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Messages - dstory

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Routes / Re: Mexican excursion from Southern Tier
« on: January 22, 2010, 07:07:37 pm »
I agree that there are places that are less dangerous than others.  I have family living in Puerto Vallarta and will take my kids there for spring break.

The border towns are a lot more dangerous, but not all of them.  I have friends that live in Tecate and they feel they are quite safe and they frequently send missions teams down from our church.  But you really have to do your homework to know where to avoid. 

If you are not sure, don't go.  Better alive than headless.

Routes / Re: Mexican excursion from Southern Tier
« on: January 22, 2010, 12:20:03 pm »
Nobody in their right mind should visit Juarez as a tourist.  It is the deadliest city in North America.  They average between 200 and 300 murders per month.  Here is something I pulled from the news:

Since 2008, Juárez has been mired in one of the world's massive and brutal drug wars. About 4,000 people have been killed, including police officers, businessmen, lawyers, soldiers, government officials and innocent bystanders. The Mexican military has stepped in and taken control of the city police department and the prison.

Daily violence is a way of life in Juárez, as residents stay indoors at night and executions occur in the middle of the day on busy streets. This month, gunmen executed four men outside an elementary school while classes were in session. The same day, masked assailants shot and killed six patrons of a strip club, including a U.S. airman from New Mexico.

General Discussion / Re: Wireless internet on the TransAm?
« on: January 21, 2010, 11:43:52 pm »
In the summer of 2008, we relied heavily on public libraries.   We didn't have to worry about coverage and it was always a nice break.

My solo trips have also been the most memorable and enjoyable.  I meet so many more new friends when I am solo.  I have never felt threatened by anything other than dogs and weather. 

Plan well, use good resources like ACA maps as guides, and have the trip of a lifetime.  I am planning my 2011 cross country trips and already have butterflys in my stomach- and can't wait to get started!

General Discussion / Re: Trans Am Solo ride - Safety issue?
« on: January 21, 2010, 10:56:43 pm »
I did a TransAm two summers ago solo and never felt threatened by humans.  Dogs were another issue.  I carried pepper spray, but never had to use it.  I had a close call in Kentucky with a pack of three dogs, but they eventually let me creep away with my bike between me and them. 

I echo what has been said about friendly helpful people.  Truly amazing

General Discussion / Re: Advice for a cross-country trip
« on: January 21, 2010, 10:50:11 pm »
Extend your trip- don't cut the mileage.  If you are going to do it- savor every bit of it.

I did a mix of 3 routes (NT to L&C to TransAm) and took about 49 days to get across.  It was just about right for me.  I have a buddy that did it in 23 days and that would have been plain agony for me.  But he thought it was the best.  To each his own.

General Discussion / Re: boredom on cross-country?
« on: January 21, 2010, 10:45:19 pm »
Never bored!!!

I did the NT / Lewis and Clark / TransAm during the summer of 2010.  I rode solo, but my wife met me at the end of each day with our teeny Toyota motorhome.  So I had the best of both worlds.  I was alone on the road to go as fast or slow as I wanted, stop at whatever sight touched my interest, and chat with whomever I wanted for as long as I wanted.  But then at the end of the day I was with my beautiful wife and 4 kiddos.

Through all this, I cannot even conceive the thought of being bored.  I can't wait to go again in the summer of 2011 when I will do the TransAm as far as Kansas and then jam down through TX and finish out the ST eastward.

Pacific Northwest / Re: ACA forum members from PNW
« on: January 21, 2010, 10:09:26 pm »
I am over in Spokane and a semi-regular tourer.  I always ride more in prep for a big ride.  Did the Northern Tier summer 2008 and will do Southern Tier summer of 2011.


I hope you have already found a good answer to your question, but just in case.

You can ride the Centennial Trail all the way to CDA, then head up towards the trail on the east side of the highway.  It isn't nearly as amazing as the centennial trail, but it is certainly safe.  It eventually peters out, but you get far enough to be out of the CDA / Hayden traffic and it is really quite do-able.

