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Messages - tonythomson

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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.

General Discussion / Re: Cycling in thunderstorms
« on: August 04, 2009, 09:02:41 am »
Thanks for that link Scott, well worth reading the comments about this if you need some light relief.  Interesting we have the same sort of comments about cyclist regularly appear in our local newspaper, Southampton UK. Nice to see we are still popular among certain sections of the - I guess - vehicle owning only populous.

GPS & Digital Data Discussion / Re: ACA GPS Terminology
« on: August 03, 2009, 11:38:45 am »
Fred, thank you very informative, umm didn't understand a thing so decided to stick with old fashioned maps and my bike when I head out next spring - Orlando to Vancouver. LOL

Cheers guys

Routes / Re: San Francisco to New York for charity
« on: August 02, 2009, 09:00:28 am »
Hi Guys
as a fellow Brit I did the Southern Tier earlier this year and believe me it was seldom too hot!  Check out my web site and if you are anywhere near Southampton be happy to talk over the route with you.

I'm heading for Vancouver from Florida in April, might even cross paths.  One thing for sure as everyone has said check out weather and look on Google Earth for your route in conjunction with the ACA maps.

Whatever you decide good luck and you will have fun the American people are great and will help out whenever they can.

GPS & Digital Data Discussion / Re: ACA GPS Terminology
« on: August 01, 2009, 07:04:00 am »
I'm stuck on what .gpx means - sounds fun though!

General Discussion / Re: Motel/hotel discount
« on: August 01, 2009, 07:01:53 am »
Some good tips thank you all.  Here in UK we have a motoring organisation which has a reciprocal agreement with AAA unfortunately it is the AA so get very odd looks when I ask if there is a discount for members of AA.

But you are right the best discounts are when you have a joke and a smile, or they just feel sorry for you.  Just all part of the wonderful cycling experience.

If time is a problem then think again about the Southern Tier, from the other side of Kent take the 190 straight across Texas, and beyond , great road cuts off a fair few miles and hills.  The deserts are not a problem on the ST as a little bit of planning and extra water will see you safely through, the distance between places is never that big.  I planned to wave down an RV if ever I ran out of water but never needed to and only occasionally did I have to haul a full gallon with me and then didn't really need that much but gave me confidence having it along.

PS if you ride the 190 in Texas look out for Red Chilli burger bar in the middle of no where best burgers en route.  Gets a bit hairy around Austin but by making up the route I by passed this on some unmade back roads.

Routes / L&C versus Trans Am - your opinion much appreciated
« on: July 27, 2009, 08:05:09 am »
Hi Guys,
heading Orlando to Vancouver, does anyone have an opinion, experience as to which might be the preferred route
Underground - Lewis & Clark - Northern Tier
Underground - Trans America - Northern Tier.

And why please.

Routes / Re: Route Help and Camping Tips for a Beginner
« on: July 26, 2009, 01:50:30 pm »
Hiya, I never get the clothes right!! Make sure you have warm clothes, some good lightweight hiking fleeces around. Waterproof/wind proof rain wear, and leggings.  Would be my extra clothes. I try not to carry too much so last time bought $10 jumpers from cheap supermarkets and threw them away when it warmed up. And a good warm sleeping bag with silk inner sheet. Try water proof socks the seal skin type, really warm except when it rains they tend to fill up with water, v weird sensation.

Yes always tried to wash my one pair of shorts every night but only if I was sure they would dry overnight. And your cycling shirt will dry out generally quite easily. Avoid cotton. 

I would recommend cycling shorts with a chamois inside rather than the thicker padded things. For the first time I tried them and getting hot and sweaty could not get them dry while riding and ended up like I was wearing a wet diaper - first time I have ever had saddle sores.  Plus these are harder to dry overnight. But I guess like lots of these things it is all personal choice and what has worked for you in the past.

Good luck and wish you well. My next plan is Orlando to Vancouver in Spring next year - can't wait
Tony UK

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