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Gear Talk / Re: Ultra light sleeping bag, tent and pad?
« Last post by janetanorth on January 17, 2017, 09:35:03 pm »
Check out:
Tarptent.com    (I have been very happy with the double rainbow)
Undergroundquilts.com.      (I recommend the flightjacket series)
Thermrest NEo Air Xlite
Cheers
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Routes / Re: Another way to cope with dogs
« Last post by Pat Lamb on January 17, 2017, 08:47:39 pm »
A good chunk of the TransAm lore would be lost if the Kentucky dogs were eliminated. Dogs can certainly be a problem, but it's another one of the exciting challenges of the TransAm. It's not an insurmountable problem. To me, Kentucky was an unfamiliar and mostly welcoming world, and I would not want to miss it.

Agreed. 

This thread reminds me of the Mark Twain quote, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.  Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”  Coming from the southern Appalachians myself, the difference between that little spot of heaven and the utterly different, but somehow still similar, outlook of the people in the broad plains of Kansas, the deserts of Arizona, the driftless region of Wisconsin, or the residents of Montana, is striking.  It'd be a shame for people from those areas to miss Appalachia because they were too afraid of the hillbillys and their pets.
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Routes / Re: Another way to cope with dogs
« Last post by zzzz on January 17, 2017, 06:03:10 pm »
Nevertheless, I loved eastern Kentucky. I'm very glad I went through there. It was a great experience.
[/quote]

I left Berea Saturday morning and was at Breaks State Park Sunday evening so I hit eastern Kentucky pretty hard. I was going up some incredibly steep hill for the 4th or 5th or 6th time that day and the whole ride and the terrain thru there just struck me that I was doing something truly ridiculous and I started laughing.

There was a couple of older Good 'ol Boys sitting on their front porch (right next to the road) as I came by and one of them yelled out to me "We see people walking or crying going up the hill, I never seen anybody laughing?!"

And I yelled back "that if I wasn't laughing I would be walking or crying!" and the 3 of us had a good laugh as I rode up & away.

It's one of my favorite memories from the trip and it couldn't have happened anywhere except in eastern Kentucky
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Routes / Re: Another way to cope with dogs
« Last post by indyfabz on January 17, 2017, 04:46:14 pm »
Nope, don't think I hit Staggers.

We had a short day that day so a few of our group of twelve went for some late morning/early afternoon beers. It's where the local color was hanging at the time. I would post a photo from my time there but it would violate forum guidelines. And that's all I've got to say about that. ;)

The next day the heat wave broke and we moved on into Ohio. I think I may still have my "I *heart" Monroeville" sticker somewhere at home.
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Routes / Re: Another way to cope with dogs
« Last post by John Nelson on January 17, 2017, 04:41:26 pm »
The houses are often right up against the road - so the dogs are closer to begin with.
Boy that's the truth! Sometimes a dog sitting on its front porch is only 12 feet from where you are riding. I was constantly moving over to the far left side of the road to pass a house on the right and vice versa. Most of the time the dogs just sat there, but if they decided to take action, they were on you in a flash. The silent dogs are the worst--the ones where your first indication that they are there is when their head hits your pannier.

Nevertheless, I loved eastern Kentucky. I'm very glad I went through there. It was a great experience.
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Routes / Re: Tour de SRAM USA 2017- unique cross-country route
« Last post by DSchweikert on January 17, 2017, 04:10:44 pm »
Thanks for all the great input.

Stops are planned at SRAM offices- San Luis Obispo, Colorado Springs, Chicago, and Indy, hence the ride’s name.  Wilmington (Wrightsville Beach) is surprisingly the shortest route to the Atlantic from Indy- closer than say Ocean City or Virginia Beach.  Plus I go through Raleigh where I have family and friends, and hope to raise money there.

I only have 4 weeks to do this ride.  Are there more scenic routes?  Certainly, but the intent is to use the effort of riding across the US to raise awareness for World Bicycle Relief and World Vision.  If there are alternatives that don’t add a lot of mileage, I want to use them (such as the great suggestion on taking 64 to the Grand Canyon).  It’s not RAAM, but I hope the physical challenge will inspire people to support and give, and maybe even try something similar themselves.  I’ve raised about $4000 so far, but have an audacious goal of 1000 bikes for Africa- $147,000.  More info is on the webpages: http://fundraise.worldbicyclerelief.org/tdsu17 and https://www.facebook.com/TDSU17/

Thanks for the weather info- I’ve definitely thought about it, and that extreme highs and lows of the ride may occur close together.  The current route maxes about 10,500 and appears to stay below the treeline- riding higher such as when I climbed Pikes Peak is- I hope- a one-time only experience!

