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Messages - happyriding

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Gear Talk / Re: clipless shoes
« on: May 16, 2011, 08:43:59 pm »
Make sure you have plenty of time to practice riding with clipless pedals.  Apparently, some people fall over! 

Gear Talk / Re: clipless shoes
« on: May 16, 2011, 07:59:43 pm »
I am new to touring and have never tried clipless shoes before.
Before I ask the question, I know that I am going to get many different answers and that is ok.....
My question is what are the best shoes and pedals for the money....
In my opinion, the best shoes for the money are the most expensive ones: Sidi's.  I've had a pair of Sidi road shoes for ten years that is still going strong.  Of course, if you don't plan on cycling after your tour, they won't be cost effective. 

I want to be able to get off my bike and walk around town alot and I would like them to be more like tennis shoes. Any help from the more experienced riders would be great.
One thing to think about is: the better the shoe is for cycling, the worse it is for walking around.  A good cycling shoe is pretty stiff, which means walking around in them is not that comfortable.  You definitely want to get a shoe with an SPD like, recessed cleat so that you aren't walking around on the cleat.

You can buy sandles with recessed cleats or tennis shoes with recessed cleats.

Comfort is paramount and for some people soft shoes cause foot problems, and for others stiff shoes cause hot spots.

As for pedals, some pedals have a smaller contact area than others, and for some the small contact area hurts their feet.  For touring, I use the Shimano A530's, shown here:

They have a relatively large contact area, and one side is a clip and the other side is a platform.  If you break a cleat or your foot hurts, it's nice to have the platform side to pedal on.

Personally, I use Sidi Dominator's for touring(hard plastic sole with recessed cleat), and if I plan to do any sight seeing, I take them off and put on my sandals(which are strapped on top of my rear rack).

Have fun on your tour!

General Discussion / Re: Cross Country Trip: Money, What To Do?
« on: May 16, 2011, 07:40:33 pm »
Also, if your budget is tight, take out as much money as possible when you use an ATM.  You will almost certainly be changed double fees--one by your bank for using a "foreign" ATM machine and the another by the owner of the machine.  That could easily be $3-$4/pop.  If you are on a $10/day budget, that goes down to $9 if you are taking out money every 3-4 days.

Man, that's a great point, thank you!

Also, i plan on having my parents mail things to me along the way, including valuables like money or whatever else. How exactly would I go about it. Would I simply have to know where I will be in, say, a week, tell them the city and have them mail it to the post office? How does that work to have them mail things to me along the way?

I would not have things mailed to you.  Trying to figure out where to have things mailed and then hooking up with them is a major hassle.  You will either get to the town too early and have to wait, or you will get there too late and the mail has been returned to a regional office, or the post office is closed, or you are at the wrong post office.  I had to have some special order tires mailed to me, and I will never do that again. You do not want to have any appointments when living on the road; you want to be able to live life foot loose and fancy free, and go where the wind blows you.   Mechanicals, side trips, detours, and hooking up with other riders are all possibilities that you don't want to have to forego because you have to be at a certain town at a certain time.

As for money, don't east coast banks have networks of branches up and down the coast?  All I carried was a credit card and an ATM card.  You rarely need to pay in cash for anything, so carry a little bit of cash for emergencies, and then charge everything.  I carried my wallet in a sandwich bag, and put it in my cycling jersey rear pocket, and that way it is with me at all times.  I left my camera in my handlebar bag on my bike along with my panniers(in which I carried a checkbook, which you need to pay for hiker/biker campground fees unless you pay cash).  You could unload your panniers and everything else into a grocery cart if you feel like you are in a bad neighborhood--but then I would just wheel the whole bike into the grocery store.

General Discussion / Re: Surly LHT: Adjustments needed to fit me...
« on: May 16, 2011, 02:57:50 pm »
The first thing I would do is make sure your saddle is level.  Put a broomstick on top of your saddle and parallel to the top tube.  Put a level on the ground underneath your bike, and note where the bubble is.  Then put the level on the broomstick, and adjust the tilt of your saddle until the bubble is in the same place as it was when the level was on the ground.

