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Messages - JohnBerry

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Routes / Re: Miami to Bakersfield, want'n to stay out of Texas
« on: February 16, 2015, 06:00:42 pm »
Another Texan here.  I've never had any problems with the local people or the police in this State.  Just ask, and people will be happy to steer you right.

Routes / Re: Russia-Kazakhstan-China or Russia-Russia-Russia
« on: February 16, 2015, 05:58:23 pm »

Sounds like you had more excitement than you needed to say the least!   I'll be staying well clear of the Ukraine, needless to say. I will also try to steer clear of the big cities, unless they have some famous tourist attraction. I'm also concerned about sanitation and pollution. Turkey and its stand-up toilets were bad enough in the one respect, and the Alaska Highway, with a rotting dirty Pamper every 200 yards or so, in the other!  Do you know how to find the post you referred to by the couple from Reno, NV?

Routes / Re: Russia-Kazakhstan-China or Russia-Russia-Russia
« on: February 16, 2015, 05:49:12 pm »

I hope that Russia will not be our enemy by summer.  It's getting so there's no other way to cross Asia:  US Citizens have to have a guide with them at all times in Iran, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan are apparently bad news, Afghanistan and Pakistan are unsafe. 

Routes / Russia-Kazakhstan-China or Russia-Russia-Russia
« on: February 02, 2015, 05:45:38 pm »
I'm trying to decide whether to go from Krasnoyarsk, Russia to the Pacific via Siberia (Irkutsk, Novy Sibirsk, Vladivostok) or via Kazakhstan, which would take me to Urumchi, Turpan, and then onwards.

Anyone have any experience with these routes, or warnings or helpful remarks? Need a route through Kazakhstan to the Dzungarian Gates. Aslo words on crossing the borders.

(The starting point needs to be somewhere near Krasnoyarsk because last summer I did Baltic Coast of Poland - Istanbul- north coast of Turkey-Tbilisi, and I need to start somewhere "close" to Tbilisi without being committed to take the boat across the Caspian or to ride through Chechnya!)

Routes / Re: Crossing into Canada?
« on: February 02, 2015, 05:38:30 pm »
It's eleven years ago now, but I crossed into Canada by taking the ferry from Sandusky, OH, to Pelee Island, and then on to the mainland of Ontario.   Getting into Sandusky is a bit tricky (the maps didn't at that time show the old road that avoids having to get on the freeway), but the ferry is great (goes past the Commodore Perry monument), Pelee Island is fantastic, and so is the coast road east from there.

I also went up through Goderich to the Bruce Peninsula, Manitoulin, Sudburt, North Bay, Sundridge, Barrie, Uxbridge, Port Perry, Cobourg to avoid riding through Toronto.  That whole diversion was interesting and scenic (I stopped at a lift on the Peterborough-Huron canal), for example), but I found out later that I could have ridden thro' Toronto on cycle routes.

The Isle of Skye in the west of Scotland is truly spectacular.

The Western Isles (Outer Hebrides)are less hilly, but very interesting and have challenging weather. You can go from Ardrossan on the Scottish mainland to Arran, then to the Mull of Kintyre, then Islay, or ride up the mainland to Oban, then ferry to Mull and Iona and on to Castlebay on Barra, then up through the chain of the Hebrides to Stornoway, ferry back to Ullapool, and then ride via Cape Wrath to John o'Groats.  You can take a little ferry from John o'Groats to the southern tip of the Orkneys, and ride through them (easy, very interesting Neolithic, WWII sites and a cathedral), then take another ferry to Lerwick in the Shetlands and ride up to the northernmost point of the northernmost island in Britain, Muckle Flygga on Unst.  I did all that on a Brompton (folding bike) in 2009, taking about 2 weeks from Ardrossan to Unst,  and had a whale of a time. You need a good tent that won't blow away in a gale, though, and good rain gear.

If you really want to climb, some of the best rock climbing in Britain is in Wales, especially in Snowdonia, North Wales. There are some good steep roads there for bikes, too.  But the steepest road hills in Britain are in Cornwall and Devon, at the south end.

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