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Messages - staehpj1

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1621
Routes / Re: Pacific Coast - Rain or RV's, which is worse?
« on: October 14, 2010, 07:44:36 pm »
The parts of the Pacific Coast Route that I have ridden and driven were not that horrible traffic wise at least in my opinion.  I am pretty traffic tolerant though.  For me riding in the heavier traffic would be way better than rain every day.

Full campgrounds are not that likely to be a big problem since there are still a lot of hiker/biker sites that guarantee a site if you arrive by bike. 

1622
General Discussion / Re: Sea-Tac to Anacortes by air?
« on: October 14, 2010, 07:38:21 pm »
With the often high cost of flying with a bike and other checked baggage, it may be more economical to ship your bike via UPS, FedEx, etc., to a shop and have them reassemble and tune it.
I have done both, but flying with our bikes was less than half the cost of having them boxed and shipped by a bike shop on our last trip (we flew with the bikes one way and shipped them the other).  If you fly on SouthWest two checked bags are free.  Add the $50 bike/oversize charge and the total is $50.  I think Frontier has a similar policy.

Bikes shops typically charge $40-60 to box a bike and the shipping is typically $50-100 depending on where and how far you are shipping.

That said SW doesn't fly everywhere.

1623
Quote
We used White Lightning for a small portion of the Trans America and found the build up pretty bad.
Try the "Shedding Formula" which I think is relatively new, probably developed for that very reason.
We were told what we had was supposed to flake off but it didn't.  That was 2007 though so maybe it is better now.

1624
I too had poor luck with White Lightning and like Boeshield T-9.

We used White Lightning for a small portion of the Trans America and found the build up pretty bad.  I followed the application instructions on the bottle and the result was the worst waxy build up I have ever seen.  I am not sure exactly which of the White Lightning products we used.  Maybe one of the others is better.  What we used was so bad that I am not inclined to try them though.

Applying T-9 fairly often and wiping off thoroughly resulted in a nice clean shiny chain and long chain life (10,000+ miles).

1625
Gear Talk / Re: Rear Rack Bicycle
« on: October 11, 2010, 06:39:43 pm »
For on-road bike touring there is no need to carry multiple days worth of food as you are never more than a few hours from a grocery store of some sort.

I partially agree, but think that is overstating things a bit.  Yes, on tour you don't need to carry a lot of food and ideally you buy it daily.  On the other hand I have not found it is true that "you are never more than a few hours from a grocery store of some sort".  I have fairly often gone a couple days between stores and that is in the US.  I suspect some folks tour in places much more remote than I have.

Water is usually carried in water bottles cages on your frame or in a Camelback on you so the rack won't see that weight either.

Water...  I have needed to carry more than fits in my bottle cages quite often.  Best to allow for the likelihood of needing to carry some water in your panniers.  The notion of wearing a camelback doesn't appear to me, but even if it did sometimes in the desert you need a bit more.

Your racks should be well under their rated capacity.

Agreed, yes he should be able to stay under the capacity of the racks.


1626
General Discussion / Re: what cycling computer to get?
« on: October 10, 2010, 10:41:48 am »
Go buy a small GPS unit and mount it on your handlebar and enjoy the ride. On my Merlin I have a Polar 720i with all the bells and whistles and it's awesome, but on my NorWester Tour, I have a Garmin HCx Vista and I'm cool with that. Enjoy the tour!  ;D
Different strokes, but I'd rather not use something that battery hungry.  It would take about 60 AA batteries (give or take) to do the Trans America.  My Cateye still has the original batteries in it after 3 years including the TA and two other fairly major tours.

1627
General Discussion / Re: Novice coming to America !
« on: October 09, 2010, 01:35:07 pm »
This might be another silly question - to the experienced bikers at least - but what do you wear on your feet ?

Speciailised bike shoes ?...or what ?
I like the lower end of the Sidi line of MTB shoes with SPD cleats.  My current pair are the Sidi Giau.  They are much cheaper and much less "space alien" looking than the Dominators.  In my case I use the Mega model (for wide feet).

1628
Routes / Re: Katy Trail and Trans Am
« on: October 07, 2010, 12:21:53 pm »
You all have almost got me rerouting through the Ozarks!  The Katy is also something to see.  As is St. Louis and a Cards game while passing through. 

Good luck which ever way you go.

1629
Routes / Re: Katy Trail and Trans Am
« on: October 07, 2010, 08:29:09 am »
I've put the Katy Trail on my route itinerary.  I have no wish to experience the infamous Missouri road rage through the Ozarks.
Your reference to " infamous Missouri road rage" is not at all in line with our experiences there.  We found the people of Missouri very nice and the drivers no worse than anywhere else.  There were a couple spots where the traffic was unpleasant, but that was only a couple for short sections.  Those sections were where there was a steep grade with rafting company buses buzzing by.  I suspect that it would not have been a problem on a weekday and it wasn't that bad even on the weekend.  It definitely was not bad enough that I would route around it.

