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Messages - bobbiedobbs

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General Discussion / Re: Best book you've read on bicycle travel
« on: December 16, 2021, 04:39:14 am »
The Barbara Savage book (I just turned my head and there it is on my shelf) and Over the Hills by LA Times writer David Lamb The latter was truest to some of my own experiences, and spared us of the hubris.

General Discussion / Re: Riding Yellowhead Highway in British Columbia
« on: December 16, 2021, 04:29:34 am »
Thanks both of you, both for the facts (traffic levels, topography) and advice re TOD, to which I need to give greater consideration. I agree it is in part a matter of comfort level. I have some long-distance experience (plus live in Philadelphia where I am quite used to sharing the road, though in an urban context), but not as much as either of you. Interesting observation about RVs vs the professional drivers. Biking up US 83, which is a principal N-S US corridor, I recall feeling uncomfortable with 18-wheelers but came to realize these folks knew what they were doing. The danger was more my overcompensating and riding off the shoulder.

As to rain, this trip will make up for my most recent trip through Death Valley National Park, which gets an average two inches of rain a year. 

I am kind of set on east to west, perhaps despite my better judgement. I like to save the best (Skeena River plus the Inside Passage Ferry) for last. Hard to get pumped for the Vanderhoof-Prince George ending. I may regret that re winds but they sound manageable.

General Discussion / Re: Riding Yellowhead Highway in British Columbia
« on: December 14, 2021, 06:02:12 pm »
Thanks, John. I think I needed to hear that. Context. You are right about the majority of posters; I tend to give those screaming the loudest disproportionate influence. I have ridden numerous places with ZERO shoulders and with good riding sense, have lived to tell the story. There are excellent sight lines in this case. I'm going.

General Discussion / Re: Riding Yellowhead Highway in British Columbia
« on: December 14, 2021, 04:18:51 pm »
Thx, guys. I checked out Dfege's journal, as well as other Crazy Guy journals. The problem section appears to be Prince George to Vanderhoof - too narrow for bikes and a gravel shoulder that is not rideable. One guy calls it a "highway of horror." I hate for that 60 miles or so to kill what sounds like an otherwise scenic trip, particularly if I take the Inside Passage ferry to Port Hardy and continue down Vancouver Island. I checked out VIA but it is not currently accepting bikes- period- on this route. Maybe I can catch a ride from someone for Day 1 (or just bite the bullet). The remainder of the ride sounds great, particularly along the Skeena. John, Alaska to Vegas sounds awesome.

General Discussion / Riding Yellowhead Highway in British Columbia
« on: December 11, 2021, 12:50:49 am »
I am thinking of cycling east to west in British Columbia from Prince George to Prince Rupert. Seeking advice/experience on:

Road shoulders/condition - I have heard that shoulders are very narrow or even broken up in places.
Prevailing winds
Difficulty - Only long stretch appears to be between Terrace and Prince Rupert. Grade?
Insects- are black flies/mosquitos a big problem. Bears?
Are there any/many repair shops?
Any other general advice as in is this ride worth doing, would be appreciated!
Going in July or August.

Planning on cycling from Florida City or Homestead to Key West and return in late March or early April. Any experience/advice on likely wind strength/conditions. Will be a factor in how many days I separately allocate for out and back.

Also, can you recommend a good starting point south of Miami (for instance Florida City?). Is there a bike path/lane the entire route and if not, safe riding?

I noticed lots of ride accounts - any recent or relatively recent recommendations?


Routes / cycling in death valley national park, to and from vegas
« on: February 14, 2020, 12:39:02 am »
Guy from Philly planning a solo bike road ride through DV in late March/early April. Would love any suggestions/comments on my planned route: Las Vegas to Pahrump, Pahrump to Amargosa Valley at CA/NV border, Beatty to Stovepipe Wells, Stovepipe to Death Valley Junction, DVJ to Shoshone, Shoshone to Pahrump, return to Las Vegas. Road riding only, no camping, avoiding Furnace Creek cause of $$$. Yes, I'm passing on some of the big Death Valley attractions to keep climbing moderate and avoid backroad riding.

--Is there a good one day Red Rocks ride outside of Vegas?
--Am I likely to encounter scorpions/tarantula? (insect phobic)
--Likely wind conditions?
--Are desert thorns a big problem?
-- Recommendations generally?


South / seeking alternative routes to natchez trace in mississippi
« on: September 18, 2019, 08:47:32 pm »
Bicycling the Natchez Trace from Natchez to Tupelo. Seeking any parallel/alt routes to break up the sameness and take us through some of the small towns we might otherwise miss. Per the map, options would seem to be MS 18 from Port Gibson to Jackson, and MS 15 south of Houston. Suggestions? 

Seeking feedback on possible bike trip along the Gulf beginning in Pensicola into Alabama via Gulf Shores and Fort Morgan, north along Mobile Bay (presumably on AL 193) to Mobile, then somehow crossing the bay and looping back through Ala to Pensicola.

Is this trip worth doing? Any route recommendations? Particularly seeking help on how to get across the Bay going west from Mobile, and on best routing options for return: along eastern side of Mobile Bay/lesser-travelled roads returning east through Ala or even detouring north through Bay Minette. My main concern is whether the traffic would be prohibitive in certain areas, and that ugly-looking bridge crossing.  Any other recommendations would be appreciated. Good bike shops for rental in Pensicola? Would go in late October/early November. Looking to ride 30-40 miles a day and stay in B&Bs, Warmshowers or commercial accomodations.

