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Topics - MrBent

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46
Routes / California Hwy Ques.
« on: October 05, 2008, 10:04:25 am »
Ahoy, Cyclists:  I'm researching a possible route that includes a section of the south-central California coast.  I'll be riding north from Santa Barbara.  Since I've already done the standard coast route a couple of times, I was wondering about the safety and general riding qualities of Hwy 154 past Lake Cachuma.  

Also, since it would be our plan to hook back inland over Hwy 58--a good route btw--we need to cut inland after San Luis Obispo.  By far the most direct route is to take a short stretch of Hwy 101 from SLO to Santa Margarita, less than 9 miles by my AAA map.  My map indicates that the route is no longer a "highway" for this stretch, and I have driven it but not in some time so I don't recall shoulder quality, general safety issues, etc.  What's the deal with this stretch?  Is it death alley?  The other alternatives include riding further north along the coast and taking some rural routes in combination with either route 41 or 46.  What about these options?

Thanks in advance for any help and advice!

Cheers,

Scott--dreaming of a winter bike tour


47
Routes / Big Sur fire effects?
« on: August 31, 2008, 01:33:50 pm »
Ahoy,cyclists: I was wondering if anyone here has ridden the central California section of the PCH since the big fire.  What are the consequences for the touring cyclist in Big Sur?  Is it a big piece of toast?  We might ride it again this winter.  I'm afraid of what I might find.

Cheers,

Scott


48
Routes / Paved Great Divide maps?
« on: August 27, 2008, 10:44:38 pm »
I heard a rumor that ACA might be working on a paved Great Divide route.  I suspect the fellow was thinking of the Cascade/Sierra route currently under construction.  Is there any truth to these paved Great Divide map rumors?

Thanks,

Scott



49
Routes / Good news about CA coast!
« on: June 28, 2008, 04:23:59 pm »
I was in northern California recently and stumbled upon an article in the SF Chronicle.  It seems that a huge bypass construction dealing with the whole Devil's Slide section between Pacifica and Half Moon Bay is "nearing" completion.  I've ridden the central CA coast a couple of times--Sonoma County to Santa Barbara--and Devil's Slide was always devilish, primarily because of the narrow road, tons of traffic, tight turns.  We found it to be the only seriously unpleasant section of the ride.  Almost everything else was fun--much, much better than the Oregon coast in my opinion.

The new bypass will involve major tunnel(s) and bridge (s)--forget how many--and bicycle travel has been explicitly, specifically worked into the design!  Yahoo! The bad news?  It won't be open for travel until 2011 or 2012.  If I recall, the bridges are just about done but the tunneling is taking longer.

I'll almost certainly ride the coast again before the construction is finished, but when it's done, sweeeeet.

Cheers,

Scott


50
Routes / Problems with Western Express
« on: June 09, 2008, 01:08:52 pm »
Ahoy, Riders:  My wife and I recently did a portion of the Western Express, and we have to say that some of it seems poorly routed.  Our main complaint is with Carson and Green Valley Rds. between Folsom and Pollock Pines especially.  The last few miles (heading west) into Folsom have a good shoulder, but the traffic is very heavy.  This same heavy traffic exists further up but the shoulder is zero, and one is faced with frequent climbs on the way down.  In the drop from 7500 + ft. we gained over 2,000 ft.--ugh.  We really hated riding this section, and it was the low point of our tour.

A couple of years ago, we rode this same region of the Western Express, but because Mormon Immigrant Trail was closed due to snow, we had to keep heading down Hwy 88.  This turned out very well.  A few miles west--virtually all fast downhill--of the Mormon Trail turnoff, we took Shake Ridge Rd. down to Fiddletown.  This was fantastic--down, down, down with virtually no annoying climbs and virtually no traffic.  From Fiddletown we made our way to Plymouth, took Hwy 16 to Latrobe Rd, which we took north to Folsom.  Even on a weekend, this had pretty light traffic.  Further out Hwy 16, there's another road that also head's north to Folsom--I forget the name, which also might be good.

