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Messages - dfege

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General Discussion / Re: Riding Yellowhead Highway in British Columbia
« on: December 14, 2021, 01:19:02 am »
I cycled this route in 2011, so things may have changed.  The section along the Skeena is one of the most beautiful rides I have ever done.  There are forested mountains on either side of the river in most sections.  This goes on for miles and miles.  However, the river valley tends to be narrow with barely enough room for a two-lane road, the railroad, and a bicyclist.  The closer you get to Prince Rupert, the more truck traffic you will encounter.  Here is link to my crazyguy journal.

Routes / Re: Brit riding across the US
« on: November 17, 2021, 12:01:48 am »
I bicycled Route 66 from Chicago to Oklahoma City this past summer.  Although I didn't bike the last part of the trip to Santa Monica, I am very familiar with that stretch.  I also have bicycle toured many times in Europe, including three times in Britain.

Many of the commenters are correct.  Distances between service are much longer in the U.S. than in Britain.  But these can be planned for.  However, on the Route 66 trip, there is one stretch between Ludlow, CA and Needles, CA where there are practically no services (over 100 miles).  There is a gas station/convenience store in Fenner, CA and the owner will generally let you camp, although it's not a real camp ground and that's about it.  Since it is the desert, you can usually "wild camp", but I never like to do that.  Also this stretch can get VERY hot, and it is best cycled in February, March, or early April or in the late summer/fall.

Nobody mentioned that the trip has a lot of climbing, which isn't that big a deal if you climbed before with gear on your bike or are in good shape.  The trip tops out at 7000 feet in around Flagstaff, Arizona.  The climbs are long but not steep.
Most of the climbs in California, Arizona, and New Mexico are in the 5%-8% range. Traffic can be a problem in the U.
S., especially on some of the two-lane roads.  I ALWAYS ride with a mirror in the U.S., it really helps to know what's behind you. 

Once you get past Oklahoma City, distances between services are not a problem.  You can usually find a gas station with a convenience store at least every 25 miles or less.

Best to you.  Let me know if you need any other information.

General Discussion / Re: Warm tour ideas (US)
« on: February 04, 2021, 03:02:13 pm »
I have cycled several times in Southern Arizona.  Scenery is great, there are some challenging hills, and towns are close enough together.  Jbrooks, here are some ideas to lengthen your trip.  You could go as far south as Nogales.  Nogales is a lovely little town, you feel almost like you are in Mexico.  From Nogales, you could cycle through Patagonia on your way to Sonoita or Sierra Vista.  And then on to Bisbee.  Bisbee is a great town.  If things are open, you may want to spend an extra day.  There are a few galleries and small shops to explore.  And the tour of the former copper mine at the south of town is  definitely worth it.  BTW, the Copper Queen is a great choice.  Its a fabulous old hotel with lots of history.  To add miles you could go further south to Douglas.  And to really lengthen the trip you could go to Lordsburg, New Mexico before returning to Tucson.  Be safe.

General Discussion / Re: Getting to your start with all your stuff
« on: February 04, 2021, 01:15:31 pm »
This is not a stupid question.  As you can see from the responses, cyclists have many different ways to get to the start of their trip.  I usually try to balance cost, possible damage to the bicycle, and convenience.  I have done at least 20 trips where I needed to get my bike to the start.  Here are my assessment of the options.

Having your bike packed by your LBS and shipped to an LBS at the start of the trip is probably the safest for your bicycle.  I usually don't do this, especially if I am flying because I don't want to take the extra time at the beginning of the trip to shlep to the LBS with my gear to pick up my bike.  This usually costs me an extra day since I arrive late in the day. 

A hardshell bike case is a great option, but you need to make some arrangements as to what to do with it while you're cycling, which can be a little problematical if you are not ending your trip where you began.

If  the start of my tour is "near" to home, a long one-day drive, I prefer to drive.  If my tour does not return me to my staring point, I will rent a car.  I have found that I can fit my bicycle in the back seat of an intermediate size car by removing the rear wheel.   f the tour ends where I began, I ask the motel owner or the camp ground if I can leave my car with them for a few weeks if 'm driving my own car.

