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Messages - bobbiedobbs

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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

Routes / Cross-country US entirely via US 83
« on: December 23, 2017, 03:36:37 am »
Hi - Planning on riding US 83 from Westhope, ND (Canadian border) to Brownsville, TX. Seeking any advice re prevailing winds, sections to avoid, how to handle the one or two sections along Interstate, any other general advice. Going from late April to end of May.

Seeking advice on possible bike tour tracing perimeter of eastern half of Prince Edward Island. Seeking general assessment and recommendations re routing.

Intended route:
--Charlottetown to Tracadie, Mount Stewart, Morrel, St. Peter's Bay
--Route around the Eastern Cape via North Lake/East Point, Souris
--South along Rt. 4 to Montague
--Wind along coastal routes 17/4 to Panmure, Murray River, Murray Harbor, Woods Island
--Return along Transcontinental Highway to Charlottetown.

--Which direction would you suggest (re prevailing winds) - clockwise or counterclockwise.?
--Comments on proposed route and alternatives? (NOT interested in Confederation Trail, which just about everyone seems to recommend. I prefer routes through communities vs off-road.
--How desirable is my planned trip generally?
---Do you know of any route guide. I am going to get the official Kings Byway route, beyond that I am using old Elliot Katz and Walter Sienko guidebooks.?

Much appreciated

Thanks - I posted on Crazy Guy also. That actually is my go-to site/starting point. Would enjoy any additional comments from you.


Bicycling from Vienna to Passau; seeking recommendations on whether to cycle on north or south (upper or lower) sides of Danube for various stretches. The Esterbuer/Bikeline route guides give details but not that much in the way of narratives.

That is mainly why I am posting, but also interested in:

--Best stretch to do by train to cut down on total distance (wife has some medical issues limiting daily distances) I am thinking of Krems to Vienna
--Recommendations on overnights: Right now looking at: Ansbach, Mauthausen (more for distance spacing), Melk, Krems.
--Best overnights for Salzburg to Passau: thinking of Burgheisen, Obendorf. Tittmoning and Branau sound good also but choosing former for ride breaks.
--Idiosyncratic, cool stuff I won't find in the guidebooks

If there is a good  thread on this feel free to point me. Thanks

South / seeking ideas for expanding alabama coastal connection route
« on: December 17, 2012, 10:33:19 pm »
Hi: Just read Cindy Ross' article in the Dec/Jan issue - she writes about a 160-mile route in the Mobile, AL area, basically a loop that starts in Grand Bay, then across through Dauphin Island to Gulf Shores, north to Foley and Fairhope and then ending in Mobile. This sounds intriguing but I need more miles to make this worth my while. Any ideas of how to branch into surrounding parts of Alabama/FLA/Miss to make this a say, 250-350 mile route? Looking for some general ideas. I would want to make this a loop trip starting and ending in Mobile, probably (where I could ship my bike to and from, and fly in and out of...)

International / route ideas for cycling in greece
« on: December 17, 2012, 10:22:49 pm »

I am thinking of bicycling in Greece next fall - am looking for a route with mostly moderate terrain - did a search on organized bike tours to get an idea where people go....not many trips in greece, among those that do go, the Cyclades and parts of the Peloponnese seem popular....any thoughts or recommendations on routes/cycling in Greece generally? I am probably an average cyclist with experience riding in Portugal, Ireland, italy, the US and Canada. Don't want to do much in the way of mountains...Thanks.

Routes / seeking bike touring route advice in ireland - which region?
« on: July 04, 2012, 04:02:26 pm »
Cycling in Ireland for two weeks in September - trying to pick the best region. Early research has as semifinalists: Dingle Peninsula/Ring of Kerry OR Conemarra/The Burren/County Clare (including Aran Islands). Other possibility is Antrim coast in Northern Ireland. Our criteria: hills OK but keep it reasonable, less touristy, scenery (dramatic views/super green pastures), more "Irish". Please weigh in. We are going self-guided and are getting some Ireland cycling books for specific routing ideas. Mostly want to decide now on a region.  If Connemara, routing ideas?

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