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Messages - jfitch

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Routes / Re: Sierra Cascade journals
« on: June 17, 2010, 12:25:41 am »
Check for Mountain Man Wannabe Tour. They are on the road now, posting as the opportunity presents.

Gear Talk / Re: Touring Shoes, Cleat Selection and Toe Clip Survey
« on: April 10, 2010, 10:21:04 pm »
"I formerly used Speedplay Frog pedals, but the cleats were wearing out within 1200 miles"

I use Frogs on everything -- I love the float -- but I also notice that the cleats seem to wear out awfully fast. How long do the BeBop cleats last?

Gear Talk / Re: front/rear pannier loading for credit card touring
« on: March 05, 2010, 05:06:55 am »
"I bet Credit Card touring will be a real challenge due to the distance between services.  It looked like it would be a challenge on the TA and the Western Express is reportedly much more remote.  I know that even on the TA there were some pretty long sections with nothing in the way of services.  I think there was one place where we were 80 miles between water stops.  The WE would probably be much worse."

But it has been done. For example see Mike Noonan's journal at

The official Pacific Coast Route between Sausalito and the Golden Gate Bridge will be closed for improvements from March 1 through June 1, 2010. See

Ultimately this should improve the route, but meanwhile "The closures will start Monday (3-1-2010) with East Road, which is used by many bicyclists to ride from the Golden Gate Bridge through Fort Baker, into Sausalito and back. That route will be closed to all traffic from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday until the end of May, according to Alexandra Picavet, the recreation area spokeswoman. People heading to Fort Baker should use Bunker Road, she said."

An alternate route frequently used by local cyclists is to go up Alexander Avenue and under I-80 to get to the golden Gate Bridge, instead of taking East Road (the route on the ACA maps) through Fort Baker. For the alternate route, see:,-122.480199&spn=0.016014,0.02002&z=16

It looks like this will always be open.


Gear Talk / Re: Big Agnes vs Theramrest
« on: January 29, 2010, 09:01:33 pm »
I tried a neoair at the local REI/ I liked the size, weight, and comfort, but found it to be very noisy -- it sort of crackled as I moved about on it. Have you noticed this? Does it quiet down with use?

You can get a Garmin Legend HCx, a very capable mapping GPS with enough memory to get you at least halfway across the country, for less than $200. With  very careful preparation, you might fit the entire trip. You could reload for the 2d half, or just carry a 2d SD card with the second half pre-loaded. It takes just a minute or two to swap the cards. The maps would cost an additional $100, and would come with Mapsource.

I agree with Fred that they are a very useful tool, as long as you don't give them too much credibility. They can lead the uncritical astray. The ACA maps are the gold standard if you're following an ACA route.


Wait a minute! That doesn't sound like a "temporary closure."

Gear Talk / Re: Brooks saddle modification
« on: December 29, 2009, 06:15:34 am »
Selle Anatomica: Scroll down to "Brooks Upgrade Services". $50.00

Routes / Re: camping on the pacific coast route
« on: October 28, 2009, 01:11:55 pm »
The latest on the California State Parks situation can be found at

A more detailed list of the effects of cutbacks on specific state parks can be found at

While not as detailed as one might like, this list does at least provide warning where problems may occur, and what they may consist of. Cutbacks may include reduced days open, reduced hours, closure of some campgrounds and other facilities (such as restrooms and showers). You might want to check ahead.


General Discussion / Re: Transporting a bike: box or bag?
« on: October 07, 2009, 10:38:48 pm »
"The best service for me and least stressful was after this years ride I shipped from San Francisco back to Orlando by UPS, very impressed with the service and they did the packing."

How much did they charge you for all that?

Routes / Re: camping on the pacific coast route
« on: September 25, 2009, 08:35:20 pm »
Faced with the prospect that the expenses and potential liabilities involved with closing parks would probably exceed the savings, the latest word is that all California State Parks will stay open. However, they may be open only seasonally, and may have reduced hours, reduced maintenance, and reduced staffing. See What this means for the hiker/biker campsites remains to be seen. And an additional 22 million dollar cut is looming for next year.


Routes / Re: camping on the pacific coast route
« on: August 28, 2009, 10:42:39 pm »
Due to the imminent bankruptcy of the State of California, hiker/biker sites in the California State Parks will increase after Labor Day. According to the latest schedule I found at the California State Parks website, for the parks that listed hiker/biker sites (not all that actually have them), the rates were up to between $5.00 and $10.00. Still a bargain, though. There is also the possibility that some parks will be closed entirely. That list has not yet been announced. Whether or not you choose to take a chance to stealth camp in a closed park is up to you.


Connecting ACA Routes / Re: Duluth, Minnestota
« on: August 11, 2009, 12:09:22 am »
"GCOB" is a typo -- should have been "CGOB" for There are literally thousands of bicycle tour journals there, plus a very active touring forum, classifieds, product reviews, etc, all related to bicycle touring.


GPS & Digital Data Discussion / Re: ACA GPS Terminology
« on: August 02, 2009, 10:46:43 pm »

Now that you point me at the user guide, I see it spelled out there immediately. A RTFM moment, as well. Thanks,


LOL, I know how this feels. AS = All Services, which you will also see in the service descriptions on the back of the maps.

In case you do not have it already, download the GPS Data User Guide from for much more about the files.

Enjoy your guided tour!


GPS & Digital Data Discussion / ACA GPS Terminology
« on: July 31, 2009, 09:19:52 pm »
I've been playing with .gpx files downloaded from Adventure Cycling. Most of the waypoint abbreviations are pretty obvious, but I can't for the life of me figure out what "AS" means, as in "Florence AS." I'm sure this will be a "D'oh!" moment, once I've been enlightened.


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