So, after reading  so many great ideas I went to my nearby Wal-Mart and purchased a 32 inch (32 x 12.6 x 13.8 Protege rolling duffel with a shoulder strap. I fit three of my four panniers in it, flat on the bottom, and there is sufficient space to stuff in the pannier contents. The duffel meets the 62 inch combined size requirements for checked bags on Delta and American (and most other airlines). I will carry my fourth (a front) pannier onto the plane. Bottom line, four panniers will amount to only ONE checked bag. I'll either have the bike shop at my starting point put the duffel into the empty bike box it is shipping to my end point bike shop, or just give it away and buy the same bag at the Wal-Mart in Minot, N.D. I can spend the money I save on elotes or carne guisade in Laredo!

Thanks to all. I'm considering the cheap suitcase or duffle, maybe even the cardboard box. One additional problem is having to acquire the same thing at the end of my ride (Minot, N.D.) as I am not cycling round-trip. Would have to either find something in Minot (could be tricky) or ship the suitcase/duffle in the Aircaddy or separately, from the bike store at the start of the ride to the one at the end.

Flying with my front and rear Ortleib panniers - 4 checked bags. Major airlines charge $25 for 1st,  $35 for 2nd, $150 for 3rd and $200 for 4th. My old panniers snapped together. Filled rear Ortleibs  probably too big/heavy to combine, but seeking way to combine front panniers to at least save $200 for get total down to three checked pieces. Ideas? Options I'm considering: finding a suitcase large enough to fit two front panniers, shipping the front and/or rear panniers via FedEx/UPS, or somehow combining the front panniers with some sort of belt or webbing - worried won't stay together in transit. I ship my bike itself using, but box won't accommodate a filled pannier. Going cross country so need all four panniers.

Routes / Re: Cross-country US entirely via US 83
« on: December 28, 2017, 04:00:13 am »
To all: The jury is in. Switching gears and riding south to north instead. Thanks to all. 

To John: Thanks for the offer to dig through your unsorted detailed routing info, and yes, I know what you mean about making that effort only to find out the requester didn't really use/need it. Will spare you as I am pretty much going to stick to 83 (south to north). That is part of the concept I more or less agreed to  for a possible article on the trip upon my return. Will still check the traffic counts, though. I am particularly concerned about riding north from my new start point, Laredo. Going to contact the cycling folks down there.

I've ridden through many of the towns that you mentioned on some 30 or so two to three-week trips I've taken over the decades. Started and ended a couple of trips in Winnipeg and Tulsa. Fond memories. Kind of ridden the Southern Tier route, in pieces.

So you are from Tulsa. Do you happen to know a guy named Howard Thornhill? He was really into riding the length of 83 when I met him in Oklahoma a number of years ago.

Interesting about your doing south-north after exhausting east-west cross-country. 

What you said about the wind is dead on. Makes all the diff. I try to explain that to my non-cycling friends! I often take loops or meandering trips with varying directions, but as this one is a straight shot, likely prevailing direction is crucial. Again thanks, Phil

To Fahrrad: Thanks for sharing your experience. So am I not the only one crazy enough to do this! You are right - headwinds can suck the life out of you. Give me a mountain any day - I can compensate via gearing. Headwinds- another story. I've more or less decided to reverse my original course and head south to north. Anything memorable along US 83? Did you get stuck riding any portions of interstates? BTW love your hometown. Went to the River Walk in its infancy/planning stages. Phil

Routes / Re: Cross-country US entirely via US 83
« on: December 24, 2017, 02:04:49 am »
Forgot to ask you if you still have your route from your S-N trip....thx

Routes / Re: Cross-country US entirely via US 83
« on: December 24, 2017, 02:00:03 am »

I really appreciate all of the detailed advice. Thanks for taking the time. I've been set on the idea of riding US 83 from Minot (Westhope) to Brownsville for several decades, but you do raise some good points, most decidedly the direction of travel. The temps and likely winds (no fun riding for days into 20 mph headers) do seem to dictate S to N. Plus the northern part, by which time I would be more acclimated, will have longer daily distances due to larger stretches between stopovers.

I'm actually going to rethink based on your comments. Wonder if you are the one I read (and conveniently ignored!) on a Rt 83 post some time ago! If i do decide to go S-N I may just start in Laredo, avoiding some of the traffic to which you refer. Not sure can even ride 83 from Pharr (McEllen) to Brownsville, and have already done that vis US 281 some time ago. 

I'm going to check out some of those weather patterns (did you see the recent article in Adventure Cycle magazine on the washout of the Katy Trail in the spring?) Wasn't going to drill down the choice of roads that much due to length of trip, but may check traffic counts and look for some alts as you suggest, as well.

I'm really curious as to your Brownsville to Winnipeg trip - why the trip, what was the experience? I recently rode from Winnipeg to Flin Flon, hitting the northern terminus of 83 in Swan River, Manitoba. 

I'm out of town for a few days but will look for your response when I get home. Thanks again, Phil

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