If I am flying, I take my bike in an "airline" bicycle box.  This is a box that you can buy from most airlines at the airport (although always check ahead of time) and it usually costs about $25.  It is a one time use box.  It is much bigger than a typical bicycle box, but packing is simpler.  You take off your pedals and turn the handle bars.  Since the boxes are big when packed, I usually do this at the airport because i can't fit them in my car or even a van. To save me the time of standing in an airport line simply to purchase the box on the day of the trip, I will purchase ahead of time, and bring it with me to the airport.  Make sure you have tried to loosen the pedals before you go.  When you turn the handlebars you may need to release break or derailleur cables to turn the handle bars.  I put a pannier bag lightly stuffed with soft things like clothes n the derailleur side of the rear rack to help cushion it. I also try to put a sleeping bag in the box to reduce luggage on the plane.  Remember to take scissors and tape with you to cut the tape and secure the box.  Also, note that you can't take the scissors on the plane with you.  At the other end I re-assemble by bicycle at the airport.  I have put together bicycles at many major airports of the world:  Gatwick, DeGaulle, Hamburg, Amsterdam, SFO, Missoula, Portland, Green Bay.  Portland's airport actually has a special room with a bike rack and tools to reassemble your bike.  Make sure you know how you are leaving the airport.  Some are easy:  Portland and Washington Reagan both have a bike path right out of the airport.  Others you will need to find surface routes.  Others, like O'hare, you will need to get on the local train/subway or hire a service.

Depending, Amtrak is an option.  Always check with Amtrak ahead of time.  In some cases, you can walk your bike in the luggage car.  The Pacific Surfliner allows you bring the bike on the train, but you have to make a reservation for your bike, which is free.

As a side note, I have had lubricants and degreasers confiscated from my luggage and you can't take them on board, so I now plan to purchase at the beginning of the bike trip.  Good luck on your trip.

General Discussion / Re: tour company
« on: February 17, 2020, 07:32:23 pm »
Oh, BTW, Cycle America goes through Missoula where you have an opportunity to visit Adventure Cycling HQ if you want.

General Discussion / Re: tour company
« on: February 17, 2020, 07:30:51 pm »
I have toured with Cycle America in their coast-to-coast rides in 2014 and 2016.  I really liked the model they use and would highly recommend them.  First are the long miles, which I liked.  The average is 80 miles per day.  And the roads they have found are fabulous in terms of scenery and traffic.  Beware, however, of the climbing especially in the Cascades and the Rockies, but there is no getting around that.  Second, they keep costs low by using mostly volunteer staff (except for bike mechanics) and by camping generally at high schools (where you set up a tent outside or toss a sleeping bag in the gym if you want). Every once in a while they are at a campground with not option for indoor sleeping.  Third, they pay attention to food/diet.  Meals are generally well-rounded and more than enough.  Some of the best salads I have ever had were on Cycle America tours (maybe it was because I was really hungry for dinner). Finally on the weekly rest day, they stay at indoor housing (such as a college dorm) or provide for hotel (at your cost) if staying at a campground/high school, but they will drop off and pick up your bags if you are the hotel. It was always nice to have two nights a week (one before and one after the rest day) indoors to do laundry, sort pics, charge electronics, etc.

Routes / Re: Rhine River Cycle Ride
« on: February 20, 2018, 12:46:48 am »
Joanne, I'm sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you.  To answer some of your questions.

We did not go with a guide; we were on a self-contained tour.  We carried all of our gear.  We generally camped, although we tended to get indoor lodging about once a week.  Our total trip was eleven weeks, but only about 11 days were on the Rhine.  In total, we did about 2700 miles.  We usually biked between 45 and 65 miles/day.  We were in Europe from mid-June to mid-August. We cycled from Bad Ragaz to Chur, but not any further. 

Let me know you have want any more information.  I'm sure you will have a great time cycling the Rhine.  Hope all is well.


Routes / Re: Rhine River Cycle Ride
« on: February 01, 2018, 11:50:31 pm »
We did much of the same trip you're describing last summer, but in a rather convoluted route.  We cycled from Dornbirn, Austria (near Lake Constance) up to Bad Ragaz, Switzerland.  And then took the train to Andermatt; what a great little city.  Then we cycled down to Erstfeld, and took a train to Schaffhausen which is on the west side of Lake Constance, transferring in Zurich. From Schaffhausen we cycled along the Rhine as far as Bad Bressig.

I have bicycle toured several times in Europe, always flying from the States.  Although it is a pain, and costs money, I always take my bicycle with me.  I agreed with a previous comment that it would be difficult to rent a bike in Andermatt and take it all the way to the Netherlands.  I don't think it would be a great problem to take the bike by train from the Zurich airport to Andermatt.  Taking bikes on trains in Switzerland was easy, but you need to pay for the bicycle and you will probably have to reserve a place for your bike on the train. 

