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Messages - DU

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31
Gear Talk / Re: Touring Shoes, Cleat Selection and Toe Clip Survey
« on: April 08, 2010, 08:30:46 am »
I use Specialized mtn. bike shoes and Speedplay Frogs. I used spd's for years but switched to the frogs a couple of years ago and like them much better.

32
Routes / Re: Connect Northern Tier to RAGBRAI?
« on: April 05, 2010, 08:04:39 pm »
I had a couple reasons for suggesting hwy 2 to Minot. One is that hwy 1804 from Williston to New Town goes through a part of the Bakken Oil Field that is booming right now. I encountered quite a bit of construction traffic on a fairly hilly road with no services the last 50 miles. It's a badland area and scenic, I just didn't like the traffic.

The second reason is that Minot is on the NT anyway and hwy 2 has a shoulder and gentle grades, or at least it did in Montana and the small part I was on in N.D..

33
Routes / Re: Connect Northern Tier to RAGBRAI?
« on: April 04, 2010, 03:54:26 pm »
One way would be to follow the Lewis and Clark Route which goes through Sioux City. Last year I did a tour from Washington to Iowa intending on following the NT and L&C. I changed plans when I got into North Dakota and just used road maps to get to Iowa. I had started staying in motels at this point so it may not be of as much use if you are camping. I tried to describe the road surfaces and traffic and take photos of the roads. Here is a link to my journal.

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/ttac

If I were to do it again I would have followed US 2 from Williston to Minot, North Dakota and then started south and east from there. You might check out US 52 which heads SE out of Minot and connect with US 281, which I rode on for a while. The part of 281 that I rode on had a nice shoulder.

South Dakota DOT has a bicycling section with a Roadway Characteristics Map, which I found very useful. Here is the link.

http://www.sddot.com/pe/projdev/docs/roadwaychar.pdf

Good luck with your ride.




34
Routes / Re: Katy Trail and Trans Am
« on: April 03, 2010, 10:17:25 am »
The Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation website might helpful. Here is a link to their map page.

http://mobikefed.org/momaps.php#statewide

35
General Discussion / Re: Money money money!
« on: March 27, 2010, 08:49:33 am »
I'm with you geeg, that is about exactly what it costs me.

36
Routes / Re: From Chicago to San Francisco
« on: March 23, 2010, 08:46:42 am »
From the Silverthorne area on the transam, which is about 70 miles west of Denver, it is a little over 1800 miles to Florence, Oregon where the transam reaches the Pacific Ocean if you ride straight to the ocean from Eugene, Oregon. A lot of west bound riders take this option. It would then be about another 650 miles south to San Francisco.

There is a lot of free camping in city parks on the transam. I believe you can camp anywhere on National Forest land but other could address this and stealth camping better than I can.

37
General Discussion / Re: Passing other tourist riders
« on: February 28, 2010, 08:03:02 am »
I had the same experiences as Staehpj1 on the TA. One or the other of us would stop and the other would cross the road to talk. After I started meeting riders going the opposite way I basically met riders daily and almost everyone stopped to talk.

38
Gear Talk / Re: Brooks saddle modification
« on: February 06, 2010, 09:56:15 am »
I just bought one as a result of this thread. I have had it for a couple of weeks and have it mounted on my touring bike that I am using on a trainer. I have been riding it for about an hour a day. I was having an issue with sit bone area pain that started at the end of a tour from the Seattle area to Iowa last summer using a Brooks B-17 saddle. I had a similar problem at the end of the Transam in 2006 using a Brooks Team Pro.

The saddle was more comfortable than the Brooks for me right away and I really liked the B-17 prior to the sit bone pain. It comes with some very detailed mounting instructions that were interesting and helpful, not only in mounting but in explaining the theory behind the saddle. The video on the website is what really sold me on the fact that this saddle might help in what I had going on. I called before buying to ask a couple of questions and the president of the company answered the phone.

Like all saddles the Selle An-Atomica probably won't work for everyone but it seems to be fine for me right now. We'll see how it holds up after I spend some real time on it outdoors. By the way, no taint pinching at all but I did trim the slot a little because the sides were overlapping.






