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General Discussion / Re: Can live/work wherever I want - why not on a bike?
« Last post by JonnieCycle on July 23, 2014, 12:03:20 pm »
While I've not yet cycle-toured, we travel about 6 mo/year in our RV. We avoid KOA as we find them to usually be one of the most expensive campground options. We use an phone app "RV Camping.com" and it will list tons of campground options, using your current location or desired destination. Unless you're staying at a really nice campground, we've found their wifi usually is really slow so we have the Verizon MiFi device and it's been great anywhere we've been unless you're really out in the boonies. One camping option I rarely see mentioned is county fairgrounds. Most have camping areas and allow tents, and are generally pretty safe/secure. Also, recreation.gov website lists campgrounds that are managed by various government agencies. They are usually inexpensive, and while may not have all the luxuries of private campgrounds, many do have power and water at each site and bath/shower room. Good luck! Sounds like a great adventure!

Cool stuff - found a number of apps for camping (including the recreation.gov one) ...didn't see the specific "RV Camping.com" one but will keep looking (there are a virtual ton of them) ...and "power, water, bath/shower" ...that's just about everything i need (save for the security of the bike and laptops - but again, that's going to be difficult to avoid anywhere)

Thanks much!
42
General Discussion / Re: [California] SF to SD Biking Trip
« Last post by John Nelson on July 23, 2014, 11:48:58 am »
I don't think I'm going out on a limb too far by assuming that SD is San Diego rather than South Dakota.

The ACA Pacific Coast route shows 607 miles from SF to SD. Of course, that could vary a lot depending on where in SF and where in SD. Assuming you have the full 14 days available, that's about 43 miles a day.

San Fransisco to Santa Barbara is gong to be hilly. And this is at the beginning of your trip. These two factors will make it challenging. Santa Barbara to San Diego will not be as hilly and you'll be in a little better shape by then (if the first half of the trip didn't kill you).

For an avid cyclist, this would be a piece of cake. For a 65-year-old "casual biker", this would probably be a big stretch. But for a 22-year-old casual biker, my judgement is that this will be challenging but doable. Have fun and try to ride as much as you can between now and August 17. Start this afternoon! Assemble your gear, keep it as light as feasible, and take some of your rides with all your gear.

As far as planning, I'd buy the ACA Pacific Coast maps for section 4 and 5. Then just do what it says.

For further advice, please provide further details. What kind of bike do you have? What other outdoor activities do you do? Are you overweight? How tight is the budget? Are you planning to camp? Cook? Do you have camping experience? Are you known for your perseverance? (Actually, only the last question is important, and the answer must be "yes".)
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General Discussion / Re: Can live/work wherever I want - why not on a bike?
« Last post by staehpj1 on July 23, 2014, 09:49:22 am »
The downside is, of course, the cost-differential of staying at campgrounds or motels etc.  This is the sweet spot I'm trying to find ... literally might even be worth what I mentioned before about literally going into "The woods" and pitching a tent.
The locale you choose to be in will have a large effect on all of this.  There are areas where the motels are generally dirt cheap.  There are areas where camping for free in plain sight is easy.  There are areas that offer very cheap camping in great state parks.

In the middle of the country in the great plains I have many times stayed overnight in town parks often sleeping under the shelter of a picnic pavilion.  I have never been run off despite having done this many times.  I suspect that staying multiple nights would be likely to get you run off.  If the town is large enough to have a library or fast food establishment there is probably WiFi.

In Oregon, California and some other places cheap camping is generally available to cyclists.  In many cases long stays will not be allowed.  You might have to go into town to do any connected work unless you can manage with 3G or 4G assuming there is a signal, and there often will not be.

On my Southern Tier tour, I met a guy who said he was walking across the country carrying his gear in a double baby jogger.  He had been doing so for quite a few years and apparently was not planning to get there any time soon.  He stopped for weeks or months at a time where ever he felt like it.  When I camped next to him he had been staying for quite a few weeks at a $10 a night campsite at the Apache Gold Casino.  The price was cheap, the food in the casino was both good and cheap, and they probably had WiFi.

