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Messages - andre

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General Discussion / Group ride across Mexico
« on: September 02, 2014, 01:41:09 pm »
A few months back I had a thread here asking for help planning a ride across Mexico. You guys were great and I've worked out all the details. It starts Nov. 8!

I also decided to make it a group ride. I broke the trip into ten segments of 3 - 7 days each. Cyclists can join for just one segment or for the whole thing.

I also worked closely with friends in Mexico to plan the safest route possible. Using a detailed township-by-township crime map, I plotted my route through areas with low rates of violent crime - often lower than the US. (The exception is the first leg through the border zone; I'm arranging a support vehicle for that area.)

The route is different than most Mexico routes. Instead of the Baja we go down the central highlands, seeing beautiful towns like San Miguel de Allende. Then we hook east to the Gulf coast and pass into the Yucatan. There is a section of riding on a beachside rural highway, and another section where we cycle right past the pyramids of Chichen Itza.

Anybody want to come? The trip will last through November, December and January. You can come for any part of that depending on which segment(s) you choose. I'm really looking forward to it.

Details here:

Mileage on most days is low (often 30-40 miles) and I welcome cyclists of any experience level, not just veterans :)

General Discussion / Re: Riding on the US Interstates
« on: September 02, 2014, 01:33:44 pm »
I have biked the US north to south and I relied a great deal on interstates. To me they represent their own trade off of advantages and disadvantages, just like city streets do.

In general I felt safer on interstates because I could be well out of the traffic lane. Importantly, I use a mirror, which means I kept an eye on traffic coming up behind me and was aware if somebody was drifting onto the shoulder for any reason.

There is a huge difference between using an interstate in open country and using it near urban centers. Out in the country I encounter little if any debris on the shoulder. Contrary to what someone posted above, I've never encountered an interstate bridge without a shoulder - in the country.

In or near cities, riding an interstate is a terrible experience and I don't recommend it.

It is not the answer to bicycle safety problems but it can be a surprisingly pleasant ride. I would definitely support legalizing cycling on freeway in states where it isn't legal already.

General Discussion / Re: Crossing Mexico North-South on Gulf Side
« on: June 08, 2014, 07:57:04 pm »
Thanks Jolo. I have seen Crazygyonabike and there are a lot of Mexico accounts, although every single one of them seems to have gone down west coast, not gulf coast.

Still, I suppose many of them will have thoughts on security and safety. That's a biggr concern than route. I guess I'll need to start reaching out to each of the and asking questions.

You've RV'd in Mexico a lot, what are your thoughts on a north-south bike ride on the coast side? Thinking of heading down the center at first to San Luis Potosí, then head east to Tampico and follow the coast from there, will avoid a lot of cartel territory that way.

I've lived in several parts of Mexico before but never biked it. Any thoughts?

General Discussion / Re: Mailing to Myself On the Road
« on: May 30, 2014, 12:20:58 pm »
Nah, you can zoom in or out. Glance at the zoomed out map and then zoom into the area you want to see details. No different than Google maps just with more info. It just depends on how comfortable you are with smartphones.

I figured it's not extra weight since many cyclists already carry a smartphone and charger.

One disadvantage though is you can't mark a route on your pdf unless you marked it on the paper map before scanning. That would be annoying.

General Discussion / Re: Mailing to Myself On the Road
« on: May 30, 2014, 03:47:07 am »
I think taking the maps with you is a good idea.

I know how painful it is to carry even a single extra ounce of weight, but assuming paper maps this will not be too much of a struggle. Even laminated ones are not a big deal, just roll them with your sleeping pad.

Alternately, instead of spending the money on postage go to a Kinko's and have them scan all your maps. Put the pdf's on your smartphone and you can pull them up in full res anywhere you want. No paper maps needed.

General Discussion / Re: My First Tour (Need tips)
« on: May 30, 2014, 01:23:10 am »
I agree with the others above. If you are aiming for more than 100 miles a day you are really looking at marathon paces. Early start, few breaks, pedal hard, barely make it in by sunset. And having the stamina for 100+ miles a day takes training.

I agree with the 50-80 miles per day estimate. I rarely go over 100 miles in a day, and try not to do more than 60. The road is so much more enjoyable when you can just wander, take breaks, stop for lunch, swim in a lake, and still have time to get to tonight's lodging. That's all the fun parts right there.

An aggressive pace also makes mechanical problems more serious. If you have never changed a flat before it can take an hour. If you're experienced, 5-20 minutes. But if you're aiming for 150 miles a day you don't have time to waste. You'll get stressed out sitting on the roadside trying to fix something.

The key to a fun bike trip is low stress. You're on summer break, take a few weeks and go slow. If it turns out you bang out 100 miles at a time, that's just a bonus.

Also: learn basic bike maintenance and repairs if you don't already know the basics. It will really save you frustration later.

You'll have a blast.

General Discussion / Crossing Mexico North-South on Gulf Side
« on: May 29, 2014, 09:41:51 pm »
Hi everyone,

This is my first time posting here. Last year I biked the length of the Mississippi and then west to Texas. In a few months I plan to cross the border into Mexico and keep going all the way to South America.

I'd love any advice or help you can give. Specifically:

1) Anybody cycled Mexico recently? Drug war has heated up in last couple years, I'm very concerned about the northern area.

2) Has anybody gone down the Gulf side? All the Mexico cycling trips I read about are in Baja California or the Pacific Coast. I'll be on the opposite side.

And, of course, if anybody wants to join up for an epic adventure this summer or fall....

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