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Messages - John Nelson

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706
Gear Talk / Re: Touring bikes...
« on: March 13, 2013, 12:56:33 pm »
I would order it in advance.
It's never too early to order. When I ordered my touring bike, it took 6 months to come in. But I ordered in June when the current year models were already sold out. If you order now, the current year models will likely still be available. The longer you wait, however, the greater the risk that the wait might be very long or you may have to settle for your second choice. Touring bikes are made in limited numbers because of limited demand.

707
General Discussion / Re: Touring Question
« on: March 12, 2013, 10:52:22 pm »
Surely if you've worked somewhere for 24 years, they'd give you a summer off if you asked. You've earned it.

But your idea of starting with shorter trips is good. You'd want to do that anyway. But keep dreaming. You may not need to postpone your dream for six years. I take my long tours by taking time off without pay from my job.

708
General Discussion / Re: Touring Question
« on: March 12, 2013, 09:49:39 pm »
And teachers with summers off.
Yes indeed, there are a lot of teachers out there in the summer. And a lot of people I meet ask me if I'm a teacher.

709
Gear Talk / Re: Panniers
« on: March 12, 2013, 09:42:47 pm »
Ortlieb's hold up well and are very waterproof if closed properly. They are one of the top brands. No pannier is critter-proof, but these are pretty good. I wouldn't leave any pannier sitting overnight outside on the ground in critter country, especially if it contained food. I usually keep my food in odor bags inside my panniers and have never had a problem. Of course I hang the pannier in bear country.

710
International / Re: Help! I want to go to Europe.
« on: March 12, 2013, 06:09:09 pm »
Check with other airlines.

711
General Discussion / Re: Touring Question
« on: March 12, 2013, 06:07:01 pm »
There are lots of possibilities. One is to do one segment a year using whatever vacation you get. Or make a deal with your employer to carry over your vacation until you have enough to do it all at once. Or, if you can save up enough money to pay the bills, ask for time off without pay.

You mentioned finances. There's no substitute for saving up. It might take some time to save what you need, but it's worth it. It's possible to tour on limited funds, anywhere from $10 to $50 a day.

Family is typically the main responsibility you might have. Maybe you have kids or are taking care of an aging parent or your spouse can't live without you. One thing you can do with kids and spouses is to take them along, either on bikes if they are old enough, or in a support vehicle.

I see three main categories of people riding across the country: (1) young people between school and employment, (2) empty nesters who don't have kid responsibilities any more, some retired, some not, and (3) unemployed people between jobs.

One thing you can do now is to start a touring fund and put as much money into it each month as you can afford.

Keep dreaming. Set a goal and set a date to achieve it.

712
General Discussion / Re: Firearms
« on: March 12, 2013, 09:49:37 am »
I will paraphrase Carla from another thread:

I suggest you get in touch with the bicycle coordinators for the states you will travel through. Many have online resources as well as printed materials. Nearly every state publishes a bicycle map of some sort that they will send out for free and the coordinators often have more information they can distribute for no charge as well. And while the maps aren't as detailed as ours, they generally offer suggested roads for cycling through their state. Here is a link to the contact information for all of the bicycle coordinators:

http://www.walkinginfo.org/assistance/contacts.cfm

713
Gear Talk / Re: Chain selection
« on: March 11, 2013, 12:06:49 am »
Bordering on straying from topic, but John, what was your lube for that chain life?  You're doing a little better than I am with white lightening (~2500mi).
I use ProLink, but I'm sure it's not much different than many other brands (except of course it is very different from wax-based lubes such as white lightning).

714
Classifieds / Re: Complete TransAm Map Set
« on: March 08, 2013, 03:05:47 pm »
The value of a map set depends very much on what version they are, so it would help potential buyers decide if you could post the publication year of each of the 12 maps in the set.

715
Routes / Re: Great Parks
« on: March 08, 2013, 11:23:26 am »
There are legal ways to take guns into Canada, and to carry guns in Canada, but it involves a lot of paperwork.

716
Gear Talk / Re: Aevon Trailer now available in US
« on: March 08, 2013, 09:55:29 am »
If you own that website, you might want to consider getting rid of the audio track that autoplays for visitors. Very annoying!
+2
I immediately kill any web site that starts making unsolicited noise.

717
I rode the Northern Tier last year beginning June 1st in Anacordes, WA.  The first 17 days were rode in rain.
I rode the Northern Tier last year beginning June 12th in Anacordes, WA. Only one rainy day in the first two weeks. I did hear, however, that the people who left a week before me got non-stop rain.

718
General Discussion / Re: Traffic conditions around the ACA routes?
« on: March 07, 2013, 10:25:21 am »
Speaking of the Norther Tier, be very cautious about the western end of North Dakota. There is a huge oil boom on and the roads are carrying much more truck traffic than they were ever designed for. You will frequently encounter wideloads of oil field equipment and the oil industry has a sense of entitlement in the region so even law enforcement doesn't really mess with them. There is also a major lack of housing in the region so most motels and campgrounds are clogged with oil workers. I've even heard that Theodore Roosevelt National Park and Medora (one of my previous favorite family vacation areas) is no longer family friendly and has become a party place for rowdy oil workers who are often young single men with big pickups and lots of disposable income. The crime rate in that area has boomed as much as the oil industry and the LEOs can't keep up. Ignore the oil industry propaganda about how much good they are doing for the state. Plan your trip so that you can make it through that area in a single day without an overnight stop if possible. From Bismarck on, ND is still a great place for cycle touring.
Although the effects of the oil boom can still be felt with the new routing, it is much, much better than it was with the pre-2012 routing of the Northern Tier. The oil boom affects most of western North Dakota to some extent, but is much diminished the farther south and east you go. I was through Medora and spent a night at Theodore Roosevelt National Park last summer, and both areas were delightful. There is a major oil depot going in at Fryburg, 14 miles east of Medora, however, so there is some oil truck traffic on the NT route for about seven miles westward from Belfield. It's not bad. You may find housing expensive in the area, but that was not a problem for me since I was camping. Camping spots at TRNP were easy to come by.

719
General Discussion / Re: Question: Highway Troubles?
« on: March 06, 2013, 12:37:58 pm »
What about when there is no shoulder? Is that a rare or a common problem?
I assume that you have just changed the topic and are no longer talking about highways with exits. Because in my experience, all interstate highways have shoulders.

Most high-traffic roads have shoulders. Most low-traffic roads do not. So on a low-traffic road without shoulders, it's usually not a problem to ride in the traffic lane. So where should you position yourself in the traffic lane? My preference is to ride where the right tires of the vehicle would normally be. The very edge of the road is where all the debris is, and thus where you will get all your flat tires. Also, the edge is typically not very safe because you will likely crash if your tires slips off the edge. If you have a mirror (and ears), you can tell when traffic is coming up from behind. If they move over, you can just stay where you are. If you're not sure that they are going to move over, you can move closer to the edge until they go by.

Sometimes you'll find a high-traffic road without shoulders. Get the hell off of it as soon as possible.

720
General Discussion / Re: Question: Highway Troubles?
« on: March 06, 2013, 10:10:07 am »
I do this:
Once you reach the exit, just stay to the right and follow the exit as if you wanted to leave the highway. Follow the exit lane a bit and make an (almost) sharp left turn across the exit lane - of course with no vehicles behind you. The main idea is to cross the vehicle lanes as fast as possible.
Lucas
+1

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