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Messages - tonythomson

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Routes / Best jumping off point on CO Canal for heading south
« on: December 04, 2013, 10:23:44 am »
Hi, planning to start at Pittsburgh - head along the G A River Trail onto the CO Canal.
And at some point head south to Orlando. 
I don't want to get into Washington or the busy surrounding areas, so what is the best jumping off point on the CO after the Appalachian Mountains to  start heading south?
Thanks for your help

Routes / Re: Florida
« on: November 21, 2013, 09:08:16 pm »

That's one heck of a detour to get to the Florida Keys from 200 miles away via the Pacific coast.  Let's hope your map reading is better than your geography LOL. 
Would help to know where you plan to start from and time scales, as Florida has some great Rails to Trails and many other trails which you can work into your trip. I didn't find I1A too bad but can still be very busy as with the Gulf coast but that way you can miss out Miami and take a ferry over to the keys.

Routes / Re: Southern Tier Jan-Feb 2014 - where to spend rest days?
« on: November 21, 2013, 08:48:55 pm »
I thought the Gila Cliff Dwellings north of Silver City, NM, were interesting plus there's hot springs in the town.
Yes def agree on this, I enjoyed  Silver City and was there for the Tour of the Gila and even entered the Citizens Race coming second from last but with Lance A coming second in the main event I'm claiming a victory over him as I was clean.

Routes / Re: Southern Tier Jan-Feb 2014 - where to spend rest days?
« on: November 20, 2013, 11:11:17 am »
Hi - I stayed a couple of days at De  Anza Springs Resort - outside Jacumba off Old Hwy 80 in fact you have to go under Junction 73 on I8 to get there.  Laid back friendly place - camp or cabin -, plenty of interesting walks in area.
One bonus is that you can get all your clothes washed at once 'cos it's a clothes optional resort (not a swingers place)  Check out the pics on Google Earth - don't bother if you expect to see naked people.
Have fun on your ride.

General Discussion / Re: Calling locals in Pitsburgh - info please
« on: November 05, 2013, 04:11:43 am »
I have a Surly LHT that "fatties fit"  what would you guys recommend I fit wider tyres which is fine but as I intend to carry on down to Florida I would sooner ride my regular road tyres.

Gear Talk / Re: Solar Panel - Yea or Nay?
« on: November 04, 2013, 11:37:42 am »
Used a Solar Monkey across Australia, loads of sun, solar panel was loads of rubbish.  Not worth carrying let alone buying unless you want to buy mine.  I guess not uh?

Gear Talk / Re: Uncoventional bike conversions?
« on: November 04, 2013, 11:33:13 am »
My friend if you have a half decent well built and maintained bike you can go anywhere.  Put your money in the wheels and decent tyres.  I've done long distances on Black Diamond, ST on an old Italian bike, and it goes on.  Passed someone doing LEJOG 1000 miles on a unicycle.

Basically just  go through your present road bike replacing or servicing the various parts.  Get some decent racks and wave goodbye.

Having said that I did buy a Surly LHT recently because I needed a new bike to cross Australia on but that really was because I had no other bike fit for purpose.   

Latest ride I use a WW2 ex army Mercury - never let me down just a bit heavy.

Good luck and have fun

General Discussion / Re: Calling locals in Pitsburgh - info please
« on: November 04, 2013, 11:22:41 am »
Thanks Guys just in the planning stage at the moment but thinking of April time and continuing down to Orlando - flights home.  Any advice very welcome.

General Discussion / Calling locals in Pitsburgh - info please
« on: November 02, 2013, 08:09:48 am »
Hi Guys
planning to ride the two trails to Washington DC in 2014. I have a couple of questions
1. I fly into Pittsburgh (coming from UK) so would like to just get into a hotel straight away.  Would the taxis at the airport take a boxed bicycle?  Or any other ideas.  Don't want to assemble bike & ride straight out after a long flight.
2. What is the best time of year?
3. Along the GA & CO Trail do the motels , B&Bs get fully booked or can one just turn up in most towns and find somewhere?
Appreciate any help

General Discussion / Re: Motivation: why ride?
« on: October 06, 2013, 03:17:03 pm »
because....... (that should be the sum total of an answer) I can't see that as tourist we are any different to the thousands of people who go to the same places as us except that we use a bicycle for transport.  Nothing special, maybe a tad slower, and we have more time maybe but mainly prefer going under our own steam. 

Would I swap all my future trips for a chance to go into outer space, maybe!

Planning to go S to N of Australia next year, crazy certainly not or will be if I don't do the right research and planning.

General Discussion / Re: 2 or 4 panniers
« on: September 25, 2013, 08:58:45 am »
Four without a doubt, enables you to distribute the weight to suit your style and the terrain.  Having space in your panniers gives you flexibility for carrying extra food/water if needed at some particular point in your journey.

Don't get hung up about weight, take the minimum you need relax and enjoy.

General Discussion / Re: riding and camping in thunderstorms
« on: September 25, 2013, 08:47:18 am »
It's all to do with you assessing the situation as things develop. knowing where you are and what you have passed and having researched what's on the road ahead.  For me the biggest fear in heavy rain is vehicles coming up behind you, your hearing is probably impaired and their vision definitely impaired.

But the thing I fear most in being caught out in the open is the wind, you have little control (I'm talking of sudden unexpected strong wind)  and my advice is to get off the bike and lay low.  The worst I ever had was in Australia when I really thought  I had been hit from behind by a truck.  Again the problem here was no control over the bike and the dust and sand dropped visibility down to 5 yds.  Next town lost roofs and trees uprooted. I had no idea this was approaching as it came up from behind. But I recorded the highest speed ever on my computer and not even down hill  :)

Gear Talk / Re: Ergonomic Handlebars for Surly LHT?
« on: April 06, 2013, 04:47:24 am »
I agree it's all about how your bike is set up.  However, there is a similar discussion going on over here in UK

plus Sheldon Brown has some good pointers

Let us know how you get on as I also have LHT and had thought about doing the same.

Gear Talk / Re: Shaving Creme
« on: April 05, 2013, 04:33:24 am »
Here's how real men do it on the road

Hi Goblin,  I'm not meaning to be mean but is all this indecision and questions really masking anxiety about doing an extended tour?  I have toured endlessly and admit that before every trip I have considerable doubts as to whether I can do it? The answer is get on your bike and give it your best shot.

However, before you do that planning is the key.  Know what distance you can ride comfortable in a day and plan within that, this will ensure you enjoy it and are ready to go again the next day. Don't be too ambitious to start with as you need to succeed because anything less will put you off forever.  Don't listen to anyone telling you what they can do in a day etc this is your trip solely for you.

I'd stick to one of your existing bikes and spend some money on tyres and having it tuned up.
If you are worried about food, don't there aren't too many places that are so remote as to the need for carrying days of supplies.  The main thing is water and not getting dehydrated.  I generally carry some nuts & dried fruit to snack on in case I get caught out, no one will starve to miss a meal occasionally.

Go for it BUT be warned cycle touring is addictive.  And have fun.

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