I strongly urge Western Express riders to look into this option.  Fiddletown and Plymouth are great places and you'll do less climbing overall to get over the Sierras.  If you have the option, do your best to tackle the crossing mid-week.  We came over on a Sat. the first time and battled a fair amount of tourist traffic.  We did it on a Mon./Tues. this time and had a better experience.

One very nice thing we did was camp near the top of Mormon Immigrant Trail.  As it was early season, we could melt snow with our stove.  We had a very quiet camp in the trees.  Riders could still camp in this area and back track to 88 for the remainder of the descent.

Happy, safe riding one and all.

MrBent


51
Routes / Wester Express Conditions?
« on: May 10, 2008, 07:21:45 pm »
Hi, Tourists:  Does anyone know what the road conditions are in the Sierras at this point?  My wife and I are heading out on a tour up the East Side and will cross at Monitor and Carson Passes, which I know are open, but I'm wondering about the Mormon Immigrant Trail that cuts over to Placerville.  We'll be heading west.  Is the road open?  Who might I contact for info.?  We're doing the ride regardless, but it would be nice to know beforehand.

Cheers,

Scott


52
Routes / MidWest Route info
« on: June 29, 2007, 07:49:05 pm »
Hey, Cyclotourists:  I'm riding across the country this summer, starting in Aug. in Maine.  I'm following the N. Tier route as far as Muscatine, Iowa, but then I need to put my own route together to get down to Manhattan, KS, to visit with a relative.  From there I'm heading south a bit to hook up with the standard TransAmerica route through KS and into CO.

Here's my route (first draft) based on AAA maps to get me from Muscatine to Manhattan:

In Iowa:
S. and W. on Rt. 92
To S. on Rt. 1
To W. on Rt. 2
Turn south at Centerville on Rt. 5 to enter Missouri.

In Missouri:
S. on Rt. 5
To SW on Rt. 6
S. on Rt. 13 at Gallatin
W. on Rt. 116 to Atchison, KS

In Kansas:
SW on Rt. 59
To W. on Rts. 116/16
S. on 13/113 to Manhattan (Phew!)

Does anyone have information on the riding conditions of these roads?  Any contra-indications, things to avoid? Any advice/experience greatly appreciated!

Cheers and safe riding,



53
Routes / Riding the Mogollon Rim?
« on: May 05, 2007, 12:39:54 am »
I'm starting a TransAm in August, leaving on the Northern Tier from Maine.  I'll be dropping down through NM and Arizona.  Today while I was looking at maps, I noticed a dirt road cutting across AZ north of Hwy 260 to Hwy 87--The Mogollon Rim road.  Depending on the route or the  description, its between 40 and 60 miles of dirt.  This looks like a fantastic route.  Has anyone ridden it?  I'd certainly take two days with one camp in some dramatic place, but does anyone know about water availability?  I'll be on the route in mid/late Oct. as far as I can estimate now.  I'm thinking I'll just have to load up before starting out on this stretch and have a dry camp about midway, give or take.  Any advice/experience would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers,

Scott


54
Routes / S. Tier option S. Diego?
« on: October 09, 2006, 10:24:20 am »
I'm doing long-range thinking about a TransAm for next year.  I'm curious about the Adventure Cycling route through San Diego county.  I've studied maps and found that there is another, more southernly route.  I forget the route numbers, but it rolls along close to the Mexico border.  What do you think of this as an alternate?  Why does the ACA follow the main highway?  Your thoughts and experiences appreciated.

Cheers,

Scott


55
Routes / Oregon routes?
« on: August 23, 2006, 05:15:15 pm »
Hi, Oregon riders: My wife and I are looking into doing a huge loop through Oregon starting about the beginning of Sept. next year starting at Mt. Shasta in California.  The two options for heading north are the 99/I5 corridor (Grants Pss, Eugene, etc.) or to head up the east side of the Cascades via route 97 and others.  We want to finish our northern leg with a ride around Mt. Hood.  Then we'll head out to the coast and head south back into California.

