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Messages - staehpj1

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Connecting ACA Routes / Re: Atlantic Coast to Transamerican Trail
« on: November 24, 2010, 01:11:59 pm »
You could probably work out something that would take you past Baltimore and DC and hit Skyline Drive to join the TA at the Blue Ridge Parkway.  That said I'd probably convince family or friends to drop me off in Yorktown.  Barring that I'd consider, bus, train, or one way car rental.

We did it the other way (West to East) and it was nice to be greeted by family and friends at the end.  They threw us a picnic before we headed home (north of Baltimore).

Whatever you decide, have a great tour.

General Discussion / Re: Southern Tier...Food storage at night
« on: November 23, 2010, 06:44:52 am »
Southern Tier trip in 3 weeks. What is the best way to go about storing food at night so the creatures won't get into it...and what kind of creatures should I be concerned about?
I've not ridden the ST but have been on a smallish part of it and toured not all that far from other sections and had no food storage problems there.  What I usually do is:
  • Don't carry a big supply of food, buy it daily when you can and as often as possible when you can't.
  • Use bear boxes when they are available.
  • Never take food into the tent.
  • Segregate food into a single bag along with scented products like toiletries, remove it from panniers at night, and hang it when in doubt.
  • Keep cooking, sleeping, and food storage areas away from each other a ways.
  • I have not used them, but am considering using scent proof bags.

General Discussion / Re: looking for touring shoes with a wide fit
« on: November 22, 2010, 06:43:18 am »
+1 on the Sidi Megas.  I like the lower end model Sidi MTB shoes like my old Mega Bullet 2's or the Mega Giau that apparently replaced them.  Others like the Sidi Mega Dominators, which are more expensive and have a bit more of a space alien look.  Any way I think all the Sidi line has a corresponding Mega model.

Even the lower end models aren't very cheap, but they are really nice shoes.

Routes / Re: Northern Tier - travel direction
« on: November 19, 2010, 07:00:26 pm »
My take is based solely on looking at a wind map and reading what others say online, since I have done the TA but not the NT.  So take this for what it is worth.

It looks to me as if there may be a slight edge in favor of W-E for the NT.  That said it seems to not be that pronounced or reliable to use it as a primary criteria when picking direction of travel.

BTW, I am of the opinion that there is a definite advantage of E-W on the TA wind wise, but again other factors are likely to be more important.

It isn't like the difference direction of travel makes on either is as big as it is on the pacific coast highway.

Personally, I like to ride toward home.  I like to have air travel out of the way in the beginning.  I like to have friends or family to meet at the end.  I like that starting far away makes it harder to wimp out.  I think things like that are bigger factors for both the TA and the NT.

General Discussion / Re: Camping in the east
« on: November 19, 2010, 02:23:06 pm »
I suggest planning to stop at state parks.  For a nominal fee (most average $5-$10) you get a good spot, easy access, a shower (check into that, it may vary), and other amenities.  Depending upon your time of year you might be able to get by with flexible reservations depending how popular the park is, etc...  I've done this as far west as Iowa without a problem.  State parks tend to be much closer together the farther east you travel - it might work for you, at least I hope so.  Travel safe and enjoy.
That has not been my experience in the East.  Many even have day use prices that high or higher.  In Virginia State Parks for example the prices for standard sites with no electricity or water are $16-24 depending on which park.  Maryland and Pennsylvania are similar.  Some states in the east are higher and some lower though.  While I have not camped in state parks in all of the states in the east I have camped in several.  I do not recall any of the state parks in the east that I have stayed at ever being in the $5-10 range at least not in recent years, plenty in the west were though.

I think the following is somewhat typical of what you will find at state parks in the east:

Is your experience in the west, perhaps, or are you possibly referring to State Forests?

Gear Talk / Re: Your views on Easton EA90SLX wheels
« on: November 17, 2010, 10:19:38 am »
I am considering buying a new wheel set for my XC bike and need your advice to get the best one. Well, currently I am looking at Easton EA90SLX wheels. I have never used this brand ever before, but read many good reviews on it. Has anyone used these wheels? If so, then what's your experience so far? I am not committed to purchase Easton EA90SLX wheels, so recommendations for other wheels are also welcome.

Any recommendations?

They look like low spoke count (18 front, 24 rear) race wheels.  I doubt they are especially suited to touring unless you are talking about sagged tours where someone is carrying your stuff.

General Discussion / Re: Camping in the east
« on: November 16, 2010, 07:47:07 am »

I'm just starting to plan for a cross country tour and I'm wondering about camping on the eastern half of the country.  In order to keep costs down, I'd really like to camp out as much as possible (for free if possible)-which seem like its pretty doable out west, but seems a little more tricky in the more crowded east coast.

