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Messages - nicholu

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Connecting ACA Routes / Northern tier to Pittsburg
« on: April 01, 2008, 03:09:09 pm »
if you can get to erie you can follow this route i made to pittsburgh. this one's free, i just biked most of it this past weekend and its pretty good.

an alternative is to take BikePA route A (a signed on road state route) out of Erie until it hooks up with the Montour trail in Coraopolis outside of Pittsburgh and this trail hooks up with the allegheny passage, partially on road since the Montour trail still has a couple gaps. this will make getting to the allegheny passage trail head in Mckeesport a lot easier since the there is a 10 miles gap between Pittsburgh and Mckeesport and the on road route sucks.

BikePA route A

Montour Trail/ Allegheny Passage

Gear Talk / Great Divide Bike
« on: March 01, 2008, 01:22:10 am »
thanks for the information.

Gear Talk / Great Divide Bike
« on: February 23, 2008, 09:36:03 pm »
hello, i am planing to ride the great divide route this summer. i've done some research by looking at various peoples trip logs. my biggest concern is what bike to bring. i've seen suggestions that its possible to do it on a mountain bike or cyclocross bike with no suspension. while others say you need a full-suspension bike. from what i can tell, its mostly (80%) dirt roads with 10% being pretty rough. right now i'm leaning in the direction of a cyclocross frame with front suspension and the widest tires that will fit.

my research has convinced me i will be walking part of the route no matter what bike i bring, so thats ok with me. however i don't want to walk the entire 10% which is rough. my last concern is that i'll probably be doing a fair amount of on-road riding, to get from the greyhound station to start and finish of the bike route, to get to various detours i plan on taking (like  seeing old faithful). so i don't want to bring suspension unless i have to. does anyone have any advice they can share with me?

Routes / Asheville NC to Columbus Ohio
« on: March 31, 2008, 07:20:46 pm »
when i biked to asheville from pittsburgh i took the blue ridge parkway most of the way. its beautiful and fairly safe, but it is challenging. its definitely worth doing at least once, however i'm sure there are easier routes.

General Discussion / Dumpster Diving Rider?
« on: April 01, 2008, 02:58:23 pm »

since you don't care about insulting me then i guess constructive discussion is impossible. i have no respect for the emotionally insecure.

western flyer

i've talked to management at grocery stores about this. i'd say nearly all have arrangements with food pantries or soup kitchens. but the fact remains that there is TOO MUCH food for these organizations to handle. that is why i find so much food in grocery store dumpsters. other sources of free food do not have any arrangements, these are the less obvious places like donut shops. honestly, i doubt any charity would want to take the day old donuts or soggy mcdonald's french fries.

i suppose we have different takes on nutrition. i favor fatty foods, the fattier the better. but i'm as skinny as a matchstick doll. i have next to zero fat reserves so i need to constantly replenish them or risk starving to death. i don't want to go on a rant about fatty foods, but i find they fill me up faster and better (i.e. i feel stronger) and fuel me up for longer than a bagel or spaghetti does. everyone's body is different, this is what works for me.  

personally, i dislike soup kitchens but i've met people who rely on them. i don't like taking handouts whether its food or money. some may scoff at me making a distinction between scavenging and accepting handouts but to me its crystal clear. when i'm scavenging i'm not in a dependent situation, i'm responsible for my own well being and i leave the possibilities of abundant finds to the gods. it takes the experience of 'trail magic' to the next level.

i once met a gentleman who had been living on his bike for 15 years. he goes from town to town and stays a little while to do some work doing construction or something like that here and there. he was doing quite well for himself, dumpster diving helps stretch his money supply. i don't think he's all that different from someone like hanz stuke who has lived on his bike for more than 30 years. both are technically homeless, and you could say the same about our hunter gatherer ancestors, but they all live rich and fulfilling lives all the same.

i've considered the possibility of doing a ethnography of the lives of traveling types. but what would the purpose of this be? to describe this lifestlye as an exotic curiousity to a squeamish -yet intrigued- middle class?  that is what classical anthropology is and i want no part in that. such an ethnography could induce some coercive action to force them into mainstream society! this is what sociology tends to do, aid the powers that be in their quest to control things. no, such a study would be useless to traveling types and could possibly harm them, so i don't think i will do it. but there is the chance it can inspire -if done right- as a narrow glimpse through one person's eyes but it will always be polarizing, for example: "into the wild".

oh and by the way, the hobo rail car of the 21st century is still the rail car. :)

General Discussion / Dumpster Diving Rider?
« on: March 31, 2008, 07:39:39 pm »

i am an experienced bicycle tourist as well as an experienced dumpster diver. i have to agree that in places like colorado it is very difficult to find all of one's food in dumpsters. this is because of the low population density. east of the mississippi its easy to live off the land! in fact a person could get fat off of all the doughnuts, french fries, pizza, chips and ice cream that can be found!  

that said it is possible to eat for free in colorado because of its healthy allotment of resort towns which have lots of garbage cans that line the streets and are literally over flowing with food. a person would just have to load up on supplies at each town.


i take offense to your comment that: "The distinction between "bicycle touring" and "homeless on a bike" should be preserved." traveling around our world by bicycle is not a privilege of the wealthy. those of us who are poor have as much a right to enjoy the freedom and beauty of bicycle touring as anyone else.