Next, you probably need to raise your handlebars to bring them closer to your body.  If you have room, put another spacer under the stem.  If you don't have anymore room for a spacer, then you need to get a shorter stem.  Make sure the stem has the same angle as your current stem, but is shorter in length.   That will reduce the reach to the bars.  However, a shorter stem with the same angle will also lower the bars slightly, so you might want to get a stem with more angle(i.e. it points upwards towards the sky more).

Also, when you lay the broom along your saddle, how close to the broom is the top of your bars?  For touring, you probably want the bars even with the saddle height or a little higher.

You can also shorten the reach to the bars by sliding the saddle forward on the rails--however, the *proper* position of the saddle is independent of the reach to the bars.  You *should* position the saddle so that when the rightside pedal is forward and horizontal to the ground, the front of your knee is directly over the pedal spindle.  You can check that by tying something heavy to a string, putting the string on the front of your knee and seeing where the string lines up with the center of the pedal spindle.  If you don't use clipless pedals, then where your foot is placed on the pedal can vary, so you will have to guesstimate.

You can also shorten the reach to the bars slightly by getting a different set of handlebars.  Different handlebars have different distances between the top of the bars and the curve of the bars.

For hand numbness, you can also double wrap the bars with bar tape for more cushion(which will also make the top of the bars a little higher), and wear gloves(which is a good idea anyway).

When you buy a bike, the bigger the frame you buy, the higher you can get the handlebars, but with bigger frames the top tube's are longer, so the reach to the bars is further away.  Ufortunately, the Surly LHT's have seat tube angles that are too steep and top tubes that are too long for touring.  Despite their geometry, they are the most often seen touring bikes on the road.

Go to google and search google Groups for 'rbw owners'.  Read the postings daily.  There are used Rivendell's offered in that size all the time, and when forum members see Rivendells offered elsewhere, they post links.

Good luck.

General Discussion / Re: ACA Maps
« on: May 12, 2011, 05:45:33 pm »
Don't forget the story of the area's history on the back of the map!   I loved the maps--even when inaccuracies had me fumbling around in the dark late at night cursing the ACA!

I found it is not necessarily the case that when traveling North, the directions are just the reverse of when traveling South, yet it was quite apparent the person who wrote the map was riding South. 

Thank you so much for all your replies.  Very helpful info.

Happyriding, wow, I really appreciate your time in corresponding so detailed.  You mentioned a lot of things I didn't even think of asking. :)  Looks like I have more things to add to my packing list.  Yeah, I wasn't even going to bother with cooking; I figured I would eat from supermarkets and restaurants.  Wouldn't the arm and leg warmers get wet in the rain?
I don't think it's possible to stay dry in the rain.  The idea is to maintain a comfortable temperature.  I wore a rain jacket in the rain, so my arm warmers didn't get rained on, but they still got damp with sweat.  A good rain jacket will have a back vent and underarm zips to vent steam, and the jacket can also serve as a windbreaker in dry weather with cooler temperatures.  Here is the one I used:

It's actually a brilliant orange color (v. the mustard yellow color depicted on the website) with 360 degree reflective tape.

Now that I think about, I don't know if I ever wore my leg warmers in the rain.  I think I might have just worn cycling shorts and booties with a rain jacket on top, and if I got too cold I put on my rain paints, and then if I was still cold I added leg warmers underneath my rain pants.

I can only wear my rain hood when it is really cold--otherwise it is just too hot.

I also carried a swiss army knife, which had a couple of screwdrivers on it, which I used along with my other bike tools for bike repair.


I'm brand new to touring, and I'm planning a solo trip covering the country of The Netherlands.  I appreciate any advices and/or experiences you can provide.

