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Messages - John Nelson

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General Discussion / Re: Restricted Items on Amtrak ("flammable" etc.)
« on: September 20, 2016, 11:44:00 pm »
I've taken chain lube, cooking alcohol and a multitool on Amtrak.

General Discussion / Re: Bike all lower 48 states
« on: September 19, 2016, 10:13:05 pm »
Do you mean you want to hit all 48 in one continuous trip? There are lots of web sites that suggest car routes. E.g.,

These routes usually zigzag up and down across the country. Timing depends a lot on your miles per day. The best route depends on how much time you have. You'll likely need to be able to tolerate heat and cold. I'd probably go across the north in the summer and the south in the winter and then fill the middle the next summer.

I hate raccoons.They are particularly bad at Kirk Creek and Half Moon Bay. But you won't see a cougar.

AAA are inexpensive and readily available. I don't see any reason to use rechargeable unless you have a high-power light.

Rocky Mountain / Re: Cycling in Yellowstone and Tetons
« on: September 17, 2016, 04:15:52 pm »
I cycled through Grand Teton and Yellowstone and greatly enjoyed it. Make sure you take the bike path from Jenny Lake to the south.

Yellowstone is huge, so it takes some distance go get through it. A home base lodge is a good idea because the nighttime temperatures will be cold. Make your reservations soon. Because the park is so large, you likely won't be able to get everywhere on day trips from your home base. That's okay, however, because you can just use a car to get to your starting point.

The second half of September is past peak tourist season, so you shouldn't have too much trouble with traffic. The daytime temperatures should be cool but not yet cold, and it should be fairly dry.

Take a lock so that you can explore the area from where you park your bike.

Your plan sounds really good to me.

General Discussion / Re: One piece earphone while riding
« on: September 15, 2016, 12:07:34 am »
Whether or not it's safe to ride with music is a debate that goes on forever and has no answer.

Gear Talk / Re: Flying with synthetic luricant
« on: September 12, 2016, 10:34:34 pm »
Can you fly synthetic lubricant such as Finish Line (2 0z) in checked luggage?  I am flying to Canada.
Technically, probably not. But I do it all the time.

Gear Talk / Re: Getting bike and gear to start of tour
« on: September 12, 2016, 12:05:32 am »
I have both taken my bike on the plane and shipped it. I prefer to take it with me on the plane if the costs are reasonable (and they are not always reasonable, depending on the destination and the airline). Since you have to travel by air then light rail then bus, I think shipping would save you a lot of hassle. If you do want to fly with your bike, be sure to check regulations for transporting bikes on both the light rail and the bus. I think the light rail may want the bike to be unboxed and the bus may want the bike to be boxed.

I did the TA in the opposite direction, ending in Astoria, and had Bikes and Beyond ship the bike home for me. I used the bus to which jamawani refers to get from Astoria to Portland. It's a very nice bus with onboard Wi-Fi. The downtown Portland bus station from which that bus departs is easily reached by light rail from Portland Airport. This is an extremely easy connection to make. The Astoria bus station is just a couple of block walk from Bikes and Beyond.

General Discussion / Re: southern tier
« on: September 11, 2016, 11:45:38 pm »
ColoradoGuy, you did two routes across the southern part of the United States, but, in my understanding, neither route was the "Southern Tier" Route. At least in my vocabulary, "Southern Tier" specifically describes the ACA route.

I also see a lot of people use the term "TransAmerica" to describe any trip across America, but I don't subscribe to that terminology either.

Routes / Re: Israel?
« on: September 11, 2016, 08:47:07 pm »
Most of my cycling was on and around Mount Carmel. I have, however, driven through the Negev. Take plenty of water, and don't cycle too close to the foreign borders, especially Gaza.

Routes / Re: Israel?
« on: September 10, 2016, 06:18:57 pm »
I have cycled in Israel. Road cycling is not anywhere as popular there as mountain biking. Drivers are not used to seeing cyclists, and there has not been much infrastructure investment for road cycling. It's certainly doable, but choose your roads carefully with local input.

Routes / Re: Hammock Camping
« on: September 08, 2016, 12:03:44 pm »
I have not used a hammock on a bicycle tour, but I have slept in hammocks and I like sleeping in hammocks. If I took a hammock on a tour, I would want to have a very good backup plan. In many places I've camped, I would not have found anything to hang a hammock from, or I would have had to make serious compromises to do so. And I don't think I'd want to take both a hammock and a tent.

I too am interested in feedback from people who have taken long bicycle tours with a hammock as their primary option, and what they used as a backup plan.

Routes / Re: connecting the Eastern Seaboard route with the Northern Tier
« on: September 06, 2016, 11:05:47 am »
The Northern Tier route travels the Erie Canal from about Albany, NY to Buffalo, NY, and is one of the features of the route.
Although you can certainly take the Erie Canalway the whole 363 miles (and become an end-to-ender), the Northern Tier only uses the western third of it.

Routes / Re: Practical camping advice for Route 66
« on: September 06, 2016, 12:35:46 am »
I haven't done the math, and that would be possible, so I'll just give you my gut feel based on riding it. This is about "Bicycle Route 66" which differs from the Route 66 described in books for motorists. Motorists have many routes to choose from, because Route 66 had many routes over the years.

Gut feel is that 5% is on the shoulder of the interstate. Another 8% is on an interstate frontage road. Another 10% is within occasional sight but not earshot of the interstate (e.g., a mile away). All the rest is far enough from the interstate that it does not affect you (other than keeping all the cars away). Sometimes you're as much as 30 miles from the interstate.

Most of the interstate riding is in Arizona.

Routes / Re: Pacific Coast - Seattle to SF - Fall 2016
« on: September 03, 2016, 03:35:13 pm »
For cost reasons, avoid campgrounds without hiker/biker sites. Most have them, but not all.

If you go through Elma, WA, Grays Harbor Hostel is very nice.

County Line Park along the Columbia River is in a great location. Enjoy the river and river traffic.

Cape Lookout State Park has the best hiker/biker sites you've ever seen.

Bullards Beach State Park has lockable charging stations right in the H/B camp.

Of course, you have to camp somewhere in Redwood National Park.

Manchester State Park is rather bleak. Consider the private campground next door. Only marginally more expensive.

Samuel Taylor State Park near San Francisco has a small but charming H/B site. When I was there, the showers were closed because of the drought.

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