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Messages - tonythomson

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International / Re: Help! I want to go to Europe.
« on: March 13, 2013, 08:08:17 am »
Hi, never seen those restriction before however, never flown wit AL.  Do they know it's a bike? As airlines usually accept that sports equipment is different dimensions than regular suitcases.  Does that mean no ski's?  The measurements you gave I haven't checked (being lazy) are you able to remove the wheels, fenders (mud guards when you get over here  ;)) racks, drop the handle bars etc to get anywhere near them?

If not fly with someone else.  Little chance of hiring the kind of tourer you want and really you need your own bike as you know it and can carry the relevant spares, tools etc.

It's spring here already and we are snowed in.  :-[

You'll have fun enjoy your trip.  Pm me if you get any problems over here I'm in the south of UK

Routes / Re: Southern Tier Tour: Bubba Verus ACA Routes
« on: February 25, 2013, 08:45:39 am »
Hi this is approx route that I took and really a little bit of planning - as with any tour - and you will be fine.  I don't remember ever being that far from some kind of service.  Near the border I pitched my tent as close to the Border Patrol check points as they would let me. 
Really had no problems at all.  Loved it.
Good luck

General Discussion / Re: Bike For Heart Health
« on: February 21, 2013, 05:04:08 am »
+1 for what John has said , I will never donate to anyone using the donations to fund their trip.  In UK there are endless charities offering adventurous cycle rides all you have to do is raise £2000 ($3000 approx) to pay for the trip first and after that any further money goes to the charity.

However, I hope I'm not doing you a mis-service but you haven't made it clear if you intend to fund the trip yourself.  What ever you decide I wish you good luck and you'll have a great time.

Yawn, sorry but just read her article and it's the same old popularist rubbish that gets churned out by someone who has nothing new to say. Same in the press over here in UK. Short on ideas for a column this week, let's wind up the cyclists and the minority of bigoted motorists who all feed on this garbage. Always get's a response and then we can point out to our advertisers how popular this rag is.

I see the same stuff on the home town forum in Celebration Fl. (meant to be a modern forward thinking town) the canal boat forum in UK and hate to think what's on any of the motoring forums.

The one thing I agree with MC is for sure I don't want to share a road with her as a motorist "fuming" is certainly not a safe motorist and maybe if she gets help with her anger then cyclists might not be such an anathema to her and we can all safely share the road and look at the real problems of mixed traffic.

Will read her article again as having touble going to sleep yawm yawn.

Routes / Re: Toll roads in Florida...
« on: January 25, 2013, 07:00:00 am »
Hi Jennifer
take the 192 out of  Melbourne all the way to Kissimmee keep on the 192 until you reach Avalon Road, turn right and go all the way to Winter Gardens were you join the West Orange Trail.  Part of the Florida Connector.

Once you reach the outskirts of Kissimmee I would suggest using the side walk as the roads get really busy. There are hundreds of motels along this road, again I would suggest getting closer to Disney as the first ones you come to are not always very nice.  If visiting the attraction choose one with free shuttle to the parks.  Visit Celebration - amazing town and the restaurants are not the chain - take a ride round.  I saw more wild life in Celebration than on my whole trip on the ST. You can go through Celebration and miss out a really bad part of the 192.
Also plenty of places to stay in Winter Gardens and good eating - take the W Orange Trail out, give me a wave or call in for a cuppa (I'm English)    If you want more info let me know.

I would also suggest that from Winter Gardens you head on down by the trail to Oakland pick up the 50 all the way to the Withlacoochi Trail.  One of my favourate trails. 
Have fun it's agreat ride

Routes / Re: Canada mortorists
« on: January 25, 2013, 06:25:34 am »
Hi, I cycled a lot in Canada and for me in the touristy places it was the big RV Camper vans that worried me most. I use a mirror and if concerned about the vehicle coming up behind either get off the road or take control of the lane.  Although many would argue it's the guys coming from behinds responsibility and it is.  I just want to be in charge of my own destiny.
Good luck and it's agreat place to cycle.

Routes / Re: Englishman Orlando FL to DC trip
« on: January 25, 2013, 06:17:45 am »
Hi Howard
just wondered where you are in the UK. I'm down near Winchester.  I also live part time just outside Orlando (Winter Gardens) 500m from the W Orange Trail which is part of the Florida connector.  If I'm around when you fly in you would be welcome.  Or if you are down south UK happy to catch up and give some info.  I did half the trip you are planning 2 years ago (had to be cut short for business reason) Some pics here
If not all the best and you'll have a great time.

Gear Talk / Re: 2 people, 6 panniers for a cross country tour. Bad idea?
« on: January 03, 2013, 10:51:08 am »
My only addition to the above is to ensure that you have enough space left in your panniers for the times you need to carry extra food and water, the latter especially as you may be encountering hot weather.  Although that said there are very few days on the ST where you will not find something and that was me doing 50 miles per day.  Knowing what's ahead is the key and these days with Google Earth etc there shouldn't be too many surprises.

