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Messages - John Nelson

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Gear Talk / Re: DEET dissolves helmets
« on: August 25, 2011, 10:34:01 pm »
I would never use a spray DEET. You just cannot adequately control where it goes. I always use lotion DEET, and I prefer to do it after removing clothing that might potentially be damaged.

Reportedly, DEET damages plastics, acetate, rayon, Spandex, synthetic fabrics (other than nylon), furniture finishes, leather, watch crystals, painted or varnished surfaces, plastic glass frames and goggles, and car finishes and interiors. It will not damage nylon, cotton, or wool fabrics.

Routes / Re: Addenda Confusion
« on: August 25, 2011, 08:02:37 pm »
I agree, the addenda are not always up to date. The Oswald West State Park permanently closed its campground four years ago but this change didn't show up on the addendum until this month. Grandma's Cafe in Lamont WY had already reopened before the addendum got around to show it had closed. Jerry Johnson campground along the Lochsa River in Idaho is marked as closed, but it is not closed permanently, only seasonally. This is perhaps an example of acting on a report from a cyclist who found it closed but didn't realize what was really happening.

Routes / Re: Addenda Confusion
« on: August 25, 2011, 07:41:48 pm »
If there is no addendum for the 2011 edition, that means that either the 2011 edition doesn't exist yet, or that nothing has changed since it was printed. In this case, the 2011 edition does exist (according to the ACA store). So if there are August 2011 changes to the 2009 edition, it seems to imply that the 2011 edition of this map is so hot off the presses that it already includes this change.

If there is some other explanation, then I like you am confused. The logical explanation I offered above does not seem especially probable.

Here's a direct link to Phil's route.

I did the regular ACA route last year and had no problems with it. Except for the bridge itself (which I did early in the morning), it all seemed very tame. I cannot, however, compare it to Phil's proposed route.

Routes / Lamont, WY
« on: August 22, 2011, 03:26:14 pm »
On the TransAmerica route, section 5, map 58, the addenda now shows that a new restaurant has opened in Lamont, WY to replace Grandma's. Here are some additional details. I ate there two weeks ago.

The new restaurant name is "Anna-Lope Cafe". It opened on May 8, 2011. Its hours are M-F 6-8, Sa 7-8 and Su 7-3. Its phone number is 307-324-9080. The sign on the road still says "Grandma's" so you'll still have to look for that (there isn't anything else in Lamont so it's unlikely you'll miss it).

General Discussion / Re: Best touring blog sites?
« on: August 22, 2011, 10:13:18 am »
No, please, let's not discuss CGOAB here. If you really must, and I do not recommend it, go read it over there:

Routes / Re: Shelf life of A.C.A. maps
« on: August 21, 2011, 11:03:34 pm »
I would say that maps up to five or six years old are probably quite usable. Just mark them up with changes from the addenda. If your maps are older than that, you probably want to get newer ones. I did the TransAm with a couple using 1984 maps. We often found ourselves doing different routes, and they usually had to consult my maps for services. But they got across anyway.

General Discussion / Re: Best touring blog sites?
« on: August 21, 2011, 10:57:58 pm »
I see a lot of people using wordpress for bike touring journals.

Gear Talk / Re: MTB or Toruing bike for touring with bob yak
« on: August 21, 2011, 10:31:50 pm »
Yes, I would have recommended panniers too if you had asked. But you seem set on the trailer, and there are certainly people who prefer trailers.

Gear Talk / Re: MTB or Toruing bike for touring with bob yak
« on: August 21, 2011, 12:44:36 pm »
Touring where?

For touring on paved roads in first world countries, a touring bike will always be better (mostly because it will be lighter, but for a few other reasons too). That's not to say you cannot also do it on a MTB.

General Discussion / Re: overnighting en route
« on: August 20, 2011, 11:24:42 pm »
There are a few communities/churches (e.g., Twin Bridges, MT and Booneville, KY) that have built small buildings for cyclists. Really cool. There are many other communities, too numerous to mention, that allow cyclists access to pavilions and/or buildings for sleeping.

General Discussion / Re: A few questions from a 1st timer
« on: August 20, 2011, 06:30:27 pm »
I find safety to be a non-issue, and thus I find protection to be another non-issue.

98% of all motorists give you no reason at all to be concerned. Keep your eye on the other 2%. If you be considerate to the motorists and do everything you can to avoid inconveniencing them, they will generally do the same for you. Ride predictably and be visible.

Although many of the ACA routes have no shoulders, most are so low traffic that it's not a problem. Everybody is different, but I prefer low-traffic shoulderless roads than high-traffic roads with shoulders.

With camping, again consideration is key. Always ask permission if there is anyone you can ask permission of, don't climb over fences, and leave no trace. If you don't have explicit permission, staying out of sight as much as possible will minimize your chances of unpleasantness. You might want to wait until dusk to set up your tent and get up at first light. Many times you will find that your rights to camp where you are is ambiguous.

As Pete says, north-to-south is the highly preferred direction along the Pacific Coast in the summer.

If you're unsure of how your bike will handle the gear, the only way to identify problems is to load it up and try it out, early enough to have time to make an alternative plan if it doesn't work out.

General Discussion / Re: foods for road trip
« on: August 19, 2011, 10:29:36 pm »
Take a half-dozen energy bars of your choice, mainly as emergency food in case you find no other food that day (e.g., everything is closed or out of business when you arrive at your destination for the day). You're really hoping never to use these energy bars.

If you expect to have access to food at the beginning and end of each day, then all you need to take is lunch and snacks. Possibilities are fruit, raisins, cookies, carrots, cheese (the harder the cheese, the longer it will last), prepackaged sandwiches (my usual), chocolate milk (if you buy it in the morning, it will keep until lunch). If water is unsure, take along plenty of fluids. Possibilities here are extra water bottles, water bladders, and bottles of sports drinks.

It's not really that hard. I took a tour recently where for several days in a row there wasn't even so much as a building in 80 miles for several days on end (but there was food at the beginning and end of each day).

General Discussion / Re: New Member Question
« on: August 19, 2011, 05:27:15 pm »
Yes indeed. If you take the Western Express, you'll be crossing both Lizard Head Pass (10,222') and Monarch Pass (11,312'), probably in early May. Your chances of getting through are pretty good, so I wouldn't let that dissuade you, but you should be prepared to wait out a few bad days. These are both incredibly scenic passes and good for bicycling.

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