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Messages - raybo

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General Discussion / Re: Which Route Would You Suggest?
« on: November 10, 2016, 05:58:56 pm »
My suggest is to start in Missoula, MT (it has an airport) and ride from there to Jasper, AB, Canada. I did this in about 4 weeks, but the hiking opportunities in Glacier, Kootenay, Banff and Icefields Parkway are innumerable.  Thus, you could suppliment your biking with some amazing hiking.

There is an ACA for this route, as well (Great Parks North).

General Discussion / Re: One piece earphone while riding
« on: September 21, 2016, 11:51:49 pm »
I used to use a single earbud to listen to audio books and, occasionally, music when I ride. I wrote a review of the one I used called "One Good Earbud."

I felt it was a nice compromise between singing to myself and blocking off my ears. I've since switched to Bluetooth bone-conduction headphones that don't block my ears but do dampen my hearing.

General Discussion / Re: Rain Gear for Touring
« on: July 14, 2016, 10:25:12 am »
I am trying to figure out what would be best to keep my shoes and socks dry while riding in the rain

I use a pair of shoe covers you can make yourself from plastic water bottles, Velcro, and nylon cloth. You can read how to do it here:

Routes / Re: Cycling in Nova Scotia
« on: August 12, 2015, 02:55:22 am »
This page has 5 links to information about bike touring in Nova Scotia. They might provide you with a place to start.

General Discussion / Re: Bike-related Web site/app
« on: August 01, 2015, 02:15:34 am »
I created a bike touring website in 2007.  It was designed so that people could enter information they discovered that was useful to other bike tourists.  But, they didn't. Instead, I started entering information myself.

Does your idea require others to provide information?

Routes / Re: Route from Sacramento to San Francisco
« on: January 21, 2015, 10:52:44 am »
I've ridden on the ACA Western Express route from San Francisco to Sacramento.  It is a nice ride on mostly lightly traveled roads to Vallejo where you take a ferry.

I wrote a journal of that ride and you can read about that day's ride and see photos I took along the way.

Routes / Anyone ridden on Pennsylvania's Route Y?
« on: June 05, 2014, 10:53:46 am »
I am looking to ride across Pennsylvania and wondering what it is like to ride Route 6 across (west to east), which is, essentially, Route Y.

I've heard it has good shoulders most of the way but carries a lot of truck traffic due to fracking.

Has anyone ridden this route?

Any idea where the traffic is bad?

Any suggestions for alternative routes?

Routes / Re: Biking Spain - Valencia to Barcelona
« on: March 02, 2014, 11:43:53 am »
This page has 37 links to information about bike touring in Spain.

None of them deal directly with Valencia to Barcelona.  But, some of them will be of general interest to you.

Have a great time.

Have you even ridding the whole way to San Diego/Mexican border? If so, any recommendations for that bit of the trip?

I have only ridden down to the link with the Southern Tier Route.  I haven't gone all the way to the Mexican Border, so I can't help you there.

I've had the opportunity to go through it more carefully. You mention the ride to Santa Cruz can be done in 3 leisurely days, but you recommend 2.  I have been planning the 3 leisurely days option, so I wondered if there's a reason you recommend doing it in 2.  From a things to see/do, would it be better to do this section in 2 days, and then spend a day looking around Santa Cruz?

Whenever I've ridden from SF to Santa Cruz, I gotten driven past Devil's Slide (I haven't ridden there since the tunnel opened) and done the ride in a long day.  Adding the part from San Francisco makes it too long for a single day, which is where the 2 day recommendation comes from.  In addition, unless you want to stop and hike or do some birding, there isn't much to do, other than ride a bike on that section of coast.

Some people prefer to do shorter days at the start of a tour or just less daily mileage in general, which is where the three day recommendation comes from.

Santa Cruz is a classic California beach town. If you surf, sail, fish, or jus want to lay on the beach, it would be a place to spend a day.  Otherwise, San Francisco or Monterey offer more things to do and see and would be better places to spend a day.  But, if you like Mexican food, don't miss El Palomar in downtown Santa Cruz for the best I've ever had!

