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Messages - John Nelson

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1
General Discussion / Re: What to do with a bike box?
« on: August 21, 2016, 07:47:55 pm »
Yes, but finding a bike shop and getting a bike box from them in Seattle is going to be pretty easy.

2
Food Talk / Re: to cook or not to cook?
« on: August 19, 2016, 04:50:42 pm »
I've done it both ways, and both ways work just fine. It's certainly not necessary to cook, so if you don't want to, don't. When not cooking, I eat about one third of my meals at cafes, and two thirds from grocery store food. When camping out of town, I stop in the last town I pass through before camp and buy a sandwich, fried chicken, chocolate milk, etc. for dinner, and bagels or donuts or pop tarts to start the next day.

When I cook, I use an alcohol stove. It's very simple to use, but you can only make very simple meals. Those freeze-dried meals in foil taste great to me at the end of a long day, but it can be hard to find them out in the middle of nowhere. You can also easily cook rice with some sort of meat and vegetables. The biggest advantage of the stove for me is having oatmeal for breakfast before setting out. It's a lot better than eating pop tarts and donuts.

A big part of the decision depends on how okay you are with cold food, or how much you crave hot food.

3
Routes / Re: Why does the PC route bypass Olympic Peninsula?
« on: August 11, 2016, 12:40:32 pm »
The Pacific Coast route includes 1400 miles along the coast. I think I'm okay with 400 miles that isn't. Besides, I loved the riding I did along the Columbia River. Such a magnificent, powerful river!

With the Washington Parks route, I think we have the best of both worlds, and each rider gets the choice. Going around Olympic National Park adds 120 miles. Some will prefer it. Some not. Thanks ACA for options!

4
General Discussion / Re: What to do with a bike box?
« on: August 10, 2016, 04:47:54 pm »
Ah, but there's another solution, though pricier. Pick a bike shop at the end of your route, and ship them the box. Offer to pay a symbolic amount for storing it (this does not work with small urban shops that are squeezed for space.) Then hire them to clean, tune up and pack your bike to ship home.
When I investigated this, I found that it was almost as expensive to ship an empty bike box than a full one. So you are right, this is pricier. The cost factor ruled it out for me.

Besides, most of the time, a bike well-packed in a cardboard box travels fine.

5
General Discussion / Re: What to do with a bike box?
« on: August 06, 2016, 08:31:12 pm »
Yep, you need a disposable box.

6
General Discussion / Re: Anyone have any TIPS on Shimano SPD pedals??
« on: August 05, 2016, 12:36:05 pm »
I remember this from Youtude keep your SPD bolts greased with waterproof grease
Put grease on all threaded fasteners.

7
My top suggestion is to get a ride or take a bus for the first 50 miles. It'll be better than cycling through Denver.

Be advised that the climb up Pikes Peak is one of the toughest climbs in North America. I hope you're not planning to do it loaded.

An early start will reduce the chances of a thunderstorm, but an early start is not essential on most days, except when you're climbing above 14,000 feet.

It's hard to generalize about Colorado. It's not all the same. It depends on where you're going.

8
Routes / Re: Trans America through Kansas next week
« on: August 05, 2016, 12:07:50 am »
There aren't many campgrounds along the TA in Kansas, but there are many, many places to camp. Think outside the box. The ACA maps show you how to do that.

9
Routes / Re: TA Town List, W2E
« on: August 02, 2016, 12:29:56 am »
So did you report your observations to ACA?
+1

It'll usually get you a personal thank you from the ACA. I've filed over 50 map correction forms. The ACA needs us!

10
General Discussion / Re: TransAmerica East to West or West to East?
« on: August 02, 2016, 12:21:59 am »
If riding west to east, what is the most common start date?  Thanks!!
First half of June.

11
Routes / Re: Practical camping advice for Route 66
« on: August 01, 2016, 05:45:09 pm »
I camped along much of Bicycle Route 66 last year. Here are my stats:

I stayed with two Warm Showers hosts (my first two nights, when I was still in the greater Chicago area).
I stayed in two city parks, once for free (without permission) and once for a fee.
I stayed at the homes of 6 personal friends.
I stayed in two private homes listed on the ACA maps.
I stayed in five motels. In Chambers, AZ, there is no other place to sleep. In Erick, TX, it was beastly hot and there were no campgrounds. In Tucumcari, NM, the motel was cheaper than the campground. In Holbrook, AZ, I stayed in a concrete teepee, well, just because you have to experience it. In Needles, CA, I got offered a room for free.
I stayed in one state park (Lake McClellan, TX).
I stayed in one federal park (El Morro National Monument, NM, free).
I stayed in 18 private campgrounds, most of which were RV parks with dedicated spaces for tents.
I stayed in a defunct motel (Amboy, CA, free).
I camped once next to Walmart (Cuba, MO, without permission, free).
I camped once in front of a restaurant (Pontiac, IL, with permission, free).





12
General Discussion / Re: Converting Elevation Gain, Grade to Mileage
« on: July 30, 2016, 08:19:55 pm »
I ignore elevation gain. I do about the same distance each day. If it's hilly, it just takes longer.

13
Gear Talk / Re: Handlebar Rearview Mirror
« on: July 25, 2016, 10:42:03 am »
I see a lot of people using handlebar mirrors, and I'm sure they like them, but I do not. I've tried several. Some of them vibrate too much. Some of them just show me a view of my leg. And they tend to break or get knocked out of adjustment when the bike is leaned against something, falls over, or I need to lay it on the ground.

I use a helmet-mounted mirror. Sure, it's small and it takes time to get used to, but it's always there and I can point it anywhere I want just by turning my head.

Sorry for the rant and the fact that I didn't answer your question.

