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Messages - John Nelson

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Southwest / Re: Grand Canyon
« on: January 22, 2013, 06:00:50 pm »
Summer or winter? Inside the national park or outside? North Rim or South Rim?

Mather Campground at Grand Canyon Village on the South Rim and the North Rim Campground both have hiker/biker sites. On the South Rim, you can use these from March 1 through mid-November. On the North Rim, the campground is only open mid-May through mid-October. During the winter on the South Rim, you must pay for a full site, but they are much easier to get (and it can be bitterly cold).

More information is available on the NPS web site.

« on: January 20, 2013, 03:01:54 pm »
I have not, but this summer I ran into a couple in Petoskey who have done this exact trip three summers in a row! They must like it I guess.

General Discussion / Re: Traffic burnout?
« on: January 20, 2013, 02:04:20 pm »
I try to chose sleepy roads whenever possible, and I do find it possible 90% of the time. Following an ACA route is really helpful in this regard, as well as consulting the traffic volume information in state DOT maps.

Sometimes, however, it is inevitable that you'll find yourself on a busier road. I do find, however, that 999 out of a thousand drivers are very courteous and accommodating. I try to get over the other one as soon as possible.

I agree with you about the funneling effect in the west, especially in the mountains. There seem to be a lot more roads in the east.

I think everybody has different tolerances for traffic. I hadn't really ever thought, however, about a "burnout" factor. Most people I know either tolerate traffic or they don't. I see that you got stuck on I-90 for a while in your tour. I avoid interstates like the plague, although I know others that like interstates. Perhaps because your trikes and trailers are wider than a standard bicycle, you feel closer to traffic. I'm sure you'll feel eager to get out there again soon.

Classifieds / Re: ACA Maps For Sale
« on: January 17, 2013, 02:23:49 pm »
::)are the trans am maps from the east side or west?
Given the rolling eyes, I'm not sure whether this is a real question or not. But, just in case, ACA maps are usable for either direction of travel. Maps 9-12 cover Kansas through Virginia.

General Discussion / Re: Realistic time requirements
« on: January 15, 2013, 04:35:32 pm »
I had thought of taking the northern tier route and ending in Minot or some place further west of that.
The NT no longer goes through Minot, and for darn good reasons.

Connecting ACA Routes / Re: Boston MA connecting to Northern Tier Route
« on: January 14, 2013, 08:00:40 pm »
When looking at questions such as this, it's always useful to look at the ACA route map.

General Discussion / Re: Realistic time requirements
« on: January 14, 2013, 04:25:02 pm »
I was wondering if US 12 was terribly hilly between,say, Townsend and Forsyth. I have a co-worker at my job who worked on the airforce missle silos who said MT 200 was endless ups and downs out of Greatfalls.
So what. 80% of the country is endless ups and downs. It goes with the territory.

Gear Talk / Re: '13 Trek Madone 2.1
« on: January 11, 2013, 10:42:41 am »
So how much do you plan to carry, and how?

Routes / Re: northern tier route Aug to Oct.
« on: January 11, 2013, 10:39:43 am »
it was very cold and wet crossing Kangamagus.
For me, it was cold and wet crossing Kancamagus in August.

Well Dave, I think I'm helping you hijack this thread, but I'll address your comments anyway.

Yes, you can do 80 to 120 miles per day for four to five weeks. Most fit people can do it. You just have to decide if you want to or not. If you average 12 MPH, that's 7 to 10 hours a day. Even if you're very efficient at breaking camp, finding food, eating, finding camp, getting cleaned up, maintaining your gear, and setting up camp, it doesn't leave much time for fun. Meet an interesting person at lunch? Too bad. You don't have time to talk--gotta run. See an interesting lighthouse? Don't have time to check it out. Find a cool museum? Skip it. See a sign identifying the worlds largest tomato? You'll never know how big it is. Guy in the next campsite invites you over to roast marshmallows? You need to get to bed.

The ride will get to be a grind.

General Discussion / Re: Cross Country on a recumbent bike
« on: January 10, 2013, 12:51:49 pm »
I desire to travel via bike paths whenever possible.
It's a popular goal, but you'll be lucky if 3% of your trip is on bike paths. You can increase this somewhat if you go out of your way to pick up trails such as the Katy in Missouri or Mickelson in South Dakota. Here and there you might find a bike path that will take you from 3 to 30 miles, but most of your riding will be on roads. Try to decide if you prefer busy roads with good shoulders, or sleepy roads with no shoulder. You usually can't get both a sleepy road and a good shoulder at the same time. The sleepy backroads are scenic and peaceful, but typically longer and hillier.

Have a great time.

Routes / Re: northern tier route Aug to Oct.
« on: January 10, 2013, 09:47:07 am »
One advantage is that private campgrounds would tend to be less expensive in the autumn. I passed through New England in August, and the prices were sky high because it was still high season. They were just about to drop, however.

About campgrounds on the Northern Tier, the ACA says, "Some cyclists may want to do the eastern portions of this route during the colors of autumn. If you do, call ahead to verify campgrounds because many close after Labor Day."

As far as weather in New England, use Rochester, VT (on the NT route) as an example. In October 2012, the high for the month was 76, low was 24. Average high was 60, average low was 40. There was no snow there in October 2012, but they got 3 inches in October 2011 (all in one day). Of course, 2011 in New England was a year of record precipitation. It sounds doable to me.

About the Green Mountains Loop in Vermont, the ACA says, "Generally, the cycling season in the region can be extended into mid October as long as you're prepared for cool, crisp mornings and brisk evenings."

I did the NT in 9 weeks, but I had the benefit of long days. Up north, the days before the equinox are longer than down south, but the days after the equinox are shorter. By the end of October, there's only 10 hours between sunrise and sunset in Bar Harbor.

Connecting ACA Routes / Re: Denver, CO to NW Iowa, two alternatives?
« on: January 09, 2013, 02:09:18 pm »
A lot of that route Google gave you is not paved, some of it is "Authorized Vehicles Only" roads, some of it is on rough hiking trails and some is on private property. If you're okay with that, then fine, but it's just one of the reasons I'm not very fond of Google bicycling directions. I try to say on mostly paved roads.

General Discussion / Re: network provider for cell phone
« on: January 08, 2013, 09:51:49 pm »
If you want to use the Verizon network but don't want to pay the Verizon prices look into Page Plus Cellular.
Take Dubois, WY as an example. Page Plus is going to hit you up for a roaming charge there, but Verizon won't.

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