon. Because the park is so large, you likely won't be able to get everywhere on day trips from your home base. That's okay, however, because you can just use a car to get to your starting point.

The second half of September is past peak tourist season, so you shouldn't have too much trouble with traffic. The daytime temperatures should be cool but not yet cold, and it should be fairly dry.

Take a lock so that you can explore the area from where you park your bike.

Your plan sounds really good to me.

11
General Discussion / Re: One piece earphone while riding
« on: September 15, 2016, 12:07:34 am »
Whether or not it's safe to ride with music is a debate that goes on forever and has no answer.

12
Gear Talk / Re: Flying with synthetic luricant
« on: September 12, 2016, 10:34:34 pm »
Can you fly synthetic lubricant such as Finish Line (2 0z) in checked luggage?  I am flying to Canada.
Technically, probably not. But I do it all the time.

13
Gear Talk / Re: Getting bike and gear to start of tour
« on: September 12, 2016, 12:05:32 am »
I have both taken my bike on the plane and shipped it. I prefer to take it with me on the plane if the costs are reasonable (and they are not always reasonable, depending on the destination and the airline). Since you have to travel by air then light rail then bus, I think shipping would save you a lot of hassle. If you do want to fly with your bike, be sure to check regulations for transporting bikes on both the light rail and the bus. I think the light rail may want the bike to be unboxed and the bus may want the bike to be boxed.

I did the TA in the opposite direction, ending in Astoria, and had Bikes and Beyond ship the bike home for me. I used the bus to which jamawani refers to get from Astoria to Portland. It's a very nice bus with onboard Wi-Fi. The downtown Portland bus station from which that bus departs is easily reached by light rail from Portland Airport. This is an extremely easy connection to make. The Astoria bus station is just a couple of block walk from Bikes and Beyond.

14
General Discussion / Re: southern tier
« on: September 11, 2016, 11:45:38 pm »
ColoradoGuy, you did two routes across the southern part of the United States, but, in my understanding, neither route was the "Southern Tier" Route. At least in my vocabulary, "Southern Tier" specifically describes the ACA route.

I also see a lot of people use the term "TransAmerica" to describe any trip across America, but I don't subscribe to that terminology either.

15
Routes / Re: Israel?
« on: September 11, 2016, 08:47:07 pm »
Most of my cycling was on and around Mount Carmel. I have, however, driven through the Negev. Take plenty of water, and don't cycle too close to the foreign borders, especially Gaza.

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