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Messages - spininin

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Routes / Re: Underground RR Route in fall
« on: May 12, 2017, 12:12:28 pm »
Completed Section 2 and part of section 3 on May 9th. Temps ranged from low 40's at night to 80 one day. Dealt with 2 strong weather fronts. Threats of strong winds and possible tornado resulted in one 12 mile day and a motel stay. Weather apps, including radar, are essential. Dealt with winds a lot because of the weather fronts. Variety of head, tail, side winds, sometimes gusting over 30 mph. Mostly from North and West. Rode in rain 1 day. I've done transamerica so it's definitely no worse than that.
We encountered dogs a few times each day but most of them did not come out into the road. The few that did come out were easily scared away with our Walmart boat horns so we had no dog encounters that were a problem. btw, the small Walmart horn lasted through sections 1 and 2 before it ran out of gas going into Corydon our last day. The usage also included tests and demos at home. I've tried pepper spray, squirting water, sticks and some sort of inaudible to humans dog repeller but nothing is as easy and effective as the boat horn.
We had no problems with drivers on Section 2. In fact, we were surprised by how courteous and friendly KY drivers were.
Scenery and road conditions were great on section 2, much better than section1.
Very few warmshowers so camped most nights. If you call Cloverport, KY police (listed on map) they will let you camp at "boat ramp" but there are no restrooms. Make sure you camp at the one in the downtown waterfront area. The boat ramp camping off Hwy 105 is very sketchy. Heard stories of meth labs, gunfire and other problems around that boat ramp.
Overall, Fulton, MS to Corydon, IN was a fantastic trip. Great scenery. Very friendly people. Lots of history along Ohio River.

Routes / Re: Underground Railroad Route??
« on: May 10, 2017, 06:29:05 pm »
I rode section1, Mobile to Fulton, MS last October (2016). Lows ranged 40's to 60's. Highs ranged 60's to 80's. Good weather. We just finished Section 2 had had more or less the same temp ranges. Would not want to ride in summer.

Routes / Re: Underground RR Route in fall
« on: April 27, 2017, 02:08:44 pm »
Rode Section 1 from Mobile to Fulton, MS last October (2016). Great weather. Only one day of rain. Logging trucks were the major problem in this section. We were told by locals that a drop in wood products demand had reduced the number of trucks on the road but there were still a lot of trucks in some areas. You can hear them coming so you have plenty of time to react. Several times we had both oncoming and passing trucks closing in so we pulled off the road until they passed. There are generally no shoulders and lots of rolling hills. We had no problems with aggressive drivers. A few dog encounters but not many. Found that the small air horns sold in the Walmart boating section scared dogs away. Mosquitoes were a problem in riverside campgrounds. Folks along the route were very friendly. Someone, we don't know who, paid for our breakfast one morning. Really enjoyed our stay with the Warmshowers hosts in Gainesville, AL.

We are starting Section 2 in a couple of days and will post another reply when finished.

Classifieds / Re: FS: BOB Yak Trailer + accessories
« on: July 28, 2015, 09:32:06 pm »
No problem. Wish you the best on your travels.

Classifieds / Re: FS: BOB Yak Trailer + accessories
« on: July 27, 2015, 02:50:48 pm »
we could meet at an interstate exit that would be easy for your motor home. Post a reply when you return (8/4 or 8/5) and I'll send contact #. We'll be in the mountains all week and cell coverage is spotty. Thanks.

Classifieds / Re: FS: BOB Yak Trailer + accessories
« on: July 26, 2015, 09:30:36 am »
We are visiting Asheville NC and will be here until Sunday 8/2. I may be able to get a friend to show you the trailer. Do you know what day you'll be in Birmingham?

Classifieds / FS: BOB Yak Trailer + accessories
« on: July 18, 2015, 06:38:46 pm »
$250.  BOB Yak bicycle trailer.  New condition.  Used only for a couple of test rides in the neighborhood.  Includes BOB PAK, new Schwalbe Marathon tire (in addition to original tire) and two connection forks (one for a 26" wheel and one for a 29"/700c wheel). Over $450 package for $250.  Located in Birmingham, AL.  Would prefer not to ship but may be able arrange delivery in the Southeast.

General Discussion / Re: brooks saddle break-in how long
« on: July 28, 2014, 05:49:41 pm »
I have a Swift and a couple of B-17's.  The B-17 is BY FAR a more comfortable saddle.  Google it and read comments before buying.

Connecting ACA Routes / Re: UGRR to TransAm
« on: July 28, 2014, 05:44:44 pm »
One last update on my Hwy 60 experience thru Missouri.  That shoulder is nice riding but I've had 2 flats from running over wires from truck tread belts!  This wasn't from running over the big chunks of tread you see on shoulders.  These were small pieces of wire I didn't see.  I stopped 4 times after hearing a wap-wap-wap from my tires and found small pieces of wire.  When I fixed the flats, I found small, needle-sized pieces of wire in my tire that made pin-hole punctures in my tubes.  I'm using Schwalbe Marathon Supremes (folding).

