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Messages - nthabiseng

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« on: January 21, 2013, 10:34:46 am »
We did that exact route in 1998. Great ride. Check out my notes at
We got really lucky with weather and wind too. Highly recommend the route.

Routes / Re: Allegheny Gap
« on: January 19, 2013, 08:46:31 pm »
We rode from DC to Pittsburgh in April on loaded touring bikes with 700x32 tires with no problem.  GAP is excellent surface; the C&O is rougher but we still had no problems.

International / Biking Baja in Feb
« on: December 16, 2012, 10:33:42 am »
My husband and I will cycle from LA through the Baja peninsula, arriving in Cabo about the first of March.  First I am wondering if anyone else will be on that route about the same time.  Second and more importantly, I am looking for transportation back to Tijuana or San Diego from Cabo sometime during the first week of March.  We would love to find private transportation for us and our bikes (2 single touring) for which we would pay.  But I am also interested in information about the bus-has anyone taken a bus through the Baja with their bikes?  Does it have to be boxed? Does it cost extra?  Thanks for any advice/information on cycling and/or the bus. 

International / Re: Cycling The Valle de Guadalupe, Baja Norte
« on: November 06, 2012, 08:24:31 pm »
I did see that a couple of Baja restaurants won some gourmet awards, but it's really good to hear this.  We are headed that way in late January, cycling from LA through the Baja to Cabo. Do you have any specific suggestions? Am getting so psyched! Thanks, Marti

General Discussion / Re: Libraries and Touring
« on: October 16, 2012, 11:52:02 am »
On our two long distance tours, this year and last, we have had the chance to frequent several public libraries.  Dave and I were never turned away from using the internet; only one time was the fee prohibitive for us ($5).  Usually it was free or a very minimal charge, and we always seemed to have plenty of time.  We used the internet for the typical reasons: checking email, updating the journal, searching for Warmshowers hosts in upcoming towns, or planning our departure at the trip's end by either plane or rental car.

But we have two special memories of library visits.  The first was on March 30, 2011 in the small, historic town of Washington, Louisiana. It was a cool and cloudy day, and had been a short riding day; we arrived in town by noon.  We headed for the library for the usual tasks since it had been a few days since we had checked email or updated the journal.  The library had just a few computers but being the middle of a weekday there weren't any other patrons.  The welcoming librarians directed us to the two that worked the best, but not before asking us the usual questions about our trip, which was crossing the US on the ACA Southern Tier route from west to east.  We were just finishing our work when one of the librarians returned from her lunch break; she beckoned us into the back room where she placed on the table a container of something that smelled great.  It was a delicious dish of shrimp creole from one of the town's best lunch spots, the Cafe Opera.  What a wonderful treat!

After enjoying the special lunch these kind librarians then helped us print and make copies of our absentee ballots so that we could prepare them for mailing that day. One of them told us to come back if we needed anything else after going to the post office.  And sure enough we did return for her to witness our signatures before rushing back to post them before we headed over to the campground where we had decided to stay.  We are so grateful to these terrific women who made our day in Washington, LA unforgettable.

Our second special library experience is a tidbit, but also memorable. On the same trip last year, in the town of Madison, Florida we stopped at the library shortly after lunch, but not for the usual reasons.  I had terrible stomach cramps, from overindulging in one of those Southern buffet lunches that we could never pass up. As I sat on the outdoor bench in pain, Dave rode to the nearby convenience store for some antacid.  He had gone inside to ask its whereabouts, and the caring librarian came out a couple of times to make sure I was ok.  During the half hour that I recuperated outside after his return; she kept making sure I was still ok while he used the library computers.  Soon afterward we were back on the road; I was pain-free and once again we were so appreciative of the kindness of librarians.

Classifieds / WTB ACA Pacific Coast 5 map
« on: October 11, 2012, 11:22:24 am »
I would like to buy the map of section 5 of the ACA Pacific Coast route, Santa Barbara to Imperial Beach.  Only 2009 or later version.

