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Messages - John Nelson

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16
Routes / Re: Tips for a Rollerblader going coast-to-coast
« on: April 30, 2015, 05:57:00 am »
How much of the bike trails are paved? There's no general answer. Some are, some aren't. You'll have to investigate case by case. You'll be on the road quite a bit.

There was a father/daughter team that rollerbladed from Vancouver to Tierra Del Fuego last year. There isn't much online about them, but there were a few newspaper articles. The steep uphills and downhills of the Pacific Coast were quite a challenge. They even passed some bicycles on the downhills (sounds insane to me). Obviously you'll need to carry a bunch of extra wheels, and keep your backpack weight as low as possible.

17
General Discussion / Re: How much water to carry?
« on: April 29, 2015, 11:12:54 pm »
90% of the time, two large water bottles are enough. 8% of the time, a third bottle will be appreciated. 2% of the time, you'll need even more, especially if you dry camp. I wouldn't worry about making more than two easily accessible, and I wouldn't bother with fork-mounted cages. You'd be better off using those mounts for a front rack and panniers.

18
General Discussion / Re: TransAM Newbie w/ Questions
« on: April 29, 2015, 10:03:20 am »
How many you meet will depend a lot on when you leave and which direction you're going. I left May 7 from Yorktown and met a lot of other westbounders because that's pretty-much peak time for leaving from the East. I would say I met four or five a day. Because peak departure from the West is in early June, I didn't meet many eastbounders until late in my trip.

I think there are probably fewer eastbounders, so you may meet fewer. You should meet westbounders for the first half of your trip, but then fewer on the second half of your trip since most of them will have already passed you by.

By far, the ACA maps are your best source of camping information along the TransAm route. That's because many of the city parks that allow cyclists to camp won't be listed anywhere else (because they're not real campgrounds). Two-thirds of all my camping was in city and county parks. For example, the Troutville, VA town park specifically prohibits camping, but the sign makes an exception for TransAm cyclists.

19
Routes / Re: Getting bikes to Canada from California
« on: April 28, 2015, 03:16:37 pm »
Another option is to ship your bikes ahead
Although a great option within the U.S., I think the complexities and costs of international shipping may sink this idea.

20
Routes / Re: Circling the US. Feedback please?
« on: April 24, 2015, 05:16:24 pm »
Sounds like a great plan. Good choice of departure and good choice of direction.

Sponsorships? Not impossible, but also not likely.

21
I understand your temptation.

The direct way is massively steep. I climbed Halcyon Hill on a fully-loaded bike, but my heart rate was through the roof and I wasn't sure I was going to make it. Furthermore, the traffic was non-trivial and there is no shoulder. Nevertheless, it's certainly doable if you have strong legs and heart.

The hill up Cabrillo Highway here is probably almost as steep and quite busy with traffic.

The detour gains the elevation more gradually and on safer roads.

22
Routes / Re: Latest date to leave - TransAm East to West (2016)
« on: April 23, 2015, 05:14:40 am »
11-12 weeks is plenty. 10 is usually enough, and it's rare to take more than 13. Except for Kansas and eastern Colorado, there are no "flat sections."

Weather is unpredictable and vastly different from one year to the next. There are "averages," but no "normal." A lot of luck is involved, more needed at some times of year than others.

You'll have a ball!

23
Routes / Re: Latest date to leave - TransAm East to West (2016)
« on: April 22, 2015, 10:56:41 am »
There is what I would consider an ideal timeframe to leave Yorktown on the TransAm (which is the first half of May), but you can really leave anytime, understanding that the farther from the ideal timeframe you leave the greater the chance of weather problems. It isn't like there is some drop-dead date, like leaving on June 8 would be fantastic but leaving on June 9 would be a disaster. Furthermore, it depends on whether you plan to take 4 weeks for the trip or 20 weeks for the trip (how long do you plan to take anyway?).

Personally, I left in early May from Yorktown and did not find the heat to be a problem. If you want to avoid heat, I would suggest you leave earlier than that (April) rather than later. Even though you tolerate cold well, however, you might not tolerate riding through a foot of snow very well. Furthermore, even if you tolerate cold, do you tolerate cold and wet together?

Also, there is heat and there is heat. The temperatures in June might be higher than the temperatures in August in many places, but the humidity in June might be less than the humidity in August, making June more pleasant than August.

Since you ask your question about "latest", I assume that you cannot leave early. If you're not too slow, and you have enough time to wait out a snowstorm or two, I think you could wait as late as August to leave. You may have to skip McKenzie Pass (regrettable), but there is an alternative. Also, if you're planning to camp (are you?), you may find some campgrounds closed after the beginning of September.

24
Christine,

I did it last August/September, Bellingham to south of San Diego. It's easy to ride directly out of the Bellingham airport (I've done that twice). It's a great ride. Lots of hiker/biker camp sites, so it's a great route to camp. You can read more about my trip in my journal. I averaged 60 miles a day. Big Sur is the best, but the whole route is fantastic (although it gets quite different south of Santa Barbara). I suspect, however, that due to the severe California drought, you may find that many of the California state park campgrounds have closed the showers--bummer! Wash yourself off at the water spigot or jump in the ocean.

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/goingdown

Have a great time.

25
Routes / Re: Getting to TransAm start point (Yorktown, VA)
« on: April 14, 2015, 04:34:16 pm »
I shipped my bike ahead to Yorktown, flew into Newport News, and caught a ride to Yorktown.

26
General Discussion / Re: USA visa at Canadian border.
« on: April 09, 2015, 09:35:08 am »
What is your nationality?

27
Routes / Re: Minnesota to West Coast route options?
« on: April 07, 2015, 04:47:16 pm »
there is one small town (Del Bonita) between Cut Bank and Magrath, AB
Town? That's quite generous.

Going into Canada and back to the U.S. is entertaining if for no other reason than to see the different levels of security at the border crosssing. The Canadian officials are friendly Dudley Do-Right, down-home people. The U.S. officials are stern, all business.

The Lee Creek Campground in Cardston, Alberta is a friendly place, and the Remington Carriage Museum in Cardston was voted "the best indoor attraction in Canada."

The wind can be quite brutal between Cut Bank and Cardston.

28
Routes / Re: Minnesota to West Coast route options?
« on: April 07, 2015, 02:47:05 pm »
But whatever you do, do not even consider for a second skipping Going To The Sun Road. This will be the highlight of your trip. It is a must do.

29
Routes / Re: Maryland to Maine route? (Breast Cancer Awareness Ride)
« on: April 06, 2015, 11:42:09 pm »
The route is called the "Atlantic Coast" route. Read more about it at the link below:

http://www.adventurecycling.org/routes-and-maps/adventure-cycling-route-network/atlantic-coast/

30
Routes / Re: Minnesota to West Coast route options?
« on: April 06, 2015, 09:49:10 am »
I like indyfabz's suggestion. Just remember that Going To The Sun Road will close September 20, so plan to get there by then. I don't think that'll be a problem. You should be able to go from Minnesota to Glacier National Park in about three weeks. Also, be sure to check closing dates for campgrounds along the Pacific Coast. I don't think that will be a problem either. Most of them are either year round or at least open late into the season. A few may close on Labor Day, so check the individual sites before you plan on them.

You should be able to get to Anacortes in about five weeks, and then from there to San Francisco in another three. That should get you to San Francisco before the end of September.

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