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Messages - merinojersey

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here's a link to a site that sells kits to make your own lightweight tarp and bug net set up.  There are good photos of the complete set-up at the very bottom of the page.  prices are on the order form page.

You might want to check out some of Eureka's lighter tents.

Good luck

Thanks for the info. 

The Natchez Trace Parkway seems like a very nice ride.  I think I'm focusing too much on the ocean to ocean thing though.  If I start in Atlanta and ride north I'll have more time to explore NC and VA, which is what I'm really interested in. 

Hi.  I'm wondering if anyone has any thoughts/suggestions about a trip I'm planning to do solo camping with a BOB trailer from probably Mobile, Alabama (but doesn't have to be, just on the Gulf Coast) to Boston.  I'm trying to do it in just over 30 days, and I think that with this route, what I see while riding will partially make up for not making a lot of side trips, etc. Rough estimate of about 1850 miles.

I think I want to travel the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Skyline Drive.  I've seen the very small amount of precautionary info that the National Park Service has for bicycling on these roads, but I haven't found a lot of info yet from cyclists.  I wonder if it's better to ride on the Parkway and the Skyline Drive, or only parts of them.  I see that the Transamerica route does follow part of the BR Parkway, but I wonder how safe some of the turns are and just whether or not it's friendly to cycling (I've never ridden with a trailer nor a loaded bike). 

If I use those two roadways, then it's only about 140 miles to connect from the northern end of the Skyline Drive to the Atlantic Coast Route in PA to go up and around NJ,NYC, etc.  Any suggestions about this part are welcomed. 

That leaves the section between the southern tip of the Blue Ridge Parkway in Cherokee, NC to the Gulf Coast.  I could go to Mobile and use a portion of the Underground RR route, but I still have to connect a few hundred miles in between the URR route and Cherokee, NC. 

Please let me know if you have any thoughts/suggestions with routes, connections, things I should see, places to stay and anything else.

Thanks very much

Classifieds / WANTED: 56cm road bike for $300 or less
« on: March 07, 2010, 12:38:34 pm »
I'm looking for a 56 cm (or close to it) road bike for my BMX riding friend so he can go on road rides with me.  Won't be used for anything more than a century every once in a while. 

Preferably no more than 5-10 years old.  It's alright if it's a little beat up, as long as structural integrity and performance of parts are still solid.  The amount he's willing to pay for it will depend on quality and whether or not he has to replace any parts, but he doesn't care if the paint isn't in great shape, etc. 

In the Boston area.  May be willing to pay for shipping depending on quality and cost of the bike. 


Routes / Re: Newport, Oregon to Portland, Maine via Northern Iowa
« on: January 11, 2010, 10:21:52 am »
Jim, I'm very interested in more details about your route between Yellowstone and SE MN.  I'll be going E to W from Rockford, IL and crossing into Idaho somewhere around Jackson, WY/Yellowstone.  I want to go through Badlands/Black Hills. Thanks

Hey, I've been planning a tour from boston to oregon from about april 1 to june 20.  I know weather is a large variable, and you can see more of the plan and weather discussions if you go to my first post in the Routes section:

Recently my best friend found out that he wouldn't be able to get the time off from work without losing his job, etc.  Not including all of the other options like going with somebody else, shortening the trip, or changing the date to when he can go with me, I think I might want to do the trip solo.  There is a very specific mood or feeling associated with this trip that I don't want to lose by going with somebody else that I don't know very well, if that makes sense.  This trip would be about twice as many miles as I have ever ridden in my life and the longest trip I have ever been on was a 425 mile/6 day tour of northern New England with 0-2 other riders and a support vehicle all the way.

I think I have a fairly good idea about what a solo trip would be like, but I know that it's not nearly as valuable as actual experience.  I am pretty confident that I could ride the mileage by myself, and I can always fly home from any major city.  I am concerned or mindful about facing things by myself like:

-having a hard time pacing myself correctly without another (slower) rider
-getting a stomach bug while tenting alone in a remote place (i just got pretty sick so that's fresh on my mind)
-safety in terms of defense against other people/wildlife on certain parts of the route (I plan to carry some bear mace)
-injury/ nobody knowing where I am or being able to do anything to help me
-terrain i have never experienced on a bike, like flat windy grasslands, for hundreds/thousands of miles by myself

I plan to use a bob trailer and probably a handlebar bag and maybe some rear panniers for things like food.  I will be tenting and cooking on a white gas stove.  A motel will be a rare treat/reward/get out of the weather option.  I've thought about, but not much.

If any of you experienced solo tourists could shed some light on these things or at least point me in the right direction, I would appreciate it very much.  I'll take any other advice you have for me as well.  I'm aware that there is also info on the forums about this type of stuff, and I have been/will continue to look through as much as I can.  And please ask any questions needed for clarification.


