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Messages - bobbys beard

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General Discussion / Re: Do we need to do any training?
« on: May 13, 2013, 05:05:21 pm »
as a few have metioned, no matter how enthusiastic, young and fit you are, your backsides will indeed benefit from a bit of extended saddle time prior to your trip.   anyone who has ever had to cycle long distances with saddle sores will never forget the experience!

in august it will be hot and that makes a big difference too. a bit of training (though not essential) would be sensible and just make your trip a whole lot more enjoyable.

General Discussion / Re: first big bike tour
« on: May 08, 2013, 06:44:28 pm »
i've been sitting on my ortliebs for 3 years. they make a great seat and the mud washes off.

a half body length of bubble wrap is still half your body length regardless of how tall you might be ;) you don't need it for your legs. i've camped many times in minus freezing and stormy conditions and i find bubble wrap is amazing under a down bag. plus it weighs nothing, packs very small and costs very little.

i guess i camp differently to some. i wouldn't consider taking most of those things, but as i said it's a matter of preference :)

General Discussion / Re: first big bike tour
« on: May 08, 2013, 08:14:49 am »
@cycleone-  a matter of preference of course, but that's a LOT of unnecessary equipment. i wouldn't be so concerned with the weight, but the space you have is the big issue. you need space for water, which doesn't squash down.

plus, you have to pack and unpack every day, which is a chore and sometimes you just need to set off quickly and early.  there are many easy, cheaper and efficient ways to find the comfort you're looking for.

your panniers make for a comfy dry place to sit if you really need one. and a half body length of bubble wrap makes a great sleeping pad, while taking less valuable space.

you're absolutely right that comfort makes for a better trip, but all that excess gear will prove annoying once you toughen up a bit to life outdoors.

Routes / Re: Route through or around Los Angeles.
« on: April 30, 2013, 07:56:04 am »
i went through camp pendleton after a local bike shop told me the only alternative was back into the desert (i was headed north) if i'd have known i could bike on the interstate, i would have done that instead, because i got lost on the camp and clocked up about 8 bonus miles, aswell as getting cross examined by a marine. i always feel quite safe on the interstates.

you must have a cycle helmet to go on the base too.

i didn't take a map for the pacific coast and opted to follow route 1 as closely as i could, which took me past LAX and some pretty stressful situations for a few hours. i'm sure the coastal route is much nicer though.   south of malibu, heading out of LA, i thought the road was very narrow in parts, with heavy traffic, but there were a lot of local bikers, so it probably isn't as bad as it seemed.... and i'm here to tell the tale :)

between there and san diego is fairly straightforward. it takes you through some nice beach towns.  san clemente being the highlight for me. nowhere near as nice as route 1 north of san fran though.

Routes / Re: Route Suggestions
« on: April 24, 2013, 07:32:07 am »
i encountered a few aggressive drivers in south oregon, but i don't have any memories of bad traffic in california, aside from LA and San Diego, but cities are always a bit stressful.

 the coastal route is sometimes narrow and steep with blind corners, but it's also peaceful and you can usually hear an oncoming vehicle a long way off.

go for it. the northern cali coast is one of my favourite rides :)

Routes / Re: Southern Tier
« on: April 13, 2013, 02:02:15 am »
you'll get used to the camping. i took a rug and slept under the stars most nights (when it wasn't raining)  it was too hot to be in a tent.

actually amenities aren't as far between as you might think, but it's a good idea to carry extra rations and water at all times. don't rely on the aca maps for service locations, as many are closed.

Routes / Re: Southern Tier starting April 17th, Tempe to Austin.
« on: April 09, 2013, 10:16:00 am »
its pretty hot out there in arizona right now (90+ at midday) but i think if you set off at sunrise you will be quite comfortable in the desert. it takes a little while to adjust to heat, so don't push yourself too hard right away. make sure you have plenty of fluid and just be sensible about your daily ambitions. 

on the plus side, camping out will be quite comfortable this time of year, so you should be able to sleep well ;)

plan each day just a little bit and you'll be fine :)

Routes / Re: El Paso to San Diego via Tucson
« on: April 01, 2013, 01:38:53 pm »
wonder if ACA would consider printing this as an alternative route on their maps.? i have to say that phoenix was by far my least favourite days cycling of the southern tier. yuck. i promised myself to skip it if/when i bike the ST again......

Routes / Re: ST Border Safety
« on: March 07, 2013, 03:14:02 am »
i had a great time and not once felt threatened on the border. the only part of the southern tier i ever felt remotely threatened in was the florida redneck section ;) 

Routes / Re: Southern Tier Connection Advice (LA & NM)
« on: November 15, 2012, 01:10:47 pm »
don't skip the gila wilderness loop in NM. it's easily the toughest climb of the whole southern tier, but by far my favourite section :)

Routes / Re: Cycling in the U.K.
« on: November 12, 2012, 07:44:53 pm »
the classic north-south ride is john o'groats to lands end. loooooads of resources if you google that specifically'groats+cycle+route&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en&client=safari

when i bike long distance over here, i take an a-z road map, a cheap compass and my ipad so i can google map if i get too lost.  :)

Routes / Re: Southern Tier in March of 2013
« on: November 12, 2012, 08:36:09 am »
yeah, i ride fully loaded too. the southern tier especially, means you have to carry loooooots of water and food. never have ridden with fenders, so i can't say if they're better or not. but i figure that rain comes down too, so i'm getting wet whatever happens ;)

Routes / Re: Southern Tier in March of 2013
« on: November 11, 2012, 07:58:08 am »
i don't think fenders make a big difference to tourers. you probably have a rack and rear panniers anyhow, which do a good job of keeping you dry.    and i did the southern tier without a light at all, so i wasn't tempted to ride at night. a lot of those deep south drivers are even crazier after dark..... ;)

the more elaborate your equipment, the more you have to lose or break.

Routes / Re: Pacific Cycle Route tour suggestions for visiting Brits
« on: October 29, 2012, 09:07:31 am »
north of san francisco is an amazing route. the winds are nowhere near as bad as people say. if you're used to biking uk winters, you'll be wondering what the fuss is all about ;)

and i'd recommend actually not buying the aca maps. route 101 was really easy to follow. i just took a cheap compass and made sure i was headed north-ish. there are cheap campsites everywhere and moels even more so.

Routes / Re: Atlantic Coast Questions
« on: October 29, 2012, 08:50:43 am »
i did it last june and tended to pull up at the roadside most nights, then get a motel once or twice a week as a treat. there are almost always logging forests to hide in and plenty of abandoned building sites too, which made great free camps.   the couple of occassions i did pay for camping, it was really expensive and certainly not worth it. i'd suggest taking a hammock as well as a tent :)

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