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Messages - Bclayden

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1
I live along this route (Santa Cruz, CA) and ride up and down the coast often. Low visibility is a way of life during the summer fog season. I always use both a flashing headlight so cars ahead see me coming and taillight for the texting driver coming up behind. There are no guarantees but I'm one for reducing risk as much as possible.

Most of your route is rural of course but you will be spending time in congested areas with some heavy traffic during commute times of day.  Lots of lights are a good thing.

For years I've used the drop down handlebar mirror mentioned. It eventually becomes part of your scan and gives you good situational awareness but not much for detail. You can't really spend time staring at it because you must take your eyes off the road. Only a quick glance. It's an I--see-something-big-coming-but-can't-identify-it-exactly sort of thing. Also, if you sweat a lot, as I do, it will require a regular wipe-down. And like any mirror is only effective if you're looking at it.

2
General Discussion / Re: Best way to ship bike to hawaii
« on: April 13, 2017, 06:01:10 pm »
Have you checked out Bikeflights.com?  They have contracted rates with FedEx that should be cheaper than doing it yourself. They usually ship FedEx Ground so I'm not sure how they would handle your request. I have used Bikeflights on the mainland and can recommend them.

You can always rent a bike in Hilo. Many visitors do this. Hilo is a college town and therefore has a few bike shops. 2 that I am familiar with are Mid Pacific Wheels and Hilo Bike Hub.  I would suggest talking to Mid Pacific first. Also, if you ship your bike they might be able to accept the shipment...and for a fee will reassemble so it's good to go when you arrive.

Hawai'i Island is a good 250-300 miles around...depends which route you take.  There is no way to avoid ALL the Tradewinds but if you circle the entire island ounterclockwise it USUALLY works best.

Over the years I've spent more time touring Hawai'i Island than just about any other place and quite familiar with the place from a cyclists perspective..except I use hotels and know nothing of camping there.  if you have questions send me a message.

Have fun and Aloha.


3
Routes / Hawaii Big Island Saddle Rd conditions
« on: March 27, 2017, 09:10:21 am »
I rarely see mention of Hawai'i riding routes on this forum but I frequent the Big Island which is popular with touring cyclists so thought this info might be helpful to someone:

The most direct route from Hilo (east side of island) to Kona (west side) is via Saddle Rd/Rte 200..a 65 mile bisect of the island which climbs to 6700' along the way. A unique cycling experience to say the least.

Saddle Rd has been under a realignment project for several years and is nearly complete but at the moment, between miles 8-12, it's an active construction site with gravel, mud, one-way traffic, heavy machinery, and more gravel and mud. Passable on 700x24 tires but just barely. If not for Gatorskins I would have walked it due to threat of puncture from the sharp lava gravel road base.  Otherwise all good on Saddle Rd.

This was March 25, 2017.  Project appears to be another couple of months from completion. 

Anyway, maybe this info will help someone. 

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Routes / Re: Transamerica route question
« on: March 23, 2017, 10:54:08 am »
Agreed. Ditch the jeans and find a lightweight alternative. 1 set is all you will need. You will be fine traveling with 2 days worth of riding and street clothes and do the washing every other day. Easy to find coin-op laundry places in nearly every town.

I pack 1 set of shorts with the zip-on/off legs made of synthetic lightweight material. The kind hikers wear. Most of my touring is in warm places or during summer and I only had to bust out the long legs 1 time in past 5 years. Stylish? Perhaps not, but functional.

I only pack shirts, 1 long sleeve and 2 short sleeve, made of dry-wicking synthetic material. The sort runners wear. Lightweight, compact, fast drying and the material does not absorb odors so less washing. Also, does not wrinkle.

What about your street shoes?  I tour with a pair of flip-flops  Super lightweight, compact, and fine for most occasions in my world but not everyone's cup of tea.

I suppose everyone has their own way of packing and will figure out what works best for you once you head out on the road.

Less is more! 


5
I understand riding in/out of central Louisville can be a challenge. I rode in from the North last year. Now I will continue my coast-to-coast ride and must head out to the SE to join the Eastbound Trans Am.

I've found some helpful sites and KY cycling maps that are useful but wondering what the locals would recommend.

I would prefer to make more eastbound progress as I work my way toward the TA. 1st overnight in Lexington, KY to join the TA downrange at about Richmond, KY the next day would be ideal but options are many and can't be sure of a suitable route. Any ideas? 

