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Messages - John Nelson

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691
Gear Talk / Re: Bad idea?
« on: December 30, 2012, 10:01:39 pm »
This is typically called "credit-card touring." It's quite popular.

I note, however, that you said "most" nights. I assume that you won't be carrying any camping equipment, so this implies that you will be sleeping inside "all" nights.

Assuming you're planning to tour in some first-world country with a good support system, the only "repair equipment" you really need is enough stuff to fix a flat tire, which isn't much at all. Everything else can be handled with your thumb and/or a cell phone.

So all you really need is some clothes to put on each night, and some basic toiletries. You should be able to carry this easily in a standard seat-post rack. You can put your snacks and sunscreen in a handlebar bag. You can rinse out your riding clothes in the sink each evening.

Your low gear is 33 gear-inches, which is only suitable for the extremely light touring that you are planning.

Your plan is fine. Have fun!

P.S. The Giant web site for your bike is very odd. The picture shows a bike with 32 spokes front and rear, but the specs say that the bike has 24 and 28 spokes in the front and rear respectively.

692
Classifieds / Re: Transam map set
« on: December 30, 2012, 06:10:00 pm »
The original poster has not visited this web site since two minutes after he posted his ad.

693
This may sound stupid, but what is LTC Florida 2013? I live in Tampa about an hour from Clermont and was just wondering?
Like most questions, Google answers all. LTC is the ACA's Leadership Training Course. It's a prerequisite for ACA tour leaders. In 2013, the ACA is offering six sessions of this course. One of them is in Florida.

http://www.adventurecycling.org/tours/tourdetail.cfm?t=EDU13&id=377&p=1

694
Routes / Re: Louisana Information Sought
« on: December 29, 2012, 06:08:09 pm »
It sounds like you are already familiar with the Southern Tier route. You don't say where you're coming from, but you can certainly fly into Baton Rouge, served by American, US Airways, Delta and United. The ST route maps include a spur into Baton Rouge that you can follow to get to New Roads.

695
General Discussion / Re: 2007 Trek Madone 5.0 for touring across the states
« on: December 28, 2012, 05:48:57 pm »
$3000 to $4000 will be enough if you camp the whole way, are not counting the costs of transportation or gear, and you don't drink too much beer. Your gearing will be okay if you're young and strong and pack light. The wheels will be okay if you stay on paved roads. Two-wheeled trailers are okay, but they make it pretty hard to avoid the rumble strips.

Nothing about your plan is ideal, but all of it will work okay.

696
General Discussion / Re: Costs of Touring
« on: December 26, 2012, 04:59:54 pm »
I count on least $12 with a tip for dinner not including drinks.
An $8 sub sandwich at Safeway is two pounds and provides me the better part of three meals.

don't forget to budget for repairs and/or replacement parts like tubes and tires.
I consider bike repairs to come out of my emergency funds, and I don't typically count them in my daily expenses. I count tires, tubes and chains as equipment costs. I figure out what tires, tubes, chains and pads I'll need for the whole trip before the trip, buy them ahead of time (on sale), and then either carry them or have them mailed to me. It is often difficult to find good parts on the road (especially tires appropriate for touring).

697
Routes / Re: Northern Tier + North Lakes (SS Badger Ferry)
« on: December 26, 2012, 01:47:21 pm »
I have not taken the Badger, but I do recommend the route through the UP and across the Mackinac Strait. A ride around Mackinac Island is fun and the top of Lake Michigan is very nice.

698
General Discussion / Re: Costs of Touring
« on: December 25, 2012, 06:01:31 pm »
I did the TransAm solo on $16 a day ($14 a day for food and $2 a day for lodging). I did the Northern Tier solo on $33 a day, mostly because campgrounds were considerably more expensive there.

It depends on many factors: your dedication to finding free (but legal) places to sleep, your willingness to eat our of grocery stores (which are about half as expensive as restaurants if you buy ready-to-eat food), etc. Cooking (which I did not do) can save you even more. Free and legal places to sleep are plentiful on the TransAm. Avoiding paying to sleep is the most efficient way to save money.

