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Messages - John Nelson

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General Discussion / Re: North Nevada & Utah in summer
« on: May 06, 2013, 01:15:33 pm »
A high pass is better than 30 hills, mentally at least. With a high pass, it seems like you're actually getting somewhere. With 30 hills in a row, they all seem pointless.

General Discussion / Re: North Nevada & Utah in summer
« on: May 05, 2013, 03:58:40 pm »
About Yellowstone, there are some risks for cyclist regarding Grizzly and other animals? In the park I will stay in the lodge and in Grant Village campsites.

If you stay in established campgrounds and store your food in the provided bear boxes, you will have no problems with bears or other animals. Be aware that the lodges are quite expensive and require reservations far in advance. If you have camping equipment with you, the campgrounds are very nice and I don't see a need to stay in the lodges.

The only thing I was thinking is that the central part of my trip seems a little boring..SD and Iowa are flat and with endless road.
If you want to see America, then you'll want to see the central plains too. Every place has its own charm. Those flat roads for a while will seem like a nice break from all the hilly terrain you will have been doing. Many towns on the plains will let you camp in their city parks and use their swimming pools for free. And the people are very friendly.

Routes / Re: Looking For Route Recommendations
« on: May 05, 2013, 01:51:12 pm »
Given the choice, I would prefer nice wide shoulders.
I would always make the other choice. The widest shoulders come on interstate highways, but noisy interstate highways are very far from the peaceful and beautiful experience I am looking for. If only one car comes by every hour or two, I don't need a shoulder. There are lots of roads where cars are that infrequent, and such roads are often very scenic.

Routes / Re: Looking For Route Recommendations
« on: May 05, 2013, 01:34:15 pm »
Almost everywhere in the country except for southern California fits your requirements. Note that you can typically get wide shoulders or very little traffic, but usually not both at the same time.

Try Montana, or Wyoming, or Kansas, or North Dakota, or northern Wisconsin, or the Erie Canal, or west Texas, or rural Kentucky, or Idaho, or any of zillions of other places.

Gear Talk / Re: Bike Sizing
« on: May 04, 2013, 07:23:49 pm »
Is there any way you could test ride each? I realize that this is a tall order because finding a bike shop with one of each on the floor might be very difficult.

Another possibility is to talk with the bike shop you intend to order through. See if they'll agree to order one and let you test ride it. If it feels like the other size might be better, ask if they can then order the other one. The bike shop I deal with would do that.

Note that adjustments in seat height, saddle setback, stem length, etc. can fine tune the fit, and any good bike shop would be willing to make those adjustments for you.

General Discussion / Re: first big bike tour
« on: May 04, 2013, 07:18:54 pm »
This web site has a great how-to department that provides background on all your questions. I suggest you start there. Specifically on the topic of touring bike selection, start here:

Gear Talk / Re: do I have too much crap?
« on: May 02, 2013, 03:33:48 pm »
Yeah, the first day that I tried riding to work with front panniers on I scraped them on the ground twice.  Since then I've been more careful.
Well I agree that this is unacceptable. But it is far from a universal problem with front panniers. Different panniers or a different rack would surely eliminate this concern.

Gear Talk / Re: do I have too much crap?
« on: May 02, 2013, 02:39:27 pm »
Scraping my panniers on the ground when you lean it over too much... :)
Has that actually happened to you?

Gear Talk / Re: do I have too much crap?
« on: May 02, 2013, 01:27:51 pm »
I also don't like how much I have to watch the bike in corners with the fronts on.
Watch for what?

Routes / Re: East Coast Greenway--Will my bike be ok?
« on: April 30, 2013, 05:21:37 pm »
28 is slightly below average for a touring bike, but it not really "narrow". I suspect you'll be fine on the ECG. Most of the route is paved anyway. Leaving soon?

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.

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