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Messages - John Nelson

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General Discussion / Re: Packing for flights
« on: March 28, 2013, 07:57:57 pm »
Use a sturdy one.
I would say that 90% of all bike boxes are flimsy
I wasn't talking about the bike box--I was talking about the gear box.

General Discussion / Re: Packing for flights
« on: March 28, 2013, 01:47:48 pm »
My favorite is the cardboard box. It comes in any size you want, is usually free and is easy to dispose of. Use a sturdy one.

Gear Talk / Re: Tail Bone Pain
« on: March 25, 2013, 05:53:32 pm »
A bike fit is a great idea, but to some extent, it just takes time. Most people say it takes a few hundred miles to break in a Brooks, but it took me a few thousand. Furthermore,  riding outdoors will likely be better for this than on the trainer.

General Discussion / Re: Cycling US = Crazy?
« on: March 25, 2013, 12:43:35 pm »
Cycling in the U.S. is fun, safe, easy, beautiful and enjoyable -- but not everywhere,  and apparently not where you are. Get out on the lonely, serene back roads.

Although a long, epic trip is appealing, start with something small. If you need to lose weight and get into shape, then start on that tomorrow. Walk 90 minutes a day, every day without exception. Anybody can do it. If you lose some weight and get into shape, maybe the diamond frame will become practical again. But even if it doesn't, the visibility problems of recumbents are greatly overblown--it's possible to safely tour on a recumbent. Also, start riding now on whatever bike you currently have for as long as you can comfortably ride. It's more important to get some riding under your belt than to wait for the perfect bike.

Having said that, you don't have to be in great shape to tour. But I would at least get into good enough shape that you can do 20 miles at a time. You can start your tour anytime after that. Start with an overnighter. Then take a tour of several days.

You can tour on as little as $10 a day, plus equipment and transportation costs. If you start and finish from home, transportation costs can be zero. $10 a day, however, is pretty spartan, so try to put together enough for $20 a day if you don't think you can be that spartan. Set a goal. Save x dollars out of each paycheck into a touring fund.

I agree with you that there is more adventure on a self-supported tour. But maybe your wife can support you on your first few short tours, while you are building up strength and equipment.

Almost any equipment will work. Trike or recumbent bike or upright bike with trailer or panniers. Get whatever you like.

Buy food one day at a time. No need to carry more than one day's food except under very unusual circumstances.

Finally, a goal isn't really a goal without a date. Without a date, it will always be "someday." Pick a date in the future for a tour, and then make intermediate milestones of what it will take to get there.

General Discussion / Re: North Nevada & Utah in summer
« on: March 21, 2013, 09:40:53 pm »
You could do the Northern Tier, and thus avoid some of the heat. Officially the route is 4288, but there are a number of mapped shortcuts available. You can skip Alberta and save 87 miles. There's a 125-mile mapped shortcut in Minnesota. Taking the ferry across Lake Michigan saves 215 miles. And a number of people end in Portland Maine (not mapped by the ACA), which saves quite a few miles over going to Bar Harbor. I think you can get the NT mileage down to about 3700 miles, which will get you there in 55 days with an average of 68 miles a day.

The NT misses Yellowstone and Grand Teton, but it picks up the spectacular Glacier National Park and the pretty-cool Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

Okay, it sounds like you have some phobias I can't help you with. But everybody has a fear of the unknown. And everybody has butterflies in their stomach when setting out on a trip like this. You just take it one day at a time. That's not just a slogan. In fact, it's natural. Once you get on the road, you seldom think about how far you've come or how far you have to go. Your only goal is where you will get to today and tomorrow. Assuming you're using ACA maps, the ACA has done most of the hard planning for you. Just follow their route and stay in the places they have scouted out for you.

What you hope to do is not that far out there. An almost uncountable number of people have done it before you, many even younger than yourselves, and most without their parents' complete approval.

Oh, and that part about winning back your girlfriend--give up on that. You'll find somebody else.

