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Messages - staehpj1

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1
Routes / Re: Newly Discovered ACA Routes
« on: August 12, 2022, 10:31:39 am »
I've never seen it before.  Some of the routes were familiar though.

2
General Discussion / Re: What to do with a bike box?
« on: August 06, 2022, 04:17:21 pm »
Delta's policy states "If the bicycle is packaged in a soft sided travel bag or anything other than a hard shell case, a limited release form will need to be signed" which to me implies to me that you could pack it in a durable plastic bag. However, their $200-$300 fee each way for over 80 linear inches makes me avoid Delta.   
Doesn't Delta's current policy allow a bike oox (up to something like 115") fly as one of your bags with no bike surcharge?  I thought they dropped the big fees to zero last year.

EDIT:
I went and checked to see what had or had not changed.  I copied the following from twowheeledwanderer.com because it was easier to read there than the delta site.
DELTA AIRLINES
Delta Airlines bike ree: Standard baggage fees apply – 1st bag: $30; 2nd bag: $40 (fees may vary depending on destination)
Max Weight: 50lbs/23kg
Max Dimensions: 115 linear in/292 linear cm
Additional Info:
Extra fees will apply if over 50lb weight limit
Bags exceeding 115 linear in and/or 100lbs will not be accepted
I was quoting from the international oversized section toward the bottom of the page.  As you say, it is much easier to read elsewhere but I like to get it in writing from their own website.  They do not specifically say a bike is $x but it does imply it allows up to 115" in one section (which is oversized based on the 62" allowed) but excludes 81+" in other sections.  You would think they could just say a bike is $x each way, how it must be packed at minimum, and the size/weight limits.

https://www.delta.com/us/en/baggage/checked-baggage/excess-overweight-baggage
Delta's site is confusing with references to oversize charges in one place and bike policy in another, but bikes are exempt from the oversize charge.  The two wheeled wanderer site is actually pretty clear on how it actually works.

3
General Discussion / Re: What to do with a bike box?
« on: August 06, 2022, 12:22:03 pm »
We have only flown with Iceland Air with bags. They show it on their site. I use queen size bags and cut them down. I get them at a mattress store.
A big plus if it is endorsed by the carrier.

4
General Discussion / Re: What to do with a bike box?
« on: August 06, 2022, 11:21:37 am »
Delta's policy states "If the bicycle is packaged in a soft sided travel bag or anything other than a hard shell case, a limited release form will need to be signed" which to me implies to me that you could pack it in a durable plastic bag. However, their $200-$300 fee each way for over 80 linear inches makes me avoid Delta.   
Doesn't Delta's current policy allow a bike oox (up to something like 115") fly as one of your bags with no bike surcharge?  I thought they dropped the big fees to zero last year.

EDIT:
I went and checked to see what had or had not changed.  I copied the following from twowheeledwanderer.com because it was easier to read there than the delta site.
DELTA AIRLINES
Delta Airlines bike ree: Standard baggage fees apply – 1st bag: $30; 2nd bag: $40 (fees may vary depending on destination)
Max Weight: 50lbs/23kg
Max Dimensions: 115 linear in/292 linear cm
Additional Info:
Extra fees will apply if over 50lb weight limit
Bags exceeding 115 linear in and/or 100lbs will not be accepted

5
General Discussion / Re: What to do with a bike box?
« on: August 06, 2022, 10:34:27 am »
We also carried plastic mattress bags for that flight home as I did not want to run around trying to find a box and then get it back to where we were staying. This process allows us to ride to the airport and prep our bike in a quiet corner.

Tom, have flown with just a plastic mattress bag on US airlines before or just Icelandic Air?  If US, How was that?  Any grief at the check in counter?  Handling?  Etc.? 

Tailwinds, John
I too am curious about the mattress bags.  When I google "plastic mattress bag", what I get doesn't look all that suitable.  The dimensions are way off for a bike and the weight seems to indicate they are fairly flimsy.  Not sure I found the right kind of bags.  Anyway, it seems like tou could buy some heavy drop cloth, PE sheeting, or tarp material and duct tape and make a better bag.

