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Messages - Wirelizard

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International / Re: Randonnée Vienne-Nantes - May-July 2014
« on: January 23, 2014, 12:39:09 am »
My (Canadian) bank will do International Wire Transfers online thru their website for $13, which is still steep on a 17 Euro (~26 Cdn) fee, but closer to reasonable, at least for a bank, so I've just done the transfer using the IBAN/SWIFT info on the AF3V membership forms and it went smoothly enough.

Now I guess we wait and see!

International / Re: Randonnée Vienne-Nantes - May-July 2014
« on: January 21, 2014, 10:13:31 pm »
Got that email this morning my time (I'm on the West Coast) and did the print-and-scan thing to send off both application forms just this afternoon by PDF. Tomorrow on my lunch break I was going to go talk to my bank about the whole money transfer thing, I've no idea what it costs from my bank.

Pity they don't just take Paypal for the membership fee!

Pacific Northwest / Re: Anyone ridden the John Wayne Pioneer Trail in WA?
« on: January 13, 2014, 11:41:00 pm »
There are a couple of tunnels on the JWT between Cle Elum and Ellensburg--at least one of which is permanently closed. 

According to this from July 2013, all the tunnels on the Cascades section of the John Wayne are now usable, but I'm not familiar with the area and different articles use different landmarks to section the trail up, so it's possible there's still closed tunnels in there somewhere.

International / Re: Randonnée Vienne-Nantes - May-July 2014
« on: January 10, 2014, 03:41:13 am »
I looked at the Air France website, and they mention 150 USD/per leg from the US or Canada to Europe, and €100 outbound from Europe to North America.

KLM's website, when I looked at over December, says the bike fee is 100 of (local currency), so Euro, USD, CAD, etc for North America to Europe.

A lot of the AF flights I saw on a quick search using a Vancouver-Vienna inbound and Paris-Vancouver homebound flight were codeshares/partner flights by KLM that involved a change in Amsterdam anyway, so I think I might actually go KLM instead of AF... (plus, KLM's flight-picking website is a good bit easier to use...)

Must admit I'm checking the AF3V website twice a day right now, waiting for news that registration has opened... Marc was pretty vague when I asked for an exact date in our email exchange, so I'm antsy...

Pacific Northwest / Re: Anyone ridden the John Wayne Pioneer Trail in WA?
« on: January 10, 2014, 02:52:34 am »
You should ride the Yakima river canyon road from Ellenburg to Yakima awesome scenery a little hilly but well worth it

That road caught my eye while messing around on the Google Maps setup in my initial post, actually. It's tempting, especially as it looks like the newer, straighter road to the east would carry most of the traffic. A very twisty little route indeed!

Thanks for all the awesome feedback from those of you who've actually been there, if/when this trip actually happens I'll keep folks here informed!

Pacific Northwest / Re: Anyone ridden the John Wayne Pioneer Trail in WA?
« on: January 03, 2014, 09:16:46 pm »
It was mostly the Snoqualmie pass/North Bend to Ellensburg section I was wondering about that, as the alternative to the John Wayne is being stuck on I-90, which sounds unappealing and possibly impossible/illegal for bikes...

Once you get to Ellensburg there's alternative routes available if the JW turns gnarlier. South to Yakima, or on regular roads down the Columbia to the Tri-cities area. We would ultimately be heading down the Columbia Gorge to Portland.

Depending on other commitments this will probably be a late August or even post-Labour Day trip, if we do it this year.

Thanks for the feedback!

International / Re: Randonnée Vienne-Nantes - May-July 2014
« on: January 03, 2014, 02:50:11 am »
I got a similar reply in English from the same guy, saying pretty much the same thing, just two days after I sent another email over the New Years holiday.

I've replied asking to be emailed as soon as registration opens, and I'll be keeping an eye on the A3V website as well!

Hopeful this actually works so I can put myself and my bike on a plane at the end of May this year!