It sounds like you are in for a great adventure!  I'll try to answer your general questions.
My Cycling Experience:
I spent two months cycling to work on a mountain bike; kept on the same gear of 2 and 5 on a 21-speed.  Each way, it took me ½ hour covering 7 miles, including a very steep bridge.  The longest trip I'd ever biked was 9 hrs; it was a rental bike, one gear with coastal brake.  I was tired by the end but I wasn't burnt out; with a few short stop-overs, it was enjoyable riding.  That is the extend of my riding experience.  That said, I am female,  and I am healthy and athletically built.  I don't know how long and fast I would ride with full panniers, does 100km a day sound unreasonable?
You don’t have much cycling experience, but if you can ride for nine hours at a time, you’ll be fine—especially if the terrain is flat.  The one thing about not having any cycling experience is: how will your body hold up to riding an unfamiliar bike day after day.  Will your sitbones get bruised and tender from sitting on a bicycle seat so many days in a row?  Will your knees get tendonitis?  Remember, if the front of your knees hurt, raise your saddle a little bit.  If the back of your knees hurt, lower your saddle.  100 km/day on flat terrain is easily doable for an experienced cyclist who is fit.
2.  Is there a ratio formula of gear/pannier:body weight:bike weight?  For example: If I weigh 120 lbs (54 kilos), my personal possession (not including pannier weight,) should not exceed X number of pounds?
Not really.  First, you need a sturdy bike to carry gear.  A touring bike is built with sturdy tubing to handle the weight of panniers packed with gear, and to withstand being dropped or leaned on things.  A touring bike may also be able to accommodate wider tires, which make the riding more comfortable, and protects the rims from being damaged.

3. Are cycling shoes necessary?  I'll be cycling leisurely but I also want to use my energy efficiently.
I use them.  They certainly aren’t necessary.  Lots of people tour with sandals.
4. I read that all restaurants carry bike repair kits throughout the country.  What items do I need to keep in my personal repair kit anyway?
I carry a patch kit and several spare tubes, which I replace as necessary.  Some chain oil, which I put on about every two weeks, or more often if it rained (plan on getting a new chain after 2000 miles or so).  Some surgical gloves and rags for handling greasy chains, and baby wipes for cleaning up afterwards(which I use for other things too).  Some hemostats for pulling steel wires(from car tires) out of my tires.  A FiberFix for replacing a broken spoke.  A chain tool, a foldable set of Allen wrenches(Park brand) for all the various bolts on my bike.  Spare M5 bolts(for the seatpost, fenders, etc.) and some nuts for my fenders.   An extra brake and derailleur cable.  An extra SRAM Power Link to connect my chain.

I also carried one spare tire, which turned out not to be enough.  I went through five Schwalbe tires in 2 1/2 months, and I finished my tour on two more tires.  I used 38mm wide tires which were hard to find, and most bikes don't accommodate tires that wide, so if you are using a more common size, one spare tire is enough.

2. When you go inside somewhere for an hour or so (supermarkets, cafes, restaurants, hostels, etc...), how do lock up your stuff inside the panniers, or do you bring every thing with you in a backpack?
The longest I ever left my bike on tour was to go into a grocery store to buy food:  15 minutes.  I used a long cable with a combination lock, but a bike thief can easily snip the cable in 5 seconds.  Unloading all your panniers into a grocery cart is an option, but it is also a big hassle.
3. I was thinking of a U-lock and a chain one.  My chain ones are 3½ lbs or 8 lbs.  They seem so heavy to lug around while I'm trying to cut down on weight in my stuff.  What do you think?
U-locks and chains are too heavy.

Eating and Drinking:
1. I understand the public water is generally safe to drink, do I need to bring a water filter anyway? 
How many water bottles would you bring?  How easy is it to get them refilled?
I carry three large bottles.  Touring bikes usually have 3 water bottle holders, but you can also make do with two, and put a 100 oz (3 liter) bladder in your panniers, and fill it up with however much water you think you will need to get to the next water stop.