Routes / Re: Card Sound approach Fla. keys
« on: August 13, 2012, 08:41:15 am »
Yes, we rode to homestead from key west this spring and the shoulder is totally fine. In fact, ACA also now recommends it over card sound road. See their addenda. We loved the ride.

Routes / Re: southern tier route
« on: July 03, 2012, 05:32:33 pm »
That was me who said there would be tougher climbs later on, and yes, that refers to AZ and NM, but also Texas hill country I found to be more of a challenge than the hills out of San Diego.

Just rode the Keys in March and it was great, though we did have headwinds all the way from Key West to Key Largo.  No problem on the bridges, even with the wind.  We opted to stay on US 1 instead of Card Sound Rd, and glad we did.  There was no traffic on 1, plus there are wide shoulders.  Easy riding.  We heard Card Sound is now busy and narrow.  You will definitely enjoy, except for the high rent camping as pointed out before.

On panel #86, and the Dania Beach A & B detail sections of Section 7 of the Atlantic Coast route, the Perimeter Rd at the Ft Lauderdale airport is CLOSED. Possibly permanently.  The easiest detour is:
NB: continue on US1 until you reach SE 17th Street, using first the wide shoulders, and then the sidewalk.  On 17th St use the sidewalk until you rejoin the route at SE 3rd Ave where the bike lane begins.
SB: continue on A1A (17th St) past the 3rd Ave turn until you reach US1, turn south (left) until Dania Beach.

This is not very far and is safely done.  We attempted the couple of detours given us by law enforcement and construction workers, only managing to lose an hour and several miles.

General Discussion / Re: southern tier cycle route
« on: March 12, 2012, 02:02:24 pm »
Sorry,  sold my maps, but we went west to east last winter/spring on the ST, and had many more days with tail winds than head winds.  I think there are an equal number of people going both ways, often depending on what time of year you plan to leave.

Routes / Re: Pittsburgh to Washington, DC
« on: March 01, 2012, 03:16:05 pm »
You can go off road the entire way, from Pittsburgh to Cumberland on the GAP trail, then the C&O Canal towpath to DC.  Check them out!

Routes / Re: southern tier route
« on: February 21, 2012, 10:10:13 pm »
Hm, I guess it depends on what kind of rider you are; I could never make Ocotillo in one day.  But once you get as far as Jacumba the miles go fast.  There is a place to tent there, but if there is still daylight left you could probably make it all the way.  I can't remember how long it took us to get to Ocotillo once we got down the I-8 grade.  I do remember there is nothing but desert.  And maybe if you are going when the days are longer than ours in Feb, that would help.

Routes / Re: southern tier route
« on: February 19, 2012, 06:50:57 pm »
Les, we did that route exactly one year ago.  You can check what I wrote about the climb in our journal.
We had been very worried about the climb, but it ended up being not as hard as I had imagined.  We did break it up into 2 days as you will read.  We wanted to spend the morning in San Diego, so left mid day for Lakeside where we had a Warmshowers host.  So it was really the next day to Pine Valley that was the real challenge.  As I recall, I didn't use my granny gear for most, if not all, of the climb.  I like hills, and for me it was the perfect grade, though long.  You will have much harder climbs later on!

I hope my journal helps, please let me know if you have other questions, but make it soon as I'll be leaving on another adventure in a couple of weeks. 

General Discussion / Key West bike shops for receiving shipped bikes
« on: February 17, 2012, 09:16:45 am »
We are shipping our 2 bikes to Key West in a couple of weeks to begin a tour.  It's too expensive to carry them with us on our flight.  There are 2 bike shops in Key West who have said they will accept our bikes; one charges so much for receiving and storing them that it would be cheaper to have them build them.  Does anyone have experience with a shop there?  We'd rather build the bikes ourselves, but if they do a decent job it would make sense to have them do it.  Better yet, if anyone out there lives in Key West, I'd love to chat with you.  Thanks!

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