If that's not advisable then would head more due South to join TA about Borea, KY. 

Any advice is appreciated. 

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Routes / Re: Pfeiffer Bridge at Big Sur work around
« on: March 22, 2017, 12:17:19 am »
There is a good paved route that bypasses the road closure. I have done it several times. It includes one of the most scenic and spectacular descents I've ever seen. 

Disclaimer: I have not done the route since the wet winter of 2017 has caused so many road closures so best to check conditions.

Also this route will add about 50 miles (and perhaps a day) and, although mostly remote and very scenic, has substantial climbing in parts but it's paved the entire way with little traffic. It will get you around Pfeiffer on paved roads and is only way to do this as far as I know.

From Monterey/Carmel take Carmel Valley Rd/Aroyo Seco Rd to Greenfield. Metz-King City Rd to King City.  Jolon Rd to Fort Hunter Ligget (Army base that allows thru traffic) to join Naciamento-Fergussen Rd which takes you back to Highway 1 and the coast about 25 miles south of Pfeiffer.

There will still be plenty of Highway 1 Big Sur type scenery to enjoy heading South.

You will never forget the long, steep and spectacular descent from the high ridge to the coast on Nac/Ferg Rd. Simply amazing.

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Good for you Slowroll. Cycling adventures are full of challenges and rewards. For me, the best rewards are the memories and the feeling of accomplishment which never gets old. You will see.

I spend a lot of my time zipping back and forth from coast-to-coast at 37,000 feet but now when I look down on those "fly over states" I see them a lot differently than I ever had before. It's a nice feeling.

Good luck to you.

8
Gear Talk / Re: How to know tire size
« on: March 01, 2017, 07:12:03 pm »
I don't know about Ohio.  Could be. I discovered Katy Trail during my Coast to Coast ride. I crossed Missouri on the trail and was initially a bit sceptical about 200 miles on an un-paved road with skinny 100 psi bike tires but it was sublime. Southern Illinois has many miles of rails-to-trails, mostly paved, too.

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Gear Talk / Re: How to know tire size
« on: March 01, 2017, 09:49:49 am »
You might take Katy Trail you say?  Last May I rode most of the Katy Trail (Boonville-Machens) on 700X24, stock Trek Madone road bike, Mavic Cosmic wheels, approx total weight 250#) and found the Katy Trail to be fine. Dry weather helped of course but it did rain for several days just prior to my arrival in Boonville and I found only a few soft spots for 2 days/200 miles of trail.

Pro tip: With about equal effort as your paved road pace plan to average 2 mph pace slower on KT.

10
General Discussion / Re: How to transport bike box?
« on: December 08, 2016, 07:22:58 pm »
Some good advice above. I'm often challenged with this sort of thing and have had much luck with cardboard bike boxes and shipping via BikeFlights. No bad experiences so far.

I always begin my touring rides at a hotel near the airport so I ship to the hotel.

What I've found works best for me is packing the bike up myself at home then shipping the bike (via BikeFlights and FedEx Ground) to the hotel at the start of the ride to get there a few days ahead of me. Marriott at least has always been accommodating with this sort of thing. Not sure about other brands. This requires self-assembly after unpacking but if you're up to that then you won't have to coordinate your arrival during bike shop business hours and it will save some $.

If you're cool with some dissembly/re-assembly there are some good YouTube vids showing how to pack a bike properly for shipping. There's more to it than simply throwing the bike into the box but it isn't difficult.

At the other end of the journey I have found it best and easiest to end at a bike shop who can pack and ship the bike for me and I make the BikeFlight arrangements and print shipping label for them (at the hotel) so I'm sure it's done right.

I've never tried to check bike as luggage on the airlines but have heard TSA has been known to pull the bike out of the box and not repack properly. I have avoided checking via airline.

11
Routes / Re: Louisville, KY-Virginia Beach,VA route advice.
« on: October 31, 2016, 11:10:16 am »
Thanks for the helpful advice so far folks.  I will see what else rolls in and make my plan in the New Year.