Western route:  Does anyone have info. about the quality of cycling on the numerous secondary roads?  It looks like one could piece together a nice tour almost entirely on these roads, but how to tell which offer good cycling?

Eastern route:  Has anyone ridden Hwy 97 and the loop around Mt. Hood?  I've got an old Oregon cycling map that indicates that these are "prefered" cycling routes because of wide shoulders and/or low traffic.  Clearly Hwy 97 is a major north/south route.  This route looks attractive and should, on average, have somewhat lower temps. in Sept., but if it has relentless, unpleasant traffic, we'd look more into the western route.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks,

Scott


56
Routes / Northern Tier East--West start late May?
« on: July 06, 2006, 12:12:11 am »
Any thoughts on starting the N. Tier route in Maine in late May?  I was thinking that perhaps I could avoid some of the sticky hot stuff by starting that early and working west.  What do you think?

Scott


57
Routes / TransAm--timing?
« on: February 18, 2005, 04:42:41 pm »
Hi, Bikers:  Well, my wife and I have decided on the big one.  We won't be able to go until '07, so this is a very preliminary question.  I'm a teacher and will be able to take the fall semester off, so that means we have a huge window for the ride.  We really dislike the heat and crowds of high summer, so our plan would have us starting in very late summer or early fall.  Anyway, here's the general idea: We'd ride east to west, starting on the N. Tier, hook up with the Great Rivers, turn west on the S. Tier and follow that out to the end, San Diego.

We're thinking about starting in early September in Bar Harbor, just after Labor Day.  We are thinking about 50 mi/day, more on flat days.  So we'd probably hit the N.  end of the Great Rivers route in early Oct. and hit the bottom end early Nov.  From there, most of the route is desert, so we figure we'd be hitting it just about right, finishing sometime in mid/late Dec.

What do you think of this timing?  Should we start earlier?  Problems?  Insights?  Any input greatly appreciated.

Regards,

Scott


58
Routes / Short TransAm on the Northern Tier?
« on: August 26, 2004, 03:24:02 am »
I'm just doing some dreaming, wondering about a TransAm. What is the shortest but still pleasant way across the northern section of the US? If I recall, the Adventure Cycling N. Tier route is something like 4,400 miles--probably too long for us. Would it be possible to put together a route that is more like 3,500 miles? I'm thinking if we take the AC N. Tier route, take ferries across the Great Lakes, if available, then pretty much bee-line it to the East Coast, we could shorten the route considerably. Any thoughts? We'd have about 12 to 13 weeks for the crossing and would like/need one rest day a week.

Thanks for any insights.

Cheers,

Scott


59
Routes / Riding in NW California?
« on: January 23, 2004, 12:10:07 am »
My wife and I are pouring over maps for a big tour this coming summer.  One area that looks attractive is that big, rugged NW corner of California.  Specifically, we're wondering if anyone has information on riding conditions (traffic, shoulders, etc.) for Highway 96 along the Klamath River and the Cecilville Rd. leading back to Highway 3.  The country should be gorgeous, but how's the riding?  Wisdom, experience, insight appreciated.

Thanks!

Scott


60
General Discussion / PTS? Post Tour Syndrome?
« on: November 06, 2008, 04:39:41 pm »
Fellow tourists:  I find that this last year after finishing my cross country ride that I can't stop thinking about it. Images rise unbidden.  Smells, emotions, the complext tapestry of what I experienced comes over me at some point every day.  I have done a lot of intense outdoor activites (the vertical face of Half Dome among them), but few things in life have had such a lingering effect as those three months by myself riding from ocean to ocean.  I'm calling this Post Tour Syndrome (PTS), and I seem to have it bad/good.

Damn, bike touring is AMAZING, truly one of the great things in life.  Kudos to you all and ACA for helping make this activity accessible to so many.

Cheers,

Scott


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