1.   Let's say, 2 front panniers and 2 back panniers, how would you pack?  Camping gear in one back pannier, clothes in the other back pannier; food in one front pannier, flashlight/everything else in the other front pannier?  What has worked for you?
I put my tent and sleeping pad in a waterproof bag and strapped it on top of my rear rack.  Then I put a cargo net over that, and stuffed my sandals under the cargo net.  I also tied one end of a large mesh bag to my saddle, and knotted the other end and tucked it under  the cargo net.   I thought I would be able to hand wash my clothes at night , hang them to dry overnight, and then if they were still wet, put them in the mesh bag to dry out—but that didn’t work because my clothes never dried out overnight, and they remained wet inside the mesh bag.  I ended up just putting my dirty clothes in the mesh bag, which kept them out of my panniers.  I also used the mesh bag to store my tent fly in it if the fly was wet when I packed up in the morning.  Then when I found some sun(or even just a little breeze), I would stop and spread the fly out for 10-15 minutes until it dried. 

The rear panniers are easiest to access,  so I used one rear pannier for cooking equipment (on the bottom) and food on top.   I also kept my toiletry kit and baby wipes in my food pannier, so that anything a bear might be attracted to was only contaminating one pannier.  I found I needed to reserve half the pannier for food.  In the other rear pannier,  I stored lots of miscellaneous things: foldable bucket(for washing clothes, dishes or filtering water),  backpack towel, washcloth, liquid camp soap, silk sleeping bag liner, hanging shower, accessory cord, mosquito jacket,  rain gear, rear flashers for my panniers, bike tools, and water filter.

In one front pannier I stored extra bike clothes, and my sleeping bag;  and in the other front pannier, I stored casual clothes, jacket,  and a warm shirt.  At night, I stuffed my soft fiber fill jacket into a pillow case, and it served admirably as a pillow.

I also had a handlebar bag(which sat on a mini front rack), in which I put maps, powerbars, front flasher, leg and arm warmers, warm gloves, warm cycling hat, camera, headlamp(helpful for fixing flats in the dark), sometimes my rain jacket, etc.  Make sure you get some leg and arm warmers.  They are indispensable.

2. What are some things you packed for a trip that you regret taking?
Cooking equipment.  I found it was way too big of a hassle to cook and cleanup—especially in bear country(which you won’t have to worry about).  I went on a 2 ½ month tour, and after two weeks I stopped cooking.  Instead, I ate things like turkey jerky, nuts, fruit, carrots, bagels, sandwich meat, milk, and cookies.
What are some "common sense" things that people take on a trip but don't make sense for touring?
I took two sets of cycling clothing to save weight, and as a result I had to do laundry every other day.  In hindsight, I would have taken three sets of clothing, so I could have done wash less frequently.  Finding a laundry and then doing wash takes a lot of time, and I was riding 70 miles a day(112 km).

3. I've heard people talk about "bum cream" to reduce chafing/sores.  Can anyone explain?  Is it necessary?  What other things are necessary?
It’s generally known as ‘chamois cream’.  I applied it every morning before setting out, and I applied more during the day.  I also had other tourists ask to borrow some.  At home, I make it myself to save money, but on tour that is too much of a hassle.  I used a brand called ‘Chamois Butter’ because it came in a nice tube, and it was avaiable everywhere.

