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Topics - planeguy5

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Hi all,

I'm on the penultimate day of my Canada-Mexico bike tour, and want to clarify one important note. The policy for entering Camp Pendleton has officially changed, and you now must obtain an authorization QR code at the south gate. The guys at the north gate this afternoon said they got notification of the change within the past two days, even though it wasn't slated to change until later in September.

I had not been notified and was denied access to base, so I took I-5 instead to Oceanside. Would've been nice if they had notified folks that pre-registered, but I guess that's what's expected from the federal government.

Happy riding to all!

Hello all,

It has been over a year since I've been able to do any type of bike touring, and I've got the itch real bad because of it. That being said, I'll be relocating to Bellingham, Washington for grad school in September, and just realized that I'll have four days before school starts where I might be able to squeeze in a little trip. My limited window of opportunity (September 21-25) means that I'd like to leave from my house and make a loop, biking 65-90 miles/day and camping along the way.

Looking at Google Maps and the ACA website, it looks like I've got a plethora of opportunities. I could: bike around the Olympic Peninsula; ferry over to the San Juans (but I'd rather avoid any added ferry fees if possible given my limited budget); head north into British Columbia; or head east into the Cascades. I've been to the region several times, but I'm still not familiar enough to know which direction would be best to go. What are your thoughts? Have you done any routes in this area that you would highly recommend?

Thanks for your time, input, and suggestions!


Routes / Latest possible date to start northbound Sierra Cascades?
« on: October 03, 2016, 07:54:57 am »
Hey folks,

As luck would have it, I will be moving from San Diego to the PNW next summer. What better way to get there than by bike? I´m strongly considering the Sierra Cascades route for many reasons, but have one lingering doubt. The earliest I could possible start is mid-June. Being from San Diego, I know that the southern portion of the trail (map 5), especially through Anza Borrego and Palmdale, could be brutally hot at that time. What would you consider the latest possible date I should start the Sierra Cascades route? Or should I find a different option? Ideally I´d like to go border-to-border.

Howdy folks,

I wrapped up my west-east TransAmerican trip in early August, and had a great time. I´ve definitely caught the touring bug, and am excited to start planning my next trip (hopefully the Sierra Cascades route).

My trip got me thinking: has anyone ever completed the TransAm in winter? With the modern craze of "extreme sports," I would think such a trip would be of interest to someone, just for the sake of saying that they did it. On a similar note, do you know of people that have done other routes out of the recommended season (i.e. Southern Tier in summer)? I know there´s a great YouTube documentary of a guy trying to do the Great Divide in winter.

I´m just curious if anyone has some interesting stories. I´m sure there must be!

Hi folks,

I am nearing the end of my TransAm journey, and am trying to work out some logistics. I'll be flying back home on Southwest, and am hoping to check my (packed) bike with them. Do you have suggestions for bike shops in or near Yorktown that would do this?

Thanks for the help. This trip would've been a lot harder without this forum!

General Discussion / Largest tire to put on a 17mm rim?
« on: July 19, 2016, 08:52:32 pm »
Hi all,
After I wrap up my TransAm tour, I'd like to put wider tires back on my bike (a Novara Mazama). It came stock with 700x40mm Clemènt MSO tires, which were great, but I'd like to go wider if possible. The frame has a significant amount of space to accept wider tires, but my current limitation is the rims. They're 17mm.  What is the widest tire that could go on this size rim?

Gear Talk / Anyone with experience with a Novara Mazama?
« on: February 18, 2016, 02:46:47 pm »
Hi folks,

I'm finally starting to narrow-down what I want in a touring bike, and one bike that is really starting to fit the bill is the Novara Mazama ( It seems to be the ideal blend of a road and adventure bike (brazeons, disc brakes, bar-end shifters, etc), and the price is unbeatable. I read the ACA's review of it, and overall it sounds like an awesome all-round bike. I'm going to REI next week to test ride one in my size.

That being said, does anyone here have any thoughts or personal experience with the Mazama, or know of anyone that does? I am riding the TransAm this summer and will be using it for that trip, so I am particularly interested to hear how it is when fully-loaded.