General Discussion / Re: North Nevada & Utah in summer
« on: March 20, 2013, 10:45:28 pm »
I am taking the ACA route from Pueblo, CO to San Francisco, CA around June, July. Will I also run into crazy heat?
Yes, you'll run into some pretty hot weather. But it's manageable if you carry enough water. Ride early in the day. Pay attention to where the services are ahead of you.

General Discussion / Re: Touring Question
« on: March 20, 2013, 05:50:40 pm »
I think if you work in a 100-person company, they can more easily adapt to your absence than if you work in a 3-person outfit. It also helps to have skills that cannot be replaced in a second, yet not skills such that they can't do without you for any length of time. It's great to have a job you love with the pay you deserve that gives you the flexibility you desire, but not everybody can have it all I suppose. Would we be willing to take a less interesting job with less pay in order to have the free time we want? Tough question.

Gear Talk / Re: Shaving Creme
« on: March 19, 2013, 05:33:07 pm »
I am one of those who has to shave more often then most.
You have to shave? On my first tour, I sent my plastic disposable razor home because it wasn't worth the 16 grams. On subsequent tours, I stop shaving a few weeks before the tour starts.

Classifieds / Re: Saris Bones Three Bike Rack - $100 (Boulder, CO)
« on: March 17, 2013, 10:11:13 pm »
If the link above to craigslist doesn't work (as it did not for me), try this one:

Routes / Re: Any Wyoming riders out there?
« on: March 17, 2013, 08:32:31 pm »
I rode part of your route in 2011, in the other direction.

There is only one place to stop between Kemmerer and Farson, a gas station with an attached convenience store. Carry plenty of water. The last 30 miles into Farson on Highway 28 are delightful and you'll probably see some antelope. There's a great general store in Farson with excellent ice cream, one small restaurant and a gas station, but nothing else. You'll probably have to deviate a bit off route to Eden to find some place to stay. I was camping so I slept behind the general store.

Lander to Farson was perhaps the hardest day I've ever had on a bike. The climb out of Lander was never-ending, and the wind was against me all day. But you're going the other direction, so it will be delightful. There is only one place to get water between the two cities, at a highway rest stop. Carry plenty of water again. The final miles into Lander are relentless rolling hills. You'll find everything you could possibly want in Lander.

General Discussion / Re: Memorial Charity Ride for Fallen Marine Buddy
« on: March 17, 2013, 02:52:53 pm »
I plan on making the ride with a support vehicle and having supply pickup spots pre-planned throughout the route. ... I'll have around 126 days to complete the ride, which doesn't include the days off.
A couple of things stood out for me. Why are you planning supply pickup spots if you have a support vehicle (or even if you didn't)? Can't you just buy what you need wherever you are? What sort of supplies are you going to have sent to you?

126 days (not counting days off) to do 4400 miles is a very leisurely pace, probably more than you need even if you are taking it easy and stopping to visit a lot of hospitals.

I suggest you specify exactly what percentage of the sponsorship money will support your trip and what percentage goes to the charity.

Have a great time!

General Discussion / Re: What should I name my trip?
« on: March 16, 2013, 06:34:55 pm »
Have business cards printed up and you won't need to send people to Google and Twitter.

Gear Talk / Re: Touring bikes...
« on: March 14, 2013, 10:39:07 pm »
I agree that if you are buying a new bike for touring, your best bet is to buy a touring bike. A touring bike has more than a dozen distinct features that make it more suitable for touring than other bikes, and some of those features may not even be evident to you until your third week on the road. Admittedly these features come at a cost of some weight, which may make you go one MPH more slowly. And you'll never be able to keep up with your friends on their weekly club ride on a touring bike. But if you look for a bike that will do everything well, you'll never buy a bike at all, or you'll have a bike that will do nothing well.

It's a different story if you're willing to go ultralight. But once you cross the line, the weight multiplies. Heavier gear requires better racks and better panniers, which are heavier, which then requires a stronger bike, which is yet again heavier.

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