Pete, yes, I remember chatting with you about the WE route crossing NV in 2012! So glad your ride went well and that you've had other great adventures since. Since 2012 I have covered many miles on other touring rides, some ACA routes but most home-brewed,  but my Coast-to Coast ride has become a multi-year project. I've managed, so far, to balance life and touring successfully as I have a family and a job to attend to.  Logistics getting back and forth to the start/end points have become a challenge...I caught the train home from SLC after the first week, thought it sounded fun, but now it requires an entire day on the airlines to get to/from... I've been able to enjoy the ride for 4 years! 

I live in Santa Cruz, CA along the Pacific Coast ACA route..give me a shout (leave a message on this board) if you are out my way. 

-Ben

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Routes / Louisville, KY-Virginia Beach,VA route advice.
« on: October 30, 2016, 09:52:53 pm »
Spring 2017 I will complete my coast-to-coast ride. Due to work and family obligations I have been making my way across the country in phases (1 week at a time). It's taken me 4 weeks to get from California to Louisville, KY.  1 more week will complete the trip at Virginia Beach, VA.

I am in the beginning planning stages for this last week from Louisville-Virginia Beach. I don't camp but stay in motels to help keep my load light and my daily mileage high (100+). I could pick up the Trans-Am route about midway across Kentucky or I could blaze a trail directly across Kentucky, W. Virginia and Virginia. I prefer to keep to the quiet country back roads.

I guess my question is why does the Trans-Am meander from Kentucky down to the N. Carolina border then NE again to Richmond, VA and SE once more to Virginia Beach and why is this the preferred route?  I understand the Appalachians must be crossed but there seem to be other options.

Apart from this being the traditional route is there a good or practical reason to follow it?  I have made my way 2800 miles by blazing my own trail (except portions of Western Express crossing NV and Louis and Clark crossing MO), I enjoy the detailed planning and the routing has been great so far. I'm happy to keep going on my own but curious what others have to say about TA.

Any advice as to pros and cons of this portion of TA is appreciated.  Thanks in advance for your replies.

-Ben

13
Routes / Re: Latest possible date to start northbound Sierra Cascades?
« on: October 03, 2016, 08:09:41 pm »
You don't say how many miles/hours you expect to be riding each day but June is a good time to get a very early start..begins to get light at 5am..and after 6-7 hours in the saddle it is only noon and your done!  Viola!  I used this technique crossing Nevada in June a couple of year ago and covered 100 miles each day but finished by early afternoon.  Hot?  Yes...but only for the last couple of hours.

Also, the early start can help to avoid the daily afternoon gusty desert winds and possible T-storms.


14
Connecting ACA Routes / Re: Salt Lake City to Kansas City
« on: June 28, 2016, 02:29:10 pm »
There is a 5-10 mile stretch on I-80 leaving Evanston..not too bad...otherwise all good backcountry and mostly quiet highways.
The route I mapped out (day 1) left SLC up Emigrant Canyon Rd. Joined Rte 65, Echo Dam Rd, Chalk Creek Rd (several miles packed dirt) into Evanston, WY. The next 2 days: Rtes 189/28 to Lander where you can meet the TransAm.

Midway Between Kemmerer and Lander is the very small community of Farson, WY which offers 1 rough motel and a diner next door.  That's the only overnight option for 150-200 miles as I recall.

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Connecting ACA Routes / Re: Salt Lake City to Kansas City
« on: June 28, 2016, 10:48:26 am »
An alternate...Not sure if this is much help but I covered your route entirely without riding along any ACA routes and it was excellent. From SLC on the Emigrant Trail my route went up into Wyoming and picked up the Platte Rivver to cross Nebraska, met the Missouri River at St Joseph and then down to KC. Nice riding conditions, no major climbs once past the Wasatch Range but most riding in WY above is 7000' msl...crossing Continental Divide would have been unnoticeable if not for the sign marking it. 

Each riding day at 90-120 miles with motel overnights in Evanston, Farson, Lander, Alcova and Douglas, WY... Scottsbluff, North Platte, Kearny, Nelson, NE...and Marysville, KS. 

My goal was to follow, from Sacramento, CA-St Joseph, MO, the historic 1860s Pony Express horseback mail route hence its roundabout nature. The route also follows several emigrant trails, Oregon Trail, Morman Trail, etc., which typically followed the easiest path across the vast American West.  Not direct but without major obstacles.

Some of the towns in WY are quite far apart but this route offers solid and safe riding conditions if you enjoy solitude and long days in the saddle.

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