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Messages - John Nelson

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Classifieds / Re: WANTED: waterproof handlebar bag
« on: April 22, 2011, 12:30:47 pm »
But the Ortlieb does not fit your criteria of "cheap". Of course, my guess is that neither does your DSLR.

General Discussion / Re: National Parks PASS - Other PASS for camping?
« on: April 21, 2011, 01:12:53 pm »
Regular camping fees in National Parks can be pretty steep. I paid $17 per night at Mammoth Cave and $20 per night at Rocky Mountain National Park. It's much better if the park has hiker/biker sites, but quite a few of the National Parks do not. I paid $7 a night for a hiker/biker site in Grand Teton and $6 a night in Yellowstone. As far as I know, there's no such thing as a camping pass.

Entrance fees for bicycles at National Parks are normally significantly reduced below the motor vehicle fee. Once you know how many parks you're going to hit, you can do the math to see if the pass makes sense. I can't hit enough parks on my bike to make a pass pay by itself, but if I am also planning to hit some parks in my car during that year, it might make sense.

Gear Talk / Re: Ground Cloth Recommends
« on: April 20, 2011, 10:02:26 pm »
I use Tyvek, cut an inch or two smaller than the floor of the tent. I use it for abrasion protection and mud protection only. Tyvek is in general waterproof, but that's not really to protect anything but the footprint itself, since you don't want a footprint that absorbs water (which would be annoying to pack up). Tyvek is cheap, very sturdy, readily available, and relatively light (but quite noisy).

Having said all that, I don't really consider a footprint mandatory. In my opinion, it might be better to buy a slightly heavier tent made with a sturdier floor and skip the footprint. A light tent plus a footprint may weigh about as much as a heavier tent without a footprint, and the former will cost a lot more than the latter.

Gear Talk / Re: Sandles?
« on: April 17, 2011, 07:29:30 pm »
Whatever footwear you choose, make sure you have many miles with them before you set out on a big trip. You don't want to find out in the middle of the trip that they are irritating your feet.

General Discussion / Re: Need advice from you! (the pros)
« on: April 17, 2011, 07:23:01 pm »
I like the website, but I think it's a bit lacking on an overview of your plan. You gave more information in the first sentence of this thread (i.e., "I'll be biking across America solo this coming summer of '11") than I can easily find on your site. Especially if you're going to be seeking advice, a bit more of an introduction would help. When are you leaving? How long do you expect it to take? Where will you sleep? Eat? How far will you ride in a day? How will you carry your gear? What's your budget? How long have you been riding? How old are you? What kind of bike do you have? How will you plan your route? Even if you don't know the answers to all these questions, at least state that you don't yet know.

You've got a lot to do and learn in a short period of time. Good luck!

General Discussion / Re: Need advice from you! (the pros)
« on: April 17, 2011, 01:23:28 pm »
I agree with the above. Don't train with a backpack. Just wait until you get your panniers. For a small amount of carry-around stuff, the handlebar bag will be fine. When I need more room (e.g., if I'll be away from my bike all day), I might carry one of my front panniers. Both have shoulder straps.

You will need enough mileage with your loaded panniers to learn how to handle the loaded bike and whether there are any problems with how you have arranged your gear, but 98% of your training miles can be done unloaded.

General Discussion / Re: Need advice from you! (the pros)
« on: April 16, 2011, 11:19:31 pm »
Does your website actually use the word "backpack"? How does a backpack fit into your plans?

it's hard to weed through all the different opinions
You're just going to get all the same opinions over again.

If you're following ACA maps, you won't need a GPS. When you're camping, it may be a bit annoying trying to find a place to recharge it every night.

I hope you can find a way to get more time for this trip. Day after day of 100+ miles is going to rob some of the enjoyment--it's going to turn into a grind. It's not a question of whether or not you can do it. I'm sure you can do it. But it's a question of how much fun it will be. Also, remember that if you have X miles to cover in Y days, you're not going to find services at exactly X/Y mile intervals, so some days you'll have to do more than X.