General Discussion / Eating on Tour
« on: August 01, 2008, 01:22:14 am »
i like to eat good, so i bring some basic cooking supplies: olive oil, garlic, onions, spices: italian seasoning, thyme, oregano, bay leaf, salt and pepper. and even, don't laugh, flour.

:: sautée one onion and three cloves of garlic in oil. then add water and boil with two-three handfuls of lentils and one handful of rice. salt to taste. delicious! for an added flair around in june/ july i pick spent blossoms of orange day lilies and throw that in with the lentils. not only does it thicken the meal, but adds an extra vegetable.

:: potato and corn stew. fry onion with salt and then add water and chop of the potato small so they cook faster and boil that hard and long! when its soft i add some corn shucked from fresh husks.

:: fried bread! mix flour and water to make a dough. shape into a tortilla-like shape and drop into some hot oil, fry until golden brown. these are amazing, if there are wild berries in season you will delight your palette by picking a cupful and stuffing them inside the dough to make berry pierogis. fried, they are at the top of camping gourmet.  

:: spagetti is a good standard. i make the sauce by frying an onion, some garlic in olive oil and then adding a can of tomato sauce and italian seasoning.

:: for a real treat i buy a dozen eggs from a roadside stand and fry up 6 for dinner and the rest for breakfast. i eat mine overeasy with toast.

General Discussion / Stealth Camping?
« on: February 23, 2008, 09:07:14 pm »
i almost exclusively stealth camp. this is because i usually cannot afford the high fees of campgrounds 15$ and up. i've done work/trade at campgrounds, but this is not always possible. travelling in the eastern united states forces me to be creative, because nearly all the land is privately owned. i've more or less settled on the following stradegy:

when it starts to get toward evening i start looking for bridges. this is my favorite place to camp, because under a bridge i don't need to pitch a tent! usually, there are established 'unofficial' fire rings under bridges anyway. so the community is often tolerant of the practice. next i look for woods, often next to streams or rivers because this is usually undisturbed land. i always look for land that is not marked as "private property" or "no tresspassing", because clearly the land owner has strong opinions on the matter. next i look for patches of unsigned and unfenced land adjacent to the road, but with places to hide. for instance: thick woods, gullies, or fallen trees, i'd rather not invite interactions in the dark with neighbors. often i look for land where it is not clear who owns it, this makes it more likely that no one takes a strong interest in the land.

i will ask for permission as a last resort, but in my experience people dislike being directly asked "can i sleep on your lawn?". usually i ask: "do you know a good place i could roll out my sleeping bag?". very often i get good tips on where to camp out and sometimes invitations to camp on their lawn and sometimes dinner!

stealth camping in towns and cities is harder. and i find myself in towns and cities only when its dark because i couldn't find a decent place in the outlying areas to camp. i head first to public parks, hopefully near a river or stream with a bridge or sometimes a baseball dugout. then i look for graveyards, and as a last resort: churches. i made the mistake only once of camping next to a church on a saturday night (i lost track of the days), i expected hostility but instead got invitations to go to church. when i've been "caught" stealth camping 90% of the time it was next to a church, always they are polite even if they aren't totally happy with the situation. that's why its my last resort.

stealth camping has been very successful for me and i think the key is to avoid putting people in an uncomfortable situation. i've never been "caught" aside from sleeping at churches or public parks, but an offer to leave is the first thing i always say.

General Discussion / Desert travel
« on: February 23, 2008, 09:23:22 pm »
in addition to the excellent advice already given:
*cover the back of your neck with a white bandanna, there are some sensitive nerves here and you don't want them damaged from sun burn.
*i wear a wide brim straw hat while i ride. occasional gusts knock it off but i keep it on with some string looped through each side and around my neck (you know, like a cowboy).
*research the area you are traveling through for monsoon season. for example: new mexico's peaks in july and august. this means flash floods. i experienced one bad dust storm my first night in the arizona desert and it freaked me out because it was unexpected.
*i haven't traveled through the high desert, but that is where the most dramatic temperature extremes are (40-110). in low land deserts it doesn't get as cool at night, maybe 60-70 degrees (for example: pheonix, az)
*i felt like i had more flats because of the heat, but maybe it was just bad luck. if it was the heat, then be prepared: it sucks to change a flat when its 110 degrees and no shade.

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