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Messages - staehpj1

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Routes / Re: Camping Along Pacific Coast Route
« on: January 26, 2022, 04:57:42 pm »
I think many do close in the off season.  Some close at times even during the normal open season.  I ran into one or two that were closed in September the year I rode it.  Always check ahead.

Stormy weather the wind blows the wrong way.  Same for much of the off season I am told.

Go when it is nice.  Wet weather would suck.  Wind in your face would too.  Summer is nice.  After Labor Day traffic drops off making it a great time to go.

General Discussion / Re: TAT and mental health
« on: January 26, 2022, 11:55:51 am »
Re the advice about cutting the trip short:
I have reframed this trip as “see how far I can get in under 90 days” rather than having the added pressure of “I must get coast to coast in that time”. When time is a constraint it can often trigger insomnia.
Sounds like a good idea.  90 days is a generous time allotment so chances of finishing are pretty good even if you take it easy, but it will be a great experience going part way as well.  Not having the pressure of needing to make the coast probably increases your chances of doing it.  Lots of great scenery and interesting people along the way will make it worthwhile regardless of how far you ride.

That said some folks ride to Pueble or so and come back another year to do the rest if they really do want to complete it and going all in one go doesn't work.

I hope you have a great trip.

General Discussion / Re: TAT and mental health
« on: January 26, 2022, 10:51:59 am »
The other thing I'd add is what's the worst that's going to happen here? After 6 major road tours I decided to try my luck w the Great Divide which is a MTB ride. And it did not work out. Two weeks and 800 miles into the trip I came to the unmistakable conclusion that this was not good fit for me and I got off at the next big town. I was disappointed and a little embarrassed but that was it.

If the same happens to you, there is still the option of renting a car and seeing the places you intended to see. And you will be disappointed and a little embarrassed like I was. But you'll still have a great experience.
Starting out with the idea of bailing in your mind may make quitting more likely so I'd avoid starting out with that on your mind, but yeah, bailing on a trip isn't the end of the world.  You can always salvage something from the trip.  Hop in a car or on a train or bus and hit some other points of interest.  Do some hiking.  See some cities, whatever.

I did worse.  I hurt my knee immediately before a trip, decided it was okay.  Drove well over 2000 miles to the start of my tour and realized the knee wasn't up to the trip and never rode the first day.  It wound up being a scenic car tour across the country rather than a back country off road bikepacking trip.  I wound up driving 5000 miles and not riding at all.  I felt like an idiot, but it wasn't the end of the world and I even enjoyed the trip.

I also have cut a couple long tours short due to timing of family events.  Never felt bad about or regretted it at all though.

Gear Talk / Re: The shoe dilemma
« on: January 26, 2022, 09:13:48 am »
Xero, mentioned above, offers some lightweight options. With that said, I am no longer a fan of their Z-Trail EV sandal.  There are two plastic loops that secure the heel strap. On both pairs I have owned one of those loops broke.  The first time it happened not that long after I purchased the pair.  Maybe a 3 months with one two-week tour and a couple of months walking around town use.  Got a refund since the REIs in my part of the world did not stock them.  Ordered a replacement pair from another source.  Loop broke a little after a year and outside the warranty.

Last year I picked up a used pair of their Mesa Trail.

Nice shoe.  Walkable, light and compact. A men's size 9 is less that 8 oz.
Yeah, something like that is great until you need a real hiking boot on really rocky tough trail.  It would suffice for even very long hikes.  I would wear a shoe like that for just about anything I have hiked on tour.  I wouldn't want to scramble up Mount Katahdin in them, but I generally don't do stuff like that on tour.  If I did, I'd make arrangements to have real hiking boots mailed to me and mailed home after.

And I agree: You can do some light hiking in a cleated shoe.  I tour and commute/run errands in PI shoes with recessed SPD cleats.  I have walked from the road to both Kootenai Falls and the "rope bridge" over the gorge in them as well as the Ross Creek Cedars nature trail.  Neither are short or smooth walks.
Yep, I have happily done a quite a bit longer hikes on less than perfectly groomed trails in my spd shoes when they were the only shoes I had along.  They were fine as long as it wasn't super tough conditions.  They might be dangerous in some rocky conditions where the cleats tend to slide on the rock and extra care would be needed and maybe even skipping some trails might be prudent.  Again I wouldn't want to scramble up Mount Katahdin in these either.  Something like the Mist trail would require a lot of care and be iffy (I bought a pair of trail runners in the camp store there just to use for the hikes around the Yosemite Valley area).

