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Messages - John Nelson

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Routes / Re: Possible Route Change...need help!
« on: May 02, 2012, 11:42:19 am »
I don't want to go down to Astoria but want to get on (connect) to the TransAm route as quickly as possible starting from Bellingham.
I believe that the quickest way to connect to the TransAm is to go to Astoria, but you have ruled that out.

Let me assume that you what you want is not the quickest way to connect to the TransAm, but rather the quickest route to Yorktown using as much of the TransAm as feasible. I might also assume that you would temper quickest with a nice route (e.g., the quickest would probably be to use I-5 and I-90 to get to Missoula, but that would not be an attractive route to me--but maybe it would to you). I might also assume that you want to do this entirely by bicycle.

So I might suggest you follow the Northern Tier to Sandpoint, ID and then take Idaho 200 and Montana 200 to Missoula. There are many factors and tradeoffs, and I don't know your view of these factors, so this might not be the right option for you.

Routes / Re: Possible Route Change...need help!
« on: May 01, 2012, 11:34:35 pm »
Thanks everyone...sorry I should have been more clear.
I was wanting to know the best way to re-connect to the TransAm route.
That question seems less clear to me.

What do you mean by "re-connect"? Do you mean "connect"?

What is your definition of "best"?

What's wrong with the suggestions you received so far?

Routes / Re: Possible Route Change...need help!
« on: May 01, 2012, 02:33:20 pm »
I suggest you buy the map for section 1 of the Pacific Coast Route.

Routes / Re: Weather: Transamerica E to W for fast cyclists
« on: April 29, 2012, 01:14:54 pm »
April was also dry. Current snowpack on Hoosier Pass is 36% of average.

General Discussion / Re: My TA has begun
« on: April 26, 2012, 12:27:42 pm »
why does your SPOT GPS only show data for a very short distance?
Did you notice in the lower left of the screen there is a "Page 1 of N" display? Look at the other pages.

Routes / Re: ACA roads to avoid in the Adirondacks?
« on: April 23, 2012, 12:03:46 am »
I know nothing of that route or area, but it would indeed be surprising to me if the ACA maps put you on busier roads when less-busy roads were available and passable. In fact, the ACA is more often flogged for choosing roads that are excessively long or hilly merely because they are less busy. I pretty-much trust the ACA to pick the best route.

General Discussion / Re: How many cloths for a tour?
« on: April 22, 2012, 11:08:15 pm »
There's a lot of room for personal preference here. But I'll respond as if you had asked about the least amount of clothes you can get away with.

You need one pair of on-bike clothes. For most people, this is a pair of bike shorts, a jersey and a pair of socks. I think most people would take a second pair of socks and a second pair of shorts so that they could rinse out a set each night and be sure of having a dry pair in the morning, or have a clean pair in case you don't have enough water to rinse them out.

You need one pair of off-bike clothes. This means a shirt, a pair of pants, socks and underwear. If your pants have zip-off legs, you can make them do for both long and short pants. If you use cycling shoes to ride, you probably also want a lightweight pair of shoes, which might just be sandals or flip-flops.

Most people want some sort of protection from the rain. A lightweight rain jacket will do. Some people like rain pants too, but many people do not take a pair.

Everything else depends on how cold it will get on your trip. Get the average highs and lows for the places you will go through. I wouldn't worry much about record highs and lows, since you can't prepare for everything. I like to figure out what the coldest expected temperature will be and then take enough clothes so that I'll be okay if I put all the clothes I brought (cycling and non-cycling) on at the same time.

General Discussion / Re: I am new and would like to take my first tour
« on: April 20, 2012, 11:50:33 pm »
Also, go over to and read the journals and forums (and reviews and articles if you want). You can search for journals by locale and find where other people have toured in NJ.

Gear Talk / Re: chain compatibility
« on: April 18, 2012, 12:26:54 pm »
The guy put a $13 chain on claiming there was no point in using expensive chains, use cheap ones and change them every 500 miles was his recommendation
When I get weird advice like this, it's usually because they guy is selling me the only thing he has in stock.

For twice the price, you can get a chain that will last 6 to 10 times longer, shift better, and not wear out your cogs and chainrings as fast.

Routes / Re: Combining Routes & Rails to Trails
« on: April 16, 2012, 11:25:26 pm »
"I-94 corridor" is not the same thing as "I-94", but it does include a bit of riding on I-94 itself.

Routes / Re: Combining Routes & Rails to Trails
« on: April 16, 2012, 05:59:39 pm »
You might want to wait another couple of weeks to see what the new ND route is before deciding.

Gear Talk / Re: chain compatibility
« on: April 16, 2012, 09:48:44 am »
No, I didn't notice that at all.

General Discussion / Re: Bike weight
« on: April 16, 2012, 09:45:51 am »
You're in the ballpark of normal, with some more and some less. I would guess you're a bit above average in weight, especially if there was no food or water on board when you weighed. I'm sure if you post your equipment list here, a lot of people would be willing to tear it to shreds telling you what you could live without.  :) Most people take too many clothes.

Gear Talk / Re: Need a large lightweight bag
« on: April 15, 2012, 12:45:26 pm »
lately I have found that I can fit everything including bike and gear in a bike soft case
This probably only works for an ultralight tourer such as yourself. Otherwise the airline overweight charges will make it impractical.

General Discussion / Re: Bike Box
« on: April 15, 2012, 12:38:42 pm »
Use a cardboard box. Throw it away at the start and get a new one in Italy. Carry the tools with you, as you may need them for adjustments and repairs en route.

If you really want to use a hard-shell bike case, you can mail it ahead to a hotel in Italy (with prior arrangements) where you will spend the night before your return (or to an agreeable Warm Showers host in Italy). Chances are pretty good, however, that you won't like the price of this and will find advantage to the first solution.

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