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Messages - John Nelson

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General Discussion / Re: How many cloths for a tour?
« on: May 06, 2012, 09:13:25 pm »
If my jersey is still wet in the morning and it is too cold to wear a wet jersey, then I just wear something else. Also, if I know it's going to be cold in the morning and I'm not sure my jersey will dry overnight, then I don't wash it.

Everyone's experiences are different, but I have put on wet shorts in the morning with no bad consequences. It's not much different than riding in the rain, which is sometimes unavoidable on tour.

Gear Talk / Re: Bar-end mirror & front down tube shifter?
« on: May 04, 2012, 10:46:58 pm »
I use the Take-A-Look on my helmet visor. Of course that's not an option unless your helmet has a visor. One trick I learned is that once you find the correct positioning, tape the mirror to the visor with electrical tape. That will keep you from accidentally knocking it off all the time.

General Discussion / Re: How many cloths for a tour?
« on: May 03, 2012, 10:34:05 pm »
My simplistic approach:
Figure out what you would wear on the coldest day.  Bring that.
Add some extra socks,shorts, and a shirt so they can be drying after a wash at any given time.
Add rain gear.
Add some shoes other than your cycling shoes.
Simple and to the point. Although the rain gear can serve as clothes to wear while washing the others. My approach to laundry is to wash a couple of items each night in the sink--I almost never wash everything at once.

General Discussion / Re: Roadside stand/ camping/ B and B
« on: May 03, 2012, 10:21:16 pm »
Just one more opinion:

(1) Fruit, vegetables and fresh bakery items were hard to find on the TransAm until Missouri, so those items would be very much appreciated. Freshly made sandwiches would probably also be a success. Food packaged to be eaten later down the road would also be in demand. A guest book for cyclists to write in is a good way for cyclists to communicate with those behind them.

(2) About $8 to $10 per person per night would be in most cyclists' budget. It'd be worth another $5 or $6 for breakfast. You could probably get $3 a bundle for firewood. Some comfortable chairs around that campfire would be very nice. You could probably sell supplies for s'mores.

(3) I don't do massages, but I know that a lot of other cyclists do.

(4) I wasn't much interested in rides other than the route. I would only spend one night somewhere unless there was something pretty compelling to stay for.

(5) You should get listed on the ACA maps if possible, although that may take a year or two to reach many cyclists. Word of mouth works great along the TransAm, so positive experiences will get passed on--much of your early business will probably come this way. You should request that your guests pass it on. You'll also need a sign out on the actual route. Most cyclists would be very interested in exactly how far off route you are, if any, and what kind of riding surface (paved or unpaved) exists between you and the route. If you're ore than a half-mile off route, especially if unpaved, cyclists will need considerable motivation to drop by.

General Discussion / Re: Cycling Yellowstone
« on: May 03, 2012, 03:29:28 pm »
From what I have heard, traffic after July 4 is much worse than before July 4. My experience on the TransAm, as I would guess most cyclotourists' experience on the TA, is of Yellowstone before July 4, and I didn't find the traffic to be a problem at all. One of the nicest things about being on a bicycle is that you can cruise past any traffic obstructions caused by animals on the road or animal sightings off the road. I cruised by a 5-mile backup of cars trying to enter from West Yellowstone because of bison on the road near Madison. Since I was going in the other direction, I had my side of the road all to myself.

There aren't many roads in Yellowstone, so planning a route is pretty trivial. The main roads form a figure 8, so you either do the upper loop, the lower loop, or both if you have time. Campgrounds in Yellowstone have hiker/biker spots at good prices, so that's not a worry.

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.

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