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Messages - DaveB

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General Discussion / March on the East Cost
« on: January 21, 2008, 09:31:52 pm »
We drive through Southwest VA on I-77several time a year going to Florida and to the Winston-Salem area in NC.  My experience is that unplesantly cold weather is just as likely in that part of VA as it is in the north, mostly due to the altitude and the weather doesn't improve noticcably until we get to the VA/NC line as we go south.  Some of the coldest, nastiest evenings I can remember were in Wytheville.  

My feeling is that even late March is pushing the boundary of favorable weather.      

General Discussion / Solo touring and protection
« on: January 23, 2008, 04:21:17 pm »
I believe that in the United States of America anyone should be able to ride a bicycle wearing a jersey with a Canadian, Mexican or an Iraqi flag on it without harassment.  Peoples differences should be not only tolerated, but openly celebrated.

Very noble thoughts and it certainly would be nice if the world would only listen to them and act accordingly.  Unfortunately a significant portion of it doesn't and to assume it will is naive at best and dangerous at worst.  Hope for the best, plan for the worst.  

General Discussion / Bike Tour
« on: December 09, 2007, 11:01:49 am »
Are you looking to do a fully self-contained (camping plus cooking plus plan your own route) tour or do you want an organized tour where your luggage is sag'ed and the route preplanned?  

If the later, consider GOBA in Ohio which isn't that far from you.  This year it starts in Lorain County west of Cleveland.

GOBA is a 3000 rider annual event that always starts on Father's Day weekend in June. It's a week long organized tour that averages about 50 miles/day with a couple of optional days.  It's camping but your baggage is transported by the organization every day so you only need your emergency tools on your bike.  Food is available at routine food stops.  Each night is spent in a small town with the campground being a county fairgrounds, school grounds or similar.

There are similar week long tours in other states too.  Wisconsin has one (SAGBRAW) every summer as does Michigan (PALM).

Most of thes rides have a motel option if camping isn't your thing but the cost is significantly higher as with any "credit card" tour.

This message was edited by DaveB on 12-9-07 @ 7:04 AM

General Discussion / SFO to BHB?
« on: November 29, 2007, 07:55:10 pm »
You may be able to fly into Portland or Bangor, ME, both of which will be closer.

General Discussion / Getting in shape
« on: November 23, 2007, 11:48:47 am »
There are dozens of books on bicycle training techniques and programs.  Most are intended for competitive racers but the general rules also apply to recreational and touring riders. A search on Amazon should locate several titles and your local library may have some.    

BTW, John Schubert had a very good summary article in a the July/August '07 AC magazine.

General Discussion / biking yosemite and sequio nat. parks
« on: November 20, 2007, 08:56:46 am »
Camping in National Forests is free.

These are National Parks the OP is asking about.  The regulations are far different than in National Forests.

General Discussion / Mosquitoes repellents?
« on: November 07, 2007, 09:41:41 am »
Consumer Reports periodically tests a variety of insect repellents and always concludes that there is DEET which is effective and there are a bunch of alternatives that don't work.

General Discussion / Bringing pets on long trips?
« on: September 30, 2007, 07:35:01 pm »
My opinion: I've seen folks (mostly women) bring small dogs on week long supported rides and thought it was the dumbest thing I've ever witnessed and they didn't even have to carry the dog's (or their own) supplies on the bike.  

Taking a dog on a several months long cross country trip is even worse.

Do both yourself and the dog a favor and don't do it.

General Discussion / Miami->San Francisco advices-ccompanions
« on: December 20, 2007, 08:23:26 am »
Your trip timing of February through May will put you into the worst of Winter and early Spring weather.  It can be relatively cold even in the deep South and Southwest and as soon as you get into any higher elevations the roads will be impassible by bicycle.  

General Discussion / 55 + cross country
« on: August 10, 2007, 10:35:33 pm »
I assume the "55+" in your thread title refers to your ages, right  ;)

There is a group called "Wandering Wheels" that I believe caters specifically to "mature" riders. Their web site is

General Discussion / Problem companion
« on: September 03, 2007, 08:52:33 pm »
This thread covers a subject I always wonder about when I see the "Companions Wanted" page in every issue of Adventure Cycling Magazine.  People there advertise for traveling companions sight unseen and personality unknown. This sounds like a recipe for both disappointment and possible danger.  

I would like to know how these things have worked out. Good, bad, terrible?  How do you screen the respondents for suitability and have you rejected someone based on what you discussed before the actual ride?  How do you part ways if, despite the initial screening, the companion isn't what you thought?    

General Discussion / Team Bike Case anyone?
« on: June 28, 2007, 01:05:26 pm »
Instead of UPS consider Fed-Ex for your shippig.  Bike boxes or travel cases are assessed as "oversize" by UPS and the shipping is calculated as if the box weighed 90 pounds.  

I've done a lot of cost comparisons and Fed-Ex is always much less.

General Discussion / Toruing shoes
« on: May 24, 2007, 03:10:14 am »
I don't think anyone makes this type of shoe anymore as the demand just isn't there.

I had the same Avocet shoe years ago but stopped using them when I discovered clipless pedals and can't imagine going back.  

I agree that good quality MTB shoes will make using SPD-type clipless pedals much more comfortable.    

General Discussion / Ok advice and insights.
« on: June 03, 2007, 09:52:01 pm »
One item I noticed missing from your list is a sleeping pad of some sort for padding and insulation.  Either a foam pad or one of the self-inflating pads such as a Therma-A-Rest is a must unless you KNOW you can sleep on the cold, hard, rock and root infested ground without one.

These are available in a variety of sizes and thicknesses and the smaller, thinner versions are very light and pack into a small roll.

Second, a flashlight.  There are very small single AA cell LED lights that are bright, the battery lasts a long time and the bulb lasts nearly forever. An LED headlight can be substituted if you want to read at night.  

One other omission: a towel.  Get one of the quick drying microfiber synthetic types made for back packers as they are also small and light but quite effective.

This message was edited by DaveB on 6-3-07 @ 5:55 PM

General Discussion / Incects to Bears
« on: June 07, 2007, 07:45:36 am »
But I reckon some night i'll just want to pull off somewhere nice, near a river and sleep under the stars.

This sounds very romantic but it's a guaranteed method for waking up in a soaked sleeping bag.

A nearby source of high humidity and a night when the temperature is going to drop fast (the stars are out only on clear nights, obviously) will assure you of plenty of dew in the morning.

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