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Messages - rtwbikerider

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Routes / Cyclig Cote D'Azure.
« on: April 19, 2006, 01:01:56 am »
   I've cycled the Cote D'Azure a couple of times. I believe I came down the N7 to Frejus or St. Raphael, then onto the N98 to Menton. I believe the N98 is called the Lower Corniche. Anyway, it's certainly possible, and often enjoyable, to ride the French Riviera. You won't be the only cyclist on the road, especially on a Saturday. The local drivers seem used to sharing the road with cyclists out on training rides. There are a few tight squeezes near Monaco. Just give the buses and Rolls' the right of way, and all will be good. You won't record any personal bests on this stretch of road, but it's a lot of fun to ride. After Menton, the Italian Riviera is less enjoyable (tunnels, blocked sea views, fewer Rolls'). Have fun.

Routes / Self Sustained Touring of Tuscanny
« on: September 08, 2005, 03:31:17 pm »
Drew, I cycled between Pisa and Florence in 2001, but never ventured down to Siena. It is a pleasent ride with a very gentle grade up to Florence on the SS67. I made the mistake of getting onto the adjacent expressway for a few miles. You should disregard those signs that try to funnel you onto the expressway. The distance is about 90 Km. You can put the bikes away in the cities; you'll be able to walk to all of the tourist sights. Have fun, and don't eat too much gelato.

Routes / southern tier
« on: May 13, 2005, 10:42:35 pm »
Pam & Mike, I'm sorry for sending you on a wild goose chase. A year ago there was a very detailed website from a Southern Cross participant on the web. She had the daily miles and stops listed from Disneyland to Disneyworld. It appears to be gone now, as does Tim Kneeland's site.

If I remember correctly, the Southern Cross route veered off the Adventure Cycling route by staying on US 90 into and out of San Antonio, by going south of Lake Pontchartrain in Louisiana, and by following US 90 in the Florida Panhhandle until turning south to Orlando at St. Marks.

An alternate route that I recommend is to head east on US 70 out of Safford, AZ to Lordsburg, NM. You can take I-10 from Lordsburg to Las Cruces, where you will rejoin the Adventure Cycling route. By doing that you cross the Continental Divide at 4585 feet, and avoid the Emory Pass at 8228 feet.

Thanks for buying the book, Pam. If nothing else, you'll at least learn where NOT to cycle in Louisiana. Have fun planning the trip. You'll have a blast doing it.

Routes / southern tier
« on: May 12, 2005, 06:34:57 am »
In 2002 I kinda, sorta followed the Southern Tier route on the final leg of a round-the-world trip. My daily journal eventually became the book "Once Around on a Bicycle", available through Adventure Cycling's website and Cyclocource catalog (shameless plug). Where I did not follow the Southern Tier maps, you will get a sense of the successes and failures in the journal entries.

You should also do a Google search for the Disney-to-Disney bike tour. I think that's a Tim Kneeland designed tour/route from Anaheim to Orlando. It doesn't exactly follow the Southern Tier and, IMO, it's probably a better route. It's at least worth reviewing.

Don't let the first few days out of San Diego discourage you; it's all downhill after that. Good luck and have fun.


Routes / Cross-Country Tour Route
« on: August 30, 2004, 05:51:47 am »
I cycled San Diego to Philly in 2002 using most of the Southern Tier route and some of the Donna Ikenberry Aitkenhead Atlantic Coast route. If the weather is in your favor, the Southern Tier should be a good way to cross the country. In what month do you plan to depart Philly? Have you considered starting in San Diego instead? Try to find the Tim Kneeland "Disney to Disney" route on the web. They did it right, IMHO. The East Coast can be a lot of fun if you stay close to the Atlantic (Cape May ferry, Delmarva, Ch. Bay Bridge-Tunnel, Outer Banks). Let me know if you need any more detail.


Routes / Florida to California or vice-versa
« on: August 30, 2004, 06:24:14 am »
It's possible to avoid the Emory Pass if, heading east, you leave the Souther Tier route outside of Safford, AZ and stay on US 70 to Lordsburg, NM. From Lordsburg you can stay on I-10 to Deming and Las Cruces. I successfully followed this route in 2002. I believe that it's legal to ride I-10 here, but if I'm wrong, please reply to this message. I don't want to be responsible for sending anyone down the wrong path. BTW, you'll cross the Continental Divide at 4585 feet using this route. That sure beats the Emory Pass at 8228 feet.

Routes / Your next "dream tour"
« on: June 02, 2004, 08:49:42 pm »
Jackalope and Brad, your “dream tour” of cycling around the world is not as difficult as you might think. If you’ve done some self-supported touring in the past, can handle up to 18 months away from home, and have enough money to buy your next mid-priced automobile, then you can bicycle around the world. I cycled around the world in 2001-2002 and lived to tell the tale. A trip of that magnitude requires a lot of preparation, but it is “do-able” for most bicycle tourists, in my opinion.

Plan on spending the first 6 months in the northern hemisphere, the next 6 in the southern hemisphere, and the final 6 back in the north. I started my trip in Europe and the Middle East, dipped down to Australia and New Zealand, and finished in the USA. It took me 15.5 months. I probably spent between $30,000 and $35,000 (including food, lodging, airfare, health insurance, phone bills, furniture storage, and miscellaneous). Because I preferred staying indoors to camping most nights, and because my route took me through many expensive tourist areas, that number is high. In hindsight, there are many ways in which I could have saved money (including a round-the-world plane ticket), but I was having too much fun at the time.