I’m continuing to revise the route, including input from people in the cities above also, so this feedback is fantastic.
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Routes / Re: Great Divide Question
« Last post by mathieu on January 17, 2017, 02:54:41 pm »
If the road over Mnt Taylor, NE of Grants, is still blocked by snow (it tips just over 9000 ft ; check at Ranger Station in Grants), I urge you follow the Chaco alternate only as far as the turnoff to San Mateo where you can pick up the original dirt route towards Cabezon Peak. I found this one of the Great Divide highlights, whereas the Chaco alternate is a bland ride on pavement.
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Routes / Re: Another way to cope with dogs
« Last post by staehpj1 on January 17, 2017, 02:25:38 pm »
A good chunk of the TransAm lore would be lost if the Kentucky dogs were eliminated. Dogs can certainly be a problem, but it's another one of the exciting challenges of the TransAm. It's not an insurmountable problem. To me, Kentucky was an unfamiliar and mostly welcoming world, and I would not want to miss it.

I agree.  Besides they really weren't that bad.  Also I have been chased by dogs lots of other places as well including Oregon, California, Kansas, and quite a few other places not in the SE.

The worst most scary dog encounters for me were in the Central Valley of California.  That is the one and only place in all of my touring where I was actually scared that I might be seriously injured or worse by three dogs that caught up with me on an uphill.  That same day a few other apparently vicious dogs chased us.
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Routes / Re: Another way to cope with dogs
« Last post by jamawani on January 17, 2017, 01:57:10 pm »
We have discussed the dog issue in Kentucky on the TransAm numerous times in the office, and have listened to various solutions. The most suggested one has been to change the route. The difficulty in doing that is that we can't guarantee a cyclist won't run into dogs if we move the route to Maryland or West Virginia or Pennsylvania or North Carolina. Rural areas are more likely to have dogs that are left to run loose. Dogs are used as an "early warning" if someone approaches a house, and are used to protect property. As someone said, this happens in other states, and not just in the Appalachians.

Carla - I have 100,000 miles touring and I must say that while there may be dogs in many rural areas, they are worse in the South, and worst in Appalachia. I am a historian of rural communities and have spent plenty of non-cycling time in rural Kentucky and West Virginia, as well. I believe that there are two reasons that help create a more serious dog problem for cyclists in Kentucky.

First, physical. Eastern Kentucky, West Virginia, and western Virginia have limestone topography with deeply incised valleys or "hollers". The houses are often right up against the road - so the dogs are closer to begin with. And because there is so little buildable land, the country roads are a solid string of little houses.

Second, cultural. Poverty. Many of the coal areas were classic "company towns" where the miners' families didn't own anything and were in hock to the company store. If you don't own the house, why put up a chain-link fence? Especially if you don't have the money to begin with. Then you add loss of jobs and the meth/oxycodone epidemic and it makes for a challenging environment.

I biked cross country this past summer thru Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Penna and cannot recall a single instance of being chased by a dog. Yes, that is one person. But when I biked thru south Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi a few years back, I had to deal with dogs every day - many times packs of roaming dogs. When I got to the courthouse in one Alabama town, I mentioned that there had been a pack of about 10 dogs out in  the county and I asked what I should do. She said, "Jus' shoot 'em." Without so much as a raised eyebrow.

That, to me, indicates a mindset where people don't care if their dogs get hit by cars or if they chase cyclists.
And that's why it is far easier to cycle outside of the South.

Best wishes for the new year - John

Kentucky County Overdose Death Rate - National Rate in 2010 - 12 per 100,000
Thus, parts of Eastern Kentucky have an overdose death rate 5 times the national average.
(Southern West Virginia is worse.)
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Routes / Re: Another way to cope with dogs
« Last post by John Nelson on January 17, 2017, 01:28:26 pm »
A good chunk of the TransAm lore would be lost if the Kentucky dogs were eliminated. Dogs can certainly be a problem, but it's another one of the exciting challenges of the TransAm. It's not an insurmountable problem. To me, Kentucky was an unfamiliar and mostly welcoming world, and I would not want to miss it.
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