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Messages - kd_ca

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General Discussion / Re: GDMBR cell phone company ?
« on: April 20, 2024, 10:23:17 pm »
As far as I'm aware, US providers do not offer roaming on their prepaid plans.  If you have a post-paid plan, then you get roaming.  In rural US areas, the main providers are Verizon and AT&T.  Look at coverage maps of each provider and see what works for you.

Routes / Re: 3-4 month USA 2024
« on: August 07, 2023, 03:18:42 pm »
Consider adding the Western Express to your choices.  It might have more elevation gain and be a little more formidable than the other choices you have listed, but is worth it, IMO.

General Discussion / Re: ShipBikes is back!
« on: July 20, 2023, 07:34:27 pm »

Southwest Airlines web page currently says this ( Bicycles over 100 pounds in weight and 81 inches in total dimensions cannot be checked as baggage and can only be shipped as Cargo if the Customer is a known Shipper.

Is this new? It’s hard to get a bicycle in 80 inches or less. Their 80-inch rule eliminates Southwest for me.

I flew last week and in Boston, the checkin counter did not weigh or measure the box, only asked for payment credit card and asked me to put it on a large trolley at the end of the checkin counter.  I got the bike box from a bike shop (so I am assuming its a standard size bike box) and it had dimensions of 58 x 30 x 9 , 35lbs .  No issue checking in. 

I've heard Alaska Airlines is also friendly to bike boxes but don't have first hand experience to share.

General Discussion / Re: ShipBikes is back!
« on: July 20, 2023, 01:48:38 pm »
Getting bike box to the airport wasn't a problem.  Bike box was 58 x 30 x 9 , 35lbs and fit in a car with back seats down.  Easily managed on a luggage trolley at airport.

Bikeflights website quoted me Ground (7 days) at $176 , 2 - 3 day Air at $350 and 1 - 2 Day Air at $468.

In my case, Southwest fee of $75 and bike traveled with me on the same flight was an easy choice

General Discussion / Re: ShipBikes is back!
« on: July 18, 2023, 02:01:56 pm »
Southwest Airlines allow a bike in a bike box as one of two the checked bags that is included in your fare.  They charge $75 due to dimensions exceeding 62 inch limit.

General Discussion / Re: cost per day to tour
« on: July 18, 2023, 01:56:02 pm »
I did my first cross country tour for about $10/day when I rode from Oregon to Maine in 2016. I spent a lot of nights camping behind fire stations, in city parks, behind churches and occasionally used WarmShowers. Since then I’m at about $25/day. I like the comfort of developed campgrounds with hot water and showers and I now prefer to be alone after a long day of touring. I expect to spend about $20/day next month when I ride the Katy Trail since most campgrounds are $5-$10/night.

I don’t eat a ton while I’m on the road. Oatmeal/coffee for breakfast, fast food when available for lunch, noodles or something of the such for supper.

Sometimes when I have a layover in a city I’ll volunteer at a soup kitchen. For a few hours of work they’ll feed you at the end.

I eat a lot more on the road as I noticed on my recent cross country (San Francisco Bay Area to Maine) in 66 days (completed a few days ago).  Based on my recent trip,
1) Firehouses are becoming iffy on allowing you to camp behind the firehouse.  Twice I have been suggested to go camp at the local walmart (small town).

2) Due to homelessness epidemic, cities (small and mid-size) are becoming stricter on overnight camping at city parks.  While some parks may not have a sign stating "No Overnight Camping", the police use the Park Rules of "Park Closes at Sunset" to enforce no overnight camping and make you move on.  Happened to me a few times, e.g., Canon City, CO & Yates Center KS. At Yates Center, cop woke me up at 1am, ran my ID, and told me he was giving me a pass for the night.

3) You must have access to better camping resources than I did on KATY trail.  The cheapest I could find was in Boonville MO at $10 night at a mosquito infested place with adequate dog poop in the primitive / tent camping area and quite a distance from any stores since there is no drinking water at campground, Herman MO at $15 night and that was a nice town park.  Nothing in $5 range that my resources indicated.

General Discussion / Re: cost per day to tour
« on: July 13, 2023, 10:37:44 pm »

So what was your average per day costs?

For the coast to coast trip I just finished,  total amount spent / days on the road = $75

General Discussion / Re: cost per day to tour
« on: July 10, 2023, 07:25:12 pm »
Almost finished a solo self supported a cross country trip, San Francisco to Maine.