General Discussion / Re: TAT and mental health
« on: January 25, 2022, 11:14:10 am »
2) Take as many or as few days off for "rebuilding" as you need while on tour, going solo greatly allows you to do that.
Your comments are generally spot on as usual.  This one made me want to comment on my own recommendation regarding rest days.  My opinion is that for most riders taking days off is fine, but riding hard enough and long enough that you need to because you are physically exhausted from riding means you made an error in riding too far/hard.  I think many do themselves a disservice by pushing a bit too hard and kind of crashing for a down day.  That said. Tom66 may have special reasons for needing a day off (lack of sleep or other).

I am a firm believer in active recovery.  Riding some easy miles on a recovery day always seems to help me bounce back a little quicker.  If I am feeling beat up by a series of long hard days an easy 30 mile day does more for me than laying around in camp all day.  Even if I am really beat up getting on for just a few miles helps.  I am talking physically, but for me it is true mentally as well.  I don't know that it will or won't be the same for someone with bipolar disorder.  Based on the limited experience that I have with people in my life affected with it, I am guessing there isn't a clear across the board answer.

General Discussion / Re: TAT and mental health
« on: January 25, 2022, 09:41:46 am »
It is hard to say how a long tour will affect any particular person.  Daily routine, just riding every day, knowing what you will do, what you will wear, and so on can be great for some of us.  Over the long haul the routine can be reassuring.  That may not be the case for everyone though.

Sleeping...  Some complain about lack of comfort, truck or other traffic noise, nearby train noise, or worries about this and that.  Some sleep great regardless of all that when on the road.  Personally I generally sleep great when on touring, backpacking, canoe camping, or whatever.  Usually much better than at home where sleep isn't always great.

Only you can say how it will be for you and likely even you will only know by trying.  Having the a positive attitude going in is probably the biggest factor that will stack the odds in your favor.  IMO it is even more important than any planning and preparation beyond a required minimum amount.  Going totally unprepared probably wouldn't work, but you can adjust as you go if you make errors or ommissions in your planning.

BTW, while short shakedown cruises can probably be useful and many folks do them, I doubt that they simulate a long trip well at all.  Personally I have not done them (my first tour was the Trans America).  In general I don't like short trips very well and would prefer to just do day rides or day hikes rhather than do a two or three day tour, but maybe I am weird that way.  If you are an experienced backpacker you can probably rely on that experience to know how to pack and how to be self sufficient.  The biggest difference being that you can buy food daily pretty much all of the time on the TA and don't need to carry much.

I'd advise is to giving  it a go and listening to your body and mind and their needs.  Sleep when you can and need to and ride when you are able.  Don't push yourself harder than the sleep you are getting allows.  I personally try to ride mileage that means that I never need a full rest day.  I do take easy "half days" here and there.  I also might rarely take an active day off somewhere special to hike, go whitewater rafting, or something, but not because I have run myself down to the point of being exhausted.

Routes / Re: Counsel on Southern Tier W to E starting mid March
« on: January 24, 2022, 10:55:16 am »
If you want to do 80 miles per day be aware that in the initial 71 miles you will be going from sea level to the 3980' Tecate Divide.
I have ridden that first part a couple times and it is quite hard.  I'd plan on taking it east for the first day or two myself, ymmv.  It becomes easier to make long miles as the ride progresses.

Routes / Re: Counsel on Southern Tier W to E starting mid March
« on: January 24, 2022, 10:51:02 am »
Welcome to the ACA Forums!

If you can realistically, i.e. have done it before, do 80-100 miles per day, you will be fine.  Just remember the days will be shorter than the summer so if it takes you 12 hours to do 100 miles, you might be pushing the miles a bit.
I rode mid Feb - mid Mar and the daylight hours are surprisingly long along the southern border that time of year.  Much longer than in the fall.  By March 15th in El Paso it is 12 hours from sunrise to sunset and there is daylight before and after that.  I didn't find daylight to be very limiting at all.

What constitutes a “good” bike computer depends on how much of a datahead you are. There are certainly many bike computers available that are much cheaper than a Magene. For a beginner, I’d start with a one that measures speed, distance and average speed. You can get one for $10 to $20.
I find I mostly just use it as an odometer.  Speed is nice, but not really that useful.  Temperature is nice to know as well.  FWIW, I was surprised how well the temperature reading worked (even in the sun if moving).