Personally I prefer to go home at the end of a tour.  A few weeks or a few month on the road is nice, but doing it full time all year long would get old for me.  I suggest doing a long tour with a planned end, maybe do something like the Trans America, Southern Tier, or Northern Tier routes.  It is an easier way to break into life on the road because others have already blazed the trail for you.  By the end of a trip of that length you will know whether life on the road full time is for you.  You will also have learned the ropes and know what does and does not work for you.
44
Southwest / Re: New Mexico - northwest region
« Last post by bgphelps2 on July 23, 2014, 09:20:24 am »
The Chaco Park people and bike shops told me Route 57(one of the northern routes into the Park) is closed and to take 7900, then 7950 into the Park and that about 5 miles of it is dirt road. Route 57 from the south was dirt road.  Either way, my Trek 520 on 700x32 tires will have a difficult time. Unless I hear differently when I get to Nageezi on Route 550, I'll ride 7950 as far as my bike will get me and if and when it gets impossible, 'hitch' a ride into the Park.  Chaco is just part of my Northwest NM Loop. From Chaco, I want to get to Cuba and then Jemez Springs. Keep in mind that a Trek 8000 is an excellent Mtn bike.  A Trek 520 is not.  But you already know that. But you do know the type of dirt roads out there and that will be helpful to me. If you think my fully loaded touring bike can do those dirt roads, I'm game for it!  What's the 'best' way to get from Chaco Park to Cuba and then Jemez Springs and then down to Bernalillo.?  Do I backtrack my way out of Chaco the way I came in or is there a more direct way back to Route 550?  From Cuba, there's 13 mile dirt road before it hits paved Route 4 to Jemez Springs.  Is that road doable by my touring bike or not? This will all be happening from mid to end of Sept. I'm hoping my 40 degree bag plus extra thermalite underwear will suffice in the northwest NM nights.
45
General Discussion / Re: Can live/work wherever I want - why not on a bike?
« Last post by jolobike on July 23, 2014, 09:16:19 am »
While I've not yet cycle-toured, we travel about 6 mo/year in our RV. We avoid KOA as we find them to usually be one of the most expensive campground options. We use an phone app "RV Camping.com" and it will list tons of campground options, using your current location or desired destination. Unless you're staying at a really nice campground, we've found their wifi usually is really slow so we have the Verizon MiFi device and it's been great anywhere we've been unless you're really out in the boonies. One camping option I rarely see mentioned is county fairgrounds. Most have camping areas and allow tents, and are generally pretty safe/secure. Also, recreation.gov website lists campgrounds that are managed by various government agencies. They are usually inexpensive, and while may not have all the luxuries of private campgrounds, many do have power and water at each site and bath/shower room. Good luck! Sounds like a great adventure!
46
Temporary ACA Route Road Closures / Re: Northern Tier, map 1, Loup Loup Pass
« Last post by JMilyko on July 23, 2014, 08:59:36 am »
I just heard from a cyclist heading west on the Northern Tier who made the following report about the fire situation in Washington:

Quote
FYI...Just spoke [on the afternoon of July 22] with Fire information out of Winthrop/Twisp and was told the following:
1) fire had burned thru route 20 several days ago, not much left to burn
2) route 20 is currently open.  It has been closed off and on over the last couple days so that utility crews could restore power lines, not because of smoke or fire.
3) he said that as an alternate if 20 gets closed again, we could take 97 to 153 and that those roads have been more open than 20 because of the larger number of people living in those areas.

In summary, as of now, we are planning on taking route 20 at Okanagan on Thursday [July 24] heading towards Twisp.  Here is the Fire Info contact number tel:509-996-9971 if you want to call to get the latest updates.  The number is open from 7am-7pm.

.Jennifer.
47
Gear Talk / Re: Best foot wear for touring?
« Last post by RussSeaton on July 22, 2014, 10:02:40 pm »
Cycling shoes have been some kind of plastic for about a decade or two now.  Wet cycling shoes is not really an issue.  If you wear socks, the socks will get wet from sweat or rain.  But plastic shoes getting wet is not a problem.
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General Discussion / Re: Can live/work wherever I want - why not on a bike?
« Last post by JonnieCycle on July 22, 2014, 09:26:06 pm »
If you are expecting to do a full job's worth of work and be responsive while touring, I think it would be a challenge to fit it in the daily routine of riding 50-60+ miles, setting up and taking down a tent, preparing meals and keeping up with the little things that living a nomadic lifestyle brings.

Very good points to be sure ... I suppose what I probably should have pointed out is that I"m okay with staying in one place for a week or even longer.  The downside is, of course, the cost-differential of staying at campgrounds or motels etc.  This is the sweet spot I'm trying to find ... literally might even be worth what I mentioned before about literally going into "The woods" and pitching a tent.
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General Discussion / Re: Can live/work wherever I want - why not on a bike?
« Last post by geegee on July 22, 2014, 08:53:28 pm »
I tried doing a bit of work while I was on a six week tour last year and it wasn't easy. I had to take quite a bit of time off the bike to do the work, but luckily it was just one small project and had no critically urgent deadlines. If you are expecting to do a full job's worth of work and be responsive while touring, I think it would be a challenge to fit it in the daily routine of riding 50-60+ miles, setting up and taking down a tent, preparing meals and keeping up with the little things that living a nomadic lifestyle brings. I ended up spending a couple of days in a university residence to concentrate on finishing the job, and then went on the rest of my trip without having to think about work.
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Gear Talk / Re: Best foot wear for touring?
« Last post by SlowAndSlower on July 22, 2014, 06:09:45 pm »
I gave up cycling shoes when they got wet and stayed wet. Switched to bicycling sandals with clipless cleats. Only footwear.

+1 For my wider feet I can adjust the fit better. Also easy to use waterproof liners like SealSkinz.
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