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Messages - John Nelson

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31
Routes / Re: Trans Am Yellowstone bypass
« on: November 07, 2015, 12:03:28 am »
Starting the first week of May in Yorktown is perfect. Eight weeks to Astoria is doable, but ten weeks is more fun. Shortcuts usually increase traffic and/or miss scenery. But it's your trip, so do what makes you happy. If I wanted to cut time, I'd take a bus or rental car from Walden to Dubois--the most desolate stretch of the TransAm.

Bikes and Beyond in Astoria will do a good job of shipping your bike home. Take a bus from Astoria to Portland and fly home from there.

32
Routes / Re: Trans Am Yellowstone bypass
« on: November 05, 2015, 07:50:29 pm »
Skipping Yellowstone won't save you any time, but you can save time by not going up to Missoula. But then you'd miss the absolutely stunning Lochsa River valley.

33
Gear Talk / Re: Shoes/pedals for a cross country ride?
« on: November 04, 2015, 11:13:00 pm »
You're talking about making tradeoffs. The stiffer the sole, the better for cycling. A sturdy shoe can be good for walking too. I knew I guy who toured in work boots. That's not such a bad idea, although a bit heavy for some.

34
Food Talk / Re: Eating well on tour.
« on: November 03, 2015, 09:32:03 pm »
Same

35
General Discussion / Re: Dogs n' bears
« on: October 30, 2015, 06:07:04 pm »
I don't think you need to do anything special about dogs. Keep your wits about you. If you can't outrun the dog, stop and use your bike as a shield. If a pack of dogs attack you at the same time, you're screwed.

Bear protection depends on where you are going. In the lower 48, you're generally okay by using proper precautions with food.

36
Gear Talk / Re: Packs and pack weight for long tours
« on: October 26, 2015, 10:09:16 pm »
I'm going in another direction from this race to the bottom. My total weight is 80 pounds. That includes my bike and everything on it, except me. Including food, water, my helmet and bike shoes. The panniers alone weigh almost 9 pounds. Believe it or not, despite everybody posting here, my setup is no heavier than the average cyclotourist. I meet many carrying more than me.

I'm not sure you'd want to cross the Mojave Desert with an ultralight load. I carried 24 pounds of water.

37
I don't see the point. I have put as much as three gallons of extra water inside my panniers, and that's enough for me. I can also strap water to the top of my panniers if I need to. The advantage of cages is that the water is more easily accessible, but when I'm carrying a lot, I don't need it to all be so easily accessible. If my regular water bottles run dry, I don't mind stopping for a few minutes to get out my spare water and refill them.

Of course, this assumes that you haven't already stuffed your panniers 100% full with other stuff. But I think that's a good idea in any event.

38
General Discussion / Re: Cost of a cross country USA trip?
« on: October 21, 2015, 06:06:15 pm »
The most expensive camping I found was private campgrounds in New England during the peak season (especially Maine). The woods in these areas are often so dense that I don't even know how you'd walk through them, let alone push your bike through them to set up camp. Public campgrounds are usually cheaper than private campgrounds, but you can't always find one. Occasionally you find a private campground with a discounted rate for cyclists.

The cheapest camping is city parks. On the TransAm, there are many city parks that are listed as okay to camp in. I sometimes also camp in city parks that are not listed for camping, and I've never been chased away. City parks often have showers (associated with the swimming pool), and bathrooms that they'll leave open overnight if you ask them too. They will also usually turn off the sprinklers for you if you can find somebody to ask. If I can't find somebody to ask, I often pitch under the pavilion as that's usually safe from sprinklers.

Hiker/biker sites are wonderful, but they exist in a limited number of places. They are plentiful along the west coast, and some (but not all) national parks have them. Of course I'd like to see more of them.

39
See http://www.adventurecycling.org/resources/blog/how-to-create-your-own-route/

In addition to those tips, I like to look at Google maps driving directions with the "avoid highways" option.

40
General Discussion / Re: Cost of a cross country USA trip?
« on: October 21, 2015, 05:06:37 pm »
$50 for camping is crazy. I've paid less for a hotel room before and it wasn't a bad hotel.
Me too, but the places with $50 camping don't have $30 motels. Of course I'd take a $30 motel over a $50 camping spot, but you don't usually have that choice.

And no, my $50 camping spot wasn't all that nice.

41
General Discussion / Re: Cost of a cross country USA trip?
« on: October 20, 2015, 09:54:36 pm »
Camping costs vary widely from place to place. I've paid everything from $0 to $50 for a camping spot.

You can save money on food by cooking all your own food and eating simply.

My cost of $33 a day is just based on my preferences. You can spend a lot less or a lot more, simply by making different choices. You can almost always find a free place to camp if you try hard enough.

42
General Discussion / Re: Cost of a cross country USA trip?
« on: October 20, 2015, 08:22:38 am »
My first US cross-country trip was $16 a day, almost all food as my camping was usually free. My next three were $33 a day. Mostly camping. Some wild camping, but I'll pay for a campground in order to get a shower. Most food from grocery stores or places like Subway.

43
Routes / Re: Trans Alternative route Section 8
« on: October 10, 2015, 02:41:48 pm »
there is very little in Cassoday, KS
What!?!?!? Cassoday is the prairie chicken capital of the world!! And if you happen to be there on the first Sunday of the month, it's a very exciting place with the Cassoday Bike Run.

44
Cycling Events / Re: USA A Journey Cross Country
« on: October 10, 2015, 03:02:58 am »
It doesn't help to post the same thing more than once.

45
Are you raising money for charity or to pay your expenses or both? It's hard to raise money unless you have a unique angle and a talent for attracting media attention. Some (not many) just seem to have a knack for that. You have to be a good salesman. Otherwise you're a dime a dozen. I sincerely doubt anyone will pay for the privilege of riding with you. You may get a few contributions, but I suggest you have a Plan B for funding (I.e., start saving your money). With mostly camping in fee campgrounds, I average about $33 a day on tour. You can do it much cheaper if you find free places to camp, but you'll have to be okay with missing showers.

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