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Messages - tonythomson

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General Discussion / Re: older riders
« on: September 01, 2009, 02:50:48 pm »
Hi justbarb let us know how you get on.  Bet you have a great time and it is just as exciting heading out on a new trip regardless as to how many times you have done it before.  I have done several long hauls before but still get unbearable excited plus quite a bit of anxiety mixed in like "can I do this".  But just heading out that first morning there is no other feeling quite like it.

I'm sure I'm not the only who feels like this - am I?

General Discussion / Re: Southern Tier East to West.
« on: August 31, 2009, 11:12:51 am »
Hi, I'll be in Florida around October and could possibly do a fortnight or so.  Where are you?  My house is in Celebration, Kissimmee and cycled the Southern Tier earlier this year.  Great time and planning to cycle Florida to Vancouver in the spring.  Be good to catch up anyway as always interested in other travellers tales..

South Atlantic / Re: West coast trails
« on: August 26, 2009, 02:26:09 pm »
Hi as you are in Tallahassee wondered if you have any good suggestions regarding a route from Tallahassee to join up with the ACA Underground Railway heading north.  I want to kinda go diagonally up to meet it rather than along the coast.  Will be arriving in Tallahassee via the St Marks trail.
Thanks Tony

South Atlantic / Re: Florida Rides
« on: August 26, 2009, 02:21:25 pm »
Hi Todd
yes that's the one I think it is excellent and def recommend it - coming from the UK - it's sometimes hard to get local information as I tend to stay only for a couple of weeks at a time.  Have a house in Celebration.  So if anyone can recommend good ride in that area be very gratefull.  Plan to buy a van when over next time to transport the bike further afield. 

General Discussion / Re: older riders
« on: August 19, 2009, 01:18:27 pm »
Hi Jack, over in Southampton, too far away?  or are you meaning to cycle over in the USA?  up for both!

General Discussion / Re: Newbie here with ???????
« on: August 15, 2009, 12:43:59 pm »
Hi Ronn - not too sure to what to say about cycling shorts except that I have done a lot of tours in regular soccer shorts.  Is it the material or just the look?  My last tour - southern Tier - suffered badly with heavily padded cycle shorts (good quality shorts) as the padding never wicked the sweat away and was like wearing a soggy diaper - not good.  Changed to shorts with just a chamois in - much better and shorts not the tight fitting type.

My advise for prep is to get as fit as possible, plan exhaustively as to a realistic number of miles you feel able to accomplish on a daily basis.  Start off modestly and build up as you get fitter.

Check out your route on Google Earth, masses of info there in conjunction with ACA maps. 

Spend your money on having your wheels built and best quality tyres.  I have my wheels built crossing the spokes over 4 times, gives me extra strength to take my weight 90kg  and pack.  Actually loads of good info on this forum, but like mine everyone has their own view on kit.  Which is why cycling is always so interesting.

In the end just go for it and enjoy = good luck.
My site is

Corridor Plan Updates & Routing Within Corridors / Re: Southern IL Route
« on: August 14, 2009, 01:34:04 pm »
Hi Schaser, hope you don't mind that I'm from UK but a lot of long distant cyclists are from out of country.  ;) I'm about to embark on my 3rd cross country ride and will be heading up sort of that way so also would be interested in any planned routes as makes life a bit easier for me.  Or any info in that area.

Many thanks

Gear Talk / Re: For lack of a better title... upgrades
« on: August 10, 2009, 11:20:58 am »
Mirrors you are right absolute must - have always had them fitted really important to know what size vehicle  is coming up behind - I use one that is held on with Velcro, stayed put very well, easy to adjust and easy to take off and use to have a shave.  Who am I kidding about the shave?  But that was the theory.

I always like to pack the absolute minimum and add to it if necessary along the route.  Better than having to dump stuff.

Good luck

General Discussion / Re: California to Arizona? First time rider
« on: August 09, 2009, 12:29:01 pm »
Hi - follow the ACA route to Silver City - great ride and not too difficult, except just realised coming from UK I don't know where Orange Co is!!!