39
Routes / Re: Transamerica general questions
« on: January 15, 2010, 10:04:42 am »
I don't include rest days in my average. I always have some food or snacks with me just in case there are none available. Overall the maps are great but you will get a few surprises: some places out of business, some new businesses not yet listed, and some that are for some reason closed on the day you pass by. There are several stretches on the Transam in the west with limited services so you just need to be aware of what is ahead of you. I sometimes carried extra water and/or gatorade with me.

It may be more mental than physical but since I average 55-60 miles/day on tour I like to have trained sufficiently to ride that far at home before I start. With the amount of riding you do and your ability to do long days you should be fine but you don't have much margin for error.

40
Routes / Re: Newport, Oregon to Portland, Maine via Northern Iowa
« on: January 09, 2010, 08:54:29 pm »
One possibility would be to take the Lewis and Clark from Astoria, OR to Sioux City, IA. Then use the free bicycling maps from the Iowa DOT to get to your home town and then to the eastern part of the state where you could pick up the Northern Tier to Bar Harbor, Maine. Someone here might be able to help you with a connector from the NT to Portland.

In case you don't want go as far south as Sioux City or tire of the L & C here is a link to a map from the South Dakota DOT that has shoulder info. I used it this past summer and found it quite useful. There is a bicycle and pedestrian section on the website.

http://www.sddot.com/pe/projdev/docs/roadwaychar.pdf

I hope some part of this might help and have a great trip.

41
General Discussion / Re: Trans Am Advice Needed
« on: December 28, 2009, 11:41:52 am »
There is a shuttle at Seatac but it primarily goes north, it does go to Anacortes. If you wanted to start out on the Northern Tier you could ship your bikes to a motel in Anacortes and you're basically at the start. You could  ride the NT to Montana and then figure out how to connect with the Trans Am in Missoula. I imagine some here have connected the two routes.  I used the shuttle last summer for the Northern Tier and it was quite a bargain. Here is the link:

http://www.airporter.com/

I think that a lot of people who ride the Trans Am W to E fly into Portland. Some ride from Portland to Astoria. Reading bicycling journals can be very helpful, here's a very popular site.

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/?o=RrzKj

Just do a journal search for the route you would like to ride. It can give you insight into what others have done at the beginning as well as along the route. Plus it will keep you excited while the snow is still flying in N.Y.

42
Routes / Re: TransAm + Western Express in Summer
« on: December 05, 2009, 09:52:15 am »
Your time frame would work well with the Northern Tier and connecting to it would be easier from CT. From what I have read here, if you needed to get to San Francisco it would be fairly easy by train.

43
Midwest / Re: Midwest Icebreaker
« on: November 04, 2009, 07:58:26 pm »
My name is Dick and I live in Central Iowa. I enjoy solo self-contained touring. I rode the Transam in 2006 and this past summer traveled from Burlington, WA to home. I hope to ride from Maine to Iowa on the Northern Tier next summer.

I've done 2 ACA self-contained 2 week tours, one in Vermont (2004) and the Great Parks North (2005). Both were very good experiences and well organized yet not hurried, a lot of very nice people. It was a great way to see how other cyclist go about touring. There was a wide range of experience, from first timers to ACA tours cross-country tourists. I did these to see if I wanted to do the Transam with ACA and decided that solo touring would work better for me, particularly on a tour of that length.

44
Gear Talk / Re: Tire Question
« on: November 04, 2009, 07:23:36 pm »
I used to ride Conti Top Touring 2000's before they were discontinued. I switched to Marathon Supremes 700x35 this year and have 3500 miles and counting with no flats, 2200 of those miles were loaded touring. Very good on wet roads and ride real smooth. I'll replace them with the same tire. I tried a pair of XR's but thought the ride was pretty harsh, but that might just be me.

45
Gear Talk / Re: panniers
« on: August 12, 2009, 08:25:52 pm »
I've had Arkels (GT-54's and T-18's) for 5 years and over 150 days on the road and have had no problems with them at all. I like having all the the pockets rather than digging through a big sack every time I want something. This makes it very easy to keep your stuff organized. The zippers on the main compartments are on the sides of the bags allowing for access when you have gear on the top of the rear rack. 

That being said, I agree with valygrl about the weight. I would certainly consider weight when buying another set of panniers. The panniers she referenced look pretty good to me but they do lack the drybag that the Arkel's have. I would probably consider the Lone Peaks with the rain covers but sadly I don't think my Arkel's are going to wear out any time soon.

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