Cycling Clothes:
1.   I am clueless about cycling shorts.  Where I'm traveling may rain often, and I likely won't have a place to dry my shorts properly.  How many pair of cycling shorts do you suggest?  Are they meant to be washed everyday?
I can’t stand putting on dirty cycling clothing.  I sweat a lot, but inevitably I had to do it a couple of times.    I suggest three pairs so you can do wash less often.  Riding in the rain is no problem with cycling shorts.  They don’t get water logged, and they dry out fast.  For riding in the rain, I wore cycling shorts plus leg warmers, cycling jersey plus arm warmers, rain booties for my feet, and my rain jacket.  If I got cold  I would put on my rain pants.
2. What articles of clothing would you pack for a two month trip?
For casual clothes, I packed one short sleeve cotton shirt and some cotton shorts for sleeping(summer tour), one long sleeve REI Safari shirt, one pair of REI Safari pants with zip off legs, a bathing suit, and sandals.  I also packed some warm clothes: one long sleeve warm shirt, some long underwear, a warm cycling hat, and some wool socks.  Typically, I would pull into camp at night, and the first thing I would do is wriggle out of my wet cycling clothing(with my pack towel around my waist), and then put on my warm cycling cap, my warm shirt, my long underwear with the REI Safari pants over that, my wool socks, my sandals, and my warm jacket.  If I needed more protection, I had my rain jacket plus hood, and rain pants.   If it was cold at night, I used my long johns and long sleeve warm shirt for sleeping in (coupled with my 35 degree down bag).  I found that I had just the right amount of clothing for all weather conditions.

Cycling Routes:
I don't really know how to plan out my trip.  There are so many options and I get confused by where to start once I depart from Amsterdam.  Where would you start off the trip, what routes would you take, and where will your trip end?  Bear in mind I want to cover quaint villages, castles and nature (but not necessarily going to every forests or heath.)  And I don't want to find myself back-tracking all the time.
If you want to ride a lot of miles per day, then there won’t be much time to stop and sightsee.

Gear Talk / Re: Brooks Saddle - Some helpful tips before I purchase
« on: May 11, 2011, 08:51:21 pm » also sells Berthoud leather saddles, but I don't know anything about them.

I do.  They are expensive, but they are absolutely beautiful.  I bought one because it is narrower than a B-17, which was too wide for me.  At first the Berthoud was painful, but after about a month it was tolerable, so I decided to use it on my impending tour.  It never really got comfortable, but it didn't bruise my sit bones like the B-17 did.  Well, that's not true: I had to take two unplanned rest days my first week because my sitbones were so tender--even though I completed a century training schedule before my tour, and I am a life long cyclist.  But after the first week, I didn't have problems like that again.  I did something like 300 miles my first four days, and being in the saddle so long every day was not something I was used to.

The screws on the Berthoud saddle, which are used instead of rivets, do loosen up, so I checked them daily and tightened them when necessary.

The Oregon coast is the most beautiful touring on the West coast, and there are lots of hiker/biker sites along the way($5 only).  The state of Oregon puts out a free route map, with all the campgrounds and hiker/biker sites listed.   You can pick one up at a bike shop. It's the same route as the ACA maps. 

The Pacific Coast route is very *crowded in the summer, but the hiker biker sites pretty much take an unlimitted number of people, so no worries.  You will meet lots of people at the campsites.  Go no matter what!

*When I say 'crowded', I mean you will see 5 or 6 other people at the hiker/biker sites at night.

Have fun!

Gear Talk / Re: Pannier that converts to knapsack?
« on: May 10, 2011, 09:23:10 pm »
Ortlieb has a conversion:

Never tried it myself.

General Discussion / Re: Gotta eat, but don't want to cook/boil
« on: May 10, 2011, 08:15:00 pm »
I did my first tour last summer: 2 1/2 months.  I took cooking gear, but after the first two weeks, I stopped using it.  It was just too much of a hassle to cook and clean up--especially in bear country.  I even carried a plexiglass bear cannister to put my food in. 

I stopped cooking, but I rarely ate in restaraunts.   I picked a destination for each evening, and before setting up camp, I stopped at a grocery store and bought food for dinner and breakfast.  Sometimes a store was right near where I camped, and sometimes I had to carry my food for 20 miles. I ate turkey jerky, nuts, bagels, lunch meat, fruit, carrots, milk, granola, and cookies.

Then I stopped during the day at a grocery store and bought similar items for lunch, as well as 5-7 Cliff bars.  I always had at least one meal in my panniers for an emergency.  I found that I was so hungry that any food tasted great.