I also wonder, have US carriers accepeted bikes in just the bag and if so how did it go?  I'd think you could use big sheets of corrugated cardboard to add some protection like I do with my soft case if desired. That would involve schlepping cardboard to the airport or scrounging some there, but might appease counter agents and protect the bike a bit.

6
General Discussion / Re: What to do with a bike box?
« on: August 05, 2022, 12:24:53 pm »
I have often had a bike shop box and ship a bike for me to get it home at the end of a trip.  The cost was always reasonable (about US$100).  That was always within the continental US though.  Not sure if that would work as well for international shipping or not.

Companies like bikeflights.com or shipbikes.com are reasonable for domestic US shipping and can provide boxes, but again, I am not sure about international shipping.  It may be worth checking.

If flying with the bike, a bike box that a new bike came in may be the best bet.  Call ahead to be sure they have one for you.

I have used a soft case than can be folded up pretty small for mailing ahead.  A warmshowers host or bike shop might be recruited to accept and hold it for you.  A cheap one with no padding like the Transit model from Performance or Nashbar can be padded up with corrugated cardboard.   That way you can ship the empty case without the cardboard.

7
General Discussion / Re: Tents and panniers
« on: August 05, 2022, 12:11:31 pm »
FWIW, I always take some kind of means of cooking/heating food.  Even when counting grams I find it worth it.  My pop can stove with potstand, windscreen, pot, lighter, and spork can come in at under 6 ounces.  Add a few ounces of alcohol and I have a minimal setup.  So I figure there is never a need to go without a means to heat or cook entirely.  I can add more weight depending on the trip and what stove or pots I want to use, but there are other reasonably light options in my bag of tricks.

I'd say to consider what you value and decide, but I wouldn't go entirley without myself.

8
General Discussion / Re: Tents and panniers
« on: August 05, 2022, 10:07:07 am »
Agree that speed is not my major focus.  Zooming past a place is not being there.  A light, pleasant load can make the trip more pleasant, even if you stop every 25 miles.
One thing that I realize from talking to other riders and comparing notes about our experiences is that how much folks take in the experience has little to do with how many miles they ride in a day, how fast they ride, or how much they carry.  You can ride short mileage and miss out on meeting the local folks, not really take in the experience, and wind up sitting around in camp.  You can also ride long mileage and still squeeze in a lot of experiences any way.

I know that even on my very longest mileage day I can think back on a lot of memories of the terrain, the people, the local food, the wildlife, and the weather along the way.  It was one 142 mile day at the end of an 11 day tour, but when I think back on it it seems like there was a weeks worth of memories in that one day.

9
General Discussion / Re: Florida State Parks
« on: August 05, 2022, 09:13:40 am »
I am curious as to why at least a tent is normally required.  Perhaps for protection from things like snakes and other potentially bitey things?
Just a guess, but maybe a way to exclude homeless people.  If so it is misguided since quite a few homeless folks may have tents and non homeless campers may use tarps, hoopless bivies, or hammocks.

Personally I'd be inclined to call my hoopless bivy and tarp a tent.  While I typically may not pitch the tarp in good weather in the case of at those parks I guess I would in the interest of trying to "sell" the tarp/bivy as a tent.  I doubt it is likely to be questioned if I just call it a tent.

10
Connecting ACA Routes / Re: Trans Am planning
« on: August 04, 2022, 09:25:47 am »
Good to know.  What makes me nervous about reservations is the dreaded "schedule" that accompanies them.  As I age, physical unreliability increases.
A flexible schedule is a must for me.  I like to be able to choose how far to ride based on how I feel on a given day.  Some days I may not know if it will be a short day or a crazy long day until the end of the day.  I may take a break mid day and decide whether to continue after hanging out a while.  I may have multiple decision points like that during the day.

Sometimes you will need to do a bit of looking ahead a couple days at times where services are sparce for an upcoming gap.  Sometimes you may need to do a 30 or 90 mile day to set up for an up coming stretch without services when what you want is a 60 mile day.  In those cases you may need to commit to a particular mileage for a day.