Gear Talk / Re: For lack of a better title... upgrades
« on: August 09, 2009, 07:23:49 am »
Hi, I would like to go along totally with what Whittierider has to say - very basic sensible stuff.  My only but would be footwear, having toured extensively and obsesive about weight I prefer to ride in Trail Shoes to give me the option of carrying one pair and being able to walk about normally instead of looking like a duck  ;D I fit toe clips on which also makes me feel safer in heavy traffic as will often just have one foot in and one out.

I know there are alternatives but this has always been my preference and feel it has saved me several times from cars in town usually coming too close.

Carrying stuff on your back is I think a total no no.  It unbalances you, makes your back ache and sweaty, not nice!  Definitely fit panniers back and front.  I rode for a while with a guy carrying his liquid on his back always seemed very uncomfortable, plus always a good to have a reason to take a break if you want more than a sip from your bottle.

Whatever you decide good luck and have fun - my blog.

Routes / Re: Couple of questions
« on: August 08, 2009, 12:32:52 pm »
Hi from Uk  starting from Orlando, - planing similar route except looking for a route from Tallahassee - thought I could head for Fulton somehow but if anyone knows a better route from Atlanta would also be interested.

After Fulton plan to follow ACA's Underground Sect 2 - Great Rivers Sect 1 & 2, Northern Tier Sects  7 to 1 and end with Pacific Coast Sect 1.


General Discussion / Re: older riders
« on: August 08, 2009, 07:28:49 am »
Hi another wrinkly here - nothing better than setting out in the morning - no idea where you will end up that night or who you will meet.  How exciting is that. No phones or work I'm doing more touring than ever.  Next is Orlando to Vancouver - unsupported and on my own. Anyone think I'm going to swap this for a pair of slippers and the TV, no chance.

However, have to admit to not going so fast or far on a daily basis.  And staying in better hotels/motels. So what's wrong with a bit of comfort? 

Good to see there is so many of us out there still trucking. (That shows my age)

Routes / Re: San Francisco to New York for charity
« on: August 08, 2009, 07:16:04 am »
Ok not an easy one this but you should be able to find motels most of the time for about $60 inc breakfast - but always haggle the price, check out the blog on the forum about this. Cheaper to buy salads, delhi etc from super markets but there arn't always that many on the route. In Texas you'll find dead dear every 100 yds, road kill?  That's a joke ok!. But look out for the local eateries, good quality food as against the chains. And if you take the 190 through Texas - definitely recommend this - check out Red Chilli burgers out in the middle of no where. 
Camping, especially at KOA is sometimes more expensive than a cheap motel.  But no problem with camping in the more secluded areas for free.
Spend your money now on good quality equipment for your bike, will save you money not needing to find a bike shop and pay for repairs.  Make sure tyres are puncture resistant.

If you do Southern Tier, plenty of cheap return flights to UK from Florida. You would even be welcome to come and visit providing of course that we are there then as have a holiday home in Kissimmee area.

When do you plan to leave. 
I hope this is some help. Tony

South Atlantic / Re: Florida Rides
« on: August 07, 2009, 09:07:05 am »
Hi Mark,
finally remembered another nice easy rails to trails, at Winter Garden - this is really nice and great coffee shops there also!

Are you anywhere near Kissimmee as there is a club in Celebration who organise rides of 30 to 60 miles.

I have a great little book about all sorts of rides in Florida from quite roads to off road mountain bike type trails.  But it is in my house in Florida (I live in the UK) so not much help there I'm afraid.  I'm due to be back there in September so if still interested will post the details.
If you do find other be much appreciated if you can post them here as I'm always looking for something new.

South Atlantic / Re: Florida Rides
« on: August 04, 2009, 09:42:08 am »
Check out the Rails to Trails site - the ones I know are the Withalacoochi (no idea of correct spelling) also called Tammy Trace - this is a great ride - can even take a couple of days for a relaxed ride both ways.

From Tallahassee to St Marks another Rails to Trails. Just love em. 

Where are you in Florida and if anyone knows of closer places near Kissimmee I would be v interested.

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