Have fun it's a great ride.

Gear Talk / Re: Schwalbe Marathon Plus 26 x 1.75 Comments?
« on: January 03, 2013, 10:41:34 am »
Used Continentals to do Southern Tier E to W, replaced due to wear in Texas.

Crossed Australia  on Schwalbe Marathon no punctures and still plenty of wear left in them.  Will stick with Schwalbe from now on although both makes will do the job.

Gear Talk / Re: Backroads maps of the US.
« on: November 25, 2012, 01:03:28 pm »
"Google, in particular, has real problems in the West showing dirt roads that are on private land and have no access.  Google and other mapping websites will even route you down some of them - - which is no fun when you come to a locked gate with a "No Trespassing!" sign on it and a 30 miles detour."

Not just the West I got caught out in Florida, Google maps/cycling took me to a farm with all the "KEEP OUT etc" fortunately for me there were some workers close by who happened to be from Mexico - just as England were about to play them at football (sorry soccer huh) so after a chat about football they took me through the farm/plantation on dirt tracks out the other side and back onto Google's route. So guys I advise you to learn Spanish and call soccer by it's correct name  ;)

Gear Talk / Re: Backroads maps of the US.
« on: November 24, 2012, 08:23:55 am »
Hi Chappers - good advise above(as always on here) I would only add while planning your route check out Rails to Trails as I enjoy combining these traffic free routes on my tours if possible. 

Wherever you think that areas might have too much heavy traffic go to Google maps - choose your points of destination and use the cycle or walking option to print out a route.  Then as said earlier check it out on Google Earth.

Have fun and US is a great place to cycle tour.
Ps we are a bit spoilt in UK with OS maps!!  ;)

Gear Talk / Re: Bushwhacker bags and panniers
« on: November 24, 2012, 08:11:45 am »
Never used this make but the thing that interests me is the shape of the rear pannier - ie sloping top to bottom which suggests that they might be designed more for mountain bikes with shorter chain stays, that way you don't kick the pannier with your heels. Or for use with people who have big feet(me) Whereas I would prefer a touring bike that can accommodate larger capacity bags enabling you to keep your load as low as possible.

I guess that as no one yet has said they have a set, and this forum probably has some of the most experienced touring cyclists arround, then they have probably been rejected or are just so new on the market.

My advise would be to read the many threads on here about panniers and go for a set you think would meet your needs.  Or buy these Bushwackers and let us all know how you get on.

Hi Dan, very interesting list and a mixture of high & low tech.  Def add zip ties one of the most useful items when out on a bike,doing workshop repairs etc.
   What was also interesting for me is that as I never read cycling mags so as far as new innovations I'm a cyclelasaur - even some of my bikes go back to 1800's.  So you have probably saved me months of having to buy these mags and  I particularly liked the spoke repair kit and will add that to my touring list.   
As John pointed out - mirrors are personal choice mine is a flat mirror that Velcro's to the handle bars, easy to remove for shaving, getting grit out of your eye etc.
I would be interested which of your list you would never leave home without on an extended metalled road tour.
From your list the items I would probably never make use of would be the various small bags dotted around he frame, simply because any small items kept in them could easily be accommodated in a handle bar bag and taken with you when you have to leave the bike unattended.  I prefer a few small colour coded nylon bags inside the bar bag so my valuables etc are easily identified.

Routes / Re: Southern Tier in March of 2013
« on: November 22, 2012, 11:48:01 am »
Oh I love a discussion about fenders or better still mud guards and it's the Brits name "mud guards" give you a clue as to why I will always use them.  Like us all we expect and don't worry too much about getting wet.  What I want to avoid is the mud and grot that gets thrown up by my tires or tyres off the road and makes you just so dirty.  Now I know we all get hot and dirty but I personally try to avoid being covered in muck especially if you are wanting a stranger to offer you a bed as with "Warm Showers" etc - but in the end it's what you as an individual are comfortable with.
That's what makes cycling so interesting it meets everyone's needs.

Have fun whether you are muddy and wet or just wet  :)

Routes / Re: Swede going solo from Miami to New Orleans, route suggestion?
« on: November 22, 2012, 11:35:10 am »
My own suggestion would be to go New Orleans to Miami as when I did the Southern T East to West at the same time of year, I met guys flying along while I had to constantly fight the wind.

Secondly to help get off the roads check out "Rails to Trails" as I managed to incorporate several good trails into my route and they were a high light for me. 

And send me an IM as I have a house right on the Florida connector route and if I can help in anyway you would be welcome.  However, it is only a holiday home and not always there.  The offer is also open to any other long distant cyclists also.

Have fun it's a great adventure.

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