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Messages - John Nelson

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Great Lakes / Re: Lake Erie
« on: May 16, 2012, 11:08:18 pm »
What about using the Detroit Alternative from Sandusky to Marine City and then picking up the Lake Erie Connector.

Gear Talk / Re: Touring Bikes Under Consideration
« on: May 16, 2012, 02:51:27 pm »
paddleboy's advice is spot on. The fact is that each of us is different, each of our tours is different, and the right touring bike for you is likely to be different than the right touring bike for me. Consider how much your weigh, how you will carry that load, how much your load will weigh, what kind of surfaces you will be riding on, how frequently you will be able to find the services you need, etc. Then consider whether you have more time than money or more money than time. And then think about your risk tolerance--are you willing to roll with the punches to save money, or would you rather spend more money to reduce risk? And do you want to feel unique?

If you really don't have a clue about any of the above, then pick one of the most widely sold bikes, such as the Surly Long Haul Trucker or the Trek 520. When in doubt, go with the wisdom of the crowd.

Routes / Re: Connecting Northern Tier to Chicago
« on: May 15, 2012, 09:05:04 pm »
I do not like Google maps bicycle directions for long distances. It tends to come up with some pretty goofy routes. I do like Google maps with driving directions and the "Avoid Highways" option.

For directions within cities, Google bicycle directions might be okay.

Try it both ways.

General Discussion / Re: Bike shipping / Lesson learned?
« on: May 14, 2012, 05:40:37 pm »
Frontier charges for both bags if you go economy class, but nothing extra for the bike if it is one of the bags.  I think that comes out to $40 or so.
In one month, I'm flying Frontier domestically within the U.S. with my bike. I paid $25 extra for a "Classic" fare. Both my bike and my checked duffle bag will fly along for free.

Routes / Re: Connecting Northern Tier to Chicago
« on: May 14, 2012, 05:33:17 pm »
Okay, I don't know Chicago, but I do know it's a big place. Wouldn't the answer to your question depend on exactly where in Chicago you're going?

General Discussion / Re: Bike shipping / Lesson learned?
« on: May 14, 2012, 02:38:27 pm »
FedEx and UPS both offer on-line rate calculators. You can do what-if games with sizes and weights to see where the break points are. It's also a good way to see what extras you find worth paying for and which ones you don't (e.g., insurance, home pickup, home delivery). When I shipped my bike, I played around with those rate calculators quite a bit. With FedEx, size seems to matter much more than weight. If you get too big or heavy, you slip from "ground" to "freight" class and the rates quadruple, so you want to make sure you don't do that.

Gear Talk / Re: Fiberfix Spoke
« on: May 11, 2012, 09:52:31 am »
I am a bit confused.  You have ridden 80 miles on one and you replace the spoke when you get home.  Do you mean when you get to the end of the day or have you not used one in the middle of a multi-day tour.
The latter.

Gear Talk / Re: Do I need a water filter
« on: May 10, 2012, 10:31:02 pm »
I wouldn't carry a water filter all the way across the country because I might need it for one day. When I know there's a long, dry stretch coming up, I carry as much as I need. With a combination of water bottles, water bladders, bottles of Gatorade and other beverages, you can carry as much as your bike and legs can support.

General Discussion / Re: Looking to Bike From Vegas to DC
« on: May 10, 2012, 05:17:46 pm »
The "regular" Google maps route says 2458 miles. The "Avoid Highways" route, which often produces an acceptable bicycling route, and is useful for planning bicycling distances, says 2620 miles. At 240 miles a week, that's 76 days. At 300 miles a week, that's 61 days. So it's just a bit outside your parameters, but still probably doable. Note that there won't be good stopping points every 40 or 50 miles, so your mileage may vary, sometimes considerably. Also note that some people (e.g., me) find that they neither want nor need rest days.

If you want to use ACA routes, the mileage will probably be higher yet.

Eating out will cost about half as much if you buy your food in grocery stores rather than restaurants, even if you don't cook. If you do cook, you can save even more.

I'm curious as to what your plan is to "raise awareness". Are you planning to set up speaking appearances? Or newspaper interviews? Or???

Gear Talk / Re: Fiberfix Spoke
« on: May 10, 2012, 04:12:00 pm »
Yes, I've used them. In fact, I've used the same one three times. They work well. I've ridden as much as 80 miles at a time with one, but I always replace it with a real spoke when I get home. I find it helps to temporarily loosen the spokes on either side while you're putting it in. That helps with getting the FiberFix tight enough. Then you can retighten the spokes you temporarily loosened. It trues up the wheel really well.

Connecting ACA Routes / Re: Dickinson ND to Glendive MT
« on: May 08, 2012, 12:33:53 pm »
I received my new Northern Tier Section 3 map almost two weeks ago. Panels 48 to 52 of that section take you from Dickenson to Glendive. It uses a combination of Old Highway 10 and I-94, with a bit of CR 106.

General Discussion / Re: Bike Shipping Info.
« on: May 08, 2012, 12:27:25 pm »
That said I think most if not all airlines require that you deflate your tires.
Yes, but it's not a good idea to do so. The tires provide quite a bit of cushioning and protect the wheels from damage. I know the airline is worrying about transporting compressed gasses because of the explosion risk, but really--that's not a hazard with a bicycle tire. It isn't going to explode even if the pressure doubles, and it would cause no problem even if it did.

What do you guys do? Deflate or not deflate? Or maybe reduce the pressure a bit?

General Discussion / Re: Bike Shipping Info.
« on: May 08, 2012, 10:03:10 am »
Tires should be deflated to aid with packing.
That's a very odd sentence.

General Discussion / Re: Bike Shipping Info.
« on: May 08, 2012, 12:17:50 am »
BTW, what are the bike friendly airlines? They all seem to be about the same nowadays.
Frontier and Southwest.

Gear Talk / Re: Tire width - 28 too narrow for touring?
« on: May 07, 2012, 10:23:54 am »
I remember reading somewhere that wider tires, and the reduced pressure that goes with them, lessens the chances of breaking a spoke. That tips the scales for me. I really don't want to mess with a broken spoke if I can avoid it.

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