So, start planning. Even if you never actually attempt your “dream tour”, it’s still lots of fun preparing to see the world on your terms.

This message was edited by rtwbikerider on 6-2-04 @ 5:11 PM

General Discussion / women biking long-distances
« on: July 10, 2007, 03:05:59 pm »
Well, let me add one more website worth visiting: Julia & Stefan are in Alaska right now, about six months into a world tour. They're a nice couple. You may cross paths with them as you head south.

General Discussion / women biking long-distances
« on: March 15, 2007, 11:23:57 am »
You might want to read the accounts from Kristin Sullivan at She cycled solo from Fairbanks to Ushuaia in 2004-2005. Her website is both inspirational and informative. Good luck with your preparations, and have fun on the trip.

General Discussion / Visiting Australia Melbourne first
« on: September 13, 2005, 02:05:00 pm »
   I'm an American who has only cycled through that area once, so a local will probably give you better advice. IMHO, you will enjoy cycling along the Great Ocean Road. But, first you have to get out of Melbourne. You should consider taking the train from Melbourne to Geelong, finding a shop that will rent you a couple of bikes, and then heading down to the coast. I wish I could help you with the Geelong bike shops; maybe an Internet search will turn up a shop that will help you. Good luck, and bring along a good camera for the Great Ocean Road.

General Discussion / Cross Country bike documentary
« on: March 30, 2006, 06:30:46 pm »
This subject interests me because I produced a DVD of my round-the-world trip in 2001-2002, mostly for the benefit of friends and family. Judging by the trailer, the post-production that these guys put into their DVD looks very professional, very well done. They shot it well also.

If I were to undertake a similar trip now, I would use a Sony HDR-HC1 hi-def camcorder, a helmet-cam (like Viosport's), a wireless FM lavalier mic, and a very light, full-size tripod. A wide angle lens adaptor is helpful when shooting in cities. Mini-DV tape is cheap, so shoot lots of it. When you get home, you can decide what's worthy of inclusion in your DVD.

Remember, your camcorder can also be used to shoot the digital stills for your website, and as a web-cam for video-conferencing (check out Microsoft's Portrait software for Pocket PC's). It's amazing what we can now do with a few pieces of equipment that fit easily in most handlebar bags.

General Discussion / Solo Touring?
« on: March 05, 2005, 09:53:08 pm »
Both replies have been right on the mark. If you're traveling a popular route like the Pacific Coast, you can add or drop partners pretty easily. If you go with friends, dropping them could be problematic. I'm a big fan of solo touring, but there are a few down sides. You won't be able to share any of the motel/campground costs. You won't have someone to pace you or draft behind on the tough days. You have to be very diligent in watching out for your bike and belongings. You have to make yourself more visible to the approaching traffic. Still, I think that solo touring is the way to go. Bring along a cellular phone, a couple of credit cards, and some emergency cash and you'll have no worries. Good luck.

General Discussion / Touring videos for training
« on: February 02, 2005, 03:24:37 pm »
   Dan & Linda, you might be interested in the DVD that I made of my 2001-2002 round-the-world bicycle trip. It's actually 2 uncompressed DVD's that run for 110 minutes total. It includes a lot of video that I shot from a helmet-cam, as well as stationary video and stills that I shot of interesting sights. It's available through my website,, for $10 (which includes shipping in the U.S.).
   The helmet-cam video includes footage shot on the narrow road that hugs the cliff on the Amalfitano Coast of Italy, a heavily-trafficked road down into Athens, the coast road of Southern Turkey, the Giza Plateau, the Eyre Highway on Australia's Nullarbor Plain, the South Island of New Zealand, and the Desert Southwest. I'm sure there is a lot of other helmet-cam scenes; I just can't recall them at the moment.

General Discussion / How To Uploading Photos To A Journal
« on: February 02, 2005, 03:43:04 pm »
   James, you should consider bringing a Pocket PC and mobile phone/56K modem combination along for the ride. My Pocket PC had an HTML Editor and FTP software installed so that I could maintain a website and occasionally upload new pages, photos, and other files for my family and friends to track my progress. My trip was mostly outside of the U.S., so I used a tri-band GSM mobile phone and had access to Earthlink's international phone numbers in the countries that I visited. If you're staying in the U.S. you probably won't go with GSM because of the limited coverage. When you're indoors, use the 56K modem for data transfers. I believe that the transfer rate between the infrared ports on my Pocket PC and mobile phone were around 10K. You can build a very nice website with the space provided by most ISP's. Usually you have 60 to 80 meg available if you use all of the family members' space on your account. Good luck, and have fun.

General Discussion / Aero bars for touring
« on: September 30, 2004, 05:56:41 pm »
I put the Airstryke ZB aero bars from Profile Designs on my 1984 Specialized Expedition before my last big tour. They were a godsend. I had begun feeling numbness in the hands on prior tours, so I gave them a shot. The long wheelbase, fork rake, weight in the lowrider panniers, 32-35 mm tires all added stability. So, although the aero position was new to me, it was never TOO skittish. The spring loaded forearm rests never took away a hand position. In fact, it even gave me a new position. I used to rest my palms on the padded rests occasionally. I also attached my cyclometer, bell/compass, and headlight to the aero bar. I admit, I was very cautious on descents, especially when looking in my Third Eye mirror. The most difficult manouever was switching from the aero position to the drops while on a descent. Still, I highly recommend adding them to your touring bike.

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