You didn't say whether you are going solo or not, but sharing expenses can save even more.

I only count expenses from wheel-dip to wheel-dip. Obviously the cost of buying equipment, getting to the start and getting home from the end can drive up the costs.

699
We used to have Sprint. We were without service in many areas that the coverage map claimed to serve. We got fed up with it.

700
I have Verizon 3G. On the TransAm, I had cell service but no data service in eastern Kentucky. I had no service at all in the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, in Guffey Colorado, from Rawlins to Lander and in Dubois in Wyoming, in much of Idaho, and in parts of eastern Oregon and the coast of Oregon. On the Northern Tier, I had no service in parts of eastern Washington, western Montana, parts of North Dakota, the Adirondacks and central New Hampshire. Service is generally unavailable in most National Parks. Service was available, but I was unwilling to pay extra for it, in Alberta and Ontario (the only service that is included in your plan in Canada is text). Other than that, service was good. I could usually post my journal entry directly from my tent at night. Even in most of the dead zones I mentioned, I could still get a period of coverage sometime in the middle of that day or the next. From a data standpoint, eastern Kentucky and Ontario were the only place I went days in a row without coverage. You can sometimes find Wi-Fi to substitute when cell service is unavailable, although the available Wi-Fi can be so slow as to make it unusable for many purposes.

I also believe that Verizon is the best in small town America. If you're using your phone almost exclusively in a big city, other carriers may be better, but this doesn't usually apply to touring.

701
Routes / Re: USA Corner to Corner
« on: December 17, 2012, 11:31:52 am »
If you hit Kansas between early-May and mid-June, you could have some fairly violent storms (50+mph winds, 1.5+" hail, tornadoes, etc.), not like the gentle rains the NW & NE have.  That said, just pay attention to what the locals says.  If it is going to be had, they will assist.  Listen to a local radio station or ask a farmer.  If sky is a pale green, take cover as hail is in the immediate area.
You could, and caution is certainly advised, but I wouldn't schedule my trip around it. There's also a good chance that you'll have nothing but gorgeous weather in Kansas.

702
Routes / Re: USA Corner to Corner
« on: December 16, 2012, 11:22:10 pm »
the Vantage bridge is a death trap
Wow, you're right!
http://goo.gl/maps/hfWPE

703
Routes / Re: Need help with getting ready for bike tour - Routes
« on: December 16, 2012, 03:18:39 pm »
Northern Tier in January is not only inadvisable, it's impossible unless you bring snowshoes and carry your bike on your back across the Rockies and Cascades.

704
Routes / Re: USA Corner to Corner
« on: December 16, 2012, 01:09:47 am »
There is insufficient wind bias to justify using it to pick a direction. I've been across the U.S. in both directions, and, no matter which way you go, the wind is sometimes in your face, sometimes at your back, and sometimes at your side.

You can start whenever you want, but I like lots of daylight, so, all other things being equal, I prefer to center my trip around the summer solstice. Also, some people hate the heat more than the cold, and others hate the cold more than the heat, so your bias might influence your start. I'm not sure how far north you're starting, but I'd probably start heading south on the Atlantic Coast in the mid to late spring as soon as the weather gets warm enough.

Some people don't mind riding on the interstate, but I prefer to avoid it like the plague. I don't like either of your two routes through Washington. I'd jump from the TA at Missoula, go up to Glacier NP and then stay on the Northern Tier to the coast.

In my opinion, 75-80 days is tight for the trip your plan, especially for someone who says time is no issue. Take a bit more time and enjoy yourself.

705
Routes / Re: Need help with getting ready for bike tour
« on: December 16, 2012, 12:33:52 am »
Fred, this thread has gotten split. Half of the posts in this thread are still over in General Discussion, and half are here. It makes the thread confusing. Can it be fixed? Can the two threads be merged back together?

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