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Messages - canalligators

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1
Enhanced driver licenses are being phased out, check with customs before you rely on them.

2
Another advantage of the passport card is, you leave the passport itself at home so it can't get lost.

3
General Discussion / Re: Interested in 'electric assist' touring?
« on: April 25, 2017, 09:40:03 am »
The first thing I would ask the assist unit's vendor is about the charge capacity.  Does your unit have enough capacity to give you the required boost for the 3-5 hours that it will take to climb some of those passes?  Will you need to carry a spare battery?  Will the motor overheat at the required power for long periods of use?

Also, what usage strategy do they recommend?  I'm guessing here, but would imagine that optimum use is somewhere in the middle power range. 

For another rider's experience, see https://bicyclelife.topicwise.com/doc/?o=1mr&doc_id=9261&v=3QJ.

4
Routes / Re: Best/easiest route from the Pacific to Michigan
« on: April 20, 2017, 12:36:04 pm »
We almost always microplan the first and last days.  One option at the start is to ride to Bayview State Park, it's a short day from Anacortes.

The shortest way  from Michigan UP is to cross Mackinac and use North Lakes to go south around Lake Huron, across southern Ontario, then use the Northern Tier to Palmyra NY, then Erie Canal to Albany and NY Bike 9 to NYC.  The ride into metro NY is actually a decent ride, you don't enter the urban area until you cross the George Washington Bridge, then there's a bike trail down the west side of Manhattan.  Two blocks to Penn Station if you're taking Amtrak out, or consult the NYC Bike Map (online) for routing to JFK or LaGuardia.  Actually Newark is probably a better choice, though riding through Jersey City etc. will take some careful route planning.

5
In response to the liquor question, we once told Canada Customs, "Six ounces of rum in a Nalgene bottle."  Agent smiled.  But then again, she was already smiling about the stuffed Marvin the Martian on the handlebars of a recumbent tandem.  Under a certain volume is allowed.

6
Food Talk / Re: to cook or not to cook?
« on: April 13, 2017, 09:06:20 am »
Breakfast at diners, or even at fast food places, are cheap and quick.  For lunch we get a sub.  For dinner we typically get something at a grocery store along the way, and eat it at camp.

I don't care to cook or carry the extra stuff.

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Food Talk / Re: Dehydrated Meals @ WalMart
« on: April 13, 2017, 09:03:43 am »
There are a lot of quick-cook meals available in many grocery stores.  Starting with rice or grain mixes, add some tuna or canned meat, some veggies, etc.

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Food Talk / Re: Sports/Endurance Drinks on Tour?
« on: April 13, 2017, 09:01:16 am »
This is a very personal issue, i.e. you have to find out what works for you.

That said... You will find a lot of people telling you to just drink water, maybe supplement with a bit of electrolyte replacement.  There is nothing magic about drink additives.  They are not a silver bullet for keeping you going.  You should be getting your nutrients from food, including your electrolytes, and this works for almost everyone.  Keep it simple, keep it light, keep it compact, keep it inexpensive. 

You might want to take some kind of drink powder or MIO bottle, just for taste variety.

9
I'll make one other statement then leave it.  On a recumbent, you can't turn your head as easily or as far, because of the angle of your neck.  Mirrors are more important on a recumbent.

10
Routes / Re: Colorado Springs to Minneapolis route?
« on: April 12, 2017, 04:24:55 pm »
You should invest some planning time to determine a route.  There are many resources for planning a route. 
- Adventure Cycling route maps
- State cycling maps
- Trail Link, trail finder
- Previous riders' journals (e.g. Crazyguyonabike)
- Online maps, but as stated (especially in the west) don't rely on them solely. 

A very valuable thing that Google Maps will give you is street view.  If the state bike maps don't tell you shoulder and rumble strip status, you can use street view to see for yourself.

The main questions you need to answer are
1. Is the route segment safe, i.e. either has wide shoulders or low traffic volumes
2. Will services be close enough for your planned tour type (credit card, camp, camp+cook)

11
Routes / Re: Northern Tier to North Lakes route
« on: April 10, 2017, 12:35:18 pm »
As an alternative to taking a hammock plus a bivvy, rig up some way to suspend the ends of the hammock and use it as your bivvy.   I made a strap, pole and cord arrangement that can raise the ends of my Hennessey to sleep in.  You might also support one end with your bike and the other end with a pole, picnic table, etc.  I'd take some sort of ground sheet to protect the bottom of your hammock and provide waterproofing.

On the Northern Tier, in most of Montana and North Dakota, many places lack trees for hanging a hammock.  They can be scarce in the less wooded areas of Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois and Indiana as well.  You're doing well to not rely on having trees.

12
Gear Talk / Re: Packing Techniques for Ortlieb Front Roller Classics
« on: April 04, 2017, 08:28:53 am »
Looks like you posted the wrong link for your  first reference.

13
ACA Mobile Route Apps / Re: App Download process and update plans
« on: April 04, 2017, 08:26:17 am »
Thanks for the info.  I'll play with the sample and send some impressions.

14
ACA Mobile Route Apps / App Download process and update plans
« on: April 03, 2017, 10:30:21 am »
The whole concept is the way to go.  Thanks for your work on this tool.  I do have some questions.

First, I think I have downloaded the app.  There was no choice on the Apple App Store for just downloading the app, but it appears to have downloaded OK by selecting an actual route.  I'll be downloading the free route segment to try it out.  If this isn't how you download the app, please advise.

Second, what is AC's plan on updating the online maps and associated information?  You're certainly capable of rolling in changes right away, perhaps after verifying them.  Will the information in the Addenda for paper maps be folded into the online maps, in a timely manner?  This is really a work process question, but the process is always more important than the tool.

Third, THANK YOU for including a real Help section.  So many tablet apps have no help, no manuals, and no contact capability.  (Or its poor cousin, relying on other users in a forum for user assistance.)  You're expected to intuit how it works, and sometimes it isn't intuitive - these people make me nuts, and I refuse to use their apps.  You have a brief but apparently complete how-to, backed up by this forum.  Good job.

Fourth, will the downloaded sections align with the paper map sections, and carry the same numbering?  It would be poor form not to.  I think I saw that the sections download, just wondering if you'll  be carrying the same identifying map and section numbers.

Finally, it is my intention to purchase the Northern Tier sections that I have occasion to use.  Any idea when they'll be released?

15
Gear Talk / Re: Recommendations for thermometers?
« on: March 29, 2017, 12:21:40 pm »
Yeah, sorry if I came across a little cranky.  I'm more inclined to skip things like that because it's just one more thing to deal with.  I actually would like a thermometer for commuting to work, which I do all year in a northern climate.  It would help me to calibrate my clothing, which is a bigger challenge below freezing.

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