Pacific Northwest / Anyone ridden the John Wayne Pioneer Trail in WA?
« on: January 01, 2014, 06:27:55 am »
My brother and I have been kicking around ideas for a Canadian border/Seattle to Portland OR ride via some non-direct route for a while now, with various options considered.

Just a few days ago he discovered the John Wayne Pioneer Trail, a rail-to-trail conversion that starts just east of Seattle in the Snoqualmie/North Bend WA area, goes through the Cascades more or less parallel to I-90, through Ellensburg then on across the Columbia and eventually almost all the way to the Idaho border. (where it links up to other trails that could take you all the way to Montana, actually...)

Link to the TrailLink map for the John Wayne:

Link to one possible route on Google Maps: (the Columbia Gorge route here is pretty nailed down; the Anacortes-Seattle-Ellensburg stretch is obvious; the middle third across central WA is pretty much entirely up in the air at this point!)

We were wondering about the Seattle-Columbia River stretch, and then coming back down the Columbia into Portland via the Columbia Gorge (which seems really well set up for cycling) but central-southern WA is pretty unknown territory for both of us.

Has anyone used the JWP trail as a route through the Cascades? Is it doable with cyclocross/hybrid style touring bikes?

Similarly, anyone familiar with that central-southern WA area, Ellensburg/Yakima/Tri-Cities/etc? It's not a part of WA either of us has spent any time in.

International / Re: Randonnée Vienne-Nantes - May-July 2014
« on: December 30, 2013, 10:04:51 pm »
The first email I sent, back in August, was to the generic info@a3v address; the one I just sent today was to the new one now listed on their Vienna-Nantes page,

I'm not expecting a reply until after New Years, obviously, but I'll keep this thread updated!

International / Re: Randonnée Vienne-Nantes - May-July 2014
« on: December 30, 2013, 09:14:19 pm »
I'd noticed the change to specifying breakfast-only, which is a bit disappointing but not surprising.

The 50 people max limit is, frustratingly, only in the French-language info and has not been translated into the English-language section as I write this, which is why I'd missed it before. (mind you, pity the Germans more, the brand-new German language section of that website is even skimpier than the English section...)

I just sent off another (mostly English) email to the new email address they've posted, so we shall see.

If this Europe trip falls through I'll probably do a BC/Washington/Oregon trip closer to home, so I'll be hanging around this forum a while yet!

International / Re: Caribbean cycling?
« on: November 19, 2013, 12:19:22 pm »
I know a number of people who have done cycling trips around Cuba and had a lot of fun. Apparently the cities can be a bit crazy but out in the countryside bike tourists are an interesting novelty.

This might be one of those destinations that's easier for Canadians than it is for our southern neighbours, though, which is unfortunate.

International / Randonnée Vienne-Nantes - May-July 2014
« on: November 10, 2013, 04:00:51 am »
Does anyone here know anything about - or is planning on joining - the AF3V's Vienna-Nantes semi-supported long distance ride at the end of May next year?

Having bought a new bike and finally started properly equipping myself for bike touring this last summer, I tripped over the website -,428.html and it's really captured my imagination! I've done a couple of backpacking trips to Europe, badly want to go back, and the opportunity to combine it with an epic bike tour is too good to resist.

I sent one (English-language) email to the AF3V way back in mid-August and got back an automated email saying they were closed for summer holidays, then nothing further, but the website for the ride is updated regularly so it's obvious planning is progressing. I need to get off my butt, brush up my high-school French and send them another email, bilingual this time!

The basic plan is Vienna to Nantes over 45 days, ~2300 km total so about 40-70 km per day, which is a nice easy day's ride and almost all along the EuroVelo 6, which is apparently a lovely cycling route. 20 Euro per day gets you two meals and some sort of lodging, which sounds mostly like campsites or school gyms. Coming from western Canada, I'd be doing an open-jaw ticket into Vienna and out of Paris; it look like KLM through Amsterdam both ways might be the best bet, but I'm leaving serious flight planning until January.

I can swing the eight weeks off work, and I actually have about three-quarters of the money I'd need in the bank, so this is actually looking doable.

Anyone else here heard of this ride and planning on joining, or considering it?

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