14
General Discussion / Re: Anyone have any TIPS on Shimano SPD pedals??
« on: July 24, 2016, 11:17:15 pm »
Leave the spring tension as set by the factory, which should be in the middle of the range. Count on falling over twice, once within the first hour, and then once again once you get use to them but forget. It won't be long before clipping out will be second-nature; you won't even think about it. Clean the gunk out of them when they get dirty. If they start sticking, spray with a silicon lubricant. Replace them when you starting coming out of them when you don't mean to, or when the bearings start making noise. They don't last forever. Neither do the cleats.

15
Routes / Re: TA Town List, W2E
« on: July 24, 2016, 11:12:41 pm »
I have absolutely no idea what good this will do you, but here are the cities on the TransAm from East to West as of the 2010 maps. Sorry, but you'll have to reverse the list.
 
Virginia
Yorktown
Williamsburg
Jamestown
Charles City
Glendale
Elko
Richmond
Mechanicsville
Ashland
Coatesville
Bumpass
Louisa
Mineral
Tabscott
Kents Store
Palmyra
Charlottesville
White Hall
Crozet
Greenwood
Afton
Waynesboro
Rockfish Gap
Reeds Gap
Love
Vesuvius
Lexington
Natural Bridge
Buchanan
Troutville
Daleville
Roanoke
Catawba
Blacksburg
Christiansburg
Radford
Newbern
Draper
Ft. Chiswell
Max Meadows
Wytheville
Rural Retreat
Cedar Springs
Sugar Grove
Troutdale
Konnarock
Damascus
Ketron Corner
Meadowview
Hayters Gap
Rosedale
Honaker
Council
Davenport
Bee
Birchleaf
Haysi
Breaks

Kentucky
Elkhorn City
Ashcamp
Hellier
Lookout
Melvin
Bypro
Bevinsville
Dema
Pippa Passes
Mallie
Hindman
Carrie
Emmalena
Dwarf
Hazard
Chavies
Buckhorn
Booneville
Vincent
McKee
Sandgap
Bighill
Berea
Bryantsville
Danville
Burgin
Harrodsburg
Rose Hill
Mackville
Fenwick
Springfield
Maud
Bardstown
New Haven
Howardstown
Buffalo
Hodgenville
Munfordville
Rowletts
Horse Cave
Cave City
Mammoth Cave
Cub Run
Caneyville
Falls of Rough
Fordsville
Reynolds Station
Whitesville
Owensboro
Utica
Glenville
Beech Grove
Sebree
Dixon
Clay
Marion

Illinois
Cave In Rock
Elizabethtown
Rosiclare
Golconda
Eddyville
Robbs
Simpson
Tunnel Hill
Goreville
Carbondale
Murphyboro
Sand Ridge
Gorham
Neunert
Cora
Rockwood
Chester

Missouri
St. Mary
Ozora
Coffman
Farmington
Bismark
Iron Mountain Lake
Pilot Knob
Lesterville
Centerville
Ellington
Eminence
Alley Springs
Summersville
Eunice
Yukon
Houston
Bucyrus
Fairview
Bendavis
Graff
Hartville
Marshfield
Fair Grove
Walnut Grove
Ash Grove
Everton
Pennsboro
Golden City

Kansas
Pittsburg
Girard
Walnut
Erie
Shaw
Chanute
Benedict
Coyville
Toronto
Neal
Eureka
Rosalia
Cassoday
Burns
Newton
Hesston
Buhler
Medora
Hutchinson
Nickerson
Sterling
Hudson
Seward
Larned
La Crosse
Rush Center
Nekoma
Alexander
Bazine
Ness City
Beeler
Dighton
Scott City
Modoc
Leoti
Selkirk
Tribune
Horace

Colorado
Towner
Sheridan Lake
Brandon
Chivington
Eads
Haswell
Arlington
Sugar City
Ordway
Crowley
Olney Springs
Fowler
Boone
Pueblo
Wetmore
Florence
Lincoln Park
Canon City
Guffey
Hartsel
Fairplay
Alma
Breckenridge
Frisco
Dillon
Silverthorne
Heeney
Kremmling
Parshall
Hot Sulphur Springs
Granby
Rand
Walden
Cowdrey

Wyoming
Encampment
Riverside
Saratoga
Walcott
Rawlins
Lamont
Muddy Gap
Jeffrey City
Sweetwater Station
Lander
Fort Washakie
Crowheart
Dubois
Moran Junction
Colter Bay Village
Grant Village
Old Faithful
Madison

Montana
West Yellowstone
Cameron
Ennis
Virginia City
Nevada City
Alder
Laurin
Sheridan
Twin Bridges
Dillon
Jackson
Wisdom
Sula
Darby
Hamilton
Corvallis
Stevensville
Florence
Lolo
Missoula
Lolo
Lolo Hot Springs

Idaho
Lowell
Syringa
Kooskia
Stites
Harpster
Grangeville
White Bird
Lucille
Riggins
Pollock
New Meadows
Tamarack
Council
Cambridge

Oregon
Oxbow
Halfway
Richland
Baker City
Sumpter
Austin Junction
Prairie City
John Day
Mount Vernon
Dayville
Mitchel
Prineville
Redmond
Sisters
McKenzie Bridge
Blue River
Finn Rock
Nimrod
Vida
Leaburg
Walterville
Springfield
Eugene
Coburg
Harrisburg
Corvallis
Lewisburg
Adair Village
Monmouth
Independence
Rickreall
Fort Hill
Valley Junction
Grand Ronde
Boyer
Rose Lodge
Otis
Neskowin
Pacific City
Sandlake
Netarts
Oceanside
Tillamook
Bay City
Garibaldi
Rockaway Beach
Manhattan beach
Wheeler
Nehalem
Manzanita
Arch Cape
Cannon Beach
Seaside
Miles Crossing
Hammond
Astoria

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