General Discussion / Re: Medication
« on: April 14, 2011, 11:19:44 am »
I,m glad for this topic.   Lots of states will arrest you if not in correct bottles.. Ive 8 bottles to carry on my tour coming up. So what to do???
I find it kind of hard to imagine anyone searching my panniers in the first place and even less likely that I would be arrested for that.

That said if I were concerned, I would probably take the original label or a copy along.  That is what my wife did for a cruise.  She peeled them off very carefully and stuck them all on a sheet of paper.
I think it would only ever come into play if crossing an international boundary.

General Discussion / Re: Possible cause of crashes?
« on: April 14, 2011, 09:50:26 am »
The article says that exercise can "make a large number of people pass out, and this does not refer only to people who are not usually active, but also highly to trained athletes." I don't know how many people it takes to be a "large number," but it's not large enough that it has ever happened to me or anybody I know, nor have I ever heard of it. That doesn't mean, of course, that it doesn't happen.

If you google the name of the lead researcher, you can find out more about his study, but it starts to get very technical.

Even if you start alone, you will hardly ever be alone. You'll meet many wonderful people and make some long-term friends. Don't be the slightest bit afraid of starting alone.

General Discussion / Re: Possible cause of crashes?
« on: April 13, 2011, 10:36:03 pm »
PeteJack, has your friend gone back to the scene of the crashes and looked carefully for anything unusual? Something in the road? A pothole? Railroad tracks? Wet leaves? Gravel? A rock? Might also be caused by high-speed shimmy.

If you hit your head in a crash, it would be expected that you might not remember what caused the crash because the impact would erase your short-term memory.

General Discussion / Re: Touring
« on: April 10, 2011, 12:49:33 pm »
how to distribute the weight in the panniers to equalize our speeds.
If you are going to carry a tent and/or stove, those are obvious thing to give him. You are going to want to keep certain stuff with you in case you get accidentally separated. Keep some money, some food, your water, a map, your tire patching stuff, your cell phone, and some warmer clothes if there is any chance of it getting cold. He can carry the toiletries, non-essential drugs, camping stuff, spare clothes (including all off-bike clothes for both of you), and extra tools and parts. This might enable you to use only one pair of panniers. You might experiment with using only small front panniers, with perhaps a small bag strapped to the top of the rear rack. This will save you the weight of the extra pair of panniers, which can be significant all by itself.

You can only equal out the speeds somewhat, however, with weight. There's a good chance he'll still be faster. You should decide in advance what strategy you'll use. Will you ride together at all times? Will you stay in sight? Will you meet at the top of the hill? or the next town? or a preselected restaurant? If you do agree to sometimes ride out of sight, then I suggest that whenever one of you stops, you leave the bike in clear sight by the side of the road so that there's little chance of the other one passes by without noticing.

What’s the best way to break up our daily rides so we can keep going day after day?
Stop frequently, at least once an hour. Have something to eat before you start. Then start early. Stop for a second breakfast. Take a break for lunch. Stop at points of interest. Take a small side hike. Overnight, get lots of sleep--at least an hour more than you do at home.

General Discussion / Re: air travel and bike touring
« on: April 10, 2011, 12:35:01 pm »
Although I personally would use the cardboard box approach, if you want to take your hard shell, you can surely find some place to store it. I just don't think that that place is likely to be the airport.

General Discussion / Re: air travel and bike touring
« on: April 09, 2011, 07:52:09 pm »
You want to store it in one place for several years? Or you want to store it in multiple places for shorter periods?

No, I don't believe airports have storage space. It's a security risk. You may be able to rent a storage locker elsewhere. You may also be able to find a Warm Showers host to store it for you. If the period is not excessive, you may be able to get a hotel to store it for you assuming you spend the first and last night there. If you're going point to point, you can ship it ahead and most shipping companies will store it for a fee. Or you could ship it to a Warm Showers host in the city you will be leaving from.

Details probably depend on your travel plans.

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