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Messages - John Nelson

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General Discussion / Re: Northern Tier or better idea?
« on: July 23, 2015, 03:36:52 pm »
Well, North Dakota isn't the most exciting place to ride. But if you want to tick off coast-to-coast, I suppose you better continue where you left off. Once you get to Minnesota, the riding will get better.

Having done both the Northern Tier and the Pacific Coast, I would rate the Pacific Coast much more highly. Is there more traffic in Los Angeles than in Gackle, ND? Yes. Is the scenery better on the Pacific Coast? Yes. You can't get to Los Angeles in three weeks anyway.

In three weeks, you can probably get from Vancouver to San Francisco. Fly home from San Francisco. There won't be any traffic problems on that route and it's logistically pretty simple for you. That's what I'd recommend. You've already done the best part of the Northern Tier anyway.

General Discussion / Re: Getting home from Yorktown in Sept.
« on: July 19, 2015, 12:38:16 am »
I used the Newport News airport, only 8 miles from Yorktown Victory Monument. The flight cost no more than flying from a big airport. I support your idea of using a bike shop to ship. Almost all of them provide a pack-and-ship service. $150 ought to cover it.

General Discussion / Re: Bicycle guidance
« on: July 17, 2015, 10:43:57 am »
Are you planning to go on one of the self-contained tours or a supported tour?

If you are planning to go on a supported tour, you'll probably be one of the last ones in if you take a hybrid. If you're planning on a self-contained tour, then a hybrid may work just fine. 10 MPH is a fine speed for self-contained touring, but pretty slow for supported touring.

Not a lady obviously, but I wash my riding shorts every night and wear the same pair every day. It's simple, you only need one pair, and you wear clean shorts every day.

Routes / Re: Transam West to East; Florence or Astoria?
« on: July 15, 2015, 04:07:24 pm »
Unfortunately, the Three Capes Scenic Loop has been closed for the last two years and will be for the next two. But there's plenty else to see and some spectacular places to camp. Cape Lookout State Park is one of my favorites.

General Discussion / Re: Biking with a dog?
« on: July 13, 2015, 04:37:22 am »
There are 68 journals on CGOAB about touring with pets, almost all of them with a dog.

Routes / Re: Transam West to East; Florence or Astoria?
« on: July 12, 2015, 02:03:03 pm »
I also found the ride to/from Astoria extremely nice (both times). I'm surprised to hear that someone found it awful. I don't know how much stock to place in one experience. For almost every gorgeous stretch of cycling road, I'm sure you can find someone who found it unpleasant.

By "self-contained", I assume you mean "camping".

I spent 70 days to do the TransAm. I spent an average of $2 a day for a place to sleep (most nights were free). Suppose you average $52 a night for a hotel. The difference is $50 a day or $3500 for the trip. You can buy a lot of equipment for $3500!

If you were going on a 3-day trip, the math might favor credit-card touring. But on a 70-day trip, it's not a contest.

Routes / Re: The 101 south of crescent city
« on: July 02, 2015, 02:58:10 pm »
Bus? Sacrilege! That's downhill for you. It'll be over before you know it. Like all roads, the 101 is better in some spots than others. But this doesn't stand out as a stretch requiring special treatment. The coast is almost always safer southbound, but it's a bit too late for that advice.

General Discussion / Re: What's an 'average' day?
« on: July 01, 2015, 01:19:30 pm »
This trip would be about sight seeing and taking in the scenery, not so much about meeting people along the way.  I have that in my daily life as it is, thankfully!!
Fair enough, but I predict that you will find that the people you meet "out there" are way different than the people you meet in daily life.

Routes / Re: Pacific Coast Highway on a road bike?
« on: July 01, 2015, 05:20:19 am »
Once you bring camping into the mix, packing light is not really feasible.
Not that I would ever go this light myself, but you should check out Pete's gear list:

His gear weights just 6 pounds, 9 ounces, and he takes a tarp, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, bivy sack, stove, pot, utensils. He even has a pillow, for Pete's sake.

General Discussion / Re: What's an 'average' day?
« on: June 30, 2015, 06:47:11 am »
I find my average mileage also depends on available daylight. I average more miles a day on a tour in June than I do on a tour in September.

I like to plan on 60 miles a day. I have, however, averaged 75 miles a day on a two-month tour, with no rest days. But that was when the daylight is long. When the daylight is long, I can ride as late as 10 PM. In fact, I like riding between 6 PM and 9 PM when the light is very pleasant and the temperatures have come down. I sometimes stop for dinner and then ride a few more hours before quitting for the day.

My typical day is usually 5 miles longer than the map says. That's because of off-route mileage to access services.

I typically go the same daily distance in hilly terrain as in flat terrain. I'm not sure why.

Plan in a few extra days. That way if you're not feeling strong one day, you can cut the mileage short. There's not much worse than grinding out miles when your heart isn't in it. OTOH, if you have a strong day, you can ride until the cows come home.

Don't go long miles each day unless your time is short or you're driven by the challenge.

General Discussion / Re: Bicycle tools for a cross country ride
« on: June 29, 2015, 12:29:26 am »
My guess is that he's talking about a master link. Many chains these days come with them for joining the two ends of the chain together. They are generally specific to the brand of chain. I carry two master links along with a short segment of maybe three or four links. Together with a chain tool, I can repair most chain failures (although I've never had one).

Routes / Re: Pacific Coast Highway on a road bike?
« on: June 28, 2015, 08:13:41 am »
From where to where exactly?

A touring bike is generally considered a sub-class of road bikes. For most touring situations, a touring bike has a number of advantages over a standard road bike: longer wheelbase for stability, more attachment points for panniers and water bottles, longer chainstays to avoid heel strike, steel frame for strength, clearance for wider tires, lower gearing, stronger wheels, etc. But if you keep your load light, a regular road bike can be used.

I would say it depends on the weight of your load. If the total weight of your gear (including panniers and racks) is less than 30 pounds, a regular road bike can be used. If your road bike is full carbon, or even if it's just a carbon fork, I'd probably want to keep the load under 20 pounds.

If I had a regular road bike and a touring bike sitting side-by-side in my garage, I'd take the touring bike. If you travel super-light (less than 15 pounds), however, a regular road bike will help keep the weight down and make you faster.

General Discussion / Re: USA Coast to Coast
« on: June 27, 2015, 12:59:24 pm »
Anywhere from two to four months is typical. Depending on the route, it also could be anywhere from 3000 to 5000 miles. 50 miles a day is easily doable by most cyclotourists. I think 60 miles a day is more typical, and 70 miles a day is not uncommon. Some people take a lot of rest days. Some people (including me) take none.

Fundraising rides are quite common. As long as 100% of the donated money goes directly to the charity, they are moderately, but not usually wildly, successful. There are many web sites that will act as a contribution conduit and provide security and trust to the donors. It is, however, difficult to get contributions from complete strangers, so family, friends, friends of friends, business associates, etc. are usually the biggest contributors. If any of the money is diverted to trip expenses, however, then the donations will go way, way down. It usually pays to have some sort of unique angle, especially if you want media attention. Most media won't touch the story unless there is a local connection of some kind, or unless there is a heartwarming story to go with it.

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