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Messages - John Nelson

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General Discussion / Re: Self Contained Touring in Northern Minnesota
« on: February 02, 2013, 09:18:45 pm »
Bemidji to Grand Rapids to Aitkin is covered by the ACA Northern Tier route, which gives a lot of the information you want.

General Discussion / Re: New to cycling and taking a loop around America
« on: February 01, 2013, 03:46:24 pm »
I'm impressed by the fact that you carry no clothes. I think most cyclists carry at least one set of off-bike clothes so that they can get out of their sweaty stinky cycling clothes each night and rinse them out for the next day. Cyclists also spend more time in civilization than hikers, so there's a bit more of a reason to smell half-way decent.

General Discussion / Re: New to cycling and taking a loop around America
« on: January 30, 2013, 06:08:28 pm »
I am a ultra light minimalist back packer with a base weight of 11 Lbs. I will be using the same gear from my hike while on the bike.
You'll need to add some bike parts and tools, but you can subtract some food and water. Good luck. Sounds like a blast.

Routes / Re: Great Divide South-to-North Start.
« on: January 29, 2013, 02:53:24 pm »
El Paso is served by Southwest Airlines. If you fly them, it'll be cheaper to take your bike with you than to ship it.

General Discussion / Re: Bike shipping / Lesson learned?
« on: January 24, 2013, 10:47:31 am »
Check out

It is absolutely the easiest way to transport your bike and gear bag.  It travels "fully-assembled", so you don't have to worry about bike boxes, dissassembly or anything like that.
OK, let's see them drive it to Belgium. :)
It does not appear that this service is useful for people doing bicycle touring.

Routes / Re: Canada mortorists
« on: January 23, 2013, 09:00:02 pm »
Wisconsin has a border with Canada?

I don't think you can generalize about drivers, no matter where. But if you ride on busy shoulderless roads with heavy truck traffic, you're likely to have occasional issues no matter where you are.

I did the Lake Erie Connector through Ontario last summer and had almost no problems. I followed the route, which takes you off the main roads as much as possible. Nevertheless, you will have the occasional big truck that needs to pass you, and some of those roads are so small that they cannot really give you much room. I did have one big truck that drove about 10 feet behind me for quite a while until it was safe to pass. It did kind of creep me out. 98% of the time, however, there was no traffic at all.

There's good and bad on every route.

Southwest / Re: Grand Canyon
« on: January 22, 2013, 06:00:50 pm »
Summer or winter? Inside the national park or outside? North Rim or South Rim?

Mather Campground at Grand Canyon Village on the South Rim and the North Rim Campground both have hiker/biker sites. On the South Rim, you can use these from March 1 through mid-November. On the North Rim, the campground is only open mid-May through mid-October. During the winter on the South Rim, you must pay for a full site, but they are much easier to get (and it can be bitterly cold).

More information is available on the NPS web site.

« on: January 20, 2013, 03:01:54 pm »
I have not, but this summer I ran into a couple in Petoskey who have done this exact trip three summers in a row! They must like it I guess.

General Discussion / Re: Traffic burnout?
« on: January 20, 2013, 02:04:20 pm »
I try to chose sleepy roads whenever possible, and I do find it possible 90% of the time. Following an ACA route is really helpful in this regard, as well as consulting the traffic volume information in state DOT maps.

Sometimes, however, it is inevitable that you'll find yourself on a busier road. I do find, however, that 999 out of a thousand drivers are very courteous and accommodating. I try to get over the other one as soon as possible.

I agree with you about the funneling effect in the west, especially in the mountains. There seem to be a lot more roads in the east.

I think everybody has different tolerances for traffic. I hadn't really ever thought, however, about a "burnout" factor. Most people I know either tolerate traffic or they don't. I see that you got stuck on I-90 for a while in your tour. I avoid interstates like the plague, although I know others that like interstates. Perhaps because your trikes and trailers are wider than a standard bicycle, you feel closer to traffic. I'm sure you'll feel eager to get out there again soon.

Classifieds / Re: ACA Maps For Sale
« on: January 17, 2013, 02:23:49 pm »
::)are the trans am maps from the east side or west?
Given the rolling eyes, I'm not sure whether this is a real question or not. But, just in case, ACA maps are usable for either direction of travel. Maps 9-12 cover Kansas through Virginia.

General Discussion / Re: Realistic time requirements
« on: January 15, 2013, 04:35:32 pm »
I had thought of taking the northern tier route and ending in Minot or some place further west of that.
The NT no longer goes through Minot, and for darn good reasons.

Connecting ACA Routes / Re: Boston MA connecting to Northern Tier Route
« on: January 14, 2013, 08:00:40 pm »
When looking at questions such as this, it's always useful to look at the ACA route map.

General Discussion / Re: Realistic time requirements
« on: January 14, 2013, 04:25:02 pm »
I was wondering if US 12 was terribly hilly between,say, Townsend and Forsyth. I have a co-worker at my job who worked on the airforce missle silos who said MT 200 was endless ups and downs out of Greatfalls.
So what. 80% of the country is endless ups and downs. It goes with the territory.

Gear Talk / Re: '13 Trek Madone 2.1
« on: January 11, 2013, 10:42:41 am »
So how much do you plan to carry, and how?

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