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Messages - LouMelini

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Routes / Re: Idaho Hot Springs route and parking help
« on: June 30, 2021, 11:53:28 am »
Where did you leave your car if it was not easy?  I should, but I have chosen to not do social media. Perhaps someday. I also hope to get back on that route.

Routes / Re: Idaho Hot Springs route and parking help
« on: June 29, 2021, 11:06:46 pm »
I assume, like I did, you had a great ride on the hot springs route. Yes, I am a volunteer writer for Cycling West. Thank you for acknowledging that you read the articles.

General Discussion / Re: Hosting Travelers
« on: June 26, 2021, 02:55:06 pm »
Westinghouse: When I was on the Warmshowers (WS) board, we had a dedicated "trust and safety" committee to deal with issues. We disabled a number of accounts due to reasons of exploitation and other issues. WS has not had the problems of Couchsurfing over the years. In one WS case about 8 years ago that claimed to be an Australian (?) bike traveler that had his wallet (money and ID) stolen. He used this scheme for a month or so in the Northwest to obtain money and lodging. Initially people went out of their way to help him. Finally as word spread on the WS forums he became banned and was no longer welcome by hosts. He tried to re-list on WS using other aliases but was spotted and had his profiles deleted.

 I am glad to see ACA have a relatively active forum. It seems Warmshowers communication is nearly 100% via Facebook so I am currently out of the loop of current issues.  It is always good to check for positive feedback on prospective guests as few post negative reviews.

Routes / Re: Idaho Hot Springs route and parking help
« on: June 26, 2021, 12:44:55 pm »
I've toured in the area twice. Once we left a car at the ski resort in Ketchum for the 2 weeks on the Hot Spring ride but that was in 2014 (talk to security). The second time the car was left at a campground about 5 miles west of Stanley (2017), $5/day fee. 

General Discussion / Re: Hosting Travelers
« on: June 24, 2021, 10:29:28 pm »
Donald:  Thank you for reaching out and helping the cycle travelers. Going the extra mile by helping them navigate a safer alternative was nice of you. I have hosted many travelers going back to the late '70's. Currently, like hikerjer, I host from Warmshowers, a hosting organization that I was on the board of directors many years ago. All of my experiences have been great.

General Discussion / Re: Backpacking vs Bike Touring
« on: June 12, 2021, 04:39:44 pm »
Kathy:  When thru hiking the AT (2016) I used a 60L pack, but I was thru hiking with my wife Julie (55L pack)-I carried the tent and "kitchen", she carried the sleeping bag. When we did the TransAmerica (2018) we each had 75L capacity, but I had a lot of extra room most of the time (my handlebar bag is for valuables such as hearing aides, wallet, extra prescription glasses, etc.). We carry differently when we backpack (i.e. 2-person tent vs. a 3-person when on the bike) We carry camp chairs when we bike tour, never when we backpack. We try to go light weight, but also prioritize comfort. As you have learned in the backpacking world, "Hike your own hike", you will also learn to "bike your own bike tour". With your background in backpacking, I am sure you will do fine. Knees: As HikeBikeCook said; spin, spin, spin. I try to consistently spin at 80+ rpms in most terrain.

I returned yesterday from my 5th trip through Teton and Yellowstone since 2014, including one during a TransAmerica ride with my wife Julie. I also toured through the parks in 2005 and 1975, the latter date was my 1st trans-America ride. Other than 1975, I've enjoyed my rides through Yellowstone and Teton NPs without incident. I am planning on a future ride where I take the bus from my home in Salt Lake City to West Yellowstone, ride a week in the Parks, then return by bus from Jackson.

If people wish to use a car to travel in Yellowstone, that is OK with me. I don't find the Parks unsafe to warrant renting a car or riding the alternate route. Are there statistics of bicycle/car accidents in the Park? If there are significant numbers of incidents, then I can see strongly suggesting an alternative.

Julie and I have a timeshare in Island Park, about 27 miles south and west of West Yellowstone on route 20. As Jamawami stated, route 20 is unpleasant with high speed traffic and lots of large trucks. I'm not sure if that is a safer alternative to Yellowstone NP. In Yellowstone the speed limit is 45 and regularly patrolled (I saw two cars pulled over on this recent ride).

