Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.


Messages - neil

Pages: [1] 2 3
Routes / Re: Washington Parks Route - what's it really like?
« on: December 08, 2017, 03:50:32 am »
I did find another thread from May that talked about this and it was either wonderful or dreadful
A friend travelled the section this year and described it as a tree lined single carriageway with little interest and that it would be 3 days of boredom. As a result of this and other reports I'm going to avoid it.
There is a wider issue and I include myself in writing articles for cycle magazines in that cyclists riding in an unfamiliar area need an honest appraisal. Far to often you read an article with all the positives of the route. Amateur blogs such as crazy guy often major on other parts so it's really tough to pick out the facts.
A recent article in the magazine did elude to a section being not that great and I respect that far more than a gushing appraisal that all is fabulous and just because an ACA map goes there does not mean it's a fabulous route.

Routes / Washington Parks Route - what's it really like?
« on: December 04, 2017, 06:44:06 am »
2 issues ago, really refreshing to read a review on an ACA route that basically said 'You know, this section isn't great'

I'm looking at going along route 101 to the West of the Olympic National Park and have read 3 reviews. 2 say trees, trees, trees. The other says there are some views south of Quinault

Is it true then that this section is
1) Mostly forest views for 2-3 days (beach section excluded)
2) Simply a 60mph single highwayed road (2 way traffic) with few places to stop

If it is please tell me now as spending 3 weeks in this area in September and would rather start by taking the ferry to the north from Seattle and going in and out of Prt Angeles where the views may? be better and there is more fixed accommodation


General Discussion / Amtrak - Vancouver (Canada) to Seattle
« on: October 09, 2017, 10:26:31 am »
12 of us are flying into Seattle from England, cycling to Vancouver via the Olympic National Park, Suan Juan Islands and other glorious places.
My question is
'Will Amtrak take 12 bikes together on the same train'
I seem to recall there is a 10 bike limit on a train
I'm 99% sure we don't need to box them.

Any links to a website would be appreciated

General Discussion / Re: Case for flying WITHIN airline sizes
« on: May 19, 2017, 06:31:25 am »
Carry on one (or two) bags.  Also, checking another bag is usually less expensive than paying for one overweight bag.

OK I'll put this into context.
Many airline policies worldwide are a single bag in the hold that mustn't exceed 23kg. Add to this is hand luggage that varies from 5-8kg provided that you can lift the bag into an overhead bin.

I lead and organise tours all over the world for CTC (UK cycling organisation) with a  similar number and type of tour to the ones offered by ACA, except we go all over the world.

My maximum I can therefore take is one bag in the hold and one bag in the plane (aside  a laptop bag) The weight is capped at 28-31kg and this includes the bike and all the things associated with a 2-3 week trip, includes lock, first aid kit, clothing etc etc. I have pretty much stripped down everything else to 8kg but it's TIGHT, choices have to be made.

So with
8.5kg bike
8kg case
12kg EVERYTHING else

the obvious place to look is getting a hard case at 5kg? and that's what I'm asking


General Discussion / Re: Case for flying WITHIN airline sizes
« on: May 18, 2017, 03:45:53 pm »
Well if you're going for a 3 week Asian cycling trip and the hand luggage limit is 5kg, that's 11.5kg for everything else, so what do suggest?  :)

General Discussion / Case for flying WITHIN airline sizes
« on: May 18, 2017, 12:07:54 pm »
I have an Enigma titanium bike that has couplings and has flown all over the world and it fits beautifully into a hard case (the length and breadth are the same, so can squeeze a 700c wheel into it.

The hassle is the weight. The bike weighs 8.5kg, the case 8kg and by the time you fit a few other things in you are up to the 23kg max that most airlines require (Emirates is 30kg)

The obvious step is to reduce the weight of the case. Can anyone suggest a supplier? I know it sounds profligate but money no object.


General Discussion / Re: Bike touring safety... USA...
« on: May 04, 2017, 09:19:48 am »
Only in the USA do cars hang back for miles. I had one last year that even put on the hazard lights.

I had an interesting E mail exchange with the editor of adventure cycling last year about how safe America really is for cycling. On trips i can almost guarantee that someone every day will tell me how dangerous it is. I always refute this, a case of fear breeding fear.


General Discussion / Re: Bike touring safety... USA...
« on: May 04, 2017, 07:11:13 am »
I'm from England and have cycled in over 60 countries
Only in the States ..., speeding is enforced, you have wide shoulders (Ok the East coast is lacking) need I go on?

Being from England I can understand why you don't know anything at all about the USA.  Speeding is more common than not speeding.  Yes speeding tickets are given out by the cops, but its a tiny, tiny fraction of the speeders.  The vast majority of the USA roads have no shoulders at all.  Some have shoulders, but most do not.  Interstate highways and other big speedways have wide shoulders.  But its not legal to ride on those roads.  Shoulders and riding are somewhat opposite.  If there is a shoulder, its probably not a good road to ride.  If there are no shoulders, its probably a good road to ride.  Shoulders are generally only put on big major high traffic roads.

