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Messages - sam21fire

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Routes / Vegas 2 San Francisco
« on: April 09, 2006, 02:45:13 am »
Most (all?) of the freeway construction from Baker to Jean has been completed...unless they've started something new in the past couple of months.  I-15 is much wider now w/ decent shoulders. I used to work that part of the freeway as a Firefighter and strongly advise that you don't ride that part on Friday or Sunday...or any time around a holiday weekend.
Good luck!

Routes / Pacific coast in April
« on: February 17, 2005, 05:39:00 pm »
Yeah, there's always a chance of rain that time of year but it's not often that it's a long-lasting storm, and it probably won't be the cold/nasty sort you'd find farther North.

good luck

Routes / AC maps doubts
« on: February 17, 2005, 05:36:16 pm »
I too had doubts about carrying all those pages of updates to the AC maps.  When I read them closer I realized that not all of the updates were important to my trip, so I used a razor-point, permanent ink pen and wrote in the changed information wherever it was appropriate.  In the few cases where there wasn't enough space, I wrote a reference number, and then wrote (or cut/paste) the info into my notebook with the reference number.

Good luck!

Routes / Southern Tier
« on: February 17, 2005, 05:43:45 pm »
Actually March is probably a good time to head East from San Diego.  Might be a little chilly in the morning near the coast, but as soon as you hit the East side of the hills you'll be in a desert climate so you'll miss the worst of the heat.

Good luck

Another point is that Amtrak's own bicycle boxes (cost about $10-15) are much larger than standard bike boxes...the only thing you have to do is remove the pedals, turn the bars sideways and roll the bike into the box.  I've done this several times in LA and the baggage people have always been very friendly and helpful.

Good luck!

General Discussion / bike & gear safety (and other) questions...
« on: June 15, 2006, 02:14:07 pm »
I've taken Amtrak from LA Union station to the SF area a couple of times...
Boxes: the Amtrak boxes are much larger than standard bike boxes in all 3 dimensions.  I was only required to remove both pedals (and panniers/handlebar bag, mirror of course), turn the handlebar sideways and roll the bike into the box. The baggage people at the LA station have always been very nice and helpful.

Cost: They charge $10 for the box and an extra baggage fee for the bike part of your baggage. Sorry I don't remember exactly how much the extra fee was but I think it's on their web site.

Travel: the trip is quite beautiful but don't take Amtrak if you have a specific time to be somewhere.  LA-SF trip almost always arrives late, often 6-8 hrs later than scheduled because freight trains usually have priority on the tracks. You may want to bring snacks because food is a little expensive on the train (think airport prices) and the station stops along the way aren't long enough to get local food.

Destination: Amtrak doesn't go directly to SF.  I got off Amtrak at one of the stations North of Oakland and took BART into SF. You can take your loaded bike onto BART during certain times and on certain cars (check their web site for details).  I advise against getting off Amtrak in Oakland because the station is in a bad part of town which you'll have to travel through to get to the nearest BART station. Martinez worked well and didn't cost any more than a ticket to Oakland.

Hope this helps.

General Discussion / Hygiene on tour
« on: May 04, 2006, 10:46:41 pm »
I learned to use baby wipes (unscented) while in the field w/ the military, and they work great on tours also for those 'in between' days when you don't have access to a shower.

Have a great time!

General Discussion / Where are you touring to 2006
« on: January 02, 2006, 09:11:12 pm »
I'm planning to ride through Utah and N. Arizona in May.  I'm also starting to give some thought to riding in Scotland in the fall...and while I'm there I might as well do Ireland and England, right?

General Discussion / Scotland Touring
« on: December 20, 2005, 01:25:15 am »
Does anyone out there have experience and/or good sources of information about touring in Scotland?  I'm starting to plan a trip there in Sep 06 and anything will help.

I'm pretty self reliant, so I'm mainly looking for unexpected stuff that could create a problem like unique laws or traveling issues, odd camping situations, etc.

Thanks in advance for your input.


General Discussion / energy gels
« on: October 16, 2005, 09:55:06 am »
Carrying gels for emergency use is a good idea- such as when the sun is setting, you've got 5 more miles to go to your planned sleeping area, and your body is saying "enough!".  I've also used chocolate covered espresso beans.  Ok, maybe they don't fit the best definition of "nutritional" but I like the little bit of energy plus caffiene (sp?) to get me those last few miles without making a meal or snack stop late in the afternoon.
Good luck!

General Discussion / Camping w/o a tent
« on: April 14, 2005, 12:51:45 pm »
I've done quite a bit of camping w/o a tent (and a lot with the military).  Sleeping out in just a sleeping bag has a lot of obvious advantages especially the view of the stars.  The biggest problems I've run into are rain (I take a small tarp just in case), mosquitos when it's too warm to hide inside your bag, and changing clothes if there are lots of people around and you're shy.

Good luck and have fun!

General Discussion / vegetarians
« on: April 14, 2005, 01:08:04 pm »
I'm not sure how plentiful they are East of the Rockies, but the Trader Joe's stores usually stock a good selection of vegie and organic foods at reasonable prices.  They've got a web site that will give locations.

Good luck!

General Discussion / HELP! Being Harrased by Police!
« on: April 03, 2005, 06:08:29 pm »
All the responses here are excellent!  Two additional points I've found to be effective is to emphasize when you're asking about a place to stay for the night that you'll be leaving at or near sunrise, before most people are up and moving.  That way, the local patrolman has less chance of having to explain himself to his/her boss if he's stretching the rules a bit. And secondly, stop by a local bike shop and ask someone there if there's some place to pitch a tent.  You'll often find that either an employee or customer will step up with an offer or idea.

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