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Messages - John Nelson

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Gear Talk / Re: MTB or Toruing bike for touring with bob yak
« on: August 21, 2011, 12:44:36 pm »
Touring where?

For touring on paved roads in first world countries, a touring bike will always be better (mostly because it will be lighter, but for a few other reasons too). That's not to say you cannot also do it on a MTB.

General Discussion / Re: overnighting en route
« on: August 20, 2011, 11:24:42 pm »
There are a few communities/churches (e.g., Twin Bridges, MT and Booneville, KY) that have built small buildings for cyclists. Really cool. There are many other communities, too numerous to mention, that allow cyclists access to pavilions and/or buildings for sleeping.

General Discussion / Re: A few questions from a 1st timer
« on: August 20, 2011, 06:30:27 pm »
I find safety to be a non-issue, and thus I find protection to be another non-issue.

98% of all motorists give you no reason at all to be concerned. Keep your eye on the other 2%. If you be considerate to the motorists and do everything you can to avoid inconveniencing them, they will generally do the same for you. Ride predictably and be visible.

Although many of the ACA routes have no shoulders, most are so low traffic that it's not a problem. Everybody is different, but I prefer low-traffic shoulderless roads than high-traffic roads with shoulders.

With camping, again consideration is key. Always ask permission if there is anyone you can ask permission of, don't climb over fences, and leave no trace. If you don't have explicit permission, staying out of sight as much as possible will minimize your chances of unpleasantness. You might want to wait until dusk to set up your tent and get up at first light. Many times you will find that your rights to camp where you are is ambiguous.

As Pete says, north-to-south is the highly preferred direction along the Pacific Coast in the summer.

If you're unsure of how your bike will handle the gear, the only way to identify problems is to load it up and try it out, early enough to have time to make an alternative plan if it doesn't work out.

General Discussion / Re: foods for road trip
« on: August 19, 2011, 10:29:36 pm »
Take a half-dozen energy bars of your choice, mainly as emergency food in case you find no other food that day (e.g., everything is closed or out of business when you arrive at your destination for the day). You're really hoping never to use these energy bars.

If you expect to have access to food at the beginning and end of each day, then all you need to take is lunch and snacks. Possibilities are fruit, raisins, cookies, carrots, cheese (the harder the cheese, the longer it will last), prepackaged sandwiches (my usual), chocolate milk (if you buy it in the morning, it will keep until lunch). If water is unsure, take along plenty of fluids. Possibilities here are extra water bottles, water bladders, and bottles of sports drinks.

It's not really that hard. I took a tour recently where for several days in a row there wasn't even so much as a building in 80 miles for several days on end (but there was food at the beginning and end of each day).

General Discussion / Re: New Member Question
« on: August 19, 2011, 05:27:15 pm »
Yes indeed. If you take the Western Express, you'll be crossing both Lizard Head Pass (10,222') and Monarch Pass (11,312'), probably in early May. Your chances of getting through are pretty good, so I wouldn't let that dissuade you, but you should be prepared to wait out a few bad days. These are both incredibly scenic passes and good for bicycling.

General Discussion / Re: New Member Question
« on: August 19, 2011, 02:46:17 pm »
typically Interstates are off-limits

Typically, guys from the eastern US say that, and typically, guys from the western US say the opposite.

General Discussion / Re: New Member Question
« on: August 19, 2011, 11:04:43 am »
Rules about where you can and cannot ride are typically set by the state, and occasionally by the city. There are no general rules based on TYPE of road. Many states produce a state bicycle map which you can find online. Start at the state DOT web site. Such maps generally show roads you cannot ride on. It might be a good idea to carry such a map, because occasionally you will find an ill-informed policeman who wants to enforce rules that don't exist. The most significant roads that might be closed to you are interstate highways. In most states, it is allowed in some places and prohibited in others. In eastern states, you may find it prohibited more than allowed, and in western states you may find it allowed more than prohibited. Typically it is prohibited where a suitable alternative exists, and allowed where no suitable alternative exists. Some bridges and tunnels (not most of them) are also restricted, but you can usually hitch a ride through/across. A few cities (thankfully a very small number) such as Black Hawk Colorado prohibit bicycle riding completely.

Pacific Northwest / Re: Florence Oregon to Eugene Oregon.
« on: August 16, 2011, 10:48:27 pm »
Only for the first 15 miles from Florence to Mapleton. From Mapleton to Eugene, all but the last 20 miles into Eugene is on SR 36.

Note: it really doesn't help to post the same question in multiple forums.

General Discussion / Re: Southern Tier transam ride
« on: August 13, 2011, 11:50:16 pm »
My husband and I are planning to do a transam ride via the Southern Tier.

Just FYI, in ACA lingo, "TransAm" is a specific route across the country and is not usually used to refer to any cross-country route. So the "Southern Tier" and the "TransAm" are two different routes.

Gear Talk / Re: Novara Randonee Bike - 2011???
« on: July 26, 2011, 02:23:09 pm »
It's a commonly-used touring bike, certainly worth being on your list to consider.

General Discussion / Re: Cycle greeting etiquette mystery?
« on: July 26, 2011, 02:20:48 pm »
The "why didn't he wave" question is a rabbit hole, so much so that the question itself has become an inside joke in many online cycling forums. There are a dozen good reasons why somebody doesn't wave. Don't try to figure out which one applies. Just assume the best.

General Discussion / Re: Leaving tomorrow!
« on: July 23, 2011, 03:19:16 pm »
When engaged in an activity that has you outdoors most of the time, you have to take whatever Mother Nature throws your way and cope as best you can. Unfortunately, Mother Nature is not being particularly nice right now. Staying in air conditioned motels is a common way of dealing with a heat wave. Some also resort to riding at night, but make sure you do it safely--find low-traffic roads and get good lights. Start out each day before the sun rises, maybe way before the sun rises.

General Discussion / Re: What I Learned - My First Long Distance Tour
« on: July 17, 2011, 09:04:58 pm »
Good tips Mike. Thanks for putting this together.

General Discussion / Re: Finding Water
« on: July 16, 2011, 09:19:08 pm »
When you know you're going to be staying at a dry camp, carry more water from the last town. Carry some kind of collapsible water bladder that you can fill up for later.

Gear Talk / Re: Trailer tires
« on: July 16, 2011, 09:12:18 pm »
Well, there are probably lots of tires that will do, but the benchmark is any of the Schwalbe Marathon line (except the Marathon itself).

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