So, my question is, is it possible to camp for free on the east coast on a regular basis? Or is it going to be more trouble than its worth to find a spot?
What route are you taking?  I know that on the TA you really don't spend much time in "crowded" areas.  When leaving the coast it pretty quickly becomes small towns and rural areas.  It may be a bit harder to find free places to camp/stay than in the middle of the country, but it isn't as bad as you might guess.  I can't say what other routes are like.

General Discussion / Re: Camping in the east
« on: November 16, 2010, 07:40:55 am »
A great way to save money and meet wonderful people is to use We stayed at a bunch of them on our cross country trip earlier this year and it was great. Of course, it's only fair that you sign up to host yourself at some point.
I agree that it is a great way to meet people and to get a shower and sleep indoors once in a while.  Hosting is a similarly rewarding experience and I recommend both.

That said I have not found it to be something I would want to count on a major portion of the time on routes that I have ridden.  It may be different depending on where you are going and whether you are willing to tailor the route and daily mileage to hit towns with hosts and hit them at a time when you want to stop.  I look at it as a nice thing to do once in a while.  It may be different depending on where you tour.

Gear Talk / Re: Touring Tent Talk
« on: November 13, 2010, 11:14:11 am »
BTW Im still going with the Northface tent but this thread gave me some helpful info. Thanks riders.
Looks kind of heavy and kind of pricey.  You could do better IMO.

Get him a mirror and make him practice to get used to it.  It's the most important safety item in the kit.
Were talking about an adult here right?  He probably already either is already a mirror user or has decided he doesn't need one.  Personally I don't feel the need for one, but figure it is a personal choice.

Routes / Re: West to East, Early Spring
« on: November 12, 2010, 01:00:33 pm »
IMHO if ya can wait a few months to begin, may be better to go in counter clockwise direction.  Not only will western mtns be difficult/impossible to get over, but riding Pacific coast in northernly direction will be real tough due to prevailing wind.
I agree that it is easier to make a US perimeter tour work going counter-clockwise.

Maybe consider starting in San Diego and going counterclockwise instead.  Even then i might start a bit later, depending on your planned pace.

Routes / Re: Different routes across Washington state
« on: November 12, 2010, 10:06:40 am »
You have not said you prefer it. It's just unusual for most cyclists to even consider Interstates when prettier options exist.
Interstates vary widely.  For example, I found I-80 on the TA to be somewhat unpleasant, but I-25 in New Mexico had lovely scenery and was just generally a great ride IMO.

The best thing you can do is be very patient and understanding when he is much longer between calling home than he should be.

Treats form home are always appreciated, just don't send heavy stuff that can't be used or eaten fairly quickly.

I agree with Patrick on the AC maps, but didn't take or wish for bag balm, chamois butter, or a netbook.  In fact the biggest thing for me is to keep the load light and skipping the netbook is a part of that.  We thought we started out with a minimal load, but mailed batches of stuff home several times on the TA.  I don't think I was ever sorry I left stuff home, but often wished the load was lighter.  My motto when packing is if in doubt leave it out.

Good advice on sending stuff from home.  We never bothered with two day or next day delivery though.  Try to pick a medium sized town.  That way there is likely to be only one post office and it will have longer hours than the ones in the tiniest towns.  Try to time it so he will be there on a day it is open, but if all else fails he can stop at any PO and arrange for the package to be forwarded to another town.  It is a great way to adjust what is carried to the region you are in.  No point in carrying something you won't need for another 1000 miles when you can have it mailed to you closer to when you will need it.

Routes / Re: Sierra Cascade
« on: November 08, 2010, 05:03:12 pm »
My impression was that the guy who picked the route for the SC (Bil Paul) actively avoided  anywhere flat.  At least the southern 1000 miles of the route is pretty much all either big climbs or big descents.  Whether that is good, bad, or indifferent depends on what you are looking for.

That said, I agree that the google picture makes that part of 395 look quite ride-able.

General Discussion / Re: Advice about Unique Bicycle Touring Company
« on: November 08, 2010, 08:13:11 am »

Personally it doesn't appeal to me.  Undoubtedly it would to some.  I suspect that the members here are generally not that likely to be your target audience.  So this may not be a great measure of the market.

Good point, and thanks for your post. My target audience is probably retirees and/or cyclists who would rather not have the additional challenges of a loaded bike and tent camping. Thanks again!
Doesn't hurt to ask here. Just be aware that any given forum will have it's own demographics which may or may not match your market.  BTW, good luck with your venture.

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