Gear Talk / Re: Brooks Saddle - Some helpful tips before I purchase
« on: May 10, 2011, 07:42:13 pm »
I've been cycling my whole life, and I've never encountered a comfortable saddle.  Sitting on a bicycle saddle just plain hurts.  At some point, I bought a Brooks B17, and it hurt so much I couldn't use it--and my sit bones were bruised for the rest of the season to boot.   I get relief from my saddle by lots of training, and by standing and pedaling every 10-15 minutes.

One month isn't a lot of time to find a saddle, and it takes at least a month to break in a Brooks (or for the Brooks to mold your sit bones to its liking)--although some people like them instantly.

As far as bars go, I have always used drop bars because of all the possible hand positions: top of bars, hoods, drops.  For touring, my bars are level with the top of my seat.  And I always wear gloves.  They help with comfort, and if you ever crash you will be glad you had gloves on to protect your palms from scrapes.


I rode your intended route during the first week of September in 2010.  I used that route to connect from Ventura to Bishop, CA, and then I continued across Nevada on Highway 6.

In case future searchers are interested, here is my tale.  I encountered very little traffic on your route, so no worries there.  Along the coast that summer, it was cool and overcast, and during the Anacortes, WA to LA leg of my tour, I rarely saw the sun.  But after leaving the coast in Ventura, CA and turning inland, the temperatures climbed into the 90's.  I camped in Ventura at the hiker biker site in McGrath state park, which was a shithole, and adjacent to a site with 30-40 drunken partiers.

To avoid traffic on 33 out of Ventura, I rode on N. Ventura Ave. until I happened upon a bike path (which both parallel 33).  I believe the bike path got me close to Ojai.  There is a way to avoid Ojai by taking a left on Baldwin Rd, and then continuing north on Rice Rd, which is what I did (it’s a very obvious shortcut when you look at Highway 33 near Ojai on google maps).

I was worried about finding water up in the arid Ventura hills, so my plan was to load up on water at the last possible place.   At a local bike shop in Ventura, I learned that there was water at a campground about 1/4 of the way up the climb.  After that, I didn't know where I would find water again. 

I found the campground, but the water pump had a sign on it declaring the water unfit for drinking, and the pump was locked.  Disaster!  I spied a ranger station just up the road, so I went in there to ask for assistance.   No one was around, and there was a similar sign on their pump, but their pump was unlocked.  Even though the sign said that filtering the water wouldn’t be adequate, I had no other choice, so I pulled out my filter and filtered some water into my bottles and one of my supplemental bladders.  With a full load of water, I continued on up the climb.

As I climbed higher, it got hotter.  About 3 ½-4 hours after leaving Ventura, I reached the summit.  I think the elevation was 3,000 feet.  The view back down the canyon was beautiful.  From the summit, I inexplicably descended only about 500 feet and then the road flattened out.   When I stopped to transfer water from the bladders in my panniers to my water bottles, I was attacked by swarms of flies that tried to get in my ears and eyes.  The flies would also swarm around my face whenever the road inclined upwards and my speed slowed.

Because of the heat and the long climb out of Ventura, I was depleting my water supply pretty fast, so I looked for water along the road.  I did see some water but it wasn’t easily accessible, so I continued on.  Then to my horror the road started rising steadily upwards again.  Another climb!  I eventually summited a pass called Pine Mountain as dusk descended, elevation: over 5,000 feet.  The legs of my bibs were layered with sweat rings, like the 3,000 year old redwoods I encountered in Northern California.  I was trembling from the effort and partly from fear: I had half a bottle of water left, but I was thirsty, and I had no idea where I would find more water.  I choked down half a Cliff bar while I equipped my bike with lights for night riding and put on a wind breaker.   I descended slowly because I was shaking from exhaustion, and I didn’t trust my ability to stay upright.  Miraculously, at the bottom of the descent there was a fire station.  No one was around, but next to the visitor parking lot, there was a grove of trees, a picnic table, and a drinking fountain!  I greedily lapped up the cool water and splashed it over my head.  I got some food out of my panniers and arranged it on the picnic table for dinner.  As I ate, I decided to camp right there, next to the picnic table, under the grove of trees, with the breeze gently chiming the leaves, and the stars shining brightly overhead.