Routes / Re: Into Boston
« on: January 05, 2010, 05:58:48 pm »

Routes / Re: Into Boston
« on: January 05, 2010, 05:43:37 pm »
The MBTA (Mass. Bay Transportation Authority) has a good website that you can use to find a way into Boston using either the commuter rail (Amtrak trains) or the subway system.  

The commuter rail lines run up to about 35 miles out of the city and the subway lines run pretty far out as well, but still mostly inside the I-95/Rt. 128 circle, which encircles all of the type of urban roads and highways that are not friendly to bicycles.  Under the "rail" section, you can click on different towns which are on the end of the lines furthest away from Boston, and you can find your way to a map that shows the train route, and then you can choose where you want to get on from there.  Between the I-95 and I-495 circles around the city you will still find closely packed suburban towns but you can find roads that are more friendly to cycling as you get further away from the city in most cases, depending on where you are coming from exactly.  

I think the commuter rail trains have an open section for bikes at the beginning of each car, but I'm not sure.  If the line you pick doesn't go to the same station where your Amtrak train ride home begins from, the subways will connect you to it.

bringing bikes on the T info:

Thanks.  I was thinking something like 26 west from Nyssa to Prineville, then to sisters, and then rt. 20 through corvallis to newport since there is a good looking bike shop to pack my bike and greyhound bus station there.  I'd be taking a bus to portland and flying home.  Not sure if there's a greyhound station in Florence, but there doesn't seem to be an active one.  But if I took this route I think I'd miss McKenzie Pass.  I could always bike the 50 miles north up the coast to Newport. 

Thanks for the great comments.  They have all been very helpful.  I've been thinking a lot about having alternate routes planned and making decisions based on the weather as I get to certain areas.  So far I have 2 routes pretty loosely planned that both start in Mass. and end in Badlands NP, SD.  At this point I've decided that following the entire Northern Tier route is not a good idea at that time of year (thanks very much indyfabz).  Instead, my route will probably remain the same from Mass. to Buffalo, NY (even though it may include a lot of waiting out snow storms), then I have 2 options: 1) Follow Lake Erie Connector through Ontario to North Lakes up through the U.P. to Minneapolis, then SD route 14 to Badlands NP.  2) (I'm feeling that at that early date, this will probably be the route I use) Follow the Northern Tier Route to about Odell/Wenona, IL, then head north to Rockford, IL to visit friends and then west on Route 3 through Iowa, meeting up with the Lewis and Clark route somewhere between Sioux City and Bonesteel, then west to Badlands, NP.

Once in the Black Hills area, I'd head west through Wyoming, but I don't yet know by which route.  I think the large distances between east-west routes in Wyoming will probably mean that I'll have to learn what the snow conditions are in western WY and pick my route to Idaho before I even leave the Black Hills of SD.  I want to hit yellowstone and/or tetons if a lack of snow allows it (yellowstone plows its roads in April, does that mean they are bike-able in May?)  Then to Rexburg, ID, west to Boise, and then one of several routes through Oregon, most likely hitting Bend, Corvallis, and ending in Newport, OR. 

Again, thanks for all the great advice, and please continue to comment on this updated route with anything you got.  It is all helpful. 

thanks for the responses.  I didn't even think about the headwinds.  How bad is it at that time of the year vs. during the summer?  Is there a resource you know of that shows the prevailing winds, etc?  I'll try  I'm guessing if it's bad enough to plan around, no mountain passes in the northwestern states will be open in April if I start on the west coast instead of in Mass. 

I also discovered the network of NY state bike routes, and I'd probably follow NY state bike route #5, which mostly follows the Erie canal between Albany and Buffalo. This would only add one riding day to my original route through NY state.  Anybody have any experience with this route and/or other suggestions?

Routes / climate/weather questions for a northern route starting april 1st
« on: December 18, 2009, 01:10:04 am »
I'm trying to plan a trip with a friend from mass. to oregon or washington starting april 1st-ish and ending around june 15, 2010.  I have a strict time restriction in june to start my summer job.  The route I am thinking of would start on the east coast, running parallel to the northern border of massachusetts, then straight from albany to buffalo, ny across the northern edges of the finger lakes.  From Buffalo, go into Canada and use the lake erie connector, then north on the north lakes route through mackinaw and the michigan upper peninsula, wisconsin, and then join up with the Northern Tier route again and take it west to washington. 

My main question is about the weather in these northern states and Canada from early april to mid june.  I'm sure there will still be at least traces of snow on the ground when I leave new england on about April 1st.  from your experience, what's an average april- june like along this route?  I don't want to get into a situation where I'll be miserable from the cold and encounter blizzards before I even hit any serious mountains. 


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