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Messages - John Nelson

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Gear Talk / Re: Front Panniers or Rear Duffel??
« on: July 11, 2016, 09:07:32 pm »
Personal preference, but I like four panniers. Good weight balance, solid bike handling, extra space when needed, and no concern about a light front wheel causing imprecise steering. There are some downsides, however, like the extra weight of a front rack and two more panniers.

If you're use to riding with boots, and you like riding with boots, then I see no reason to change because of California weather. There might be many, many other reasons to change, but I don't see weather as one of them.

General Discussion / Re: Rain Gear for Touring
« on: July 07, 2016, 04:06:05 pm »
I carry as lightweight of a rain jacket as I can find. It is not only for wet weather, but I also use it for cold weather, wind protection, and have been known to use it to keep mosquitoes from biting me.

Rain pants are only marginally useful. I only use them on the bike if it is both cold and rainy. They are probably more helpful for use in camp during the rain. In that case, I'd like to keep my regular pants dry because I'm probably going to sleep in them.

I use SealSkinz socks for my feet, but I only use them when it is both cold and wet. I don't worry about my shoes--they get wet. Shoe covers are way to heavy and bulky for me.

I take it that you have been able to find lodging, just not affordable lodging. What does affordable mean to you? Lucia is a tiny, tiny place. I found that even a candy bar there was three times as expensive as I expected. If you can squeeze in one night of camping, campgrounds don't get any prettier than Kirk Creek just down the road from Lucia. Kirk Creek has hiker/biker sites, although it has no potable water and the raccoons will drive you crazy.

You've certainly chosen a beautiful stretch of road, and a nice time of year to do it!

P.S. Although it doesn't really matter much what forum you use, putting this question in the Bicycle Route 66 forum may throw a few people off.

Routes / Re: Trans America question: Distance between pit stops
« on: July 04, 2016, 01:40:42 pm »
The longest distance between food availability is probably about 60 miles. The ACA maps warn you when these gaps are coming up.

Some have done this staying only in motels (and occasionally other indoor accommodations where no motels exist). You'll need to make your reservations in Yellowstone at least six months in advance. There's a journal on CGOAB that gives full details, although it isn't 100% on the TA.

General Discussion / Re: TransAmerica East to West or West to East?
« on: July 04, 2016, 12:16:32 am »
It would make no sense at all to start May 1 in the West. McKenzie Pass doesn't even open until at least the middle of June, and you'd almost certainly be in for a lot of cold, wet weather in May in Oregon. Furthermore, Yellowstone National Park wouldn't even be fully open when you got there.

Routes / Re: Wintertime Pacific coast OR Sierra C?
« on: July 03, 2016, 10:31:42 pm »
Other routes have spectacular sections. E.g., the Northern Tier has the incomparable Going To The Sun Road. But the Pacific Coast is most consistently jaw dropping.

General Discussion / Re: TransAmerica East to West or West to East?
« on: July 03, 2016, 10:24:36 pm »
If you're starting in May, especially if in early May, the weather clearly favors starting in Yorktown.

If you like to start early in the morning, the sun also favors starting in the East. If you start later in the day, then direction is of little concern.

Wind doesn't predictably favor either direction, despite common opinion.

Routes / Re: Wintertime Pacific coast OR Sierra C?
« on: July 03, 2016, 05:50:37 pm »
The Pacific Coast is the most beautiful route I've ridden. Stunning views at every turn, especially the Oregon Coast and Big Sur.

Routes / Re: Wintertime Pacific coast OR Sierra C?
« on: July 02, 2016, 11:39:34 pm »
On the Pacific Coast, look into which direction the wind blows in the winter.  I know in summer the wind is out of the north along the coast.  Not sure if that is the prevailing direction in the winter too.  Check the prevailing wind direction on the coast in the winter.
Take San Francisco as representative. In July, winds are almost exclusively out of the west and northwest. In January, the winds pretty much come from all directions, but more often out of the WNW and SE. Also, the winter winds are generally not quite as strong as summer winds. So although the winter winds won't help you like the summer winds would, it's not a show-stopper.

Bicycle Route 66 / Re: Rt 66 Section 6 Maps 91 - 95 Needles to Amboy
« on: July 02, 2016, 08:27:51 pm »
Hey Tim, starting in Flagstaff will save you a lot of climbing. I recommend staying on the ACA Bicycle Route 66 all the way to the Santa Monica Pier, and then following the ACA Pacific Coast Route down to San Diego. Don't take Interstate 40 or 15 any more than you have too. You'll love Sitgreaves Pass and Oatman, and Amboy is not to be missed. Watch the movies "Cars" and "Bagdad Cafe" before you go. A very slight deviation in Los Angeles will take you to Hollywood and Vine. Plan some extra time in Seligman—it's a fun place.

Routes / Re: Going off course around Yellowstone or not thoughts
« on: July 02, 2016, 12:47:02 am »
IMHO, it would be crazy to bypass Yellowstone.

Gear Talk / Re: Continental Touring Plus
« on: July 01, 2016, 11:45:19 am »
That's a great price!

Routes / Re: Great Sand Dunes CO
« on: June 29, 2016, 07:26:25 pm »
CO 17 is clearly a better option than the only other one possible, i.e., US 285. I've ridden CO 17 from Alamosa to Salida many times. You still need to use a bit of 285, but it's okay. CO 17 has a lot of annoying "ka-thunk" expansion joints, but you'll be okay. If you happen to get a tailwind, you'll fly. It's straight and flat. The road itself is boring, but the scenery to your west is stunning. Stop at the alligator farm and the alien viewing tower.

Connecting ACA Routes / Re: Walden, CO to Boulder, CO
« on: June 26, 2016, 08:37:25 pm »
Trail Ridge Road, although spectacular (I just rode it last week), can be dangerously windy on top. Some days, it's hard to stay on the road for about eight miles. If you go that way, don't take US 36 to Estes Park. Colorado 7 is longer but safer. Start up Trail Ridge Road as early as you can to reduce the traffic.

If you want, you can still go through Ward (to Colorado 72 to Colorado 7), but you should take Lee Hill road to Left Hand Canyon to avoid the construction. But that route has some pretty steep sections that would be difficult on a fully-loaded touring bike.

Colorado 125 over Willow Creek Pass is a very nice cycling road.

I still, however, recommend Poudre Canyon instead.

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