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Messages - John Nelson

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Routes / Re: East Coast Greenway--Will my bike be ok?
« on: April 30, 2013, 05:04:17 pm »
I have not ridden the ECG, but according to their web site, "some of the off-road segments are unpaved and, while they should support narrow tires, some people may find them uncomfortable." You quoted the "700" number from your tires, but it's really the other number (the width) that is significant here (e.g., 23, 25, 28, 32, 35 37 40, 45, 50).

Gear Talk / Re: OCD bike tech and extra spare parts?
« on: April 29, 2013, 12:07:41 am »
Many experienced bicycle tourists are already carrying most of what you list. Except for the spare tire, all the items on your list are fairly light. But if you had something that I did not and needed, then certainly I'd be very happy to see you.

General Discussion / Re: How to Blog? Crazyguyonabike?
« on: April 28, 2013, 10:46:24 pm »
If you are getting ready to take a bicycle tour, and if you want to keep a journal of your trip, then creating and updating a journal of your trip at CGOAB is pretty easy. You don't need to figure out how to navigate the whole site--you just need to figure out how to write a journal. Start by clicking the "Help" button on the top line of every page. Then scroll down to "Creating a New Journal". If you decide to use CGOAB for your journal, then you'll have to read more of the help page. You might eventually want to read it all.

If you want to see whether or not you like the format of CGOAB journals, then just click the "Journals" tab on the home page, and click any journal you want to start reading it. Just step through the pages with the NEXT button. It's pretty simple.

You can then read blogs at Wordpress and other sites to see which you like better. As has been previously said, a blog can be just about anything you want, but a journal is something quite specific.

Routes / Re: Louis and Clark Route - Hwy 12 Lolo Pass Section
« on: April 25, 2013, 06:07:26 pm »
There are six campgrounds along that stretch of road, but this is one of those places where wild (AKA "dispersed") camping (perfectly legal and allowed by the NFS) is better than the campgrounds. Stop at any of the campgrounds and fill up your water, and then go on down the road to find a good place for the night. I got my water at the Whitehouse Campground from a hand pump. Saves you a few bucks too. Stop at a ranger station if you need some suggestions or advice. They very occasionally see black bears here, but no grizzlies. Follow safe food practices and the bears are of virtually zero concern.

The Jerry Johnson Campground itself, of which Pete speaks, opens and closes on an unpredictable schedule, depending on the NFS budget and the number of campers they've been seeing recently.

Routes / Re: Louis and Clark Route - Hwy 12 Lolo Pass Section
« on: April 25, 2013, 03:57:46 pm »
There's virtually no traffic on the 101 miles from Kooskia to Lolo Pass. You won't miss a shoulder at all. The river is protected by the 1968 Wild & Scenic Rivers Act. The only people on that road are fisherman. You can pull over and find a beautiful camp site virtually anywhere along that road. And you can stop for a refreshing soak at the free, clothing-optional Jerry Johnson Hot Springs, although you'll have to hike 1.5 flat miles through the forest to get there.

Routes / Re: Across North America
« on: April 24, 2013, 09:44:52 am »
Yes, it is possible to do wild and/or free camping along the Northern Tier. I did find campgrounds to be rather expensive along this route, especially in the East during high tourist season. The highest was $49 to camp one night in Maine in August. Most of the other campgrounds in the East were between $20 and $30, although I spent $34 one night at a Provincial campground in Ontario. In the West, $10 to $15 was more common, although I spent $24 at a state park in Glendive MT. Glacier National Park only charges $5 for hikers and bikers, although this is a per person rather than a per site charge. The campground in Malta MT only charges $3.

General Discussion / Re: The importance of always wearing a helmet
« on: April 22, 2013, 06:05:12 pm »
Good story, but helmet discussions, like iPod discussions, never end until somebody locks the thread.

Directly from Garmin:

"At this time, the 2 GB cards are the largest microSD cards that can be used for the X-series GPS units. However, the X-series GPS units are not compatible with the San Disk Ultra II cards and we do not recommend using the Ultra II micro SD cards with any of the X units."

Gear Talk / Re: Thermal/Base Layer?
« on: April 22, 2013, 01:13:53 pm »
I'm with paddleboy. Don't take anything that only serves one purpose. Whatever you take as a base layer must also be usable by itself. And never take anything for which some combination of your other gear will solve the same problem.

General Discussion / Re: Do we need to do any training?
« on: April 22, 2013, 01:10:22 pm »
90 days is on the generous side, so you have some time to get in shape en route. The problem with starting out with inadequate training, however, is that the risk of overdoing it early on are high. If you push it the first couple of weeks, you may end up with something like a knee strain that may not get better fast enough for you to complete your trip on schedule. To mitigate this risk, I suggest you increase your mileage, including some training on hills and with your gear. As paddleboy said, however, being young sometimes allows you to get away with breaking all the normal rules.

Gear Talk / Re: do I have too much crap?
« on: April 21, 2013, 05:53:36 pm »
My typical ride to work route is a good test of weight.  It gains about 800 feet over 10.5 miles.
Wow, where do you live? 800 feet over 10.5 miles fits my definition of "flat". If your tour will also be flat, then I agree that your ride is a good test. But if your tour is somewhere more hilly, make sure you do a test under tour conditions.

Gear Talk / Re: do I have too much crap?
« on: April 19, 2013, 11:18:43 pm »
Normally, I would say that if you ask this question, the answer would be "yes".

Although 80 pounds is probably above average, assuming you are including everything including three full water bottles and your pump and all your tools and spare parts, it's not outrageous. Load it up with the rest of the weight and take it for a 50-mile ride, including up and down all the biggest hills in your area. That will tell you if it is too much.

Lots of people like to go light, but it's not necessary to do so. If you want to eliminate some weight, most people take at least twice the clothes they need, so that's the first place to look.

Routes / Re: Avoiding Yellowstone
« on: April 19, 2013, 01:13:50 pm »
What I did not like about Madison is what Jamawani notes. Madison was crowded and loud.
It is an unfortunate dilemma, but many times the coolest places to visit attract the most people, and therefore making them less cool. The main areas of Yellowstone definitely don't offer much solitude, but in my opinion they are worth it anyway. Besides, on a long tour, I typically get plenty of solitude other places.

I nearly got doored during an "animal jam." Someone who thought they had seen a moose or something stopped and the lemmings did the same.
One of the great things about being on a bicycle during these animal jams is that you can easily ride right up to where the animals are without worrying about finding a parking place. Then when you're done looking, you can ride away without waiting for the roads to clear. When a herd of bison blocked the road between Madison and West Yellowstone, I was able to ride right through the herd, while those in their cars got stuck in a five-mile traffic jam. The only people who got to see the bison were in the first few cars--the hundreds of cars behind them saw nothing and waited hours. I had many frustrated drivers stuck in that five-mile line of cars ask me what the hold-up was. It got to where I just started answering the question before it was asked by saying "bison on the road" every time a driver opened his mouth.

Routes / Re: Across North America
« on: April 17, 2013, 12:48:09 pm »
The route that seems to meet your criteria the best is the ACA Northern Tier. At the western end, the NT will get you within a day's ride of Seattle. At the eastern end, there are many different routes possible from NYC up to the NT. One way would be to take the train to Albany, and then ride the Adirondack Park Loop up to the NT in eastern NY.

Routes / Re: Weather in the TransAm Mountains
« on: April 17, 2013, 09:53:19 am »
Good luck Curt. I love to see declarations such as yours:

Important: All donated money will go directly to the Wounded Warrior Project — none will be used for ride costs!

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