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Routes / Re: Tips for a Rollerblader going coast-to-coast
« Last post by walks.in2.trees on May 01, 2015, 06:46:56 pm »
I definitely recommend at least a two-week trial trip to somewhere nearby with backup to learn what works and what doesn't. The paniers on the legs for instance sound like they'll take about three minutes for you to figure out they won't work cross-country
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Routes / Re: Tips for a Rollerblader going coast-to-coast
« Last post by walks.in2.trees on May 01, 2015, 06:36:39 pm »
In general all of the official bike routes in my area are technically paved, and sometimes share a paved road though as one person mentioned,  some are pretty old and heaving and crumbling, and roads shared by vehicles are always iffy condition wise. Any place where snow falls will be this way.  And this is just in upstate ny, I haven't been cross country yet, I'd say it's a safe bet that it's the same everywhere in the north though,  especially in rural areas. 
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General Discussion / Re: TransAM Newbie w/ Questions
« Last post by John Nelson on May 01, 2015, 06:04:35 pm »
Agreed indyfabz. Stuff happens. That store or restaurant that was there yesterday may not be there today. That campground on the map may have gotten flooded yesterday and be closed today. That road on your map may be closed due to a washed out bridge. Most of us carry emergency food just for those occasions, and you also need to be prepared to spend the night in a random spot by the side of the road. These precautions are not often necessary, but they do happen a few times on each long tour.
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General Discussion / Re: Which shops stock ACA maps?
« Last post by staehpj1 on May 01, 2015, 03:10:26 pm »
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Yes, the postmistress at Lolo, MT pulled that on me, and waited until the forwarding request came back through channels before she would send it on.  I missed the package, and it was returned to sender about 6 weeks later.  :(

That stinks!  I hope it isn't a common occurrence.
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General Discussion / Re: TransAM Newbie w/ Questions
« Last post by indyfabz on May 01, 2015, 12:29:51 pm »
Thank you everyone. All the posts have been quite helpful to me as I am trying to visualize myself on the route making touring decisions.

When I did ACA's group unsupported Northern Tier tour we usually planned about a week ahead. Sometimes a bit farther if we intended to stay in places like hostels where reservations might be necessary. I followed took the same approach on two long solo tours but also paid attention to alternative stopping places in the event of such things as bad weather, fatigue or a great tailwind.

I think you will get the hang of it quickly. It some cases, days may be no brainers, such as when you have the choice of either a 65 mile day or a 135 mile day because there are insufficient services between the two potential stops.

What I find takes a little more effort than figuring out where I am going to camp each night is determining the best place to pick up necessary supplies for the evening and the next morning. If you stay in towns with ample services, that might not be a problem, but some planning may be useful when services are scarcer. Take my example of Sula mentioned above. I had stopped at the store/campground one late morning on an earlier tour, so I knew the grocery selection was limited. When I planned to camp there last year I had no idea of the store's hours. I could have called, but considering the limited selection I chose to shop in Darby and carry my dinner fixings to Sula. It turned out to be a good plan as I reached Sula about 2 minutes after the store's stated closing time and the place was already locked tight and empty. I couldn't even get a beer.  :(

Back in 2000 I was on the Great Parks route in CO. The campground I had chosen was close to a small grocery store but not much else. About 10 miles before that I went a couple of miles off route to a town that had a large grocery store and carried food to the campground. Turned out to be a good move as the grocery store near the campground had burned to the ground a few weeks earlier. I am the sort of person who would rather expend extra effort for a sure thing than roll the dice and possibly end up with fewer (or no) options. But there are others who are different.
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Specifically Patterson to Merced.  Then Merced to Oakhurst.

I know this is an obsure route (actually it is part of a much longer journey) but there are a myriad of road options and none look very good to using Google Map. Options in the valley all appear to have either No riding shoulder, heavy traffic, unpaved roads and the rest. Options in the Sierra foothills are numerous and round-about. Surely there is an optimal route?  Roads to avoid are just as useful.

I can live with having no riding shoulder or some truck traffic...just not at the same time.

This forum has helped me with this type of thing in the past so hoping someone has a suggestion.
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General Discussion / Re: Which shops stock ACA maps?
« Last post by Pat Lamb on May 01, 2015, 09:44:14 am »
True, but if you do it from a different post office you may run into a stickler who'll route it through someplace in Missouri (St. Louis, maybe?).  It can take a week to ten days before the receiving post office will get the notice and forward the package.

I never heard of forwarded packages being routed through Missouri is that official USPS policy?  Have you actually had that happen to your package?

Edit:  I just realized that you were saying that the request was forwarded through Missouri not the actual package.  Is that correct?

Yes, the postmistress at Lolo, MT pulled that on me, and waited until the forwarding request came back through channels before she would send it on.  I missed the package, and it was returned to sender about 6 weeks later.  :(
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General Discussion / Re: TransAM Newbie w/ Questions
« Last post by treypo9 on May 01, 2015, 08:13:56 am »
Thank you everyone. All the posts have been quite helpful to me as I am trying to visualize myself on the route making touring decisions. 
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General Discussion / Re: Which shops stock ACA maps?
« Last post by brit2015 on May 01, 2015, 07:07:19 am »
Thank you very much to all who have replied so quickly and in such detail. It is reassuring to know we can have them delivered to post offices en route. All the best and happy cycling to all.
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General Discussion / Re: Which shops stock ACA maps?
« Last post by staehpj1 on May 01, 2015, 05:59:13 am »
True, but if you do it from a different post office you may run into a stickler who'll route it through someplace in Missouri (St. Louis, maybe?).  It can take a week to ten days before the receiving post office will get the notice and forward the package.

I have probably only done this a dozen or so times, but I forwarded those packages that way with no issue.    Sometimes we decided that we weren't ready for a package and just bumped it down the road, sometimes more than once for the same package.  I always felt more comfortable talking to a live person face to face rather than leaving a note.  It seemed a safer bet to me at the time.  Besides, I don't get how a note would make them less likely to just forward it directly than a face to face request from another post office would.  They always seem to require seeing a picture ID so the note would have seemed less safe to me.

That said, they have always been super helpful at small to medium town post offices, so my guess is that problems are unlikely either way.

I never heard of forwarded packages being routed through Missouri is that official USPS policy?  Have you actually had that happen to your package?

Edit:  I just realized that you were saying that the request was forwarded through Missouri not the actual package.  Is that correct?
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