Regarding the original question, riding a bicycle in the USA is fairly safe.  Some roads and/or places are not safe.  Don't ride there.  But most roads and places in the USA are safe for bicycling.

Hi Russ
I kind of assumed that the 60 countries and a brief synopsis implied that I have been to the USA

Yes I come from England....but have spent maybe 18 months cycling about half of the States, including up the Atlantic Coast, up the Rockies from Salt Lake city to Vancover, down the pacific Coast on a 7 month tour. As a volunteer leader for CTC Cycling Holidays (akin to the holidays offered by ACA) I have led 5, 3 week tours in Oregon, Yellowstone, Washington/Carolina, New England and Colorado, so guess I do know what I mean.

Shoulders are on the more minor roads as well in the States, (not just major roads) more prevalent on the west than east coast. They are also good to ride in nearly all cases. The main issue is debris. The shoulders are often wide. (In the UK we have few shoulders)
Interstates can also be ridden though only when an alternative isn't available. We had to use one in Oregon last year but i wouldn't recommend it.

Americans who are only used to American roads are unaware of just how good the riding is in the USA compared with the rest of the world snd i've listed some of the reasons. The main point I make is that the average american driver is supremely courteous. I could go on and on about how good the States are......


General Discussion / Re: Bike touring safety... USA...
« on: May 03, 2017, 05:33:31 pm »
I'm from England and have cycled in over 60 countries
Only in the States do drivers sit behind for seemingly hours to overtake, cars overtake giving so much room they are in danger of head on crashing oncoming vehicles, speeding is enforced, you have wide shoulders (Ok the East coast is lacking) need I go on?
You don't know how lucky you are, yet every day I get told in the USA that it's dangerous, bizarre indeed

Routes / Re: Cycling in Nova Scotia
« on: August 02, 2015, 02:49:26 pm »
Check out
Nova Scotia & The Maritimes by Bike
The Mountaineers
ISBN 0-89886-442-9
The cape Breton route took 14 days 9 years ago (extended) It's pleasant, not spectacular and worth the trip having done it 9 years ago
  Good luck

Routes / Atlantic Coast - In the area of Bogue Sound
« on: July 24, 2015, 12:47:36 pm »
19 years ago we tandemmed up the East Coast using the excellent Mountaineers book. This was before Adventure Cycling routed it.
Roll on 19 years and I take cyclists from England all over the world, but do a USA tour once a year. Next year I intend doing Wilmington to Washington so have Atlantic Coast map 4 to look at.

Does anyone know why from Swansboro the route follows the busy route 24 to loop through Newport, effectively cycling north of Bogue Sound?

The alternative is to take route 58 going along the Emerald Isle, recrossing the sound, heading through Morehead City and Beaufort to take route 70 to rejoin at Bettie?

There are other anomolies too. Instead of taking the road through Fort Lejeune, it heads through Jacksonville which is awfully busy

There are other smaller ones too. Coming into Swainsboro along route 1434 the route joins the busier route 24 earlier than it could

 It's all a bit odd and to me the book has a far better route.


Mid-Atlantic / Re: Atlantic Coast section 3 Map 30 Delta
« on: July 23, 2015, 10:59:30 am »
You don't have a website address do you?
I'm taking a group to the area in 2016 and am planning it today so will try to get there if I can
Amazing that you responded so fast especially as the post was 2 years ago!!
  Thanks again

Mid-Atlantic / Re: Atlantic Coast section 3 Map 30 Delta
« on: July 23, 2015, 07:20:57 am »
Do you have details as taking a group past there next September (2016)

General Discussion / Re: What's an 'average' day?
« on: June 30, 2015, 05:06:44 pm »
It's really a question of why are you on the bike?
If it's to simply stay on the bike all day, enjoy the scenery but ultimately do little else then 75-80 miles a day
If however you want to meet the locals, enjoy a cafe and see what you are passing through then 45-50 miles a day.
I've led tours with both types of cyclists and I am definately in the 45-50 mile a day catagory.

The Lands End John O'Groats in the UK is a classic example.
It's a 1000 miles trip. For some a 3 week meandre is ideal. However for most it's a 10 day sprint and I personally think they are missing the point as if you talk to them they have nothing to say about the trip aside fatigue, but look on it more as an achievement.

General Discussion / Re: United Airline Policy on Bikes
« on: June 29, 2015, 07:27:57 am »

Flying to Europe? There are plenty of European air lines that don't charge for bikes, don't require they be boxed or crated and treat flyers like customers instead of criminals.

Which airlines?
The only one that has a 'free' policy is Virgin Atlantic where they are carried as sports equipement
British Airways do too, but you must get under a certain size and weight (23kg) not impossible
Icelandic air are opening up a few routes, but do charge

I flew United 2 years ago as led a tour round Yellowstone and they were the only connecting to Jackson from the UK. $150 dollars each way


Pages: [1] 2 3