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Messages - John Nelson

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General Discussion / Re: TransAmerica 2012
« on: October 18, 2011, 12:01:10 pm »
Quote from: webm8
I'm not sure if the airlines are going to charge extra for my bike.

The costs can be anywhere from nothing to a fortune. Find out before you book the flight, as it may affect your choice of airlines.

Quote from: webm8
Do you think it is possible to motel it at around $50 a night?

Yes, in some places, but I doubt that you'll be able to average $50 for motels. You'll sometimes stay other places for free or almost free, however, which should bring the overall average down.

Quote from: webm8
McD's is apparently great for wifi too.

Unless you go off the ACA TransAm route, you may find McDonalds few and far between. Most of the towns on the ACA TransAm are too small to justify even a McDonalds.

Routes / Re: Southern Tier - Oct 2012 Questions about maps and route
« on: October 17, 2011, 09:36:43 pm »
I would not advise relying on a Google maps bike route. The routes produced sometimes include many confusing turns and possibly rugged and unpaved hiking trails. You'd be better off with driving directions with the "avoid highways" option. Both produce about the same distance, but the biking directions have 1244 steps and the avoid-highways driving directions only has 145 steps.

The ACA route does add about 500 miles, but the ACA has done a lot of work finding (mostly) safe roads. If you deviate off their route, you will save both distance and hills, but you will sometimes find yourself on dangerous and unpleasant roads.

General Discussion / Re: Banff to San Francisco
« on: October 17, 2011, 11:24:26 am »
Old folks like me always underestimate what you young folks are able to physically do and endure, and your high risk tolerance. Your plan sounds fine except for perhaps the starting date. Even then if you have extra time to wait out / route around bad weather, sufficient cold weather gear and a tolerance for discomfort, you'll be fine.

General Discussion / Re: Banff to San Francisco
« on: October 17, 2011, 10:04:08 am »
Are you 25 years old, or 55 years old? Makes a difference (for most people).

General Discussion / Re: Miami Airport or Orlando Airport
« on: October 11, 2011, 09:46:31 pm »
If you're flying with your bike, you don't really want to give the baggage handlers any extra opportunities to throw it around.

Routes / Re: Weather: Transamerica E to W for fast cyclists
« on: October 11, 2011, 09:33:20 pm »
Yes, McKenzie Pass might be closed in mid-July (actually, I think you'll get there in early July), but probably not. And there's a good alternative on the slim chance that you need it (although not quite as scenic).

Routes / Re: Weather: Transamerica E to W for fast cyclists
« on: October 11, 2011, 01:57:06 pm »
Weather in the Rockies in mid-June is as good as you're going to get. Days should be perfect weather. Nights may get down close to freezing at the higher of the elevations you'll be likely to spend the night. Your plan sounds great to me. Slower riders may be better to start in early May, but as a faster rider, late May is perfect for you. Also, you'll get to Yellowstone before July 4, which should make the crowds lighter there.

General Discussion / Re: Light Touring
« on: October 05, 2011, 09:56:35 pm »
The seatpost mounted beam rack is simple, easy to install, and is good for up to 20 pounds. There are a lot of different manufacturers. It's usually better if you do not have a carbon seatpost.

Routes / Re: Biking Mexico from Arizona to South America
« on: October 02, 2011, 03:42:35 pm »

General Discussion / Re: School Project on cycling
« on: October 01, 2011, 10:05:35 pm »
Bad link. Try again.

General Discussion / Re: Addendums
« on: September 30, 2011, 12:18:51 pm »
You should print out the most-recent addenda again just before you leave on your trip.

Gear Talk / Re: Sleeoing bag and Pad
« on: September 25, 2011, 09:35:51 pm »
I use the Big Agnes Insulated Air Core air mattress, but not a Big Agnes sleeping bag. I do however like the idea of a pocket on the bag for the air mattress, which not only keeps you on the pad (not really a problem for me) but eliminates the need for bottom insulation in the bag.

I like the pad a lot. You are right that it is not self inflating, but that's exactly why I bought it. I wasn't comfortable on a 1.5" self-inflating pad, but I got the 2.5" Big Agnes for the same weight (but need to blow it up). I have blown it up a hundred times--it's not my favorite thing to do, but it's not excessively onerous.

I do, however, roll over a lot in my sleep. I have a mummy bag and the bag rolls over with me of course. The bag you have is not mummy, but I still might be concerned about how easy it would be to roll over in it. If it was me, I'd go to the store, climb in the bag and try it.

Colorado / Re: Dolores to Pueblo CO
« on: September 24, 2011, 07:35:12 pm »
I think your route goes over Molas Divide (10,910), Coal Bank Pass (10,640), and Red Mountain Pass(8,970) on US550 instead of Lizard Head Pass(10,222) and Dallas Divide(8,970) on CO145 and CO62.

The route notes say that it goes through Rico.

The top of Lizard Head Pass is one of my favorite places on earth.

Colorado / Re: Dolores to Pueblo CO
« on: September 23, 2011, 12:15:15 pm »
It's doable, with risks. Your route goes over both Lizard Head and Monarch passes. Both passes are all-season routes, but are subject to temporary closures. In May, closures are possible, but not highly likely. As long as you have cold-weather gear for the descents, and have a few spare days to wait out possible closures, you'll be fine. There will be snow up there, but the roads should be clear unless it has snowed recently.

Note that all of these roads have been used by the Ride The Rockies tour, so they're all possible on a bike (some busier than others). I suggest you might want to follow the TransAm route from Canyon City to Pueblo to avoid some traffic on US 50.

General Discussion / Re: Rain gear on self contained long distance touring?
« on: September 21, 2011, 05:35:31 pm »
If the weather is uniformly warm during your tour, then you can probably skip the rain gear. I, however, prefer to bring it along because you often cannot count on the weather always being warm (especially at high elevations), and because the rain jacket makes a pretty good windbreaker/light jacket, even if it's not raining. Furthermore, if it's a rainy afternoon/evening in camp, the rain gear is even more appreciated there than when riding--at least you won't be trapped in your tent. My rain jacket weighs 8.7 ounces--it's not nothing, but it's not excessive.

Your approach, however, would probably work. If it rains all day long for three days in a row, however, and it could happen, you'll wish for the gear.

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