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Messages - John Nelson

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General Discussion / Re: training for trans am westward
« on: January 03, 2016, 01:58:20 am »
In the immortal words of Eddie Merckx, "Ride lots."

Bicycle Route 66 / Re: I want to bicycle route 66 in October and November
« on: December 19, 2015, 01:24:35 am »
Most likely yes. Weather, however, is unpredictable. Worst case you wait out a storm or two. If you're camping, pay attention to when the campgrounds close.

General Discussion / Re: First cross country tour-Help a guy out
« on: December 17, 2015, 12:43:47 pm »
I like to use four bags, but many use only two.

Advantages of two:
  • Perhaps less tempted to take too much.
  • Don't have the extra weight of a front rack and front bags (which can be significant).
  • Costs less.

Advantages of four:
  • Load better balanced and might ride better.
  • Less stress on rear wheel, reducing chances of spoke breakage and tire failure.
  • More flexible for accommodating short-term needs, such as extra water and food.
  • Easier to organize stuff.

GPS is unnecessary during the day, but can be helpful in finding your accommodations at the end of the day. I use a smart phone for that.

Routes / Re: What is better? Zion or Bryce Canyon?
« on: December 12, 2015, 12:11:32 am »
I like Bryce. Fewer people.

Gear Talk / Re: Water Filtration
« on: December 03, 2015, 10:44:31 am »
I agree with Pete, especially if you are touring on paved roads. Filters are great for the back-country, but not all that useful on roads. I carried three gallons through the Mojave Desert this summer. A filter would have been of no value. In general (with some exceptions), where there are surface water and roads, there are people and towns.

Gear Talk / Re: Cook stove for International travel
« on: December 03, 2015, 10:39:06 am »
I like alcohol stoves for exactly the reasons you mention. But I guess it depends on what you plan to cook. Alcohol stoves are great for simple meals, maybe less so for elaborate meals.

Routes / Re: Transam: solo or group ride? Has anyone done both?
« on: December 03, 2015, 12:18:55 am »
For me, touring is about the freedom of the open road. The ultimate freedom is achieved by going solo. You do whatever you want, whenever you want, for as long as you want.

General Discussion / Re: Cyclocross Bike for Southern Tier
« on: November 30, 2015, 08:13:41 pm »
What exactly about your road bike won't meet your needs?

Routes / Re: Can I ride from Cortez CO to Pueblo CO in early April?
« on: November 25, 2015, 01:26:00 pm »
What about May?
There's no magic date when it shifts from bad to good. As you move from April to May to June, the odds get more in your favor, the odds of comfortable temperatures, clear roads and open facilities. It's very hard to say more because you've given us none of the details about your trip. Camping, solo, tight budget, tight schedule, risk tolerance, etc., etc., etc. If you have enough time and money, you can make January work.

General Discussion / Re: Flying with a bike . Help!
« on: November 20, 2015, 11:31:54 am »
just deflating the tyres.
... and deflating the tires is the least important thing the airlines should care about. I never do it. It accomplishes absolutely nothing except making your bike more vulnerable to damage.

Gear Talk / Re: Lightweight Slip-Jaw Pliers?
« on: November 17, 2015, 01:30:09 pm »
OTOH, I have a hard time imagining carrying slip joint pilers on tour.

General Discussion / Re: Getting in shape for touring
« on: November 09, 2015, 08:24:49 pm »
It is possible to do a bike tour with no physical preparation at all ... if you have the time to start slowly. If you want to do high mileage days right from the start, then you need to train, or you need to be young. The better trained you are, the better chance you'll have a good time. I'd spend a few months doing at least a third of the weekly mileage you expect to do on tour. Be sure to include as many hills as your tour will, and ride at least some of the miles fully loaded.

It's not complicated.

General Discussion / Re: Flying with a bike . Help!
« on: November 09, 2015, 04:31:27 pm »
Before you book your ticket, be sure to ask them how much they charge for the bike. It's not unusual for the bike to cost more than you.

Also, the smaller the plane, the more limited the cargo capacity is, so if you're on a small plane, get there early.

Routes / Re: Bicycle Route 66
« on: November 09, 2015, 10:15:33 am »
I think Jenn's rationale is a compelling reason that you would want to choose one direction or the other. If you start in May, I'd probably go west to east. If you start in September, I'd probably go east to west. If you start in June or July, then you're just crazy.

But there are no hard and fast rules. You can cross the Mojave Desert in the middle of the summer if you tolerate heat well and carry gallons of water. I loved the Mojave, especially the area around Amboy. I started in Chicago this August and went east to west. East to West seems more natural, as Route 66 is better known as the route to California, not the route to Chicago.

Wind is highly variable (in most places, but in Wyoming, you can pretty much count on a westerly), so I would not use wind direction to pick my route direction, but I do believe (and my wind studies bore this out) that winds on Route 66 slightly favor a west to east direction. Again, I would use other factors to choose my direction. See the link below for the results of my wind studies on four ACA routes.

Route 66 is a great route. You'll love it!

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