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Messages - neil

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1
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

    Neil

2
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?  :)

3
General Discussion / Case for flying WITHIN airline sizes
« on: May 18, 2017, 12:07:54 pm »
Hi
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.

  Thanks
     Neil

4
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.

  Neil


5
General Discussion / Re: Bike touring safety... USA...
« on: May 04, 2017, 07:11:13 am »
10
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......

   Neil

6
General Discussion / Re: Bike touring safety... USA...
« on: May 03, 2017, 05:33:31 pm »
10
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
   

7
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
     Neil

8
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.

      Neil


9
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
     Neil

10
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)
   Thanks
     Neil

11
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.
    Neil

12
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

   Neil

13
General Discussion / Re: Has anyone biked the east coast?
« on: June 29, 2015, 07:13:06 am »
Yes ;D
Sarah and I did it on a Tandem in 1996, before it was 'officially routed'
Frankly you're doing it the wrong way round, head North from Georgia back home
We started in the spring and it was spring/early summer all the way up
Also the prevailing winds on the east coast are southerly
Finally, unlike where we live in England, you pedal on the right, so you'll have the ocean along the Outer banks next to you rather than across the traffic, much nicer.

As Kevin Bacon says in an ad for a UK phone company when he's trying to imitate the English, this decision really is a 'no brainer'

   Good luck it's a fabulous ride and I'm leading  CTC Tour (Cycle Touring Club) ride along a section in September 2016

      Neil

www.cyclingholidays.org
www.cyclingwithchildren.com


       

14
Routes / Atlantic Coast ride
« on: May 20, 2015, 10:28:10 am »
19 years ago we spent 3 months cycling the whole Atlantic Coast following the Mountainers guide. We went south to North, logic being, setting of in spring meant we were following the good weather and the prevailing winds are Southerly.

Looking to take a group back next year, Wilmington to Washington, however ACA route runs North to South, why is that, or am I mistaken

   Neil

www.cyclingwithchildren.com

15
Did it once on the south bank
However somewhat marred by it stopped raining at 1100 and started again at 1200 for 10 days.
It's a bit of a motorway, flat and not much variety but very pretty.
You could take boats down the river for sections if memory serves me right
In the end we gave up and took the train to Vienna
  Neil ;)

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