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Messages - John Nelson

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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.

General Discussion / Re: network provider for cell phone
« on: January 08, 2013, 11:48:59 am »
Verizon does serve both the U.S. and Canada, but on separate plans. If you get U.S. service, you'll have to pay a surcharge to also be able to call from Canada.

If you happen to be camping close to a city, you can usually get service from your tent. But if you're somewhere more remote, probably not.

Routes / Re: Portland Oregon to Reno Nevada
« on: January 06, 2013, 10:44:26 pm »
The Western Express passes within 30 miles of Reno. You could take Old US 395 from Carson City up to Reno--since it parallels I-580, I doubt it gets much traffic. The WE connects with the SC at Woodsford, CA. Or you could cut over from Truckee.

Routes / Re: Yorktown, VA to Irvine, CA
« on: January 06, 2013, 06:34:24 pm »
Then I'll stay with my prior recommendation. I'd recommend starting in late April. It shouldn't be too cold in the East and, at 100 miles per day, you can get through Utah and Nevada before the worst heat of the summer. If you average 100 miles a day, the trip will take you about 44 days and you finish by mid-June. If you average 80 miles a day you finish in late June.

Most people will tell you that you'll have more fun at 60 to 70 miles a day, but your plan is fine. You can probably camp 100% of the time if you want to save money. With the distances you plan, I suggest you pack light. Whether or not you want to go ultralight is up to you. Getting the ACA maps will help you plan your route, where to stay and where to expect services.

Other than that, all the standard advice applies. Take some fully-loaded test trips. Read some journals and pack lists. Read the how-to section on this site. Carry enough water. Use sunscreen. Ask questions.

Routes / Re: Yorktown, VA to Irvine, CA
« on: January 05, 2013, 09:23:18 pm »
You say "this route" as if there is only one way to get between these cities. There are thousands of potential routes. If you like the idea of following ACA routes, I'd follow the TransAmerica to the Western Express to the Pacific Coast. Of course, I might modify that recommendation if I knew when you planned to start and whether you were planning to camp or stay in motels. Give us some more information.

Routes / Re: Start Dates?
« on: January 04, 2013, 11:16:04 am »
Pete, he wants to ride east from Seattle, so my guess is that he's more concerned about Washington passes than Oregon passes. But again, it depends on the route. In 2011, McKenzie didn't open until July 15 (abnormally late) and the North Cascades highway (Washington SR20) opened on May 25. McKenzie has opened as early as March 21 and as late as July 29. SR20 has opened as early as March 10 and as late as June 14, not counting construction delays. So you can see that from year to year, the earliest feasible start date can vary by three or four months.

Leaving early, however, has more considerations than just whether or not the roads are open. Early departures often puts you in for a lot more cold and rain, and sometime snow.

I agree with your recommendations for starting in the East if you need to start early.

Routes / Re: Start Dates?
« on: January 03, 2013, 06:01:23 pm »
Road openings vary from year to year, sometimes wildly. The best bet is to get yourself on the Washington DOT email list for the roads you are considering. They'll send you periodic updates. How early you can start depends heavily on which road you want to take.

There's also the question of how early you can start vs. how early you might want to start. People with schedule flexibility will want to wait until mid June for best conditions.

Gear Talk / Re: 2 people, 6 panniers for a cross country tour. Bad idea?
« on: January 03, 2013, 11:19:27 am »
My only addition to the above is to ensure that you have enough space left in your panniers for the times you need to carry extra food and water
Great point Tony, although the extras need not necessarily go "in" your panniers. I often strap these extras on top of the pannier. I can strap a Platypus or Gatorade bottle to the top of my Ortlieb rollers using the same strap that closes the pannier. The top of the pannier creates sort of a "shelf" to put these things on. I do, however, like to have extra space in my panniers and like to put extra stuff inside whenever it fits.

Gear Talk / Re: Schwalbe Marathon Plus 26 x 1.75 Comments?
« on: January 01, 2013, 09:58:57 pm »
What do you plan to use it for? It's tough, reliable, heavy, wooden--good for commuting over glass. The Schwalbe Marathon line has a lot of different models, each good for a different purpose, and each appealing to different tastes.

Gear Talk / Re: Recommend a road, touring bag setup?
« on: December 31, 2012, 07:14:13 pm »
Whether he goes heavy with bags or trailer, or ultralight with bags, he needs much lower gearing to get any gear over the mountains.
Many thousands of cyclists who ride the mountains every day with standard road bike gearing might disagree. If the load is light and the rider is fit, standard gearing is fine. Given the option, my preference is low gearing too, but it's not a requirement in all situations.

Gear Talk / Re: Bad idea?
« on: December 30, 2012, 10:01:39 pm »
This is typically called "credit-card touring." It's quite popular.

I note, however, that you said "most" nights. I assume that you won't be carrying any camping equipment, so this implies that you will be sleeping inside "all" nights.

Assuming you're planning to tour in some first-world country with a good support system, the only "repair equipment" you really need is enough stuff to fix a flat tire, which isn't much at all. Everything else can be handled with your thumb and/or a cell phone.

So all you really need is some clothes to put on each night, and some basic toiletries. You should be able to carry this easily in a standard seat-post rack. You can put your snacks and sunscreen in a handlebar bag. You can rinse out your riding clothes in the sink each evening.

Your low gear is 33 gear-inches, which is only suitable for the extremely light touring that you are planning.

Your plan is fine. Have fun!

P.S. The Giant web site for your bike is very odd. The picture shows a bike with 32 spokes front and rear, but the specs say that the bike has 24 and 28 spokes in the front and rear respectively.

Classifieds / Re: Transam map set
« on: December 30, 2012, 06:10:00 pm »
The original poster has not visited this web site since two minutes after he posted his ad.

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