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Messages - ztmlgr

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Connecting ACA Routes / Re: Pueblo CO to Minneapolis, MI
« on: February 25, 2010, 12:00:01 am »

I think we met you in Connecticut in the summer of 2007.  Bill and I were going to Massachusetts (me from California and Bill from NY) and you were going to Maine.  Is this you?

Long way from Minnesota.

Routes / Re: East to West
« on: March 03, 2009, 06:57:41 pm »
I took Amtrak home from Boston to San Francisco in 2007 after riding my bike from SF to Boston.  Those 3 and one-half days on the train were harder on me physically than the previous 54 days on the bike. I rarely slept more than 2 hours a night, forgot to bring my own food onboard, and suffered on Amtrak snacks and microwaved hotdogs. The seats on Amtrak may seem comfortable to sit in, but try sitting in them for 84 hours straight or worse yet, try sleeping in them.  I had to change trains twice, once in Albany, NY, and again in Chicago.  Each time, there was a 2-3 layover wait.  I experienced only "minor" delays, with the train getting into Martinez, CA only a couple of hours late.  However, I think my experience is the exception rather than the rule.  Longer delays should be expected.  If you are going to do the Amtrak trip before you ride, I would suggest giving yourself a few days to recuperate before you start riding.

I shipped my bike home via UPS so I can't comment on using Amtrak to transport a bike.  However, I saw how the Amtrak baggage handlers treated luggage, so I would make sure I had packed the bike very securely with a lot of padding material to increase the odds that your bike will arrive intact.  UPS was a snap, although it costs some money.  I just wheeled the bike into the local bike shop in Boston, told them where I wanted it shipped, they did a professional job disassembling the bike and packing it securely, and it arrived at my doorstep 1 week later without a scratch.

General Discussion / Re: america by bike
« on: February 28, 2009, 12:32:01 am »
There are at least 3 journals (that I know of) on posted by members of the ABBIKE 2008 San Francisco to New Hampshire tour.  You might want to peruse these journals to get a flavor of how the tour operates:

I also (briefly) considered using this tour operator but was a bit turned off by their prices as well as their rigid schedule.  Here posted on their site are the rates for various motel occupancies:

# $6450 (Triple)
# $8582 (Double)
# $11,130 (Single)

If you wanted a motel room every night, and you didn't want to share it with another rider, you would be spending an average of $215 per day.  I rode from San Francisco to Boston in 2007 and stayed in a motel every night and, although I never added up the total cost, I'm sure it was thousands lower than abbike's lowest rate.  I also had the freedom to change my route or itinerary which is something the abbike riders do not have.  However, they have some advantages, such as they sag your gear, provide 2 meals a day, fix minor mechanical issues with your bike if needed, and plan the route for you and give out route sheets every day.  It might be right for you if the money is not a problem and you want someone to take care of all the details and you just want to ride your bike and you like the social group ride thing, but for me, I had a problem with their prices and I wanted the freedom to change my route or schedule and I didn't want to deal with the group dynamics.

My journal is here ( and it shows every motel I stayed at on my trip, so it is possible to do it yourself without using a tour operator ans STILL sleep in a bed every night.

Routes / Re: Help Me: Advice routes from Boston, Ma to San Francisco, Ca
« on: February 20, 2009, 11:15:14 pm »
I did the reverse (SF to Boston) in the summer of 2007. 

For details of the route, see

The route was ACA Western Express, TransAm, a shortcut from Charlottesville VA to Fredericksburg VA connecting to the ACA Atlantic Coast route to Boston, although I wandered from the Atlantic Coast route as I got closer to Boston to stay with friends and family.  My final mileage was 4,628 miles and it took 54 days.  45 days is doable but you will need to avoid bad weather and mechanical/physical breakdowns.  I was trying to make it in 50 days but I lost 1 day due to snow in Nevada (in June) and maybe another day due to thunderstorms in Kentucky, as well as maybe 2 more days due to an overly aggressive schedule and some saddle sores.  If I were to do it again, I might take a more direct route, such as the route taken by this tour group which takes 52 days, with 5 rest days, to go from SF to Portsmouth NH (close enough to Boston).  I wouldn't ride on the freeway like they do, but I would take a more northeasterly course from Kansas rather than follow the TransAm to Virginia and then head north.

Good luck. 

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