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Messages - litespeed

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General Discussion / Re: San Francisco to Eureka?
« on: December 11, 2017, 08:50:31 pm »
Ms. Milyko is right. You will be fighting headwinds and not just in the summer. I did the west coast north-to-south - Florence OR to Santa Maria CA - in the fall and had fine tailwinds. It would have been miserable in the opposite direction.

Routes / Re: Southern Tier with hammock or tent
« on: December 06, 2017, 01:54:35 pm »
I have traveled extensively in latinamerica with a Mayan hammock but wouldn't recommend it here in the US. Unlike latinamerica you won't find campgrounds and hotel rooms set up for a hammock and it is often just too cold. Hammocks are great for sleeping in a hot climate but under 70 degrees fahrenheit you will be unable to get warm.

I once spent 5 months in the US Virgin Islands sleeping in my Mayan hammock with a custom mosquito net. Never slept better.

At my home in Florida here I often sling my hammock on my waterfront tower/deck, snooze and watch the boats go by. One of the joys of retirement.

Also, if you buy a Mayan hammock get the larger matrimonio. Mayans are little people. And get the nylon one, not the cotton. They last much longer.

I have ridden the shoulders of Interstates in many western states, sometimes for hundreds of miles. I don't recall getting any unusual number of flats. I use Schwalbe Marathon Supreme tires with Mr. Tuffy tire liners.

The only times I have suffered more flats than normal is in goat thorn country - Nebraska and eastern Oregon.

Routes / Re: Anyone cycled the Pacific Coast Trail in October?
« on: August 09, 2017, 08:51:11 am »
I rode southward on the Pacific coast many years ago, doing the Petaluma - Santa Maria leg in October. The weather was pretty dismal - rainy and overcast with one mighty downpour during the night in Big Sur. My Hilleberg tent kept me dry, of course, but two girls in their tent nearby got washed out and had to spend the night in the latrine.

I could enjoy the scenery most of the time but rarely saw the sun. Doing the coast earlier in the year would probably mean more crowds but much better weather.

Routes / Re: Best route from Going to Sun Hwy MO to Mt. Rushmore SD?
« on: July 29, 2017, 07:54:00 pm »
I was staying at the KOA in Hill City when a nearby family invited me to go to the evening light show/speech at Mt. Rushmore. It was a beautiful show and a fine speech - one of the highlights of my travels. I also stopped by it during the day. It's something everyone should see at least once.

I also visited the Crazy Horse Monument. Also quite impressive. Lots to see in the Rapid City area.

I was running 28mm Continental tires at the time. I made out all right on the Mickelson Trail but recommend something larger like the 35mm Schwalbe Marathon Supremes I use now.

When I was going down the west coast I stayed a few days at the Petaluma KOA and rode the excellent, handy, frequent bus into SF for sightseeing. It stops right by the campground.

General Discussion / Re: What state is your favorite to ride in?
« on: July 18, 2017, 08:30:08 pm »
Immediately upon entering Nebraska from the east I got a flat. While repairing it four vehicles, including a state trooper, stopped and asked if they could help. Nothing like this has ever happened before or since.

I love the wide shoulders on the roads in western Texas and the Amish and Mennonite parts of Pennsylvania and Ohio.

The high desert of Eastern Oregon and the spectacular desert scenery of southern Utah were some of my best cycle touring.

The west coast is spectacular but it's hard to get a good, hearty meal. Also I got so tired of the raggedy, begging, drunken bums in the campgrounds that I bailed about Santa Maria and headed inland.

Routes / Re: Does anyone still use paper maps?
« on: July 05, 2017, 12:46:02 pm »
I pack the latest Rand McNally Road Atlas and never pass up a welcome center/visitor center when entering a state. They invariably have excellent, free state maps. If I have no luck there I buy a good map at a big gas station/convenience store. I've never felt the need for anything more. I deal with tough climbs as I come to them but ask locals for advance information if possible.

I wrap/reinforce the edges of the cover and the binding of the road atlas with clear 2" packing tape. Doing this makes it almost indestructible.

Routes / Re: LAS VEGAS
« on: April 26, 2017, 03:13:51 pm »
I don't think the KOA in Las Vegas has tent sites. I've heard that Circus Circus has cheap hotel rooms. You'd have to check both of these.

Routes / Re: Camping IN San Francisco
« on: April 26, 2017, 02:57:09 pm »
I would be very surprised it there was a safe place to pitch a tent in San Francisco. Certainly not Golden Gate Park. When I was there I stayed at the Petaluma KOA and took the handy (Bus stop right there), comfortable bus in and out of the city. It's a fine ride over the Golden Gate Bridge.

Down the coast I met a couple of bicycle touring girls who stayed very briefly at the San Francisco youth hostel. They found it very creepy and bailed.

Routes / Re: Another way to cope with dogs
« on: January 24, 2017, 09:41:36 pm »
I've said this a few times on this blog but I'll repeat it: My favorite method of dealing with chasing dogs is to swerve back and forth, traffic and roadway permitting. This really confuses the dogs. I have had them run into mail box posts, telephone poles, etc, get all tangled up with each other and go down in a cloud of dust or even just trip all over themselves. Sometimes they get so rattled they simply give up and stop.

A friend of mine was grinding up a hill when two rottweilers came after him. Not knowing what else to do he yelled "Sit!". They plunked down right there in the road. When He topped the hill he looked back. They were still sitting there.

Canalligators has the right idea. You can take the ferry to Manhattan or the train, at non-rush-hours, from Long Branch to Grand Central Station. Then the great rec trail up the Hudson to the GWB. When I lived in Hoboken for a few months bicycling up 9W was my favorite get-out-of-town ride. This was a long time ago but should still be a fine way to get to Bear Mountain.

General Discussion / Re: Passports?
« on: March 19, 2016, 10:54:31 am »
John Nelson is right but, I might add, it is always a good idea to have a passport at the ready. You never know what is going to happen. I can recall a few instances of people missing out on a trip overseas because they didn't have a passport and couldn't get one soon enough. One young lady, in particular, was really heartbroken.

General Discussion / Re: So I bought a bike now which panniers?
« on: March 19, 2016, 10:41:42 am »
"Like one big pocket and complete waterproofing without added raincovers? Choose Ortileb."

After wrestling with raincovers on my Bruce Gordon Panniers for a couple of years, including a rainy 7 months circumnavigating the 48 states, I went to Ortliebs. I've happily used them ever since.

At first I missed the many pockets but as I simplified and cut back on my baggage (as most touring cyclists do) it ceased to be a problem. In fact, the simple design encourages a lighter, simpler load. My toiletries/change-of-clothing/off-to-the-showers pannier is packed full but the others are only 1/2 - 2/3 full.

Routes / Re: My First Cycling Tour From Michigan To Oregon!
« on: March 07, 2016, 03:20:50 pm »
I crossed Oregon from the Idaho border to Florence in about five leisurely (by my standards) days. US26 and US20 join at Vale OR a few miles from the Idaho border. To this day I recall riding US26 across western Oregon as one of the highlights of all my bicycle touring.

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