But then some sprinklers came on.  Drat!  I grabbed my food and ran for the parking lot.  My original plan was to continue north on Highway 33, ride to Lake Isabella, and then make my way to Bishop, CA.  So I loaded up with water at the fire station and continued north on 33 in the dark.  I was so wasted that I immediately started looking for a place to camp.  About 5 miles north of the fire station, I found a spot on the west side of the road in a sandy wash.  I set up my tent next to a large tree, and then I fell fast asleep.  That was the hardest day of riding up to that point on my tour, and I had come west on the Nothern Tier from Whitefish, MT, and crossed over three major mountain ranges.

The next morning when I woke up, I decided it would be prudent to go back to the fire station to fill up on water.  Then I retraced my steps and continued north on 33 until I reached a café in Ventucopia, where I stopped for breakfast (but mainly to use the bathroom).  The people in the café asked me where I was going, and I told them I was headed to Lake Isabella.  My statement was greeted with a look of horror.  The people told me that because of the holiday weekend it was way too dangerous to ride a bike up the twisting, mountainous roads to Lake Isabella.  They convinced me to turn around, backtrack to the fire station and head east on Lockwood Valley Rd.  My new destination was to be Frazier Park, and from there I would make my way to Bishop, CA, skirting the Sierras.  The people in the cafe said that the road was pretty flat to Frazier Park, and there would only be light traffic.

So back to the fire station I went for a third visit, where I filled up with water again, and then I turned onto Lockwood Valley Rd (which I don’t think is marked with signage).   There wasn’t any traffic on Lockwood Valley Rd., but it sure wasn’t flat.  It consisted of an interminable number of short steep rollers, which are momentum killers for a fully loaded touring bike.   I don’t know if I was feeling the effects from the previous days hard effort,  but with the backtracking already mentally putting me in a hole, the ride through Lockwood Valley turned out to be pure hell.  It was hot, and I felt mentally and physically drained.  The riding was arduous, and it wasn’t until late in the afternoon that I finally limped into a town just outside of Frazier Park, where I sat outside at a picnic bench and guzzled Gatorade and ate ice cream.  I continued onto Frazier Park (which was a down hill coast all the way) where I decided to treat myself to a motel room ($50 on the holiday weekend, next to a small grocery store), so I could take a a badly needed shower and try to recover.

The next day, I continued on to Interstate 5, where I turned south, and as someone else mentioned, there is a frontage road along the right side of the freeway, and then at Gorman the frontage road goes under the freeway and continues south on the other side of the freeway.  The frontage road connected me to 138, and then I rode east on 138 all the way to the Sierra Highway(which parallels the Antelope Valley Freeway).  I found cafe’s every 15 miles along 138, and I stopped at each one for a large ice cold Dr. Pepper to help me beat the oppressive heat.  I was paranoid about running out of water after my ordeal in the Ventura hills, so I lugged along a full load of water, which I never needed.

At the Sierra Highway, I turned north to Rosamond.  In Rosamond, I saw a sign for “The Best Bike Shop Ever”, so I stopped and had them take a look at my rear wheel, which plagued me my entire tour with spokes that loosened daily (brand new 40 hole Velocity Dyad with XT hub).

In summary, the riding along that portion of my tour was challenging, it was hot, the roads were generally good, and the traffic was light.  I had a great adventure.

Due to some big changes in my summer plans, I'm going to end up doing a shorter, different tour in the american west this summer (Logan, UT to Glacier NP, MT).

I also did that route as part of my tour.  Excellent riding.  Highly recommeded.  I hope you had as good a time as I did.

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