Good luck and have a great trip.

11
Connecting ACA Routes / Re: Trans Am planning
« on: August 04, 2022, 09:00:35 am »
FWIW, I Have ridden the Trans America and a bunch of other long tours and rarely if ever made a reservation for a room or camping.  Off the top of my head I don't recall any.  I have called ahead the same day and maybe someone I was riding with may have made a reservation a day ahead at some point, but usually I don't even know where I will stop that far ahead.

There have been a couple places where I rode around the camp and found someone willing to share a site because the sites were all taken.  In the cases where that was the case a reservation wasn't an option (they didn't take them) and we didn't make it in time before the camp was filled.  The next camp was out of riding range.  A few times a Ranger or host has let me stay somewhere that wasn't officially a campsite (usually in a state park, never a national park other than hiker biker sites)

Something has always worked out.  Only very rarely have I ever had to resort to stealth (I have wild camped in plain sight).   When I have stealth camped it was never in a NP and generally on wooded private land.  I have dispersed camped on NF land some.

12
Connecting ACA Routes / Re: Trans Am planning
« on: August 03, 2022, 04:45:12 pm »
I am looking at the booking site right now for 8/15-8/17.  Many Glacier has 1 room left at $565.

Wow that is pretty steep.  I tend to think of bike touring as an inexpensive way to travel.  I guess that isn't always the case.  I think we averaged something like $4-5 per night for camping on our TA, but that was quite a few years ago.

Are bear canisters used in Glacier and Yellowstone if camping?  Or do they provide lockers?

Lockers at Yellowstone and I think Glacier, but I haven't been to Glacier so someone correct me on that if I am wrong.

13
Connecting ACA Routes / Re: Trans Am planning
« on: August 03, 2022, 10:56:12 am »
I put together a group to ride a modified TransAM using the Eastern Express route this summer. Although I decided to abandon the trip for various reasons I have stayed in touch with the group and assisted in route changes, etc. I was also in touch with another couple doing the Eastern Express. Everyone I have spoken with has said that the Eastern Express is a very lonely route.

I usually tour with my wife so loneliness is not as big a factor. However, not seeing other cyclists on your route for weeks at a time can be discouraging. After all, long tours become more of a mental challenge once your body becomes accustom to the mileage. I think a lot of the Eastern Express users also travel East to West, which reduces your chances of running into riders if you are traveling at a similar pace.

There are plenty of riders on the C&O and GAP. Our route left the GAP in West Newton and followed PA Bike Route S to Wheeling to bypass Pittsburgh. Once leaving the GAP expect to see no other riders for many days or weeks. One couple I was in contact with used the TransAM Connector to rejoin the traditional TransAM route just to encounter other riders.

Yeah, even when riding in a group of three on the TA, meeting other riders was a highlight of many of our days and folks we met are still remembered fondly 15 years later.

14
Connecting ACA Routes / Re: Trans Am planning
« on: August 03, 2022, 10:52:09 am »
Will you have issues with the ebike being treated as bike wrt hiker biker sites, access to some bike trails, and so on?  I don't know, but there may be possible issues with it being treated as a motorized vehicle in some places for some purposes.  Just something to have on your radar.  It may be a non issue, but better to not get caught off guard.

15
General Discussion / Re: Tents and panniers
« on: August 01, 2022, 04:20:24 pm »
Weight is the enemy of speed, not distance. 
(Agree wholeheartedly with your comments, but I'll add the reminder that weight is also a mechanical stress that should be factored into frame and component choice to avoid failure. Many a trip has been shortened because someone does not know when to stop adding luggage to their lightweight racer or commuter.)
I have my doubts on this being a major reason for shortened trips.  I know of more trips shortened because the rider gave out under the strain of hauling a heavy load over the mountains or hills.

BTW, I don't get why there is this assumption that the whole reason folks travel light is speed.  Personally, I find the main benefit to be the pleasant ride.  Speed is a bonus.

To be sure there is a balance of enough things for comfort in camp, a light enough load for comfort when riding, and of course fitness to manage the combination.  We all find a balance that suits us.

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