From Santa Cruz to Monterey, I'm considering going on the Eastern side of Elkhorn Slough (

I've not done it on a bicycle, though I have driven it.  The slough is surrounded by farmland or empty fields. There are no roads into the slough and at low tide, there might not be much water, either.  If you do take this route, be sure to know how you will link up with Del Monte Rd. Hwy 156 in Castroville is a busy road that might not be bicycle friendly.  If you want to visit the slough, make arrangements to do a kayaking trip in.  My guess is that you would access it via Hwy 1, which goes along the edge of the slough on the west side.

Quick question - I keep reading about hike/bike campsites.  Just wondering what exactly they are....

For the most part, they are a single large campsite that has been converted into a multi-tent site that is shared among all the hikers and bikers in that campground that day.  In my experience, there is a wooden table and a flat tenting area for each place where someone might camp in the hiker/biker site. They are great for bike tourists who are camping.

I'm also thinking of cutting out the Santa Barbara to LA section and catching a train, to save a bit of time and potentially traffic stress. Am I missing much by doing this?

Not really.

Routes / A detailed guide for bicycling from San Francisco to Los Angeles
« on: January 18, 2014, 10:57:19 am »
I live in San Francisco and have family in Los Angeles. I ridden from SF to LA half a dozen times and I wanted to write a detailed guide for others who might be considering this ride.

You can read the guide here.

I'd be interested in any comments or suggestions for improving it.

Be warned that it is long.

Routes / Re: Missoula to Glacier?
« on: November 28, 2013, 11:57:33 am »
By few days, do you mean 2 or 3 or 4 or what?

Let me say that Glacier NP is a great place to hike, see animals, stand in and look at stunning scenery, and easy to visit due to free bus rides.

I'd guess 3 days of biking to get there and, at least, one full day there (2 nights).

You might consider detouring into the eastern part of the Park (Many Glacier is worth an overnight), taking Going to the Sun Road over the divide, and then riding down to Missoula.

I'd recommend it.

General Discussion / Re: Riding from Portsmouth NH to Bar Harbor Me.
« on: October 19, 2013, 12:15:47 pm »
I rode from Pennsylvania to Maine and then down to Boston.  I went through Portsmouth on the way back and even stayed in the Exeter Inn!

I mapped my own route through New York, western Mass, Vermont, New Hampshire and then across Maine, where I eventually picked up the ACA route, which I rode down to Boston.

I wrote a detailed journal about this ride with many photos.

I took camping gear but rarely used it (I don't like to camp).  Instead I stayed in cheap motels and got hosted via and .

Don't miss Acadia NP.

My advice would be to follow a different route than the ACA's Pacific Coast Route in Washington State.  You may wish to go North around Olympia National Park, which I didn't do, but instead of heading inland and following Hwy 5, I'd suggest going out and along the coast.

Here is a link to the plans I made for that tour.

Here is the journal I wrote for that tour, including lots of photos.

While there is a bit of the Oregon and Northern Californian sections I haven't ridden, I think the Pacific Coast Route is one of the best and, with the exception of the bit in Washington, I think the ACA route is a good one.

Have a great time.

Some people swear by their Leatherman, but before you buy and carry one, ask yourself exactly what maintenance on the bike requires one. Very little to none. Yea, sure, there are some theoretical things you might do with it, but most are unlikely and you can figure out other ways to do those things.
+1  the Leatherman and it's copies are both heavy and have a lot of unnecessary tools for bike travel.  A middle range Swiss Army Knife will have all of the useful tools (knife, small screwdriver, scissors, and even the essential corkscrew.) with much less bulk and weight.

I use a Leatherman Juice S2.  I've used every single tool in it more than once.  The reason I don't use Swiss Army Knife is that it is hard to find one with pliers and I don't need a corkscrew!

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