Jamawami also gave good advice about biking in the park. Following that advice would help make one's experience better, perhaps better than the alternate route north of Ashton. Taking the trail on the alternate route and the bike trail south to Victor Idaho is a good idea.

The road north of the South Entrance of Yellowstone is narrow and does not have a shoulder, perhaps the most unpleasant road in the park. I would hope that the ACA's new advocacy director would lobby the park service to improve this road in any way possible. It should be a high priority, even if it means providing a grant of money to accomplish that goal.

General Discussion / Re: Camping or not? Is the weight worth it?
« on: May 15, 2021, 08:18:12 am »
I also became a septuagenarian earlier this year

General Discussion / Re: Camping or not? Is the weight worth it?
« on: May 14, 2021, 02:06:46 pm »
I concur with John

This has been an interesting discussion. I am asking a question about the TransAm Eastern Express site that HikeBikeCook referenced. As noted, the website is closing at the end of 2021. I went to the website and it is very nice, so my question is why isn't there collaboration with the "owner" of the website and the ACA. It seems a shame to lose a valuable route that would enhance the ACA's offerings. Perhaps this question is for a different posting.

General Discussion / Re: Camping or not? Is the weight worth it?
« on: May 06, 2021, 05:37:52 pm »
SwampYankee; Your last post came through as I was formulating a reply, so here is the edited version. You seem to have made a good choice for your needs. My kitchen is 2-3 pounds for my wife and I from which we cook very nice meals. Sitting with other campers with a cup of coffee is part of the campground ambiance, though over the past 45 years I find that more and more, people tend to stay in their motorhomes watching television. FYI; If you travel through national parks, your food selection will be pricey and perhaps limited. Enjoy your tour, no matter how you pack as there is always another tour if you change your mind.

I basically do what John Nettles suggests; keep receipts and split the difference at the end. Most problems I hear about are differences in spending, (camping vs. motels or cheap motels vs. expensive motels); where to go to eat (eating in camp vs. going out or less expensive vs. more expensive restaurant). Hopefully these are worked out. When I am with my wife, HikeBikeCook has the correct advice.

Rocky Mountain / Re: SLC to ZION bike trip
« on: April 01, 2021, 11:15:01 pm »
Amanda: I've toured fairly extensively in Utah. I did a similar route in September with a friend of mine. We started that tour in Nephi, at the south end of Utah County. The one difference of our route compared to your route, was that we continued south on 89 after Long Valley Junction and entered Zion from the east. After leaving Zion we traveled on to St. George where we picked up the Salt Lake Express bus back to Salt Lake City. Overall the road conditions we took were good, we felt safe, so overall the ride is doable. It appears from the map that you plan on riding the Jordan River Trail then ride west of Utah Lake. I have not ridden west of Utah Lake since the 80's so I can't comment on that. The write up of the trip should be printed in the Spring edition of Cycling Utah if you are familiar with that cycling publication. I think the Spring edition is coming out to the bike shops either this weekend or the following weekend. When do you plan on doing your tour?

General Discussion / Re: TransAmerica Trail starting May 15
« on: March 21, 2021, 09:46:30 pm »
 Julie and I did the TransAm in 2018. Coming from the east, you will have plenty of campgrounds and hostels to stay at once you get to Wyoming if that is what you are seeking. I consider campgrounds (commercial or Forest Service) and hostels as very safe, hospitable, and inviting if safety is a concern. Fortunately Julie and I enjoy and can afford the "luxury" of camping in campgrounds (we try to avoid motels). (see jamawani's comments about $$). I don't have a lot of advice about stealth camping as we rarely stealth camp so follow the advice of toadmeister and John Nelson. I've done quite a bit of road touring in the west. I don't consider any of the TransAm as remote. I live in Utah but I am originally from New Jersey where there is a different mindset about the "West". I moved to the "West" because of my 1975 cross country bike tour. No regrets, best decision I made. I've enjoyed every bike tour I've done in the west and I bet you will as well. 

General Discussion / Re: Warmshowers now charging.....everyone!
« on: February 05, 2021, 11:00:32 am »
Continued issues with WarmShowers. Very disappointing news for a service that can be valuable to traveling cyclists. I will continue to host as I have, be a guest when I need to and follow the developments.

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