On a separate note, the weather in Walla Walla, Washington has been really great, so I'm finally getting in some training miles. Yay!


Classifieds / SOLD: 57cm Merlin TR 6/4 titanium road bike
« on: January 06, 2016, 01:44:06 pm »
I am selling or looking to trade my RARE 57cm Merlin TR 6/4 titanium racing bike. The bike is built with the following components:

-Merlin TR 6/4 titanium frame (frame alone was $3800 when new)
-Easton EC90 SLX carbon fiber fork
-Easton EC70 handlebars
-Cane Creek Solos headset
-Easton Orion II wheelset
-Campagnolo Record Compact 34/50 groupset (10-speed)
-Brand-new Continental Ultrasport tires and tubes
-Time racing pedals and clips (will include size 11 shoes for free if desired)

The frame, fork, handlebars, headset, and wheelset are all in excellent condition. The cassette, chain, and chainring will need to be replaced soon--an easy and cheap fix that will keep this bike going for many more miles. Pics can be seen at

I'm eager to sell because these funds will be supporting my upcoming bike tour across the US. In its current condition the bike has been appraised for $1500 by Allegro Cyclery in Walla Walla, Washington. I'd like to get as close to that as possible, but may also be interested in trading for a 58-59cm touring bike (Surly LHT, Kona Sutra, Salsa Fargo...let me know what you have!). Please call or text Jeremy at 760-216-8374, or email me at if you are interested or have any questions. The bike is located in the San Diego area, and I may be able to ship for a price. Thanks!

General Discussion / (Catastrophic) injury insurance while cycling?
« on: December 25, 2015, 08:55:07 pm »
Hello folks,

Do any of you have thoughts/recommendations/opinions about injury insurance (or "catastrophic injury" insurance as I've heard it) while bike touring? With my plans to do the TransAm this upcoming summer, my parents feel that such insurance would be necessary in the off-chance I receive a debilitating, long-term injury. I'm not quite sure what more it would offer than what we already get from Anthem Blue Cross health insurance.

On a separate note, I am thoroughly enjoying this forum, as you can probably tell from the number of different questions I have posed in all the subsections. I appreciate all of the feedback you provide, especially since I am a beginner tourer!

Happy new year,

Gear Talk / Thoughts on "fat-tired" touring bikes?
« on: December 03, 2015, 03:51:37 pm »
Hi folks,

The ACA recommends for the Lewis and Clark Trail "that you equip yourself with a fat-tired touring bicycle." What size tire would be necessary for this trip? Any recommendations for bikes? I've been leaning strongly towards the Kona Sutra or Novara Randonee, but don't know if these would be up for this route.

Thanks for any help you can offer.

Hello folks,

I go to school in eastern Washington, and am starting to brainstorm possible Spring break adventures (March 11-25). I'd be really interested in doing some touring in the PNW, and wanted to see if you all may have recommendations or thoughts on rides in Oregon, Washington, or BC (Vancouver Island would be awesome). Yes, I know the weather won't be ideal, but I don't mind camping in the rain and snow. I can also get transportation to/from Seattle, Portland, and Vancouver.

Thanks for any input you may have, and happy riding!

Hi friends!

This is my first time to the forum, so thank you in advance for any help or feedback you send my way.

I am planning my first unsupported (camping) long-distance bike tour next summer. I'll be starting in late-May (after I graduate) from Oregon and ending in late August, with no set end-location. I've been looking extensively into the TransAmerica trail and the Lewis and Clark Trail. The TransAm makes the most sense because it is direct and well-established. However, the Lewis and Clark trail also interests me because of the territories it covers and the history of the route. This got me to thinking: are there ways I could connect the two?

These two options really interest me:
1) Take the TransAmerica Trail from Oregon to Yellowstone, and then find a route across northern Wyoming before connecting with the Lewis and Clark trail in central South Dakota. Take this to St. Louis and stop or, with time, continue on the TransAm to D.C.
2) Complete the Lewis and Clark trail and join with the TransAm trail in St. Louis.

What are your thoughts? Do you have any suggestions for routes across northern Wyoming?

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