General Discussion / Re: trip from georgia to southern ontario
« on: July 18, 2014, 12:50:54 pm »
Be aware that Google Maps bicycle routing can take you onto a lot of dirt roads.  You can use these routes to get started in route planning but then adjust for your preferences. 

Connecting ACA Routes / Re: UGRR to TransAm
« on: July 18, 2014, 12:37:00 pm »
I'm in Mountain View, MO.  Started from Union City, TN 3 days ago.  Took the ferry from Hickman, KY and then did a long, long ride over the levees and bottomland along the Mississippi.  Rode 50 miles and only saw one gas station.  Nothing but farm land.  Very, very few homes.  You can ride for an hour and not see a car.  I felt I was lucky to be riding this section with the temp in the 70's.  90's with no shade and no water stops would not be fun.  (But it sounds like that's typical out West.)  Be sure to have plenty of water when you leave Hickman.  The ferry is a very small operation.  I think it hangs out on the MO side until they have a car to carry or someone pushes a button on the KY side.  Both sides use boat ramps.  On the KY side there's a sign with instructions to push a button to call the ferry.  I waited about 20 minutes and was the only one riding back over to MO.  No cars.  Just me and the bike.  Call the ferry to be sure it's running before committing to that route (731-693-0201).
After an 85 mile day, I spent a night in Dexter, MO and I've been on Hwy 60, more or less, the rest of the time.  From Dexter you can ride about 50 miles to Pinewood Lake Campground near Elsinore.  A ranger told me it had just reopened and had a pit toilet and no drinking water.  Camping is free.  I camping on a mowed lawn next to the lake because the camping loop didn't look very inviting.  From there it's about 60 miles to Blue Spring Campground (near Mountain View on Hwy 00 about 5 miles off Hwy 60), another primitive camping area.
I've had several opportunities to go up to the TransAmerica Trail but chose to stay on 60 because it's the fastest way to cover the miles.  It's like riding on an interstate shoulder.  10 or 12 feet wide and mostly in very good condition.  And the route is straight and the elevation changes are not as extreme.  But, again, if the temp was in the 90's, no shade and not so much fun.  Gas stations about every 6 to 10 miles.
I'm planning to get off 60 in Diggins, MO and then hit the TransAmerica in Marshfield.
I know I've missed some beautiful scenery on the roads in the Ozarks and Current River area but I'm fighting a little bit of a time deadline so I needed to cover some miles.

Connecting ACA Routes / Re: UGRR to TransAm
« on: July 06, 2014, 11:41:02 pm »
I was planning the same route after the ferry except for a turn onto Hwy 21 going to Ellington.  Your route to Alley Spring State Park looks like it may be more scenic.  I may go that way instead.  Will check it out.  Not yet sure about my departure date.  Still some family issues to take care of first.

BTW, highways 64 and 45 between Savannah and Jackson are great rides if you're trying to cover a lot of miles fast.  The shoulder is probably 10 or 12 feet wide so traffic is not an issue.  I assume this is an accommodation for the Amish see a lot of buggies in the area.       

Connecting ACA Routes / Re: UGRR to TransAm
« on: July 05, 2014, 06:49:34 pm »
Just saw your post.  My trip to the TransAm from Birmingham, AL was interrupted in Union City, TN on 6/23 because of a family illness.  I'm hope to resume the ride on 7/15.  My original plan was to use the UGRR but I changed the route after reading blogs and forum posts about the character of the route north of Savannah, TN.  My current plan is to cross the Mississippi using the ferry at Hickman, KY and intersect the TransAm in Ellington, MO.  I used RidewithGPS to select the route. 
Have you learned anything since your post about riding in that general direction?

I was a warmshowers host on the Southern Tier (Gulf Coast) for about a year and a half and hosted several women traveling alone.  I asked the first lady I hosted about safety and she said her major concern was stealth camping.  She said she made sure no one saw her leave the road for the camp site and she camped in a spot that was not visible from the road.  In the Southeast, it's very easy to camp at churches, volunteer fire departments, etc.  If you ask permission to camp and tell them what you're doing, you'll very often be offered a home cooked meal, a place to sleep indoors and get to know some very nice folks.  I met a lady in her 40's who was walking from Boston to the West Coast (she was asked, by a host, to a Mardi Gras Ball in Louisiana and loaned a dress) and a 19-year-old riding from San Diego to St Augustine and then up to Boston.  Plan your route well and make sure the folks at home know where you are.  It's a great experience for a young person and you should be safe as long as you use common sense.  Use the same caution you'd use in cities around your home.  Go for it!  You'll regret it later if you don't.  :-)

I'm looking over a bike route suggested by Google Maps from Birmingham, Alabama to Statesboro, Georgia.  I plan to ride north on the Atlantic Coast Route from Statesboro.  The route takes me through Carrolton, GA, Newnan, GA, Macon, GA, then to Statesboro.  I'm considering this route because so many people have told me to stay away from Atlanta.  Would appreciate any comments/suggestions on riding in these areas or Google Map bike routes in general....or alternative routes from Birmingham to Statesboro.  Thanks

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