That particular ride was my first day of my TransAm ride two years ago, so I have very fond memories of that.  The rest of my ride made me realize what a gem we have in the Centennial Trail. 

Connecting ACA Routes / TransAm to ST going through Dallas W to E
« on: January 21, 2010, 02:09:34 pm »
Planning a trip starting on TransAm W-> E about as far as Kansas.  Then I need to drop south through Dallas and will hook up with the ST to continue on to Florida. 

Any suggestions on when to break off TransAm to head south?  How to enter Dallas?  How to go south from Dallas?

Thanks for the help.


Routes / Re: Texas and Eastern 1/2 of Souther Tier in Summer?
« on: January 21, 2010, 01:27:33 pm »

I am in the early stages of planning and don't really have anything concrete.  The one thing I do know is that my wife wants to swing through Dallas to see family on the way south from TransAm.  I have never biked this area, but did drive a car from Houston up through Dallas to Spokane.  I remember a lot of the same type of terrain from Dallas to way up north before it got mountainous again.  So I am pretty flexible on the route.

Suggestions? Ideas?  Cautions?



btw- thank you already for the encouragement about riding in the heat and humidity.  i had one heat episode (electrolytes out of whack) on my previous TransAm and feel like I know how to avoid it pretty well for next time. 

Routes / Re: Southern Tier East Texas Local Info & Aid
« on: January 21, 2010, 01:22:24 pm »
Hi Don,

As a local of East Texas, let me ask you about the weather for biking in summer.  I am planning a trip for next summer and will travel from late june until early august.  if i bike early in the morning until noonish, is this do-able?  I have done a TransAm before, but never so far south.

Thanks for your help.


I posted this in a response to another post, but I thought I would create a new topic on this as I have been considering this for some time.

I am not what you would call an avid bicyclist, although I have been known to take to 2 wheels from time to time.  I am, however, an avid backbacker and outdoorsman.  

I have property in the Big Thicket of East Texas within three miles of the Southern Tier Route as it passes through Romayor, TX.  I have encountered many of you biking this route in the past.

Given the growing concerns with safety in our society and my own personal biases/experiences, you might say that I am very sympathetic towards those of you who choose these long-distance adventures.  The Big Thicket of East Texas can be a risky place due to the character (or lack thereof) among its denizens.

In the past, I have hosted bicyclists travelling the Southern Tier.  So, let me go ahead encourage all here to feel free to contact me for any local information.  I enjoy meeting new people and am happy to encourage all who pursue these ventures.


Don Strohm

Routes / Texas and Eastern 1/2 of Souther Tier in Summer?
« on: January 21, 2010, 12:29:29 pm »
I am planning a 2011 trip which will start in WA state, do the TransAm trail until about Kansas, then swing down through Texas to connect with the Southern Tier and continue on eastward until Florida.  I am a school teacher, which means I would do it June - August.  I did a TransAm summer 2008 which went from Spokane to Yorktown via sections of Northern Tier, Lewis and Clark trail, and the TransAm trail. 

Am I nuts to think about doing Texas and the eastern half of the Southern Tier in the middle of the summer?  I did well on my previous TransAm with the heat and humidity.  I am 49 and in decent shape.

Thanks for your input.  I am interested in hearing from folks that have done it and survived to tell the tale.


Routes / Re: Mexican excursion from Southern Tier
« on: January 21, 2010, 12:21:40 pm »
Perhaps I am overly cautious, but from my experience in Mexico I would be very careful about doing routes in Mexico.  The current climate of things with the drug lords at war with the government makes for pretty dangerous cycling territory. 

I have lived in Mexico and much of my family still does.  The Mexican people are generally a lovely and gracious bunch.  But there are literally killers on the loose down there right now and a biker might be a tasty target.  I would stick to the gringo side of the border, especially depending on where you would be along the border.

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