Breakfast burrito: $5 - $8
Little bottle of chocolate milk: $2 - $2.75
Bananas: 59c to 79c per pound

Lunch Dinner:
Subway foot long: $13 - $17
Fried chicken dinner for one from supermarket deli: $8 - $11
Boxed salad for one : $4 - $6
Boxed cut fruit for one: $3 - $6

Wash: $3
Dry: 25c for 8 - 10 min

Campground Fees for primitive/tenting sites:
Private owned: $25 - $50
State owned: $1 (Nevada) to $20 (NY state) to $30 (CA,  CO)

Sometimes you have to pay the admission fee for the park in addition to Campground fee

Low end $110 - $150, inclusive of tax. The included breakfast at these low end motels is not helpful  to the nutritional needs of a long distance cyclist. Most often I see donuts, bread, bagels, coffee and juice from concentrate. Rarely have I seen eggs, meat, waffles or milk

Hostels; $35 to $50, exclusive of tax

The rain these last few days has in New England states is causing quite a bit of disruption.

I am stuck in Woodstock VT ,due to the storms,  and was going to hit Kancamagus hwy in NH and then join up with the Remaining  Northern Tier section 11, going west to east. Quite a few road closures,  mud slides and flooding not being reflected in the online reports. Am contemplating abandoning section 11 and riding south of the white mountains in NH towards Portland ME

Also low end motels (< $150) appear to not have vacancies.

If you are about to embark on section 11 in New England states, it is very wet and IMO, online weather reporting is not sufficiently reflective of the real conditions.

General Discussion / Re: Adjust Your Plans for Touring in the West
« on: June 23, 2023, 07:19:41 am »
I started on the Western express on May 8 and completed it on June 9.

No issues with road conditions along Western express. I did run into some rain and hail in colorado (lizard peak, Telluride, monarch pass)

General Discussion / Re: Stranded in panguitch, UT
« on: May 23, 2023, 10:52:56 am »
Amazon earliest delivery to this town is 5 days out.

None of the bike shops in cedar city, ut, 60+ miles away are willing to ship or deliver.

I did contact the only bicycle shop in Parowan, UT , 48 miles away. Owner agreed to come out to the motel with a chain and spare links and asked me to call him just before 6pm to coordinate.  I called him and he told me that he was too busy and would not be coming out. Very disappointed that he would cancel after committing and knowing my situation.

This morning I found Jenson USA online and they had the chain and links in stock and will ship overnight, so I should get it by tomorrow Wed.

General Discussion / Stranded in panguitch, UT
« on: May 22, 2023, 11:07:11 pm »
I am doing the western express route and a chain link has cracked. So I am now stuck in panguitch, UT.

The lbs put on a brand new chain before I started tour, so I didn't think to bring extra links or chain.

I've reached out to the bike shops in the area,  Parowan and Cedar City, UT but they don't deliver parts.

Is there anyone in the area that is willing to pickup a 8 speed chain with a couple of extra links and deliver to me at motel in panguitch?  I will pay.

My bike is a Giant Escape 3 with a shimano 3 x 8 drive train, if that helps.  I am capable of installing the chain and have the chain tool.

Thank you.

General Discussion / Re: Hello, I'm coming
« on: April 28, 2023, 12:37:00 pm »
If you already have a route in mind, try using one of the travel websites to help you get an idea of the cost of motels. One of the downsides of low cost motels is that their check in ends at 9 or 10pm and their reception is closed.  So if you get there late, you don't have a room to stay and you lost the reservation money (happened to me).

Hotels / Motels also have 10% - 15% added tax on room rate (state and local taxes), and these taxes add up given the average room at cheap motel is $100+

Food is also expensive these days.  Look at the prices for food at fast food locations and multiply by 2.5 if you are going to eat in cheap restaurants.

If you are going to stay at Airbnb, do confirm with host, prior to reservation, that they have a secure place to store your bicycle.  Some airbnb hosts will not allow you to bring bicycle inside and will ask you to chain it up outside (which means a high chance of theft, depending on the area).

Another option is to join an organized tour like

Thanks for the input.

As to hanging food, what do you think of the PCT style of hanging food. 

Example YT:

Considering a trip starting in the next few weeks, east bound on the Western Express. 

Or can food be put in a stuff sack on a tree?

If you've done this route, what would you suggest?


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