Although we camped most of the time, we would stay at a cheap motel/hostel about once a week.  Lodging was easy to find; everyone seems to use Bike und Bett was also in many places  Every place had shelter for the bikes and we didn't need to take them to our room.

Let me know if you want any more info.  Where are traveling from in the States?

Routes / Re: Route through or around Los Angeles.
« on: May 06, 2013, 05:33:50 pm »
I have bicycled from Santa Barbara to San Diego about 20 times (every Memorial Day weekend).  It is definitely an urban bike ride, but very doable.  There is a 24-mile bike path along the beach (it is on the ACA map) in the LA area. It's a fun ride with the Pacific Ocean always just a few yards away.  It's a slow ride, with joggers, Sunday cyclists, skateboarders, etc. on the path.  The path takes you as far as Redondo Beach.  (BTW, if are camping, there is no campground between Leo Carillo State Park and a commercial campground in Newport Beach.  However, on this stretch, I always stay at the Redondo Pier Inn in Redondo Beach.  It's clean and about the cheapest lodging I can find in the area.  Be sure to reserver ahead).  I find the most harrowing part of this ride to be the Pacific Coast Highway from Redondo Beach to Long Beach.  Lots of traffic, stop signs, etc.  However, if you schedule it early on a Sunday morning, the traffic is very light.  (The ACA map used to bypass part of this by taking you up and over Pales Verdes, but I think the new map puts you on the PCH).  Good luck.  Let me know if you have any questions.

General Discussion / Re: Which cycling maps for U.S. and Canada?
« on: January 08, 2013, 05:41:00 pm »
Of course the ACA maps are great if you are staying on the routes.  Always my first choice.  I don't know much about Oregon, Washington, and California's bicycle maps, so I can't speak to them.  However, I have relied on Delorme's State Gazateers for many of my tours.  They are exactly the right scale for bicycling, showing even the smallest back roads. You won't need the entire state Gazeteer, so I literally cut out the specific pages that I think I will need for the bike trip, fold them and put them in a zip-tight plastic bag. The Gazateers can be purchased through

Routes / Re: Need help with getting ready for bike tour
« on: December 13, 2012, 03:32:25 pm »
What is your route?

Gear Talk / Re: Tablets/IPad or laptops
« on: October 02, 2012, 05:25:34 pm »
For the first time in 2011 I took a tablet with me on a three week tour of British Columbia.  I have done two to seven week tours before.  I found the access to the net completely changed the trip for me, and not for the better.  It made me realize that the reason I toured is to NOT be connected to the rest of the world. It took a long time to write a log and upload pictures.  I was on a daily search for wifi.  Access to maps and upcoming lodging possibilities were helpfuw, but nothing that couldn't have been provided by hard copy maps and talking to locals.  I would suggest that you consdier not taking any tablet or IPad.  If you need to check in with friends, find a library every third or fourth day and send a quick messsage so your loved ones know you're safe.

I don't have anything to say about the heat.  However, I once rode from Jackson Hole to SLC.  There was one stretch that was abosolutely gorgeous and I have never seen anyone write about it.  It is the road from Big (?) Bear Lake to Logan, Utah.  The highway hugs the river and the valley practically all the way to Logan.  The scenery was awesome!!  Also, be forewarned,  the raspberry shakes that everyone seems to rave about at Big Bear Lake simply weren't that good.  Have a good trip.

General Discussion / Re: Cash for cycling trips
« on: May 08, 2012, 05:02:21 pm »
I have found that the big banks in the United States partner with  banks in other countries to use ATM's without a fee. In Canada for example, Bank of America partners with Scotia.  You also want to check with your credit card company and your bank to see how exchange rates are caculated and, for credit cards, to see if there are additional fees.  In Canada, my U.S. Visa credit card charged a 3% fee for every transaction.  (I didn't know this until I returned home and saw the extra charge on my bill for every transaction).  Had I known that, I probably would have relied a lot more on getting cash from Scotia ATM's, rather than using my credit card so frequently.

In addition, some countries require the use of the pin number for credit cards, something that is not required in the U.S.

Routes / Re: southern tier route
« on: February 22, 2012, 08:25:22 pm »

I have not done the southern tier, but I live in San Diego.  I also have followed several journals on Crazy Guy.  Here are some alternatives.  First it is a long ride to Ocotillo. I can't remember any rider who has gone that distance on the first day. I certainly couldn't do, especially carrying my own gear.  There is a campground at Alpine (already at about 3500 feet); there seems to be a motel in Pine Valley, and also a hotel/spa in Jacumba.  If you have the Ad. Cycling maps, they should be able to give you more definitive info.

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