Cadence may be a big deal for some, but I found that after using one for a while I knew what each useful cadence felt like and stipped using that function much.

I have not shopped for any in a long time, but the Planet Bike models i have used have worked out well.  Also I agree that the Cateye brand is an old stand by with a good reputation.  I have owned and had good luck with them as well.

Personally my preference tends to run to wired models as i have found wireless models less reilable.  I have had issues with them failing to start when you start riding, logging miles when parked near a neon sign or other interference, and phantom readings near powerlines and other interference.  Some of that may be largely mitigated with digital signals, but I have not had problems with wired models and generally have with wireless.

The biggest annoyance on tour was that the total trip mileage tended to be off either because the computer failed to start itself or because it logged phantom miles due to interference.  I have owned some wireless models that I had to manually start when they were sleeping and I'd always ride a few miiles before I remembered.  Also some that I wasn't supposed to have to start, but sometimes did.

I think wired models are way less likely to have any issues other than a damaged wire or a dead battery.  So I just start a long tour with a fresh battery and take care to not damage the wire.

I know some folks say that their wireless models perform flawlessly.   Mine never have.  I always took care in locating the sensors in the optimum location and everything, but still had issues.  I gave up on wireless a long time ago, so maybe it has gotten better.

Not sure about current models, but there used to be a Cateye MTB model with a really heavy duty wire.  I liked that feature.

Routes / Re: Route ideas for touring in my 5 northern missing states
« on: January 19, 2022, 10:24:45 am »
Why not Minot?

Right now - 8 a.m., Jan. 19th - it's minus 12F in Minot,
22 mph west wind - for a windchill of minus 39F
Not the best cycling weather.
At least it isn't snowing.  My friend claimed it "snowed sideways" all winter.

Routes / Re: Route ideas for touring in my 5 northern missing states
« on: January 19, 2022, 09:30:41 am »
There's a reason why so few people live in North Dakota.
I don't know much about North Dakota, but I have a friend who lived on various Air Force Bases arounrd the world.  He said his time on Minot AFB was hell on earth weather wise and didn't have anything else in the way of redeeming qualities.  I wouldn't count on his judgement about the other redeeming qualities, but the bad weather seemed to be something burned into his psyche.

Gear Talk / Re: The shoe dilemma
« on: January 19, 2022, 09:06:35 am »
The only bad combinations are those that involve poor shoe fit, or hiking in cleated shoes.
Limited hiking in cleated shoes isn't an automatic fail.  It depends on the person, the shoe, the fit, the distance, and the trail conditions.  Short side hikes in not too technical conditions are fine in mine.  Since that is the extent of what hiking I do on a lot of tours my spd sidis can be serviceable.  As the distances get long or the trail conditions involve something closer to rock scrambling they get more questionable.  Actually the distance is less of a problem if the surface is forgiving, so on the right surface I'd hike moderately far in my sidis.  When it is rocky less so.

The bottom line is that the choice for me is different dependent on the trip.

Routes / Re: Route ideas for touring in my 5 northern missing states
« on: January 18, 2022, 10:08:49 am »
Oooh, a nice query on such a cold day.  I take it you do not have to ride across the entire state but what, in YOUR opinion, constitutes riding "in" a state, i.e., literally just cross the border, must stay in the state X nights, cover X miles, etc.?

Tailwinds, John
I noticed that Nyimbo said they were stated he'd never "been to" not that he'd "never toured" them.  So that does leave open the possibility that a brief visit might be acceptable.  I know that for example almost no one counts changing planes as a visit, but most do count other fairly brief visits. I recall an argument over this topic where one person said you had to perform "a quality action" the case in point was one where they had ridden across a small portion of a state on a bicycle.  The second person said that riding a bike was "a quality action" by any reasionable definition.

Clarification on the requirement in this case?

It looks like a bit of a stretch to cobble it together into one tour.  For what it is worth, I wouldn't hesitate to catch a bus or train to connect two loops or point to point trips if it made for a better overall trip if there isn't any common theme joining it all.

General Discussion / Re: What "riding buddies" do you take on tour?
« on: January 17, 2022, 04:59:28 pm »
None for me, but I look forward to seeing you guy's "riding buddies".

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