If you want to ride the Katy to ride the Katy I'd say go for it, but I thought the part of the TA you will miss was quite nice.

1630
Routes / Re: Coast to Coast with child
« on: October 06, 2010, 01:01:55 pm »
Also the east coast is pretty - not as spectacular as the west but a lot flatter and I think the roads are a lot quieter and safer for a child.  It was the rented RV's that used to frighten me on the Pacific coast.

The Atlantic coast would be much easier to get to and from from the UK. Plus you could include the C&O Canal - as previously suggested that plus the river (which name has slipped my mind ) give you around 300 miles of traffic free cycling plus plenty of places to stay.

My perspective may be a bit slanted by having grown up on the East Coast, but I personally find it less desirable for touring than the West Coast.  I would have said that traffic was worse based mostly on the portions of the route near my home and other portions that I have driven.  I would have also said the hills were steeper, but shorter on the East coast.  It may be an "eyes of the beholder" thing though.

The extension of the C&O you are referring to is probably the Great Allegheny Passage or GAP trail.  The two really don't do much for getting you down the coast since they run pretty much E-W.


1631
Gear Talk / Re: Rear Rack Bicycle
« on: October 05, 2010, 05:43:04 pm »
I am pretty sure we had the same racks on our Windsor Tourists and two of us replaced them with a couple Blackburn EX-1's that we had on hand.  The other of our group used the stock rack for the Trans America.  It held up OK.  I did notice a bit of sway in the rack when riding behind her, but it held up OK at least for the 4244 miles that she used it.  I think she always had less than 35 pounds on it.

I'd say that you can definitely get by with it if you pack fairly light especially if you are running front panniers too.  If I didn't already have an EX-1 before I bought the bike I'd probably still be using the stock rack.  Give it a try for a while and if you find it too flimsy buy and EX-1 when they are on sale (Nashbar and Performance often have them on sale).

1632
Routes / Re: Coast to Coast with child
« on: October 05, 2010, 12:41:18 pm »
I wonder if you would be willing to consider a half a transcontinental ride?
Not a bad idea.  If doing that I'd be inclined to start in the West and go east myself.  There are some pretty long stretches between stops though so be prepared for that.  If memory serves the longest was about 80 miles, but there are a number of them about 40 miles.

1633
Routes / Re: Coast to Coast with child
« on: October 05, 2010, 07:44:51 am »
The ST at that time of year sounds like a death march for most adult cyclists.  I wouldn't do it myself and definitely wouldn't subject a 9 year old to it.

If you could get more time off, the Trans America or Northern Tier would be great options, but I really think that 9 weeks would be way too little time especially for a 9 year old.

I agree that the Pacific Coast might be a better option given your time frame.  You could either take it fairly easy and do the necessary 30-ish miles per day average or you could take some detours inland to lengthen the trip.  I would think that taking it fairly easy would be preferable with a 9 year old along.  I'd be inclined to even leave the option of not finishing the whole route as a possibility.

1634
Routes / Re: Best cities for TransAm ride
« on: October 05, 2010, 07:20:09 am »
This question is a no-brainer. Follow the TransAm.

I have to agree.  Riding the ACA Trans America route is a great way to go.  Similarly the Northern Tier might be a good option.  There is some chance for flexibility by combining other routes like the Lewis and Clark or the Western Express with portions of the Trans America, but personally I took the TA as my first choice and probably would again.  We did improvise a few sections, but mostly stayed with and liked the route very well.

I think that the listing of places to stay (including many free or cheap ones) and other services like emergency numbers, bike shops, post offices, libraries, and so on are a real asset.

I also think they did a great job of picking the route.  Which picks a lot of country roads and small towns and not too many cities.

There is a nice amount of other bike tourists on the route.  Enough so you can meet and make friends along the way but not so many that it is objectionable.  You will probably meet someone else riding the route every few days or so depending on the date and where on the route you are.  You will be able to camp with other tourists once in a while and will also be able to be alone as much as you want.

Your projected time of two months works out to averaging 70 miles per day if doing the TA.  That is do-able, but I would advise an open ended finish time with the option of taking longer if possible.  It is nice to not be tied to a schedule.

Starting in June in the West is probably OK, but later in June is better than early if starting in the West.  There would be a good chance for McKenzie Pass to still be closed Early June (you can detour on Santiam Pass, but it would be a shame to miss McKenzie).  Starting in the East, earlier than June is better weather wise, missing the heat and humidity of the SE and hitting the west when the snow is reliably gone on the passes.  That said June is OK.

1635
Routes / Re: From Pennsylvania to New York City
« on: October 04, 2010, 10:53:10 am »
yeah, they are really rude to me.
Maybe it is another case where the real purpose of the post was to promote their web site.  It wouldn't be the first time that happened.  That said, I hope that is not the case.

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